Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – D.Wallace Peach, James J. Cudney and Balroop Singh


Welcome to the second of the author updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves.

The first author today is D.Wallace Peach for Sunwielder which is now in audio version.

About Sunwielder

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.Now his story remakes itself, casting him backward in time to moments of decision and death. His old life gone, he no longer remembers the purpose of the medallion burning his chest. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the recent reviews for the book

In Sunwielder (2016), D. Wallace Peach’s fantasy world is not unlike Earth’s medieval world of hardworking commoners, feudal lords, and warring kingdoms. The hero Gryff wants only to be a farmer and raise horses when his entire family is wiped out by a man who hates him for no apparent reason. When he has the opportunity to change his past with the time traveling Sunwielder, given to him by a timekeeper from a neighboring land, he takes it without questioning the cost. Even though it means he must leave the pastoral beauty of his farm, the loving warmth of his family, and spend the next years as a soldier, fighting a battle his farmer self barely cares about, he takes it. His one promise to his wife when he married her was that he’d keep her safe. He doesn’t intend to break that promise. From the moment he dons the Sunwielder, his life is controlled by a future he isn’t sure of. All he knows is when the present doesn’t work out ‘right’, he dies and gets to try again.

This is a fast-paced story of undying love, baseless hate, and how a family’s life becomes the pawn between those two. One of the most beautiful parts of this story is simply the way Peach links her words. Read this:

“Nearly three hundred men in the great hall dropped to one knee, right knuckles to the floor, heads bowed.”

“Black oaks, dark with summer leaves, swathed the trail in shifting shadow. Shafts of sunlight speared the forest floor, altered only by the sway of branches in the heated wind.”

Peach has a way of picking exactly the right word to evoke so much more than the meaning would promise. Few are better at world building. This is highly recommended not only for those who love fantasies but those who enjoy a good military thriller.

Read the reviews and buy the book also in audio: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1530872537/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1530872537

A selection of of other books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to Diana via her blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

The next author is James J. Cudney with a review for Book two in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Broken Heart Attack.. I can highly recommend the books in the series and just reading book four.

About Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

One of the recent reviews for the book

BROKEN HEART ATTACK by James J. Cudney is the second book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series. It’s the story of Kellan, his adjusting to moving back in Wharton County, Pennsylvania as a Professor at Baxter, with Emma, his 6 year old daughter, and how he is once again pulled into helping to solve a murder.

You can’t help but fall in love with Nana D., Kellan’s grandmother – known by others as Seraphina Danby. After the sudden death of her dear friend, Gwendolyn – of the renown Paddingtons and part of Braxton’s Septuagenarian Club, and at the request of Gwen’s sister-in-law Eustacia, Nana D. calls upon Kellan to get to the truth about what really happened. It seems there had been statements and actions by Gwendolyn to give credence that it wasn’t a heart attack, but rather that someone may have murdered her. When evident confirms it, Nana D. is more determined than ever to find out who murdered her dear friend. Nana D. is also determined to run for mayor even though she knows very little about the political structure and being of advanced years. She definitely needs Kellan’s help!

Kellan’s banter and quick comebacks with Sheriff April Montague keep things interesting and fun to read. They eventually find that they can work rather well together for a like cause – maybe even be friends.

During all of this, Kellan is dealing with major events in his own life like his dead wife, Francesca, showing up very much alive, dealing with his in-laws, the Castigliano and their mob connections, and most importantly thinking through things so as to make the right and best decision for his future while protecting his daughter at the forefront and not becoming a murder victim himself.

BROKEN HEART ATTACK ends with a murderer nabbed (that I for one hadn’t guessed), one surprise revealed and a cliff hanger that will have you looking for book #3 in this series.

BROKEN HEART ATTACK is well written and definitely keeps you turning the pages. Although part of a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone book. This was the first book in the series for me and although I had a bit of trouble at first keeping everyone straight in the Paddington family just because there are quite a few of them and I was trying to figure out whodunit from the beginning. It didn’t take me long to get the pecking order figured out and into the rhythm of the book. With the ending of this book, I will definitely be reading book #1 to see how it builds to this one and I’m excited to read the rest of the series as well.

Loved that the main sleuth was a man in this series and one that takes his family responsibilities seriously and with great heart. His quick wit added to his intelligence and made him more enduring. I would definitely recommend this book to those that love a great cozy mystery, a clean mystery, or one that will keep you guessing to the very end. I really enjoyed it and feel you would too.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The final review today is for Balroop Singh and her recently released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

With a book title such as Moments We Love by Balroop Singh, it is of little wonder that this enchanting book of heartfelt poetries is filled with romance, joy, happiness, and love. A beautiful book that will warm your heart during the Fall and Winter months. This well-written book of poetries will certainly be a delightful gift to receive during this upcoming Yuletide season. Loved it! Well done, Author Balroop Singh.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Balroop Singh, Bette A. Stevens and Julia Benally


Early reviews are in for Teagan Riordain Geneviene’s and her latest release, A Ghost in the Kitchen – Three Ingredients book 2

About the book

A Ghost in the Kitchen, Three Ingredients-2 continues the flapper adventures of Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. It’s a 1920s “pantser” story and a culinary mystery. This time Pip’s pal Andy (from The Three Things Serial Story) returns. Granny Phanny is there too. She’s still trying to teach Pip to cook. Granny is in a lather because of the supernatural goings-on in her kitchen. There’s also one pos-i-lutely potent poltergeist! New adventures abound as Pip and Andy unravel an old mystery. It’s all spontaneously driven by “ingredients” sent by readers of the blog, Teagan’s Books. Jump into the jalopy and enjoy the ride. There’s no telling where we’ll go, but it will be the cat’s pajamas!

One of the early reviews for the book

I never cease to be amazed by this author’s ability to create stories from suggested ingredients supplied by her blog readers and fans, as she has also done for the other books in this Roaring Twenties series.

Each chapter states the three ingredients to be used within it (and highlights them in bold when they are mentioned).

Considering that each chapter not only includes these ingredients, but must follow the book storyline, the sheer talent and skill involved is impressive.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest Pip tale.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Kitchen-Three-Ingredients-II-ebook/dp/B07Y2KN1NM

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Kitchen-Three-Ingredients-II-ebook/dp/B07Y2KN1NM/

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan via her blog:  https://teagansbooks.com/

The next review today is for Balroop Singh and her recently released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I loved Balroop Singh’s poetry collection, Moments We Love. The author’s writing covers a range of themes, from hope, to melancholy, beauty, change, and the power of nature. Metonymy is used throughout with an array of symbols reflecting a deeper commentary on this world we inhabit. I am a lover of nature in all its splendour and decay, and was therefore moved by the references to birds, animals, and natural cycles of earth.

One of my favourite poems in the collection is “My Mother”. With powerful lines such as “who could digest rudeness” and “who could rise from the abyss of grief” made me connect with this poet as I too have such a mother, and strive to be such an example of strength and nurturing myself. Regular rhetorical questions left me questioning and turning inward – a perfect technique to make a reader attach personal meaning to the poetry. 5 stars for crafting words that show how well the author has lived.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Bette A. Stevens for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Cathleen Townsend 5.0 out of 5 stars A quality read September 30, 2019

Bette A. Sevens is a real Renaissance woman when it comes to writing–she does it all. Children’s fiction and nonfiction with her charming story of Matilda the Monarch butterfly as well as her Tanagram puzzle book, historical fiction with Pure Trash and Dog Bone Soup, and now she’s turned her attention to further developing her skills in the demanding area of poetry.

Every word always counts, no matter the genre, but it seems that in poetry each one needs to work extra hard. Ms. Stevens has chosen the haiku form to paint her ephemeral pictures of mood and fleeting imagery, and she has clearly practiced her craft to come up with these gems. And even though I’ve never been to Maine, I feel I’ve been privileged to see it through Bette’s eyes. She obviously loves her home in a profound way.

My favorite haiku in the collection is titled simply “Autumn Leaves,” and it contains this exquisite passage:

“Radiant rustling leaves
Sketched among the trees
Foretell the story

Splashed across woodlands
Blazing brush transforms the world
Into a canvas”

This is a quality read, one where you’ll wish to savor every word.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SSNDL5L

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Maine-Haiku-through-Seasons-ebook/dp/B07SSNDL5L

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  https://4writersandreaders.com

The final author with a recent review is Julia Benally for Pariahs (Ilinga Book I)

About Pariahs (Ilings Book 1)

In a land of monsters and soulless creatures, there is a secluded compound terrorized by a fallen demon-killer, the Grand Apwor. He’s claimed its youngest occupant Vijeren as his son. The Grand Apwor can’t be killed, he can’t be escaped, and his punishments are severe and horrific. Somehow, he knows where Vijeren is at all times. When a law enforcer named Zhin appears like a living flame, a family war that’s been sizzling for decades finally ignites. It drags Vijeren in, revealing secrets of a long-forgotten past and a family torn asunder in recesses of lost memories. Only Zhin knows how to kill the Grand Apwor, but the answer rests on the love between a father and son–something that Vijeren doesn’t have…

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Aug 27, 2019 Kathryn Blade rated it Four Stars

Julia Benally’s Pariahs is a neatly crafted fantasy that exhibits an inherent skill with world building and character creation. It snatched me up the second I started reading. I give the book four out of five stars.

The story details a family war ignited when a law enforcer named Zhin appears on the horizon after Vijeren is claimed by a demon-killer as its son. The adventures in Pariahs are richly detailed. I fell in love with the characters within the first few chapters. The interactions and adventures of the youngsters was reminiscent of some of the adolescent adventures in Stand By Me. The fight scenes are detailed and action packed. New creatures are richly detailed and are an exciting part of this world.

This isn’t a casual read. It takes some concentration on the part of the reader to stay with the story. If you’re able to do this, however, it is well worth the effort invested in the story.

As usual, I won’t reveal spoilers. If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, consider giving Pariahs a read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JNCYY1W

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pariahs-Ilings-Book-Julia-Benally-ebook/dp/B07JNCYY1W

Julia is also a contributor to a number of anthologies.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Benally/e/B017C8WCJO

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Julia-Benally/e/B017C8WCJO

Read the reviews and follow Julia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/similar/6950221.Julia_Benally

Connect to Julia via her blog: https://sparrowincarnate.blogspot.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm… thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jane Risdon, D.G. Kaye and Balroop Singh


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

The first review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her short story collection.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I received “Undercover Crime Shorts” by Jane Risdon yesterday in my mailbox.
As I waited for some potatoes to boil, while I was cooking dinner, I took a peek into the book to see the first sentence. I kept thinking, “I’ll just finish this page,” but I kept reading at every spare moment. After only putting the book down to do chores or to sleep, I can say it took less than a day to read from beginning to end. It was like I was lassoed in and I couldn’t stop reading until I found out what happened next!
I highly recommend “Undercover Crime Shorts”, by Jane Risdon. You won’t be able to put it down.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane RisdonRead the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane via her blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is D.G. Kaye for Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging.

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

DG Kaye beautifully chronicles twenty years of her marriage and along the way encapsulates the heart of unconditional love amid life’s challenges. What I loved so much was her honest retelling of those years, both good and challenging. I found myself nodding again and again while I read as she honed into what the fundamental requirements were to maintain a healthy relationship. Respect, laughter, intimacy and patience are the cornerstones of a solid foundation that can withstand the trials of daily living. This is, or should be required reading for anyone in a relationship whether married or in a partnership. The author touched on so many issues that impact all relationships. This novel is a keeper and one I will return to over and over again. I extend a heartfelt thank you to the author for her candor and the gift to all of us for this remarkable book.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077V386TL

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077V386TL

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crophave-bags-will-travel

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

The final review today is for Balroop Singh and her recently released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I find reading poetry extremely relaxing. It’s not something I read frequently, but when I do, I enjoy the moods verse conjures. Balroop Singh weaves words like a tapestry, In Moments We Loveshe touches on multiple aspects of love, the people we love, and events which shape our lives. Divided into three sections: Moments of Love, Moments of Harmony, and Moments that Make Life, each segment is supported by poems matching the theme.

Each reader will find verses that resonate with them. Plenty stood out for me but my two favorites have to be Do You Remember?and Spring Memories.

From Do You Remember:
Do you remember the days?
When we played with clouds,
Rolled in colors,
Wore them around
Drenched and smiled
When we splayed colors at each other.

The imagery throughout easily transports the reader to the setting or moment in time the author conjures. Some are filled with whimsy and wonder, others with melancholy, but all are beautifully rendered.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm – thank you Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jan Sikes, Balroop Singh, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Annika Perry


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

And the first author today is Jan Sikes,  with a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read. This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next book with a recent review is Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh.

51hws7e9y-l-_uy250_About the book

Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self?

Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention.

Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike.

This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.

One of the recent reviews for Allow Yourself to be a Better person

As a follower of a blog written by Balroop Singh, I decided to purchase one of her non-fiction books this month: Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person. In this self-help and advice collection, Singh provides readers with ~100 pages of her thoughts and research on how to live a better life. By sharing personal stories of her own life and those of people she’s met, Singh offers ways for readers to consider changing behaviors so that they are happier and stronger individuals.

Every once in a while, it’s good to pick up a book like this; much of the content are things we know or have been taught over the years, but that we also forget. Singh adds context and value behind the words, ensuring we have example and clearer understanding of different interpretations. We know not to take our anger out on others, but we do it still… sometimes unwittingly, and at others, on purpose. Singh reminds us why, shares alternative approaches, and provides a way of reacting to our own emotions with a twist.

I enjoyed reading this extension of her blog so that I could be reminded of a few things that are always a benefit to our lives. It’s obvious that she took a lot of time to craft the structure and advice, and she should be commended. I’m glad I took a chance on reading her book and recommend it to others who are struggling to find a bit of light or think differently about some problems and painful situations in their life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MR1WGC3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allow-Yourself-Be-Better-Person-ebook/dp/B01MR1WGC3

Also by Balroop Singh.

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with her latest release – a short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.

The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.

It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MLYP5XP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Mad-Woman-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-ebook/dp/B07MLYP5XP

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

Read more reviews and follow Vashti on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Connect to Vashti via her website/Blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

The final author with a recent review is Annika Perry for her collection of stories – The Storyteller Speaks.

About The Storyteller Speaks
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Jun 20, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Four Stars

Sometimes it is good to sit down and read some short stories. So much can be said in a few carefully chosen words. Which is the case in this delightful collection of stories and poems. Stories about a first and forever love, stolen flowers, forgotten chillies, frozen landscapes and a miscarriage of justice evoke a wide range of emotions. My favourite story is the Loss of A Patriarch, depicting a family saying goodbye to a much-loved family member told in such a heartwarming manner it is sure to produce tears. For a first time author, this is a wonderful collection showing a range of writing skills.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

Connect to Annika via her blog  https://annikaperry.com

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

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – Most Bird species in an Aviary – discovered by Balroop Singh.


My thanks to Balroop Singh for spotting this delightful video and you can enjoy wonderful poetry, travel and post on life on her blog: : http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

courtesy of Guinness World Records

 

Balroop Singh, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U
Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you found this video as delightful as I did..Sally

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Claire Fullerton, C.S. Boyack and Balroop Singh


Welcome to the second edition of the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with recent reviews is Claire Fullerton for the Southern family saga Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

It’s the 1970s. Millie and her brother Finley are eighteen months apart, and he’s her rock. When Millie is ten, Posey, their mother, leaves their alcoholic father and moves from Minnesota to Tennessee, where Posey is was raised.

Memphis might as well be a foreign country to Finley and Millie. They are different from everyone else and on the outside looking in. Luckily they have each other, but that’s about all they have.

When Posey returns to her hometown, she immediately finds her way, unlike her children. She’s wrapped up in society and often leaves the children alone while she’s at the country club. Millie and Finley come-of-age in Memphis. They each just want to belong, as any teen does. Their paths separate, and their outcomes are different from each other. Their relationship falls into disrepair as well.

Millie is in her 30s when she reflects on her life and specifically her relationship with her brother. I found this exploration incredibly authentic and insightful. The nuances of brother-sister relationships are present and driven home. Finley is Millie’s protector and hero. If you had a big brother (like I did), you totally get it. The two are extremely close growing up until they aren’t.

In Memphis high society, appearances are everything, and it’s hard to fit in. Claire Fullerton does an impeccable job capturing that “outsider” feeling, especially for teenagers. I’ve been there. She nailed it.

The writing is beautiful, and I highlighted so many smart, gorgeous quotes. I also have to mention the time period. The 1970s came to life with the clothing, music, and ideas of the time. Also important to note is all the backdrop of segregation and social change happening at a slower pace. The book may have been set in the 1970s, but the themes are universal for any time. The characters are well-drawn, and I was transported to this special time and place.

Poignant, powerful, and stunningly written, I was enamored with Mourning Dove and very much look forward to Fullerton’s next book!

Read some of the other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

And the next author who continues to receive excellent reviews is C.S. Boyack for his latest release Voyage of the Lanternfish.

About Voyage of the Lanternfish

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’ve read several books by C.S. Boyack, and by now, I’ve come to expect wildly inventive world-building, charming characters, and a thrilling adventure. This book definitely didn’t alter those expectations.

Where can I find me some root monsters? I’d love to have a bushel of my own. These guys made me laugh out loud so many times, I lost count. They’re quite the little scoundrels, and a valuable addition to the crew. Speaking of the crew, they’re a diverse, boisterous crowd with varied backgrounds, and kind of a family of their own making. Everyone brings a special skill to the table. And they’re pirates! Who doesn’t love a good pirate tale?

If you’re looking for adventure on the high seas, quirky characters, a hint of magic, and a touch of romance, Voyage of the Lanternfish fits the bill quite nicely.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MP8V633

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voyage-Lanternfish-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B07MP8V633

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect to Craig via his website: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

The final review today is for poet Balroop Singh’s Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Timeless Echoes, by Balroop Singh will become a favorite of poetry enthusiasts. “Solace sailed away with you,” the author wrote, and with that line, I was hooked. This poetry collection is a beautifully written group of memories, dreams and desires that begs to be read over and over. I absolutely loved it.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop via her blog: ttp://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Of Traditions, Conservatism and Giving… by Balroop Singh


Delighted to share the fourth but hopefully not last of Balroop Singh’s posts from her archive. This week Balroop shares the customs of a traditional Indian wedding.

Of Traditions, Conservatism and Giving…

Indian weddings are a spectacular show of wealth, wedged in traditions, rituals and extravagant customs.

They appear to be blissful happy occasions of celebration…till you peep behind the drapes!

Recently I had to be an obligatory part of all this razzmatazz, watching and wondering…when will we get out of these age-old cultural compulsions, which have been imposed on us.

“Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy.”Matthew Scully.

Traditions are woven into the web of our life, I know, but I always thought and convinced myself that they evolve with time.

How utterly…extremely erroneous were my thoughts, in hoping for brighter times!

The brides in India still belong to antiquity!

They may be highly educated, having the best of job placements, sometimes even earning more than the prospective grooms BUT…

They HAVE to bring along unlimited amount of gifts, which are all given by her father, rich or poor, all have to follow this tradition.

On the receiving end are the brazen parents of the bridegroom, whose mouths, as wide open as that of a crocodile, remain open!

They don’t have to give anything in return.

Traditions blind us, compel us to keep honoring them due to societal pressures but aren’t we part of the society?

Isn’t it our responsibility, especially that of the younger generation to break away from those norms which almost choke us, make us bankrupt, kill and burn our brides?

Yes, the youngsters do break some norms only when they want to!

But they remain mute spectators to the age-old system of giving and giving and giving….when they receive along with the bride!!

The Indian tradition of giving a daughter away is, in itself, an incomparable generosity in global history. She is expected to be a part of groom’s family, perform all household chores, bear and rear children, respect all the whims and fancies of her in-laws and stay away from her own parents and siblings.

She has to become a channel of continuous flow of money and gifts from her parents, who are expected to keep on giving, all their life!

All this in the name of traditions!!!

“Tradition is the prison where change is detained… To make a change, you need to agree that you are not going with the statement “this is how we do it”! Yes, that was how it was done, but what next? Agree to change!”—Israelmore Ayivor

When will we free ourselves from these age-old shackles?

When will we free ourselves from the fear of such a despotic society?

The historical significance of the so-called dowry should have faded long ago when laws were framed against this system.

Dowry was prohibited by law in 1961 with the purpose of banning the demanding, giving and taking of dowry. Although providing dowry is illegal, it is still common in many parts of India for a husband to seek a dowry from the wife’s family, in some cases leading to extortion or violence against the wife.”

Not that I was unaware of this, not that I have never complained or criticized this type of blatant one-sided giving.

Recently I witnessed this tradition of giving and expecting unlimited gifts, which gave me a feeling of revulsion, almost to the point of revolt.

Shouldn’t educated and socially aware couples rise against this?

Isn’t it discrimination to expect gifts only from the bride’s family?

Why are we so helpless? Why are we enslaved by traditions?

Why are we expected to follow such an oppressive dogma of giving a daughter away?

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

©Balroop Singh.

Picture credit: Etawau.com, elegantindianwedding.com
Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and to Balroop for her thought provoking post..We would love to hear from you..

If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#Family – Why I Married At 23…Sometimes We Do Make Wrong Decisions! by Balroop Singh


Delighted to share the third of Balroop Singh’s posts from her archives and this week she takes a look at arranged marriages, including her own which has been incredibly happy, but others are not so fortunate… Balroop explores how this tradition is still maintained in the present day.

Why I Married At 23…Sometimes We Do Make Wrong Decisions!

Our decisions cling to us, we have to live with some of them all our life. We might live in the shadow of regret because we didn’t have the maturity to ponder. We didn’t have the guts to speak up, to express our resentment, to rise against what appeared to be a wrong decision.

What if a parent or sibling makes those life-changing decisions?

What if they were made under societal pressures or moral bindings?

What if they are seen to be quite right by everybody around us?

All these questions didn’t crop up when I married at 23 (actually 22+) and it happened to be a happy marriage.

Thankfully, I have lived by that decision without any regrets.

I am not alone!

I know many girls marry at this age, out of choice. But the million-dollar question is: Are they enlightened enough to gather the import of such a decision?

When there is an unwritten decree that you have to marry when you are asked to just because it is convenient for the people around you, when the society values your muteness at such decisions, when you are expected to concur with what your near and dear ones decide for you, when you don’t want to displease them…do you have any choice?

In many cases that decision may turn you into a puppet, a slave, a housemaid, a sex symbol, a money-churning machine – who cares? You are seen as respectfully, happily married woman!

Now many such questions stare at me and I realize how simple, how immature and young I was at that time.

I couldn’t even understand that I was abdicating my dream, my aspiration.

I was told that I could still pursue it. I just chose to forget it but that is another story!

I was told that everybody must settle down. I could hardly fathom the depth of those words.

Did I have a choice? I was not expected to question or even see the man I was supposed to marry though I did raise some queries and insisted on meeting him at least once.

It is another matter that I met a kind and understanding man.

All those who are married off like this are not that lucky.

Those were probably primitive times…we didn’t have any Google to ask all those questions. We just had a radio and a gramophone, which sang away to glory and who was interested in the news that women had been granted equal status, that they too could claim their rights!?

Nothing has changed in this technology driven, digital world.

The unwritten diktats of the society follow young, naïve girls to their grave.

Younger brides can be easily molded, that is the belief. They can’t wield much power and will-power, this weakness can be easily exploited.

I didn’t have the power or the authority; they too face the same scenario.

The patriarchal societies are driven by the same age-old traditions of marrying a young girl, demanding (or expecting) dowry and considering the wife as a personal property.

My own niece met with the same fate and I couldn’t do anything! Isn’t it strange? But she chose to divorce!

She could only do so when the choice lay in her own hands and I appreciate her bold step.

I am not shifting any blame.

I could have also made a wrong decision. Many people do so.

I am only trying to understand how much has our society evolved. How much freedom have we attained and who have actually got that freedom?

At the same time, I am awe struck at the wrong decisions made in the western world, where dating at teenage endows them with too much of freedom.

They have all the choices!

We all make wrong decisions but when we make them ourselves, we move on, thinking it was a bad dream, a little mistake, and an aberration.

How long will the societal oppressions keep demanding the sacrifices of young, innocent girls? How long would their ambitions be thwarted by the biased demands of their culture and dogmas?

Thank you for reading this. I am sure you have some thoughts to share. Please do so.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Image adapted from: http://kenmclane.org

©Balroop Singh

Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and to Balroop for her thought provoking post..We would love to hear from you..

If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Blogs from Your Archives #Family – My First Flight by Balroop Singh


Here is the second post in the series of posts from the archives of poet and author Balroop Singh.

My First Flight

I have taken many flights of fantasy but this was a real one. I can still feel that sensation, that ecstasy and elation.

I still remember the way I announced…‘We are going to Srinagar by air’ as if I was already on cloud nine! And the beaming face of my mother is etched in my memory.

I could never write about it as the feeling is inexplicable, the rapture of delight is unfathomable…words can never describe some emotions yet I want to record them in whatever words I can find.

Married off at 23, I didn’t expect much as I had no idea what a blissful relationship it could be. Prejudiced against this overrated institution or ignorant about it… I was totally confused and carried on with all the traditions and rituals mutely.

One aspect was very clear in my mind that there would be what people called ‘honeymoon’ though this word too was obscure. I associated it with dream locations and picturesque surroundings.

I was given the opportunity to choose my favorite locale and I chose Srinagar.

Oh! The excitement. The preparations. The plans within my mind! The intensity of emotions that encompassed me kept me awake for long hours.

I was going to fly for the first time! Whatever travel I had known till then was either by bus or on motorbike. The thought of flying had never crossed my mind.

Those were the times when there were no online bookings and no smart phones. We boarded a train to Delhi, walked into the airline office to book our tickets, which were dirt-cheap, less than the tariff we paid for staying in a luxurious houseboat

Houseboats are dream houses, popularized by movies of those times and were preferred over hotels.

Next morning was the flight. I had nobody around me to share my overflowing emotions. A person of few words, my husband appeared to be very calm as if he had been travelling by air for all the 24 years of his life!

I asked him how was he feeling and he gave me a blank look. He didn’t even ask what I meant.

I told myself he doesn’t know me. Well, Mr. Calm…this is the beginning!

I told him I wanted the window seat and I did get it. All the time I was looking out of the little window (I wondered why do they design such small holes!)

You can’t imagine my amazement of watching the earth from above! No wonder people associate heaven with azure blue!

The clouds looked more like bales of cotton or soft snow, the sky peeping through pristine white sheet with hues of varied blues and the movement of clouds was mesmerizingly noticeable. My eyes ached but I couldn’t take them off from this ethereal experience.

Those were the days when snacks were offered free even for a one-hour flight but I had no interest in what the smiling airhostess was asking.

Lost in my thoughts, I was thinking about the birds who experience this feeling each time they fly, every single day. I was wondering what could be the thoughts of Wright brothers. I could almost feel their pride and deep down in my heart, there was a tinge of gratitude.

I got shaken out of my reverie when my husband shook me as he thought it was rude not to answer the question of the airhostess. Now each time we fly, he knows he has to tell my preference for a drink on my behalf also.

I have taken many flights after this. I must have flown many hours yet my penchant for a window seat has never waned and my wonder of looking at the clouds, the ocean, the roads and cars, which seem to be transported from the land of Lilliputians has never been quelled.

Today we are celebrating 39 years of flying together.

I wonder how people can sit on the aisle seat and bury their heads into their devices, oblivious of the beauty that sky offers from the windows of an airplane!

One of my friends doesn’t find flying fascinating. Fear grips her as soon as she enters a plane; she feels nauseated and therefore avoids flying!

Do you think flights can be enthralling? What emotions do they arouse?

Image credit:

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

©Balroop Singh

Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and Balroop would love to hear about your first flights..

Smorgasbord Blog Posts from your Archives #Family – Walls Do Respond To Emotional Attachments – Home Is Where The Heart Is! by Balroop Singh


Delighted to welcome poet Balroop Singh back with more posts from her archives, and this series, on the subject of family.

Walls Do Respond To Emotional Attachments – Home Is Where The Heart Is! by Balroop Singh

It is quite natural to get attached to homes if we have invested our hearts into them. Even the walls of such homes become receptive.

Recently I happened to read an article, which stirred my emotions intensely and took me down the memory lane.

My dear friend  Lisa Thomson says, “A house has no feelings or attachments. It doesn’t love us back. Walls really don’t talk, and that’s probably a good thing.”

We convert a house into a home when we get emotionally attached to it.

HOME THAT NURTURED ME:

The home in which I grew up is still very much a part of my ardent memories as this was the place that nurtured me from the age that was most impressionable.

The excitement of an eight-year-old child is still very fresh in my mind. I can smell the fragrance of new paint and wood even now. Whenever I go down the memory lane, I can experience the friendship of all the nooks and crannies that I explored the very first day I stepped into this house our father got designed for us.

This house cherished my dreams, cushioned my lonely moments, provided solace to my disappointments, gave shape to my adventures and inspired me to aspire high.

Every wall was a supporting shelter, how much I could share my thoughts with them, silently!

The walls of my room empathized with me when I didn’t sleep well due to examination fever. They rejoiced with me when I turned up the volume of my radio, to celebrate my little moments of joy. They resounded with my giggles in the afternoons.

As I grew up, every brick seemed so precious, every tree of the little garden I loved seemed to cherish my thoughts and provide solace to my distressing hours.

Then came the time to leave my treasured surroundings, my home.

I can still feel the tears of poignant parting on my cheeks.

I hate this age-old tradition of some countries – to leave your maternal home after marriage. The one who created this tradition must be a man for according to this orthodox convention, he doesn’t leave his home; he has the choice to continue living in it or sell it.

I thought I would keep coming back to my home whenever I wanted and I did during the initial years of setting up my new home.

It remains the epicenter of my dreams even now. All family get-togethers are hosted in this home even now… but in dreams.

I can no longer visit it in real life because it was sold…and that is another story!

love for home

HOME THAT DEFINED ME:

Despite all those attachments I had with that home, which remains the backdrop of all my dreams, I was pleased to find a new one that anchored me and promised myself to make it more loving than the one that had raised me.

A home cannot be built in a day…it encompasses in itself the dreams and the aspirations we hold close to our heart, the hopes that we gather with each passing day, the goals that we achieve together.

A home lounges on the care and affection we shower on each other, the time we offer to understand the needs and desires of a family, to live through the difficult times together and to support each other despite minor differences.

This home I acquired became my treasure house, a nest, which was filled with the babble of my little children and the love of my hubby. It accumulated and absorbed all the memories, all the celebrations and the moments of intense joy, of raising my kids and exult at their little achievements.

I have no doubt that even the walls around me shared my elation.

Time just whizzed by and before I could realize its pace, my kids grew up into fine individuals, ready to soar!

Now I could grasp the truth of this statement and what my friend Lisa has articulated: “Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.” – Robin Hobb

THE VOID:

Though my work kept me very busy and the walls of my home as welcoming as ever but time stood still.

A part of me seemed to have walked away with my grown up children.

Now I just clung to my home and the loving memories that were attached to them. I tried to make it warmer with more pictures of my family.

I have been trying to understand the ironies of this life, which provides natural attachments.

I have been trying to  detach from all those people and homes, which hold us to ransom, extracting all our emotions.

I have moved once again from my home, into which I had put my heart and soul to be near my children.

Now I have double memories and none of my dearest homes – one got sold and the second lies locked with all those treasures I had amassed!

Do you have any such memories and attachments? Do they haunt you?

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

©Balroop Singh.

Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

My thanks to Balroop for sharing this love family post from her archives, please share your thoughts with us. Thanks Sally.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – pets, education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome