Yearly Archives: 2022

Rose: Future Heart by Jazalyn (Book Review)

A socially underprivileged rose witnesses unpleasant events and behaviors that threaten Her inner peace and is determined to set life and love aside in order to find Her true, pure and moral parts of character.

30 petals of MOOD and STATUS.

A society full of INJUSTICES and UNFAIRNESS.

A ROLE She doesn’t want to play.

A RAGE. A RAVE.

A PAST that leads to HATE.

A RARE SOUL.

A wishful CHANGE of HEART.

She AROSE and She ROSE.

From IGNORANCE to STRENGTH.

A FUTURE that should lead to LOVE.

But can there be LOVE?

A dark fantasy magical realism poetic novel that endures urban social issues and inequality, and challenges self esteem, self help, self improvement, self development, healing.

I never knew how to have
I’ve learned to live without love
And I can’t change all of a sudden
Something’s got to happen

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Reading Rose: Future Heart was like riding on a merry-go-round that never stops. You go up (I want to love and be loved) and down (love escapes me, no one will ever love me). 

Jazalyn’s poetry speaks of love in different intensities, which usually piggyback on jealousy, tears, pain, feeling of shame and humiliation, and reasons why love eludes them. They speak of not becoming a lover until they find their “perfect fit” (“No Lover”). There is no perfect fit; we all have flaws. You might see these flaws as you date or move in together. Eventually, the imperfections will surface. Saving yourself for perfection is a goal that’ll be difficult to obtain.

The author discusses other reasons they can’t have intimate relations: OCD, mysophobia, and germophobia. I have OCD and am a germophobe, but “mysophobia” was new to me. Upon a quick internet search, I discovered it meant having an extreme or irrational fear of dirt and contamination. They feared disease entering their body. I get that, but unless a person with mysophobia wants a sexless life, they need to seek counseling for this condition.

 

Favorite poems:

“Entertainment Made Me Love Like That” – People indeed use many forms of creative outlets to help them cope with internal and external pain. I hope writing brings the author comfort and peace. 

“Sleeping Beauty (Life Back)” – I thought it was interesting writing about what’s going on inside the mind of the sleeping beauty. I’ve watched the movie many times, and not once did I stop and wonder what she was thinking or dreaming about. 

 

Overall impression: The collection was not my cup of tea. I was going to score it two, but upon reflection, I decided to score it based on how it would be received by others who struggle to find or retain love in their life – for those who are looking for their “perfect someone” to make them whole. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

With 150,000+ engagements and 20,000+ followers that grow more and more across 7 social media platforms, Jazalyn is among the most-promising newcomers authors-poets.

Her books have sold in 4 Continents and have been featured on best-seller category-based lists on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon AU. Soon she will expand in every corner of the Earth.

Jazalyn attracts all cultures and traditions with an audience from all walks and stages of life as a consequence of the universal atmosphere that encircles her themes.

Her innovative and versatile writing style stemming from abstraction and absurdness captivates mystery and suspense with words swimming in surrealism and magical realism.

Her imaginative and inventive narration unites the philosophical with the psychological and the scientific elements of both fantasy and fiction that create and solve riddles and puzzles.

In what results as a contemporary genre of cinematic (epic) poetry in slice of life-vignette expression which provokes thinking and eyes new horizons.

Her latest books vViIrRuUsS, Rose, Hollow signify Jazalyn’s transition towards literary magnificence.

 

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Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

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What’s Wrong with This Picture? 12 Days Before Christmas TOO by Roni Robbins (Book Review)

This rhyming read and seek story is based on the 12 Days of Christmas carol. From twelve drummers drumming to one partridge in a pear tree, children will enjoy finding ten things wrong in each of these Christmas scenes. There are things to do and see. “But something is wrong. Or is it just me?”

Searching through our beautiful illustrations introduces basic skills children can build upon as they learn and grow. Read and seek books stimulates the child’s brain as they evaluate and determine things out of place. It enhances critical thinking, vocabulary, memory and builds their cognitive skills.

Don’t forget read and seek books just adds a little more fun to reading as they look, point and try to find all things wrong, out of place, or just silly in these Christmas scenes. The bright colors and interactive story grabs the child’s attention and entertains them away from screens. They are a form of fun that can be portable and does not require charging, batteries or cords. This entertaining read-and-seek book is perfect for engaging with young readers but great for all ages.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

What’s Wrong with This Picture? 12 Days Before Christmas Too by DJ and Roni Robbins is an interactive story loosely based on the “12 Days of Christmas” song. I love interactive books because they allow my children to be engrossed in the happenings, not just sitting there as I read them a story. Seek/find and spot the difference books are household favorites. 

What’s Wrong with This Picture? 12 Days Before Christmas Too had a blend of easy and more challenging out-of-place items for a child to locate. If they get stumped, there is an answer key in the back of the book. The answer key wasn’t consistent in design, though. Some answers were colored in black, and some were outlined in red. Other answer cards had mistakes circled, then ones blackened and circled. Every answer card was mainly black and white except for “8 Maids -a- Milking,” which was in full color. I would suggest making them the same style. 

My kiddos were confused about how many mistakes they had to find on each image. Maybe making a small note under each photo will clear up confusion. 

From a design point of view, I like the creative ways the team wrote the various days of Christmas. Example: wrench in place of an “i’s” and words in different script sizes, fonts, and colors. These small touches made the words pop off the pages. 

When I submitted my review to Reedsy, I didn’t have a baseline for the author’s recommended audience. I would target preschoolers and elementary school-age children for the hands-on activity. The text is not difficult to understand, so elementary students should be able to read the book solo. I only recall one word that might prove confusing to young minds: infinity. But, this is a great time to broaden their vocabulary. 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/8/22. 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

DJ and Roni Robbins is a mom and son author team, writing fun and easy to read children’s books for early readers. Roni, married 25+ years with 2 adult children, 2 grand daughters and a 5 year old son DJ, who was the inspiration for their first published book. DJ likes buildings and hot wheels.

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vViIrRuUsS: I Never Forget by Jazalyn (Book Review)

Three robotic viruses are released from unknown forces and compete with each other exposing crimes, with humanity’s scale of existence oscillating between total destruction and reinventing recovery.

A REVELATION of the THOUGHTS.

An AWAKENING for the HIDDEN reality.

A MADNESS pandemic.

A WAR of ESPIONAGE.

Whose VIRUS is which?

Is it too late for reinstating?

The PANIC button pushed.

An attempt to erase the MEMORIES.

Can an EVIL virus SAVE the world?

A post-apocalyptic techno thriller poetic novel that emulates psychological reactions of a serious medical and technological global emergency and provides philosophical insights on the world’s best direction.

It’s unfair
To be guilty
When no one
Is innocent

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

vViIrRuUsS: I Never Forget is not a collection of poems focused on positive elements of society. Jazalyn writes about the darkness of the world and how “humanity screams for change” (“Apocalyptic Reality”). 

I do agree that the world needs to evolve. First, the world (as a whole) needs to agree that climate change is real. Global warming is real. We need to focus on saving our planet. The global disasters resulting from our negligence are evidence of our carelessness to our home planet. Everyone should band together and not fight on this issue (“Energy BYPRODUCT and “Electric Blood”). 

“Viral News” couldn’t have been read at a more perfect time. Let’s just say, the former prez came to mind as I read it. 

Many poems reflected a person who hated their life, desperate for change, and was crying out for help. I’m not a licensed physician, but if a person feels like they are “living in hell” (“I Still Live”) and no one understands them and is desperate for change (“I Hate My Life and I Want To Change It”) – please seek professional help. 

I couldn’t write this review without discussing the cover and its title. Without telling two people what I was reading, I showed them the cover. Neither person could figure out what it said. After I informed them it was virus written inside virus, they were able to see it. Unfortunately, you don’t want a buyer to question what your title says. If they have to stop and think, they might walk on. Both of my guests suggested changing the title’s design. I concur. 

I want to end my review on a positive note. I love the nod to The Joker in “Joker Just Wanted His Dreams” and “I Sympathize With This Joker.” Maybe if his upbringing were different, he wouldn’t be labeled the villain. (Nature versus nurture debate) His movie was spectacularly done. It made you feel for him and see past his villainous smile. I can’t wait for part two! 

One final, positive note: Thank you for placing value on space exploration. I also think it would be fantastic if a person introduced themself, and instead of saying, “I’m so and so from this state or country,” you say, “Hi. I’m blah blah from Mars or Proxima Centauri b.”

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 1/2

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

With 150,000+ engagements and 20,000+ followers that grow more and more across 7 social media platforms, Jazalyn is among the most-promising newcomers authors-poets.

Her books have sold in 4 Continents and have been featured on best-seller category-based lists on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon AU. Soon she will expand in every corner of the Earth.

Jazalyn attracts all cultures and traditions with an audience from all walks and stages of life as a consequence of the universal atmosphere that encircles her themes.

Her innovative and versatile writing style stemming from abstraction and absurdness captivates mystery and suspense with words swimming in surrealism and magical realism.

Her imaginative and inventive narration unites the philosophical with the psychological and the scientific elements of both fantasy and fiction that create and solve riddles and puzzles.

In what results as a contemporary genre of cinematic (epic) poetry in slice of life-vignette expression which provokes thinking and eyes new horizons.

Her latest books vViIrRuUsS, Rose, Hollow signify Jazalyn’s transition towards literary magnificence.

 

Website Link

Twitter Link

Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

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Of All Faiths & None by Andrew Tweeddale (Book Spotlight)

In the autumn of 1910 the famous architect, Edwin Lutyens, receives a letter from Sir Julius Drewe for the commission of a castle on Dartmoor – Castle Drogo. The design for the castle focusses on both the past and the present and reflects Britain, which at that moment is in a state of flux. Lutyens’ daughter, Celia, becomes enamoured with the project dreaming of chivalry and heroism. The following year Lutyens and his family are invited to a stone laying ceremony at Castle Drogo. Celia meets Sir Julius’ children: Adrian, Christian and Basil. Adrian has an unbending sense of duty and honour and is seen as a hero by Celia when he rescues a farmer from a fire.

The novel moves to 1914, and the start of the Great War. Christian Drewe returns from Austria where he has been working as an artist. He has reservations about joining up, unconvinced that the war was either necessary or right. He meets a nurse, Rose Braithwaite, when he is stuck at a railway station by fog. They subsequently meet again when Rose invites Christian to a party she is having for her birthday. Despite them being of different classes, there is a mutual attraction and during the evening they kiss. However, Rose is engaged and a fight breaks out between Rose’s fiancé, who arrives much later, and Christian. Both Rose and Christian decide never to see each other again. Christian’s moral conflict about enlisting comes to a head when he is handed a white feather – the sign of a coward. Eighteen months later, during the war, Christian is injured and is treated by Rose at a hospital on the front line. Both realise their mistake of following their heads rather than their hearts. Christian is sent back to a rehabilitation hospital in England where Celia is now working.

Adrian, when on leave, visits Christian and again meets Celia. The relationship is now one of equals. Celia, a headstrong young woman, decides that she must try and develop the relationship or risk losing Adrian. Adrian is torn between his desire for Celia and his need to protect his family, who are now having financial problems. The story moves from the battlefields of Flanders to Castle Drogo, where the characters are reunited for brief periods. Faith and love are stretched to their limits as each character is affected by the relentless brutality of the war. Of All Faiths & None is the story of a lost generation. It is a novel that focuses on the relationships of the characters until those relationships are shattered. It is a coming-of-age tale and a social commentary on the tragedy of a needless war.

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Chapters1 to 3 (click on the Imprint Body link below for sample chapters)

Imprint Body

 

 

From the author… “Of All Faiths & None” 

1. Has received a 4 star review from Reedsy:
 Reviewed by Jacquelynn Kennedy

2. Has been entered for the Best Indie Book Award.

3. Has been nominated for the Outstanding Creator Awards – Category: Books.

4. Has been entered in the Paris Book Festival

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Writer, lawyer and chef. Andrew has written books on law and engineering contracts. In 2004 he started writing his debut novel Of All Faiths & None, which took eighteen years to complete. It is the first book in a series about the Drewe and Lutyens families throughout the 20th century.

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Hollow: A Love Like A Life by Jazalyn (Book Review)

A ghost spirit of dark’s universe falls in love with a ghost spirit of light’s universe, and while They cannot meet, for They wander around separate realms and spacetimes, They live Their love through a secret and sacred interaction.

They are light years APART.

But there is INVISIBLE possession.

A precious NEED bridges the range.

A SECRET LANGUAGE.

A SACRED ENERGY.

A distant BOND is created.

An EVOLUTION of the SOULS.

Will they ever MEET for REAL?

And in what FORM?

A supernatural paranormal romance poetic novel of mystical and spiritual time travel, epitome of confessional metaphysical and existential love that is seen in space opera.

I prefer the dark
And often I cry
But is it so sad?
You prefer the light
And you smile
But are you happy?

Our eyes see
Different things
But our thoughts
Are aligned
And I’m wondering
Why I love you
When we can’t live
The same life

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Hollow: A Love Like A Life consists of about eighty poems dealing with love, jealousy, sadness, paranoia, self-doubt, and obsession. 

Some people believe there is only one person for them. Their self-worth hinges on that person’s love and acceptance. They think if this person can’t or won’t love them in return, then no one will. (Example: “If They Can’t Love Me”) You should not define yourself or your worth based on if your “soul mate” loves you in return. That’s unhealthy. 

Hollow: A Love Like A Life is about two ghostly spirits: one living in the light’s universe and one residing in the dark universe. You might have noticed I didn’t use “living” when I mentioned the spirit in the dark universe. I didn’t because they weren’t living. They were merely residing, hoping, obsessing over light’s love, if it’s real or not. 

When I read poem after poem, I had a mental image of someone plucking petals off a flower and, after each pluck saying, “They love me. They love me not.” The dark spirit questioned light’s love time and again. They saw the light giving attention to others and became jealous. (Example – “After Loving You”) They wanted to ask if it was all in their head but were afraid of the answer. This scenario will resonate with many readers. 

A common theme throughout the book is obsession. “Haunted” even stated they will “make you love me.” 

“Back to Your Thoughts” had a most unsettling line that would be cause for alarm if this was discussing real people and not spirits: “My feelings for you order me to obey to your will.” 

The final line of “Irreparably” is something that I agree with, and you, the review reader, will probably agree with too. “Don’t play with my feelings.” No one wants toyed with, so this ender was perfect. Either you love someone, or you don’t. Be honest, so no one’s heart is left in a state of limbo. 

I’m scoring this a three. I think others will relate to the poetry far better than I do, so I am giving it a point for its relatability. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

With 150,000+ engagements and 20,000+ followers that grow more and more across 7 social media platforms, Jazalyn is among the most-promising newcomers authors-poets.

Her books have sold in 4 Continents and have been featured on best-seller category-based lists on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon AU. Soon she will expand in every corner of the Earth.

Jazalyn attracts all cultures and traditions with an audience from all walks and stages of life as a consequence of the universal atmosphere that encircles her themes.

Her innovative and versatile writing style stemming from abstraction and absurdness captivates mystery and suspense with words swimming in surrealism and magical realism.

Her imaginative and inventive narration unites the philosophical with the psychological and the scientific elements of both fantasy and fiction that create and solve riddles and puzzles.

In what results as a contemporary genre of cinematic (epic) poetry in slice of life-vignette expression which provokes thinking and eyes new horizons.

Her latest books vViIrRuUsS, Rose, Hollow signify Jazalyn’s transition towards literary magnificence.

 

Website Link

Twitter Link

Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

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