‘Pilfering Hearts’- a hot box poem

Image courtesy of 4freephotos.com

*before the fragrant odor of

his rose slip away into

history and leave the

pot boiling over-

before the dancing shoes are put up

and the legs filet around

his slim ones and the gift

of movement rocks me

and the techno grooves

the DJ ministers over the air

says “Goodnight”

here we stand, twin souls

that could have happened

should have but

I called him from her

and he took me from Him

we shake the sheets together

smooth skins and bruise lips

philandering other human’s hearts.

I sit alone.

*This poem arrived to my mind after the exercise in post on poetry exercises and invoking the muse. The words seem to be coming from a place of sensuality adulterated(and yes, I am happily married- don’t confuse me with the speaker of the poem-I blame the creative process) Anyhow towards the end of the poem, it became more spiritual for me and less about the physicalities between the speaker and her lover.

What do you think?

Christian fiction romance novel imbued with emotion and reality at the same time

Earlier this week I wrote an article on Questionable Language in Christian Fiction and also visited blogs and forums which told the horrible  truth that most “clean” Christian Fiction are dull, unrealistic, and just not up to par with others. This does not mean that secular writers have it going on- many don’t.

Which is why when I read “My Stubborn Heart” by Becky Wade, I was pleasantly surprised. It has been many moons since I’ve read a good Contemporary Romance infused with Christian ideals and still love it. Here’s a brief review from my article about this book:

“Kate Donovan, 31, has had one bad relationship after the other and prays for God to send her a husband. Then one day her grandmother invites her to Redbud, Pennyslyania to a little town called Chapel Bluff to renovate her childhood home. It is there Kate meets the guy who will be renovating- the chocolate dreamy eyed ex- ice hockey player Matt Jarreau.

Matt, 32 is still grieving over the death of his lovely wife. It has been three years and the only way he can somehow cope is to help people with fixing their homes, retrieve to his dark home and brood around others.

That is until he meets, spunky, waif, and witty Kate Donovan. Meeting Kate can seem to be like getting hit head on by a train. The author is careful with word choice to really communicate Matt’s torrent of emotions as his heart and spirit wrestles with one question: Why am I still attached to my wife who would want me to move on?” (Read more on Examiner)

I never thought I could actually read a Christian Fiction Romance without putting it down and even now I have to reflect back on why didn’t I put it down? I think this is why:

  1. The character of Matt Jarreau was described as physically gorgeous but had eyes that were a deep, deep unusual brown, it is telling of the tragedy he endured- this hooked me.
  2. Kate is 31 and never been in a stable relationship. She resembles Audrey Hepburn and wear black ballet shoes or “flats” as she calls them. I like how she isn’t the typical 31 year old – whatever that means.
  3. The setting was different and fictional- Redbud, Pennyslvania.
  4. An old family home being renovated so I had the pleasure of reading about Kate’s love for antiques and watching the Antique Road Show.
  5. Cooking! The foods they ate in the book sounded absolutely delicious!
  6. There was overt mention of church, God, and faith- but Matt really needed these things and the author kept the plot realistic. No one gets over their dead spouse easily and Matt made it hard for Kate’s faith and care to pierce through.

I can’t say enough how excited I am about Becky Wade and I am anticipating another good love story from her. Visit her website for deleted scenes and other fun extras!

Also stay tuned for a post about why I am such a versatile blogger. In other words why am I knee deep in sensual fiction, action, erotica and still talk about Christian books like “it ain’t no thang”…And who else will be receiving this award? See you soon!

She’s a naive little girl in ‘The Heavenstone Secrets’


The Heavenstone Secrets by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Heavenstone Secrets features the most naïve, easily controlled, not too bright protagonist and it took mental muscles just to move through the pages without too much grimace.

Semantha Heavenstone, 14 is trapped under her controlling sister’s watchful gaze and the whispers she hears through the dark mansion inherited from her grandfather holds more darkness and more mystery than what anyone could fathom.

Semantha’s sister Cassie Heavenstone is very critical of everyone has a reply for everytime Semantha says something dumb: “Christmas trees, Semantha. Christmas trees.”

But things gets worse for the lovely Heavenstone family and Semantha in particular.

Their mother gets pregnant at 42 and Cassie, the ever intelligent, super clever 16 year old, literally develops a hate for her mother but she vies for her father’s affections and cares not for her own mother’s health.

Second, Cassie begins to ask Semantha deeply personal questions about boys and sex and Semantha, in fear of her sister takes her crazy advice because “Cassie knows best”

Third, a tragedy happens and Cassie’s behavior gets worse. She manipulates the family with astuteness, her clever words and heavy knowledge(I swear, I never knew a sixteen year old could be so mature and scary!) Then she begins to wear their mother’s dresses, her jewelry, and fixes her hair like their mother too…

She thinks she is Semantha’s mother and things get even more weird for the Heavenstones.

Okay, I hate bringing up spoilers so I will say this: Semantha did have a way out from under her sister’s thumb and that could have been by telling someone the truth. But she didn’t and after reflecting on each character in the book, I find it is everyone’s fault why Semantha eventually ends up the way she does at the end.

For one thing, her father much like the one in the March family series was easily controlled by his older daughter’s words. The mother was simply weak- she was no backbone for Semantha. Their uncle Perry, although I liked him more than anyone else in the story- could have done sixty percent more to help Semantha. Then there’s Semantha- asking dumb questions to Cassie, defending her when Uncle Perry wants to know why she is afraid of Cassie, feeling in fear all the time and then she simply just does not think at all.

I hate to say this of a character in real life or fiction- but Semantha brought all of this pain on herself. Hopefully in Secret Whispers she will not be as weak or stupid.

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‘Cloudburst’- a powerful, fictional study in human psychology and earns five stars


Three Words.

Never. Trust. Kiera.

In “Cloudburst” Book 2 of the Storms/March Family saga, Sasha is a senior at Pacifica and is  confident, has no limp in her walk and is very popular. Her exotic looks from her mom, her witty intellect, and her intriguing past has gotten her a fan club and students at Pacifica treats her words and law and gold.

Kiera March has since moved away to a charm school and regularly emails and phones Sasha. It is amazing how close they have gotten since Kiera left her parents’ home and for a while there the story seems to shine for Sasha.

Until Ryder Garfield, a troubled but handsome young mans enters Pacifica. His parents and brother are celebrities from the movies and for a while he simply ignores Sasha. She eventually finds her way into his heart and they hit it off, causing quite a stir around the school. This stir bubbles and boils over when Sasha-stupidly- trusts Kiera and her world comes crashing down in a tragedy and she wonders if the silence which has defeaning before would now welcome her.

SPOILER-REACTIONS

I used to think: Poor Sasha! But when she trusts Kiera’s invitation for her and Ryder to come up to a hotel where she was going to spend the weekend, flags flew up to me. Why trust Kiera? Even though it has been three years, we must understand that when someone hates our guts totally and we still live in their rich parents’ home- they will continue to be evil.

So when Sasha invited Ryder up to the suite as well, I braced myself for a storm - and I got it. Kiera’s plot to get Ryder and Sasha to separate permanently actually hurt me- and this is fiction! I did not enjoy this part of the book at all. Sasha should have been smarter.

And no. Kiera does not sleep with him. She does something much-much worse.

In the meantime the Marches are going through their own marital problems and Mr. March seems to have his eyes out for young girls…

Especially Sasha.

Read “Cloudburst”. It is almost  the perfect, fictional study of human psychology and sociology

Maple Fork, Alabama, rocked off its chair in ‘Rock Star’


Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She’s a small town bookstore owner from Maple Fork, Alabama.

He’s an international, sensational rock star with a scratchy, sensual voice.

Maple Fork, Alabama is about to rocked off its chair because once Bryan Spenser met Callie Lawson, owner of Books and So Forth, he had to know her. Had to be around her all the time. There were just a few differences which were actually hurdles they had to get through. In fact these hurdles included race, career, and their past.

Race and Love Relations

Bryan Spenser is white and Callie black.From the beginning Callie makes it known to Bryan that he is in Alabama now and not L.A. and black women are not as treasured as their white(or other race counterparts) and Bryan makes a cute comment “ You know what? I rarely see dark skinned women in the movies.” Of course Callie rants on and on about this and for some it may seem a lackluster first approach in their relationship.

However, we must remember that Alabama and many other places down south and maybe up north, race is still an issue; so the author did focus on this problem a bit much but it made(for me) a juicier concept. Even though Bryan, who is just so sweet and handsome with a “tortured poet” appearance going on- is surrounded by augmented, beautiful women everyday, he has eyes only for Callie.

Career Tangles

Okay so Bryan is a rock star. This includes staying up all hours in hotels, traveling the world, arguing with band members and being flocked by groupies.

Callie, on the other hand attends church once a month when she can get away from her bookstore business. So when she brought Bryan over for his first dinner at her parents, they were skeptical and quite frankly they got on my nerves with their thirty questions for him. There is concern and then there’s cackling. Although Callie’s younger twin sisters loved Bryan so much, the father understandably so wanted to know what a very famous guy wanted with his daughter- yes, he brought up the race issue too. Yikes.

The Past is the Past

Things heat up on a slow simmer in this book. Callie is so worried what her family and friends may think of her relationship with Bryan, that their first kiss doesn’t happen until the middle of the book and when it does happen- oh boy, the pages just sizzles and it continues to cook each time they are near each other.

Bryan is battling his past though. His best friend died months before he met Callie and so Callie, unaccustomed to problems of a tragic soul, tries to understand him. In fact, he has such a dark past she is totally unprepared for it or the relationship and so as a reader you get frustrated when she constantly tries to diss the relationship.

Bryan’s passion and sincerity is what made the book delicious and enjoyable to me. Callie was kind of blah…so four stars.

All in all a really good book and hope to read more from Roslyn Hardy Holcomb.

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‘To Love a Wilde’, a blast from the past wielding sass captured him

To Love a WildeTo Love a Wilde by Kimberly Kaye Terry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t breathe without you.

Yasmine Taylor, an up and coming chef just got a message from her aunt that she needs her. Yasmine’s aunt Lilly lives in Wyoming on the Wilde ranch- a ranch filled with men who are brothers in spirit and heart and one particular one, Holt Wilde has been Yasmine’s crush for over ten years- she can’t hide from him now once she arrives on the ranch.

Holt Wilde hasn’t seen Yasmine in ten years, but back then she was a bit chubby yet had an affectionate, contagious laugh and smile that drew him in- and way. He saw her as his sister- until she arrives at the airport and he wonders where this shapely, confident woman came from. Suddenly he’s the one chasing her and not the other way around.

This was my first time reading anything in the Wilde series and I enjoyed it. Again, this is a Kimani Romance novel, so if you’re into quick, sizzling hot reads, this one scores way up the top. Holt is a man on a mission: To win Yasmine before any of the men on the ranch try to claim her and when he realizes she’s the one- he can not breathe without her. He needs her. They need each other.

Sweet.

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‘Red Sky’, Native American history splashed with colorful romance

Red SkyRed Sky by Renee Alexis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Justine Roberts-Peretti, a photojournalist with an adventurous spirit, takes on an assignment in Gallup, New Mexico. There, she meets the owner of a jewelry store who manages to sweep her off her feet and causes her to forget her own vow to leave men alone completely. It is literally love at first sight.

Darrius Red Sky, Native American, listens to his heart, the wind, his soul and they all told him that Justine is the woman he’s been waiting for. He falls head over heels for the saucy , African-American/Italian in a heartbeat and enjoys how she knows so much about his culture.

What’s to Love

I read this book in about two days max and I feel it has been awhile since an author has taken such time to paint the backdrop with the history of Native Americans to the point where I felt I was there eating the buffalo stew and corn muffins and the sights Justine experienced were also splashed in wild colors of reds, greens, blacks, and of course the hot touch of Darrius Sky’s lips and his instant love for her.

What’s to Really Love

Warning! There are some really decadent, spicy intimate scenes between Justine and Darrius. The great point though is that is from their love for each other and the scenes are not just there to be there. It literally places the characters where they want to end up. The book was hefty with stories about the tribes and my favorite- the Koshari clown(which I will be looking up), but it serves up a nice story.

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‘Hot to Touch’: Not even a blazin’ trail of fire could keep them apart


Hot to Touch by Kimberly Kaye Terry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So what did I think of this?

A typical Kimani Romance Book, or Silhouette Desire novel runs about 182-214 pages, so things between the protagonist and potential lover must progress quickly while still making the novel believable.

Kimberly Kaye Terry made this book believable for me by giving us quick childhood backgrounds of both main characters: Shane Westwood and Emogene Rawlings. Emogene Rawlings is a photojournalist who “isn’t afraid to fight fire with fire”. She believes she can handle anything- until meets rugged, handsome and very tall Shane Westwood.

Shane Westwood had put out enough fires in his life and enjoys the risk of being a firefighter. But he can not for the life of him squelsh the hidden flames of desire he has for the petite brown skinned woman who calls herself Gene Raw.

The book was a fast paced read and the writing sharp enough to elicit emotions and sympathy for both Shane and Emogene’s past. When they get togeher, there is no denying the heat they are cooking in.

If you like a quick, hot, passionate book to pass the time, this is a good one.

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Trek Across the Blogs: From Turkish Lands to Stella Marr’s Haunting Poem

Photographer| Cyrille Le Déaut

As promised, I have visited a couple of blogs this week and here is what I’ve learned:

In geography class, we only touched on a few countries and continents but Russia was one I just couldn’t grasp. I mean the history is there and perhaps I just didn’t know who all of the groups were that invaded Russia. So I visit Jackson Philipe’s blog and found an old post on Turks and Their Empires. Check out the blog for more on this subject.

Then I visit Stella Marr’s Blog: Call Girl Undercover and read the poem You Might Kill Me. the poem was written with such real imagery and thought, so much feeling it packs a punch to your gut. Stella knows a thing or two about pain and having something precious taken over and over again, but you must visit her blog to find out more about this amazing lady.

Thank you and Lord willin’ I’ll be seeing your blog too! :)

Two different books, one tells the story, marketing uses story


Daughters of Africa by Margaret Busby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose plenty of narratives and stories to read while curled up on the couch. The words were so inspiring and so real, it punches the soul and takes you to the place in Africa country, or African hearts in America.

The slave narratives, although gritty and real, provided words of encouragement for today. Words by Maria Stewart and “Old Elizabeth”

“I mourned sore like a dove and chattered forth my sorrow, moaning in the corners of the field, and under the fences.”

From Elizabeth(“Old Elizabeth”)[1863]- spent first thirty years in bondage in Maryland and at the age of forty-two began preaching career.

This is just a piece of the intelligent, soulful writing from women in the past. This is why the book received five stars from me and I hope others sample more from this book of biblical proportions.

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StoryBranding: Creating Stand-Out Brands Through The Power of Story by Jim Signorelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As someone who writes stories and is interested in how to market brands for others, Jim Signorelli’s book, StoryBranding is right on time and because there was just so much information, I decided to focus on a couple of real key items which unlocked my perspective some on the brand marketing idea.

First, Jim Signorelli’s definition of a story goes like this: “A narrative about a character dealing with some obstacle to achieve some important goal” (p.31) With this in mind he tells us that both prospects and brands have an obstacle to cross and the barrier can only be broken down once we know the prospect’s inner and outer layer and the brand’s inner and outer layers. He brings on a bus load of examples of how to’s and what not to dos using McDonald’s, Denny’s, Oldsmobile and Old Spice as brands to study.

Second, Signorelli offers a review of basic principles at the end of each chapter so it sort of clarifies things for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just a simple study guide.
The downside could be the simple misspellings found in the book, but then again, it was an uncorrected proof and is probably fixed at this time.

If you’re looking for a book which cajoles you to think outside of the box and if you are reading to try your creative minds in learning how to tell a story, the marketing communications way, the this book is definitely for you.

Book Details:
StoryBranding
Author: Jim Signorelli
Published: Greenleaf Book Group Press(2012)
ISBN: 978-1-60832-145-2
228p

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