Versions of the Self: A Review

Today is the second day of National Poetry Writing Month, and to honor poetry and poets, I am going to review Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham.

version of the self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration.

Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

Available on Amazon

My Review: Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on.

If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

My Rating:  5 star

About the Author: Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Connect with Christy Birmingham:

Poetic Parfait (Website)  |  Amazon  |  Twitter

 

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book review, poetry, poetry books | Tags: , , , , ,

Book of the Day: Rarity from the Hollow

Today’s Book of the Day is RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW by Robert Eggleton. In addition to the book feature and excerpt, we will also have an opportunity to find out more about the author and his writing next week when he’ll be back for an interview! I would also like to note that author proceeds from this book support the prevention of child maltreatment: http://www.childhswv.org/

1 Rarity Front Cover WEB (2)

Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” —Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” — Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” –Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

“…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” — Marcha’s Two-Cents Worth

5star-flat-web

Excerpt from RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW:

(Chapter 32: “The First Sexual Harassment Complaint on Shptiludrp”)

Scene Prologue: Rarity from the Hollow includes political allegory, parody, and satire. Long before Donald Trump was on the political radar, it predicted his rise to political power. In the story, Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, is a most unlikely savior of the universe. At this point, readers have learned that the universe faces an imminent threat. An android named DotCom (a recurring pun in the story) was sent to Earth to recruit and train Lacy to fulfill her destiny. She changed the android’s name to “Bucky” to cover-up its true nature, assembled and prepared a team to diagnose and address the threat, and took her team to planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance for the universe. The following scene is the team’s first meeting with the Manager of the Mall and takes place in the only high rise office building on the planet, now easily identifiable as Trump Tower.

…Lacy Dawn scanned across a desk larger than her bedroom and lowered her gaze until just above the desk top. In an oversized swivel chair behind the desk sat a humanoid…. Mr. Prump stood up…. He extended a small hand with six fingers, each of which had at least two overly large golden rings.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Lacy Dawn,” he ignored the others….

“He looks almost just like that short guy on those taxi cab reruns,” Dwayne whispered. “What’s that actor’s name?” (Dwayne, Lacy’s father, is an Iraq War damaged Vet who suffered from PTSD, night terrors and anger outbursts until cured by the android since he had refused treatment by the VA hospital. Dwayne, an expert used car salesman, plays an important role on the team and worked very hard to save the universe in an effort to achieve Lacy’s forgiveness past abusive behaviors.)

“Shhhh,” Lacy Dawn glared.

“I have a complaint to make,” Lacy said to Mr. Prump.

“Oh?” Mr. Prump sat down, opened a drawer, and shoved a form across his desk in her direction. “Please call me Mr. Prump.”

Hospitality has been extended to her entourage.

The form ran out of momentum half-way across the desk. Lacy Dawn extended and retracted because it stopped well short of her reach.

That’s too far regardless of obligatory respect.

“I was not aware of any dissatisfaction of any type, sir,” Bucky reverted to his role as DotCom in the presence of his long-term authority figure. Lacy Dawn gave him The Look and trumped.

“Your elevator operator just told me that I have a nice ass,” she said.

Dwayne started for the office exit to get the offender. Lacy Dawn pushed him toward one of the chairs in front of the desk. Tom grabbed Dwayne’s arm. (Tom is Lacy’s neighbor. He is a wealthy “back to the land” marijuana dealer who relocated to The Hollow when he concluded that city life aggravated his Bipolar Disorder.) Then, Tom and Lacy Dawn had to restrain Bucky’s attempt to go after the offender.

Lacy and Jenny stood alone in front of the desk while the males sat. Jenny moved to her daughter’s side. (Jenny is Lacy’s formerly downtrodden mother whose self-esteem had been enhanced after the android had replaced her rotting teeth with new ones.) Brownie growled. So did Bucky. (Brownie is the family mutt and the only member of the team with enough empathy skills to communicate with, at this point in the story, vile invaders of the universe.)….

Mr. Prump shoved another form in her direction with the same result. The complaint forms were the only papers on the desk….

“Tree says that to me all the time,” the receptionist said from the doorway. “Would anybody like something to drink or a snack?”

Nobody responded except Mr. Prump. He extended a cup that had been on his desk, but the gesture was ignored.

“That’s different, you…” Tom started but Lacy Dawn’s look cut him short.

“The females of those people got no figures at all — straight up and down,” the receptionist said. “I wouldn’t take it personally, Lacy. All males from that planet become infatuated with any curve on any body that they think is female. He’s a nice person once you get to know him.”

“Regardless, it was inappropriate for him to tell me that I have a nice ass.”

“Yeah,” her team said in unison. DotCom was the loudest except for Brownie’s bark followed by another growl.

“I ought to kick his ass for talking trash to my little girl,” Dwayne said.

I’m such a juvenile.

Lacy glared at him again.

“Sorry,” Dwayne hung his head.

“Further,” Lacy Dawn continued. “I’m not about to do business with any planet that permits the sexual harassment of its visitors or employees to go undisciplined.”

Jenny sat down.

“Yeah,” the receptionist said.

Mr. Prump sank deeper into his seat….

“I’m never going to sit on your lap again unless I want to,” the receptionist said. “And, as for anything else, you can just forget it from now on unless you take care of this. Take care of the whole problem on the whole planet — equal respect for all people — within their financial means, of course.”

“Take a memo to Division Managers with a copy to All Staff.”

Lacy Dawn stood alone before the desk. He dictated the memo and she listened.

It’s pretty good. There’s procedure for making sexual harassment complaints, investigation, due process, and penalty.

“That’s all for now. I’ll contact you tomorrow to begin negotiation of terms,” she said.

Mr. Prump asked her what time but she didn’t answer. Lacy Dawn had concluded her first meeting with the most powerful being in the universe and had beaten him in negotiations.

Purchase links:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html

http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow 

Public Author Contacts:

http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32993259-rarity-from-the-hollow

https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/

https://twitter.com/roberteggleton1

https://plus.google.com/b/108662084126982201049/108662084126982201049/posts

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-eggleton-909b154b?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, comedy, excerpt, literary fiction, science fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Verchiel’s New Cover

Yippee! A free short story about one of my favorite Amaranthine characters!

Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor

Yes, it’s here, the last of the new Tales of the Executioner covers!

VERCHIEL SPECIAL COVER

(I know his hair is not long enough, but as I preach to other authors, a cover doesn’t need to be perfect. it’s a representation, not an exact re-creation)

FREE on Smashwords!

Verchiel wakes up in an unfamiliar room with a busty woman standing over him. He can’t recall who she is – or even who he is – let alone how he’s become an immortal blood drinker. As he tries to discover the answers, he must also learn to control his blood lust or fight an entire village of panicked people.

And to answer the burning question: When will there be new Tales of the Executioners? I’m planning to spend the next year writing short stories (Starting in May) so stay tuned to the blog for updates!

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Categories: authors to watch

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

So wonderful to see Christy Birmingham’s poetry book reviewed on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the start of week of author promotions and looking forward to placing the Poetry books of  Canadian writer Christy Birmingham on the shelves.  Starting with Versions of the Self

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

We find ourselves   By sir henry on November 21, 2016

It would be a mistake for one to approach Christy Birmingham’s “Versions of the Self” as…

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Categories: authors to watch

Mary Smith – an update on a new book

This book looks fascinating. Learn more on Reading Recommendations.

Reading Recommendations

Mary Smith was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2016. She’s back now to tell us of a non-fiction book, on which she collaborated with photographer Allan Devlin, that’s just been published.

Castle Douglas Through Time
by Mary Smith and Allan Devlin
Published by Amberley Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction, local history, photography

The market town of Castle Douglas, beside Carlingwark Loch in the southern Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway, is relatively new, though the area has been inhabited from prehistoric times and the Romans had a military base close by. In the fourteenth century, Archibald the Grim, the 3rd Earl of Douglas, built Threave Castle nearby.

The town came into being thanks to fertiliser found in the loch and wealth merchant William Douglas, who laid out the present town in 1792. Though his dream of creating a cotton industry failed, Castle Douglas became a flourishing market town. The…

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Categories: authors to watch

Camden’s Journey

Check out Misty Harvey’s book recommendation!

8Hello, Readers!

I have had the great fortune to meet many great authors throughout my journey. One of my absolutely favorite series of novels is written by someone I’m very fortunate to call my friend. Which while seems a little bias I dare people to read these novels and not walk away wondering about these characters. They live and breathe off the page.

That being said he is running a two free ebook introduction into this series right now! So without further ado my friend, Kevin’s post:

Wow! Am I offering a once in a lifetime deal or what? To promote my books, I’ve chosen the FIRST TWO e-books in the Angel Series absolutely free! That’s right, not one, but two e-books! If you will follow the links below, for the first link use the promo code LQ65T to receive Angel: Camden’s Journey for free. For the second link, use…

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Categories: authors to watch

Malevolent Mind Release Day!!

I’m so excited about this book! I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Hello, Readers!!

Today is release day for Malevolent Mind. I’d be absolutely lying if I didn’t say I’m so excited about this. Haha. In celebration for such a huge step for me, we’re going to host games with prizes right here all weekend long! The winners will be chosen and announced on Monday on the blog so remember to return to see if you win a prize!!

  1. For the chance to win an ebook of Malevolent Mind. Tell me a two sentence horror story in the comments below.

The next game will be on the blog tomorrow.

Let me tell you a bit about how this novel came about.

The idea for this novel came from a lot of different places. One being that as a child my nephew and I, whom I was extremely close to would write these horror stories. We’d take our younger siblings down into the…

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Categories: authors to watch

Uncertain Soldier – a review (2)

This sounds like a fascinating read.

reading recommendations reviewed

Uncertain Soldier
by Karen Bass

Purchase copies here

A conflicted teenaged soldier. A boy caught between two countries. When the world only sees you as German, how can you forge your own identity?

Seventeen-year-old Erich is a prisoner of war working at a northern Alberta logging camp. Twelve-year-old Max goes to school—reluctantly—in the nearby town. The two would be unlikely friends, except that neither has anyone else to turn to. At the height of World War II, nobody wants to befriend a German.

Awards and honours:
2016 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People Winner
2016 IODE Violet Downey Book Award nominee
2016 OLA Forest of Reading Red Maple Award nominee
2015 Best Books for Kids & Teens selection

The review:
When I was young, I saw the 1978 movie version of Bette Greene’s Summer of My German Soldier (1973). Until then, I hadn’t thought about what “our…

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Categories: authors to watch

Short Story Collection – An Angel Among Us is Now Here – Cover Reveal!

A new book of short stories by Janice Spina!!!

Jemsbooks

An Angel Among Us

Cover by John A. Spina

IT’S HERE!!!!

I am excited to announce that my short story collection, An Angel Among Us, is now available on Create Spaceand soon on Amazon, Barnes & Nobleand other online stores. I will post the other links as they become available.

Anne Gillis Benedetto BlWt

This book was a labor of love. It is dedicated to my courageous friend, Anne Gillis Benedetto, who passed on January 3, 2017. Everyone who knew Anne loved her. She had an infectious smile, wit, and the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. She will be missed every day. This book, I hope, will help to keep her memory alive. I think Anne would have liked this book. I only wish I could have given her a copy before she died.

There are fifteen stories in this collection. There is something for everyone here.

Book Blurb:

A…

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Categories: authors to watch

Cover Reveal: Malevolent Mind

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Malevolent Mind

A Horror Novel by Misty Harvey

 

A story so dark, twisted and unfinished has a way of driving the sanest to the brink of insanity.

Between the constant state of bullying from Heath and his friends, and the unrest of not knowing what happened to her twin, Raven seeks revenge. Years later, she becomes the nanny for Heath’s young son, Kade. She helps him start a horror story with the plan to bring the horrible creature Kade created into the real world to torment Heath and his friends. It was perfect, until everything began unraveling. When Kade’s creation no longer wishes to do Raven’s bidding, it becomes a fight for life or death. The only way to survive is to figure out how to finish off the creature before she finds her freedom. Will Kade find a way to stop the creation of his malevolent mind? Or will Raven’s revenge consume them all?

Excerpt from Malevolent Mind: 

Kade sat there in the middle of the room. He pulled his legs up against his chest, wrapping his arms around them. There was nothing to see now that his head cowered there in the darkness of his own lap. If tonight was the night that he’d die, he wasn’t so sure he’d want to see either of the girls coming for him.

His ears perked up. Behind him came the sound of wet clothes slapping together. He lifted his head, unable to keep it down. It was just his imagination. That was all.

The feel of icy breath slid over the back of his neck. Each tiny hair stood at attention as the stench of decay washed over him. Was it the girl from the river or was it Zilla? Kade flipped onto his knees, the beam of the flashlight straight forward.

There, inches from his face, was Zilla. She stared at him. Her mouth was open at an angle as her tongue flicked out against the air. It was too late to run anywhere.

Death stared him right in the face. Part of him felt relief that it was only her. Of course, that was if the other one wasn’t waiting for him as well. He didn’t dare move the flashlight beam to find out. Zilla had appeared out of nowhere so who knew what would happen once the light wasn’t on her?

Kade watched as her blue-tinged hand reached up for him. She held her hand for him to take. Something told him that doing so would be the end of him. Panic gripped his insides and he knew he had moments to make the first move. If he didn’t react soon, she’d overpower him.

He swung out with the flashlight, catching her on the side of the head. Her body rolled across the floor with a sickening thud. Kade was sure that the magnum flashlight had cracked her skull. It had nearly broken his foot when he’d dropped it one time. He jumped across his bed, darting into the hallway. His gaze moved around the hall as he tried to make out anything.

The sound of her rapidly skittering toward him had him running down the hallway. He stopped at Raven’s door, trying her handle, but the door wouldn’t budge. Instead, the old wood rattled in the frame.

In a flash of lightning, he watched Zilla skitter into the hall on her hands and feet, her body parallel to the floor as she let out a sickening hiss. Half of her head remained dented in from where he’d clocked her with the flashlight. It was a terrifying image to behold. The fact that she continued to chase him regardless turned his stomach.

Kade looked back only briefly before he ran. She was close on his heels. In the distance, he could just make out his father’s door. His bare feet padded against the wood flooring.

Goosebumps raced up his spine as her icy fingers wrapped around his ankle. The weight of his body hit the floor with a loud thud. His head bounced against the hard surface blurring his vision. Tears filled his eyes making it even harder to see. At least now, he wouldn’t have to worry about seeing his death coming.

The cold sensation crept up his leg, over his knee and toward his waist. He could feel the weight of her above him as she crawled up his body. Time slowed so that each second felt like eons. The stench of her undead body burned at his nostrils. Kade gagged on the smell that was so strong he could almost taste it.

He didn’t want to die. Life was too short for him. There was still so much that he wanted to do. Besides, he wasn’t sure who would take care of his father if he wasn’t there any longer. That thought rolled inside of him. He wasn’t going to go out like this, a cowering lump of fear on the floor. If she wanted to kill him, she’d have to fight a lot harder for it.

Kade grabbed her arms, rolling them over as he kicked out with both his legs. Her body smashed into the wall across from them, freeing him to run. He scrambled onto his feet, darting for his father’s room.

The bright light blinded him as he ran for it. That was it. He’d found his end and now he was headed into the light. Just as he’d read in another book. It was his time to cross over.

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Misty Harvey loves writing spine-tingling horror novels sure to thrill readers. The psychology behind such tales has always been a fascination for her since she was younger. Even to the point that she once contemplated taking up psychology as a profession. Still, her love resides in the art of storytelling. An art she wishes to continue to share with readers for the rest of her days.

After climbing out of her writing cave and searching the house for the sound of the latest creak or pop, Misty can be found doing one of many things. Often times she spends the remained of her day with her amazingly supportive husband and youngest daughter. While she has two older children that are out there spreading their wings around the world, including giving her a few grandchildren.

Her favorite things to do when not writing are crafts, wrestling with her dog, avoiding her cat’s bite or generally making her husband and daughter crazy. Often times she can be found creating vivid tales with her daughter about whatever mundane thing happened in their day and turning it into a crazy story. She is also an avid gamer, crochet goddess (we shall pretend there), domestic queen, and animal tamer (it’s a work in progress).

Stalker Links:

Website: Mistyharvey.com

Facebook: Author Misty Harvey

Twitter: AuthorMDHarvey

Goodreads: Author Misty Harvey

 

 

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, cover reveal, excerpt, horror | Tags: , , , , ,

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