Posts Tagged With: poetry books

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: , , , , ,

Guest Post by Jim Webster

It’s a strange game this writing business. But at times it can get pretty hectic. Tricia asked me if I could send her some stuff for a blog. Now I hate just sending out the same gumph twice. I like every blog post to be different, and ideally it should ‘fit’ the blog.

I suppose it’s the freelance-journalist in me, to ‘sell’ the same article to two publications simultaneously is unprofessional. But anyway Tricia sent me the email; I replied and leapt into action.

Or would have done if an editor I write for hadn’t sent me an email asking how I was getting on with the four articles she’d asked me to do.

Unfortunately after some investigation she discovered she’d sent them, a month previously, to the wrong email address. But still, in the course of three days I’d done her articles on Penknives, woodcraft, Second World War archaeology that we see as we travel about (pill boxes) and a week later when I’d finally got hold of someone with the pictures, an article on cycle touring.

Add to that worming, dagging out and checking the feet of 600 sheep (because I also farm) and you can see why I’m finishing this blog post somewhat later than I intended.

So excuses politely made, on with the literature.

I’d come up with a great female character, she fitted nicely into the fantasy background I have, and she looked interesting.

An aside; in case you don’t know my fantasy, it doesn’t have a lot of magic and I guarantee no elves, dwarves or hobbits.

But back to the point, I started writing the story. I had Shena and her husband Tallis. She was a practical lady, sharp, switched on, he was a poet. The chemistry worked, it was fine. Unfortunately it just didn’t sparkle and was no fun to write. I gritted my teeth and kept going. Then Shena stepped out of the cabin on the barge she and her husband live on, and nearly tripped over one of my favourite characters, Benor. Suddenly it came alive; it sparkled and was a joy to write. Shena remains the sharp practical lady, and her husband remains every bit the jobbing poet. But it became more fun and less worthy.

So I’ve written six stories which collectively make up ‘The Port Naain Intelligencer.’ Each one is a ‘stand-alone’ detective/mystery, somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 words, and the cunning plan is that they’ll be published, as regular as clockwork, every four months. As they’re already written and edited even I can surely manage that.

Flotsam or Jetsam

The first one, ‘Flotsam or Jetsam’ is now out there and has been well received.


A review from a ‘top 500’ Amazon reviewer

“Benor is a cartographer and he’s come to Port Naain to produce a handbook. He makes a home with Tallis, a professional poet and his wife Shena. She’s a mud-jobber or as we might say, a beachcomber. Some of her combings include bodies. Everything has a price and families will pay for the privilege of burying their dead and, if possible, finding who caused it. Benor is a natural. He’s a nosy person and, with the aid of the wonderful Mutt, a ten year-old wise beyond his years, he sorts out the villains from the corpses. This first short story from The Port Naain Intelligencer bodes well for the rest of the series. A really great Whodunit.”

But the stories have rather taken on a life of their own. As I mentioned, Tallis is a poet, and of course he’s almost professionally obliged to drop lines of poetry into his conversation.

My editor, Mike Rose-Steel is also a poet and asked if he could borrow Tallis. He then wrote ten poems for him.

Benor then wrote the social/historical background stuff, and another poet by the name of Lancet Foredeck wrote the literary criticism.

Lambent Dreams Cover5

This we also published as ‘Lambent Dreams.’


It also got good reviews

“This short book really amused me. If you’re familiar with the stories of Benor the Cartographer from the author’s Land of the Three Seas then you will have some idea of what to expect. Tallis Steelyard is a poet. He makes his living that way. Lambent Dreams is a collection of some of his works and his friend Benor comments on them to give some historical or geographical insight. Then there is the commentary from fellow poet and critic Lancet Foredeck. These remind me of the notes you get on wines from some of the ‘experts’ and I chuckled along with them. Perhaps funniest of all was the fact that, somehow, the footnotes inserted by one of the typesetters were left in by accident; a much more refreshing view is revealed!

This won’t take you long to read but I guarantee you’ll smile a lot while you do. A little gem!”

Obviously Tallis, as a professional poet, has to have his own blog,

Lancet Foredeck is not going to be outdone so also has one which he asked me to look after for him

Whilst mine own poor efforts are to be found at

You had best be warned that mine is the least literary of the three.

The Land of the Three Seas has its own Facebook page where you can see pictures of all (and sundry) arrayed in their best.

Categories: authors to watch, books, guest post, mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Authors and Bloggers Against Piracy Blog Tour Day 7

authors and bloggers against piracy

Welcome to Day 7 of the Authors and Bloggers Against Piracy Blog Tour. Today, we have three books by DM Yates, book one in the Night Touched Chronicles by Maegan Provan, and two permafree books (Spellbound and Shades of Gray). Please remember to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon giftcard.

Stepping Stones to Love Honor and Respect is a book of poetry sure to warm the hearts and souls of the readers. The book is divided into categories: Love, Honor, Respect, New Age, Eclectic, Pain, Tales, Religious,Fun,Collections, and Earth. Each category is comprised of 5 different easy to read poems, most done in rhyme.
Always by DM Yates: Two eternal lovers, Einarr and Katura come to Earth again to experience mortality as Simon and April. Simon is 36 years old and travels the world in search of antiques. April is his best friend’s 16-yr old niece who believes Simon and she are meant to be together. Simon thinks she’s an immature teenager and does his best to avoid her. The story follows their lives and experiences, ending when April is 80 yrs old.
Lone Hero by DM Yates: Aberforth, home world to dragons and people is at war. Dragons are fighting each other and the human race is in danger of extinction. Einarr is born in a dragon’s companion line. Due to an ancient magical ritual performed by Zavat, a powerful dragon, Einarr is chosen to help bring about the end of the war and issue peace back to Aberforth. This will be no easy task for Einarr since the war will last throughout his lifetime. 
As a child, Einarr develops a hatred for all dragons after witnessing their cruelty in battle, yet he accepts Zavat’s request to help find a solution to the dragons’ disagreements. Together, Einarr and Zavat make a formidable team who learn to work together and along the way Einarr realizes that there are good and evil dragons, just like there are good and evil people.
About DM YatesDM Yates grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio. She started writing stories and poetry as soon as she learned to read and write. She attended BYU Idaho, BYU Hawaii, and BYU in Provo, Utah.
Although writing and poetry are her passions, she didn’t take it seriously to publish until her later years.
She is the Author of the fantasy/new age/spiritual romance stories, starting with ‘Always.’ The second in the series, ‘The Lone Hero’ was published in Dec 2013 and continues the tale of Einarr.
Her poetry book, Stepping Stones to Love Honor and Respect is a collection of poems dealing with various topics, such as love, honor, respect, spirituality, new age, pain, and Earth.
Her first children’s book was also published in Dec 2013. ‘Gingerbread Castle’ is a children’s holiday illustrated rhyme book for children ages 6 – 8-yrs old.
DM Yates is an independent self-published author.
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Spellbound (Spellbringers Book One) by Tricia Drammeh

The Demon Re’Vel stalks his prey in the forest of dreams, slowly gaining control over the mind of his victim. Rachel doesn’t realize the Demon is real. In fact, she doesn’t believe in magic, Demons, Hunters, or any of the other things the Alexanders have warned her about. She resists their protection, but can’t resist her overwhelming feelings for Jace. Alisa has been drawn to Jace since the day she saved him from a Hunter attack. A mere human in a world of Spellbringers, Alisa has been embraced by the Alexander family as a hero, but not everyone is willing to accept her. Jace’s intimidating older brother, Bryce, keeps his emotions and his secrets hidden. When Bryce confides in Alisa, it puts her relationship with Jace and the entire Alexander family at risk. 

Danger, secrets, and betrayal collide, and when the Demon makes his claim, the small, southern town of Oaktree becomes a battleground for Rachel’s life.

Buy Link

Celine (The Night Touched Chronicles Book One) by Maegan Provan

The Night Touched haven’t been around in centuries. Created by the original vampire, the “First Born,” the Night Touched were made to create the bloodlines which all modern day vampires come from. Their unique powers and colorful marks set them apart from other vampires. Harper Kemp had long believed that she was the last Night Touched in existence. With her friends, Lily Buchannan and Jason Howard, she has learned to accept it. Until one night when everything changed. 

A plea from her dreams and a forbidden romance, Harper sets out on a path of discovery; not only is she not alone, she’s about to face her worst nightmare- a devastatingly handsome slayer named Silas with a finger on her non existent pulse.


BioMaegan Provan is a New Adult Urban Fantasy author currently based in Texas with her husband and her dog. When not writing, she spends a lot of time watching old shows on Netflix, goofing off on Facebook and playing PC games, like Guild Wars 2. Maegan is a huge fan of the works of Joss Whedon, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Cassandra Clare, drawing a lot of the inspiration from their work.You can find out more about her published works, upcoming projects, and the latest news by going


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Shades of Gray (Amarenthine Book One) by Joleene Naylor 

When Patrick is found dead in his apartment, Katelina is left in a vacuum of uncertainty with no leads. Then the enigmatic Jorick appears. In a single sweep he turns over the rocks of reality to reveal what hides underneath in the shadows; monsters that she thought only existed in horror movies.Trapped in a nightmare, Katelina is forced to accept the truth of vampires; vampires who want her dead for her association with Patrick. Jorick saves the day, but what should she do when her hero turns out to be one of the monsters? Can she really trust – and even love – someone who isn’t human? 

Caught between light and dark, Katelina and Jorick must travel down a path of mystery and terror as their pasts are slowly revealed and their passions ignite, in a world that smells like blood and tastes like fear.

Bio: Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia. In what little time is left she watches anime and updates her blogs, all from a crooked Victorian house in Villisca, Iowa. Between her husband and her pets, she is never lonely, and should she ever disappear one might look for her on a beach in Tahiti, sipping a tropical drink and wearing a disguise. 

visit her at


Enter to win a $20 Amazon Giftcard:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I hope you all enjoyed the tour! We know a blog tour won’t end book piracy, but hopefully we’ve taken a step forward in educating readers about the “right” way to download a free ebook. Maybe we’ve even saved a few readers from being scammed by one of the piracy/click-farm sites. If you’d like to learn more about book piracy, please visit the Authors and Bloggers Against Book Piracy Website.

Thank you to everyone who downloaded free books or shared this blog tour. We appreciate everything you’ve done to help spread the word about book piracy.

Categories: authors and bloggers against piracy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse

Today, Authors to Watch is featuring Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse by my good friend, Kay Kauffman. Kay has a gem of a blog full of poetry, short stories, book reviews, photography and more! Tuesday Daydreams would make the perfect gift or stocking-stuffer for the reader or poetry-lover in your life. The collection is inspirational, beautiful, and down-to-earth. You’re certain to find a poem (or several) you can relate to, as Kay touches on everyday  pleasures, the joys of family, and struggles we all experience.

Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse is available in both ebook and in paperback. You can buy a copy at the following places:

Amazon (paperback)
Amazon (e-book)
Barnes & Noble (paperback)

Please enjoy this poem Kay has selected to share with us:
The rain
Is coming; the wind
Roars closer and
Even the trees
Desire an end to the storms.
Suddenly the clouds veer north and
Only the sun remains in the blue sky.
The birds are chirping now
Instead of hiding.
Robins and blue jays frolic in the
Early morning light as the storm passes and
Day breaks.

To learn more about Kay Kauffman and her writing, please visit the following links:

Categories: authors to watch, book feature | Tags: , ,

Stepping Stones to Love, Honour & Respect

Stepping Stones to Love, Honor & Respect
By DM Yates

Stepping Stones to Love Honor and Respect is a book of poetry sure to warm the hearts and souls of the readers. The book is divided into categories: Love, Honor, Respect, New Age, Eclectic, Pain, Tales, Religious,Fun,Collections, and Earth. Each category is comprised of 5 different easy to read poems, most done in rhyme.

My Review: It’s very difficult to review a poetry collection. Since poetry is straight from the heart, all I can do is tell you my heartfelt reaction to the poems in this collection. Reviewing poetry is a bit like reviewing the poet’s soul, and in this case, I’d have to say Yates’ soul is pure, beautiful, and compassionate. The poems are divided into different sections, and I was able to choose favorites from each, though it was impossible to narrow it down to just one or two.

I particularly connected with “A Warriors Call”, which is a lovely tribute to men an women in uniform.

“The False Treasure in Life” was another poem I flagged to read again and again. It talks about our society’s obsession with acquiring things and how people replace true bounty (love, friendship, nature) with useless things. This is something I’ve contemplated numerous times, and Yates expresses her thoughts in a very clear and honest manner.

“She Who Rides the Wind” is a very spiritual poem, and one I believe has great meaning to the author. It evokes the image of untamed land and the purity of nature.

There are too many poems in the collection for me to pay homage to. I can honestly say I enjoyed them all. While reading, I could feel the poet’s emotions in each piece. From fun and whimsical, to spiritual, to heart-wrenching, there is a little something for everyone in this collection. I’m so glad I read these poems and look forward to returning again and again to reread them.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the collection on Amazon or Smashwords

Categories: book review, poetry | Tags: ,

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