Loss Of A Loved One. @bakeandwrite reviews Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance by @LGauffreau

Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Robbie has been reading Grief Songs: Poems Of Remembrance by Elizabeth Gauffreau

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Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is an emotional depiction of the poet’s family and life told mainly through tanka poems linked to a specific family photograph. The collections starts with a poignant and beautiful trilogy of poems dedicated to the poet’s father and mother, both of whom have passed from this mortal life.

For me, the first poem was particularly striking as it demonstrated so much insight into the human understanding of death and the difference between a child’s perception of its permanence and that of an adult.

Each of the tanka poem takes a small step forward in the lives of the poet’s direct family and tells a story of love, life, and experience. Although, as the name of the collection suggests, each poem is tinged with the sadness of loss, they are also coloured with the joy of lives well spent.

This book is a quick read, approximately an hour, but it will leave you viewing grief differently and reflecting for a long time afterwards.

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When a loved one dies, the family will often turn to the photograph albums as an act of solace, to keep their loved one with them just a little while longer, Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance arose from that experience. The collection opens with three free verse expressions of raw grief, followed by a series of photographs from the author’s family album, each paired with a poem written in tanka. Taken together, they tell the story of a loving family lost.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Epic #Poetry KINGS AND QUEENS by @jn_eagles

Today’s team review is from Jenni. She blogs here https://jenniferdebie.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Jenni has been reading Kings And Queens by J. N. Eagles

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There is something familiar about J.N. Eagles’ Kings and Queens that I cannot quite seem to put my finger on.

Perhaps it reminds me of the sweeping, 19th century epic poems- something along the lines of Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, or Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Possibly it is something older, sifted from the fragments Sappho or the uneven unfolding that is Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Chances are, it is something in the middle, that I am hearing an echo of the medieval Breton lai in Eagles’ lines, reminiscent of Sir Orfeo, or Bisclavret.

Or, lastly, maybe, something much, much newer than any of these- like Max Porter’s melding of poetry and story in Grief is a Thing with Feathers.

Whatever lineage my subconscious keeps tripping over, it is obviously there. Eagles’ fairytale through poetry is obviously drawing on threads almost as old as story itself; kingdoms to be defended, thrones to be earned, dragons fought and tamed, selves discovered, and knights to be sacrificed, all time-honored and long-loved pieces of European lore.

There is magic in returning to the staples and reading them anew, and Eagles’ reinterpretation of the classics is just that, magical.

Grounded with a queen trying to find her own voice and place within her kingdom, and punctuated by beautiful pen and ink illustrations, Kings and Queens is marketed as coming of age poetry, likely geared towards younger readers, but is sure to be enjoyed by lovers of verse and story at any age.


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Kings and Queens is a coming of age poetry book. The story follows a young queen as she struggles to find herself while dealing with the king’s rule, the fire-breathing dragon, and the evil queen.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Poetry Kings and Queens by @jn_eagles

Today’s team review is from Sue. She blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sue has been reading Kings And Queens by J.N. Eagles

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Kings and Queens is a fantastic fantasy poem, set in the kingdom of Benvolio and told exclusively from the point of view of the queen. We don’t learn the names of any of the characters.

It is an amusing rhyming poem about the life of a young queen who is mostly ignored by her power-hungry, unfaithful husband and how she reacts when her realm is beset by a dragon, due to the King’s greed:

“The beast had red scales
And sharp nails.
Its claws dug in the ground.
The knights were spellbound.
And as it crept nearby,
They shook at the dragon’s cry”

A knight comes to the castle and the queen falls in love with him and he reciprocates her love. The king has been cruel and neglectful to the queen, but when he hears rumors of their love from the nosy ladies-in-waiting, he becomes jealous, sending the knight out to fight the dragon.

The knight is compassionate and cannot kill the dragon, but instead he rides it back to the castle, where he presents it to the queen. She hopes that now she is the owner of a dragon this might make the court listen to her, since she has had precious little luck at making her voice heard at court so far. She had expected to be seen as an equal to the king, but that has been far from the case. She is frustrated that being queen is not enough to make her desires heard. Instead the king locks her up in a tower like a damsel in distress.

The dark queen attacks their land in retaliation for the loss of her husband, by the dragon, so the queen needs to find the courage to help defend her kingdom and eventually she manages, realising that she no longer needs a protector and can take care of herself, despite what the king has made her believe. She rides off to battle on her dragon, but unfortunately. tragedy strikes during the battle.

The young queen’s character has developed throughout the poem and she has become a much stronger person, able to command respect and beat her foes.

The poem is a quick but very enjoyable read and I look forward to hearing more from this author. I imagine an audio version would probably sound like a rap and I would quite like to hear that! In fact I can also imagine parents reading it out to their children like a rap. The poem is suitable for all ages.

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Kings and Queens is a coming of age poetry book. The story follows a young queen as she struggles to find herself while dealing with the king’s rule, the fire-breathing dragon, and the evil queen.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

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#RomancingSeptember Day 7 Love Aflame by Pamela Beckford @poetrybypamela

Welcome to Day 7 Of #RomancingSeptember

2015 cover

Our guest today is Pamela Beckford and her book of love poems called Love Aflame.

Love Aflame

Where is your home town?

I live in Northeast Indiana

How long have you been writing romance?

I started about 3 years ago writing poetry and it quickly became love poetry

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

I like something with a good story, not just romance – I’m not much of an erotica reader though.

Love Aflame is a books of poems, how many are there?

First I use various poetic forms. It sounds like a short poem would be easier to write, but I find that restricting the number of syllables can force me to be very intentional with my words to get the desired effect. I do include a description of each poetic form for the readers though. There are 60 poems about love and unrequited love.

What inspires your poetry?

I have a muse and I get ideas from friends and their trials and their lives with their lovers

Tell us your favourite short poem from this collection and why?

His and Hers – I am pleased with the word choices and the way they compare and contrast between His and Hers.

Which long poem do readers like best from the book?

“If” is a poem that dreams of what could be – of what you are longing for.

Can you write us a short romantic poem about September?  

Here is a Tanka (5-7-5-7-7)

 September Spirits


Scorned and heartbroken

Tears burn canyons down my cheeks

September spirits

Dance ‘round the fire of desire

E’en though I know it’s in vain


Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

I’m working on a new collection that I think will be titled Symphony of Love. Again, it will be a collection of short poems, many with a musical theme fitting into the love theme.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Pamela Beckford

I’m on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/poetrybypamela?ref=aymt_homepage_panel),

Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7862994.Pamela_Beckford)

and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Beckford/e/B00JJTDXSE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439496801&sr=8-1).

or Amazon.co.uk

Plus I have a blog (https://poetrybypamela.wordpress.com)

To find out more about Pamela and all our guests go to Stephanie’s blog where she’ll be posting a second piece about Pamela later today http://stephanie-hurt.com/

Rosie’s Book Review Team – Dani reviews Moon Whispers by G.Michael Vasey

Today we have a review from Book review Team member Dani. She blogs at http://onlybooksandhorses.wordpress.com/

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Dani chose Moon Whispers by G. Michael Vasey


Here is her review,

Here’s my review of Dr Vasey’s ‘Moon Whispers’.

I was so excited to receive the anthology, as this will be my first time reviewing poetry! I couldn’t have been offered a better collection to begin with; Dr Vasey drags the reader onto a roller-coaster of profundity from the word go. I can honestly say that I devoured every poem.

While each poem is a text in its own right, the book is held together by recurring themes like God, life and death, media, and current events. His style of writing screams of intelligence, and he invites the reader to join him in his thought processes. That said, you’ll have no difficulty understanding the language; the words have a clarity to them that makes them both refreshing and all the more challenging on a practical level.

The poems vary in length and structure, but as a general rule there is a real freedom to the formatting, and the lines flow beautifully. The writer’s bold candour shines through the rather creative structuring and graphology, leaving us with an airy lay-out that really lets the poems breathe.

While the collection was not as phonologically stunning as I might have expected (or wished), Vasey is very artful with his rhyme and repetition; his poetry is edgy, relevant and probably the most thought-provoking thing I’ve read this month (and that’s saying something because I read a LOT). I put the book down feeling like I could have read more.

That’s a four star rating for Dr Vasey, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Find a copy of Moon Whispers in Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Letter K on The A to Z April Challenge 2014

Today is the letter K on the April A to Z Challenge. My Author is Sue Koenig with her book The Bench. Genre: Poetry, Short Stories Sadly Sue has recently passed away, please just take a moment to have a silent thought or two, thank you. (June 5th)

The Bench

About The Bench

The Bench’s 60 year history is told in six drabbles, 600 words. It’s a unique method for storytelling and as I say in the Acknowledgment my preferred style. Therefore, my decision for the title of the collection.

Most of the pieces contained in the book were either inspired by a prompt or a prompt was incorporated into the original to comply with challenge requirements. The prompts I used came from the monthly haiku site and the weekly writing group mentioned in my biography, or from friends’ challenges

A writing prompt could be a single word, a short phrase or a photograph. It’s simply a topic, or focal point, around which a fiction writer, or poet, starts jotting down ideas that may lead to a complete story or poem.

For the imaginative reader who loves words and appreciates variety, The Bench includes something for everyone whether you’re seeking the powerfully evocative, the unabashedly strange or simply wish to be entertained.

Take a break on a bench, a bus, or anyplace. Relax. Ignite your senses.

You never know whom you’ll meet.

A man might enthral you with his life story or a thoroughly modern vampire might regale you with his stand up comedy routine.

Cast your eyes to the garden and explore the magical colours of love between a flower and a butterfly.

Better yet, tune into the person standing just outside your peripheral vision reciting poetry and concentrate, you may hear the lingering strands of the last dance, or a symphony in words.

Original, concisely woven storytelling, that at the end allows your mind to conjure up its own images, interpretations and conclusions.



Rosie’s Review of The Bench;

The Bench is a compilation of short stories and poems. It begins with 6 short tales with 10 year intervals about a series of visitors to a particular park bench and the final aging of the bench after a lifetime of service to the community. I liked the insight into the comings and goings of the people who used the bench.
The next stories took place under a park tree and are split by seasons in the year. The book has a good mix of stories and poems to dip in an out of. After the Dance was a piece inspired by a line from the novel The Help. There is something for everyone, some of the poetry is quite sad and poignant. The writing is accompanied by some lovely photography taken by the author and was a delight to read.

Sue Koenig

1) Where is your home town?
I live in London, Ontario, Canada
2) How long have you been writing?
I only really started writing in 2009 when I retired from a boring govt job. I first started blogging on My Space where I met writers and poets, and the writing sprouted like weeds in a summer garden.
3) How long did The Bench take to compile?
The pieces in the Bench were written between 2011 and 2014. The trick was deciding which to include.
4) Which 2 poems or stories from the book are your favourites?
I cannot pick two favourites. They’re all my babies
5) Which poems were the hardest to write and why?
One of the most difficult to write was A Place Set Apart because it is about a real person
6) Are all the photo illustrations in the book your own work?
Yes all the images in the book and on the cover are mine.
7) Tell us about your book “Nineteen Hundred”
I published Nineteen Hundred in 2012. It’s actually the preface to The Soul Collector’s Second Chance if it ever gets written. Nineteen Hundred takes place in 1900 and explains my main character’s state of mind at that time and why a second chance now is so important.
8) Is this your first year of the A to Z Challenge?
This will be my second year of A-Z.  Last year I met some wonderful people the theme for a-z this year will be from The Bench.
Thank you Sue, good luck with the rest of the challenge.
Here are some randomly selected links to other bloggers who are taking up the challenge, please find the time to visit them too.






During the challenge we are asking people to leave as many comments on blogs as possible, all supportive comments are greatly appreciated, thank you.

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Romancing September Author Robynn Gabel (Day 5)

It’s Day 5 of The Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today we get to meet Robynn Gabel for a quick interview and then you can catch up with her again with Stephanie when she posts in a few hours over in Georgia, when we will hear about Robynn’s views on writing romance in today’s society.

Robynn Gabel Author

Let’s find out more about Robynn;

1) Where is your home town?

Since I’ve moved a lot during my life, home town has simply been where I’m currently residing which at this time is Lander, WY. But if you were to ask me what I will always think of as the ‘home town’ of my heart, it would have to be Flagstaff, AZ.

2) How long have you been writing?

Is it too cliché to say all of my life? I wrote my first words in lipstick on my mother’s bathroom wall. Though she was impressed that I could spell cat at the age of three, she wasn’t impressed with the medium I chose. I’ve only been able to chase my dream of pursuing a writing career for the last ten years.

3) Have you always written romance?

Again, it depends. Does that count sappy love poems and love letters for my friends in high school? Or all the thousands of little notes I’ve collected since then to make into romance books? Yes, I would say I have always been interested in the struggles of the human race to find true love.

4) “Windswept Hearts” brings Anna from a city life to a cattle ranch, why does she choose this life?

Anna doesn’t want to choose the country life. It is forced upon her through an inheritance from her grandfather. She works at balancing a promise made to her dying mother to keep the ranch in the family while pursuing a career in the city. To further complicate her decision she finds herself falling in love with a country boy. You will have to read the book to see how she finally accomplishes it.

5) Is Anna a strong character or does a life full of “critters” frighten her?

Anna Sanchez is a very strong willed, confident, career lady. Coming from a long line of pioneer roots she knows how to size up a situation and keep a level head even while dealing with anxiety attacks and mountain lions.

6) Anna is forced to hire help on the ranch, what are Steve Johnson’s first impressions of Anna?

Though for Steve it is strictly a job at first, he can’t help admiring her when he discovers her love for fine cars. That admiration is immediately replaced with curiosity about Anna’s desire to get rid of the ranch. Dismay is the next in line when he discovers, after comically falling into her failing septic system, she may know a lot about mechanics, but nothing about handling country living.

7) You’ve placed the setting of this book in a landscape you know well, how did this help you to write the background descriptions?

I would encourage all beginners to write about what you are most familiar with. I was able to concentrate more on plot and the characters relationships because describing the country I live in was very easy. It was also useful in giving me more time to write than doing research.

8) I’ve been to Wyoming once, make me want to return. Tell us 5 aspects of Wyoming that will make me fall in love with it.

Just like the characters in Windswept Hearts, people in Wyoming are more open and trusting. With towns far and few between, (we are the least populated state in the Union) we learn to not only be independent but know the value of a good neighbour and friendship in time of need.

Wyoming still has the flavour of the old West, where a man’s word is taken seriously and family is still valued highly.

Though seemingly desolate with a lot of high plain deserts, if you look closely there is still a wild beauty to be found. Sunsets are spectacular. There is a deep silence that you can relax in. Wildlife is abundant and the sky overhead seems endless. There is a serenity and peace to be found here.

You will learn to be tough and depend on yourself. There isn’t a store or mall on every corner. No traffic jams. There is a slower pace to life in Wyoming. Not so much consumerism as outdoor activities. There are many comfortable small towns that come with an affordable price tag and you don’t have to lock your front door.

If you love winters and all the joys and problems that brings, you will love the snowfall that seems to make our Christmases white!

9) You’ve written some short stories too, are they romances? Where can we find them?

I’m not much of a short story teller, but the few I’ve experimented with (along with some forlorn poetry) including a nightmarish story about spiders, can be found on Bookrix.com, Fanstory.com and Scribophile.

10) Tell us about your next book, do you have an expected publication date?

The next book is the story I’ve wanted to write all my life. Twenty years in the making, “Conquered Hearts” is the first book in a Viking saga. I’ve been fascinated by Viking history since a child. During the research of the era I came up with the idea of a romance which has fuelled my writing since. I wrote “Windswept Hearts” to learn the process of self-publishing and to determine if I could be disciplined enough to do it. Now that I’ve had a practice run, it’s time for the real thing.

Unlike my first book, the characters will be strong, wild, heathen and story events will be rougher. The time period they are in was a harsh time in history and falling in love was a little different. You didn’t always choose a life mate based on love, but many times out of necessity.

Windswept Hearts Book Cover

Find a copy of “Windswept Hearts” at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Robynn, I shall certainly look forward to visiting Wyoming again, Good Luck with the new book.

The Community Storyboard- A Brand New Blog

community board

Yesterday saw the launch of The Community Storyboard blog, a place for writers, poets and authors to meet. Follow the link to meet a growing group of fellow people who all love to write.


It’s a blog intending to feature short fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Check out the submission guidelines if you would like to have a piece of work posted.

Guest Author Helle Gade

My second guest author this week is Helle Gade from Denmark, please join me in welcoming Helle to the blog.

1) Tell me your name

Helle Gade

2) Where do you live?


3)When did you begin writing?

I slowly started writing in 2011 and I started writing poetry in October 2012.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?

I love writing poetry and paranormal romance/ urban fantasy

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.

Always use an editor. There is nothing worse than reading a book full of spelling errors and bad grammar.

Talk to other indi authors on Twitter and Facebook, and learn form their experiences with writing and publishing.

Write every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or 10 hours. It keeps the story fresh in mind.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?

The last book I read was Gnomes of Coyûl by Ben Ditmars. It’s a fantasy book about gnomes and I give it 5 stars.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.

Silent Dreams – A mixed poetry collection http://www.amazon.com/Silent-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00B4XLK38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360878661&sr=8-1&keywords=helle+gade

Thanks for offering to do this 🙂

Devil’s Lair by David Wisehart

Devil's LairDevil’s Lair by David Wisehart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For me all the Latin (which I couldn’t read) and all the poetry broke up the story too much. I know it added to the feel and was helping to set scenes, but it made the story too dis-jointed. I was hoping for much more about the Knights Templar. I’ve read some interesting books about them in the past. I was sorry not to have enjoyed it more.

View all my reviews