New Life

In my innermost dreams, I wanted and needed you.

Suckling from the beginning.

Rooted, harvested, and birthed from a new union.

The merging of us into a him or her.

I concur, it was a treasured thought.

To own a house and plot our branch’s path.

I continuously laugh with tidings of being humble.

Delivered as if my mission was the decision to no longer neglect.

My ruins were derelict but I confessed and learned fast.

It’s a blessing to achieve.

The needs of another.

Many times causing you to smother your dreams.

Hardly could fit throughout my span.

But it became the plan.

To govern those who could lead us into the next age.

Babbling of the Irrational Mind.

Warm Sky

She laughs as she runs from me.

Screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!”

Happily.

The Sun brings golden rays to brighten her eyes.

Her smile turns frowns around.

Her laughs reach vibrations deep in the gut.

Strangers wave at her gaze.

They see Sky.

Powerful and embracing.

Warm and inviting.

A happy baby.

A child of love and light.

Protection becomes necessary, as soon as she is in sight.

Sky is everywhere when she is near.

An absence when she’s not.

She’s the youth we look up to.

A treasure placed on the top.

The fruit of my loin.

The apple of my eye.

I’m proud of my daughter.

My daughter loves me.

I cherish the human she has grown to be.

 

Originally published by Babbling of the Irrational Mind.

Babbling of the Irrational Mind.

When Sarah Smiled

When Sarah smiled, I smiled.

We share together.

Something we held forever.

Our bond.

Cherished.

Wished and merited with awards.

We’ve given ourselves so many times before.

 

 

When Sarah laughed, I laughed.

Formed deep in the gut.

Plunging me deeper within.

Turning other’s frowns into a grin.

This power, we honored.

Make flowers bloom from any scene.

Just being radiantly gay.

While growing positively lean.

 

 

When Sarah cried, I cried.

Sighed.

Broken inside.

The game we couldn’t choose.

Someone abused a space.

We empathized with their place.

Willing a stronger frame.

 

 

When Sarah died, I died.

Utterly deprived.

Leapt off the side of the rail.

She couldn’t contain the suffering of the world.

Lost the most when trying to host of the quake.

Felt it was the move to make.

 

 

When Sarah loved, I loved.

Showing others what we felt from Above.

Never really sure of price it would take.

Our love was in spirit.

Trying to commandeer it.

I feel when she’s near and trying to steer the wheel.

 

 

That’s how I can stand and fight the fight.

Wanting to ignite the passion within others.

I don’t want to smother another’s dreams.

We can be on the same team.

At least for the moment.

I choose to own it.

Time is short.

I don’t want to abort and miss any further gains.

Sarah showed me a better way to contain.

The feelings that we bare.

Sarah and I will wear.

What Sarah felt was real.

I choose the feel through her will.

Babbling of the Irrational Mind.

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Review of Incantations by Eric Straker

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

 

Erik Straker was born in South Carolina in 1977. Ever since he was young, a rich southern history of ghosts and haunts served as inspiration. Erik went to film school for a number of years and applies what he learned about film to his writing, using a predominantly visual style. Coming from a background of film and art, Erik has other projects in the works besides just his future novels. Graphic novels, short films, music albums, and other artistic endeavors are completely up for grabs. Writing is his full-time love, and he works to perfect his craft every day. He writes mostly in the horror and dark fantasy genres. When not writing, he enjoys comic books, movies, music, and family time.

 

The house at 129 Walsh Street in Summerhaven, New Hampshire, has a long and gruesome past. Many people have died in the house under strange situations. So much so, people living in the town believe the house and its inhabitants are haunted. Many townsfolk will keep distance from with the inhabitants.

 

The story primarily follows the life of Angela Tremblay. She has lived in the house with her family ever since she was a kid. The Tremblay family have had their fair share of unusual deaths at the house. Angela’s mother died when she was young. Her drunk and abusive father was left to look after her and her sister Lillian. Angela witnessed her father get murdered. She had a mental shock and forgot all but fragments of her memory. After the events, Angela and Lillian moved away but returned to live there as adults.

Upon getting pregnant and moving back into the house, Angela finds herself in the grips of something evil. One night after returning home from work, Angela found Lillian hanging in the basement. Of course this stresses Angela and the unborn baby. Angela starts seeing things in the house frequently and eventually she sees her recently deceased sister. She believes that her sister’s spirit needs help. This pushes Angela to look for a way to be able to communicate with the spirits. On cue, a mysterious old psychic named Viviannaapproaches Angela with information that may be able to help her. The psychic gives Angela some tools and rules for communication with spirits. Angela tries later that night with no immediate response. The following day, activity within the house multiples, and Angela realizes that she is in a deeper situation then she planned. The spirit of her father manifests and Angela is left scrambling to save herself.

 

Vivianna comes to the house to rescue Angela. After she does, she helps Angela to remember her memories of childhood. Flooding her mind, emotions and revelations come to Angela. Angela discovers that she is a descendant of the Witch of Summerhaven, Esme Delapaz. This is the strongest body of evil present in the house. This is the one who is causing inhabitants to become cursed. Angela finds that Esme has manipulated her ever since she was born.

 

Armed with more information, Angela decides to return to the house to put an end to the madness. She and Vivianna say a spell that summons Esme and makes her physical. Upon confrontation, Angela stabs Esme with a magical knife which drains her of more power. Angela then found Esme’s severed tongue and eats it. This gives more power than she ever dreamed of. With the newfound power, Angela burns Esme and the rest of the house to the ground.

Readers are left thinking all of the descendants of Esme the Witch of Summerhavenare dead. But before the end, we find that Angela transferred her unborn baby to Vivianna through magic. We find that the one actually telling the story is this last descendant and a witch herself.

 

I enjoyed reading this book. It was engrossing and well written. There were times when I wasn’t sure want to expect. It captured me. I also like the way that the story is told. Stories of previous residents of the house jump back and forth in time. There’s constantly more information that you learn about the situation. I also loved the way the family lineage was explained and eventually connected. The biggest complaint that I would have for the book would be that it wasn’t long enough!

 

Eric Straker has crafted a book that spooks and thrills. Incantations has enough effects in all of its areas without overdoing it. The book left me enchanted by the chilling power. I’m sure others will be so as well. Learn more about Eric at his website: http://www.erikstraker.com

Review of You Must Only Love Them by Ann Marie Mershon

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If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

A retired English teacher, Ann Marie Mershon lives on a woodland lake with her husband Jerry and their two dogs. She grew up in a wooded suburb of Minneapolis, and in her mid-twenties she and her husband moved north to the wilderness they’d always loved. After 30 years of teaching English in Minnesota, she moved overseas to complete her teaching career in Istanbul, writing weekly e-mail missives and posting blogs about her experiences there.  

Ann Marie discovered her passion to write in the late 1990’s. She penned a weekly newspaper column for five years, wrote numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, and published two books. Ann Marie writes every day but always finds time for hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, or snowshoeing with her friends in the wilderness she calls home. 

This is book follows the life experiences of Ann Marie Mershon. As an experienced teacher in Minnesota, Ann Marie decides she is ready for a change in her life. She packs her things and moves to Turkey to teach to children. The book follows some of the intricacies of her life such as travels, teaching, and relationships (including romantic, family, and friends). 

Ann Marie brings readers along on her experiences. Ann pushes to constantly search for a way to connect with people to make new friends. She is often lost or struggling, but through “Turkish hospitality” she arrives to the place she was headed.  

An aspect I find really interesting is the language barrier. Ann Marie didn’t know how to speak Turkish, and what she did know was very limited. It takes a lot of courage to able to explore in the manner she did without knowing the language. I feel it would have made some occasions and generally the experience as a whole, even more gratifying if she had attempted to learn more Turkish earlier. 

Ann Marie gave the most description about where she was visiting and what she ate. In many ways the book serves as a rough tour through the country. It was wonderfully descriptive and at some points, I felt like I was even there. This point hit even further when she mentions external places to be able to visually see what she was talking about. I thought that was a really great way to enhance the experience for readers.  

While I thought the book was well written, it didn’t quite reach the depth as I would’ve liked. I wanted to have a greater understanding of the differences in culture between America and Turkey. Ann Marie approaches the culture from an affluent outsider perspective, mostly remarking on their “Turkish hospitality”. While it’s an important factor with the culture, I wonder how those acts of kindness would’ve been if locals didn’t know Ann Marie’s status.

Something else that I found interesting was the amount of time Ann Marie spent in the country. She covered the first 2-3 years extensively. It seemed that that is what was planned for. It wasn’t until the end that she mentions it was a total of seven years in Turkey! That gives greater insight to her experience.  

I would like to know what messages Ann Marie got out of her experience in Turkey. What stuck with her the most? How did the country change her? Was there anything she regretted or would do over? I’d also like to know what advice she has for people who are interested in either visiting or moving to Turkey.  

I would definitely tip my hat to her. Ann Marie did something that few people are able to do. She left a comfort zone and placed herself in a completely different environment. While she struggled at first, she gained a footing and thrived. This is an inspiration for those who dream of overseas!  

More about Anne Marie Mershon can be found here

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Review of Meet me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre

 
 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.
Reviewed by Carlton Rolle 

Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing in all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop.

Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She’s a coffee addict, a workaholic, a chronic night owl, and loves a good thunderstorm. Currently  Kelly resides in southeastern United States.

Meet me at the gate is a story about the power of love. It follows the main character Hyacinth and her two friends Lynne and Adir. For most of her life, Hydee has had dreams about past her past lives. In each one, she meets her soul mate and figures how to live with or without him. In the present life, Hydee owns a store in her small community called the Silver Fox. Her soul mate is a successful movie star named Theodore Monk.

Hydee tried several times to get close enough to Theo to introduce herself and meet him, but wasn’t successful. As time kept going, Hydee began to lose faith in herself and the dreams. She thought that she wouldn’t be able to reconnect with Theo and it was becoming too much of a strain on her. In a huge cosmic coincidence, Theo runs away from his celebrity life in California and walks into Hydee’s store. Hydee shifts gears to help Theo with his life issues and guide them to love.

The two quickly fall into a comfortable habit. They notice how at ease they make each other and how the situation could change. Lynne and Adir keep Hydee grounded as she works things out with Theo. As with nearly everything in life, the good times come to an end. Theo’s girlfriend and assistants find him and throw the entire process off track.

By the end of the book and their lifetime, Theo comes to understand the power of love and decision.  He states, “[Hydee] Saved my life by showing me that the path to happiness is through my own choices.” I love this statement. In many ways, I feel it was the dominating theme of the story. One thing that I would’ve like to see more of though is character development. Theo was the only person who was flawed and constantly making changes. Hydee seemed to be the one who was relatively perfect. When people in the story learn from their experiences, I grow more attached to them. While the lack of learning didn’t hinder the storyline, it would have made it more compelling for other characters.

All-in-all I think this was a great book. The concept of soul mates and reoccurring love was interesting. I connected with both Hydee and Theo on different accounts. While the situation was playing out, I felt a sense of depth and willingness to sacrifice. It’s as powerful idea that few people understand and even fewer experience. Maybe my time will come but until then, Meet Me At The Gate will have to suffice as the love that I strive to achieve.

More information about Kelly Wyre at: http://www.kellywyre.com

Review of The Ivory Caribou by Caroline McCullagh

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

 

Caroline McCullagh earned a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. Her diverse writing projects include five novels, a cookbook, a memoir, a student opera (under the auspices of San Diego Opera), fourteen years of monthly book reviews for the San Diego Horticultural Society, and one year as Book Editor for The American Mensa Bulletin. For the past three years, Caroline has written a weekly column for the San Diego Union-Tribune with Richard Lederer. As a professional editor, she teaches creative writing two days a week.

 

The Ivory Caribou is a heart fetching story following character Anne O’Malley. After her husband Robby died, Anne decides to continue on the genealogical research they were pursuing. Anne findsmore clues to information on Robby’s father, Brendan. She follows a lead from her home in California to Canada. When there, Anne has another lead and travels to an isolated town in the North called Ungaveq. Here Anne discovers Brendan adopted a completely different way of life. So much so, he started an Inuit family. The family is still alive and thriving.

 

One major aspect of the story was a tale of love. Anne was recovering from her husband’s death. Without Robby, Anne was filled with emptiness and loneliness. She found comfort and love in people. Most of that came from her best-friend Carola. Two men particularly helped her move on. I enjoyed the internal turmoil mentioned when Anne was with Jack or Rene. Many times you find her being enveloped by the present time and her feelings being snapped back when Robby entered her thoughts.  As she continued to see both men, her emotions gained a greater influence over her actions.

 

Another aspect that I thought was interesting was the anthropological insight in the story. Readers are able to have a general sense about the life and times of Inuit people. With Anne being new to the process, I felt I was learning right along with her and the class. (Without the snow of course!) Readers see how important it is to adapt to the way of life. I felt a lot of the actions Inuit people did made sense. It seemed like it was done to keep everyone as comfortable and sustainable as possible. Especially given the close loving quarters that they had to be in at times.

 

Finding out about Brendan’s life through the research that Anne found was really cool. It gave such an amazing insight into his thoughts about Inuit culture, his efforts in the war, and himself. When Anne discovered more information about him, I felt like it was a personal win for the family.

 

I really enjoyed the way that this book was written. Caroline put a lot of effort into the topics. The Ivory Caribou speaks to love, turmoil, and adventure. I would recommend this to anyone looking to take an Artic dip in their reading and have their heart beating from adventure and love!

 

More from Caroline McCullagh at: http://www.carolinemccullagh.com

 

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Review of Blood Toy by B.K. Raine

 

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

B.K. Raine lives in North Carolina with her husband, teenage daughter, two dogs, and a cat she insists isn’t actually hers because every  at she’s ever owned has died a sudden and gruesome death. Raine works as an advertising executive in the media and publishing industry, but had been an author since she was 16, penning her first book on wide-eyed paper with a No. 2 pencil. Her first editor told her she couldn’t write but had some great ideas, and if she was willing to leave her pride at the door, he’d teach her the rest.

 

Blood Toy is the debut novel in Raine’s dark urban fantasy series. Its follows the protagonist, Diane. She has been a vampire hunter for 3 years at the point of the book. In the novel, she is being lead by a voice in her head that tells her how to kill vampires. This happened to her ever since vampires murdered her family.

 

The typical vampire sucks their victim’s blood and disappears into the night. The vampires o this story don’t quite do that. While specifics of vampirism isn’t exactly told, readers gets parts from some characters. For instance, each vampire has a different ability. Some can shift into animals while others can create mental illusions. It also seems they can be out during the daylight. Killing them is also different with injecting salt in their veins. While I like when authors use anold topic and spin it a bit, it can be a bit confusing. For readers to understand the villains and situation, it makes the story more enjoyable.

The novel’s tone is abrasive and aggressive at times. Readers are given a way to see the behind the scenes of fighting vampires. Diane is lonely and bitter with life in many ways. She wants a “normal” life, but continues to walk her path until she meets resolve for the death of her family.

 

The plot follows several other characters as well. Of Diane’s makeshift crew, there is Roger, Mace, and Bree. Roger and Mace are brothers. Mace inherited werewolf genetics and Roger is able to communicate with animals. Bree is telekinetic and uses this power to fight and for protection. This team is fighting against a group of vampires and a demon. The major villain of the group is Desollador. He is a powerful vampire that wants to make Diane into an emotional and sexual human toy. The story focuses on the abusive relationship that Desollador has with Diane. At some points they are just the hero and villain fighting each other. While in other parts, Diane is discovering that she has some feelings for Desollador.

 

Because of the plot following other characters as well, the story jumps around a bit. If there was greater detail and transition, it wouldn’t feel quite as jumbled. There were quite a few entities involved in the story and all of them had a lot of back story that wasn’t really mentioned. Leading from that as well, certain portions could’ve used more information as well to have a greater connection with the scenario. There were times that I felt lost and had to backtrack to make sure I knew what was happening or to understand a connection that was made.

 

Overall though, I believe Blood Toy is a relatively short read that can give your reading a change of pace. Raine introduces characters and stories that readers can acknowledge from situation after situation. While exploring the darker side of life and fantasy, Raine has created a storyline with plenty of energy.