‘Glimpses Across The Barricades’ Poetry in progress. “And The Music Plays On.”

Thank you for being here, as I share my Glimpses Across The Barricades of life. Poems written long ago, and poems of life yet to be lived.

Glimpses Across The Barricades.

MUSIC OF LIFEAnd the Music Plays on.

By Suzanne Burke.

 

Oh, how those melodies linger,

stroking our souls with soft fingers.

Refrains of the journeys we’ve taken

and the people we’ve known.

 

Lyrics haunting and taunting

Caught on the wind

Oft’ bringing sweet sadness

Of things that our memory will not rescind.

 

Anthems of times of upheaval

When the world lost its way,

Sung by those that stood witness

On far distant shores.

 

Songs of love, and of laughter

Songs calloused with pain

All linger in memory

As we dance in the rain.

 

The last song not yet written

That last post un-played

As we come unbidden

To our safe place in life’s shade.

 

 

 

 

A #WRITER’S CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! #RRBC

Don’t waste a fabulous opportunity to shine! The Rave Reviews Book Club Writer’s Conference & Book Expo is coming! Early Bird prices available for a short time only! Learn more in this post!

Watch Nonnie Write!

Authors, how much time do you spend trying to market your books while scouring the web for any and all information you can find on writing?  Well, if you’re like many of the authors I know,  you spend more time than you’d like anyone to know about.

This is not an easy business we’re in, but, it is one that our souls call us to be apart of.  Yes, for those of us who are born with the gift of the talent of writing, and for those of us who spend the time trying to hone our skills in the craft, we HAVE to do this…our spirit will not allow us to rest unless we are writing.  I penned the quote below to describe my own urgency to write:

 “How I know I’m a writer:  When I sleep, I wake to write;  when I dream, I rouse to write;  when…

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BOOK REVIEW: “Ultimate Betrayal” By Author Jo Ann Wentzel. #Science Fiction #Dystopian.

BOOK REVIEW: ULTIMATE BETRAYAL. By JO ANN WENTZEL.

Meet author Jo Ann Wentzel.

Jo Ann Wentzel Book Review Bio

Jo Ann Wentzel has been married to the same man, Dan Wentzel, for over 52 years. She is a mother, grandmother and former foster care provider. She worked with over 75 kids while also working as a writer for weekly newspapers and many websites. She served as a Guardian-Ad –Litem and Court Mediator. She and her husband have been speakers and workshop presenters for many groups including foster parents. Almost two years ago, she and her husband retired to a motor home and travel the US with a rescue dog named Jessie.

Ultimate Obliteration is Wentzel’s fourth book and sequel to her novel Ultimate Betrayal. In her first novel, she describes her setting this way “Imagine a dystopian world where society cannot protect their children from moral decay and the spread of evil.” Ultimate Obliteration continues finding a solution to this issue with many using their own brand of justice.

The Rave Reviews Book Club selected her book It Begins and Ends with Family as one of the Books of the Month. This book describes her experiences working with challenging teens and the secrets to running a foster home.

Wentzel also wrote a book A Collection of Jo Ann’s Thoughts, a selection of a variety of her articles in answer to many of your questions.

She has several writing projects in the wings so you certainly will see more of this author.
Jo Ann wants to thank all readers who support her and would love to hear from you. All contact information, more of her writing and a forum to express yourself is available on her website, authorjoannwentzel.com

 

I am reviewing “Ultimate Betrayal.”

BOOK COVER ULTIMATE BETRAYAL BY JO ANN WENTZEL

BLURB.

Imagine a dystopian world where society cannot protect their children from moral decay and the spread of evil.

Andrew Zenith, a conscientious local TV reporter, never worries about getting ahead just making a difference. He uncovers a story that will change the direction of his life forever. After hearing this story, all he thinks about every moment is confirming the facts he hopes are not true. He is driven to save the children. This task is near impossible since the majority of people have cold hearts and a loss of compassion for others.

He joins with others who care. Their mission-is to save the children at all costs. If their mission fails young lives will be ruined and even cut short. The fate of the children rests upon finding answers to the questions no one even wants to ask. Will he succeed against overwhelming odds?

 

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A look into a frighteningly possible world.

This book may well be science fiction, and set in a future Dystopian society, but, you would need to be utterly hidden from our current society, with no outside communication whatsoever, not to understand that this book can well reflect with rare exception, the inhumanity exhibited in our world today. Not in some far distant time.

The character of Andrew Zenith is presented well. Author Jo Ann Wentzel’s writing allows us to feel the many layers of this man, his passion for life, his compassion for those for whom life has become unbearably dark. Most notably the children with nowhere to run and nowhere to turn to for safe-haven.

The book permits us a glimpse into a future where the desensitization to other people’s pain has created a callous indifference to suffering, and a well-shielded conscience.

The story is classical good vs evil. What sets it apart from other such classic tales is the author’s ability to allow many shades of both darkness and light to co-exist. It is a complex co-existence. Author Jo Ann Wentzel weaves it well.

An entertaining and thought provoking read indeed. I look forward to reading the sequel.

Purchase Ultimate Betrayal on Amazon.com

Jo Ann Wentzel’s Amazon Author Page.

TWITTER LINK

Author Website

 

Welcome to my new feature. Author Showcase! Featured genre for June is “Children’s Books.” My first guest is Author Gracie Bradford author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks.) Kids & Pets Cracking the POWER Code.

Hello and welcome to the first Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.

WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.

This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.

Please welcome Gracie Bradford Author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks Kids and Pets cracking the POWER code).

AUTHOR SHOWCASE LOGO GRACIE EDITED USE

Meet Gracie Bradford

GRACIE BRADFORD PICTURE FOR BLOG

My business logo is “I AM….”. So, who is Gracie?

The best parts of me are that I am dynamic, an inspirer, a motivator, a risk taker, an explorer, a magnet to children, and a bookworm.

I am a retired senior healthcare executive who travels the world, a grandmother of an amazing 19-year old college student who lives with me, a grandmother to the awesome beagle, Lady Bird, an award-winning author, a lover of flowers, and a professional volunteer with causes related to childhood illness.

I am almost a vegan but still eats fish and eggs.

FEATURED BOOK: “JUNE THE PRUNE & LADY BIRD.” (Cancer Stinks.)

BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Question 1

What motivated you to write books for children? I started my career working with the kids who had juvenile diabetes and other young children who were undergoing renal dialysis treatments. During that part of my professional life, I went camping with these kids during the summer. The resilient and positive attitudes of these kids were beyond amazing.

After hearing so many stories from my sisters, who are classroom teachers, about bullying and how kids treat other children who have life challenges, it motivated me to tell the stories through books. I chose to write about children with special needs telling the story from the child’s perspective so that parents, teachers, and classmates could have a better understanding of how one feels. Children tend to open to a grandmother figure before they talk with their parents or teachers or friends if they have any. Being from a family of nine and a village of more, I learned early to adore children and their antics.

Question 2

Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?

Yes and No. My goal was to impart life lessons more to teachers, parents, and grandparents. Children can teach us life lessons just as we can teach them.

Question 3

What life lessons does your book contain?

My book contains a multitude of life lessons.

I chose to approach those experiences using the concept that kids use coded power gestures and language that adults could learn to interpret and embrace in their lives. At the end of each chapter are quotes relating back to the content of that section. For example, in Chapter 6 entitled “Truth Collides with Reality,” I relate THE POWER OF BODY LANGUAGE.  The power quote is “A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”

It is my hope that the reader will discover and relate life lessons about the dynamics of family relationships, the power of a child’s love, the power of pets’ presence in the healing process, the wisdom of older adults, and the power of positive thinking during a medical crisis.

Question 4

What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?

Brain cancer is such a serious topic and perhaps a little frightening for middle school children to read. The most difficult part of writing for children is making sure the content is appropriate to the grade level and age. The common question when writing a children book is “how do I write to capture and hold the attention of middle school children?”

Even though most authorities suggest including pictures in children books, I debated about adding pictures to my chapter book but decided to write the message instead. In hindsight, I probably should have included some of the photography.

Question 5

All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children. Have you found it challenging?

I believe reviews are critical for any genre. If the story and book cover grab the reader’s attention, reviews should not be a challenge. As authors and as a reviewer, we should continuously promote the need for parents to get feedback from the child and write the review quoting the child.  Unless the child is part of a book review club, it is the parent who selects the book for the middle school child, often time reads the book to the child, and recommends the book to other parents for reading.

It also depends upon the goal set for the type of audience you want to review your books and whether you are a novice or an established, recognized author. My goal is to get feedback from professions mentioned in the book (i.e. nurses, therapists, veterinarians, physicians, dietitians, etc.), other writers/authors, parents, book lovers, middle school readers, special education teachers, pet lovers, librarians, and grandparents.

Question 6

Are you currently working on anything new?

I am currently working on the third fiction book of the Lady Bird series. Now, I am facing a writer’s block but continue to conduct my research while the block decides to move, or my procrastination floats away into the bright blue sky.

I am also toying with the idea of writing a picture book about autism. I have identified the characters but is pondering on the title.

My next middle school chapter book will tackle the all-important subject of Autism. June, the 12-year-old brain cancer survivor, Alex, Lady Bird, and the new pet uncovers the secrets of autism and the mysterious magic of understanding dog language.

The First Page

“June, a ten-year-old brain cancer survivor, frequently sits on the back screened patio with her dog, Lady Bird, an aging beagle now suffering from arthritis and hearing loss. After recovering from her coma, June discovers that she could understand and interpret dog language. While listening to a conversation between Lady Bird and the new puppy, June noticed a rhythm, a bright light and a defined wagging of Lady Bird’s tail realizing that it had meaning that June understood. June’s heart began to race at a speed she had never known before. What was happening?

Alex, her 12-year brother, is aware of June’s secret and promised that he would not tell anyone. Alex instantly bonded with the new puppy. He identified with the unusual behaviors of the puppy since Alex has some of the same traits himself. The King Terrier, exhibits very profound human characteristics of autism. What will Lady Bird, Alex, and June do to help the new puppy adjust to the happy and noisy environment in which they live every day? “

The story will have the reader laughing, crying, and cheerleading the characters. Expected to be released before the end of 2017.

Currently Featured is “June The Prune & Lady Bird” (Cancer Stinks)

 

Featured Book  .BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

Book Blurb

Love, hate, humor, and determination bundled in one package to make this book one to add to your reading list. June is a 10-year-old feisty girl who goes on vacation with her 12-year-old, brother and grandmother to Europe and has the time of her life. Six months after their return from vacation, a mysterious “THING” referred to as “Noma” attacks June spiraling her life out of control. June tells the story of being in a crazy and scary environment revealing unexpected powers that help in coping with loneliness. June finds imaginary friends during the darkest days. Lady Bird, the dog, ole folks, Alex and G-Mom play a pivotal role during the journey through a tunnel of darkness called brain cancer.

 

Favorite Amazon review.

4.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill, May 29, 2017

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Kindle Edition)

I’m actually giving this book Four and a half stars. I’d give it five except for a few editing snafus. However, the story is extremely well-written and can be read in one sitting because it is so engaging. June is a precocious 10 year-old who has some awesome responsibilities in her young life and guess what? Life throws her even more. Enter G-Mom, June’s 80 years-young grandmother. G-Mom is the awesome, undaunted, diplomatic, loving grandmother we all want. When G-Mom is not there to fight for June and her older brother, Alex, their trusted canine friend, Lady Bird can handle things. This book is a must read for any age, but kids who are going through any kind of trial, especially medical, can read this to know they are not alone. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill. This series is a hit!

5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Human Interest Story, February 13, 2017

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Volume 2) (Paperback)

Gracie Bradford tells a quietly powerful story of a set of family relationships from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. Some of the relationships border on dysfunctionality, such as the relationship between the mother and her two children, while the relationship between the two children and the grandmother are as solid as one can find in human relationships. The two strongest relationships in the story are the relationship between the 10-year old girl and her grandmother and the relationship between the girl and her dog. The author does an amazing job in developing the character of the 10-year old protagonist. She goes from a smart child, clever beyond her years, who manages to carve out a normal life for herself and her 12-year old brother in a home environment led by their neurotic mother, who lacks self-esteem and a sense of purpose in life, to a frightened little girl who has to come to terms with the fact that she has brain cancer. Because this book taps into so many aspects of the human experience, it will have broad appeal to the reading public. I highly recommend this book to middle-school teachers who are looking for engaging books for their students to read, parents and grandparents who have sick children in their lives, as well as anyone who just likes a good story. Huey L. Perry, Ph.D.

AUTHOR LINKS:

 

Instagram  authorgraciebradford

Purchase this book on Amazon.com

Gracie Bradford on TWITTER

FACEBOOK LINK.

Author BLOG

Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.

My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link

Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.

My Next Guest for JUNE will be ‘Children’s Book’ author Maretha Botha.

 

My ‘Soooz Says Stuff’ page. “It’s A Guy Thing”… guaranteed to contain NO Political-Correctness whatsoever. Social commentary … my way.

My observations of life are often expressed with my rather dark humor. I enjoy helping folks take a look at something serious, expressed my way.

I  originally wrote this around eight-years-ago.

A  conversation I overheard recently forced me to recall it.  It also amused me to recollect that when I first posted this all those years ago I had some interesting reactions, some of the women that commented were initially outraged … Until they discovered that a woman had written it. Then it became suddenly acerbic and clever. Some of the men that commented, initially laughed and shared it … Until they discovered that a woman had written it. Fascinating, yes?

Besides which, it’s just sadly funny, and you don’t need any damned permission to laugh.

 

It’s ‘A Guy Thing’… guaranteed to contain NO Political-Correctness whatsoever.

“It’s A Guy Thing”

It’s very short … trust me.

It's A GUY thing Picture

“What the … ?”

So yeah, I’m an elephant. And yes, I am up a tree.

Okay, granted I look a bit out of place.

Well yeah, okay! I look fuckin’ ridiculous. I could go all ‘Alpha’ male and say I’m a sniper. But you guys aren’t gonna buy that crap, ’cause I’m not dressed in black.

And, no, Smart ass, I do not have a personality disorder, in fact I’ll have you know that my friends tell me often that I don’t have a personality at all.

Huh? What? Now wait just a damned minute … !

You want me to explain just how I got here! You’re shittin’ me, right?

Okay, alright already, but remember, you asked.

So, it was a normal Friday evening, the guys and I had finished pullin’ a long shift up at the logging camp, and we headed down to our favorite watering hole to toss back a few dozen cold ones.

The Jungle Bar was in full swing. We had all had seven or eight Jungle juices and were just starting to hang loose.

I was into a deep and meaningless conversation with Gerry Giraffe, aka the Big G, we were laughing it up big time. All the usual suspects were bullshitting about the size of their trunks, while the Big G and I were shootin’ the breeze about basketball.

We ignored the well dressed cats in the corner, they were listening to Streisand and crying a lot.

So, there we were doin’ our usual Friday night “guy” things, when in came the Trio from hell. I shit you not. Picture this, three of the ugliest, noisiest, annoying-est females, on this, or any other planet.

Harriet, Hesta, and Hermione Hyena … man I’m tellin’ ya, these females had faces uglier than the southern end of a north-bound Baboon; three faces that could cause ya to have temporary nausea. Are you with me so far?

They came busting into the joint screaming and laughing , and laughing and screaming and screami’ … well you get the general idea. They were hyster-ectomy-erical.

Or some other female P.M.S thing.

Anyways, they started on about somethin’ called a Soo-Nar-Me.

Hey, I’m not adverse to that Sushi stuff; ya know, it ain’t too bad. But, man they were carryin’ on like this Soo-Nar-Me stuff was to die for.

So, we did what any normal red-blooded males would do when confronted by three hysterical females; we ignored them.

Did I mention they were ugly?

Alrighty then, so we got back down to business and “A good time” was being had by all. Personally I think that is a perfectly ridiculous name for a female, but hey, whatever floats ya boat.

As it turns out, ignoring the ugly sisters was perhaps not the wisest choice we could have made. ‘Cause next thing we know is we are all surfing without benefit of boards!

Man, I mean this was the biggest fucking wave I have ever seen.

I up-periscoped the trunk and here I landed, in a big tree, with a fuckin’ huge eagles nest built in, filled with an entire restaurants worth of enormous eggs.

Did I mention that I swear? A lot.

I shit you not, my friends. I’m in a fuckin’ fix. And then some.

I sent my girlfriend Essie up to the logging camp, with orders to bring back a crane. Essie is just so beautiful, she has the biggest brownest eyes. I forced myself to remember that when she returned with her pretty trunk curled gently around the skinniest, long-legged-est, most pissed off bird I have ever seen. Man his feathers were ruffled.

Yeah, yeah, Okay!  Sure, it was a Crane; but c’mon, how bright did she have to be?

Did I mention that Essie is beautiful?

So, It looks like I have some time to kill. I been thinkin’ that I maybe need to do a minor re-think on some of my attitudes.

Let’s see.

Firstly, understand that seriously ugly females have their place in the world. Yeah, your place, his place, anywhere but my place.

Aw hell, poor things. But they’ve gotta be good at somethin’, right?

Hey, there’s a thought! Doh!

Secondly. I should maybe learn some important words and phrases in a couple of foreign languages; uh … such as, ‘Police,’ ‘Fire-Brigade,’ ‘Ambulance,’ ‘Pour me a beer,’ ‘My place or yours,’ ‘I’ll still respect you in the morning,’ and, ‘Of course I love you.’ You know; the guy thing stuff.

Thirdly. Find out what Show-van-ist means. I think it’s German.

Fourthly. I should maybe try and listen when someone seems to be upset about somethin’- even if they are ugly.

Oh-my-God! The damned eggs are hatchin’, I’m gonna be a daddy! How the hell do I explain this one to Essie the crane-fetcher?

Oh please! … Now what in the hell is goin’ on down on ground level?

Oh, you-have-got-to-be-shittin’-me!

There is some skinny-assed chicken down there, runnin’ around flappin’ his wings and fricasseein his ass, screechin’ “The sky is falling!”

What the fuck?

Anybody out there got an umbrella?

Shit…!”

Some days it just ain’t worth getting out of my or anybody else’s bed. Even if they are ugly.

***

So! When I’m bailed out of the naughty corner I’ll write my next post.

In the interest of fairness, it will be titled … “It’s A Girl Thing.”

This is the picture that will accompany it.

Cats drinking cocktails its a girl thing.

I spare no one.

 

 

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“Glimpses Across the Barricades.” Poetry in progress: “Masks”

Welcome again to “Glimpses Across the Barricades” my poetry in progress.

Today I share with you a brief glimpse of my dear friend, Jenny. I met her on the streets when she was barely eight-years-old.  I was eleven. She took her own life several years ago. The world is a darker place now that her sweet soul no longer lights it.

Masks for poetry

MASKS

By

Suzanne Burke.

MASKS.

Eight-year-old eyes

Devoid of hope

For the innocence was gone.

 

Eight-year-old ears

That only heard

Violent words, of crushing fear.

 

Eight-year-old soul

That barely whispered

Before it was taken away.

 

Eight-year-old heart

With no joyous beat

A heart that stopped too soon.

 

And the masks that we wear

Cause others despair

As they search to find something long gone.

 

Masks of laughter bent and twisted.

 Faces shielding the dark within.

The weapons we are wielding

Peirce far beneath the skin.

 

We that are too broken

A place where forgiveness

Has yet to find a home.

 

We remove that last fear, finally

Into just one more unknown.

Eight-year-old eyes

that only cried

beneath the mask.

 

Book Review: “Eclipse Lake” By Mae Clair.

BOOK REVIEW: ECLIPSE LAKE By MAE CLAIR

About the Author

MAE CLAIR IMAGE FOR REVIEW

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

 

BOOK COVER ECLIPSE LAKE by MAE CLAIR

BLURB:

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 An engaging, unpredictable Page-turner!

This is my first venture into the world of Author Mae Clair.

Eclipse Lake caught my attention, partly because of the excellent blurb, and partly because I rarely review anything remotely connected to Romance, and a Mystery Romance seemed a great place to start.

Having said that, I was utterly unprepared and seriously delighted by what lay between these beautifully written pages.

This author has a deceptively elegant writing style. Deceptive only in that the flow of words have iron hidden within the dialogue.

The conversations between the central characters are  pivotal and the author utilizes that marvelous skill by allowing the characters souls, dreams, and despairs to be communicated clearly each time they speak.

Wonderful characterizations of each player, you’ll find nothing one dimensional here.

Meet Dane Carlisle.  This is a man driven. His complex layers are composed with intricate threads of sorrow and longing, regrets and secrets he has never revealed. He comes from a dark childhood and through the actions and intervention of a mentor he reveres, he establishes a company, and makes a great success of it. A promise to his dying wife finds he and his teenage son journeying back to Danes home town of Onyx, a place of dark and closely held secrets.

Meet, Jesse his adopted son, seventeen and beginning those years of questing against and questioning everything that touches their world. The growing respect and understanding between he and his father is a pure joy to read. It is neither rushed nor formulaic, these folks are permitted to breathe, bleed and suffer as they rediscover each other.

Meet Jonah, Dan Carlisle’s estranged brother. Jonah is an angry man, his brother and he have a history, and his resentment of his brother Dane is both palpable and pivotal to this well thought out plot.

Meet Ellie: Successful photographer on assignment to Onyx. Enter the romantic element, and I must say I was delighted at the endearing and memorable way the growing love between she and Dan Carlisle is handled.

Combine all the splendid ingredients with the Sheriffs long missing daughters body being discovered, fingers being pointed, and nasty gossip doing its usual harm; that will launch all the characters into the unexpected conclusion.

Suffice it to say that that conclusion is a jaw dropper! I am now firmly committed to reading many more of this talented authors works.

Highly recommended.

PURCHASE ECLIPSE LAKE by MAE CLAIR on AMAZON.COM

Mae Clair on TWITTER