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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book Review: Ray Ryan

I had the opportunity of reading this book titled Ray Ryan. Its author, Aiden Riley, gives a rather nostalgic account of his childhood days leading into adulthood. The writer's love for his mother is duly noted throughout the book. She played a strong influence in her son's upbringing, offering encouragement and loving support that made a difference in his life.

Ray is a boy who would rather read a book than get involved in antics that could lead to trouble. This is what his best friend, Kevin, is most likely to do. Unfortunately, Ray ended up in detention on his first day in 7th grade, along with Corey, the school bully.

Ray falls in love with Anna, a girl in his class, much to the displeasure of Corey, who also has a crush on her. As Ray and his friends get older, the urge to succumb to peer pressure, especially Kevin's strong influence after he stole marijuana from drug dealers, leaves them divided between loyalty and concern for Kevin.

Ray Ryan is written in a very relaxed first person narrative, as if Aiden Riley was telling it to someone himself. It relates to a group of young adults who learn to cope with the problems of romance, friendship and family life as they meet new challenges that come their way. The story nicely captures the mixed emotions of the author, as he recalls the happiness and the sad times of his younger days. I am impressed with Aiden Riley as it is his first novel.


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A Fitting End - Poetry

I saw you across the crowded room

And knew you were meant for me

I want to hold you in my arms

And caress you so tenderly

But what I saw made me blue

Another woman was holding you

I was filled with jealous rage, I confess

Until her body got stuck fitting "MY" dress

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Rock Bottom (100 word flash fiction)

Photo of River

Brianna smiled, drinking a scotch. That heartless bastard had made her life a living hell. She remembered the look on Rick's face, before stabbing him with his own knife she hid under the kitchen sink. After the cruel treatment Rick metered out to her, Brianna did not regret killing him.

All she had to do was tie the huge rock she found onto Rick's body, and dump him into the river behind the cottage. Brianna waited a couple days before calling her family, telling them her husband abandoned their marriage. All was not lost, happiness waited in the bank account.

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Book Review: The Legend of the Moonstone

My curiosity was burning to see what adventure awaited me when I turned the pages of The Legend of the Moonstone. I was greeted with an interesting introduction to mineralogy, namely the moonstone gem. It's a topic that seems to be a favourite of Professor Bernard Stransky, and one which most of his students are especially fond of listening to. The strong aura emitting from the moonstone and the legendary folklore that the professor tells leaves a few of his students entranced.

The author, Meglena Ivanova led me into a fantasy world filled with magic, demons, superstitions, and mystical looking people who are divided between good and evil. They battle over the precious moonstone gem, as its power is known for strengthening the unity of love among mankind, and seals the love that couples have for each other. If the gem is placed into the wrong hands, it will have devastating effects as the stone's power is generated by the feelings of love, which unsavoury persons do not have.

It is fiercely protected throughout the ages by Kyle, "a reborn," and specially chosen guardians, who must make certain sacrifices in their lives to keep the power of the moonstone in peaceful harmony and safe from evil. This evil comes in the forms of Viper De Marina and his two sisters. They travel to Earth and possess the body of Christoph Collins, one of Professor Stransky's least popular students.

Professor Stransky had no idea that his lectures would lead him and his students on a dangerous mission; one that could cost them their lives as they do their best to protect the moonstone. The story takes one back into the past then forwards to the present, so that the historical events surrounding The Legend of the Moonstone can be easily understood.

Meglena Ivanova wrote a wonderful fantasy fiction that is sure to appeal to young adults. Her eyes for details were not lost on me, as I was clearly able to see the mystical settings and drama, containing humour entwined with a bit of sadness.The characters were easy to identify with, as each has a distinct fearless or fearful personality that made the book more entertaining for me. Having read this enjoyable story, I now look forward to seeing what occurs in book 2.


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Monday, 13 January 2014

Undying Faith

For my Mother, who is always loved, never forgotten.

There is sadness in me, now that you are gone
You left before your grandchildren were born

I felt so much sorrow when you passed away
And remember the tears cried that woeful day

Your loyal devotion to God in your agony of pain
Was something I questioned, you tried to explain

Why He would let you suffer, your body decayed
You loved Him too much and fervently prayed

I am older now, and understand the lesson you gave
And desperately want Him to touch my soul and save

Like you, the good times and the bad times I'll endure
For my renewed faith in Him will live forevermore

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Friday, 10 January 2014

Bedtime Blues


Aw Mom, It cannot be time for bed
I'm not sleepy, let's play a game instead
It is still early, the clock just says eight
Just a little more time, I won't stay up late

I'm thirsty, please may I have some juice
Cards or tv, I think I will let you choose
You know, some cookies would be nice to eat
That sure would make a nice bedtime treat

I'll just watch tv while you go fix a snack
Take your time Mom, no need to hurry back
Staying up late is going to be my main mission
Cuz I love to watch Superman use his special vision

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Book Review: A Bouquet of Dilemma

A Bouquet of Dilemma, written by Tayo Emmanuel, is a story which has settings in Nigeria. Tobi and her best friend, Maggie, are young ambitious college students who enter into relationships. Both want lasting romance, but the prejudices of society hinders the happiness of both. Maggie is frustrated because her boyfriend's mother does not want her son to marry someone outside of their tribe; while Tobi's boyfriend, Richard, isn't interested in college and comes from a background her family would not approve of.

While Maggie tries to work out solutions to deal with Chuck's mother, Tobi hides her engagement from her parents, and she and Richard continue a long distance relationship after he migrates to England. Tobi meets Oba, a man who is also in love with her, and accepted by her parents. The decisions that these two friends make where romance is concerned, are completely different and complex in their own way.

A Bouquet of Dilemma contains the typical problems that young people have while attending college, and getting involved with the opposite sex. Tayo Emmanuel's confident writing style captures the rich and diverse culture of Nigeria, giving the reader an insight into the country's history, politics and its people. The book has minor grammar issues regarding proper punctuation that can mar sentence interpretation, but this can be easily edited, and did not affect my reading.


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Monday, 6 January 2014

Book Review: Martha's Chickens and the Pirates

I had the pleasure of reading a delightful book called Martha's Chickens and the Pirates, written by Phyl Campbell. Although it is a story for small children, I couldn't help but smile when I read it. The author knows how to attract a young audience, and it shows in the writing of this book.

This story is about a widow named Martha, who sells her farm and buys a boat to sail around for awhile. She takes along her cows, pigs and chickens. The animals love Martha and are concerned about her, as well as their future. There is no food on board to eat and everyone is hungry.

The brave chickens decide to go foraging for food, and find themselves on a pirate ship. They snatch sausages and wormy hamburgers, and return to their boat, happy that Martha won't starve. The hungry pirates are not pleased when they discover that their food is gone, and set a trap for the pilfering chickens. The cows and pigs try to rescue the chickens, and fight the pirates in order to do so. What happens next is an unexpected twist to the story, as Martha offers a solution that the pirates find hard to refuse, while ensuring the safety of her animals.

Phyl Campbell's humour and talents as a writer shines throughout the book. The pirates are entertaining characters with their amusing dialogue. They are definitely not the smartest pirates around. This author was also able to make the animals come to life with likable personalities.

The book cover and illustrations are very nicely sketched and colourful, matching the story content. Martha's Chickens and the Pirates is a book I willingly recommend, knowing children will enjoy the little adventure it holds, as well as learning a valuable moral it contains.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Book Review: Plague of Angels (The Descended)

Plague of Angels (The Descended) held me spellbound, so I was unable to put this riveting book down until I finished. Fortunately for me, I'm a fast reader so this was easy. It's obvious that the author, John Patrick Kennedy has talent; the story was never boring and flowed at good pace with a strong plot.

Nyx is the Queen of Hell and one of the fallen angels. She wants to reign as powerfully as God Himself. If you have ever watched the cartoon Pinky and the Brain, then you'll understand how determined Nyx is in her quest to take over the world. This Queen of Hell can transform into a beautiful  enchantress or any other form to achieve her goal, and will do everything and everyone to get what she wants. The other fallen angels are happy to follow Nyx and do her bidding.

God's son, Tribunal, is sent to earth to live there for awhile. Tribunal knows what God has in store for his future, but decides that it is not the way he wants his life to turn out. Nyx preys upon his weakness and God's son falls under her spell. He is unable to control his sexual urges, and the two engage in a sizzling affair, while scheming to do things their way. The sequence of events is nicely detailed, so I was able to visualize everything which occurred, along with its natural exchange of dialogue. That is an important factor for me when reading.

What is clear to me, is that John Patrick Kennedy has an imaginative mind and knows how to write descriptively and boldly. I say this, as he has managed to create a very unique version on religious sexual fantasy, that takes a controversial spin on the bible stories I know. Plague of Angels (The Descended) is not designed for those who are easily offended by graphic sex, as it does play an active role in this well written book.