Cover Reveal of Kin Types

I’ve pre-ordered Luanne Castle’s newest chapbook of poetry and more. How about you???????

Writer Site

Finishing Line Press has revealed the new cover of my chapbook Kin Types. They put it on their website with my headshot, taken by my friend Renee Rivers.

PRE-ORDER HERE

Release date: June 23

A little background on the cover image: this is a tintype from my family collection. It was handpainted, and the jewelry was painted in gold leaf. We don’t know exactly who the photograph is of, but believe it is of the Remine (Remijinse) branch of the family. My great-great-great-grandmother was Johanna Remijinse De Korne, born in Kapelle, Netherlands. I love how the Dutch spelling conjures up the word “reminisce.”

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Wordless Wednesday @MomsRising #KeepMarching #ShePersisted

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Announcing the re-launch of My GRL by John W. Howell

My GRL

The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of

$0.99

John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Here is the link to Amazon for the Kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Paper version

Check them out and read the first few pages on Amazon.

Also, you can check out John Cannon’s other two adventures as well as the new My GRL at John W. Howell’s Author Page

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Author Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

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A Traditional Kind of Book Review: Bird Light by Elizabeth Cohen #MondayBlogs #bookreview #poetry

Poetry is like pornography: I know it when I see it. Or read it if you want to be picky. Or maybe it’s an acquired taste, something you have to be trained to learn to like. Gin martinis might be an acquired taste, but in my case, I took to a gin martini the way a thirsty cat takes to a water fountain.

In any case, for most of my writing life, I’ve avoided poetry, especially poetry that rhymes. Although I do like musical lyrics and most of those rhyme. I’m hedging here because I read a slim book of poetry not too long ago and I want to review it. The problem is, I’d rather just share the poems. But I can’t afford to send each of you a copy so you’re stuck with my attempt at a review. I hope you enjoy it. Even more, I hope you buy this book.

***

Bird Light is a collection of lyrical meditations on birds and things like birds, like life. The poems are by Elizabeth Cohen, whose collection of short stories, Hypothetical Girl, I reviewed last year. The lovely line drawings are by Aliki Barnstone, a woman of many gifts.  The combination of Elizabeth’s poetry and Aliki’s drawings make Bird Light a transporting, transformative experience.

I am a bird lover, particularly of raptors, and so a poem like “The Red Tailed Hawks of Colesville New York” moved me with its simple play of joy and sadness: joy of seeing a couple of hawks christened Spunk and Spike, their closeness and playfulness; the sadness when one day only one is sighted and then, later, neither.

Intermingled with poems about peacocks, red-tailed hawks, bluejays, owls, cranes, red-crested flickers, and many other birds, are poems that read like mini-memoirs, a life spent and described by area codes and zip codes, from being a daughter to having a daughter. I am transported, almost literally it seems, from the red dust and mesas of the southwest to the Flickers and grackles of the northeast.

In particular, I felt transformed by the utter beauty and vulnerability of “Bluebird”: a tattoo of a bluebird to mark a broken heart at 22, except the tattoo is slightly off being on the right breast and not directly on the heart. And yet,

It hovered over the death beds of each of my parents,

And for nine months it glided over the soft,

unconnected bones of my daughter’s head.

Bluebirds are very special to me, being the favorite bird of my deceased stepfather and the favorite bird of his son who died in his early 30s from cancer and who sighted a bluebird once from his window and told his father that God must have wanted to keep him alive a little longer just to see the bluebird. Now I can’t see a bluebird without saying a little prayer for Ken and Tim. And this poem, “Bluebird,” by Elizabeth adds to that pleasant pang I get whenever a bluebird flies in front of me.

The title poem, “Bird Light,” makes its appearance almost halfway through the volume. She starts with,

When my marriage was over

the birds began

and I think to myself that she must have been writing these poems all along, probably refining them a little bit each time until there was nothing left to add or take away, until they were contained and perfect.

One thing ends inside your life

and there is an opening for something new

Your eyes start over, widen toward a periphery

I cling to these three lines and think, this is Bird Light, the “something new” that comes when you allow an opening. Studying birds, sorting your life by area codes and zip codes, a pattern seems to emerge suggesting that everything goes on as it should, or as it will, toward “The Yes”:

had a glass of chilled maybe

with some toasted perhaps

***

I highly recommend Bird Light by Elizabeth Cohen. Pick up a copy from Amazon and enjoy some time with the birds and Elizabeth and Aliki.

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Where am I? #giveaway

No, not me, but Jill Weatherholt! Her debut novel, Second Chance Romance, is now available on Amazon.com (yay, Jill!). Link on through and you can enter a giveaway for her novel. Congratulations, Jill!

Jill Weatherholt

coverHappy Friday! Today I’m blogging at www.inspyromance.com. Feel free to pop over if you’d like to be entered to win a signed copy of Second Chance Romance which releases next Tuesday, February 21st.

Have a great weekend! xo

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Why I hired a beta reader

Cinthia offers some excellent reasons for HIRING a beta reader … did I say HIRING loudly enough?

Cinthia Ritchie

I originally wrote this  post for my blog but then realized that I needed a post for 49 Writers so submitted it there instead.

Before I repost that, though, here’s the inside scoop. Last week, I hired a beta reader. I did this, as I do most things, rather impulsively. I was browsing through Twitter, saw a tweet from Carrie Rubin about Kevin Brennan’s beta reader service over at Indie-Scribable, read it over and thought,  hmmmm, why not? The price seemed reasonable and I was struggling, lord, was I struggling with the beginning of my novel. I needed a second opinion, and I needed it fast, and I needed it to be as honest and brutal as possible.

So I shot him off an email, agreed to his terms, sent him my manuscript and, for the next few days, put my damned book away and enjoyed life for…

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Living in the Moment: Frida Kahlo and Life #MondayBlogs #FridaKahlo

Some time ago my husband and I went south to visit my 93-year-old mother who is spending the winter with my 72-year-old sister. I note their ages because in their presence I often feel like a 12-year-old, not the 59-year-old I really am. Believe me, the 59-year-old struggles to be free! To be honest, we had a very nice visit. Every time I see my mom, I marvel at well she is, both physically and mentally. My sister is well, too, but she supports Trump (enthusiastically) so enough said about that.

One of the high points of our visit was a trip to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Dali Museum. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. The exhibit was nicely organized with photos interspersed with paintings, drawings, and interpretative signs. An image of Frida and Diego Rivera was projected on one wall, making them larger than life, which, in fact, they were. A loop of documentary clips played in one corner of the three-room exhibit.

First, the photos:

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Some of you may know that Frida suffered much physical pain and disabilities in her life. She contracted polio when she was a little girl, which left her right leg shorter and thinner than the left. Then, when she was only 18, she was in a bus accident and suffered near fatal injuries: broken pelvis, ribs, legs, and collarbone, to name a few. Although she “recovered,” she experienced pain and declining health for the rest of her short life.

 

Hell

Hell

She had originally planned for a career in medicine. The bus accident changed all that, and though the accident left her with a world of pain, she left us with a world of wonder, color, and expression.

Some of the paintings in this slideshow are not for the faint of heart. Frida painted what she felt, what she lived.

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I hope you have enjoyed this visit to the Dali Museum and the Frida Kahlo exhibit.

On a more personal note, I am experiencing some “life events” right now. I know my blogging has been spotty and I am more and more AWOL as these events suck up my time and energy. All is well, at least on my home front, but I’m just … busy-busy-busy. Know that I will do my best to catch up with you all and that, at a minimum, I think of you all often.

Ciao, amigos y amigas!

 

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