Book Review – Broken Souls by Blackmoore

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Broken Souls (Eric Carter, #2)Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I dove into this second book by Stephen Blackmoore like a dehydrated gal in the desert. And wow, am I sated!

First, I thought I was going to have trouble with Blackmoore’s writing style. Nope, totally digging the way he presents his characters and his plot. It is Alex Verus, meets the Iron Druid meets Harry Dresden meets Mike Hammer. Seriously, our anti-hero is a tattooed necromancer who is uber power right now (thanks to Santa Muerte), and man can he work the spells!

This is real urban fantasy. Takes place in LA and don’t you know there’s plenty of magic and bad-assery to be found there.

Eric is in trouble and it keeps getting worse. I can’t tell you more because that would mean I have to do spoilers. Let me just say, ghosts, blood, a knife, a promise, a betrayal, lots of hate and a really BIG surprise. I love Blackmoore because he can weave a yarn so tight that I have trouble finding any holes. He makes urban fantasy sing.

Invest in our foul-mouthed, beat up, kill and be damned anti-hero and experience the talent of a one of today’s best fantasy writers. Where is book 3? June 2015. Good grief, but I’m ready!

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Book Reviews – Rowland and Blackmoore

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Vengeance of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #7)Vengeance of the Demon by Diana Rowland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rowland does it again. In this latest installment of Kara Gillian’s adventures (is it book 7 already?), we pick up nearly where the last left off. In no time at all I’m swept up into this latest adventure of odd creatures, cross dimensions and trouble…always trouble…trying to stop both worlds – demon and ours – from tearing themselves apart!

I can’t tell you what happens because I don’t do spoilers, but suffice to say there is betrayal, surprises, (BIG ONES), sacrifices and love. Such love.

This book really caught me by surprise which is a testament to the incredible talent that is Diana Rowland. In a literary world glutted with paranormal and urban fantasy, Rowland stands well above the crowds. I love her books. She’s the new Kim Harrison in my book.

 

Dead Things (Eric Carter #1)Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stumbled on Blackmoore’s DEAD THINGS and his anti-hero Eric Carter by accident. And glad I have! This is Alex Verus (Benedict Jacka’s books) meets John Constantine (DC Comics) meets Mike Hammer (1950’s by Mickey Spillane). The style is staccato with every sentence very short and sweet. Rough talking, fast moving, Blackmoore’s main character Eric Carter is someone who gets beat up, gets up again, beat up s’more, cusses and tries again. You want to smack him and kiss him, shake him and feel sorry for him. He’s everything wrong and perfect! I wasn’t sure I was going to like the strong language (which happens over and over) but once I got into the actual character of Eric Carter, I was sold.

Blackmoore’s first volume introduces us to Eric Carter, a necromancer who can speak with ghosts, or haunts, and even the Echoes, leftover ghosts. He can do magic in a limited way, with things (ala Harry Dresden and Alex Verus) and with spells. He’s on a mission to find his sister’s killer and do a job for none other than Santa Muerte, one of the biggest saints of violent death, who has taken a particular interest in Eric. Uh-oh.

And there are peeps trying to kill him, natch!

A fast moving, high paranormal fantasy with twisty turns and a bit of humor. Eric never takes himself too seriously. He’s a jerk and I loved him.

I’m ready to start book 2….keep ’em coming Mr. Blackmoore!

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Ah Media – Poetry

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Ah, Media

Drivel, doggerel, and diatribes!
Who supplied sterile stones for
castling, omissible dotterels with
sandpaper rubbed tongues,
brazen and ministering, masterful
missals, funereal arsenide?
Ah, sweet miserable media —
skeptical, unstoppable sybarites!
***
S. Rentschler /Apr 30, 2013

Hyperbole! Simile! Alliteration! Metaphors! How I love the diversity and fun of poetry! What do YOU love about it?

TWO Goodreads Giveaways!

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Time for TWO Goodreads Giveaways! You can see the Giveaways below or on the Goodreads site. Win one of two softback copies of PAPER BONES or BY LIGHT BETRAYED, in honor of National Poetry Month!  Good luck!

Enter Apr 16-Apr 24. Nothing to do but click enter!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Paper Bones by Sherry Rentschler

Paper Bones

by Sherry Rentschler

Giveaway ends April 24, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

By Light Betrayed - Poetry of the Vampires by Sherry Rentschler

By Light Betrayed – Poetry of the Vampires

by Sherry Rentschler

Giveaway ends April 24, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Giveaway Winners Announced!

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I’m delighted to announce the Winners of the Monster Giveaway, major collection of books and swag in a wonderful canvas bag to:

Congratulations Anne M. and Amanda B.

Expect contact from me within 24 hours so I can get your goodies in the mail, pronto!

(You can see the actual random selections mentioned here or check the Giveaway tab on my Author Facebook page)

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Do not despair if you didn’t win a book. Poetry month isn’t over! A Goodreads Giveaway will begin shortly and I will be running a fast ebook contest before the month is out! So more chances; spread the word!

Birth of a Poet – A commentary

Commentary

Commentary

The Birth of a Poet

April is National Poetry Month; all the poetry magazines are making big deal about it. Even the magazines that don’t feature poetry are suddenly filling corners and spaces with little odd quotes and dribbles of poetic inspiration. Bah! They don’t understand poetry! It’s just a way to capture that tiny, growing population of dreamers, skeptics, and editors. It’s all a kind of ballyhoo because it’s expected or required to be profitable and trendy. However, I don’t think they understand what it all really means. I certainly didn’t. Until today.

You see, I read poetry every day. Wrote it, too. Every day. I scoffed at magazines pitching poetry between their covers only once a year. I shunned people who claimed to have a grip on precision and form but spent their time reading horror or mystery novels and never actually penned a single simile. Yes, I was a poetry snob.

Sometimes I looked askance at my peers because their poetry all sounded the same, lacked verve or passion, or even a rhyme. Oh yes, I prided myself on hard work and understanding, on learning my craft and my visionary works. “It’s April?” I would scoff. “So? Every day is a poetry day for me!” Such was my arrogance. Until today.

Today I went to my desk and did what I always do. First, a little light reading, for inspiration. I’m rather fond of Billy Shakespeare. Today roared with his poetic Venus and Adonis. An hour of Shakespeare to study form and style. A few thoughts scribbled until something of my own begins to take shape. Pleased, I take a break and read my writers’ magazines. Then time to work on my book. Another break for lunch. Finally, I lovingly slide a folder of half-baked poems – random thoughts, excellent one-liners, and poesies needing editing – across my desk. I slave! If I’m lucky, and work tenaciously, something beautiful will emerge and I’ll swell with pride having created a poem. That is, I always would. Until today.

Today as I realized it was National Poetry Month, I also realized I was bored with the magazines acting as if this was their great discovery. So I shook off the hypocrisy and decided on a walk. Spring was slipping and sliding in the muck that was my backyard, tossing wildflowers in between the carefully planted daffodils and tulips. I smiled at these treasures like poems in the making, random verses just waiting to bloom. Like the blossoms, I believed in my own absolute development when suddenly, what once was a dandelion weakly cried out to me. The yellow gone, the gossamer fluff having blown away, there was only a ragged stem. I huffed aloud. A weed! A dead weed among my treasures! Or so I thought. Until today.

As I stood there by that dandelion, a strange compulsion overcame me. I don’t know why but I knelt down and stretched out beside the stem. I really studied it, surprisingly curious; and then I rolled over in the grass, and gazed at what I thought the once-yellowed, now empty, stem saw.

Above me – us – a bounty of clouds in a periwinkle sky, a framework for a nut-brown butterfly cruising close. The acrid exhaust of a tour bus and fresh grass seed augmented by pungent, wild onions. Sounds of a deep-rumble of a bumblebee and the hollow honking of a geese formation rolled by on a tickling breeze. I smiled but only because these were expected things and not a shock.

Then I discovered poetry.

Twilight rolled over the stem and me, damp and uncomfortable. The weed that had thrived on sunshine and wind looked somehow naked and fruitless, limp and alone in a Bermuda yard. I touched the stem, sticky and fuzzy, and understood its tenuous hold in the earth. It was dying. Nothing in Nature seemed to care, not a bird or even a worm paid attention. Yet this little stem clung in thirsty desperation to a sandy, unyielding soil, staring like a silent guardian at its last night sky. There was no arrogance or sorrow. Above, a sky of stars and a universe beyond it, unreachable to this weed, yet it sang with the totality of life. Amazed, I remained with the barren stem until the dew came; the stem turned black and died. I had spent the night in wonderment of a simple weed.

Today, I’ll do my exercises and read a few trade magazines, hunting out the obscure poetry obligingly pigeonholed. I’ll read a few works by some unpublished friends who believe they understand the secret of poetry. As I look at the dandelion on my desk, all yellow and full of promise, I believe my friends actually might be right. Later, I’ll write humbly in the company of a dandelion because, you see, it’s April and National Poetry Month. And because, unlike my peers, I never really understood poetry. Until today.

***

Sherry Rentschler © 1999, previously published in the Amateur Poetry Journal, online

(and this will explain to you why I focus so much on the dandelion)

“And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

– William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

I hope you view each day with the wondering eyes of a poet!

About Poets – a quote