Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord by Emmanuella Hristova – Book Review

Book: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord
Author: Emmanuella Hristova
No. of pages: 50
Publication date: April 2018

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder is a short collection of poems that explores a tumultuous year of love, heartbreak and unimaginable loss. It documents the birth and death of a relationship, and the death of my sister. Each poem is an emotional time-stamp that plunges the reader into the depths of my feelings as they burgeon and wane. The book reads like a diary and chronicles the boundaries of the things that we all feel: passion, heartache, and pain that gives way to hope. 

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord is a raw and emotional poetry collection by Emmanuella Hristova.

At first I was at a loss with the arrangement and titling of the poems. But I realized that they're done in a historic kind of arrangement with some days having more than one poem written. Many pieces don't have titles just dates.

A note to remind oneself when reading poetry collections, especially those in free verse, not everyone breaks lines the same way. I disliked many of the line breaks in The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord but that could just be me and others might prefer them that way.

The poem titled "September 29th" is one of the beautiful ones I enjoyed in the first half, though I disliked the repetition of 'and' and some of the line breaks.

"Upon Success" is a short piece that every person everywhere in the world can relate to. It's short and I'll quote it; I didn't like the line-breaks here either.
"America is a weird place where/we leave the/people we love to/pursue little green pieces of/paper and ink to/fill empty slots on/our resumes."

I felt that the piece titled "October 5th" was more prose than poetry but I loved the imagery.  "October 9th" is brimming with stunning imagery, dark, and just wow!

"I hesitate when you kiss me because I/ am afraid you will taste the disaster/brewing underneath my skin. Or maybe/my kisses taste hot, like a dangerous/sun storm raging on the broiling/surface of our most familiar star."  - that's just a sample of "October 9th" which is a long and gorgeous poem.

Another important note about The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord is that there are many pieces handling sexual and physical abuse. The poems are powerful. Like these lines from "October 17th":
"Letting my lips touch yours/was a contract I signed/without reading the fine print: participant subject to hasty sexual advances/ without warning."

I couldn't get the poem "November 14th," it was odd with a dry tone and felt more like a series of commandments. "November 16th" reads like a broken down prose piece but is full of strong imagery.

Other 5-star pieces in Hristova's The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord include: "October 18th," "October 19th," "Upon Saying Thank You," "Upon Inspiration," "November 17th," "December 15th," and "Upon Celebrating International Women's Day."

"You came, conquered,/stole my heart and/left me with a Moleskin full of/pensive poems documenting unrequited love/exposed on cream, lined pages." - "Upon Inspiration"

I must admit that the second half of the book was much better than the first half. The poems were longer and deeper after the 50% mark. That said, "Upon Diluting Myself" and "Upon Being a Woman" are the most powerful pieces in the entire collection. 10 stars each of these.

"Upon Diluting Myself" is long but super powerful. It's also explicit, painful, eye-opening, and emancipating, all at the same time. Similarly, "Upon Being a Woman" is the most painful piece in The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord. It does have a lot of Spanish words, which I couldn't understand. The poem is probably the longest in the collection but speaks for a lot of women suffering from sexual abuse.
"Upon inheritance" is a sad and painful piece that nearly made me cry.

Last but certainly not least, The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord ends with "Here's to the Woman," Hristova's perfect conclusion to her emotionally raw poetry collection that I believe is dedicated to all women out there.

This collection was hard for me to judge, but my overall rating is: 4 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Discord from its author Emmanuella Hristova in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Emmanuella Hristova was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She is the third daughter to Bulgarian parents who immigrated to California shortly before she was born. She began drawing at the ripe age of four, and studied the fine arts for five years in high school. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley.

She began writing poetry at age twenty-four when she was in graduate school. She earned her Master's in Education from the same alma mater in 2017. Emmanuella spent two years as an English teacher in Richmond, California. During that time, she self-published her first poetry collection: The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder. Currently, she is writing her first novel.
Connect with indie author Emmanuella Hristova via her website, Amazon, Goodreads, and Instagram

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter - Book Review & Tour

Book: Leg Up
(Book 1 in the Lark Davis Mystery Series)
Author: Annabelle Hunter
No. of pages: 165
Independently Published
Publication Date: 1 June 2019


A severed leg with no body? Check.
A disturbing lack of coffee? Check.
A murderer bent on revenge and a hot cop using her as bait? Double check.
Larklyn Davis moved to the small picturesque town of Barrow Bay, California, needing a new start on life. She found the perfect cottage house, almost the perfect distance from her ex-husband, and built the perfect stable for her dressage business. But when a severed leg suddenly appears on her front porch, her life takes a turn for the absurd.
As more clues pile up, and the killer not content to leave Lark alone, she’s forced to take things into her own hands. One problem: the hottest detective she has ever seen is convinced she is involved. Detective Brecken Wilson looks like he should be in a movie, not glued to Lark’s side, waiting for the other leg to drop.
There’s not enough coffee in the world for Lark to deal with this crime, the detective who stirs things she hasn’t felt in years, and a matchmaking town, intent help her find the happiness she doesn’t want.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

"There was a severed leg on my porch."

That's how Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter opens. From the first lines, we notice that Larklyn "Lark" Davis is one of the most sarcastic characters ever. And a hilarious one too.

There are tons of quotable parts in the book. Even when dealing with problems, Lark's sarcasm makes way for humor and comic relief.

Lark has recently moved from a big city to the small town of Barrow Bay, along with her daughter and horse-training business. Minding her business, Lark wakes up to find a body part on her porch. But one body part isn't enough, soon she gets a second…

Leg Up, the first book in the Lark Davis Mystery Series, is narrated from Lark's first person perspective, giving the reader a ton of humor and sarcasm, along with her inner thoughts. 

"Ma'am, we ask that you give us the facts and not any assumptions."
"Okay. I opened my door and there was a severed leg on my porch."
"Are you sure it is human?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
"May I ask how?"
"Well, the shoe was a good indication, but the tattoo really clinched it for me."

One of the many things I enjoyed about Annabelle Hunter's Leg Up were the characters and the pace, which was quite fast and exciting. We meet Brecken Wilson, who everyone sees and calls Captain America, making way for lots of laughs especially for Lark.

I like how Hunter introduces the characters, each with their quirks. I loved how the characters – yes plural – sat together to talk about the murders and point fingers and jump to conclusions in the presence of the handsome detective.

The language and narration are easy to navigate. The incidents, including the final showdown, are all full of humor. As soon as I finished reading Leg Up, I felt like I was going to miss the characters.

I also liked how Lark often discovers that her thoughts are voiced aloud - unintentionally of course. *big grin*
Leg Up is literally a ton of fun to read! I loved every bit of it! 5 stars!

Note: I received a free copy of Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter as part of a blog tour with Lori's Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. This did not affect my review in anyway.

About the author:
Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.

Connect with Annabelle Hunter via Facebook, Twitter, and her Website.

Update: Check out Nadaness In Motion's exclusive interview with Annabelle Hunter where she talks more about her books and writing.

Update 2: Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter has made it to Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019!

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour including more book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, and spotlights
July 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Author Interview & A Wytch's Book Review Blog – Book Review
July 16 – Babs Book Bistro & T's Stuff Spotlights & Defining Ways - Spotlight
July 17 – Brooke Blogs – Guest post & Island Confidential – Spotlight
July 18 – The Cozy Pages - Spotlight
July 19 – Celticlady's Reviews & Literary Gold – Spotlights
July 20 – Laura's Interests – Book Review
July 22 – Baroness' Book Trove – Book Review & Readeropolis – Author Interview
July 23 – I'm All About Books & Socrates Book Reviews – Spotlights

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cleopatra's Spring by Nada Adel Sobhi - Poem

I see you
Travelling from the shores
Of the mighty Mediterranean
To a lonely oasis
In the heart
Of a thousand palm trees

I see you
Shrugging off your sandals,
The weight of the world
For a warm water dive
Your little spring
Where you let go,
And heal

Where the water washes it all away
And you let it
And over
With every dive
And every plunge

Cleopatra's Spring. Image via Let's Explore Siwa Group on Facebook

You paint your skin
And traverse the land
Like a queen
And you are a Queen

Close your eyes, Cleopatra
And let the water drench you
Let the world and its wars
Drop to the bottom

And open your eyes
See with a new vision
A clear sight

Close your eyes, Cleopatra
Then open them
And decide…

By: Nada Adel Sobhi

This poem was written while on a trip to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt. Amazing place. A desert but full of beauty and natural scenery and simplicity.

Image taken from Facebook group Let's Explore Siwa, which is moderated by Siwa resident Yahya Moussa, who was also part of my tour.

Cleopatra's Spring via Trip Advisor