Tag Archives: Poetry

Book Blitz: ‘This Soul Estranged’ by Candice Samuelson

Title: This Soul Estranged

Author: Candice Samuelson

Genre: Poetry

Sub-Genre: Romance


About the Book:

This Soul Estranged is a collection of poetry in two parts, one for love lost and the other for love found. Each section delves into the world of human emotion, and tries to answer what love means to us as individuals. Read through the collection for a cathartic journey through your emotions, and come out on the other side with a different perspective and new insight into the delicate balance of what makes us human.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Apple Books


Barnes & Noble



About the Author:

Candice Samuelson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1990 and always wrote as a way of self expression, even publishing a book in her elementary school’s library at the age of twelve. She attended the Ringling College of Art and Design, trading her writing for fine art, but turned to writing again in 2019.

She tackles subjects that have had a significant impact on her life, such as her struggles with mental health and loss, in addition to love and finding herself in this chaotic world.

She is currently living in Delaware with her husband and two daughters.


Social Media Links:

Website: www.candicesamuelson.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/candicesamuelsonwrites

Twitter: @CSamuelson_

Instagram: @candice.samuelson

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Book Review: ‘When Science Collapses’ by Christopher Hivner

Title: When Science Collapses

Published: 31st December 2016

Author: Christopher Hivner



Find another layer, go deeper to before I knew you, to thoughts I had as a young man, pull up those bones, crush them between your teeth to bathe in the marrow, find out what you think made me the way I am. “Paleontology”



Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book of poems.

Here you have a collection of poems with a difference. Almost using metaphors for science theories looking into the subjects of different human relationships. They are all told through the lens of science, looking into different scientific disciplines – e.g. Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, and so on. Each looking at different aspects of relationships from start to end within the scientific concepts created.

I liked some more than others and felt the scientific aspects of the poems gave them a different vibe. There were 33 in total, though a few were extended parts off one main title.

Here are a few that stood out for me:

Physics – wanting to relive and hold on to memories of loved ones passed on. Here you have someone wishing they could have them back but knowing that their memories of them are what you have to hold onto most. Don’t live in the past but hold onto its memories.

‘Time travel
is an illusion,
but my memories,
few as they are,
are real.’

String Theory – connecting things together and wondering why it can’t always be like this. The world and all its infinite moments being linked together one onto the next.

Astronomy – the vastness of space and looking at our way of interpreting what we can see or explain. How feeling connected to someone could seem like you are a planet warmed by their sun. Circling and needing each other, not knowing how long it would last but holding onto memories created all the same.

Combustion – from reading you get an idea of an engine just about to blow. One part isn’t right so the function isn’t working. In relation to a relationship it looks into cheating, or the possibility of someone cheating, and how just that one thought could make everything blow up.

It’s an interesting idea to take on human relationships in poems with a scientific vibe. You are breaking down concepts within the poems figuring out what they could mean for both subject types. If you like science and poetry then why not take a look.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Long Body That Connects Us All’ by Rich Marcello

Title: The Long Body That Connects Us All

Published: 28th February 2018

Publisher: Langdon Street Press

Author: Rich Marcello

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rich.marcello.3

Twitter: @marcellor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rich.marcello



Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all.



Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book under 100 pages. This book is split into 3 parts with around 16 poems per section. So you can dip in and out when the need strikes or plow through in one go.

I find it kind of calming to read some forms of poetry. Letting your mind flow in different directions as you make your own interpretations of what you think they could mean.

There were lots of poems to choose from but here are a few of my favorites from each section of the book and my interpretations on what I thought they were about.


Part 1 – In the Coming:

I Do Now – Exploring the light and dark that people can hold and accepting someone’s shadow as much as their light.

Porchwork – About reliving a memory and place in time so much that you want to recreate it forever in other ways so you can hold dear.

Daughters and Sons – About embracing each other, the love we share and how to send it out into the world to heal it and others.


Part 2 – Yab Yum:

How We Struggle to Pass Down – Feeling the need to tell those younger than yourself to remember the feelings and dreams they have as they come. To not live with regrets when they get older but in the end learning that all must go through lessons and learn things at their own pace. As you remember you were once that young who thought you knew best.

Stillness – Finding some place still and calm to reboot and recharge in a way so you can find your center and balance to start again.

The Return of Hippies – Remembering a time where everything and everyone was carefree. To go back to a forgotten time where sun, hope, rainbows and love played their parts. Showing a world of possibilities to remember and to push forward with love and kindness.


Part 3 – Aether:

Belong to No One – Finding your center and learning to belong to yourself and no other. Feeling happy with who you are and how you see the world and your life around you.

How to Be a Good Man – About embracing new ways to think and act when troubles come your way. If you want to walk away, step closer. Hate then love. To find ways to see things differently and learning to forgive if needed.

The Long Body – Finding ways to see how things and people are connected. Letting love, kindness and memories guide you forward to help with any challenges ahead. As the title suggests it’s about the long body of life that connects us all.


Interesting collection of poems that make you stop and think. Some I liked more than others but all intriguing in their own way. It’s a good book to go to as a stopgap book between heavier ones. A break book so to speak that won’t take long to get through. Worth checking out for anyone interested in poetry.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Author Interview: ‘An Open Wound: the apple orchard 2.0’ by O Persaud

About the Book:

An Open Wound is a wonderful collection of poetry, that delves into many topics of love and relationships. Persaud’s style creates a wonderful, colorful scene for the reader, draws them in with emotion and imagery.


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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US


Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I began writing as long as I could remember. When I was in elementary and middle school I used to make up silly short stories, or sometimes write love poems about girls that I was too afraid to talk to. I graduated to writing other people’s reports for money in high school, which led me to the University of Maryland where I studied English and creative writing.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I usually write in the middle of the night, hidden from my wife and five kids and the daily doldrums of my “day job.” I probably could write while my kids are awake, but they spend most of their time jumping on me, or yelling at each other because someone took someone else’s toy. Plus too many things on the honey do list to complete before my wife will let me bang away at the keyboard.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from a lot of places, but mostly from experience. Sometimes a friend of mine will say something in casual conversation and I’ll want to expound on it. Other times I’m mad at something and just need to vent. One time I was at Hooters with my 16-year-old son (he loves the buffalo chicken sandwich there) and I’ll looked on the back of a wet wipe pouch that had a profound question, “how fast is the speed of dark?” and that’s how I came up with my poem “The Speed of Dark.”

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

When I am writing fiction, I always have a plan and usually start with the ending and work my way backwards, but when it comes to poetry, I just let it flow, I change things a lot and am always reediting. Why not make something better if you can? No matter how long ago I published. I guess I’m constantly experimenting.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write both poetry and nonfiction, although my only fiction book out right now is a novella “Damaged Goods.” I do have a lot of material for three future novels. Whenever I hit a bump in the road, I switch to a different story. I have a few short stories too.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

It would be a dream just to have one of my books turned into a movie. I don’t care who played in it.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I love Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Baldwin, Conrad “The Heart of Darkness,” right now I’m on the second “Game of Thrones,” book (trying to overcome the withdrawal from the show and that anti-climactic season 8. The book is way better though, more characters and a lot more history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. I’ll read anything, although I find myself reading a bunch of nonfiction too.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

A Clash of Kings: A Song of Fire and Ice

If Beale Street Could Talk

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Alchemist… I love the philosophical twists and turns in that story. To travel around the world looking for something, never realizing you already had it.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Do it! Even if you start out writing to yourself, do it. Doesn’t matter how bad you think it is, you’ll start something and then think its crap (I still think all my stuff is crap as well as other people) but still go on. You might move onto a different project and come back a few years later with new ideas to make it better that you couldn’t think if when you were working at the time.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I have never been a social media type (guess that’s why I’m so hopeless). Although I am slowly learning. Right now you can find out about me on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, unfortunately I’m still a novice and therefore there’s not nearly enough information about me that there should be if I want to become successful. If you google O Persaud, I’m sure you can find all my books.

Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/O-Persaud/e/B07SMZPWK1

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorOPersaud

Instagram: www.instagram.com/o.persaud


I also wanted to add one of my answers about where I find inspiration for my writing.  There’s this site allpoetry.com where poets can go on and publish their work.  Sometimes we are given prompts to write about.  I received ideas about writing from there also.

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Author Interview: ‘Chicago Treasure’ by Rich Green

About the Book:

A new hardcover book of photography, illustrations, poetry, and prose that celebrates inclusion and the boundless creativity of children

Chicago has many treasures. The Magnificent Mile and Wrigley Field, wonderful public art and parks, beautiful bridges and skylines. But the true heart and the real treasure of the city are its children. This book is devoted to Chicago’s children. Come along as they travel to worlds within worlds, becoming storybook characters who follow the Yellow Brick Road, sip tea in Wonderland, tame a tiger, live in a shoe, climb a magic beanstalk to bring home a golden-egg-laying hen, turn a frog into a prince, meet fairies and dragons.

Continue as they step into painted canvases to inhabit scenes from other times and places. After climbing down from those framed worlds, they explore the city, high-fiving the victorious Chicago Bears, joining penguins at the theater, and leaping across State Street Bridge aboard African impalas.

The kids are the story. The book is their adventure. Its door swings open. . .

Everything Goes Media / Lake Claremont Press

Reading Nook readers may use coupon code CTBLOG15 for a 15% discount on their entire order at Everything Goes Media so why not take a look! – www.everythinggoesmedia.com

With twenty-five years of experience and a love for books and small-scale enterprise, knowledgeable authors with passion projects, and connecting with readers, we are an independent book publisher forging our own path within the industry establishment. Our books have an initial print run of 2,000 to 10,000, and often reprint. We specialize in choosing nonfiction books for particular audiences, supporting authors’ goals, public outreach, and creative sales and marketing. Our imprints include Everything Goes Media (business, gift, hobby, and lifestyle books), Lake Claremont Press (Chicago and Chicago history titles), Lake Claremont Press: A Chicago Joint (distribution for nonfiction Chicago books), and S. Woodhouse Books (ideas, history, science, trends, and current events titles).


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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author/Illustrator Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I came into writing through my years of working as an illustrator focused on children’s books. I have always been interested in art and drawing, specifically computer graphics, and my style and interests have always been influenced by children’s themes, books and animation. A few years back, I discovered the SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and started attending monthly Illustrator Network meetings in the Chicago area. The group and its mentors share a wealth of knowledge on the industry. Along the way, I started to get more and more interested in the idea of writing and illustrating my own stories. I have been working on a few manuscripts and book dummies I am hoping to pitch later this year.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Usually I do most of my work, both writing and illustrating, from my home office. Instead of having a specific time of day I like to work, I find myself most productive on wintery days when the snow is falling and the world looks so calm and peaceful. Plus, one of the stories I am working on is set in winter, so it helped put me in the right mood. My other favorite time to work is on sunny days with temps in the low 70’s where I can have the window open to get the nice breeze and hear cars, people and animals passing by outside. It makes me feel connected to the community even though at that moment I am alone in my office.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I have learned that both in illustration and storytelling in general the best ideas come from things you know and your own personal experiences. No one can tell those stories better than you, and I think it really connects with the readers much more.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Since I am generally writing for children’s picture books, I usually have a pretty good sense of where the story is going. You have such a small number of pages and limited number of words, so the key is to focus the story text and fill in the gaps with things unsaid via the illustrations. It is that combination which has me so excited about being both author and illustrator.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

The books I have previously illustrated are by author Amy Logan. Her Girl and Boy With A Cape stories focus on acts of kindness: the idea that a small act of kindness can spread around your neighborhood, town, city, and the world. I really enjoy that positive and inspiring type of story. My latest book, Chicago Treasure by Larry Broutman, John Rabias and me, takes classic storybook, fairytale and nursery rhymes and puts a modern spin on them. The illustrations feature photos of real children as the main characters. Our message is one of access and inclusion for all children, regardless of ability. That is a message I am very proud of, and the response to the book has been wonderful.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Chicago Treasure features real children in the illustrations, so I can say, without a doubt, we have our dream cast for this project already. Each one of these children shine. Many asked if they were going to be stars when they were being photographed by Larry Broutman. Many have since gone on to be featured in TV and newspaper articles about the book, so I would say they are in fact stars!

7: Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?

As an author/illustrator, I think it is pretty much a requirement to read all the time. That may be even more true in the children’s book world, as you need to see what types of stories are being told, what styles of illustration are resonating with art directors and audiences, and so on. I try to make it a weekly routine to head to my local library and check out a handful of children’s books to keep myself informed and inspired.   Being so involved in the SCBWI has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many amazing authors and illustrators. Forming a bond with some of them has really taken my love of their books to a new level. Matthew Cordell is high on that list. I even had the honor of getting a portfolio review by him several years ago, and now he is a Caldecott medal winner for his incredible wordless picture book Wolf in the Snow. Another favorite of mine is Don Tate who has authored and/or illustrated several incredible books and is the kindest, most humble guy. I find that so inspiring.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Two of my fellow SCBWI-Illinois friends, Doug Cenko and Alex Willan, just had new books released. I am anxiously awaiting my copies, so I can check them out. Doug’s book, My Mama is a Mechanic, is a follow up to his wonderful My Papa is a Princess. Alex’s book, Jasper & Ollie, is his debut author/illustrated picture book. It was just released earlier this week. It’s always exciting to see your friends/peers have their breakthroughs.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

I recently read the children’s book The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, and I absolutely love it. It is so clever and imaginative. It is a children’s book that is written for the adult reading the book to a child as much as it is for the child. That is my current favorite for sure.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

“Do great work and be great to work with.” I think most of us work really hard at giving our best when it comes to our craft, and that is important. But equally, if not even more important, is to be someone who is also great to work with. That means being upbeat and a positive personality when interacting with others. It means meeting deadlines and making the process go smoothly for all involved in your projects. It is such simple advice but very effective. I share it with everyone, as it’s a small world, and being known as someone that is good to work with will definitely take you places.

One other saying I rely on is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This is so true in all aspects in life. Sometimes you have to say yes to a concept or project before you even really know how you are going to complete it. Say yes to chances and opportunities, even if they scare you (For many writers and illustrators public speaking comes to mind). Stepping outside your comfort zone is certainly scary at first, but you never know where it will lead and how much it will enrich your life along the way!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You can find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/richgreenart, Twitter: @richgreenart and Instagram: @richgreenart or my website www.richgreenart.com

About the Author/Illustrator:

Illustrator Rich Green is a former Disney intern, a computer graphics professional, and the illustrator of several popular children’s books. Although he works mostly digitally, he also enjoys putting pencil to paper and brush to paint. His artworks can be found in regional galleries. Rich lives in Joliet, Illinois, with his faithful dog, Annie.

About the other Author and Illustrator:

Larry Broutman

Since the 1990s, Larry Broutman has traveled the world over to capture the perfect photograph and has found his hometown of Chicago to have a plethora of visual inspiration. Broutman has been interviewed by high-profile television programs, radio shows, newspapers, and art magazines to discuss his critically-acclaimed photography books Chicago Eternal, Chicago Monumental, and Chicago Unleashed. Chicago Monumental has won a Midwest Book Award for best interior design and an IPPY (Independent Publisher) Award in the Great Lakes Nonfiction category.

His photography projects include work with Lincoln Park Zoo, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Children’s Memorial Hospital Clinic, and The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Broutman was a finalist in Africa Geographic magazine’s Photographer of the Year contest.

Broutman attended MIT where he received his S.B., S.M., and doctorate degree in the field of Materials Engineering and Science in 1963. Specializing in Polymer Engineering and Science and Composite Materials, Broutman has vast experience writing college textbooks, reference books, and technical articles. In fact, he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame.

John Rabias

Teacher and magician John Rabias works in digital illustration and post-production imaging and has taught computer graphics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for over twenty years. When not working on screen, John paints in oil. He lives in Chicago with his Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster.

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