#BOOK REVIEWS: Poetry, Memoir, Fantasy

Recently, I’ve ordered new paperbacks as if they’ll be obsolete tomorrow! And I’m truly enjoying the various genres: poetry, memoir, and fantasy. From the books I share today, I have been prompted to sigh over love-infused prose and verse. Visions from my past have come to life through some flash memoirs, and my attention has been captivated after venturing into an exciting new world of fantasy. I am thrilled to share three wonderful books that I gave Five-Star reviews in hope that you will be inspired to read them as well.

Memoirs of a Star” by Diana Menezes is a collection of extraordinary word weaving in poetic form. Life and love provide inspiration in all their glory and despair. Both can be joyful and messy. There are times when hope feels lost for eternity. But Diana reminds us that the stars continue to shine as though covering us in a blanket of magic. Even if the dark shadows grow, light will glow again.

Diana’s writing is lovely and enchanting, prompting the reader to feel heartbreak, elation, inspiration, or to sigh for a love felt deeply. I have dog-eared many favorites in my paperback, but these are a few that resonated: “The Wrong Road Home” tugged at my heart as I thought of the elderly who find themselves alone in their last chapter of life. After reading, I felt grateful that my dad still had his three daughters to care for him after my mom passed away. “Tangled Moonlight” speaks to a heart that will never let go – the epitome of unquestionable true love. “I Will Stand” inspires us to let go of past mistakes so that we can find our way out of the darkness. “To Have is To Hope” reiterates that we are visitors on this planet, that we have always been together though on different paths, and to remember the promise of a new day and a new hope. Highly recommended for poetry lovers who enjoy entrancing verse about the joys and challenges life and love offer us.

“Flashes of Life” by Pamela S. Wight is a delightful collection of memories spanning from childhood to motherhood to becoming a grandmother. I read this beautiful book in two days, sitting on my patio, the warm breeze embracing me like a friendly hug. Pam writes with authenticity, easily drawing the reader into her marvelous world. In every story I felt love. From her humor, I laughed for my neighbors to hear. In the touching stories, tears found freedom. Several of her narratives take place in Marin County, California where I reside, providing lovely and familiar visuals.

I felt a connection with many of her tales. “Good Morning, Moonshine” describes my stage in life perfectly, making me laugh, especially from these lines, “…we women have gotten a bum rap. Finally, when we’re over that certain age – too old to have babies screaming for a bottle or teenagers breaking a midnight curfew – so we can finally sleep undisturbed, our bodies won’t let us.” “Nap Time” evokes precious memories of when my children were little (now in their late twenties). The chapter, “For the Dogs” touched me as I have received the love of many canines over the years. I’ve also felt the tremendous loss and void in my life when they passed on. “Buttercups, Bollywood, and World Peace” had me dancing in the living room too. If anyone asked which story was my favorite, I couldn’t choose just one. I loved them all!

“Flashes of Life” parallels to the sweet and spicy of a slice of gingerbread – a perfect read for anyone needing a laugh and not afraid to shed a tear or two. Highly recommended!

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch” by D. Wallace Peach is a fast-moving, gripping nautical fantasy where the merrow rule the sea. Panmar, the Sea Witch, swims into the spotlight, luring the readers onto a choppy ride to the dark side with her hungry appetite for human sacrifices. Callum, the second main character, becomes the ferryman, finding himself trapped in a disturbing bargain with the Sea Witch. In addition to Panmar and Callum, Diana adds realistic nuances to the other characters as well, where I felt genuine empathy for some and loathed others without question.

With each turn of the page, the reader becomes curious to learn what transpires between two warring nations: Brid Clarion luxuriating in wealth, and Haf Killick, a floating city of dilapidated ships. Diana’s descriptive writing and world-building is so vivid and real that I felt as though I stood on the Windwraith, balancing to the sea’s rhythm, with Callum an arm’s length away. I was swept into this dark fantasy with turbulent twists and turns but was surprised with the touch of romance. Another fantasy tale of beauty and excellent writing that I could not put down. Readers who revel in Diana’s creative storytelling, fantasy genre devotees, and those seeking something different than their usual choices will love this fantastic nautical adventure. Highly recommended!

If your interest was piqued, simply click on the “Buy on Amazon” below each book image to purchase your copy.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

~Lauren ❤️❤️❤️

49 thoughts on “#BOOK REVIEWS: Poetry, Memoir, Fantasy

  1. I read thousands of books, due to my profession, and have 10,000 books now, including Diana’s and yours, now I am writing my blog, there is very little time for something new.


    1. Hi Joanna,

      I completely understand and I appreciate you supporting Diana and I. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and have a wonderful weekend.
      ~Lauren 💗

  2. I am familiar with Diana’s poetry, she always incorporates a streak of light in her words. I know her book must be enchanting, as you say. I admire D. Peach for various reasons but her poetic prose always wins my heart. Pam’s stories are amazing, I have her new book on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing your lovely reviews Lauren.

    1. Beautiful description of Diana’s poetry, Balroop. And anything D. Peach writes is amazing, her poetry and fantasy adventures. I really enjoyed Pam’s memoirs and I’m sure you will too. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and support for these fabulous authors and for your beautiful words about my reviews. I’m currently working on a review for your book, along with a few others – loved your Slivers of Chiseled Poetry. 💕

  3. Oh Lauren, I am utterly humbled by you taking time to write a review for my book in a post!!! I cannot even begin to express my thanks and gratitude! ‘The Wrong Road Home’ was one of the very first poems I wrote when I started my writing journey. I’m so glad it resonated with you 🥰.
    I cannot thank you enough for this beautiful review. Stay blessed my dear. I liked the reviews you left for the other two books as well.. will surely check them out! 💖💖🤗🌹🙏

    1. You’re very welcome, Diana, and your beautiful book is deserving of a beautiful review. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely words too and I’m grateful you’re happy with my review. Thanks also for wanting to check out the other books. ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Lauren. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the characters, the twists and turns, and the roll of the ship! I’m so grateful that you read and enjoyed the the book. Thanks also for the introduction to Diana Menezes’ poetry. I love beautiful language and her book sounds captivating. I’m read Pam’s Flashes of Life and couldn’t agree more with your enthusiastic review. Thanks again for the review and for sharing it here on your blog. ❤

    1. I’m so glad you’re happy with my review, Diana. I still feel like a novice and hope I’m doing right by the authors. 🙂 I’m happy you agree with me about Pam’s book too and I know you’ll enjoy Diana’s poetry. You’re very welcome and thanks for your kind words. Hugs 💕

      1. Haha, thanks for the vote of confidence, Diana. They are good to write and great practice, along with helping out the authors. But I like the part of just having fun writing them. 🙂 My pleasure! 🥰

    2. So glad that Lauren included your sea witch and ferryman here with my book and Diana’s poems, Diana. I finished your book while at the sea (shore) and what a perfect complement to walks on the beach. I kept looking for your characters – they are so real-to-life. LOVED this book and will review as soon as I finish the laundry from vacation. 🙂 Lauren did a great job….

      1. It was a wonderful surprise, Pam. And appreciated as always. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, but I’m glad you didn’t run into any merrow. They’re best avoided. Lol. Yeah, laundry. Just be sure to keep the vacation glow.

  5. Fantastic reviews Lauren! I am currently reading Diana’s book, and although only half through, I concur with all you wrote. I also look forward to Pam’s book, and thank you for the introduction to the other Diana’s book. Hugs ❤

    1. Thank you, Debby. I’m delighted to hear you’re reading The Ferryman and hope it isn’t too dark for you! ((( ❤ ❤ Here are some hugs to counter that))). And you'll love Pam's book – a wonderful tonic for the soul. ❤

  6. My head has been in the sand (almost literally) as I’m just back from a “seashore” vacation to read this fabulous post on three delightful books (yikes, yes, I’m including mine ’cause – you said so!) 🙂 Interestingly, I finished reading Diana’s Sea Witch book just as my ocean vacation began, and I promise you, i was looking for the merrans and that sea witch on my early morning walks along the shoreline. I fell in love with the characters in this book and HIGHLY recommend it to everyone, whether a fantasy reader or not. But yes, I got a little seasick now and then while on the adventures with the ferryman.
    I look forward to reading Diana Menezes’ poems as fall begins. Her poems sound synonymous in theme to my short flashes. Can’t wait to know Diana and her poetry soon.
    And as for your review of my Flashes of Life – thanks so much, Lauren. I am so grateful that you enjoyed my book and that some of the stories made you laugh out loud. I’ll admit, one or two of them still bring tears to my eyes (particularly the one about my grandparents and an “Imperfect Love”). I knew you’d recognize some of the Marin County and San Francisco settings. What a wonderful feeling to come home to your excellent stupendous review. ❤

    1. I’m laughing out loud again, thinking of you looking for Panmar! Good thing you didn’t find her! 🙂 But It’s great that you’ve already read Diana’s amazing book. I’m hooked now in reading fantasy and more of hers and Teagan’s. I’m also glad that you’ll visit Diana as well. Her poetry is absolutely beautiful. Yes, I could relate to many of your stories. I loved that one about sleep. You were spot on! I had so many favorites, but really, the entire collection is one big favorite! Thanks so much for your beautiful words about my review. I’m happy you loved it! 💗🤗

      1. Before I “met” Diana Peach’s books and characters, I didn’t think I liked fantasy. Now I’m hooked on anything she writes, and completely enamored with Teagan’s Journey series (on Journey 8 right now). To offset the fantasy, it’s a sweet salve to read poetry by poets like Balroop, you, and now Diana. xo

      2. That’s exactly how I feel, Pam, and thanks for including me in the poetry group. 🙂 I don’t know if you’ve read my two books, but my third is finally nearing the finish line. I told you about it, but the process went slower than anticipated. Anyway, like you, I’m very excited and eager to see it finished. Take good care and keep entertaining with your wonderful writing. xo

  7. Lauren, three superb and descriptive reviews. As you know I’ve read and reviewed Pam’s book and love the examples you shared here. I love Diana’s latest book and having read many of hers I wonder if this isn’t my favourite. You capture it beautifully and your sentence here is what surprised me particularly yet was a winning factor for me: ‘ I was swept into this dark fantasy with turbulent twists and turns but was surprised with the touch of romance.’

    Thank you for introducing me to Diana Menzie and her ‘Memoirs of a Star’ is now on my TBR list – a very special and unique book that I look forward to exploring soon.

    1. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Annika. I’m happy to read that you’re on board with Diana’s book of fantasy too, and that you’ll explore Diana’s poetry. I know you won’t be disappointed. By the way, I’ll add a plug that I’ll be promoting my new memoir soon, hopefully next week. 🙂 Patience is a virtue, isn’t it? Hugs, my friend!

    2. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Annika. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, and I know you enjoyed Pam’s from your fabulous review. And always wonderful to get a recommendation for something new.
      And Lauren… looking forward to your memoir! I’ll keep an eye out. Congrats.

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