Feral Tenderness, by Arthur Rosch, is a poetry and photography collection like no other I’ve ever encountered. I can say this with confidence, because I am the editor and compiler for this book, however it exempts me from posting my opinions of this collection on Amazon. But Writing to be Read is my blog, so I’d like to tell you about this interesting and unique collection of creativity here, taking into account that the author is a friend of mine, so the opinions expressed are likely to be biased. Be that as it may, I’m proud to associate myself with this work of creativity, a collection of poetry and photography worth more than just a casual glance. Arthur’s works need to be savored, like a fine wine, simmered over, like a sweet glaze, and appreciated for their unique and delectable flavors.
As I’ve mentioned on several occassions, Arthur Rosch sees the world in a unique way. Through his creative endeavors, those who care to look are allowed a glimpse of things through his eyes. His photography is amazing. The images that he captures with his lense say so much in a single moment. His poetry, on the other hand, is often a lengthy, social commentary on higher powers, human behavior, or the world at large. Yet, even his short poems seem to have a lot to say.
To illustrate my meaning, the following poem is minimal, yet it speaks volumes. It is my favorite of Arthur’s short snippits of poetry and the only one for which a true companion photo was also available from his photo library for inclusion in the collection.
Dewdrops on spiderwebs:
sit lightly with life
Another of Arthur’s profound poems, “Stars“, declares, in part, (I did mention that some of his poems are rather lengthy, too much so to be reprinted here in full),
” …Stars know what they are.
Stars are alive and individual,
quirky with personality,
often pulsing and drawing
gravity blood, gas and heat,
combining with other stars
combining and mating with other
stars and forming unions of
in order to serve the Master of Stars… “
Another poem is an expression of nature, as seen through Arthur’s eyes. This one is one of my personal favorites.
Hunted By The Hawk
Make joy from stones.
Make wit from mud,
make humor from blood.
The tiny finch flies crazily,
for the sheer fun of it,
though it knows, each morning,
that it’s hunted by the hawk.
We too, each morning,
are hunted by the hawk.
The cover image for Feral Tenderness also came from Arthur’s photo library. With this photo, I was able to create an awesome cover design, if I do say so myself. We created cover images using several of Arthur’s photos, but in the end, this one grabbed both author’s and publisher’s hearts.
The poetry and photos featured in this collection are so varied in subject matter and tone, that several book promotions with very different appeals seemed applicable to me. I used one of Arthur’s photographs for the background of one of them. Can you guess which one? Let me know in the comments which you like better.
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This is not the first time this author has appeared on Writing to be Read as a part of a book tour. At the end of July I had the pleasure of interviewing Scerina Elizabeth as a part of her tour for Nocturnia and Spellbound. Today’s post is a part of the Full Moon Bites book blog tour for her most recent releases, Eternally Yours and Fangalicious Divas, with an excerpt from Ms. Elizabeth’s erotica vampire romance novel, Eternally Yours: Bloodlines. The content may be adult in nature, so this post is for those eighteen and over only.
Unlike my book reviews, where I tell you what I think and rate the work for you, an excerpt speaks for itself and lets the readers decide. So, without further ado…
We all looked at each other, waiting for either Chloe or William to explain it all. It was Chloe who started.
“We had been working for your grandmother for over ten years. I was her housekeeper while William was the groundskeeper. We were the ones who managed the estate when your grandmother fell ill and was unable to handle things on her own. She was a beautiful woman who was the sweetest thing and very generous. She allowed us to live on the estate just above the horse stables. When she was in the last stages of her illness, she told us all about you and your whereabouts. She also told us about your dark family secret which she instructed us to tell you about once you arrived.”
She continued, “Your dark family secret is something you would not believe so for you to truly believe and understand, we must show you.” As she said that, she got up and waited for us by the door that led down to the cellar.
We all followed her down to the cellar where she stood in front of a steel sliding door that was padlocked and chained where she asked me for the keys. Expertly she rifled through the keys to the right one, unlocked the padlock and pulled the chain from the doors. She tossed the chains to the side and stuck the padlock in her pocket. Both she and William pulled the heavy sliding door open. There in front of us was another set of stairs made of stone that looked much older than the house itself. She lit a torch on the wall. Once there was light and we could see better into the stairwell, it looked like something that you would find back in medieval times, like an old dungeon or something. The smell was stale and musty. You could tell no one had been down here in years. She led us down to the lower level of the cellar where at the bottom of the stairs was another heavy, steel, sliding door – chained and padlocked like the one upstairs. She opened the door as she had done before, she knew exactly what she was doing which washed away any doubt I may have had of her. She seemed to know her way around this house and knew much about my family.
The inner room lit up as soon as the doors opened. It looked like a mausoleum, very sterile and white with hints of gold and silver here and there. In the heart of the room, were three white marble slabs and on top of each slab was a coffin.
The one in the middle was an enormous gold coffin with a massive silver crucifix was inlaid with rubies and diamonds in the center of it. Along the sides were more precious gems and it had detailed artwork covering it. It was gorgeous.
The two smaller coffins were bronze with smaller gold crucifixes covered in emeralds and diamonds on them. Just like the center coffin, the two smaller ones had gorgeous detailed artwork.
At the very front of the room in the center, were two silver columns that looked like a doorway. I figured it was mere decorations since two silver columns were not only covered in detailed artwork but more precious gems and diamonds. Not paying much attention and figuring it was just a decoration, I continued to take in the room. It was a family mausoleum clearly and I could understand in a sense why the dark family secret would be kept down here but what I still didn’t understand was – what was it? I was just about to find out because William began to speak.
“What lies in these coffins is your family’s dark secret. From generation to generation your family has watched over and protected the contents of these three coffins. In the center lies your great-great-grandfather Jacob LaBau and in the two smaller coffins lies your great-grandaunts Latrelle & Charlamaine LaBau.
Now what am about to tell you, you will have trouble believing and you might want to have a seat for this next part.” He gestured towards a marble bench on the side of the room and we did as he said.
In April Grey’s Chasing the Trickster, nothing is as it seems. This book brings old world Celtic archetypes into a modern day world with surprising and sometimes confusing results. Two women are one, and one man is actually two, or at least one man and a fertility god. The more that is explained the less that makes sense as the story switches back and forth from past to present until the two finally intertwine to knit together all the pieces of two stories into the one that they were all along. But, that doesn’t end it, because the end is a new beginning and we have to go back to the beginning to understand the end.
Although alternating perspective from first to third person is a bit disconcerting, Grey’s main characters are larger than life and her supporting characters are interesting and colorful. Nina, a gifted photographer whose spirit visions show up in her photographs; Pascal, who shares his physical body with an ancient fertility god; Linda, who has lost everything that is dear to her – they are all chasing the Trickster without knowing it, and the chase won’t end until he catches them. Through Grey’s clearly drawn settings the chase takes readers on a journey from the city streets of New York, New York to the arid deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Trickster is mischievous and doesn’t care who gets hurt carrying out his will. Is it possible for each of them to find a happy ending at the end of the chase? Only when past and present meet will the answers be discovered.
In Bone Wires, Michael Shean creates a techno-world of the future, where cars are equipped with autodrive, dance floors are suspended from the ceiling, and soft drinks have self-chilling mechanism. Shean grabs your attention immediately, and pulls readers into the high-tech world of 2076, where police departments belong to the private sector, making concerns of profits and losses, and public relations often take priority over justice.
Detective Dan Gray wants it all: the promotion, the money, the prestige, the girl and he knows how to play the game to get it. Suddenly, it appears that he has just gotten all of it, at what price?
His new girlfriend, Angie, is connected to a case involving some grissly murders, that is supposed to be closed, but just doesn’t want to stay that way; the same case that propelled him into his new promotion.
He has a hunch things aren’t what they seem, but he doesn’t know who to trust. Everyone seems to have their own agenda: a vice cop that wants to use his girlfriend as a snitch, a coroner and an officer from the evidence room that want to fry the vice cop, a fellow homicide cop that is suddenly looking out for his best interests, a police agency that’s more concerned about profit margins than it is about people and seems content to sweep his case under the rug, and a girlfriend who may have something to hide. Finding the truth may threaten his job and his girl.
Shean has good, clear character development and a main plot, with enough sub-plotting to create tension and keep readers interest. The pacing keeps readers moving right along. Although there are a few typos, the story carries its weight well enough that the distraction caused is minor, if at all. The descriptive language is at times exquisite, as in the following example, found on page 201, (Kindle version):
“By the time he piled himself into the car, he was barely able
to focus. And so he didn’t try. Instead he sat there, sprawled
in the driver’s seat, staring out at the empty street for what felt
like hours as his thoughts warred with one another. Finally out
of the mental carnage came the victor, a sharp thought, a thought
that glowed and smoked as if it were a blade pulled out of a torturer’s
Shean has shown himself to be a talented writer, with Bone Wires. A must read for those who enjoy science fiction, mystery, and dark fiction. There is even a bit of the romance element thrown in. Bone Wires is available at Amazon (Kindle), Amazon (print), Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.
The hunt is on and Thomas Morehart and his sister, Kara are in a race against time to revert to the forms of their primordial species – vicious predators that have the ability to shape shift into human form and live among us. They survive off of human blood and are called vampyre, although they are not counted among the undead. The government is discontinuing the covert operation that rescued them from extermination in Nazi Germany and has sheltered and protected them for years. Now, those of their kind have been targeted for extermination once more, and the only thing that can save them is to rediscover the predators that they once were.
In The Devouring: Kavachi’s Rise, by Mike Kearby, presents a novel interpretation of the vampyre legends offer something to ponder. Even though they could have been developed more, Kearby cleverly turns characters that might be viewed as evil monsters, into protagonists that can be empathized with. The plot for Kavachi’s Rise successfully takes readers on a journey into a world where monsters dwell among us and are controlled by our own government. The only question now is, will the vampyre become predator or prey?