It’s Up to You, the Reader

New Years is almost here and what writer doesn’t include in their list of resolutions a resolve to improve their writing? In 2010, I had the privilege of reviewing many truly good reads, by some really awesome authors. With 2011 just around the corner, I thought it might be beneficial to take a look at those reviews to see what worked and what didn’t. The only problem is I don’t really have an unbiased opinion, so I thought that I’d leave it up to you. So, here are links to twenty-two book reviews, both here and on the Southern Colorado Literature Examiner. Please take a look at them, if you haven’t already,  and then vote for the ones that you think are the best in the comments section. You can choose more than one, but please include a brief explanation as to why you liked each particular review, or why you didn’t, so that I can identify areas that might need some work. If you read the book, do you agree or disagree with my review? I will approve all comments as long as they are not downright nasty. Next week I will publish a list of the top reviews, according to you, the readers. I couldn’t do it without you.

“The Ruby Notebook” holds the key to many secrets

When “Mosquito” gets hold of you, it sucks you in and doesn’t let go

Anna Strong is a force to be reckoned with in “Chosen”

Storyline in “The Truth Comes Out” keeps readers guessing

You’ll think twice about water after reading “Water Hazard”  

“Reprisal! The Eagle Rises” gives readers something to think about

“I’ll Be There to Write the Story” – A true tale that will touch your heart and stir your spirit

“The Last Lie”: a perplexing tale that will keep readers guessing

“Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” Inspires and Delights  

“Killing the Cobra” is packed with action

“The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station” is delightfully entertaining for all ages

“The Secret to Lying” holds the key to more than one secret

“Raw Edges: A Memoir”: a journey of self discovery and revelation

“Star in the Forest”, a glimpse of reality through a young girl’s eyes

Pamela Clare brings another sizzling romance in, “Naked Edge”

“The Spirit Lens”, a spellbinding tale that will captivate readers

“From the Spleen of Fiery Dragons”, by Mishka Zacharin  

From the Old Blog to the New – Reviews of “Demon Hunter: The Chosen One” and “Demon Hunter: Seek and Destroy”

“The Fishing Trip: A Ghost Story”, by Chris Keys  

“Beneath the Mask of Holiness” depicts the human side of Thomas Merton

“The Secret of Everything” is an absolute must read

“From the Spleen of Fiery Dragons”, by Mishka Zacharin

Here is another review that was originally posted on the site. A unique collection of poetry that delves into this very unique poet. Enjoy.

"From the Spleen of Fiery Dragons", by Mishka Zacharin


“From the Spleen of Fiery Dragons” by Mishka Zahkarin
I truly enjoyed some of the poetry included in this anthology by Mishka Zahkarin, as poetry is one of my favorite genres. The poetry included in “From the Spleen of Fiery Dragons” is unique and unusual, ranging from beautiful love sonnets, reminiscent of Shakespeare, to the truly bizarre and disturbing. Obviously, Zahkarin’s talent runs the gamut of poetic form and style, with some rhyming and some not, but most speaking of the bleak existence of one who searches for more, but doesn’t really expect to find it, (which is kind of depressing), intermixed with the poetry of love, (or at least, lust), that takes you aback and makes you draw in breath:

In Our Place
In waking dreams,
she comes to me…
I see passion in her eyes—
believe it the tempest of a kiss…
I feel her touch,
The urgency of her embrace,
                  flesh to flesh,
minds and bodies intermingling…
the inferno of our desires
rampaging unchecked,
each’s essence surging
through the other,
as if two souls
                might soar as one…

Humor finds a place within Zahkarin’s works, as well, leaving no choice but to chuckle:

MEAT! (reprise)
I told her we should pork—
but she said not to give her any beef…
I said she was only acting chicken—
but she told me: “Go fish!”
(I haven’t got any nines…)

The poetry of Mishka Zahkarin is rich and varied, and definitely worth reading. It reminded me of all the reasons that I love to write poetry: the freedom it allows; the structure it offers; the fun of playing with words that it offers… In The Spleen of Fiery Dragons, it is evident that each and every poem, whether you like them or not, is written straight from the inner fire of his being; emotion and feeling pouring forth. His small anthology was very enjoyable and I would recommend it to poetry lovers from all backgrounds, as there seems to be a little something in there for everyone.