Moments of Joy by Sister Jina van Hengel – Book Review

Moments of Joy is the first ever collection of poems written by Buddhist nun Sister Jina van Hengel. The book is divided into four seasons – Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Each part has poems describing the awareness of moments in the respective seasons.

The poems beautifully tell us how to enjoy everyday life and the little things. This book sheds whole new light on the art of gratitude. The poems are very refreshing and simple. The subjects of the poems are the tiny little things we experience in our day to day life, like sun, rain, breeze, clouds, etc. Sister Hengel succeeded in capturing many simple observations in these poems, thus, composing raw and beautiful poems.

The poems remind us of the importance of living in the present, because that is the only moment that we have. Embracing life and being here and now is the secret of mindfulness. In the current world, achieving mindfulness is greatly difficult. We always get carried away by concerns about various things and we fail to experience the present.

A poem says, 

“The village cemetery
A garden of wild flowers
Pink! Yellow! Purple!”

I’ve never read a comparison like this in my life. It gave me immense peace of mind to think of a cemetery and see a garden of wild flowers. Isn’t it amazing? There are many incredible poems like this in the book which make you see the world in an entirely different manner. Reading this book was a meditation in itself, for me.  

Sister Jina van Hengel, a direct monastic student of Thich Nhat Hanh, is famous for her Zen poetry. Zen emphasizes strict self-restraint, meditation-practice and insight into the nature of mind. I believe the essence of it all can be seen in each gem of the poem in this book. 

The book is releasing on October 27th, 2020. I feel absolutely privileged for the opportunity to read this book before the world does. My utmost gratitude to Parallax Press and Penguin Publishing Group for sharing the advance reviewer’s copy with me. 

The Four Profound Weaves by R. B. Lemberg – Book Review

The Four Profound Weaves is a queer fairy tale written extremely well by R. B. Lemberg. I’ve never read something so deep in the recent times. I would say, I felt like I was taken to the Surun lands on a magical carpet. An absolute treat to the reader. Choosing two older transgenders as the protagonists is totally amazing and brave. 

Wind: To match one’s body with one’s heart
Sand: To take the bearer where they wish
Song: In praise of the goddess Bird
Bone: To move unheard in the night  

Uiziya is in search of her Aunt Benesret, who is a master weaver, to learn the final weave among the four profound weaves. After living the life of a woman for a long time, a nameless man struggles with his new found masculinity. Uiziya and nameless man are now together on a strange journey in search of answers to some strange questions. You must read the book to know how they both dealt with the Collector, the evil Iyar ruler in the end. The story is about how they both find their way and embrace their identities in this hostile world.

It amazes me how the author takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of the emotional, physical and intellectual journey of the two protagonists. The magic, spells, musings, dark powers and magical carpets.. everything felt so real and authentic. A must read. The book is out now.

The Last To Know by Jo Furniss – Book Review

The Last To Know is an interesting mystery from the pen of author Jo Furniss. She is an experienced journalist who travelled across the world and maybe that’s why she could write this story so well. 

Rose is from America and her husband Dylan is from England. They decide to move to Dylan’s homeland which is a beautiful village called Hurtwood. The family mansion is on the top of the hill with nothing nearby except for the river flowing by. Rose finds it greatly difficult to adjust to this new place and especially can’t trust her mother-in-law who seems to be a little forgetful, reclusive and secretive.

The family name of Dylan, Kynaston seems to be a dreadful thing to say among the villagers. Rose has no idea why it is that the villagers stare at her and why they whisper as soon as she enters any place. Some secret which is more than twenty years old seems to be the key to all that is happening around. 

Sergeant Ellie takes up the investigation of the remains of the human body that is accidentally found down the hill, during an archaeological tv show. Ellie is determined to solve the case, no matter what.Rose on the other hand starts her own investigation in order to find out the truth behind all this and when Dylan becomes a suspect, Rose puts forth her best efforts to clear his name. 

The entire story is very gripping and I’m in love with all the female characters. Rose, Elllie and to my surprise, Rose’s mother-in-law are incredibly strong women. 

The village set up of Hurtwood is incredibly beautiful. The family mansion of Dylan, the outhouse, the hill, the river, everything is described in great detail by the author. I, literally, was transported to the village while I read the book. Loved it, absolutely.

The book is out now, go ahead, buy it and dive into this gripping mystery.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass – Book Review

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass is an interesting thriller story of a Psychologist, Dr. Faith Finley. It gripped me from the very first scene. 

Faith, who has achieved a lot in spite of her terrible childhood, suddenly starts losing everything. Her reputation is the first to go. In turn, it takes a complete toll on her relationship with her husband, Liam. Faith is a renowned Psychologist and an author, helps many women to come out of abusive relationships through her radio program and book “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”.

The entire story takes a U-turn when Liam who was first assumed to obsonding, is found dead. Faith becomes the prime suspect. With all the negative publicity that has ruined her reputation already, it becomes greatly difficult for her to prove her innocence. She starts receiving threats. 
Amidst these scary situations, she finds it hard to find an ally. The story takes multiple twists and turns and I had to keep guessing. But, the climax, I didn’t see it coming. It was a complete surprise. 

This is an incredible attempt for a debut author. Seraphina Nova Glass succeeded in maintaining the thrill and suspense hanging in the air all the while I was reading. I absolutely loved the way she analyzed various human behaviors through her characters. 

The book is on sale from July 28th, 2020. A wonderful read, especially if you are a thrill-seeker. 

A Little Pill Called Love by Jas T. Ward – Book Review


Author: Jas T. Ward
Title: A Little Pill Called Love
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: July 11, 2020
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: BookSmith Design
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 Available now! 
All other links: books2read.com/littlepill
A quirky character in her own colorful world. A man who struggles to see beyond black and white. With heartbreak and healing, A Little Pill Called Love is just the prescription for a little laughter, twists to heal, and a love that demands to be heard. 

Rylie Marshall has blue, green, yellow, and a mixture of pills that made her “normal.” But her idea of normal and what her mother or society wanted her to be never seemed to match up. 

She lives day-by-day in a fantasy land within her own troubled head and books. Reading was her escape whenever even her head denied her such a haven. So, how was she to know that one day, sitting on the beach, a book would show her the one thing she didn’t have, but might change her life…

Love.

Mike Newport had white, yellow, and striped pills that made him capable of being one of the most cut-throat corporate marketing advisers his clients could have. Not even a life-changing tragedy could slow him down. 

His days and most nights were spent with his head buried in flow charts, graphs, and spreadsheets. Busy was the best way–the heart could easily be ignored as it was dying inside his chest. 

The last thing he needed was a vacation, but how was he to know that a carefree girl, playing in the waves and talking to the birds might give him the one thing he had been avoiding…

Love.

From bestselling author Jas T. Ward comes a touching, quirky, fun, and gritty readA Little Pill Called Love, rebranded, edited, and published by Hot Tree Publishing.

 Available now! 

( A Little Pill Called Love by Jas T. Ward is the most romantic story I have read lately. Rylie and Mike meet in very strange circumstances. Rylie’s honesty takes Mike’s breath away. After the terrible heartbreak from his past experience, Mike buries himself deep in work and meeting targets. When he meets Rylie on the beach with her bicycle on his forced vacation, Mike couldn’t believe that she is real.
Rylie on the other hand has a difficult life. It always is complicated when you are abused by your own mother. Rylie’s mother makes her believe that she is sick and keeps Rylie on drugs everyday. She is forced to take so many pills.
Destiny brings Rylie and Mike together. The story unfolds when Rylie realizes that her mother was never honest with her. She, then, fights for herself with the help of her sweet neighbor and also with the strength that Mike’s love gave her.
Love is all we need.. the sweet little pill, helping us pick up the broken pieces and fight all the odds. Wonderfully written by Jas Ward. I read this book in one sitting. Loved it, absolutely. )