Category: Book Reviews

Executive Power by Vince Flynn

1 New York Times bestselling author of American Assassin—now a major motion picture

I have yet to find a Mitch Rapp story I wanted to put down!

Bestselling author Vince Flynn—“the best pure adrenaline-charged action writer out there today” (The Providence Journal)—puts Mitch Rapp in the crossfire as America’s enemies tighten their grip.

Returning from a covert mission, Mitch Rapp was publicly hailed by the president for his role in the fight against terrorism. After years of working in the shadows, Rapp was caught in the media spotlight—and marked for death by virtually every terrorist in the world. Now a CIA advisor, Rapp, is ready to battle terror far from the front lines. But when a Navy SEAL team in the Philippines is ambushed, all evidence points to a leak within the US State Department. And a greater threat lurks—a ruthless assassin working for the most powerful men in the Middle East, who are bent on igniting a world war. With the world watching, Rapp must hold back the flames of Armageddon…

My thoughts …

Mitch Rapp has now been promoted and given a desk job. However, he very unhappy in this new position. While he misses being in the field, his new bride worries about losing her new husband if he continues his former “wet work,” won’t have it any other way. However, when Mitch develops a plan to free the American hostages from the Muslim terrorists in the Philippines, he can’t resist the opportunity to take a lead role. Unfortunately, he pays a stiff price for his transgression.

Once the hostage rescue is over, Mitch moves on to tracking down an unusual and particularly shrewd lone-wolf Palestinian terrorist named David

David, a Palestinian, twists his way throughout the rest of this intriguing narrative. With the financial backing of a wealthy rogue Saudi prince playboy who sails around the world on his luxurious mega-yacht, David is scheming to force Israel to the peace table by staging terror acts that Israel will be blamed for. His plan seems to be working when Mossad’s hard-liner spy chief takes the bait on the first one. As part of his plan, David hopes to eliminate obstacles to real Middle East peace – by killing key players on both sides.

The Vince Flynn “Mitch Rapp” books continually get better. It’s tough to put one down once you’ve started. I am a big fan, and I highly recommend them for action/adventure junkies like me.

Behold, an Ashen Horse

A gripping alternative history by Lee and Vista Boyland

Description

Alternative history is fiction based on the assumption one or more historical events happened differently. For example, what if President Lincoln had not been assassinated, how would Lincoln’s survival have affected America?

Behold, an Ashen Horse is the second novel of a five book (so far) series based upon three alternate historical events: (1) the Soviet Union attempted to copy both of the Atomic Bombs developed by the Manhattan Project; (2) al-Qaeda obtained several atomic devices; and (3) President Bush was not reelected in 2004.

Islamists believe they have to convert the world to Islam ruled by Shariah Law and they will use any weapon available to kill infidels. Now they have used nuclear devices to destroy five U.S. cities. George Alexander, the secretary of Homeland Security is the only surviving senior government official and it is up to him to save the nation. Once again America is blessed by having right man for the job. Alexander forms a working government, pulls the nation together, deals with hostile nations, domestic jihads, unhappy progressive-liberals, and the new Caliphate before seeking retribution from those responsible.

Alexander is statesman president who puts America’s need first. Much of this story is found in today’s news.

After this novel was released in 2007, the authors received several emails in 2008 asking if Donald Trump was President Alexander? We answered maybe. Now readers can answer the question for themselves.

Behold, an Ashen Horse is a frighteningly realistic story of events after a nuclear 9/11.

My thoughts …

This is the second book in a series by this author. I have actually not read the first book, titled Rings of Allah, but I still enjoyed this one immensely. I did read Revolution 2016 by this author and really liked it as well.

In this story, President George Alexander, the Secretary of Homeland Security in the previous installment, must decide how to defend the United States and get the government operational again after a nuclear attack takes out 5 major U.S. cities, the President, his cabinet, and the Congress.

The new president stops apologizing for America and throws political correctness right out the window as he fights to hold the nation together and identify those responsible for the horrific attack. And when he lets loose the dogs of war, the new president puts the entire world on notice.

I was struck by how well the authors blend this narrative into current events and the internal strife currently dividing our nation, making the possibilities this alternative history present hit just a little to close for comfort.

Lee Boyland is a veteran and an accomplished writer with extensive knowledge of military weapons, the armed forces, the structure of the American government. He is quite knowledgeable about Islam. I have read several books on Islam as well as the Koran. While this is clearly an alternative history, you only need to read an honest English language version of the Koran to confirm the plausible reality of Boyland’s narrative.

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy this kind of fiction.

My First Frank Luca Mystery

The Grandpa Killer (A Luca Mystery, Book 10)

Two eighty-year-old victims … had roofies in their system. Why would someone give the victims a date-rape drug?

Luca has heard the rumors, and now there’s an official complaint. A high-end assisted-living community’s ownership has been accused of abuse. It seems like a straightforward matter to investigate, but is there something more sinister going on? Is this about euthanasia or greed? Luca thinks there may be a third option.

With a plate full of burglary investigations, one of which led to the victims being pistol-whipped, Luca is swamped. Will he be able to unravel the clues and get to the truth?

His gut says there’s a connection … but who is behind it? Is it only about a payday?

About the author …

Dan gets his story ideas by exploring the question, What if? In almost every situation, he starts thinking, what if this happened? What if this person died, was hurt, or did something wrong or illegal. It provides him with plenty of material to weave into exciting stories. Dan is a fan of books and films that have twists and turn and are difficult to predict. He crafts his stories to keep the reader from guessing the outcome correctly.

Dan passionately believes people can realize their dreams if they focus and act, and he encourages just that.

His favorite saying is – ‘The price of discipline is always less than the cost of regret’

Dan also reminds people to get negativity out of their lives. He feels it is contagious and advises people to steer clear of negative people.

Married, and with two daughters and a needy Maltese, Dan lives in Southwest Florida. A New York native, Dan teaches at local colleges, writes novels, and plays tenor saxophone in several jazz bands. He also drinks way too much wine.

My thoughts …

The Grandpa Killer is the first book by Dan Pertosini that I have read. It is #10 in his Frank Luca detective series. In the story, there seems to be an inordinate number of deaths occurring in a retirement home. While on the surface, everything seems reasonable, one concerned relative thinks there is something sinister going on and demands the police investigate. The case falls into the lap of a homicide detective named Frank Luca.

The author did a great job conveying what it must be like to be a police officer working on a problematic homicide case while dealing with unique challenges at home. Luca has an exciting job hunting down killers, an amazing wife, and a daughter, of which he is very proud. But, when his wife receives some bad news, Luca has to balance his family issues and an increasingly intriguing conspiracy theory that leads Luca down a twisting, murderous rabbit hole. And it is a theory that is viable enough to make readers think.

I found the plot to be well-developed and the characters interesting. I also found the book stands very well on its own, which is great since I have read none of the previous books in the series. Some interesting twists and turns will keep readers guessing, and the ending is very satisfying. The Grandpa Killer is a compelling mystery story that readers will enjoy—definitely recommended.

And, if you enjoy reading a good action-adventure story, check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! It’s getting really great reviews.

FORTITUDE: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics.

In 2012, on his third tour of duty, an improvised explosive device left Dan Crenshaw’s right eye destroyed and his left blinded. Only through the careful hand of his surgeons, and what doctors called a miracle, did Crenshaw’s left eye recover partial vision. And yet, he persevered, completing two more deployments. Why? There are certain stories we tell ourselves about the hardships we face — we can become paralyzed by adversity or we can adapt and overcome. We can be fragile or we can find our fortitude. Crenshaw delivers a set of lessons to help you do just that.

Most people’s everyday challenges aren’t as extreme as surviving combat, and yet our society is more fragile than ever: exploding with outrage, drowning in microaggressions, and devolving into divisive mob politics. The American spirit — long characterized by grit and fortitude — is unraveling. We must fix it.

That’s exactly what Crenshaw accomplishes with FORTITUDE. This book isn’t about the problem, it’s about the solution. And that solution begins with each and every one of us. We must all lighten up, toughen up, and begin treating our fellow Americans with respect and grace.

FORTITUDE is a no-nonsense advice book for finding the strength to deal with everything from menial daily frustrations to truly difficult challenges. More than that, it is a roadmap for a more resilient American culture. With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing “safety culture” of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons from history and psychology is Crenshaw’s own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs went from war zones to the halls of Congress — and managed to navigate his path with a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.

About the author …

Dan Crenshaw served as a Navy SEAL for a decade, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After being wounded in Helmand Province in 2012, he lost his right eye and required surgery to save the vision in his left. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, one with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. Retiring from the military in 2016, Crenshaw earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2017. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2018, where he represents the Second Congressional District of Texas. He lives with his wife, Tara, and two dogs, Joey and Luna, in Houston.

My thoughts …

Dan Crenshaw is clearly a man with a mission. His book, Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage, is a call to action for all Americans who love this country to make a stand against the destructive culture of outrage and the ‘cancel culture’ that has permeated our society. Crenshaw approaches this problem with the same professionalism and attention to detail that makes the US Navy SEALs the highly effective elite military force they are.

Crenshaw clearly illustrates what it means to be a thinking American. His perspectives, while they will certainly be shocking and abhorrent to those bent on ‘fundamentally transforming’ this country into the next Venezuela, are rooted in common sense and the preservation of the United States of America as a sovereign nation.

Like Crenshaw, I believe that in this great country, you certainly have the right to live your life as you choose within the social contract provided by the rule of law. However, your rights end where they infringe on the rights of others. And, you do not have the right to never be offended. Being offended is a personal choice, controlled by the individual. You also do not have the right to erase history, destroy public or private property, or destroy the very country that protects the freedoms you choose to exercise.

There is nothing new in his ideas. Crenshaw’s book is a concise and practical restatement of things most Americans already know and believe. Unfortunately, a few too many have forgotten, being raised in a setting of unearned affluence and elitist attitudes. This has created a generation with skewed views of ungratefulness, arrogance, ignorance, shamelessness, and egocentrism.

As a former US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander, decorated war veteran, and congressman for the state of Texas, Crenshaw brings the full prowess of his training as a SEAL to bear in his research and viewpoints. His mental toughness, worldly experience, and practical insight offer real insight into combating the subjective softness and perpetual state of outrage so many people in America suffer from today .

I rate this book 5 stars and recommend highly to anyone who might be just a bit concerned at the direction some are trying to take this country in.

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here! And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com!

No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid

No Ordinary Dog is the powerful true story of a SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life.

Two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011. After the mission, only one name was made public: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This is Cairo’s story, and that of his handler, Will Chesney, a SEAL Team Operator whose life would be irrevocably tied to Cairo’s.

Starting in 2008, when Will was introduced to the SEAL canine program, he and Cairo worked side by side, depending on each other for survival on hundreds of critical operations in the war on terrorism. But their bond transcended their service. Then, in 2011, the call came: Pick up your dog and get back to Virginia. Now.

What followed were several weeks of training for a secret mission. It soon became clear that this was no ordinary operation. Cairo was among the first members of the U.S. military on the ground in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the successful elimination of bin Laden.

As Cairo settled into a role as a reliable “spare dog,” Will went back to his job as a DEVGRU operator until a grenade blast in 2013 left him with a brain injury and PTSD. Unable to participate in further missions, he suffered from crippling migraines, chronic pain, memory issues, and depression. Modern medicine provided only modest relief. Instead, it was up to Cairo to save Will’s life once more―and then up to Will to be there when Cairo needed him the most.

My thoughts …

This book is absolutely outstanding!

No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney and Joe Layden is a fantastic story told (and read … I listened to the Audible book) by Will himself. The book is written as a tribute to his K9 partner, Cairo. It details the story of Chesney’s service with the US Navy SEALs, his decision to become a K9 handler, and the incredible bond and partnership that developed between these two SEAL warriors.

I am a dog lover, are you?

If you are a dog lover, this book is a MUST READ! It is simply an incredible story of loyalty, courage, sacrifice, commitment, and love. It is a moving tribute to a fantastic dog, a loyal partner, and a best friend. We are truly blessed that Will Chesney chose to share his story with us! It is a book I guarantee you will not want to put down!

The introduction is one of the best I have ever read and brought a tear to my eye. The book just gets better from there. The descriptions of training, missions, and the time Chesney and Cairo spent together have you right there living in the moment. At the same time, the stories of missions are well-done and informative, but not graphic or in danger of giving away any military secrets.

No spoilers, but the part of the story where the author is recovering from a severe injury, and Cairo comes to his rescue, was incredibly moving. Later, when Cairo is in real need, Chesney returns the favor. If you are not at least brought to the verge of tears, you are not human.

I absolutely recommend this book and give it 5 stars, only because that’s where the scale stops. This incredible story is off the scale. You can check the book out on Amazon by clicking here!

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here! And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com!

Revolution 2016: Take Back America

This “entertaining” read is based on a satirical plot where Democrats win control of the House and Senate in 2014 and pass sweeping gun control and greenhouse gas legislation. Unintended consequences soon follow.

Events are similar to what is occurring in 2019. Anarchists step out of the shadows. Constitutionalists and gun owners rally to defend their Second and Fourth Amendment rights. States begin to defy the federal government and clashes occur. The military must choose between obeying their Commander in Chief’s illegal orders or supporting their oath to defend the Constitution against domestic and foreign enemies. Resistance begins in various locations and then spreads across the nation. Patriots rally to take back America.

Could this happen in post 2020?

My thoughts …

First, let me again point out that this is a satirical work, and as Lee Boyland states himself, it is clearly over the top. It is also a great read!

The author spins current events into a prophetic tale that can’t help but make you say, “hmmmmm.” This book has it all … political correctness run amok, destroying the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments, and crooked Teflon-coated “deep state” politicians that put their agenda over the welfare of the country.

The narrative reads well, and I finished it in a couple of days. I did not want to put it down, but as you know, life sometimes gets in the way. I had to take a few breaks from reading.

The story does have a potentially happy ending but takes the reader through a scenario that I hope America will not have to endure. Sometimes I do wonder, as I look at the devolution of our society today if our America will continue to exist for future generations or will we simply devolve into another failed nanny state.

Many American’s will enjoy this excellent read. I also found it a bit reassuring to see that others view the current political situation in this country like I sometimes do. I give this book 5 Stars.

The Gray Man by Mark Greaney

THE FIRST GRAY MAN NOVEL FROM #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MARK GREANEY

“Hard, fast, and unflinching—exactly what a thriller should be.”—Lee Child

To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.

But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive…

My thoughts …

Just wow! If you like fast-paced action bordering on unbelievable, you will not be able to put the book down!

The main character in The Gray Man, Court Gentry, is badder than James Bond, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Wolverine all rolled up into one. The action moves at a superhuman rate. You will certainly not be bored.

The question is … is it even close to realistic? The answer is no, In fact, it is about as unrealistic as any book can be. I’ve never read a book in this genre that has more action combined with a hero who takes that kind of punishment and then walks away like Deadpool.

I really did like the book and I will probably read the series but it is more of a superhero book than a political thriller based in any kind of reality.

If super-fast-paced wild and violent thrillers are your thing, this one is a must!

I will admit I wrestled a bit with the star rating, but I did thoroughly enjoy the read. So, I will have to go with 4 stars. However, I can see why some reviewers think it is over the top and give it lower star ratings. And, if superhero stories are your thing, you will probably give it a solid 5 stars.

I hope you will take the time to check out some of my other book reviews by clicking here!

Return to the Madness

Return To The Madness: A Vietnam War Novel (Promises To The Fallen Book 2

He returned to Vietnam for one last tour. But the war wasn’t done with him yet…

The year is 1970, and the war in Vietnam rages on. Sergeant Eddie Henderson returned home from his first tour of duty a broken man, haunted by the promises he made to his fallen brothers. Promises he failed to keep…

Now, he’s going back.

Leaving his new wife behind, Eddie returns to the war-torn jungles, where he is handpicked for a special recon-and-rescue squad. Again and again, Eddie and his team pull off the impossible, recovering downed aircraft, stranded pilots, and vital equipment. But the war takes an even darker turn for Eddie when his squad defends a hot landing zone, and he finds himself facing a brutal VC officer named Dang.

This savage killer has massacred hundreds of local villagers as punishment for helping American soldiers. As the conflict rages on, Dang and Eddie develop a personal feud that goes beyond the jungles of Vietnam. A private war that will leave Eddie haunted once more by a broken promise.

For the first time, will Eddie find himself putting vengeance before duty?

My thoughts …

This book is very much an emotional roller-coaster ride. It will take you through the complete spectrum of human emotion, and I am not ashamed to say that there were several points in this book where tears came to my eye.

I enjoyed reading this sequel to Promises to the Fallen very much. The Vietnam War is a fascinating topic for me from several angles. The author’s characters are authentic, and you cannot help but become immersed in their situation, You feel what they feel and become part of their experience.

While a work of fiction, Return to Madness places the reader in the middle of the American soldier’s experience in Vietnam. All of Glyn Haynie’s books give the interested reader a real glimpse of what the War in Vietnam was like for those who served.

I have enjoyed all of this author’s books and have seen his growth as a writer. Return to Madness is Glyn Haynie’s best work so far. I look forward to his next. This book is a definite 5 stars and I highly recommend it.

And if this book is your cup of tea, you might want to also check out Montagnard on Amazon.com.

The Spy Who Loved Me

The 10th novel in Ian Fleming’s Jame Bond series

Set apart from the other books in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, The Spy Who Loved Me is told from the perspective of a femme fatale in the making––a victim of circumstance with a wounded heart.

Vivienne Michel, a precocious French Canadian raised in the United Kingdom, seems a foreigner in every land. With only a supercharged Vespa and a handful of American dollars, she travels down winding roads into the pine forests of the Adirondacks. After stopping at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court and being coerced into caretaking at the vacant motel for the night, Viv opens the door to two armed mobsters and realizes being a woman alone is no easy task. But when a third stranger shows—a confident Englishman with a keen sense for sizing things up—the tables are turned.

Still reeling in the wake of Operation Thunderball, Bond had planned for his jaunt through the Adirondacks to be a period of rest before his return to Europe. But that all changes when his tire goes flat in front of a certain motel…

My thoughts …

First comment … DO NOT judge the book by the movie. In fact, starting with Diamonds are Forever, the movies bear little if any resemblance to the books.

This was always one of my favorite James Bond stories, probably because it takes place in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York. My family has a history of tenting, hiking, and enjoying the Adirondack Park for generations. We own a camp close to Raquette Lake. Because of this, I can picture in my mind, the location and region in which this story is taking place.

The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series and was first published on April 16, 1962. I have a First Edition hardcover copy. It is the shortest and most sexually explicit of Fleming’s novels. It is also a clear departure from the well-established Bond formula because this story is told in the first person by a young Canadian woman, Vivienne Michel. Bond himself does not even make an appearance until perhaps two-thirds of the way into the book.

The story is essentially laid out in three parts

Her (Vivienne Michel)

Vivienne “Viv” Michel is a young Canadian woman who narrates her own story, detailing her past unsuccessful love affairs with two men who were simply out for a good time. In an attempt to restore some balance in her life, “Viv” decides to leave her native Canada and begin a journey through North America, during which she stops to work at “The Dreamy Pines Motor Court” in the Adirondack Mountains for managers Jed and Mildred Phancey.

Them (The Mob)

After the vacation season, Viv is entrusted with looking after the motel for the night until the owner, Mr. Sanguinetti, can arrive to take inventory and close it up for the winter. Two mobsters, both of whom work for Sanguinetti, arrive, claiming they are there to look over the motel for insurance purposes. These two, however, have been hired by Sanguinetti to perform a much more nefarious task. When Viv indicates she does not want to socialize with them, they attack her and it is clear she is in mortal peril. But just then, the door buzzer rings.

Him (007)

British secret service agent James Bond appears at the door asking for a room, having had a flat tire while passing. Bond quickly realizes that what is going on and that Viv is in danger. Pressuring the two men, he eventually gets the gangsters to agree to provide him a room.

Of course, after Bond saves the day, he rides off into the sunset, leaving Viv to reflect on what has happened as she motors off at the end of the book, continuing her tour of America, still devoted to the memory of the spy who loved her.

To sum it up …

While James Bond novels will never be considered literary classics, Ian Fleming’s character has lasted as an iconic hero for several generations to enjoy. While I really enjoyed the books so much more, the movies have entertained millions of people around the globe, and continue to do so today.

I give The Spy Who Loved Me 4 out of 5 Stars. If you are looking for a James Bond story without space stations, a man with metal teeth, underwater cities, or space-deployed EMP weapons, and a Bond story with a touch of romance in a picturesque setting, this one is for you.

Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

With lush language and lavish imagery, Gabriela Marie Milton evokes a fantastic world ripe with emotion.

Christina Schwarz, the author of the New York Times Bestseller Drowning Ruth

This is a mesmerizing collection of poetry. Gabriela Marie Milton’s lines teem with life, passion, and introspective courage.

Brian Geiger, editor of Vita Brevis

Truthfully, I never expected to be reviewing a book of poetry

About the Poet

Gabriela Marie Milton (pen name) is an author of three novels. She was awarded 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press. She publishes under the pen name Gabriela M. in Spillwords Press, Vita Brevis, Indian Periodical, Gioielli Rubati Poetry (translated in Italian by Flavio Almerighi), Tuck Magazine, KashmirPen, “Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen,” Literary Yard, Proletaria, Free Verse Revolution, and other venues. She was selected “Author of the Month” at Spillwords (April 2019).

Her poem “The Breath of Love and Death” was voted “Publication of the Month” at Spillwords (November 2019). Gabriela’s work was included in the following anthologies: America’s Emerging Poets Southeast Region (Z Publishing House, 2018); Florida’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing House, 2019); and Pain & Renewal (Vita Brevis Press, 2020).

My thoughts …

I can’t really explain it. I guess I am finally getting in touch with my inner poet? And, it probably shouldn’t come as a total shock to me, because I am somewhat of a romantic fool, I guess. In fact, that part of who I am has gotten me into trouble a few times. But poetry?

I mean, I did like some of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems like Annabel Lee, Eldorado, and The Raven. I also liked The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and thanks to a recent discussion about poetry with my Dad, I just now discovered I really like The Ballad of East and West by Rudyard Kipling.

But I never thought I would be reviewing a book of poetry, much less buying one for my own enjoyment. How would this come to pass, you may ask … or, you may not … but I will tell you anyway.

Whenever a new blogger likes one of my posts, I go visit their blog to see who they are and whether I am interested in their writing or want to follow their blog. A short while back, I had a blogger who went by short-prose-fiction like one of my posts. I went to the blogger’s site and discovered Gabriela Marie Milton and a fragment from one of her poems called Trap Me. The verse brought back beautiful memories of a trip to Rome and Florence and seeing in person so many of the works of great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo.

I found myself returning to Gabriela’s blog quite regularly to read other snippets of poetry and really enjoyed them. The next thing you know, I’d ordered her book!

But a book of love poems (and of course, other writings)?

Here’s a phrase from a poem I really liked.

… with this ring
made from the muscle of my lively heart
I promise I will love you till the end
when you travel the whole earth
in search of that which is the scent of me

Gabriela Marie Milton, with this ring I promise you

Wow. Can’t help it. That is beautiful! Why? Because, the romantic idiot that I sometimes am, I felt that way once in my life, the smell of her hair, the touch of her skin. I don’t know if I will ever feel that way again. I kind of hope not. I am not sure my heart could stand it. But that was indeed a beautiful time in my life.

One more phrase I really liked …

I had to go through your soul
to get to mine
once in mine
I wish
I would have stayed in yours …

Gabriela Marie Milton, Souls

Have you ever felt that being with another person filled some missing part of you? I have. And I really liked that feeling. It kind of made me feel whole and gave a purpose to my existence. You really miss it when it’s gone.

Of course, the practical side of me says you don’t really need anyone, that you have to be secure in yourself before you can be secure with somebody else. And I get that. But it is so lovely to have a driving reason to succeed.

I’m not sure that I would go as far as to say I am now a poetry fanatic, but I have really learned something here, and as time permits, I feel like I may check out more of this stuff called poetry. Might as well start with more Kipling. I have read and enjoyed The Jungle Book, The Man Who Would Be King, Gunga Din, and Just So Stories …, might as well explore more of his poetry.

And I will definitely be on the lookout for more by Gabriela Marie Milton.

And, while I am certainly not an expert on poetry, I would give Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings 5 out of 5 stars, if for no other reason than the effect it had on me. And, as far as my limited knowledge of poetry goes, I think it is an excellent book of poems and other writings.

You can click here or on the image above to view the book on Amazon.com.

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