Juliette’s Monday Book Club: A Trio of Escapes – Fiction, Travel, Poetry

Under Currents

By Nora Roberts

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I’m currently reading Under Currents.

I’ve been reading books by Nora Roberts for years. I’ve loved her stand alone books. I’ve loved the trilogies. The books in the J.D. Robb In Death Series are my absolute favorites.

This one is different. Below is the official description but that doesn’t describe this book completely. I had a difficult time reading the first few chapters. The descriptions of violence and brutal child abuse were graphic and disturbing. Sure, I read a lot of horror but this was beyond that. I’m not saying don’t read it. Stories of abuse need to be told. Stories of surviving need to be told. Stories of overcoming such horrors need to be told.

Do I like the book? So far so good. I’m still reading. That’s a beautiful thing.

Official Description: For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…

Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.

Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.

 

Riding The Iron Rooster
By Train Through China

By Paul Theroux

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Written in 1988, this book was recommended to me by my dad. I couldn’t put it down. Riding The Iron Rooster took me on a live long love of books about travels, but this one always stands out.

Official Description: Paul Theroux, the author of the train travel classics The Great Railway Bazaar and The Old Patagonian Express, takes to the rails once again in this account of his epic journey through China. He hops aboard as part of a tour group in London and sets out for China’s border. He then spends a year traversing the country, where he pieces together a fascinating snapshot of a unique moment in history. From the barren deserts of Xinjiang to the ice forests of Manchuria, from the dense metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, and Canton to the dry hills of Tibet, Theroux offers an unforgettable portrait of a magnificent land and an extraordinary people.

Riley Love-Lyrics

by James Witcomb Riley

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Years ago, so many I can hardly remember, I picked up a small red volume of poetry at a book store. This one always stuck with me.

Her Beautiful Hands

O your hands–they are strangely fair!
Fair–for the jewels that sparkle there,–
Fair–for the witchery of the spell
That ivory keys alone can tell;
But when their delicate touches rest
Here in my own do I love them best,
As I clasp with eager acquisitive spans
My glorious treasure of beautiful hands!

Marvelous–wonderful–beautiful hands!
They can coax roses to bloom in the strands
Of your brown tresses; and ribbons will twine.
Under mysterious touches of thine,
Into such knots as entangle the soul,
And fetter the heart under such a control
As only the strength of my love understands–
My passionate love for your beautiful hands.

As I remember the first fair touch
Of those beautiful hands that I love so much,
I seem to thrill as I then was thrilled,
Kissing the glove that I found unfilled–
When I met your gaze, and the queenly bow,
As you said to me, laughingly, “Keep it now!”
And dazed and alone in a dream I stand
Kissing this ghost of your beautiful hand.

When first I loved, in the long ago,
And held your hand as I told you so–
Pressed and caressed it and gave it a kiss,
And said “I could die for a hand like this!”
Little I dreamed love’s fulness yet
Had to ripen when eyes were wet,
And prayers were vain in their wild demands
For one warm touch of your beautiful hands.

Beautiful Hands! O Beautiful Hands!
Could you reach out of the alien lands
Where you are lingering, and give me, to-night,
Only a touch–were it ever so light–
My heart were soothed, and my weary brain
Would lull itself into rest again;
For there is no solace the world commands
Like the caress of your beautiful hands.

This is a charming volume of poetry that is near and dear to me. Today some might consider this book might be considered overly sentimental or by some sappy. Screw em. I like it. You can like it too. You can like anything you want.

Inscribed on the inside:

To the Elect of Love, – Or Side-By-Side
In Raptest Ecstasy, Or Surrendered Wide
By was That ear No Message To Or Fro
Between The Loved And Lost Of Long Ago.

My version was published in 1905. The book originally came out in 1883.

You can get copies of this online (free digital) or find it in used bookstores. There are also new paperback versions.

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Happy Reading.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

White Silk, Black Tails

White Silk, Black Tails – A Vampire Love Poem

I was a spirit

In white silk with pink roses

Bustle in back

You in black tails

Took my breath away

And a century later

When you realized

That I loved you

I could exhale.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

White Silk, Black Tails

I was a spirit

In white silk with pink roses

Bustle in back

You in black tails

Took my breath away

And a century later

When you realized

That I loved you

I could exhale

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Silk She is

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I’d like to introduce you to a poet, a bear of a man, a free-thinker, a man with a loud laugh and a gentle touch. A man with few filters, but a man of great words. Daniel E. Tanzo.

Celebrate with me the poetry…

 

If You Really Want to know

Poetry is the gauntlet of the human existence,
from agony to ecstasy, mundane,
profane and sacred. From Christ on the cross
to Dionysian orgiastic debauchery
with nymphs who rend his flesh,
to the cry of a newborn babe,
reaching in and attaching itself to your soul
Poetry is life squared,
brought to existence,
through an oft times inadequate medium.
So we try to connect soul to soul,
with the ink from our veins.

Copyright © Daniel E. Tanzo

 

Daniel is a tough, ornery son of a bitch, often called The Grizz (after the bear). He also has a softer side, that of a caring friend, a lover, a gentle soul and one who was a seeker of universal understanding.

And we all know that Daniel loves women! And they adore him.

I met Daniel online a while back when we accidentally came together with several other writers and formed “WPaD” – Writers, Poets and Deviants.  Within that group we formed a safe and positive online support group for writers. We also published several anthologies of short stories and poetry. Daniel was at the heart of all of these projects.

Over the years we (the WPaD authors) have shared, laughed, cried, laughed again, created, flirted, encouraged and laughed together. Daniel has been such a huge part of that creative party and support group of ours.

 

There can be only one;
it’s just the way I’m made,
I have not the guile,
nor the will, to, travel with parades.
An entourage of homage,
I need just the one, whose laughter,
is my song of blessing.
In her banter and wit,
names me Don Juan
full of shit.
There can be no other.
Other than you.
‘tis true.

Copyright © Daniel E. Tanzo

 

Daniel is fighting a battle with cancer. As expected, even at this late stage, he is still full of attitude and fight.

All of us at WPaD  already mourn the loss of our friend. We also celebrate his support and creativity and the beautiful words that will live on to touch more hearts and souls.

We love you Daniel and we always will.

Thank you to all of his friends who are keeping watch at the hospice – just being with him so he won’t be alone. Your time and love is appreciated by all of who can’t be there. You are angels on earth and friends of the highest order.

I also want to say a special thanks to Canadian author Mandy White for quickly compiling, designing and editing Silk She Is – all in time for Daniel (in California) to get his own copy and hold it and read it. It was a project based on love and respect for a fellow friend and author.

 

“Silk She is” a collection of poetry from Daniel E. Tanzo

Silk She is – An exquisite collection of poetry reflecting the mind of a most extraordinary man. At Daniel’s request all proceeds will be donated to cancer research.

I know you’ll enjoy this work and savor the words of Daniel Tanzo.

 

Click on the links below for more information about purchasing your own copy:

https://www.createspace.com/4641602

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IYE3ZUG

Silk She Is

Silk She Is

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Bottom of Form

Alpha to omega
been there done that
more than twice
Shape shifting shaman
who willingly paid the price
Scars at the throat
remnants of the first death match
Charnal house to bawdy house
loving whores and killing floors
It’s what I did and where I thrived

© Daniel E Tanzo

 

Daniel E. Tanzo

Daniel E. Tanzo

Blood for Pens

Red Ribbons of proof to a disbelieving mind
Subtleties lost to the hordes of mundane drones
whose only desire is the right car and home.

We are the werewolves,
The shape shifting shamans
Of a lost proud tribe,
Actual alchemical creators
Not merely scribes.
We existed before words
And created the gods.

Copyright © Daniel E. Tanzo

 

A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.

A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.

People won’t admit they read poetry and are moved by it…but late at night they go on the Internet and search it out. It is like pornography. I’m dead serious (no pun intended). It is a need that most people will not dare admit to.

It isn’t a good time for me to expound upon the history of poetry or what caused the American population (among others) claim not to like poets. But I would like to remind everyone, especially those of us who can remember the past several centuries that there was a time that poets were the Rock Stars of our culture.

Sometimes I pull out my old volumes of favorites and read in the quiet of the night or on a rain soaked day. In turn, I also look for the new. I marvel at the many voices I see with poetry on the Internet.

Part of me believes technology with recorded music, radio, TV etc maybe brought an end to the poet as a popular icon. But in turn the Internet, yes the Internet has brought poetry back to life.

I see in the online communities poets being read, not ignored. I don’t read those words online “I don’t like poetry.” I see people who NEVER would read a poem, forwarding poetry to their friends and loved ones.

Poetry is a gift to the soul. Poetry is for everyone. Everyone needs poetry, like a vampire needs blood, like a hawk needs to fly, like a fish needs to swim. I know that wasn’t very poetic but you get the point – I hope.

Your assignment today is to READ, SAVOR and SHARE poetry with someone you love.

Juliette Vampire Maman

Almost two years ago I started writing the blog Vampire Maman (vampiremaman.com) as a parenting blog written by a Modern Vampire. It grew from a few funny stories about parenting, the elderly and ghosts to something much larger and more diverse. A large part of that diversity has been poetry, both mine and the poetry of others.

For me poetry is a way to put down words to express feelings that can’t always be explained otherwise. Just random thoughts and feelings. At least that is what works for me. I’m not a poet. I’m a storyteller.

I use poetry to tell stories. On my blog I talk a lot about 17 year old Garrett, a Vampire teen who is forever in love with one girl after the other – and of course he is always getting his heart broken. To deal with his feelings he writes poetry (which I usually find in the laundry.)

 Looking Back

Looking back,

You’re a pale ghost.

A monster waiting,

To feed upon the Vampire boy.

I feel your unholy energy,

Your thirst for power,

You prey on my heart,

You sucked away my love.

Alone in the dark,

I see your selfish soul,

Your glowing eyes,

That burn into my mind.

Loving a human girl,

Can only bring pain,

They are the monsters,

Bitches who bite deep.

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Sometimes I’ll write something just to get an idea or feeling across…as in night and darkness…love…and mystery.

 

Musings of Night and Darkness

Night glimmers with light

Life abounds

The music of crickets

The glow of eyes in the night

Of raccoon and possums

Coyotes and cats

Nocturnal parties

Quiet in their celebrations

Stars and moon light the way

Reflecting off of waters

While cool breeze

Fills the night air

Beauty in darkness

No time for dreams

 

_____________________________

 

Vampire Love Poem

I was a spirit

In white silk with pink roses

Bustle in back

You in black tails

Took my breath away

And a century later

When you realized

That I loved you

I could exhale

______________________________

You Wait At My Door

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

Rub my belly

Rub my belly

________________________________________________

And sometimes I write a few words of verse just to start off a story.

 

You are not prey

For I do not kill

Or take without giving

 

I don’t steal your dreams

Or make you scream

In your bed alone

 

I take only what I need

And in return

You are in blissful wonder

 

Don’t fear the ones

With a shadow for a soul

And a vision of night

 

“What are you writing?” That was said in a sarcastic tone right from the mouth of the Ghost who materialized over my shoulder like a puff of stale cigarette smoke. That was the last thing I needed.

I glared at him. “Go away. It isn’t for your eyes.”

He gave me a disgusted look. “It isn’t for any eyes.”

“I was just playing around with the words.”

“You’re such a Vampire. Always trying to make your vile nasty things look so innocent. Why don’t you just say that you creep around at night and scare the shit out of people.”

“That is your job Mr. Ghost.”

“Oh right. But you’re pretty creepy.”

I stood up and faced him. “Really? You think I’m creepy?”

He gave me one of those creepy smiles and raised an eyebrow. “I do.”

“That comes from a disembodied dead person who lurks around and stalks people,” I told him.

“I don’t lurk. And you’re not a people. You’re a Vampire. You’re dead too.”

“ Excuse me Nigel, I am not dead.”

“A twisted technicality. And what about your husband? He wasn’t born into your sick and twisted Vampire world. He was held down by a gang of Vampires while their Vampire slut sucked out all of his blood as well as his very life. Then they filled him with their poisoned blood and breath and gave him a shadow for a soul. He had a funeral. His girlfriend cried over his dead cold body. He now, like you, has to drink blood to survive.”

“At least my husband has a body.”

Nigel smiled again. “A body most guys would envy, but he is still a cold dead Vampire.”

“Are you done here?”

“Sure.” The ghost all but rolled his eyes. “You know when you’re angry your fangs come out.”

“Enough.” I snapped out at him.

Then he had the audacity to put his head back and laugh. “Admit it Vampire. I’m your muse.”

“Go away.”

“Goodnight Juliette.” He faded away but I could still hear him laughing in the distance.

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My favorite poetry on my blog is from other writers. About half the poetry I post isn’t mine. One of my favorites is from my own daughter (written about two years ago). This was an assignment for school but I had to share.

We destroy and help make screaming silence

As wonderful as we are

This world we are destroying

With our safe guns,

Truly false, bitter sweetness

Upside down ways, violently peaceful,

Beautiful flaws we do it’s never been right

Children

Maybe one day the unborn children can make a change

You

Be yourself, fix the bad karma, live your life and fix things as much as you can

Maybe one day it will all be better

Maybe long after you and me

But things can only get worse before they get better

C. S. Kings Age 12 2012

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Bed Bug, Bedbug, Freeze Out, Hardscrabble …teenage boys and love

School will start soon (high school) and for teens that means socializing and flirting and crushes and giggling and whispering with friends when “she” walks by (especially for my son and his friends.)

I’d posted the blog post below back in February 2013 but thought it was worth revisiting…

 

 

 

Bed Bug, Bedbug, Freeze Out, Hardscrabble,

Nereid

Sea Maiden

Poseidon’s loyal helper

Sailor’s guardian angel

Violet beauty

I looked at the note on yellow lined paper written in black Sharpie that I found in the dryer. Fragments of the musings of a 16 year old boy.

The first line is names of a town not far from where we live, founded during the California gold rush. The rest of it is taken from Greek Mythology. I knew what it was.

It is Ione. His long time friend Ione. Once a funny little fair haired girl, now a leggy and shapely blonde of 16. She is also, like my son, a Vampire.

I unfolded the note more, crisp from the dryer and still warm.

I have known you forever

Since our time began

As babies

Then children of the night

As teens

Now growing into adulthood

Our hearts

Our minds

Our future

Am I to be with you?

My mythical love

My desire

My chance

A kiss from you

And I would be

Happy forever

Ione.

So far, aside from the occasional glances at Vampire girls and life long friendships, he has never set his heart on one, especially not one in his tight-knit social circle of “The Vs” as they call themselves.

Ione is quiet and funny and smart. But don’t piss her off because she isn’t one to forgive or forget anything. She also sees herself in some mythical role as avenging angel, taking on the cause of the bullied, down trodden and anyone in her opinion who has been treated unjustly.

Most people see her sort of an exceptionally smart, brilliant dumb-blonde. Smart and goofy. Sort of like my son’s best friend Randy.

I was ready to pocket the note when Garrett came into the laundry room and said “Give me that.”

“I didn’t know you liked her that way,” I said.

“It isn’t what you think.”

“Did you write it for Randy?”

“No. Don’t’ say anything Mom. It isn’t anything.”

“OK.” I smiled.

And then he smiled the shy way 16 year old boys do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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