Book Review – Lace Bone Beast by N.L. Shompole

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Lace Bone Beast: Poems & Other Fairytales for Wicked Girls by N.L. Shompole is one of the most profound and engrossing books of poetry that I have read since reading The Death Notebooks and Live or Die by Anne Sexton in college. I am constantly reminded of the Confessional Poets throughout Shompole’s book because her poetic style mimics those of Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, although Shompole has her own distinctive style. The poems, prose poems called fairytales by Shompole and the meditations all are unusually haunting. Shompole uses various literary devices such as repetition, imagery that flows consistently throughout the series and metaphors that give cohesion from beginning to end of the book. Her themes include love, death, and survival, reminiscent of wisdom shared from one woman to another in life’s struggles.

One image that Shompole uses repeatedly in this collection is bones, an image that resonates with and has always fascinated me. So naturally, I was sucked into each and every poem, prose poem and meditation that involved it. Other images are birds, dreams, monsters and seasons. All of these create a cascade of stark emotions that feed the reader’s soul and touches one on deeper levels than you’d expect.

The theme of love in this collection is both romantic and tragic, revealing the beauty and monstrosity that love can bring into a person’s life. Death is used not only as an ending, but also as a beginning, the process of birth, life and death as natural progressions. And survival is a theme used not only as cautionary, but also as empowerment.

Shompole reminds the readers to hold onto their dreams, to be cautious with their heart, to protect their bodies and yet, to be softened by life’s tragedies, not to be hardened by them. Monsters are real, love can sting, and yet life is also like the changing seasons, sometimes harsh and sometimes a breath of fresh air.

Shompole opens the book with these words:

Here is emptiness. Here is a mouth after a recent excavation, black with soot, devoid of kisses. Here are hands, trembling against the soft ache of morning, here are eyes, wet, wide, half-full of sky and loneliness. Here is belly, back, femur, spine, ragged and smooth all at once, all at once. Here are dreams, ink black and speckled, lost behind the eyes. Here is a muted elegy, crow’s feet feathered over the eyes like lace. Here are the last strains of a dirge, wild, discordant, free. – The Lacemaker

And closes it with these:

Remember,
everything that matters
comes slowly, the teeth
the bravery, the strength
the softness

– Meditations for the Soft-Hearted

Everything in between will leave you just as awed and breathless.

Lace Bone Beast is a beautiful collection of poetry, prose poetry and meditations that leaves me in awe. I’ve devoured it cover to cover twice since receiving a digital copy for review. I am so impressed that I had to own a book copy for my personal collection. I not only highly recommend this collection, I insist, that if you are a collector of poetry, this is one book you will definitely want in your collection.

Note: I was given a free copy of Lace Bone Beast for an honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre(s): Abstract Poetry

To Purchase: Amazon

Book Promotion – Charlene the Star by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

I am once again proud and honored to feature  another of Deanie’s children’s book here on my blog. Her books are so uplifting and an encouragement for children. She promotes self-esteem, positive messages, and an “I can do anything!” attitude throughout her books. If you are looking for a gift for a child – your own or a niece or nephew – one or all of Deanie’s books would make a wonderful gift. You can see book promos for Deanie’s other books here, here and here

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About Charlene the Star

Charlene the Star was born into a family of famous racehorses. Unlike her big brother, Charlie, Charlene decides she doesn’t like racing. How will she explain this to her mom? How does she show her trainers she doesn’t like racing? Will she become a model instead? Will Charlene discover her natural gift? Her career path takes many twists and turns before she finds her place to shine. You’ll love reading about Charlene’s adventures. She may surprise you with her unusual talent.

Charlene the Star is first in the series of Charlene the Star books. The others are Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. In addition, she wrote an award-winning children’s autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier and a fictional story, Charlie the Horse. Her books have won a number of awards and recognitions.

Deanie loves spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. She also enjoys watching equestrian events, figure skating competitions and baseball.

Deanie’s sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates their books. Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of famous artist, Ray Quigley. Holly earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She dedicates her talents to children’s book illustrations, equestrian and pet portraits.


Quotes from Charlene the Star: (these are thoughts from Charlene the Star)

I should change the subject. Ann and Blossom are talking about racing. I’m not even sure I’ll like it. Everyone has different gifts, but I don’t know what mine is. That’s kind of scary.

I wonder how you are trained to jump. Does that mean you can win prizes for jumping up and down? I liked jumping up and down during my tantrum. I’ve heard people say practice makes perfect. My outbursts could be almost perfect already. Maybe that could be my specialty.

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Excerpts from reviews of Charlene the Star:

Charlene the Star is another delightful story by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne…

By Virginia Wright on February 9, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

“Charlene the Star was born into a family of famous racehorses. She had beautiful dark red hair, brown eyes, and nice long legs just perfect for being a racehorse. However, Charlene decides racing is not for her. Charlene does not know how to tell her mother this. Quite a dilemma for a youngster. You will have to read Charlene the Star to find out what happens next in this delightful story by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. I recommend this book for young readers 7-12, and especially for those who are horse lovers.”

 

“This beautiful book has much to offer to young readers but it will also assist parents in raising happy, confident and successful children. Readers will find amazing illustrations, exquisite writing and plenty of life lessons in this delightful and educational book. It is a labor of love! Most highly recommended!!” From review by Yosef Lapid

 

“This is a story about a plucky horse that found her own friends—and her own path—to happiness and success. It’s a story about perseverance, friendship, and most of all, a belief in oneself and in finding the things that make you happy…and then pursuing them with every ounce of energy you can muster.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful illustrations by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.”  From review by Theodore J. Cohen

 

To Purchase: Amazon

Website: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com


About the Author:

Peach and Me

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is a children’s book author with five books published at this time: Award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. All of her books offer positive messages for children. Her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates her books and designs the covers. All books are available on Kindle and paperback. Her books have won a number of awards and recognitions.

Deanie has been featured on several author websites and interviewed on WTNH.com/CTStyle television program.

Deanie’s emailDeanie’s Blogspot Blog | Deanie’s WordPress BlogAuthor’s Facebook Page | Memories of Sweetbrier Farm Facebook Page

Free chapters of Tails of Sweetbrier and Charlie the Horsehttps://payhip.com/deaniehd