Jamztoma's Blog License

Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review #3: JUNCTION by CODY SCHLEGEL


Title:  JUNCTION
Author:  CODY SCHLEGEL
Subject:  MURDER/ SUSPENSE/ THRILLER
Publication Date:  15 SEPTEMBER 2015
Available Online at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

Welcome to Junction: Rednecks, Booze, and Murder Galore

This book was definitely an eye-opener for an outsider like me.  It takes place in the Midwest as well as the South hence the racial slurs and some prejudiced characters.  This story involves two sets of siblings, the police, and the endless references to bars and booze.  The characters are beer-guzzling, countryside, redneck figures by the names of Nick Harmen, his brothers Bruce, Zack and cousin Ryan with their friends, the Sheeks boys Joey, Dusty, and Cory, and Adam Craig, the son of the local police’s beloved Black Deputy Craig.  Their world is everyday happenings like hanging out at the local watering hole, tending to their families, and caring for their drug businesses (which are both of the Sheeks and Harmen men’s main source of income). One day, Joey Sheeks is found naked, frozen, and dead in a secluded area where the last snowfall has not melted yet.  Everyone else thinks Joey’s cause of death is from his own drug dealing issues but Nick and Zack say otherwise. 

                I will not reveal the rest of this character-driven book but I assure you it has all of the elements of an interesting story as you will be let in on a view of what happens in small White communities as Junction, Iowa where their “prejudiced view of Blacks is based entirely on the negative they see on television sets in their homes.”  The Black characters Deputy Craig and his wife and son Adam are all endeared in this community and it is mentioned all through the book.  The Harmen men themselves are descendants of Native Americans so they have a bit of multiculturalism going on in their family.  The elements that I mentioned earlier that made this book so alive and riveting are the murders, the humor, the wit, the family orientation, and the glimpse into redneck America as this is a part of America I sometimes wonder about since I have heard stories about them through the media. 

                I recommend this book to the open-minded reader and the adventure-seeking reader as well.  If you have a peeve about racists and prejudice, be warned as this book contains slurs and the likes.  However, Cody Schlegel makes up for that by supplying Deputy Craig and his family with a sense of warmth and kind regards from his White characters.  Finally, this book is a thriller and if you like getting your heart pumping fast, then it’s for you.  The pace is fast which makes it a quickie, a positive thing. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Book Review #2: THE ANGEL by TROY LAMBERT


Title:  THE ANGEL
Author:  TROY LAMBERT
Subject:  RELIGIOUS/ SPIRITUAL/ INSPIRATIONAL
Publication Date:  01 November 2016
Available at Amazon online.

Reminds me of Touched by an Angel and Hans Christian 
Andersen’s Story

            Are you looking for a blessed quick read this relaxing last week of 2016?  Are you into the inspirational, supernatural, and the spiritual?  Then The Angel here by Troy Lambert will definitely sate your tastes.  I calmly assure you that this mini-story about three individual boys by the names of Abel, Zach, and Jack of differing lifetimes will touch and make your heart be at peace as you look forward to 2017 because it eases the burdens of letting go of the old and the welcoming of the new.

            The story begins with the street-dwelling, orphanage runaway Abel who lives off of stale and decaying food from trash disposals he finds around him.  His only way of survival is through the medical care provided by a friendly doctor who runs a clinic nearby who writes him prescriptions for remedies for illnesses he is exposed to because of his living situation.  His way of payment is through flowers from his “street garden” that he tends and watches throughout his days.  One day, something happens and he is left with a life-threatening condition that is not treated in time. 

            The next story is about Zach, a very lively and adventurous middle grader who also has a life-threatening illness that puts him on track for death.  One day as he and his dad go out for some wild and fun skiing, he gets into an accident that sadly escalates his condition.  Zach says he has been seeing an angel (most definitely his angel of death) ever since he and his parents found out about his deteriorating health.

            After the introduction to Zach’s tragic story, the book reverts back to Abel and his own time in the hospital.  It is at this time I found out that both boys are living in differing lifetimes and that Abel is from an earlier time than Zach.  I won’t spoil the rest of the book as I want you to discover it for yourself but let me excitingly tell you that this book will eliminate your fear of death once and for all.  It is absolutely a great story for those who are lying on their hospital beds stricken with some sort of condition but is still able to read a book.  Or better yet, tell this story to such persons to make them smile and welcome their tragic fates.  And yes!  I will stick to what I declared at the beginning of this review.  It will ease the stresses and issues you have going on in your current life as you make the change from 2016 to 2017.

            This book will definitely remind you of the angel of death Andrew from that CBS TV show Touched by An Angel that ran in the nineties in the USA.  It also will remind you of the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen’s remarkable fairy tale about a mythical character who was good all her life and so enjoyed the reward of God’s kingdom afterwards.  I’m just baffled as to how this book lightened up my mood on this cold and cloudy Monday after Christmas day 2016.  I advise you truly, passionately, and deeply to get this book for yourself before New Year’s Day.  Read it on New Year’s Eve to get desired results, God bless.  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Book Review #1: NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE by ADALINA MAE


Title: NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE
Author: ADALINA MAE
Publisher: ADALINA MAE
Subject: Romance
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ITUNES.

Funny, Feisty, and Familiar Lead Character

            I was offered this book by its author to review and so I am going to give it my best shot.  The story introduces us to Zara, a Lebanese-American who endured her father’s disturbing drunken behavior as well as being molested by a creep when she was a child back in Lebanon (she was born in the states but her parents moved back to Lebanon to holiday there but that holiday soon became nine years).  The book is told from the point of view of Zara and therefore we get to peek into her life due to this.  Zara is funny.  She has an uncontrollable sense of humor and it’s sad considering what she went through in her life.  The book begins with her in the present, an experienced, weary, and had-it-with-the-world woman who takes us through the time when she was a celebrated teenage Lebanese singer to the bride who couldn’t wait to get married, to the successful business-owner, to the emotional soul who travels back to Lebanon to make peace. 

            Zara is a Christian woman and the men she marries or encounters are Muslim and dashing.  She foolishly rejects true love, falls for a womanizing much older man, befriends an ambitious younger man who benefits from her instead of her from him, and gets crushed by a lying bastard who only wants her for her successes.  Why did I put familiar in the title of my review here?  It’s because I know women personally who went through the same thing with men like Zara did in the book.  I think all kinds of career-minded women, those who are just starting out at 18 to those as old as fifty, would enjoy and benefit from this book.

            My thoughts on this book is that it’s for women.  It’s a book for Danielle Steel veterans as it does not only focus on romance but on life events.  It’s also a book for ethnic women looking for a story to relate to.  I, myself, a man, took this book on as I was called upon by Ms. Mae to review it.  I think the only thing lacking in this book is some sensuality.  The story is told excellently, like wow.  But since it’s a book for women, I personally think it should have some sensuality to it.  I have spoken with the author and she told me that there will be a sequel coming out in 2017.    All in all, kudos to Adalina Mae and wish nothing but the best for her and her writing endeavors.

Monday, November 28, 2016

TICKLED UP

Beautiful, Bird, Blue, Calm, Color, Elegance, Feather

I'm lying here on my bed
with good thoughts in my head
thinking about this year
what I loved and endeared

The trip to the islands
my English assignments
the flow of love on Facebook
my hopes up I feel good

Thinking of these
I get tickled up indeed
Things are looking well
for now I can tell

Through the good vibes 
My encounters are getting nice
My paranoia's sinking
for now that's my thinking

The weight has dropped yes
The break is helping I guess
I thank God for my health
I have love for myself

Thinking of these
I get tickled up indeed
Things are going well
for now I can tell

For now I am well...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REALIZATION



Poem for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Blessings

Heaven is right before me
I've never felt this free
since I got out of your chains
I'm never coming back again

And now I'm seeing the face of God
in this newfound mindset I've got
I just need to rise
from the depression inside

You know
wake up
You're allowed
to be in love
At least try
to live your life

And when I finally see
all the things I've been missing
I'll know I don't have to fret
We're never too old to be blessed

We win
when we forget, forgive
make our goals happen
start anew, make friends
Don't waste our lives
feeling hopeless inside

We all have to strive
to be blessed for life...

© Jamztoma



Thursday, August 18, 2016

IN A BLUE MOOD



(blue jeans, black jacket, red heart, green brain)

when i wear my blue jeans

with a black/gray jacket above 'em
I feel like Levi from them magazines
a confident man walking in rhythm
ready for new exciting efforts
ready for school, church, or work

when i wear my blue jeans
it's not because i'm trying to look mean
or that i'm trying to be seen

no!

the mindset is to go with my mood
the mindset is it's what makes me look and feel good

forget about colors
forget about attitudes
forget about hatred or being an 'ist

when i wear my blue, black, brown, gray jeans
it's because I want to express what's within

I want to be taken seriously
I want you to treat me respectfully

Hey, I love my reds
I love my greens and my yellows
my oranges and my purples
my browns and my darks

I'm just into blue.
it mirrors most of my moods
haha...cool?...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

JOUR DE LA TERRE


This poem is for poet Sanaa Rizvi's 
Jour de la Terre - Earth Day (12)

Jour de la Terre, harvest day
day to reap your work
Plow the soil, plant a seed
watch it grow to meet your needs

On Jour de la Terre
we celebrate the soil
We nurture it, we treat it 
as nobly as a royal

Men and women and children
depend on the soil and rain
for out of them, with the help of the sun,
come our fruits and grain

Beasts and birds, they embrace the dirt
for reasons that contrast
they depend on her, Mother Nature
queen of green and Earth

Jour de la Terre, awareness day
day for the planet of life
Soar the skies, swim in the bay
may good things be on the way

           
                          Copyright © 2016 by James Nikolao Toma


Jour de la Terre is French for Earth Day.


Friday, April 15, 2016

DAY TO REMEMBER


This was written for fellow poet, Sanaa Rizvi's 
PROMPT NIGHTS 4:


Pour me drops of glorious sunshine
and link your precious hand through mine
Lean in so I could give you a kiss
on a cool, breezy day as this

this is a day to remember
a day to laugh together
with a splash like you
a pineapple and coconut juice

Pour me drops of glorious sunshine
and walk with me under the blue sky
Let me play the ukulele for you
so you can relax and let loose

this is a day to remember
a day to sing together
with a mermaid as you
a woman of beauty and value

Pour me drops of glorious sunshine
because you are one of a kind
Lay your golden head on my knee
as I serenade you with songs so sweet

this is a day to remember
as the day we promise each other
our endless love and pure trust
that will never fade or rust.




Saturday, April 2, 2016

JUST A DWEEB


This was written for Poet Sanaa Rizvi's
PROMPT NIGHTS 10:

Surely you jest you are a superstar
what have you done so far?
are you making lots of money?
no, so where does this come in?
Surely you jest you are a superstar

Surely you jest you are a celebrity
what movies have you starred in?
are you making a contribution to society?
no, so why do you think this is so?
Surely you jest you are a celebrity

Surely you jest you are Langston Hughes
but can you sing and write the Blues?
are you a bestselling author like him?
no, your books aren't even on lists
Surely you jest you are Langston Hughes

Surely you jest you are a pro
like have you the likes of Elvis or Monroe?
like are you even a sex symbol?
laugh out loud, you're just a toilet bowl
Surely you jest you are a pro

Surely you jest you are a Master
wait, do you even have any powers?
wait, do you even have followers?
you're so stupid you're a bore to the core
Surely you jest you are a Master.

Surely you jest you are somebody
when you are basically just a dweeb.
lots of love to everybody
from yours truly.


Friday, March 25, 2016

PASSION


This was written for colleague Sanaa Rizvi's 
such passion music can raise and quell...

My passion is music, mostly Pop and soft rock
It's my refuge whenever I am lost
My roaming place is Spotify
I go there when I need to cry

on my knees
one sweet day
Jesus loves me
He came to save

Today is the day of the passion
Dark and mourning will be my fashion
I'll be listening to classical
to mend my sadness to magical

on my knees
one sweet day
Jesus loves me
He came to save

Amen I say to the Lord
Forgive them for their discord
Forgive me as I too am guilty
My sins they are your enemy.

on my knees
one sweet day
Jesus loves me
He came to save

My passion is music, mostly Gospel and the Blues
They make me celebrate my woes
My roaming place is Spotify
I go there to think and cry

on my knees
one sweet day
Jesus loves me
He came to save

Today is the day of lamentation
Souls will freeze and hearts be broken
I'll be tearful, I'll be sad
while the birds be singing: Jewel's Hands.

my hands are small
they are unworthy
Jesus take the wheel
Please uplift me





Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MY FAITH



This was written for my colleague Sanaa Rizvi's 
Guerison par la foi - Faith/healing

My faith keeps me alive
it's why I see myself in a positive light
My faith keeps me strong
it's why I see myself moving on.

One more day,
one more chance
one more day to start another plan

My faith is my support
I see myself moving forward
My faith is the reason
why I strive to make dreams happen

I have faith
I'll be well again
I have faith in me, a weak, little man

My faith will save me
and this I firmly believe
My faith will hold me up
to the wonders of above

and I pray
I will see you my friend
and I pray we will be together in the end.




Saturday, March 5, 2016

BESOTTED (WITH GREEN)

Photo: Besotted

Written for colleague Sanaa Rizvi's
PROMPT NIGHTS 8:
WHEN BESOTTED WITH GREEN
and 
POETS UNITED'S POETRY PANTRY #292

To be besotted with green
is to daydream about Spring
leaves so green,
petals that gleam
and nature all full and serene

For me,
besotted with green means
Ed Sheeran's X
Charlie Puth's 9 Track Mind
and Adele's 21

Two of those CDs' covers
make me want to be smothered
with all that is green:
Ed's green-ness,
Puth's green shirt,
and Adele's green disc bestseller

And when I'm dizzy and weak
I look out for a drink
that Sprite or that Mountain Dew
just gets me all good and new
Green cans
Green lime
Green tastes so good.

Green is also wicked
stands too for envy and illness
Green means those who are greedy
where one is drunk with money

Green are the stereotypical emerald eyes
of fiery Redheads so sublime
Green is associated with religion
the one called Islam

For me,
besotted with green is
to be so into veggies
to fight for animal rights
to support environmental causes
and to conserve for a better life

Green, green, green.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SUFFER


This poem was written for Poets United's Midweek Motif:

Martyrdom is...

To suffer for the promise
The promise of extreme happiness
Happiness without an end
An end to pain and wrongs

You got me suffering
Yet I'm earning
my place in the sun

Martyrdom is...

To die for a cause
The cause of goodness for all
For all to end all hate
End to hate from the skeptic

You got me dying
Yet I'm rising
up from the negative.

Martyrdom is...

To laugh in the afterlife
The afterlife where all's just
Just and absolute perfection
Perfection of heart and mind.

You got me laughing
because I'm going
to a wonderful life.

Friday, February 19, 2016

SONG OF A MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTER


This was written for colleague Sanaa Rizvi's 
PROMPT NIGHTS 7:

Oh mythology
interpretations
by past generations' 
versions of origins

I'm looking at the sun
Praying that I won't become
ash to the rays of fire
that Apollo's chariot blooms
as it rides across the sky
a daily task of orange fumes

Oh mythology
interpretations
by past generations'
versions of origins

I'm a waterfall of tears
Mourning my lost love
where do I go from here?
I'm a creature so feared
turned this way by the wrath
of a goddess so fierce

Oh mythology
interpretations
by past generations'
versions of origins

I'm about to be sacrificed
as atonement for misdoings
of a city full of pride
I'm a product of lovers
one a god and one a woman
the beginning of a line of fighters...

Oh mythology
interpretations
by past generations'
versions of origins

My mythology
is a story
one of glory
a chapter of history... 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

MY ANSWER IS NO!


This was written for Poets United's Midweek Motif:
Marriage

I don't even know anyone
who'd be interested
who'd be fascinated
with the idea
of marrying a persona
like mine.

Marriage?
Oh the bondage!
I'll be tied down
I"ll be disallowed
I'll be owned
My answer is no!

I don't even know one
who'd be willing
to enjoy a living
with someone boring
someone who's baring
their soul online.

Marriage?
Oh the bondage!
I'll be tied down
I"ll be disallowed
I'll be owned
My answer is no!

I don't even want to become
a responsible person
when I am already high strung
with my own demons
with my own lessons
the crazy kind.

Marriage?
Oh the bondage!
I'll be tied down
I"ll be disallowed
I'll be owned
My answer is no!

I don't even want
to witness the stunts
that someone will pull
when I become the fool
who married someone cruel
I'm so blind.

Marriage?
Oh the bondage!
I'll be tied down
I"ll be disallowed
I'll be owned
My answer is no!




Friday, February 12, 2016

TO LOVE WOULD BE SUBLIME...



This was written for colleague Sanaa Rizvi's 
PROMPT NIGHTS 6:

To love would be sublime
it would warm like a rhyme
To love would be to go blind
to flaws and imperfect designs

To love someone for what's inside

To love would be sublime
it would send out symbols and signs
To love would be like drinking wine
to be free and out of your mind!

To be free to love anyone I like

To love would be sublime
it would stand the tests of time
To love would be to bind
your entirety to your life

To love yourself and your life

To love would be sublime
it would melt mounds of ice
To love would be to try
to make it work with your wife

To love family for all time 

To love would be sublime
it would glow throughout the night
To love would be to die
for the sake of doing what is right.

To love doing what is right.