Saturday, January 14, 2017

Review of Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar


Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry


Diamante Lavendar




In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

How I came to review this book:

I posted one of Ms. Lavendar’s poems for Poetry Wednesday.  She emailed me to review her chapbook.  I received a pdf of the print book for this review.


These poems have a Christian spiritual theme.  Raw emotions fill the pages.

My thoughts:

I know I should just review content, but I need to say something about the book formatting because it influenced my reading of the author’s poetry.  Many of the poems span a couple of pages, being broken by images of branches (like the one on the cover).  I found the breaks distracting.  When I noticed the branch on the bottom of the page, my mind believed the poem to have ended.  However, a couple of stanzas remained on the following page, sometimes underneath another branch.  The branches interrupted the poetry’s flow, impeding my reading.  Perhaps in the printed form it flows better.

With that said, I can continue to the content.

As you read through the book, the poetry transitions from dark to light, from pain to healing.  The poems themselves are a mix of powerful, beautiful, profound, raw, emotional, succinct, and rambling.  Some speak to me, some are silent, and some remind me of other poems I have read over the years.

After reading the last page, I felt as though Ms. Lavendar brought me with her on her emotional journey.  Her poetry is personal.  Writing it probably aided her healing process from the abuse in her life.


A woman breaks free of her past to revel in the goodness of the present.

Other Info:

Publication Date: Coming Soon
Pages: 122
Print: $14.99
Ebook: $8.99

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy 2017


On the docket this year is Dreamweaver, Book 6 of the World In-between fantasy series.  Already the beginnings of the book have used a good portion of a ream of paper and a new pen.  Dreamweaver brings the series back to Berty’s point of view.  Unlike the previous books, it continues exactly where Hope ended.  The sixth installment should be the last novel in this series.  I say should because although planned, sometimes my characters decide otherwise.

Once Dreamweaver is finished, different options wait in the wings.  Which book to continue next?  I may just write them all and see which one the pen flows over best.  Or one may beg to be brought to the forefront.  I have some time to contemplate what comes next.

In the meantime, I read.  And, I am starting to post book reviews on my blog.  Look for the first one this month.  If an author wishes to have a book reviewed, email me with a review request at IECastellano (at) zoho (dot) com.  Include genre, a book description, and the publication date (previous or forthcoming) in the email.  While my read list is fantasy heavy, I read most genres. Review guidelines will be posted soon.

This year, I am also accepting new editing clients.  I do comprehensive editing, looking at everything.  Email me at the above address to discuss your work.  Longer works are charged per estimated word while shorter works are per work.

Poetry Wednesday will end since I haven’t posted any poems for a long while.  Taking its submission page down will be a part of my blog revamp.

Follow me on Twitter to read lines from my current work in progress (Dreamweaver).  Follow or Friend me on Goodreads to see my thoughts about what I’m reading for pleasure.  Add me to your circles on Google+ for some cool and cute posts.

Here’s to a new year full of new possibilities and a lot of writing.