Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words

By Sally Cronin


Book Blurb

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, micro-fiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French-speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99-word micro-fiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

My Review

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words is a beautiful collection of various types of poetry, 99-word flash fiction, and short stories that the author has written in response to various blog challenges within her circle of blogging friends.  These are thoughtfully penned poems and stories that reflect upon life experiences and imaginings.  That Sally Cronin is a master storyteller is evidenced in this heartwarming collection.

The book is divided into categories with something for every reader.  If you like fairies, there is a section of poetry for you.  The section All Things Human addresses aging and youth, beauty, greed, romance and much more.  Do you like nature?  The Natural World has poems to keep you reading.  There are quite a few more categories of life experiences and other topics to pique your curiosity.

Flash fiction always fascinates me.  So much can be said in very few words, and Sally Cronin is an expert at answering the prompt.  Life’s Greatest Gift is one of these prompts.  It is skillfully written with great tenderness.  My Mouse is a flash with a hilarious twist at the end.  I’m still chuckling over that one.  Reunion is a touching response to the prompt.  I couldn’t begin to tell you which of the flash fiction is my favorite.

My favorite short story was Great Aunt Georgina.  It was heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time. Of course, I don’t want to tell you what the storyline is, you’ll just have to read it yourself along with the rest of the varied short stories.

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words is a book that can be read in one sitting or enjoyed over several days.  It is a treasure trove of life tales in prose and poetry, all told with warmth, some humor at times, and often with the unexpected ending. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.  There is positively something here for everyone.   

Author Bio

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996.

My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another twelve books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. My latest collection is Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words.. verse, micro fiction and short stories.

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.


Web Links for Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine (Sally’s Blog)

Moyhill Publishing





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Book Blurb, Author Bio, Author Photo, and Cover Photo are from Goodreads

An Angel Among Us

By J.E. Spina


A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story is specially created for her and is the inspiration for the title of this book.

From the Author

I began these short stories about six months ago. They were going to be a collection of holiday and seasonal stories. This all changed when I connected on FB with my high school friend, Anne Gillis Benedetto. We had been following one another there since 2015.

Anne mentioned on her FB page that she had lost her husband. She was in profound torment over his loss. I followed her notes and added my condolences as did many others. We chatted back and forth, and she reminded me of the last time we had been together at our fifth high school reunion. We spent the time reminiscing over how much fun we had with many laughs.

In one of her later posts, she announced that she had breast cancer with only months to live. This horrific news was devastating not only to me but to many of her close friends in Florida and around the country. I wrote a short story about her and her beloved husband and sent it to her asap. In my letter, I told her I wanted to dedicate this book to her.  She wrote a lovely letter of gratitude back to me.  Unfortunately, she died before I could present this book to her.

Anyone who knew Anne loved her. She was an incredibly beautiful person inside and out. She had a kind heart and did for others up until the time she passed on January 3, 2017. I pray she is smiling down on this book now. I want this book to keep Anne’s memory alive for all who knew her and introduce her to those who didn’t.

Blessings & love to you, Anne!

(Blurb and From the Author are from


My Review

I have read many of Janice Spina’s books and have never been disappointed.  She writes with clarity and warmth.  She doesn’t shy away from delving into another genre, as is evidenced by this eclectic collection of short stories.

The author’s tribute to her friend is heartwarming and is just the first story in this delightful collection.  I recommend An Angel Among Us to everyone, as there are stories from multiple genres that are sure to appeal.  This book can be read all at once or story by story. It is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time but want something to read with their coffee or before bed or whenever they have a few minutes without committing to a full-length book.

An Angel Among Us gets a thumbs up from me.

This book was gifted to me.  I was neither paid nor required to give this honest review.

About the Author

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with eight children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat, and four YA/MG/P/T books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Books 1-4, copy editor and writer of novels and poetry. Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina. She published her second novel, a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, June 2016. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives was published in August 2016 and Book 4 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series in December on 2016. An Angel Among Us, a short story collection, was published in March 2017.

Janice has received a Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards for Lamby the Lonely Lamb and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, and Book 2,The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone.

She is working on two more children’s books, plans to edit a YA fantasy, a mystery/romance, and a historical novel, and wants to begin a mystery series for PT girls. All of these books, hopefully over the next few years, will be published.

Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is – Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Come soar with Jemsbooks! Happy reading!

Janice’s hobbies besides writing are crocheting, exercising to keep in shape, loves going to the movies with her husband or out to lunch or dinner, reading, book reviewing, blogging and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her writing inspiration.

(Author Bio is from

Follow Janice Spina

Blog Jemsbooks
Website: Jemsbooks

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