Review : Circumstances of Childhood by John Howell

CoC

It’s always a pleasure to read a novel written by John Howell. He has a way of mixing action, thriller level excitement, real world politics, intelligent discourse and detail (much of which feels ripped presciently from today’s headlines), all wrapped up in believable, relatable, and importantly – likeable – characters.  And it’s all his own – the John Howell style – immediate, engrossing and always great fun.

This time the author notes some autobiographical parts, and an homage to great friendships. And this is what surrounds the novel – a great, true friendship from life and beyond life, adding a paranormal element that is warming and comforting rather than frightening or strange.  It is a testament to John’s writing skill that you accept the supernatural premise immediately and naturally. Of course such a strong friendship, which is more like a family tie than just companionship – of course it survives even death. And of course it becomes a guarding angel over the thrilling ups and downs of the narrative itself.

There is pain here – a relationship ending which you partly see coming from sad, well placed clues but you hope against hope will not happen.  And when it does you feel right alongside the main character. But also you are warmed by his strength and an innate goodness that I always believe would be true of the author . This flows from his writing and its generous spirit, and it lives in the characters as well.

I thoroughly recommend this novel. It is exciting, heartwarming and also spiritually affirming (without you having any particular religious or spiritual affiliation).  It gives you faith and hope in something greater than that – and simpler: faith in a little thing called love.

 

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

 

 

 

Posted in Poetry | 16 Comments

Journey

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Each year it turns
This ancient world
My boat is tilted
Toward the moon’s hopeful light
There is land in sight
And there is comfort
This good night

I am aging
Like the wood
Of this sturdy boat
My bones creak
And sometimes moan
The ferryman
Still out of sight
This good night

Thoughtful moon
Hangs the world for me
Against this starry sky
It will beckon me
By and by
But not this year
And not this night
This good, good night

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Confused

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I’m confused
Can you see?
Can you decipher
Easily?
Can you help
Please help me?

I’m distorted
On my face
No linearity
No safe place
I’m pathetic
A disgrace

Normal service
Will resume
There’s no need
To auto-tune
I’ll return here
Very soon

I’m disjointed
In my soul
I’m just longing
To be whole
I will beg you
I’ll cajole

Please don’t flee me
I am fine
I’ll be normal
In good time
Let our souls touch
Let’s entwine

I’m confused
That is all
Won’t you answer
My sweet call?
I’m not me
Not me at all

(C ) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

King of His Lonely Domain

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They said that he was mighty
A warrior of the flame
From vengeance or from victory
His soul did not refrain
But then he saw her beauty
And understood the stain
Or power and of infamy
Of how all viewed him fearfully
King of his lonely domain
After she came
Never the same, never the same

His heart could crush so easily
In adoration’s game
He gazed from windows longingly
Whispering her name
For she had struck him soulfully
And knowing now the flame
Of reaching for her hopelessly
Knowing she would fear and flee
King of his lonely domain
After she came
Never the same, never the same

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Angel Part Two

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She wept when she fell
All these stories she could tell
Black winged descent
Into the solitude
The separation
That is hell

She covered her face
No mercy to embrace
Fallen creature
Perfect avatar
For humanity
For our race

There were angels in those days
They fell to earth so many ways
It might be that we could fly
To take their place

She wept when she fell
I knew her heart too well
I couldn’t rise above
My own black soul
And so we stood
But stood apart
In perfect hell

(c ) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Angel Part One

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She was blistering white
Heaven’s finest
We trembled at her sight
And yet her beauty
Illuminated the night
So stellar, so bright

Her power cascaded
Across our unredeemed shore
She gave us her mercy
We clamoured for more
Her silvery voice
We could not ignore

But moments we saw her
Before she was gone
All these truths we inferred
And that we were wrong
We never averred
It just never occurred

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Entering

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Entering from the very end
The follower plays chess
On empty boards
And runs down forest pathways
To unreachable lights
The ferryman is laughing
In this good but darkened night
And the clowns are crying
At the parties
We dismiss in our fevered flight
Jut looking for that tunnel
And the rabbit’s eerie sight
Tumbling down

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deeper

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Drawing deeper
Than ever before
The water will relinquish
Its power and secrets
She will thrive
In knowledge
And energy
Till she is whole

All life begins
Floating in fluids
Cosmic conducting
Of life force energy
She knows as she drinks
The force is within
Till she is whole

Ever, ever deeper
She will swim
In these depths
Once they are known
And they will give her
Her new home
Embracing in the chill
Down to her bones
Till she is whole

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Announcing the Launch of Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell

Woo Hoo! A new John Howell novel! You know that will be too good to miss! Get your copy today! 🙂

Fiction Favorites

Circumstances of Childhood.

By John W. Howell

Click for Amazon Kindle

Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an…

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Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment

Let Me Fly

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In these moments
Let me try
I can reach this
If I try
I am grateful
I’m alive

Feel it rushing
Through my soul
Deep yet weightless
Torn yet whole
I’m the rock
That learned to roll

In this blessing
Let me fly
Not to question
Reason why
I am grateful
I am I

(c) Helen Valentina 2017

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments