Order your copy now! I am pleased to have some wonderful recommendations written by other published authors and poets:
Praise for organic:
Christina Ward’s poetry is heavy with the music of nature. Soft,
slow, beautiful, and strong, her verses take on the shape of the natural world
around us, a world that many of us don’t take the time to see. Do yourself a
favor and fall into her words. Let yourself be carried away.
– Zach Payne, poet,
author of The Wrath and the Waves
. . .
Christina Ward’s organic
heralds a new and vibrant poetic voice, one as distinctive as a bell, ringing
truth in every poem of this remarkable collection. Divided into four sections,
each addresses a different theme: “seeds,” of families; “soils,” of our
vulnerable earth; “vines,” of the ties that bind—both nurturing and stifling;
and “skies,” about the poetic imperative. In her final poem, “For the Eyes of
God and Birds,” the poet tells us, “If tomorrow my words/get swallowed up in
darkness/I will still, write a poem.” Believe her. This poet, honest and brave,
will continue to ring her vibrant truth.
–Jean P. Moore, award-winning novelist and poet.
Her chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, was
nominated for the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award.
Christina Ward’s poetry can take mundane
observations and transform them into larger life metaphors. She has a keen
observation and knowledge of nature, expressed beautifully in much of her
poetry. Interlaced with flights into historical fantasy on occasion, all of
Christina’s poems are teachers in unique ways. I highly recommend organic
for anyone with an interest in
poetry, nature and the unfolding drama of life.
–Randy Shingler, poet, essayist and author of the poetry collection, Tranquil Freedom.
Thank you to all of those who have already ordered their copies!
don’t know at what point in my life I got the message that it is
somehow sacrilegious to not finish a book that I have started reading.
But because of this strong message in my mind I have books all over my
house with a bookmark in it.
I must have 12 unfinished novels.
For some reason it is very difficult to just take hold of that bookmark and slide it free from the book.
Perhaps it is not the right time for the reading of that particular book.
the interest that we initially had in the book was lost when we began
reading it and it did not live up to our expectations.
Perhaps it is simply just not a very good read?
it is very difficult for me to give up on a book. There’s something
about quitting that runs through my mind. There are messages from my
parents about following things through and not giving up on something
that you have started.
Life is too short to press through a boring book.
I’m here to tell you that life is simply too short to hold onto things
that aren’t of interest. Your time is better spent moving on to other
books that seize you by your emotions and carry you through page after
pull out that bookmark! Set the book aside and if the timing is right
later you can come back to it. But there’s no sense in beating yourself
up or forcing yourself to plunder through a book that bores you to
are so many books on my bookshelf. At the rate I read, that I would
never finish them all! I decided there’s nothing wrong with testing out a
book for a few chapters and then deciding whether to continue.
more plundering through boring books for me. And if you needed the
permission to pull out that bookmark and move on to something else —
here you are! You have my permission!
made a decision some years ago while eating a plate of cold french
fries from some fast food place somewhere, that with the caloric content
of french fries there’s simply no point in eating them unless they are delicious. I decided that if the fries suck I’m going to throw them out.
simply no sense in putting my body through the difficulties of
processing the caloric garbage of french fries unless they’re so damn
good that I just can’t help myself. So if they’re not hot and delicious
they go in the garbage.
an analogy. No reason to burn or throw out the book that bores you. You
can set it aside or donate it and free up a little space in your home.
Don’t hang on, hold on, and press yourself through something that is
uninteresting or simply not your thing.
Save your reading time for books that move you.
the books that move you, inspire you, entertain you, teach you, and
give your life that ooey-gooey feeling of cuddling up with a good book.
It is totally okay.
Ward is an avid reader, poet, and writer from North Carolina. She is
also writing a book of her own that she one day hopes doesn’t bore the
masses. Stay in touch for book releases.
I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
All. The. Feels.
The naturalist within me sang circles and ran around excitedly, arms in the air and miniature binoculars on the ready — while reading this intensely poetic and nature-filled joy of a book.
To say that I could not put it down is an understatement. I was consumed by it. And it has been a very long time since a book has affected me this way.
Reminiscent of my reading of Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac in my college years, this book had all the nature I needed with a healthy dose of character development and plot. The story carried me on wings of curiosity while the characters unfolded, each to a different amusement.
I am from rural North Carolina and am quite familiar with our beautiful coastal marshlands, but this deep dive into the region was spectacular. Some of the descriptions reminded me more of regions further south, but as the story moved through these lush marshes — I didn’t care if the precise trees, grasses, or Spanish moss dripping from the trees was exactly right.
For once I didn’t find myself looking it up — to be sure the nature descriptions were right for the area. It infuriates me to read books that get the seasons and the botanical inclusions all wrong. This story carried me so well and the descriptions were so on point that I didn’t feel the need to investigate. It felt right. The author, being a nature scientist herself, had such a strong and authoritative, trustworthy voice throughout, that the reader is left to just enjoy the narrative.
Omniscient POV was also a great choice for this novel. The reader is able to have a birds-eye view into this sleepy town.
And speaking of birds — as someone who thoroughly enjoyed my college ornithology classes and enjoyed the field work that happened to be on the coast of North Carolina — I wholeheartedly loved the birds in Where the Crawdads Sing. The birds were so involved in the story that they are almost a character in and of themselves.
I would say, as well that the marsh is its own character — as fully developed as the human characters in the story. All five senses as well as a deep sense of wonder are engaged throughout the story by the movements and moods of the marsh, so loved by the “Marsh Girl.”
This is a beautiful debut novel celebrating wildlife, natural experiences, and leading us through a moving coming-of-age story into a gripping murder mystery.
This book has it all. I was moved to laughter, to wonder, to fear, and to tears. If you read a book at all this year — let it be this one!
Recently I read the novel Tilda’s Promise, by novelist and poet Jean P. Moore for our book club selection. Jean joined us to discuss her novel and I wrote about that here.
Review of Tilda’s Promise
Tilda Carr is afraid to go to sleep. Terrible things can happen in your sleep, like what happened to Harold. After forty years of marriage, Tilda finds herself alone and navigating her grief with as much grace as she is able. A funny thing happens when you are grieving — the world goes on.
Tilda faces the challenge of growing in her grief. Grief is an unwelcome teacher that pushes and pulls at Tilda as she turns her focus outward. The neighbor’s wife leaves her husband unexpectedly and Tilda simply can’t just let this man and his teenage daughter suffer through this alone. Something must be done about this.
Tilda’s granddaughter is also suffering greatly with the loss of her Grandfather, but something else is going on with Tilly. Tilda feels drawn to her pain, burdened with confusion. Tilda knows she must find a way to reach her, to understand her grief through eyes a generation away from her own. Can she really understand? Can she help Tilly through whatever is consuming her? Suddenly the granddaughter she’s known, who is named after her, no longer wants to be Tilly. How can Tilda bridge the grief between them?
Tilda’s Promise reaches into the places of us that want to judge, that want to run away, that want to crumple up and give up — and hands us Tilda, a tender woman who has suffered a great loss. She does not fold in on herself for long. Her attention belongs to the living, and in them, her life can gain traction.
The novel moves compassionately through the lives of Tilda and Tilly who are both suffering insurmountable grief. We are taken on the slow road of sorrow and through these two very different people, we learn lessons that only emotional pain and tragedy can teach us. As the storyline slowly unfolds, we experience renewal, empathy, and strength of character through Tilda, a woman who keeps her promises.
Pain teaches us to redefine ourselves.
I enjoyed the emotional depth of this novel. For a novel to be truly effective, the main character has to face challenges, grow, overcome, and share that experience with the reader. Tilda certainly does that and the reader finds it easy to be invested in her journey.
Other themes worthy of mention in this story involve Jewish customs, which are interwoven throughout the story. I find the inclusion of faith to varying degrees with the characters to add further depth and open up questions about how faith can absorb grief or catalyze growth through grief.
Issues of gender and sexuality are of great importance to the story as well, causing Tilda, as well as the reader, great introspection. Can love overcome confusion?
I welcome you to read Tilda’s Promise and experience these characters through the eyes and heart of empathy. Jean P. Moore handles grief in such a tender way through these characters. Her novel is well-written and compassionate, asking tough questions, some of which must be answered to the readers’ interpretation.
More Information about Jean P. Moore, novelist and poet:
Award-winning author, Jean P. Moore, is a novelist, poet, and non-fiction writer. Her novel, Water on the Moon, was published June 2014 and was the winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award for contemporary fiction. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals such as up street, SN Review, Adanna, The Timberline Review, Angels Flight Literary West, Distillery, Skirt, Slow Trains, Long Island Woman, the Hartford Courant, Greenwich Time, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Additionally, a memoir piece, “Finding Charles,” appears online in Persimmon Tree, Summer, 2011. Several anthologized poems can be read in Women’s Voices of the 21st Century, 2014. Her chapbook, Time’s Tyranny, Finishing Line Press, published in October 2017, was nominated for The Massachusetts Book Award, 2018.
Thanks for reading this book review. Visit Jean P. Moore’s website and subscribe to her newsletter to stay updated on upcoming novels!
She shares her insights on her book and some advice
(Stay tuned for a follow-up book review post of Tilda’s Promise!)
I am a member of the Friends of the Library Book Club
at our local library. Occasionally we have the joy of hosting an author and on
May 22, Jean P Moore visited with us and
shared about her book Tilda’s Promise,
which was our latest book selection.
The Friends of the Library book club meets every other month at our local library. We discuss the current reading selection, giving each person a chance to share their thoughts on the book, and discuss questions led by Rich, our librarian.
The conversation around Tilda’s
Promise was stimulating. People shared their thoughts on the book, about
their personal grief, and about their thoughts on gender-confusion. It was a
beautiful thing to talk about the book while having input from the actual
author of the book.
Promise is a novel that deals with heavy subjects in a tender way, with
characters that are well-developed and knowable. Tilda herself is an empathetic
and strong woman that I found to be both likable and inspirational. She is not
a particularly religious woman and she’s dealing with the terrible grief of the
sudden loss of her husband and doing so while dealing empathetically with the
difficult life circumstances of those around her.
You will remember her journey.
I found the book to be most similar in style with Eat, Pray,
Love, although the protagonist in each book handled their grief
differently — both were on a quest of self-discovery and healing. I found the
pacing of the book to be a bit on the slower side, to allow for the story to be
told in real-grief time, giving time for the characters and their stories to
Moore was, herself, an empathetic, genuine, thoughtful soul. Her
kindness and openness about her writing were touching to me. I asked her how
she preferred to write, and she described how she used Word for her writing,
emailing segments of it to herself for safe keeping and to guard against
I enjoyed hearing her describe how the characters of her book lived in
her head while she was writing. How she cried with them.
She expressed a joy about coming to book clubs such as ours and being
reminded that we are still a nation of readers that love to come together and
When I asked her about what inspired her to write Tilda’s Promise, Moore had this to say:
inspiration came from what I was observing around me: the losses my friends
were experiencing, the deaths of spouses and in one very tragic instance, the
death of an adult daughter. These made me realize that our time on this planet
is fleeting. At any moment we may be touched by the death of a loved one. I
wanted to explore how one goes on after such loss, how does one find meaning?
are continuing education classes to take in writing, art, music. I think by
finding our talent and expressing it, we learn more about what it is to human.
Such expression can be deeply illuminating and satisfying.
I wanted to see and to express how one find’s purpose in life after experiencing life shattering loss.
I also asked her if she had any advice for other writers, such as myself, and her answer was eloquent and helpful.
advice to writers on their journeys is to stick with their passion. If you are
a writer, you will know that you have to write, no matter what. You will
develop a tough skin when it comes to rejection; you will not be discouraged. You
will also know that writing is at its heart a form of communication, one being
to another. You will strive to find your audience. And when you finally begin
to have publishing successes, you will be helpful to others who are trying to
follow the same path.
The evening, the refreshments, and the open
conversations were a memorable and invigorating. If you’re not a member of a book club I
hope that you will find one. This nostalgic activity could be just what your
soul needs on your reading journey to add a richness that cannot be matched. I
am so grateful that I got my introverted self to step out of my comfort zone
and into the conversation. I encourage you to do the same.
Moore’s closing remarks were:We’ve all read and heard that we don’t read books anymore, but when I visit book clubs, I am always so touched by the appreciation for books. These groups give me hope that in our communities, in our homes and libraries, we are still engaging in deep and rich discussions of ideas.