Baroota: The Hunting Ground

Baroota: The Hunting Ground (Book 1)

Baroota: The Hunting Ground (Book 1)
Zach Fortier
Steele Shark Press (March 7, 2016)
Reviewed: April 18, 2016

It was no surprise Mr. Fortier’s latest prose ended up in my hands, and he did not disappoint in his first endeavor into the world of thriller fiction. The characters in Baroota: The Hunting Ground were slow to build; however once they gained their full potential and momentum, they pulled the reader into a wild game of cat-and-mouse. Unexpected twists mixed with comic-relief sarcasm thrust its dark hold until the last word.

Mr. Fortier has a demented sense of humor and a plethora of stories from his time in the military and as a civilian police officer. His way with words allowed the jungles of Baroota to act as a playground for those very antics. Baroota: The Hunting Ground packs a punch with sex-trafficking, deception, and murder.


The Façade

The Façade
Shannon Gambino ~ April 11, 2016

Limiting his thoughts
Resisting his desires
Retaining a semblance of control
Fortifying his wall of perceptions
Her smokey image wafting through his subconscious
Smudging his ideologies with a hint of sage
Tipping his balance of expectations
Her free spirit floating gently around him
Greeting him in his own territory
Her embrace displacing the foggy façade he is lost within
Holding on to her momentarily, enjoying her touch of reality until …
Succumbing to the beckoning familiarity of his shadows
Maintenance of the ruse seemingly easier than the truth

Daddy’s Goodbye

Daddy’s Goodbye
Shannon Gambino ~ February 16, 2016 @ 2:16 a.m.

Moments replayed, exposed then fade
Eyes cloudy and fixed, staring into an unknown abyss
Hearing little, sight already gone
Almost time, the mind patiently waiting to shut off
Breath barely a whisper
Heartbeat a silent flutter
The ticking clock stopping for none
Yet seeming to stand still for one …
Fighting life’s descent into the next realm
Holding on desperately to the love he had for his girls
But the angels smiled down and illuminated the pathway between this world and another
The beating heart stopped, no more breaths left to take
Death’s warm embrace gently carried Daddy away

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We will always love you, Daddy.
September 28, 1943 – February 16, 2016

Go Rest High On That Mountain, Daddy.

The Warrior

The Warrior
~Shannon Gambino, November 28, 2015

He bleeds from all facets of his existence
He rewires his thoughts to stem the continuous flow
His scars crisscross in patterns across his humanity
His tears drip in rivulets of pain
His passion seeps and fertilizes the grounds of his boundaries
He commands his generations with an unfaltering loyalty
He stands tall despite the strangulation of his stronghold
His unwavering faith shields his quiver of hope
His voice projects his call to arms
He inhales determination and exhales the power of a warrior

SilhouetteOfAWarrior-MarineCorps-Attrib-Flickr-Marine_Corps-9801282315-640x427    (Silhouette of a warrior. U.S. Marine Corps *I do not own this image.*)

New Year’s Clock

New Year’s Clock
~Shannon Gambino, December 31, 2014

The clock ticks across timezones around the world
Each tock categorizes and records history
Forever forward; ne’er back
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock
Sealing the past in its exact place
The future, an exciting mysterious face
The present freezes momentarily as our only guarantee
Life balances on the slice of time
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock
The incoming new year beckons a countdown
Ten to one … tick-tock … the clock ushers on

Good-bye 2014.

(Slightly late blogging this poem. I published it on Facebook on December 31, 2014.)

Landed On Black

Landed On Black

Landed On Black
Zach Fortier
SteeleShark Press (August 2, 2014)
Reviewed: October 16, 2014

Having read all of Mr. Fortier’s books, Landed On Black flows perfectly with the rest. Picture yourself sitting at a table in a coffee shop with Zach as he recalls stories from his nights on the streets and days with the brass. He does not hold back on the details and chuckles to keep his sanity in tact.

Landed On Black eluded in the beginning to what situations might trigger Zach’s breaking point, but the theme did not continue throughout the book. Other than that, it was a great read; like the rest of his books, the stories make you laugh out loud and cringe at the same time.

Bicycle of Life

Note: The poem can be read top to bottom (left to right), bottom to top (left to right), and bottom to top (right to left).

Bicycle of Life
~ Shannon Gambino, August 11, 2014

Pavement and tires
Muscles engaging
Distance hazy
Sun blazing
Trees shading
Slow or fast
First or last
Journey continues
Bumpy terrain
Potholes, cracks; road uneven
Darkening clouds
Sun hiding
Trouble lingering
Testing limits
Passing people
Car-horns honking
Flashing stoplights and warning flags
Yield and turn or turn and avoid
Road unknown
Alone and scared
Sights unknown
Cities looming
Buildings, streets, stores, neighborhoods, houses
Birds chirping
Babies squealing
Children laughing
Dogs barking
Folks chatting
Friendship and love
Merging lives
Connecting towns and outliers
Farms and fields
Meadows and forests
Rivers and flowers
Clear skies
Glorious and carefree
Valleys and hills
Twisting trails
Towering mountains large and majestic
Elongating shadows
Deep and fiery colors streaking
Sun and moon crisscrossing paths
Ride or sleep
Tension-weary, bike creaking
Struggle and push
Hurdle after hurdle
Limitations surpassed
Shining and triumphant
Wildly coasting, smiling happily
Moments, choices, joy,
Pain, endurance, strength
Only forward

2015-01-19 19.53.17

**Painting done by me using acrylics and liquid pencil.**

The Brede Chronicles Book 1

The Brede Chronicles Book 1

The Brede Chronicles Book 1
P.I. Barrington
First Realm Publishing (June 23, 2014)
Reviewed: July 1, 2014

Crisscrossing paths between worlds, Alekzander Brede and Elektra Tate are an unlikely duo. He is a mercenary, bred with superior alien and human genes; she is a blonde-haired thief with a crackshot and undying adoration for her only friend. A superior crossbreed, Alekzander is cruel and emotionless – the killer-for-hire has few friends and many enemies. An abandoned child living on the streets, Elektra fights to survive the never-ending abuse and garbage. Their love-hate relationship is a force to be reckoned with as they face their fates.

Due to the story being the first of The Brede series, the author allots time for character introductions and setting depictions until she shifts gears and charges forward with an intense and fantastic ending.

Ms. Barrington’s heroines captivate me with their feisty spirits. Similar to the female protagonist in Isadora DayStar, Elektra Tate embodies the same ‘scrappy dog’ verve Ms. Barrington is known for penning; she fights for her life amidst those who would rather use her, abuse her, and kill her. Fight on, Elektra!

Farewell, Ties That Bind

Farewell, Ties That Bind

~Shannon Gambino, April 9, 2014

Sometimes, you want to scream loudly, if only to be heard

Other times, you crawl so far inside yourself, you think you must be dead

When the heart shatters, what is the appropriate reaction?

Be the vile vixen who stinks of desperation?

Mourn the good but extract the bad, holding on to whatever’s left?

Hardest part is moving forward with the fullest sense of loss and regret

Crushed limbs hurt less than the severed soulful strings

So long, farewell, we are no longer tied on either side of the veil or whatever eternity brings.

Time Ceases


Shannon Gambino, March 23, 2014

Step inside the invisible shield
Protection and comfort, a powerful field
Holds the hurtful world at bay
Passion ignites the canopy’s sway
Blanket of warmth wraps the intention
Snuggle tightly in the embrace’s connection
Time crawls, slows, ceases
Dimension of space erupts and freezes
Into oblivion, breaths hasten
Movement strokes, words unspoken
Mirage shimmers, droplets glisten
Relax, live, love, listen
Seal the desire, ultimate trust
Intoxication’s intimate thrust
Essences commingle, tender affection
Peace, hope, fractal reflection

Ever meet that one person who makes you feel like the world and time slip away when in his (or her) presence? Or maybe the quiet serenity of your hot shower gives you the sense of an otherworldly connection? Maybe you get that feeling when both of them are combined? Step inside the invisible shield of your lover, shower, or both merged. 

**I do not own this image. **

**I do not own this image. **