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June 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,


Debra H. Goldstein

Kensington Publishing Corp.  2022   ISBN 978-1-4967-3223-1

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She’s done it again! In her new cozy mystery, Five Belles Too Many, Debra H. Goldstein once again shows her mastery at creating a tangle of secret lives and ambitious hearts where she hides the killer in plain sight within the story. And though we meticulously follow the clues she scatters for us, we’re always thrown for a loop because the killer is never who we think.

If you have been following these reviews, as I hope you have, and reading her previous books, you’ll be familiar with the twins, Emily the chef of Southwind restaurant in Wheaton, Alabama, and her sister Sarah, who works for a lawyer.

Trouble and murder seem to follow the twins in every project and venture and their joint ownership of the restaurant has found murder as the main course one too many times. Working in concert, they’ve always helped the police catch the culprit.

In Five Belles Too Many, Sarah takes center stage. The city of Wheaton hosts a Southern Belles reality show where five couples compete to win a perfect wedding and dream honeymoon. Excitement. Nerves on edge. Egos and tempers flaring. The tension ramps up when someone turns up dead. Sarah’s investigative instincts kick in as she attempts to identify the killer and prevent another death. The stakes are high because her mother is one of the show’s contestants and possibly the next victim.

Available July 2022, a perfect cozy mystery to add to your summer reading collection.

Remember to try the recipes at the end of the book.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on July 22nd!

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Poetic Thoughts by Veronica Jorge

May 22, 2022 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , , ,
March was World Poetry Day, and April was National Poetry month. During a recent webinar sponsored by the Highlights Foundation, the authors Margarita Engle and Padma Venkatraman expressed the following thoughts:

Poetry is a safe place, a refuge for your emotions.
Poetry is a form of music.
Poetry is hopeful.

I find that through poetry one can communicate something extremely personal in a safe way. You say it, but don’t really say it. Your words reveal a part of you. Your emotions come out like a song lyric.

Here I share two of my haiku poems of feelings in my own heart.



        by Veronica Jorge

Sand, thousands of grains
They are like my memories
My heart filled with you.

                               by Veronica Jorge

To teach is to learn
In my pupil I see me
My life example.

Thanks for reading.

See you next time on June 22nd!

~Veronica Jorge

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Her Story by Veronica Jorge

April 22, 2022 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,
six women holding hands and walking toward the setting sun

Reflecting on last month’s celebration of Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day, I looked through my bookshelves at some of the books written by women about women. I fingered the spines of a few and flipped through the pages of others. Each title evoked a memory, a lesson learned, an inspiration received; a few elicited a tear.

This month, I’d like to share with you a few of the books that have moved, inspired, and touched my life. They are the voices of fellow-women across the globe; sisters, friends, women.

African American

To Be Young Gifted and Black – Lorraine Hansberry, Signet, 1970 ISBN 0-451-15952-7. Best known for her play, A Raisin in the Sun, this is her autobiography of the black experience in mid- 20th century America.

Taking the Arrow out of the Heart – Alice Walker, Ink Atria 2018, ISBN 978-1-5011-7952-5.

Author’s poems in Spanish and English. (especially her poem, Hope is a woman who has lost her fear on page 159).

Native American

Sister Nations: Native Voices, ed. Heid E. Erdrich & Laura Tohe, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002 ISBN 0-87351-428-9. Anthology of Native American Women writers.

The Ways of My Grandmothers – Beverly Hungry Wolf, Quill Press, 1982 ISBN-978-0-688-00471-2. A tribute to the women of the Blackfoot Indians.


First Ladies of the Republic – Jeanne E. Abrams, NYU Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-147-988-6531.

The experience of the White House and politics from the perspective of the wives of the first three American Presidents.


Women of the Silk – Gail Tsukiyama. St. Martin’s Press, 1991 ISBN: 0-312-064-659.

Silk workers in 1926 Chinese village; their hopes, dreams, and struggles.


Everything I kept/Todo Lo Que Guarde – Ruth Behar. Swan Isle Press, 2018. ISBN: 97809972-28724. Bi-lingual Spanish/English edition.

Poems of womanhood, fear, surrender, and life.

Dominican Republic

In The Time of The Butterflies – Julia Alvarez, Algonquin books, 2010. ISBN: 978-1565129764.

The story of the Mirabal sisters and their fight against the dictator Trujillo.


The Strangeness of Beauty: A Novel – Lydia Yuri Minatoya. Norton, 2001. ISBN: 0-393-321140-1.

A woman returns to the home of her estranged mother in Japan on the verge of World War II.

To Live and To Write: Selections by Japanese Women Writers 1913-1938 – ed. Yukiko Tanaka. The Seal Press, 1987. ISBN: 0-931188-43-1.

Nine leading women writers of Japan spanning twenty-five years and their emerging voices on feminist consciousness.


In Her Own Voice: An Illuminated Book of Prayers – Enya Tamar Keshet. Maggid Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-965-526-036-6.

The voices of Jewish women and their prayers and longings from birth through death. The art work is stunning.


On the Niemen – Eliza Orzeszkowa. ISBN: 978-09-888-59296.

A woman’s story of abandonment, impoverishment, social justice, the effects of war and the emancipation of women. In the 1900s, the author was a top contender with Leo Tolstoy for the Nobel Prize. Neither won.

I can never have too many books; always room for 1, 2,3, or more…. So, what are some titles that are special to you?

See you next time on May 22nd!

Veronica Jorge

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March 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as ,


Gwen Strauss

illustrated by Herb Leonhard

Pelican Publishing Co.


ISBN 978-1-455622658


Picture books, that welcoming world of imagery and words that capture the heart and the imagination. And most wonderful of all, when the story is true and reveals a hidden gem.

The Hiding Game, a work of creative nonfiction, is a moving account of the author’s great-uncle Daniel Benedite and Varian Fry, brave men who were instrumental in saving the lives of some of the most important scientists, artists, writers and thinkers of the day such as; Vlady Serge who fled to Mexico and became one of the country’s leading muralist, Max Ernst, a German painter, and artists Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp, among others.

Little Aube, daughter of the famous poet, Andre Breton,( known as the Pope of Surrealism), is forced to move from place to place with her family during the 1940s in Nazi-occupied France. They eventually find shelter in Villa Air-Bel, a hidden villa where Varian, with funds from the New York American Rescue Committee, works with Daniel to arrange passage for them, and others, out of war-torn Europe.

Sundays are Aube’s favorite day because, together with all of the “guests” in the house, she spends the day drawing, singing, and playing games. “Papa said that by singing, playing and laughing with the greatest joy, they would fight against fear.”

But most of the time, things remain secret, like the radio for listening to the war news, and the cow in the yard for giving milk. Aube also has her own secret hiding place; the old armoire in the kitchen, just in case “they” come.

Illustrations by Herb Leonhard draw the reader into the lives of the characters, turning a factual account into a personal encounter with time and history. Strauss also provides actual photos of the individuals, a brief history of the account, and links for further study and reading.

I leave you with a quote listed in the book’s endnotes attributed to Rosemary Sullivan’s book, Villa Air-Bel. “Andre Breton believed that surrealism and art must keep the playful child inside us alive. He believed that laughter was fundamentally the opposite of fascism.”

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on April 22nd!

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The Librarian of Auschwitz: A Book Review by Veronica Jorge

February 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,



Antonio Iturbe

translated by

Lilit Thwaites.


Henry Holt & Co., 2012,

First American Edition, 2017   

ISBN 978-1-62779-618-7

Recently, I replaced my worn copy of Hard Times by Charles Dickens, a novel about the political and economic woes of the 19th century. Hmm. Sound familiar? He prefaces one of the themes of the novel by quoting the biblical phrase, ‘what a man sows, that he will also reap.’ The story unfolds with the ‘seeds’ that each character sows, and the consequences of what they reap.

But that’s a sermon for the pulpit.

My topic addresses the need for books. Replacing this book, and several others, required a long search to obtain the copies in the editions and hard covers I desired. Did I really need to go through so much trouble for a book? Were they worth that much to me? Yes!

Which reminded me of…you guessed it…a book; The Librarian of Auschwitz by the Spanish journalist and author Antonio Iturbe, and based on the true story of Dita Kraus, the little girl who risked her life for the sake of books.

Block 31 in the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp houses about five hundred children and several adults named counselors. Secretly they run a school and hide a library that consists of eight books which include, A Short History of the World by H.G. Wells, a Russian grammar, and a book on analytical geometry. Not exactly essential reading or something to risk your life for, yet that is exactly what they do. Dita is entrusted to hide the books in a different place each night because these books fill their greatest need: the survival of their minds and souls.

The story examines bravery, the causes people risk their lives for, and questions the importance of books. As the author examines on page 408 of his postscript, “Books can’t be used as weapons. They can’t fill a hungry stomach or quench thirst. They can’t cure illnesses, loneliness or prejudice.”

 Or can they?

The Librarian of Auschwitz, together with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2007), ( the narrator in Zuzak’s book is Death, wow!), and the non-fiction book by historian of education Diane Ravitch, The Language Police (2003), to name a few, deserve our attention for they remind us of the importance of freedom of thought and expression. In addition, books can indeed satisfy our hunger and thirst for knowledge; they make good companions to ease loneliness; they open our minds to empathize with other cultures and curb prejudice.

Books are also weapons. To quote an often used phrase: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ So, let’s keep on writing.

Iturbe concludes that humans can survive with just the basic necessities, but it is culture and books that make a complete person. Without them humanity dies.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on March 22nd!

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