Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms Only

It’s been awhile since I jumped into one of Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Poetry Challenges. This week Colleen invites writers to choose a form of syllabic poetry and use synonyms only for the words BOLD and HINT. I’ve written a Tanka.




This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for the syllables only challenge. That means you can’t use those two words. You must find synonyms to replace them. Fun, right?


Here are your two words:

Hint & Bold


Visit Colleen’s Original Post for rules and feel free to join in!



History book
Image by daseinuxd from Pixabay


The Oracle


History reveals,

Heroic efforts by some,

Law and order broke.

Protecting ersatz leaders,

Actions tantamount to crime.



bitmo live laugh love


Sunday Book Review – You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas

Welcome to the Sunday Book Review. I recently interviewed Damyanti Biswas in my Q and A Author Interview Series and today I’m delighted to share my review of this intense crime thriller inspired by the criminal  atrocities and corruption happening to women in New Delhi. You Beneath Your Skin is a powerful and emotionally gripping read.


Author Damyanti Biswas


About the Author

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine.





It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – An irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.

Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all …

In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.


‘A gripping tale of murder, corruption and power and their terrifying effects in New Delhi. Highly recommended.’

– Alice Clark-Platts, bestselling author of THE FLOWER GIRLS

‘Suspenseful and sensitive, with characters negotiating serious issues of society, this crime novel will keep you awake at night!’

– Jo Furniss, bestselling author of ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN and THE TRAILING SPOUSE

‘Gripping…crime fiction with a difference. This is a novel full of layers and depth, focusing on class and corruption in India with compassion and complexity.’

– Sanjida Kay, Author of psychological thrillers, BONE BY BONE, THE STOLEN CHILD

‘Beautiful writing, strong characters and a story that will stay with me for a long time. Set in New Delhi, this novel tackles important issues as well as providing a tension-filled read.’

– Jacqueline Ward, Bestselling author of PERFECT TEN

An intelligent page-turner that mixes a thrilling murder case with a profound psychological and sociological study of contemporary India. As I turned the pages, my pleasure was exceeded only by my desire for more. Seldom has a novel, let alone a debut novel, so expertly captured both the sprawling details of its complex setting and the intimate emotional turns of its characters’ inner lives with such precision, depth, and insight.

On the one hand a thrilling examination of politics colliding with police work in the lurid underworld of South Asian sex trafficking; on another an intriguing exploration of present-day New Delhi in all its teeming, multicultural complexity; and on still another an intimate examination of its characters’ struggles for connection, safety, and meaning, this impressive first novel signals the emergence of a major new talent.

—David Corbett, award-winning author of THE ART OF CHARACTER


My 5 Star Review:

Harrowing, yet, addictive!

I’ll preface this review by saying that the title is more than appropriate, and a pun so to speak, as the characters unfold and reveal who they really are and of course, the faces of the victims burnt by acid – You Beneath Your Skin.

This book has a host of characters involved in this gripping, hard-hitting crime story complete with street crime, organized crime, corruption at the highest level of police, and of course, the central characters: Anjali, an American/Indian, divorced psychiatrist living in New Delhi with her good friend Maya (who happens to be the sister of the police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – who also happens to be Anjali’s long-time lover and the son-in-law of Mehra, the chief of police who Jatin aspires to take over for one day) and Anjali’s autistic and troublesome young son Nikkil.

The nucleus of the story involves Anjali who becomes centrally involved in a huge case of corruption and murders against impoverished women where the heinous act of throwing acid in their faces, disfiguring them and many murdered left for trash in bags becomes the central investigation. With Jatin at the helm of this investigation, we are brought into the world of criminal acts and Jatin’s heroic decision to take on a huge case to strengthen his resume and in doing so uncovers the perpetrators, and is forced to make one of the biggest decisions of his life when he discovers who the perps of this crime were.

The storyline takes us into a multitude of sins with crime, corruption, filthy politics, secrets and affairs. While the crimes and investigations are taking place we are laser focused on Anjali and her life, the past she ran away from and her own fight for survival and the coming out of her secret affair with Jatin. This book is a deep exploration of the human condition taking place in a male dominated society, capturing a whirlwind of emotions. Highly recommended read!


© D.G. Kaye and, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye




Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge #SynonymsOnly – Deception



Pretty & Ugly


HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words.


I’ve chosen to write a Double #Tanka







Disguised as promise

A chaotic clusterfuck

Beautifully concealed

Reality distorted

Hostility reigns rampant.


Suppressing the truth

Predator assumes applause

Undigested lies

Pandora’s present unleashed

Smorgasbord of hate revealed

If you’d like to join in the weekly poetry prompt challenge, please visit Colleen’s blog for the ‘rules’ and various forms of poetry.


Source: Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 135 #SynonymsOnly – The Faery Writer





Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms Only

This week’s #Poetry challenge at Colleen Chesebro’s blog – Synonyms only for the words ‘Plan‘ and ‘Spend‘. I’ve written a Haibun and Tanka.




Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?



Here are your two words for this week:

Plan & Spend


HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words. ❤


For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:







CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia





Barbed wire
Image by Andreas Samuelsson from Pixabay


The Border


My heart aches for the pain and suffering, and loss of life. What remains etched in my mind are the senseless deaths of many fleeing the only homes they’ve ever known, in hopes of asylum – only to find there isn’t any.


Beware the border

A failing system of hope

Yearning for freedom

Human life squandered in search

Where hopes and dreams go to die.


Visit Colleen’s post to learn how to join in!