An Evening with William Price King – Christmas Music – The Little Drummer Boy.

William Price King put this series together for Christmas 2015 and I thought that I would share again to the new readers who have joined the blog since then. For those of you who enjoyed the music the first time around.. I hope you will enjoy again..

Today we are featuring probably one of the most recorded songs for the festive season.

The Little Drummer Boy began life in the early 40s as Carol of the Drum and was written by American classical composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis. She had based the version on a traditional Czech carol with unknown origins and originally Katherine composed the piece specifically for girl’s choirs.


via An Evening with William Price King – Christmas Music – The Little Drummer Boy.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Owen: Book One in the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

Today my review is for the first in the Tudor Trilogy – Owen by Tony Riches. I have actually just finished all three books in the trilogy and will review the other two books at some point in the near future. I can however recommend all three books and enjoyed reading them back to back.

About Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy.

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.

My review for the book.

I loved history at school but it was never taught in depth. Central figures such as Elizabeth I, Queen Mary of Scotland and of course Henry VIII were mentioned, as were major battles or events in their lives. But you never got to know the person behind the crown or those around them in great detail.

I discovered Bernard Cornwell at an early age and have read all his books. And that is why I am delighted to have discovered Tony Riches, who writes his books with the people as the focus, with the events being incorporated into their story, rather than the other way around. This accomplished with not just superb story-telling but by giving Owen Tudor his own voice.

It is 1422 a few years after the Welsh rebellion led by Owen Glendower against Henry IV fails, and his supporters, including his cousins the Tudor family, have also lost lands and titles.

Owen Tudor has been a soldier serving in France, but is now a servant in a privileged position at Windsor castle when the young widow of Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois arrives with her baby son, Prince Henry later to be King Henry VI. Their first meeting was to be fateful, and during the following years of civil war in England, would lead to the founding of the Tudor dynasty.

Tony Riches takes us through the next 40 years in this first book in the trilogy. It begins as a love story that would change the course of history, but it also provides a clear and engrossing background to the beginning of the hostilities between the Houses of York and Lancaster.

Alliances change rapidly with the English throne as the ultimate prize.  What might be dismissed as minor engagements are given the respect they deserve, as integral moves in a chess game that spans decades, and is played adjacent to, and part of the 100 years war between the English monarchy and the French House of Valois.

The characters, even those with a less regal role, are richly drawn and deliver a much enjoyed respite from the destructive and violent events of the time. Sympathy grows for the young royal brides barely in their teens who are traded for land, alliances and truces. The cost of disloyalty is harsh and usually brutally extracted, unless there might be more to gain from clemency.

I would recommend the book as one that brings the cast members of this long drawn out struggle for power into the spotlight. History is a wonderful subject; but can be very dry and indigestible in the wrong hands. That is not the case with the Tudor Trilogy and whilst Tony Riches has created additional fictitious characters and events within the story, they serve to bring the lead cast members to life.

I highly recommend the following two books in the trilogy as well.

Read some of the 300 reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Tony Riches

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads:

About Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.

Connect to Tony Riches


Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed the books in this trilogy.



An Evening with William Price King – Christmas Music – The Little Drummer Boy.

William Price King put this series together for Christmas 2015 and I thought that I would share again to the new readers who have joined the blog since then. For those of you who enjoyed the music the first time around.. I hope you will enjoy again..

Today we are featuring probably one of the most recorded songs for the festive season.

The Little Drummer Boy began life in the early 40s as Carol of the Drum and was written by American classical composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis. She had based the version on a traditional Czech carol with unknown origins and originally Katherine composed the piece specifically for girl’s choirs.

Carol of the Drum caught the attention of The Trapp Family Singers (Sound of Music) and they recorded for Decca Records in 1955. That began decades of recordings by some of the top artists of the time. By 1958 it had become The Little Drummer Boy when released by Harry Simeone on 20th Century Fox Records.

Here are just a few of the artists who have kept this beautiful Christmas Song fresh in the minds of us all over the decades and brought it to new generations of music lovers.

Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, The Supremes, Nana Mouskouri, Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder, Henri Mancini, The Jackson Five, Jimi Hendrix, Anne Murray, Kiri te Kanawa, Glen Campbell, Alicia Keys and Ringo Starr.

Here is the amazing group Pentatonix that brings us right up to date in a very beautiful version.

Pentatonix is an American a cappella group made up of five vocalists. They cover existing songs as well as produce their own material and it has a very definitive style. Exquisite vocal harmonies with extremely effective vocal percussion and beat boxing. You will be able to hear how wonderfully they bring this together in their version of The Little Drummer Boy.

Buy all their albums

About William Price King.

Price King Eric Sempe

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link:

My thanks to William for putting this series together, running until the end of December on Friday evenings at 9.00pm. UK Time.. I hope you will tune in.


Smorgasbord Reblog Posts from Your Archives – Kyoto Day Five – The Imperial Palace by Lillian Csernica.

Over the last weeks on Friday I have been sharing the fascinating tour of Kyoto in Japan courtesy of Lillian Csernica. This is the fifth and final post although you will find a round up of Lillian’s favourite places visited in a round up..

I hope you will head over and read the rest of this post over on Lillian’s blog. Thanks Sally

Kyoto Day Five- The Imperial Palace by Lillian Csernica.

A train ride and a short hike brought us to the Imperial Gardens that are part of the Palace Grounds. We had made a reservation for one of the tours given in English. The Imperial Household Agency runs these tours. We were directed to arrive twenty minutes ahead of time at a specific outer gate. There we found something of a staging area in the form of a gift shop with tables outside and the usual array of vending machines offering a variety of drinks.

Pat took the opportunity to sit for a while. The tour is a walking tour that takes close to an hour. I had a look inside the gift shop. In Japan it’s traditional to wrap up gifts in furoshiki, large squares of fabric that come in many beautiful designs. Much to my delight, this gift shop had a whole case devoted to furoshiki. The young man behind the counter was very kind in helping me look through the variety of colors and patterns until I found two that would suit the gifts for my mother and my sister.

This is where I got down to business in terms of serious research. Most of the story in the third novel in the Flower Maiden Saga takes place at the Imperial Palace. Tendo and Yuriko will be a long way from their allies in Satsuma, surrounded by the politics and prejudices that fill the Emperor’s Court.

In an earlier post I mentioned not seeing many Caucasian people while I was in Kyoto. As people began to assemble for the tour given in English, I heard French, German, Italian, and Russian. At the appointed time, our passports were checked again as we passed through one of the huge gates and into the outer courtyard. We assembled in a waiting room full of padded benches. There were lockers available free of charge, which was quite considerate. People with backpacks or heavy purses (like mine) could park them in a locker, the better to enjoy the tour.

Our guide was a wonderful lady named Yoshiko. She introduced herself, then the tour began with a short audiovisual presentation that gave us more detailed information on the Palace. Whoever wrote the tour guides’ script did a good job of providing more than just names, dates, and places. I suspect Yoshiko brought her own personal flair to the tour. As much Japanese history as I already know, there’s still so much more waiting for me. Yoshiko and I had a nice chat about the writings of Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon.

Please continue the tour of the Imperial Palace over on Lillian’s blog and leave your comments there.. thanks Sally:

A selection of contributory anthologies and books by Lillian Csernica

A review for the Fright Factory

Lillian Csernicas Fright Factory is a must read for people who want to write horror or for those who already do but want to make it even better. Though this is not a very big book Lillian has filled each page with tips and ideas and still manages to make it an enjoyable and fascinating read. My favorite part is her refrences to books, stories, and even films to show you what she is saying unlike other writing books that create an example and you are just suppose to remember it when you write. I am not a writer but I do love reading horror so it was interesting to read because some of the things she brought up as things not to do are actually things I dislike about horror novels so I know how it is.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Lillian on Goodreads:

About Lillian Csernica

At age five, Lillian Csernica discovered the Little Golden Books fairy tales. From there she moved on to the works of Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Tanith Lee, and Terry Pratchett. Her very first short story sale, “Fallen Idol,” appeared in After Hours and was later reprinted in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXI. Lillian has gone on to publish over forty short stories in such markets as Fantastic Stories, Killing It Softly, and After the Happily Ever After. Her Christmas ghost story “The Family Spirit” appeared in Weird Tales #322 and “Maeve” appeared in #333.

Lillian’s two nonfiction ebooks, The Writer’s Spellbook: Creating Magic Systems for Fantasy and The Fright Factory: Building Better Horror, provide nuts and bolts instruction in the techniques of writing those genres.

Born in San Diego, Ms. Csernica is a genuine California native. She currently resides in the Santa Cruz mountains with her her husband, two sons, and three cats.

Connect to Lillian Csernica


My thanks to Lillian for this fascinating tour of Kyoto and thanks to you for dropping in and I hope you will head over to Lillian’s to read the rest of her post.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Poetry – Samhain by V.M.Sang

A warm welcome to V.M. Sang who is sharing one of her poems with us. Although a little past Halloween.. the influences are still around us… all year around!  And you will know what you must do next year.

Samhain by V.M.Sang

Samhain is the pagan pre-curser to what we now call Hallowe’en. It was thought that on the nights of the equinox the veil separating the world of the dead from our own world thinned, and the dead could come through.

Not all the dead were consindered scary, though. The people thought that their recent dead visited them, and they put out food, or set an extra place at the table to accommodate them. These dead came to see their loved ones were going on alright.

Evil spirits, though, could come through, too, and so bonfires were lit to keep them at bay. The home fires were put out, too, to be relit the following day from the bonfires.

Pope Gregory decided that some of the pagan dates should be incorporated into the Christian calendar as psople were used to celebrating on those days. Samhain was one of these. The Pope designated it to be All Saint’s Day, hence the night before became All Hallow’s Eve. (Hallows being another word for ‘holy’ or ‘saint’.)

Pope Gregory also fixed the date of Christmas to co-incide with the pagan festival of Yule, and turned some of the pagan gods into saints. He also used pagan worshiping sites to build Christian churches, on the same principal. People were used to going there to worship.

Here is a poem I wrote for Samhain. I hope you like it.


Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
Samain is tonight.
Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
The dead will walk this night.

Keep your candle burning, darling,
Keep it glowing bright.
Keep your candle burning, darling,
Be sure it gives you light.

The bonfires have been lit, darling,
To fill the dark with light.
The bonfires have been lit, darling,
Their flames reach such a height.

Put your home fires out, darling.
Be sure to do it right.
Put your home fires out, darling.
From bonfires we’ll relight.

Put food by the door, darling.
Leave it in plain sight.
Put food by the door, darling.
For our own to have a bite.

Do not be afraid, darling,
They see that we’re alright.
Do not be afraid, darling,
No harm from them tonight.

But evil spirits come, darling.
We must put them to flight.
But evil spirits come, darling;
Them we must try to fight.

Go and watch the bonfires, darling.
Stand in their bright light.
Go and watch the bonfires, darling,
They keep us safe this night.


Books by V.M.Sang

About The Stones of Earth and Air: Elemental Worlds Book One – Published in August 2017.

After the Crown Prince of Ponderia starts behaving strangely, his best friend Pettic discovers that the prince has been replaced by a doppelganger, and the real prince kidnapped.

Unable to accept the loss of his friend, Prince Torren, nor the cruel impostor to become the new king, Pettic sets on a quest to rescue his friend. After he sees the fake prince meet a mysterious man, Pettic discovers that the prince has been imprisoned in another plane of existence.

With the help of Blundo, the court magician, Pettic finds out that the only way to enter this another world are four keys, each of them associated with a different element. As Pettic sets on his seemingly impossible quest, he discovers that the four lands that hold the keys are all vastly different… and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

Buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read the reviews and follow Viv on Goodreads:

About V.M. Sang

I was born in Northwich in Cheshire, UK. and grew up in an idyllic area for children. My friends and I used to go out to play in the woodlands around the area. Of course, people were less anxious about what might happen to their children in those days. Not that they cared less, it was just that there seemed to be less to worry about.

While I was growing up I was a tomboy. I climbed trees, played hide and seek in the woods, dammed the streams, searched for caterpillars and butterflies, learned about the birds and wild animals and picked wild flowers. (That was not illegal then, of course.)

I loved being with animals, especially dogs. This photograph shows me and a friend with my Border Collie, Laddie. He was a lovely dog.

When I grew up I went to teacher training college where I studied Science with maths and English as subsidiary subjects. Here I enjoyed myself very much. I joined the Hiking Club and on a hike to Kinder Scout in Derbyshire, I met my future husband.

I took up painting and a variety of crafts during the time when I was bringing up my children. I still do them when not writing. One of my favourites is tatting, a craft that not many people seem to do these days, which is a pity as it’s quite easy and makes many very pretty things.

I now live in East Sussex with my husband and enjoy the company of my grandchldren

Connect to Viv Sang


My thanks to Viv for sharing this poem and look forward to seeing more posts from her in the future. Thanks for dropping in .. Sally



Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Bronte Country by Kevin Cooper

Delighted to welcome Kevin Cooper to the series with three posts. In his first post Kevin and his wife Pat took a break from her treatment from breast cancer to explore Bronte country.

Bronte Country by Kevin Cooper

With everything going on, we haven’t planned to do anything over Easter. Having said that, our thoughts are turning towards the need for a vacation or at the very least, a weekend holiday. We don’t feel we can really plan anything until after Pat finishes her radiotherapy early in May.

We normally do have days away or weekends away around Easter, but since we have nothing really going on this year here’s what we did… yesteryears, so to speak. 🙂

A few years ago, Pat and I celebrated Easter in Haworth. It was a weekend trip. I had neglected to take my camera charger and only managed to get pictures of us on the Barge Trip, but we really enjoyed it nevertheless.

Haworth is well known as Bronte Country. It’s where the Bronte Sisters were born and raised. Charlotte wrote the most works, Jane Eyre being the most popular. Personally, I like Anne’s, Agnes Grey the best. I believe the most popular of all though is Emily’s, Wuthering Heights with its most famous quotation, “I am Heathcliff!” which I sometimes find myself crying out when I’m in La-la land, depending of which version of La-la land I’m in… I digress. Their brother, Branwell was more of an artist and a poet.

I was fortunate to obtain the complete Bronte paperback collection for Pat while we were in Howarth, and a compilation of their poems for myself, which I didn’t know existed. Pat often takes one of their works on holiday with her. I pick one up once in a while myself for a good re-read when everything else on the market just looks downright boring and trite. 😀

We took a canal trip at Hebden Bridge. Being as it was Easter, they had this huge white egg on the front of the barge. I actually found the egg somewhat annoying because I had a hard time getting the camera around it to take shots. (Grr!)

The dog that’s on the barge in the photos below, followed us all the way down the canal and back. He’d wait at the gates with us, smiling with his mouth open and then carry on when we were moving again. Pat noticed him first and I observed him while we had our cuppa. I wish I had got more shots of him now.

The most interesting part for me was waiting for the lock gates to fill with water. Not having been on a barge before, I found it to be quite a novelty. The view was beautiful. Pat got bored with all the waiting at each gate.

We’ve been back to Bronte Country since this trip, particularly the village and the Bronte Museum. It was unplanned and I didn’t have my camera at all that time. However, I was impressed by how much I learned at the museum, how life was back in the day, the black death, changes that Patrick Bronte (Their father) sought to make to improve the lives of people in the village…I could go on, but I’m saving that for another post when I have some more photos to share.

Pat especially loved the museum. I’ll be sure to get some really good pics the next time we go, especially of the village and the museum. Pat and I actually enjoy short breaks more than we do long vacations and it seems we enjoy holidays here in Britain more than those abroad. 🙂

©Kevin Cooper 2016

About Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, England in 1963

He moved to the USA in 1985 when he was 21 years old. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Asbury College in Kentucky with recognition on the Dean’s List. He continued his studies at the Grand Canyon University in Arizona, where he obtained a Research Fellowship and graduated with a M.Ed with a strong focus on writing and grammar.

While in America, Kevin has been a College Lecturer of General Studies, a Manager for The Hertz Corporation, who acknowledged him with awards of recognition for his service and dedication to the company, a Substitute Teacher, and a Private Tutor.
He now resides in England and is an established Author of several works.

Kevin founded Kev’s Author Interviews and Author of the Month to help promote fellow authors worldwide through his website and across the social media networks.
He recently re-branded his website to Kev’s Great Indie Authors with added features for authors including an editing service and book reviews. He is always developing his services as he comes across new ways to help promote indie authors.

A selection of books by Kevin Cooper


About Miedo 2: A Reckoning With Fear.

Miedo’s story continues in this chilling sequel to Meido: Living Beyond Childhood Fear. As Miedo comes into young adulthood, he is confronted with new demons while he searches for answers to his past through Spiritualism. But, rather than finding answers, he is left with more questions as a plethora of paranormal experiences occur in his life once again…

One of the recent reviews for the book

I enjoyed Cooper’s first memoir, Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear, and when I finally picked up this sequel, I liked it even more than the first. It continues the story of Cooper’s early life through his teens, including his struggle to find his place in the world, understand the role of faith in his life, and control the demons that continue to plague him.

Told in the 3rd person, the memoir reads like a story, and Miedo is a highly sympathetic character. I related to his feelings of displacement, and the rambling style of Cooper’s narration perfectly reflects that time of life when young adults are stumbling about and trying to define who they are. In some ways, the narrative reminds me of Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) as it picks up on the day to day seemingly insignificant events that make up a life. People and jobs, plans and friends come and go like water through Miedo’s fingers. His sense of belonging never seems to have a strong anchor though there are some relationships that he relies on.

Cooper does an excellent job of telling his story in Miedo’s authentic “voice,” reflecting his age and education at the time events unfold. The narrative also happens in the moment. In other words, this is not a memoir that the authors relates with the benefit of hindsight, but one that unfolds for the reader as it happens.

Miedo 2: A Reckoning with Fear isn’t a long read. Cooper’s style is unique and his story is addicting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs and stories about the struggle to overcome difficult childhoods. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Kevin on Goodreads:

Connect with Kevin

Author page Amazon UK:
Author page Amazon US:

My thanks to Kevin for sharing this lovely day trip to Bronte Country and there will be more posts in the next few weeks.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Natalie Ducey, Melissa Maygrove and Effrosyni Moschoudi

The first author with an update is  Natalie Ducey and her latest collection of poetry The Heart’s Lullaby

About The Heart’s Lullaby

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

A recent review for The Heart’s Lullaby

Poetry from the Heart on October 30, 2017

This book of heartfelt poetry is gorgeous. Once you get started into reading these poems you can get a deep feel for the author’s emotion she engraves into her beautiful words. Her poetry revolves around life and matters of the heart and in the second part Ducey shares some more intimate passages dedicated to more concrete issues such as PTSD, Dementia, and tributes to her own family members.

If you’re looking for a short time out from chaos and need to rejuvenate with some poetic words of inspiration I recommend reading this book.

Read the other reviews and buy the collection:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Natalie Ducey

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads:

Connect to Natalie via her blog:

Full Dark is a collection of eleven short stories of the paranormal including Retribution by Melissa Maygrove.

FULL DARK is a benefit anthology. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation, an organization that does many wonderful things for our country’s active military, its veterans, and the countless first responders who sacrifice so much to keep us safe:

About Full Dark

What happens in the dark will come to light.

Full Dark is a collection of eleven short works with impressive depth and range. Twisted tales of ghosts, villains, and the paranormal await you—mystery, heinous fantasy, and pure suspense. Acclaimed and award-winning authors as well as a few talented newcomers have joined forces to be your guide. Venture into the dark if you dare.

Just A Matter Of Time by Loni Townsend
Forerunner by David Powers King
Taking Care Of You by Carrie Butler
The Apartment by Lisa Buie-Collard
The Caricature by Nick Wilford
Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Seckman
Shadows Falling On Rainbows by Celeste Holloway
Meringue, Murder or Marzipan by Tonja Drecker
Haunted Lake by Michelle Athy
Soul Coin by Laura Rich
Retribution by Melissa Maygrove

A recent review for the anthology

This is a terrific smorgasbord of fast-reading stories guaranteed to please even the pickiest of readers. Will every single reader love every single story? Of course not, but that’s no reflection on the writing. Just as some people reach for the chicken and steak on the buffet line and turn up their noses at lobster and crab, (For Heaven’s sake!) readers will naturally gravitate toward some stories more than others. But every single one of these stories is well-written and engaging. (And for those of you concerned about the “dark,” this isn’t an over-the-top creepy kinda book meant to scare you away or give you nightmares. I’d describe it as more clever and thought-provoking.)

Still not convinced? All proceeds from the sales of this book are being donated to an organization benefiting active military members, veterans, and first responders. Kudos for the authors for donating their time and talent. Four and a half stars, rounded up to five.

Read the reviews and buy the anthology – all proceeds to The Gary Sinise Foundation:

And Amazon UK:

Available in Epub at Nook

Also by Melissa Maygrove

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

And read more reviews and follow Melissa on Goodreads:

Make contact with Melissa via her publishing site:

The next review is for Effrosyni Moschoudi  for her book The Amulet a romantic comedy set in Greece.

Check out the link for Black Friday offers on some of Effrosyni’s books:

About The Amulet

The Amulet is a romantic comedy of angel magic and tantalizing descriptions of Greek food. Download it at your own peril; it’ll make you feel ravenous (not to mention all loved-up!)

Katie has a guardian angel . . . she just doesn’t know it

When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own.

Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you’re in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is a sweet story that offers readers several hours of delightful escapism. In fact you’ll very likely want to physically escape to the island of Sifnos long before you’ve finished reading. Having lived in Greece for some years myself, the enchanting atmosphere evoked by Effrosyni Moschoudi had me feeling quite homesick, and longing to return for a visit.

‘The Amulet’ is peopled with colourful, fascinating characters, every one of whom you feel could be the centre of his or her own story. Katie, the centre of this one, is such a nice, kind-hearted person that it’s hardly surprising she’s surrounded by guardian angels. However, it seems even the pure of heart have lessons to learn about themselves and for Katie, life on Sifnos becomes a surprising journey of self-discovery and personal growth. When she falls deeply in love with Aggelos, you worry for her future happiness, since there seems to be no possible happy resolution to the romance.

The writing is generally clear and simplistic, though in some places it waxes poetic, while in others it has a quaintness that I found refreshingly different. It made me want to read more from this author – and not just to immerse myself in the Greek life and culture once again.
You don’t have to believe in angels and miracles to enjoy this charming romantic fantasy. Just read it – you won’t be sorry.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Effrosyni  Moschoudi







Effrosyni has a number of Black Friday offers on some of her books so check out her post today:

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Effrosyni on Goodreads:

Connect to Effrosyni on her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and please share the news from these authors wherever you can. thanks Sally

Don’t forget that from Monday there will be a slight change to The Christmas Book Fair where all authors in the Cafe and Bookstore can feature one of their books and its best review in the run up to Christmas.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon

Over the last few weeks we have been enjoying the posts from the archives of Jane Risdon. This week however, I am sharing the great news that her new book, co-written with Christina Jones is now available.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the early reviews for the book on Goodreads

Nov 21, 2017 Linda Hill on November 21st 2017

When band members move in next door to Renza, her life will never be the same again, but Stella could put a fly in her ointment!

What a roller coaster of emotions for Renza and Stella. Only One Woman is a real insight into the lives of these two young women in the 1960s. They experience the whole range of experiences for women of their time with their contrasting families shaping them very differently. I’d much rather have Stella’s family in my life than Renza’s!

Right the way through reading Only One Woman I couldn’t make up my mind about Scott. At times I thought I would like to meet him myself and at others I felt I’d prefer to hit him several times with a very heavy blunt instrument. Even by the end of Only One Woman I hadn’t made up my mind. I think this shows what a good job both authors have done in creating complex and real characters.

However, I have no such vacillations of opinion about the atmosphere and 1960’s setting. Although I was quite a bit younger than Renza and Stella in the 1960s, I remembered so many of the cultural references that give Only One Woman such a vivid era, from the music to world events. The authors deserve great praise for the quality of the research to ensure the accuracy of these details. The music really sets the scene but readers of a certain age need to be careful otherwise they will have earworms for days reading this book!

I also enjoyed the variety of settings and was fascinated especially by the depiction of army life in Germany.

I think anyone who has lived through the 1960s will find so many personal memories are prompted by Renza, Stella, Scott et al so that there is so much more to enjoy than simply reading a narrative in Only One Woman. It’s a highly evocative read.

Head over and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Read the reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Some of the anthologies that Jane has contributed to

Read the reviews and buy the Anthologies:

And Amazon US:

Connect to Jane Risdon

Accent Press:

About Christina Jones

Christina Jones, the only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, has been
writing all her life. As well as writing romantic comedy novels, she also contributes short stories and articles to many national magazines and newspapers.

She has won several awards for her writing: Going the Distance was a WH Smith Fresh Talent Winner; Nothing to Lose, was shortlisted and runner-up for the Thumping Good Read Award with film and television rights sold; Heaven Sent was shortlisted in The Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Awards and won a Category Award; Love Potions won the Pure Passion Award; The Way to a Woman’s Heart was short-listed for the Rom-Com of the Year; and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding won The Reviewer’s Choice Award.

A small selection of Christina’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon US:

Connect to Christina


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will help spread the news of this new book and its authors. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Adoption by Adrienne Morris

Welcome to the third post from the archives of Adrienne Morris. This week Adrienne shares an encounter that demonstrates how we are all the same under the skin and that sometimes, the people we might least expect to understand that, are those who have endured hardship and alienation themselves, young though they might be.


via Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Adoption by Adrienne Morris