Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Update – Susan M. Toy, Marcia Meara and Toni Pike

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-updateWelcome to the latest update for the cafe and bookstore and the first featured book was an Autumn Reading in November. One Woman’s Island the second novel in the Bequia Perspectives Series by Susan M. Toy.  This is the second book of Susan’s that I have read, and I enjoyed as much as Island in the Clouds.  The review will be uploaded to Amazon today.

51hb-tptcfl-_uy250_About the book

Running away from Canada, Mariana hopes to forget a failed marriage and the death of her husband by embarking on a whole new life. She moves lock, stock, and two cats to the small Caribbean island of Bequia. But the move brings more than she could have imagined. New friends ask her to help solve a recent murder in the expat community. And then there’s the problem of her neighbours, a young woman and her children. Seemingly abandoned by family and friends, Mariana believes they need her help!

By becoming involved, Mariana is carried along from wanting to simply “live with the locals” to being overwhelmed by their culture, one so vastly different to what she had left behind in Canada that she doesn’t know who among her expat friends she can turn to for advice. So she carries on regardless and discovers that Bequia isn’t exactly the tropical paradise it had promised to be.One Woman’s Island is the second novel in the Bequia Perspectives series that picks up again a few months in time after the first novel, Island in the Clouds.

My review for One Woman’s Island

Many of us have reached a crisis point in our lives and run for the hills. We seek somewhere to lick our wounds away from those who know us and also hope that we can break the cycle in new surroundings and with new friends. However, what rarely changes is our basic nature,  and in the case of Mariana her warm and caring approach to people is the cause of more challenges in her life.  I also know, having lived as an expat in several countries, that appearances can be deceptive and it takes time and understanding of the ‘local’ culture to be accepted.

Mariana wants to be involved in the lives and activities of those she meets whilst still enjoying her hideaway on the island of Bequia. Her attempts are not always successful and speaking her mind does not help the situation. But she is a passionate woman and is not deterred by the resistance that she meets; with very serious consequences. Throw into the mix a crowd of colourful expats with their own cliques and agendas, property land grabbing with violent murders and intrique and you have the recipe for a very good read.

You also get two books for the price of one as Susan Toy separates the chapters of the book with wonderful local Caribbean recipes that she has accumulated.. One of which caught my eye.. Bequia Lime Pie… definitely a recipe to be tried and tested.  This gave the book a unique flavour of its own.. and with the grey and wet skies of Ireland outside my window I thoroughly enjoyed my few days on the sun soaked island.

Buy the book:

Also by Susan M. Toy


Read the reviews and BUY both books:


Connect to Susan M. Toy via her blog:

Sally's cafe and bookstore

The next update is for Harbinger  which is the third book in the Wake-Robin Ridge series by Marcia Meara.  All three books in the series have received excellent reviews and the boxed set which is available would make a wonderful gift.

HarbingerAbout the book

Continuing in the tradition of Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit, Marcia Meara’s North Carolina mountain series takes a shivery turn with the Appalachian Legend of Ol’ Shuck, the Harbinger of Death.

“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.”

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.

One of the recent reviews for the book and the series so far.

I’ve been following Marcia Meara’s Wake-Robin Ridge series since book 1 and each novel just keeps getting better. Harbinger is my new favorite. By now, the characters feel like family, due to the author’s incredible skill at building three-dimensional relationships and creating believable, relatable dynamics. Mac, Rabbit, Sarah and their friends are all people we care about. This is easily read as a standalone novel or enjoyed as part of the series. Either way, it’s sure to enthrall anyone who opens the pages.

This time around Mac and Rabbit become involved in a twenty-year old cold case at the request of their friend Sheriff Wardell. Although the revelations aren’t fully disclosed until the end of the book when the main characters and villain collide in an explosive final, Ms. Meara does a brilliant job of relaying how guilt can slowly push someone over the edge. The legend of Ol’ Shuck, a mythical black dog known as a harbinger of death is used to great effect for a heightened sense of the supernatural.

I hope there are more books to come in this wonderful series, as I have definitely become a devoted fan. Excellently crafted and engagingly told, this is a novel you won’t want to miss!

Read all the reviews and BUY the book:

Also by Marcia Meara


Read the reviews and BUY all the books including the boxed set:


Connect to Marcia via her website:

Sally's cafe and bookstore

My final update today is for The Rock of Magus by Toni Pike which was featured in a Summer Reading. A crisis is brewing in the Vatican – and only one man can prevent disaster. Jotham Fletcher is back. A sinister cardinal, a libertine sect, a homicidal priest and a race against time.

51g8lm4knl-_uy250_About the book

Jotham Fletcher returns in another non-stop adventure that takes him deep inside the Vatican. Cardinal Alpheus has ambitions far more sinister and explosive than anyone could imagine and the death of Pope Linus is only the beginning.

Jotham is now a billionaire, dedicated to finding the Simonian Sect that wants to destroy the Christian Church and he employs Madena, a former army officer, to help him. They rescue a televangelist in Seattle but find the photograph of a cardinal who is soon elected as the new Pope, with Alpheus as his chief advisor.

The deadly Brotherhood re-emerges with homicidal Father Dominic at the helm and the body count begins to rise.

Jotham becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an archbishop in Spain and the unwitting hero after a devastating event in Rome. He has a secret that he dare not reveal and is on the run from the police once again. But nothing prepares him for the final confrontation at the Pope’s summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

FEATURING: a fast-paced and gripping plot, murders, police investigations, a political conspiracy, terrorism, religious mysteries, fascinating historical details, Vatican traditions, a love story like no other and an ending that you won’t see coming.

The most recent review for the book.

The conspiracy develops By Martin on September 3, 2016

The Rock of Magus continues the story of religious conspiracy in the very heart of the Catholic Church, further developing the story that began in The Magus Covenant. The new book has the same elements as the first — a likeable principal character, great action scenes, many geographical locations, love interest, and of course, conspiracy.

While continuing and developing the story, The Rock of Magus has a slightly different style to the first book. The fewer action sequences still satisfy the reader’s inner Mark Damon, but the plot becomes more nuanced, more complex, and climbs higher up the Church’s hierarchy.

Given that the second book continues from the first, it is best to read both in sequence, although it is easy for a reader who has not read the first book to pick up the plot.
This book is exactly what the front cover says — a religious conspiracy thriller. It is an exciting read.

Read the reviews and BUY the book:

Also by Toni Pike:


Read all the excellent reviews and buy the books:


Connect to Toni Pike via her website:

Sally's cafe and bookstore

I hope you have enjoyed today’s updates and that it might have given you some ideas for gifts for the booklovers in your family and circle of friends. Please help spread the word.. thanks Sally

You will find many more books in the Christmas update directory:


This entry was posted in Book Promotion and tagged , , by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

48 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Update – Susan M. Toy, Marcia Meara and Toni Pike

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Update – Susan M. Toy, Marcia Meara and Toni Pike | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. How lovely to be included with both of these lovely writers, Sally! Thank you so much for such a wonderful way of introducing folks to Harbinger, and connecting it to the previous two books in the series. And thank you, as well, for sharing Mae Clair’s beautiful review. Such a joy to find this today! And I’m adding One Woman’s Island, and The Rock of Magus to my TBR pile, as well. (I’m going to have to live to be about 132 in order to work my way through the stack, but I’m hard at it!)

    Merry Christmas, Sally, and a very happy and prosperous New Year, as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Wow, two such wonderful “gifts” to find today. This one is from Sally’s Café & Bookstore Update, and features Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3. It’s simply lovely to be included with the other two authors and their books in the post, and I hope you’ll check it out! *happy sigh* Life is good. (Mostly.) 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll be downloading all of these, but I must admit – given my Catholic upbringing, which I no longer recognize or espouse to – sinister cardinal and homicidal priest caught my eye. How is it that you can divorce something and still be intrigued by it? Lovely array, Sal ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round up.. The last guests at the Christmas party! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  6. I have some of these books on my TBR list. Hope to get to them in the New Year. Congrats, Susan, on the wonderful reviews. Congrats to Marcia and Toni too! Books look great! Happy New Year all! 🎊🎉🍾❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Author Promotion 2017 – If you are in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  8. Pingback: One Woman’s Island – a review (2) | reading recommendations reviewed

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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