Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Lucinda E. Clarke, Adele Marie Park, Sally Cronin and Bette A. Stevens

Welcome to Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore Author update and a quick note before I get started. Whilst I will be featuring reviews here for authors in the bookstore there is another opportunity to showcase your latest review in a new series that is open to all authors and also to reviewers of books.

Receiving reviews for our work is actually one of the key elements of our marketing efforts.  They make a difference and whilst it is important that those reviews are posted to Amazon I would also recommend that if you are a blogger you create a post to showcase your review too.

Here is the first in the series and my aim is not just to promote authors who have been reviewed but the work of the fantastic reviewers who assist our marketing efforts.

Now on with today’s update...

The first featured author today is Lucinda E. Clarke with an offer for you. This is just to let you know that the first book of my memoirs about writing and filming in Africa is on sale at the price of $/£ 0.99 until Monday, so you might like to grab a copy at this low price

About the book

Lucinda ‘fell’ into writing by chance, moving from radio to television, to running her own production company in South Africa. She lifts the lid on what really goes on behind the scenes in the media, often hilarious and not at all glamorous. She spent more time on rubbish dumps than in banqueting halls, although she got to meet many famous people.

One of the many reviews for the book

I found this memoir to be a fascinating account of the author’s time working as a writer for radio and television, mostly in South Africa. The behind-the-scenes stories of what actually happens compared to what is shown to viewers is quite eye-opening and I certainly learned some interesting facts that I never knew before. Told with honesty and humor, this is a story of how the author pursued her dream of becoming a writer, and of all the hard work and perseverance that was involved.

It is also a story of success, though she never claims it, I feel that she is a wonderful example of following your heart, no matter what it takes. The book has a sequel which I look forward to reading.

Read all the reviews and buy the book at the offer price of 99c/99p:

Also available at the following bookstores

B& N    
Apple itunes

Also by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy all the books:

Now for a review for Wisp by Adele Marie Park by Colleen Chesebro

About the book

Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought.

When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisp`s life, as he knew it will completely change.

What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.

Here is Colleen’s review of Wisp

Meet Wisp, a law enforcer in the land of Edra, where magic is encouraged to flourish and is often needed for sheer survival. A mages council rules Edra compared to the neighboring area of Finah, who prefers humans to control their resources. After a bloody civil war, many years ago, the two lands exist beside each other in a fragile peace.

Wisp is a marsh fairy (YES! Can you believe it?) with raven hair and pointy ears pierced with silver earrings. Marsh fairies are rare and possess special powers. Wisp keeps his real identity under wraps, known only to his superiors. Abandoned as a child, the “Senior” Law enforcement officer raised him ensuring his survival.

In a desolate area filled with putrefying rubbish, Wisp comes across the body of a High Elf, a member of the Thorns, who was a high-ranking council member found murdered in the circle. The elf’s throat had been brutally cut. Wisp sets out to solve the murder not realizing he is to play an integral part in solving the mystery.

Wisp meets Finn Redhaven, the lover of the murdered elf, Sammiel Thorn, and feels an immediate attraction to him. Wisp and Finn fall in love and discover a wealth of magical abilities enabled by their relationship. And, they are going to need all the help they can get to battle the evil that has descended on Edra.

As fantasy novels go, Wisp stands out to me in its originality and political intrigue. Ms. Park creates a world where love is considered to be one of the greatest powers of all. I enjoyed that the two main characters were male and embraced their love and desire for each other, which was a refreshing approach to solving a mystery in a magical land. The reader discovers along with Wisp the extent of his abilities which I anticipate will increase over time.

I’ve added Wisp to my Me Time category for Fantasy. I loved the story and the characters. The ending is a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the next volume to find out what happens to Wisp and Finn. Hopefully, Ms. Park won’t keep us in suspense for long.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Adele has also contributed to anthologies which you can check out here:

Read the full review by Colleen Chesebro:

One of my own books has had quite a bit of attention this week. Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story was written as a tribute to a wonderful companion and the original print version was for family and friends who knew and loved him too.  However, Sam has proved to be one of my most popular books and this makes me very happy indeed. Those of you who come over here regularly will know that Paul Andruss is a regular contributor and his writing style is both distinctive and compelling. When he applies his talent to a review of your book it is one to treasure. Despite not being a particular dog person… he graciously offered to read Sam’s book and here is his review.

Paul Andruss Review of Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story:

To be honest, I am not a pet person. I think the only pet most people should be allowed is a tapeworm. It goes where you go, eats when you eat, and never bothers the neighbours.

It’s not I don’t like animals. I love animals. On the whole I prefer them to people. To me animals are children who never grow up. To some extent they always rely on you, which is why I don’t want one. They are a responsibility to be taken seriously and I’m not sure I could do that responsibility justice.

Sam a Shaggy Dog Story is the autobiography of Sally Cronin’s beloved collie, told entirely in the first person, and accompanied by selection of family photos that puts right in the heart of this delightful yarn. The voice Sally gives Sam is that of a likeable enthusiastic youngster. It endears him in much the same way, and appears ideally suited to the character of a rambunctious puppy. As Sam grows older his voices changes becoming more reflective, exactly the way it does in real life.

Her skill in giving an animal such an apt voice is not surprising when you consider Sally is a life coach, knowledgeable about psychological motivation and an acute observer of behaviour. She is also a storyteller of great talent and charm, who writes deceptively simple tales peppered with endearing characters, lashings of happiness and gentle humour: easy to read, and moreish as a box of chocolates

The writing makes the book accessible to all ages from 7 to 70. Actually this is a great book to be read aloud to kids at bedtime. The only problem is… they would never want to go to sleep!

Sally’s readers have already met Sam in her enchanting and amusing ‘Tales from the Garden‘. Part of Sam’s story deals with the move to Spain; for this is the tale of all Sam’s family, Sally and David, Henry the Cat, Henry’s kittens – who Sam adopts, and even Danny, the dog next door. The sequel to ‘Tales from the Garden‘, ‘Tales from the Irish Garden’ is out soon. Look out for it. I know I will.

Sam a Shaggy Dog Story begins with Sam’s birth and transfer to his new home with Sally and David (his pack-leaders as Sam calls them). These early chapters give you a real sense of a developing child trying to understand the world. And like any child, Sam quickly begins to develop a sense of identity, belonging and his own personality.

Sam comes to understand his place in the world; his relationship with Sally and David and his friendships with other animals, such as the half feral Henry the Cat. He experiences joy and wonder at seeing snow for the first time and his first lick of ice cream and develops a passion for car rides and cheese. I mean, who doesn’t love car rides and cheese? He has his dislikes too, mainly vets and his kennel!

One of the many funny parts of the book is Sam learning to talk human. He managed cat, partly because Henry speaks pretty good dog. Human he finds difficult and needs to concentrate, but does manage a few accurate approximations… much to Sally and David’s delight. At which point Sam comments the vet once said he might be able to understand around 20 words, adding: how wrong can someone be!

The beauty of Sally’s writing is Sam does not consider himself a dog, or Henry a cat, or his owner’s people. He realises they are different but essentially the same, all part of… well, the circle of life I suppose.

Although hard to believe, for anyone watching ‘Pets do the Funniest Things’, many scientists once considered animals no more than automatons. Religion taught man was given dominion over beasts because only he had a soul. Thankfully these days some of us are wiser, and realise while we think ourselves ‘top-dog’ other animals have the same feelings and share the same emotional range.

I believe this book should be compulsory reading for anyone wanting a pet, especially youngsters. Once read, when you look into those big brown eyes, you never forget what you are really looking at is another human, who should be treated in the same way you want others to treat you. That not only cruelty hurts, but also neglect, as with poor Henry the cat before he found Sally. We need to be raised to know animals are not toys but fellow beings that give love unreservedly, and deserve the same love back, without reservation.

You can buy Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story from all online bookstores but here is the link to Amazon:

All my books are available:

Thomas the Rhymer

You can find wonderful posts by Paul Andruss:

Finally a quick note about my guest tomorrow in the Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading. Award winning children’s author Bette A. Stevens will be joining me and will be answering your questions over the weekend.  Bette has one of her books on offer for the next few days.

One of the many reviews for the book.

A wonderful memoir about rural life living and surviving in poverty. As seen through the oldest boy’s point of view, Shawn, has to face bullies, older and younger, an alcoholic father a man from whom he has to protect his family, especially his mother. The kids are creative, learning to make money and turning them into an adventure–fishing, picking apples, milking someone’s cow, picking up empty cans a bottles for cash. He’s biggest aspect is using his God given brains and ingenuity and his charming disposition, which lends aid at every turn.

Bette Stevens is a wonder writer. I’m not generally a memoir reader, but this one had me hooked from the beginning to the end. Shawn has a bright future ahead of him as does Bette Stevens.

Read all the books and buy the book at the offer price:

I hope that you will join Bette and I tomorrow for her interview. Thank you for dropping in and don’t forget to let me know if you have a new book out, an offer for your readers or a wonderful review. With the new series Air your Reviews there is plenty of room. Thanks Sally

This entry was posted in book marketing, Book Promotion, It is a Wonderful Life. 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

24 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Lucinda E. Clarke, Adele Marie Park, Sally Cronin and Bette A. Stevens

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Lucinda E. Clarke, Adele Marie Park, Sally Cronin and Bette A. Stevens | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Great selection again Sal. It’s really nice seeing fellow author’s work getting great recognition for their work. I’m also particularly happy for your most wonderful review from Paul on Sam the Shaggy Dog. I so enjoyed that book too. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Up – Bruce Springsteen, The Borgias, Illustrations and New Review series | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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