Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Melissa Maygrove, Timothy L. Phillips and Linda Bradley

Welcome to Friday’s author update and our first author is celebrating the release of an anthology. 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

Early reviews for the anthology

You may love one story on November 1, 2017

With an anthology, you never know what you’re going to get. You may love one story, only to hate the next. You may smile and chuckle, then turn the page and cringe in disgust. I suppose that’s what makes an anthology so much fun, and this one definitely sparked a full spectrum of emotional reactions. Without reservation, I can say this is a collection I would recommend. It’s a quick, easy read with everything from moments of laughter to horror, magic to murder, sweetness to surprises. I enjoyed every piece enough I thought I’d share my thoughts on them all:

  • Just a Matter of Time – Loni Townsend: This was a cute piece that intrigued and kept me guessing. The first line left me with a question that wasn’t answered until the last second, and wow. Loved it!
  • Forerunner – David King Powers: A very down-to-earth character in a feels-like-reality setting, but something is going sideways. Very interesting.
  • Taking Care of You – Carried Butler: This was one of my favorites because it took me so much by surprise. It goes on the “super cool” shelf.
  • The Apartment – Lisa Buie-Collard: I loved the concept of this story so much that I wanted it to continue. I wanted more, especially the history of the apartment and how it came about, but I didn’t need more. A great read.
  • The Caricature – Nick Wilford: I had to pause after this one and look back at my life, wondering if there were any moments I might (in this fictional realm) regret. An awesome angle.
  • Shifting Sands – Elizabeth Seckman: This character, she’s something. Angel…such a great name for a memorable person–one I had to like even if I wouldn’t like her in reality. There’s a sign of great storytelling.
  • Shadows Falling on Rainbows – Celeste Holloway: I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and this story, while a bit longer, was worth it for that conclusion.
  • Meringue, Murder or Marzipan – Tonja Drecker: Are you in for a touch of the unexpected? This did not go the way I’d anticipated it would–the way the author leads the reader intentionally. What a great sleight of hand!
  • Haunted Lake – Michelle Athy: Language warning on this one, but what an interesting trip through time. It took me back to my days working at a camp lodge in the mountains with some of its own legends.
  • Soul Coin – Laura Rich: This was the most unique tale in the collection. Super fun to dive into a whole different culture for an unexpected tale. Easily one of my favorites.
  • Retribution – Melissa Maygrove: This story was a great tease, because I want to see more of this character. Whew! Talk about awesome.

All in all, there were many dark moments, some tales that ended as true horror does (without a happy ending), and some that just left me thinking. This was a perfect Halloween read, but a book lovers of the paranormal genre would appreciate all year round.

Content warning: Some language, dark themes, minimal gore, etc. Recommended for mature readers.

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 author today with an update is Timothy L. Phillips who has released the print version of his book My Camino Walk: A Way to Healing.

CoverPageAbout the book

Timothy Phillips celebrated his sixtieth birthday by hiking Spain’s Camino de Santiago. The almost eight hundred kilometer trek became a month-long test of physical stamina, with weather extremes, a range of fellow pilgrims, and hours of introspection that caused him to question his childhood, his life, and many long-held ideas and beliefs. These challenges shook loose the very foundations of his being. Timothy brings a photographer’s eye to detailed descriptions of the trek that appeal to all the senses and invites the reader to join him on his healing journey.

The record of a journey through a mythic landscape is a staple of world literature. In My Camino Walk Timothy L. Phillips describes his personal journey across the rugged terrain between France and Spain. Along the trail, he meets an international cast of characters, each drawn with the same precision as his exquisite landscape writing. My Camino Walk is a journey his readers will share and treasure forever.

A Review for the book

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, burial place of St. James. It generally starts from the Pyrenees, but there are other traditional starting points, and it can be from much further afield if one wishes. Pilgrims have been walking the Camino for over a thousand years, but in recent times their number has shot up. A glance at the wonderful Wikipedia tells me that, according to the Office of Pilgrims in the city, it was just 690 in 1985, rising to just under 10,000 in 1992 and the following year, a Holy Year, nearly 100,000. In 2015 it was over a quarter of a million although it was not a Holy Year. In 2010, which was, it was some 272,000. Timothy L. Phillips was one of them. My Camino Walk: A Way to Healing is his account. He was 60 and, as the title implies, he wanted to walk and reflect on his life.

I was offered an e-copy to review on publication and was a little cautious, as I thought the book would be introspective, rather than an account of the Camino as such. On the other hand I’m also nearing 60 and understand why one would then want to walk, think and digest everything that has gone before. Also, I was curious about the Camino. And despite some reservations, I liked this book and I recommend it.

Phillips begins his journey in south-west France, crossed the Pyrenees and did pretty much the whole journey, doing only one day’s walk by bus after some leg trouble. He walked about 500 miles all told. Not bad for a man of 60 (and he was to do it again at 65 in 2015, though the book’s about his earlier walk). Along the way he thinks back on his life. English-born, he’s the child of alcoholic parents, including a mother who seems to have had little interest in him. The relationship between his parents – the fights, the drinking, the burned dinners – is well described. In later life, he does well in the hotel and restaurant business, emigrating to Canada in the process. But his first marriage fails early and he feels unfulfilled. In middle age he throws up his career and becomes a holistic therapy practitioner.

My Camino Walk does have a lot to say about Phillips’s life and spiritual journey, and it is indeed introspective. He also says little about his surroundings (except the weather; he was walking after all! Oddly, he does not say what time of year). Now and then Phillips is emotional. In particular, there is an occasion when he finds that someone has left pictures of their dead children, on a mound on a mountain pass; it sparks a catharsis in him and he cries. And he does talk about his past and his feelings a lot.

Yet his introspection is not self-absorption. He gets to know his fellow-pilgrims as they walk together, he learns a lot about them and is genuinely interested in their lives, and the reasons for their journeys. Inevitably, he gets on better with some than with others. At one stage he inadvertently offends a young fellow-pilgrim, and she does not tell him why until much later. But he forms friendships, hears stories and breaks bread with other walkers at the end of the day. In fact, I think Phillips may be rather good company. Certainly he doesn’t think a “spiritual journey” is an excuse to be miserable. Beginning his walk at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, near the Spanish border, he shoulders a couple of wine-bottles and “a wine knife. I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere without the means to open the bottles.” This is a spiritual journey I can relate to.

Moreover, although Phillips doesn’t seem to notice the scenery much, he does convey a real flavour of the Camino. He stays in refugios, or albergues – hostels provided for pilgrims, friendly but basic. You can find yourself sleeping on a mattress on the floor beside tens of other people, and there may or may not be somewhere to wash your clothes and cook. Now and then, arriving late, Phillips finds there’s no room at the inn – in fact he often has to hurry to claim a space; it’s a busy year. Sometimes he resorts to an hotel. More often, though, he takes his chances, and occasionally cooks not only for himself but for others. In the morning he heads out with a pilgrim he hasn’t met before or more likely someone he already knows; or sometimes they disengage themselves from each other tactfully, sensing that one or the other would like to walk alone today. Given the length of the walk, it becomes a way of life.

As someone who dislikes introspective or self-referential writers (and is wary of alternative medicine), I should not have liked this book. In fact I did, on the whole. I thought it a good introduction to what has now become a popular journey. And although I didn’t especially read it for the spiritual aspect, I did “get” the need to walk and take stock. As I said earlier, I’m of the same age. It also helped that this book is well-written, and properly proofread and edited; those shouldn’t be something to remark upon, but nowadays they sadly are.

I think any reader planning on walking the Camino would learn much from this book. But I also feel that anyone coming to the end of their working lives, and wondering what it has all been about, will relate to Phillips’s journey and feel – as I did – that it might be a chance to think, to take stock, and to move into the later phases of their lives.

You can buy the print version and Ebook:

And on Amazon US:

TimConnect to Tim Phillips via his website:

The last author today with an update is Linda Bradley with a novella, A Montana Bound Christmas: Ho,ho, Home for the Holidays (Book 4 in the Montana Bound Series)

About the book

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

Buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Linda Bradley

A recent review on Goodreads for the series so far

Debbie Oliphant rated it 5 stars.

I was pleasantly surprised by this series and it is highly recommended to read the three books. It is so worth it. The pace of the series keeps you engaged and by the third instalment, I found myself trying to slow my pace so I can savor the ending.

Maggie has battled and survived cancer during the same time her husband leave her. She is unsettled and doesn’t believe happiness is in her future and if it is, could she take the risk of a broken heart. It is during these changes that she befriends a precocious seven year old girl who attaches herself to her. Maggie can’t seem to shake little Chloe and the two find they have a bond. Chloe is finding a place in Maggie’s heart and soon Chloe father, John, is finding his place, too.

This journey was wonderful and you’re elated as Maggie and John find their way to o e another and you’re cheering for both of them because they deserve this second chance, but the real gem is the relationship between Maggie and Chloe. Chloe has wisdom beyond her years and is so self aware and she seems to find the right words and feelings to reach Maggie. I loved how the story took its time as you begin to love these characters as the author intended

Read all the reviews and buy the series:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads:

Connect to Linda via her website:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will head over and check out the authors and their books.. thanks Sally


15 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Melissa Maygrove, Timothy L. Phillips and Linda Bradley

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Melissa Maygrove, Timothy L. Phillips and Linda Bradley | Linda Bradley

  2. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Melissa Maygrove, Timothy L. Phillips and Linda Bradley | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. Well Sally you have done it again with this great diverse selection. The book of short stories look intriguing and it’s nice its going to a good cause helping those who have served their country. I ave heard of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella and so that book I know will fascinate me and strong involved family based drama for the tird tying in The idea of redemption or at least second chances.. just the think for the Christmas spirit. Great choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing our anthology with your followers.
    The other books you mentioned look good. More for my growing TBR! 🙂


  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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