Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Paul Andruss, C.S. Boyack, Carmen Stefanescu, Paul Cude and Angie Dokos

You are more used to seeing the posts by Paul Andruss on a Friday in his role of Writer in Residence. But, Paul is a very talented author and if any of your family are Harry Potter fans they will love Thomas the Rhymer. Wonderful for all ages and I hope that you will put on your gift list for yourself, family and friends. I read and reviewed the book earlier in the year and can recommend.

About Thomas the Rhymer

A magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.

To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.

But there is a problem…

No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.

And even if they find her… will she let them go?

One of the reviews for the book

Just about the worst thing that can happen to any family is the disappearance of a child. This is exactly what happens in Jack’s family and, worse still, Jack is a witness to his older brother’s sudden and troubling disappearance.

The facts of the disappearance are very peculiar and, subsequent to his disappearance, Jack receives strange telephone calls from his brother, Dan, on his cell phone. When he answers, Dan says nothing and the line goes dead. Jack finds himself unable to tell anyone about what his saw that day, as soon as he tries he starts to choke and can’t utter a word. Then a strange tramp appears who speaks only in rhymes. The tramp, whom only Jack can see, seems to be able to pass through walls and disappear at will. All of this is against a background of stress at home due to Jack’s mother suffering from a chronic illness.

Jack finds himself embroiled in the magical kingdom of the fairies and soon discovers that their failing world is tinged with evil. Jack and his friends experience an array of mystical and strange happenings including travelling by fairy ley lines and disappearing into a living tapestry.

Author Paul Andruss has an expert knowledge of mythical creatures and the world of the fairies which he shares with the reader using the most beautiful and expressive language. He pulls you into this fairy world, which exists in parallel to our own and which is fraught with difficulties due to human technology and progress. This book also shares valuable lessons about everything not being as it appears to be and the value of strong friendships.

Who is the strange tramp and what does he want from Jack? Can he help Jack to find his brother and bring him back before it is too late?

A few beautiful quotes from this book are as follows:

“Beautiful,” she signed, mesmerized by the shifting hues washing over the weave like skeins of mist.”

“Drifts of heady perfume left Jack heavy-eyed, yet giddy with recklessness.”

“The tramp was back on Mr Gibson’s wall. All he could think about was the poem. Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there… He wasn’t there again today… I wish that man would GO AWAY!”

This book is suitable for readers aged from 11 years and older. Adult readers will also appreciate the delightful prose, beautiful imagery and clever story line.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Connect to Paul on his blog:

The next gift suggestion is for the short story collection The Enhanced League by C.S. Boyack. Craig supports Indie authors on his blog with entertaining interviews courtesy of the lovely Lisa Burton.

About the Enhanced League

The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

One of the excellent reviews for The Enhanced League

Harmony Kent  5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 23 July 2017

I know nothing about baseball and am not into sports. So, why read this book? Well, I rate this author highly, especially his short stories, and I love his experimental notebooks. Here is a writer that brings his characters to life right off the bat (story, couldn’t resist the pun!) 😉 … In The Enhanced League, we meet many varied folks who have something to do with an enhanced baseball league. While a common thread connects each chapter, they read well as standalone stories too, while having an overarching storyline, and this makes for an easy book to dip in and out of when you don’t have the time to read a novel length book.

The book held me enthralled enough to give it five stars even though some spelling hiccups do occur, which would usually merit a four instead. Definitely not in this case. Here, we have a master of the speculative fiction genre who spins a darn good yarn. Well worth your time and money.

Read the other reviews and buy The Enhanced League:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads:

Connect with Craig via his blog:

The next author that I would like to feature is Carmen Stefanescu who has been a wonderful supporter of the blog this year. Here is Dracula’s Prodigy.

About Dracula’s Prodigy

Running from the hands of an abusive husband, on the verge of committing suicide, a series of strange events/apparitions make Linda reassess her life. She embarks on a thorough research regarding her unusual ancestor—Vlad, the Impaler, aka Dracula.

Can Linda discover the truth regarding Vlad among the countless malicious stories, exaggerated legends and whispered slander dating back to 15th century? Is he a hero, a brave protector of his hard tried people and country? Or a cruel monster feeding on the blood of those impaled at his order?

And is good-looking Jody really helping Linda regain her trust in men and love, or is he another evil envoy of a past that haunts her and threatens her life?

One of the reviews for Dracula’s Prodigy

An Engrossing Read  on August 6, 2017

A complex story that focus on a descendant of the infamous Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) that is intricately imagined and beautifully told. Linda Cartwright has no idea who the strange man in her dreams is, nor does she understand how the life she once imagined with her husband, Bill, has turned into a nightmare for her and her young daughter.

Fleeing a loveless marriage, Linda discovers courage she never realized she had, and an ancestral history rife with betrayals, revenge, and eternal devotion. Rich with details of both past and present, Carmen Stefanescu continues the story she began in Dracula’s Mistress, but offers a unique twist by placing her heroine in modern times.

I found myself caught up in the emotion of the central characters and a mystery that transcends centuries. The author’s writing flows beautifully, both visual and compelling, keeping the reader turning pages and racing to the conclusion. If you enjoy history and myth with a twinge of the paranormal, woven into a contemporary setting, this is a story you don’t want to miss.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

Find out more about Carmen’s books and other published work:

Connect to Carmen via her blog:

The next author with books that would please anyone who loves fantasy and dragons is Paul Cude with his Bentwhistle the Dragon Series which is now available in a box set which makes a great gift. Paul is an amazing sharer of my posts on Facebook and he is definitely someone to follow.

A brief summary of the three books in the series.

Book 1
Can you be heroic and naive? For Peter Bentwhistle, the answer would most certainly have to be YES! Blissfully unaware of what’s going on around him, for the most part he remains fully focused on blending in and keeping a low profile.

But fate and just plain bad luck have other designs on him. Not so bad, you might think. Until you discover the TRUTH! Just like his friends, Tank and Richie, he is a…..DRAGON!

Book 2
Treachery from the sands of Egypt to the plains of Antarctica. Following on from the harrowing events of ‘A Threat From The Past’ (Book 1), a new found friendship with the dragon king is forged.

Soon though, young and old alike are unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.

Book 3

Hearts and minds ripped to shreds. Amid turmoil surrounding devastating attacks across the world, the dragon domain faces the planet’s greatest fear: global terrorism by an unknown force of magic users. Against this backdrop, and with Manson’s deadly scheme in full swing, events quickly turn from bad to worse.

The most recent review for the the first book in the series – A Threat from the Past

on December 6, 2017

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past by Paul Cude is a story set in the present day world where dragons are disguised as humans and have infiltrated the human race to guide and protect them. Peter Bentwhistle and his friends Tank and Richie are three young dragons fresh out of the nursery ring. Peter rises to the head of security at Cromptech; a firm that provides laminium which is a critical resource for dragons. Peter’s boss starts going through his own changes which appear to be due to a security consultant named Manson. The three young dragons get caught up in an evil plot to steal the precious commodity vital to the dragon community. How does Peter and his friends restore his boss to his former personality and old self and thwart Mansion?

This is book is an amazing adventure story that both children and adults alike will love. Going through the book and reading it with my daughter the story got a 2 thumbs up. My daughter raved about the story and couldn’t stop saying how amazing and awesome it was. Bentwhistle was a very suspenseful tale of adventure. The vilian was both subtle. We were drawn into the struggle between he and the hero of the book. The dragons practice magic for the transformations between human and dragon form through devices called magic mantras. The believably is amazing given the fact that this revolves in the fantasy genre. In this book dragons care very much about the humanity of the race as well as the lives of the humans around them. This is something that you as the reader get a great perspective on while reading the novel. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys this type of book.

To accompany the boxed set is a Prequel to the series – A Right Royal RumpASS

About the book

Remember how rowdy your education was at times?

Throw in prehistoric battle urges, violent outbursts of combustible flame, the ability to fly and a natural affinity for magic and what do you have? A group of mismatched young dragons studying at a renowned nursery ring, thrilled to be learning how to use their dragon abilities and the inherent magic each of them possess.

But like classrooms across the world, it’s not quite as simple as that. With a class bully determined to outwit everyone, including their ‘tor’ (teacher), the friends must work together to expose not only the unknown magic used, but also his dastardly method of cheating.

As an unflappable newcomer becomes a worthy ally, aerial antics abound in an illicit laminium ball match whose outcome may yet determine one dragon’s fate.

Read the reviews, buy the boxed set and the prequel:

and on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Paul on Goodreads:

Connect to Paul Cude via his website:

The next author that I would like to thank for her consistent and very welcome support on Twitter is Angie Dokos with Roadside which tells the story of Serena and her journey back from violence with the help of a stranger.

About the book

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Author Angie Dokos has written a book that All ages can enjoy – having characters in college and high school, along with their parents, give the sense of family, ‘and’ the way you’d want Your family to be. Once Zayne and his father (a law enforcement official), Levi, find Serena on the side of the road, barely alive from a vicious attack, young Zayne seems drawn to this young girl. As their relationship grows, and his father locks up the man who assaulted Serena, they get to know each other day-by-day, meet one another’s parents, attend Church together, and have get-togethers with their friends – reminds me SO much of the days my children had ‘their’ friends around!! By the way, you will also find a ‘little’ bit of tension as the story progresses, and you will keep pulling for Zayne and Serena to be together!! Hang in there – it’s a Beautiful ride until the end!! Thank you, Angie Dokos, for this beautiful story!!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

Also by Angie Dokos

Visit Angie’s Amazon Author page:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads:

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website:

I hope that this has given you plenty of ideas for book gifts for yourself,family and friends.. It would be great if you could share.. thank you Sally

37 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Paul Andruss, C.S. Boyack, Carmen Stefanescu, Paul Cude and Angie Dokos

  1. Pingback: Christmas Book Fair – featuring Paul Andruss, C.S. Boyack, Carmen Stefanescu, Paul Cude and Angie Dokos | Annette Rochelle Aben

  2. Sally Thanks for including me with these talented authors. Especially Craig who I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. Looking forward to reading the other authors included here. Paul xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations to all the authors featured here today.I was delighted to see my review for Dracula’s Prodigy featured. Such a wonderful book, as is C.S. Boyack’s Enhanced League–another thoroughly entertaining read. Fabulous roundup, Sally.Thank you for all that you do!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Three Sisters and Walnuts. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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