Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Judith Barrow, Sue Coletta and Audrey Driscoll.

Welcome to the Friday author update with more talented authors from the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for their books.

The first update today is for A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow, which I can also personally recommend.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Story-telling at its very best  TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 12 September 2018

It’s wholly irrational on my part, but I frequently shy away from books that I believe to be part of a “saga” – with some ridiculous expectation that they will be lesser in some way than the contemporary issues-based fiction that tends to make up much of my reading list. I hate to think what I might have been missing out on – this book was just stunning. If you’re looking for issues, you’ll certainly find them here, set against a social and political background vividly and compellingly described. The research that went into this book must have been immense, transformed into its vivid settings and the authentic portrayal of life of the time.

It’s a sweeping story that takes in life in the slums (and among those who perceive themselves rather more genteel), the rise of the Suffragette movement and the extraordinarily violent reaction to it, moves to the front during World War 1, travels to Ireland with the Black and Tans, and takes in the very different lives of those in the countryside. There are harrowing images in this book that seared themselves into my memory – and others that moved me deeply. But while its scale and reach took my breath away, at its heart it’s a story of two individuals, Winifred and Bill – the twists and turns of their own small lives, the events that changed the world and the lives of everyone they touched seen through their eyes and from their unique perspectives.

The characterisation is wonderful. Winifred is something of a heroine for her time, endeavouring to escape the control of her mother, both warm-hearted and immensely likeable. Bill is rather more of an enigma – his early attraction to and obsession with the lovely shop girl turning into something altogether darker and considerably more menacing. There’s an immense skill in retaining a reader’s compassion for a character when sometimes repelled by their actions – but the author certainly achieves it, making the relationship element of the story totally compelling. The book’s structure, with their alternating stories, drives the narrative at considerable pace, but also serves to bring the key characters vividly to life. Every supporting character is drawn in perfect detail – the excitement of the forbidden and different through Honora and Conal, the family relationships that are so complex and challenging. Every exchange, every moment of dialogue, is absolutely real, moving the story on and illuminating the characters, who have absolute historical authenticity.

When I emerged at the end of this book – during the reading, my immersion was total – it was with a sense of having experienced it all first hand, and of having deeply felt every moment. This was story-telling at its very best… and a book that will long linger in my memory.

Head over read the reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads:

Connect to Judith via her blog:

The next author with glowing reviews is Sue Coletta for her latest release, Scathed, Grafton County Series #3.

About Scathed

On a picturesque fall morning in Grafton County, New Hampshire, a brutal murder rocks the small town of Alexandria. In the backyard of a weekend getaway cabin, a dead woman is posed in red-satin, with two full-bloomed roses in place of eyes.

In her hand, a mysterious envelope addressed to Sheriff Niko Quintano. Inside, Paradox vows to kill again if his riddle isn’t solved within 24 hours.

With so little time and not enough manpower, Niko asks his wife for help. But Crime Writer Sage Quintano is dealing with her own private nightmare. Not only did she find massive amounts of blood on the mountain where she and her family reside, but a phone call from the past threatens her future—the creepy mechanical voice of John Doe, the serial killer who murdered her twin sister.

Together, can Niko and Sage solve the riddle in time to save the next victim? Or will the killer win this deadly game of survival?

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Paul Dale Anderson 5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced thrill ride  August 25, 2018

Each of Sue’s novels is better than the last. With their dogs Colt and Ruger, Sheriff Niko Quintano and Sage, his best-selling authoress wife with infant son Noah in tow, are the Nick and Nora Charles of rural New Hampshire. Wherever they are, there’s always a mystery to solve and a murderer to apprehend. And. of course, the plot is always thickened by the unorthodox Frankie Campanelli, Niko’s chief deputy.

These are the essential elements we’ve come to expect in a Grafton County series novel, and Scathed doesn’t disappoint. A brutal serial killer who calls himself “Paradox” challenges Niko to solve a riddle or he’ll kill another person. Niko has to enlist Sage’s aid to try to solve the riddle in time, but Paradox has no intention of stopping no matter what. There are mysteries within mysteries, and the tension builds. A quick read from a writer I admire.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads :

Connect to Sue via her website/blog:

Now a recent review for supernatural/paranormal author Audrey Driscoll, for Book 3 of the Herbert West series – Islands of the Gulf Volume 2 – The Treasure

About the book

Abandoned and abused, young Herbert West resorts to drastic measures to survive. At Miskatonic University, he becomes a scientist who commits crimes and creates monstrosities. Decades later, haunted by his past, he finds safety as Dr. Francis Dexter of Bellefleur Island, but his divided nature threatens those he loves and forces him to face the truth about his healing powers.

More Details: Seeking relief from grief and illness in the refuge of Bellefleur Island, Francis Dexter relives in memory his early years when his name was Herbert West. To survive his mother’s disappearance, the capricious attentions of his father and the brutalities of his brothers, young Herbert makes himself into a juvenile strategist and warrior of vengeance.

Turning to science as a solace for emotional turmoil, Herbert studies medicine at Miskatonic University in Arkham. As both student and physician, he pursues forbidden experiments with single-minded determination, seeking to discover the secrets of life and death. The Great War presents West with a great opportunity, but in that maelstrom of violence he crosses the frontier of rationalism into the territory of the bizarre.

Recoiling from these poisoned memories, Francis Dexter turns to his years on Bellefleur Island and relives his tumultuous relationship with the artist Julian Vernon. For the first time since his troubled childhood, he allows himself to become emotionally attached to another human being, but the idyll is eroded by depression, drugs and jealousy and Dexter’s choices result in tragedy.

Saved and supported by Margaret Bellgarde, Dexter allows himself to be drawn into her family to recover from illness and sorrow. Until a day in July when his past confronts him and forces him to face the truth about his role as physician and healer.

One of the recent reviews for The Treasure

ACFlory 5.0 out of 5 stars Deeper and deeper August 19, 2018

Book 3 begins as a series of flashbacks to Herbert West’s childhood as he recovers from the illness that almost finished him off in book 2. I love character driven stories and I found book 3 incredibly satisfying. It’s not often that all the parts of an over-arching story are equally good. These are. Very good.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads:

Connect to Audrey via her website:

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have found a book to read from one of these talented authors… thanks Sally


47 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Judith Barrow, Sue Coletta and Audrey Driscoll.

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Judith Barrow, Sue Coletta and Audrey Driscoll. | Legends of Windemere

  2. Thanks again, Sally. Do hope I haven’t missed anyone. After this weekend and the book fair my head feels like it’s full of cotton wool! it would be lovely to see you with us next year. Anne Williams (reviewer) visited us – such a lovely surprise; I think she’d reviewed most of our authors’ books at one time or the other. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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