Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week sharing recent reviews received by author on the shelves.
The first author with a recent review is Annika Perry for her collection of stories – The Storyteller Speaks.
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.
An extract from recent review for the collection to read the full review –
This is not about the war between lovers of dogs or cats. It’s about Annika Perry, a talented writer who works like a cat.
A dog is all blubbery love smeared across your cheeks, a loyal paladin stationed stalwart by your side. Tongue lollygagging out of its jaw, tail flailing around like a pig in a muddy pit – you’re gonna be drowning in slobbery canine love in about five seconds. Or maybe a fangy foreign agent hired to attack: a German shepherd or English pit bull. Teeth bared and muzzle lowered –you better run. You always know where you stand with Rover.
But a cat – you can’t tell anything by looking at a cat. There it sits on the windowsill, licking its paw, indifferent to all things human – the tasty treats, the dangling mouse toy, the arms ready to cuddle it. Suddenly it pounces, its claws deep in your bicep leaving parallel bloody tracks or a snip of your skin flapping loosely as it samples your nose. And then sashays back to the windowsill to await its next victim.
At first glance, The Storyteller Speaks appears to be gentle family fare, tales written by a sweet faced, blue eyed lady who spends her time between Great Britain and Sweden, bearing candles and roses, taking photos, penning notes. It’s how she entices you to her book. I’ve read The Storyteller Speaks twice, the first time in order of presentation, the second in a meandering stroll through her poems and short stories.
If I attempt to review each of the twenty-one entries, I’ll over-report and do the book no justice. So I’m going to focus on a few tales that blew me away, as if driven by a sirocco out of the Sahara. This is important to remember, because like a cat, Perry sneaks up on you to lunge for your emotional jugular while you’re unaware she’s even in the room. She’s a keen observer of people, absorbing cultural details and body language.
Sofia! is about a little girl and her stuffed toy whose uncle takes her to visit the local zoo. It’s told through eyewitness accounts of zoo visitors and officials who answer Inspector Nunn’s questions. Apparently the child, Sofia, has been kidnapped or gotten lost as the focus of each interrogation appears to be what has happened to the child. Perry escalates suspense as we wait to find out if Sofia is safe or remains lost or even perhaps is dead, our suspicion and concern for the little girl mounting with each witness. The final person interviewed is Marija, Sofia’s mother, to whom Nunn relates the awful conclusion of the story. A shred of flesh hangs from Perry’s claws.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/
and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8
Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry
Connect to Annika via her blog: https://annikaperry.com
The next book today to receive a recent review is Miriam Hurdle for her collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude. Miriam is also celebrating the collection becoming an Amazon bestseller in her genre.
About Songs of Heartstrings
Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.
This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.
A recent review for the collection
In some ways, Hurdle’s collection of poems reminded me of a memoir. The book is divided into “Songs” (sections) that cover different aspects of her life’s journey. Among them, the author touches on her love of nature; her reflections on relationships, marriage, parenting, cancer treatment; and her remembrances of the people who were meaningful in her past. The poetry is complemented by Hurdle’s photos and artwork. This gentle book provides an afternoon of peacefulness as all of the poems reflect the author’s innermost heart. One of my favorites is a villanelle entitled “I Sat in my Garden.” I highly recommend this collection for readers who enjoy a glimpse into a poet’s life through her words.
Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9
Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle
Connect to Miriam via her website: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Two authors next who have co-written Lazy Days: The Holiday of a Lifetime by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie
About Lazy Days
This was our very first holiday. Two women, four kids and two small dogs afloat on a rented boat, 40 years ago. Miles of rivers and waterways to explore. Could we survive for two weeks, or would we end up in a watery grave?
Find out how we survived the holiday and each other in Lazy Days!
A recent review for the book
This truly was a getaway holiday. The family left a busy part of London for the peace and slow pace of life on the Norfolk Broads. It was also an adventure as they had not handled a boat before. Two sisters, four children and two dogs had to adapt to life in the confines of a boat. Fortunately the weather was good and the sun and fresh air come across in this warm story. There were plenty of places to visit along the way and the family enjoyed everything from the beach at Great Yarmouth to the castle at Norwich. If you have been on boating holidays or are contemplating one do read this book. Lots of us will know the experience of planning a holiday, then worrying if everyone will enjoy it, trying to please all ages etc. The two sisters were’t sure if all the children had enjoyed themselves, but it turned out that they talked about it for weeks after and years later enjoyed reading this book and recapturing memories.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lazy-Days-lifetime-Anita-Dawes-ebook/dp/B077XX2TH1
Books by Jaye Marie
Read the reviews and and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK
Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie
Books by Anita Dawes
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10/
And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10
Read more reviews and follow Anita on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6586480.Anita_Dawes
Connect to Anita and Jaye
Thank you for popping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.