Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for one of her recent short story releases Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide.

About Voodoo or Destiny

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

One of the recent reviews

M. Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Short Story July 23, 2019

This was a fantastic short story! It made me want more after that last page, but it also left it open for the reader to create their own outcome. There was suspense and even a little humor. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by Voodoo, so I was excited to read this story, wondering how involved it would get. It was better than I imagined! A lot of research and time went into this story. The author even mentioned one of the well-known Voodoo Queens of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. This earned major brownie points because she was always one of the main reasons I wanted to visit NOLA.

Overall, the writing was flawless, and the story flowed as it should. I have other works by this author on my Kindle and can’t wait to dive into the next!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads:

Connect to Jan via her website:

The next author with a review to showcase is M.J. Mallon for The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

For lovers of fantasy with supernatural characters, in surprising settings.

A fantastic encounter with a strong character, teenager Amelina, a character that draws you into the story. She is courageous and resourceful and proves herself able to see past the obvious to find answers and solutions to the problems those dear to her heart are suddenly facing. And does this in a supernatural way.

I enjoyed the poetry that opens each chapter.

Young adults who enjoy fantasy stories with supernatural characters, in surprising settings will love this book.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon US:

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads:

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website:

The final author today with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing.

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

How Dare the Birds Sing – indeed, how dare they? The extent to which man can be cruel to his fellow man never ceases to amaze me, as does the distance people will go to survive in the face of unspeakable cruelty. As a teenager, Lyuba and her best friend Natasha meet two student pilots. Stepan is Russian while Günter is German, studying in the Soviet school. It’s 1933 and Germany and the Soviet Union are on good terms, after all. Long story short, Günter has to return to Germany and everyone who has known him is under a cloud of potential espionage. Stepan, by then a Hero of the Soviet Union, has a privileged status. Turning his back on Natasha, he forces Lyuba into marriage, in significant part to protect Lyuba and her mother.

Then Germany and the Soviet Union have a falling-out and war comes. Lyuba, her mother and adopted daughter are on their way to join Stepan when the Germans attack. Lyuba is spared by a fluke. From there, the war takes charge of her life. Brief instances of happiness punctuate major periods of horrible danger, misery and even virtual torture.

Still the birds sing.

When the war finally ends and Lyuba is free to return home, her first objective is to find Natasha. Suffice it to say that Natasha’s war wasn’t Lyuba’s, and when Lyuba leaves the town where Natasha had lived, she sets out with Natasha’s daughter. Arriving in her home town, she finds her home still untouched and with several years’ accumulation of mail. Stepan’s letters are a cruel punctuation to her own journey, but she has the little girl, who finally calls Lyuba ‘Mama.’

Fifteen years later … you’ll have to read it to find out what happens then and has happened in the interim. It’s a compelling read, although it’s emotionally difficult. A fabulous book, overall. 

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read other reviews on Goodreads:

Connect to Marina via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. .thanks Sally.

27 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova

  1. Another wow, Sally. We need a 24 hour life and another – mysterious – one, where time stands still , we don’t age and can read, read and read some more. While writing somewhere in between…Oh fantasy! Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Sally's Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – New Sunday Interview, Old Protagonists, Classic Music, Distinquished Guests and Pick ‘n’ Mix. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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