Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #FlashFiction – Sarah Brentyn, #psychologicalthriller Jaye Marie, #Supernaturalthriller Mae Clair and #Children’s Eloise de Sousa

Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first author with a welcome gift for flash and short fiction lovers is Sarah Brentyn with a recent review for her collection of short fiction Hinting at Shadows

About Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Sep 13, 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro rated it Five Stars

I love flash fiction—and not because it is quick or easy to read. Much like syllabic poetry, I’ve found this abbreviated fiction form is rich in meaning. In fact, the brevity of words deepens the message.

Between the pages of this book, you will find a collection of flash fiction that delves deep into the human condition exploring perceptions, reactions, thoughts, and emotions.

The author split the book into four parts: Mindscapes, Connections, Lifelines, and Microbursts, which are stories under fifty words, including a few modified Haiku.

I found there was a certain edge or shadow that meandered through the pages conveying a wide range of emotions in my soul. We all have a place of darkness inside us, and Brentyn excels at finding and revealing even the darkest of human truths in her writing. She bares it all!

I’ve read this book many times, especially when I need to reconnect to some of my own dark truths. It was no surprise that one of my favorite sections were the Microbursts. In only six words, a story is born.

“Her voice was music and madness.”

Brentyn, Sarah. Hinting at Shadows (p. 92). Kindle Edition.

Brentyn is a master storyteller of the macabre and the mundane as she weaves her stories into feelings that will make you embrace your own darkness… if you dare!

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Sarah: Goodreads

Connect to Sarah via her: Blog

The next author celebrating recent rave reviews is Jaye Marie for her recently released psychological thriller – Silent Payback.

About the book

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.
When the case lands on detective David Mallory’s desk, will his personal demon prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice?

As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of his heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.

With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case before more women die?

One of the recent reviews for Silent Payback

I read this book in two sittings when I should have been doing other things. Another chapter…. okay another chapter. Eh, just one more. That’s how my day went, and suddenly I was at the end of the story. In reflecting on the read, one thing I noticed is that the pace is flawless, unrelenting in the way it pulled me through the pages. Not every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, but there is barely a wasted word, so I was never bored. I was intrigued.

The main character David, a police investigator, is the focus of the story, but multiple POVs (first and third person) gave me glimpses into other characters. That included the people surrounding him in his personal life… and the soon-to-be victims of a serial killer. And both (all) perspectives were valid since there are two – almost equally important – storylines running through the novel.

For one, there’s a killer on the loose. He has an interesting twist to his personality, which occasionally had me second-guessing his identity. The peeks into the lives of the ordinary people who ended up being victims intensifies the wrongness of the murders.

The second plot-line follows David’s struggle with a secret, and he has a significant choice facing him in the near future (no spoilers here). The author handles this topic with grace, and the human story is a nice counterpoint to the descriptions of senseless murder. I enjoyed both as well as the way they were woven together. In general, characterizations are well-done. These are believable people, and the ones we get to know are flawed with imperfect lives, trying to make them work with what they have. Sounds familiar.

The short Prologue is a bit clunky, and there are a few editing glitches, but I recommend getting past those for the well-crafted drama beneath. In Chapter One, the story settles in and is well worth it. An enjoyable read for those who like murder mysteries, thrillers, and a human story.

A small selection of other books by Jaye Marie

Read the reviews and and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie : Goodreads

Connect to Jaye Marie: WordPress Blog

Next on the gift list is a supernatural thriller by Mae Clair –  End of Day: (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)

About the book

The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Oct 15, 2019 Teri rated it it was amazing

I loved the first book in this series (and have the third one pre-ordered) and was so excited to read End of Day, I made it my choice for book club.

This is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold, dreary night. Some scenes will send chills up your spine and have you glancing over your shoulder to make sure no one’s there. With book club members, it spawned spirited conversations ranging from genetics (an odd choice, I know) to our beliefs in ghosts and mediums. For this horror fan, it was a highly enjoyable meeting.

As with the first book in the series, I especially enjoyed the alternating timelines and how Gabriel’s fate was gradually explained. I remembered Dante from the previous book, and looked forward to learning more about him. He’s now one of my favorite characters in the series, and his scenes with Elliott in the role of a substitute father figure warmed my heart. Jillian’s tragic circumstances immediately pulled me in, and I count her therapy dog, Blizzard, as one of the best bookish furry friends I’ve read.

End of Day is a compelling blend of paranormal, thriller, and mystery, and although part of a series, can easily be read as a standalone. I highly recommend this well-written, atmospheric read.

A small selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mae: Goodreads

Connect to Mae via her: blog

I recently reviewed the latest children’s book by Eloise de Sousa.. Space Dust and recommendations have been rolling in for this lovely gift for any child.

About Space Dust

We’re going on a trip in Big Ox’s canoe. Watch the fire bears roar on Venus as pepper pot trees grow on the moon. As Big Ox steers us to the planets, Litte One wonders if Mum will come home soon.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Oh what a beautiful book for children from 3 to 11, and if you want to know my honest opinion, I loved it too and read it out loud to my husband who mmm mmm’d (that’s good!).

Eloise de Sousa has a way with words. When I started reading I had a little lump in my throat but soon I was excited on the adventure with Big Ox and Little One, whose Mummy had left without even a goodbye! The theme of space is so relevant as our youngsters learn more about the Universe. The story gathers pace with Little One looking for his Mummy on the adventure that Big Ox has taken him on in a canoe with his “absolute favourite spoon”. They travel passed planets and Eloise has incorporated some real life information about Venus and Saturn, and “Neptune’s glassy cloud” in a subtle way.

Beautiful flow, rhyme and rhythm, as mentioned by other reviewers. Repetition is just right. Imagination is second to none – “sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup, Or spring onion beams for them to perform their daring loop-dee-loops” … can you just see it?

I love how sensitive Little One is when he tells Big Ox he is “very sorry if I sound like I don’t care”; but then sees how down Big Ox is by his remark. Little One quickly wants to get Big Ox back to his happy self by suggesting they continue their travels where he may see his Mummy.

Very sensitively written. I love how the story calms down towards the end as sleep overtakes Little One but we know that there are more adventures with Big Ox and Little One to follow.

The illustrations are brave and bold and love that they are by the author herself.

I’m so pleased that I have bought a few of these books for the young people in my family as well as close friends. I’m sure they – and their parents – will enjoy.

Well done Eloise de Sousa!

A small selection of other books by Eloise de Sousa

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on : Amazon UK

Read the reviews on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Eloise via her: Blog

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will have found some amazing gifts for your family and friends (and yourself).  Thanks Sally.

32 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #FlashFiction – Sarah Brentyn, #psychologicalthriller Jaye Marie, #Supernaturalthriller Mae Clair and #Children’s Eloise de Sousa

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th – 17th November -Mexico, Music, Magnificent Recipes and Christmas Book Promotions. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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