Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Writers Denise O’Hagan, #Familydrama Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Iain Kelly, #Writers Harmony Kent

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 book which would make a great gift for writers is by editor Denise O’Hagan. Mini Style Guide: An Introduction to Good Writing and Manuscript Presentation

About the guide

An easy-to-use guide for writers, editors and students

The Mini Style Guide covers the fundamentals of good writing and explains how to present a manuscript for publication. It is written in a direct and accessible manner suitable for all ages and backgrounds, and assumes no prior knowledge of the writing trade or the publishing industry. Explanations are accompanied by plentiful ‘real life’ examples, and each chapter opens with a humorous quotation. The book consists of three parts.

Part 1 covers the essence of good writing, both factual and non-factual. It covers the principles of Plain English; words that are often misused or misspelled; and common grammatical and punctuation errors. Differences between Australian, British and American English are explored; inclusive writing is defined; and copyright law as it applies to writers is clarified.

Part 2 explains the technicalities of how to present a manuscript. It examines the advantages and disadvantages of working exclusively on computer and working partly on hard copy; outlines the structure of a manuscript and the order of its various components; and explains how to compile a contents page to reflect the heading hierarchy. It explains how to treat quotations, lists, abbreviations and numbers; offers advice on presenting illustrations, tables, charts and graphs; and discusses bibliographical material and indexes.

Part 3 explores possible publishing avenues; that is, commercial publishers, literary agents and self-publishing. It defines the role of each; explains which one is best suited to which type of writing; and includes advice on how to write a synopsis, select sample chapters and draft a covering letter.

The Appendix contains templates of standard forms and letters that can be photocopied and tailored to suit individual needs.
The Glossary contains commonly used terms to do with writing, publishing and printing.
The Bibliography contains sources used and recommended.
Foreword by Robert Fairhead, book reviewer at Writing NSW.

One of the reviews for the guide 

Reading about style is about the last thing an aspiring writer would want to read about. But for the serious writer, reading and studying style guides are essential to the craft. This style guide was clearly and succinctly written with plenty of examples to make the medicine go down easily! I recommend this book for both the new writer and the seasoned veteran.

Read the reviews and buy the guide: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Connect to Denise via her website: Black Quill Press

The next author with a wonderful selection of books that make wonderful gifts is Christa Polkinhorn and the featured book is The Italian Sister (The Wine Lover’s Daughter Book 1).

About the book

Standing at her father’s grave in California, Sofia Laverne mourns his untimely death. Henry had not only been a loving parent but Sofia’s best friend and mentor. Imagine her shock and grief when she finds out her father had lived a double-life, that she has a ten-year younger sister and inherited a vineyard in Tuscany. Torn between anger about his betrayal, grief for her loss, and hopeful anticipation, Sofia packs her bags and takes off for Italy to meet fourteen-year old Julietta. Arriving in the small hill town of Vignaverde, she is greeted by olive groves, neat rows of grape vines, and picturesque houses. Some of the inhabitants of this beautiful estate are, unfortunately, less welcoming and resent her intrusion into the family business. Soon, strange occurrences begin to frighten Sofia. When a suspicious accident lands her in the hospital, Sofia fears for her life.

Part family drama, part romantic suspense, THE ITALIAN SISTER takes us on a wild journey from California to Tuscany and provides glimpses into the exciting world of winemaking.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brigitte & Karen 5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner!! August 25, 2019

Not only is this a fascinating family drama, the combination of wine and mystery is absolutely perfect. From California to Tuscany, this book is a page turner! Even if you are a true wine expert, you’ll learn so much more about Italian wines. Christa Polkinhorn’s descriptions of the Tuscany landscape will make you want to go to Italy tomorrow!

A Selection of other books by Christa Polkinhorn

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Christa : Goodreads

Connect to Christa via her blog: Christa Polkinhorn

The next book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle. The collection has just won the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards!

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

I was gifted Miriam’s book during a particularly tough season of life, with my tiny baby in the NICU. Slowly reading through Miriam’s poetry brought peace and calmness to my heart. Her wisdom, faith, hope and inspiration comes through in each poem.

Given the season of life I was in, I found myself going back to the poem “ Beautiful Tiny Baby” over and over. Knowing the wonderful woman of faith that Miriam’s beautiful tiny baby has grown into not only brought me an amazing comfort that I am grateful for, but also reminded me that Miriam’s faith and hope is intimately woven into her – inspiring me to do the same for mine each day.

No matter what season of life you are in, this is a book you can read over and over again, and find wisdom, hope and inspiration.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next book is for thriller lovers by Iain Kelly – State Of Denial (The State Trilogy Book 2).

About State of Denial.

Election time in The State, the citizens prepare to vote. A journalist from the Capital City heads north to report on growing resistance to the powerful ruling Party. An ex-police detective returns to the City he once fled. Together they become entangled in a burgeoning opposition movement. Soon they learn the Party will do whatever it takes to remain in power, and one life is all it takes to spark a revolution.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ms. Laurie J. Bell 5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific book two October 15, 2019

A very well done book two. State of Denial picks up a few years after A Justified State and is set in the same near future world. It introduces a new character, Maxine Aubert, to the familiar cast. Max is a journalist who becomes drawn into the impossible rebellion against the all powerful State. Our favorite character, Danny, is now living in the wilderness, having escaped the all controlling city after the events of Book One. He is forced back to the city and once there becomes entangled once again in city politics, the election and the machinations of an ex-spy he once thought of as a friend.

This is an easy series to get drawn into. Well written, the plot flows effortlessly through it like the river though the city. Danny is a well developed character and Max’s introduction is a joyful contribution to the story of intrigue and the makings of a civil war. The futuristic elements of the setting are cleverly thought through and easy to imagine. The concept of a government state doing everything in its power to keep control of its citizens is a frightful yet realistic theme.

A gripping sci fi that is a little bit horrifying and a lot entertaining.

Also by Iain Kelly

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Iain:  Goodreads

Connect to Iain on his website: Iain Kelly Writing

And finally today another book for writers from Harmony Kent

Creative Solutions for the  Modern Writer…Inspirational tools to fire your imagination.

About the book

Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer is the perfect gift for the writer in your life.

Do you want to be an author? Are you struggling to find inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to put words on the page? Or are you simply looking for novel ideas? If so, then this book is for you.

This little guide will help you unlock your story ideas and fire your imagination. The text covers things such as writing from various prompts, to using Chess, Tarot, and even nursing Triage (and much more) for developing your characters, story, and plot.

From the award-winning author of Polish Your Prose: Essential Self-Editing Tips for Authors—an excellent companion text—Creative Solutions focuses on the creative side of writing rather than the technical.

This book gives you the tools you need to make writing fun, as well as tips and techniques on creating characters and stories that will stay with you and your readers forever.

Crammed with easy-to understand examples, this guide is for writers of every genre—both fiction and non-fiction, literary, and commercial. But most of all, it’s about having fun and making friends with your muse.

A recent review for the book

While not necessary, you really should read Ms. Kent’s dystopian novel, Fallout first. It’s not required, but it would help you understand when she outlines her method of preparing to write a story. (BTW, I did read and enjoy, ‘Fallout.’)

While I am a 15% planner/85% ‘pantser’ writer, I’ve seen a lot of methods of setting up a novel outline. Ms. Kent gives the reader several different approaches for those who ‘think differently’ than others do. In high school and college, I took several various chemistry courses, but still had a problem understanding the Periodic Table of Elements. In my fifth chemistry course, an instructor said something that opened my eyes, and suddenly the chart made perfect sense.

In a ‘how-to’ book to plan a novel, I never thought I read about ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,’ a month-long topic in one of my psychology courses being used to explain plot development. Interesting concept!

At the end of this story, Ms. Kent lists many useful tools and how to get them. If you are a beginning author, those tools alone are worth the money for the book.

While I’ll never be a ‘planner,’ I will put some of these concepts to use. I’ve always started with a premise, a basic idea of where I was going, and an ending. All I had to do, then was to use my premise and work my way to my conclusion. It’s worked for me. Harmony’s information will influence my next novel. Thank you!

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Harmony Goodreads

Connect to Harmony via her website: Harmony Kent

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.


55 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Writers Denise O’Hagan, #Familydrama Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Iain Kelly, #Writers Harmony Kent

  1. Pingback: Sally's Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Writers Denise O'Hagan, #Familydrama Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Iain Kelly, #Writers Harmony Kent | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  2. Reblogged this on Iain Kelly and commented:
    Delighted that my novel ‘State Of Denial’ has been included in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Book Fair, as her ‘thriller’ selection – along with some other great reads from some great writers. Head over to Smorgsboard Blog Magazine to see more. I hope Santa will deliver a few copies of my book to a few stockings this December!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congrats to all these authors on their wonderful reviews. I have Creative Solutions on my Kindle and know I will find it helpful for inspiring my muse. Nice showcase, Sally!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up- 18th – 24th November – Storms, Malta, Thanksgiving Menu and Tributes, and Christmas Book Fair. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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