Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Fantasy Julia Benally, #Drama Deborah A. Bowman, #Mystery Diana J. Febry, #EpicAdventure Jacqui Murray

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 recent review is Julia Benally for the fantasy novel Pariahs (Ilinga Book I)Julia is also a contributor to several anthologies that are available on her Amazon Author Page.

About Pariahs (Ilings Book 1)

In a land of monsters and soulless creatures, there is a secluded compound terrorized by a fallen demon-killer, the Grand Apwor. He’s claimed its youngest occupant Vijeren as his son. The Grand Apwor can’t be killed, he can’t be escaped, and his punishments are severe and horrific. Somehow, he knows where Vijeren is at all times. When a law enforcer named Zhin appears like a living flame, a family war that’s been sizzling for decades finally ignites. It drags Vijeren in, revealing secrets of a long-forgotten past and a family torn asunder in recesses of lost memories. Only Zhin knows how to kill the Grand Apwor, but the answer rests on the love between a father and son–something that Vijeren doesn’t have…

One of the recent reviews for the book

“Pariahs” (Ilings, Book 1) is not for every reader. But in my opinion, this madcap adventure, fantasy, horror story has the makings of a cult classic. There are people in this world who will absolutely love it. Perhaps you are one of them. Of course, there are probably others who will hate it, and still others will stumble away from it dazed, wondering what just happened to them. But no one will read this book and walk away without a powerful emotional reaction to it.In “Pariahs,” Julia Benally has created an insanely complex world with fourteen sentient races (seven big ones and seven little ones) and an insanely complex system of magic, and she has created an insanely complex plot that races along at about a hundred miles per hour. Almost nothing in the world of Ila bears the remotest resemblance to anything on earth. Sentient beings might have tails or scales or poison fangs or hair up to their knees or some combination of the above, but they all call themselves human beings. And then in the middle of all of it is one pretty little six-year-old girl in a cream-colored dress with short, puffy sleeves.

By the time I was a couple of chapters into “Pariahs,” I thought the whole book was meant to be a joke — a comedy. After a few more chapters, I realized that it was not a joke, but I wasn’t sure what it was. A few more chapters in, and I was totally bewildered. Then I found the glossary (Hooray!), which explained a lot and helped me understand what was going on. Don’t wait as long as I did to find the glossary. By the time I got to the last chapter, I didn’t want it to end.

The plot is extremely complex and travels at breakneck speed. There’s a new nightmarish horror around almost every corner, with monster bosses that just keep coming back. But in the middle of the horror and danger, the little “family” of Vijeren, N’Nar, Sibare, little Miranel, and Zhin are able to find courage in the face of danger, faith to keep on striving, love for their family, hope for their future, and even joy in the almost spiritual ties that bind them together.

Altogether, “Pariahs” was a unique and most remarkable work.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Read the reviews and follow Julia : Goodreads

Connect to Julia via her blog: Sparrow Incarnate

The next author with a selection of non-fiction, paranormal and family drama novels that would make great gifts is  Deborah A. Bowman, and the featured book is Living in a Shadow

About the book

Living in a Shadow is a must-read fictional drama with a powerful message for women of all ages, any man who has ever loved a woman, and any partner, regardless of gender, who has ever loved a victim, especially the unheard, unknown, uncomforted victims.

Sometimes the dreams we want most out of life are mere illusions, shadows in the mist.
Fantasy and Desire: Is it Love or Lust? Truth, Reality, and Perception: Is it Fact or Fiction?

Not that it matters. But, of course, you must have the ability to make these choices.
It’s not the book, any book, but what you personally take away from the book, embracing the experiences as if they were your own to enable you to select the best choices for your life course.

But what do you do, how do you cope, when choices are taken away from you? These are the shadows in all of our lives.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Living in a Shadow is the story of Marcy and Rich, told from the perspectives of the two characters as they chronicle the collapse of their marriage. The writing is riveting. It draws the reader into their personal world by sharing their thoughts and feelings.

The author chose to switch between Marcy and Rich’s mindset, which gave a certain intimacy to the novel, which kept me keyed into the story. At times, I felt as if I was eavesdropping, the dialogue was so realistic.

Love, relationships, trust, and misunderstandings are many of the themes. I especially enjoyed the aspects of the illusionary shadow mentioned in the title and how that theme flowed through the novel.

Everyone has a dark side. I believe Bowman successfully tapped into the shadow archetype revealing the part of the personality called the “Self,” showing all, and more in her characters. You know what I mean… that part that we don’t like about ourselves and the things we subconsciously deny as we project those things on to others? Bowman bares it all! These characters are so real; I felt like I knew them.

This was a hard book to put down, and I found myself propelled through a whirlwind of emotions.

Be prepared because the ending was unexpected. I never saw it coming!

Also by Deborah Bowman

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Deborah on : Goodreads

Connect with Deborah via her blog: Bowman Author

If you enjoy murder mysteries then this next book and also the rest of the Detective Pete Hatherall will be just the gifts for you… written by Diana J. Febry here is a recent review for The Paper Boy.

About the book

A stand-alone murder mystery featuring DCI Peter Hatherall.  A young mother brutally stabbed in a busy park in front of her son. A paperboy shot in an isolated farmhouse twenty-four years previously. DI Fiona Williams is baffled when her senior officer, DCI Peter Hatherall makes a connection between the two cases.
As details of Hatherall’s involvement in the old case emerge, her loyalty is tested to breaking point and she starts to question his decisions. When the murdered woman’s son goes missing the time for hesitating is over.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Beverley Peters 4.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine Reading. October 20, 2019

When it comes to murder mysteries this book fits the bill for me. I love nothing but to relax with a good mystery. What i call – sunshine TV style novels. The story is easy and refreshing to follow without losing the intrigue along the journey.

I found myself trying to solve the puzzle of a -who dunnit.

Great detective story involving two cases one of which was shoddily managed 20 yrs ago and a recent murder case which ties the two together.

This well researched and steadily paced story was a great read . DCI Peter Hatherall is engaging and a genius and i recommend this book for fans of murder mystery

A selection of other books by Diana J. Febry

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on: Goodreads

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: Diana J. Febry

And now time to catch up with the early humans in the The Crossroads Trilogy and the second book in the seriesThe Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray.  I have read both books in the trilogy and can highly recommend to lovers of epic adventure novels in a wonderfully researched ancient world.

About The Quest for Home

Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.

Bravo Jacqui! A fine read and meticulous research.” — Sue Harrison, author of the acclaimed Ivory Carver Trilogy,

Xhosa flees what she had hoped would be her new home after being attacked by invaders from the North. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands of what we now call Europe. As she struggles to overcome strangers around her and disruptions within her People, Xhosa faces the reality that her most dangerous enemy may not be the one she expected. It may be one she has trusted with her life.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man spreads across Eurasia. Xhosa must regularly does the impossible which is good because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

A recent review for the book

What a way to start a sequel! We pick up right where the first book leaves off, and the author is thorough and detailed with providing the necessary information a new reader might need in order to understand what is happening.

Give me a strong, brave, and compassionate female protagonist any day of the week, and I’m your reader. Author Jacqui Murray does not disappoint. Xhosa, our heroine, is determined to lead her tribe to safety in this prehistoric world. She is up against competition within her own tribe as well as from other tribes. Murray has clearly done her research. We learn interesting details and information about medicinal uses for plants, relationships, language, survival, and it is written with credibility, drama, intrigue, and passion.
The story follows several perspectives of well-rounded characters so that we see the quest from a few angles, and we soon become entrenched in their individual goals and motivations. The setting and descriptions are richly detailed, and the writing is consistently strong.

I highly recommend “The Quest for Home” to anyone who enjoys prehistoric adventures and stories led by compelling characters.

A selection of other books by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui: goodreads

Connect to Jacqui via her Blog: Worddreams

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

30 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Fantasy Julia Benally, #Drama Deborah A. Bowman, #Mystery Diana J. Febry, #EpicAdventure Jacqui Murray

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up December 1st to 7th – Christmas Music, Festive Brussel Sprouts, Italian Biscotti, Winter Sun and plenty of other Shenanigans! | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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