Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye

Delighted to see so many reviews coming through for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore so I will be adding an extra update in the week to make sure they get showcased.

The first author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the book

This collection of 12 short stories uses a single poem and the symbolism of 12 specific trees as the underlying foundation of morals and themes. The trees don’t appear in the actual stories, but each one is referenced by the author at the end of its tale with a statement about its significance. I enjoyed the stories, particularly Two Sisters, a tale about enduring love between two sisters; and The Piano, a well-told story from the point of view of an Alzheimer’s patient.

The storytelling is primarily from an omniscient point of view and moves rapidly through events and years in a simple straightforward style. As a reader, I didn’t get to know the characters deeply but was carried along by most narratives to a satisfying conclusion. An afternoon’s read recommended for those who enjoy short stories with strong moral messages about love and family.

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The next author with recent reviews is Terry Tyler for her post apocalyptic thriller Blackthorn.

About the book

The UK, year 2139.

One hundred and fifteen years ago, a mysterious virus wiped out ninety-five per cent of humanity.

Blackthorn, the largest settlement in England, rose from the ashes of the devastated old world. It is a troubled city, where the workers live in crude shacks, and make do with the worst of everything.

It is a city of violent divisions, crime, and an over-populated jail block, until a charismatic traveller has a miraculous vision, and promises to bring hope back to the people’s lives.

Blackthorn falls under Ryder Swift’s spell, and the most devoted of all is the governor’s loyal servant, Lieutenant August Hemsley.

Twenty-one-year-old Evie has lived her whole life in the shacks. She and disillusioned guard Byron Lewis are two of a minority who have doubts about Ryder’s message. Can they stand against the beliefs of an entire city?

A recent review for Blackthorn

Once again I couldn’t pass up the latest offering by one of the most accomplished independent authors out there.

Although post-apoc isn’t a go-to genre of mine, I’ve become engrossed in the ‘crap new world’ Terry Tyler has created with her Tipping Point trilogy and the extended future she created in Legacy and Hope.

Every word of this page-turning story rings true. The banality of a community primarily concerned with survival. The absence of distraction and the profitable ignorance of a fearful populace. The shifty, hierarchical leadership and its manipulation of a stratified and docile underclass. In Tyler’s book, these are skilfully presented as both remote and futuristic while being real and recognisable enough to seem frighteningly imminent.

But this is not just allegory. There’s a real, tangible world here with excellent characterisation, genuine threat and fully-realised people you want to follow and know better. Evie is a typical Tyler heroine – an uncluttered, plucky realist aware of her own limitations and respectful of the community and family ties around her. Yet she’s a thinker who recognises the unusual behaviour of the returning Ryder. He’s an Aragorn-like itinerant hero who claims to have had a genuine spiritual conversion which rapidly gains traction in the threatened community of Blackthorn.

The narrative remains unpredictable throughout, and Tyler deftly shapes our sympathies between various characters until the final outcome.

Bittersweet but satisfying, there’s another instalment to come of this gripping tale and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler: Goodreads

Connect to Terry via her Blog: Terry Tyler Blogspot

The next author with a recent recommendation is C.S Boyack for Serang

About Serang

Monastic life is all about duty, service, and harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval brings chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of it’s predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Harmony Kent 4.0 out of 5 stars A rip-roaring fun read February 6, 2020

After thoroughly enjoying Serang’s character in Craig Boyack’s earlier book, Voyage of the Lanternfish, I looked forward to reading all about her in her very own story.

It was great fun to read about Serang as a wilful child who had to learn to adapt to change and find a whole new way of living after family tragedy struck, and to see her grow into a formidable y0ung woman.

This is a fun fantasy read filled with a strong sense of humour as well as more serious moments. The writer has done a great job with world building and characterisation, and has obviously done his research on the subject matter.

Although this is a spin-off from a character from Voyage of the Lantern Fish, it works well as a standalone novel. Having read the first book, it’s wonderful to learn where Serang’s propensity for Huangjiu came from! Equally as fascinating is reading about her trials and tribulations set within the vast upheavals that beset the China of the day with an emperor bent on war and total domination.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

AndAmazon UK

Read more reviews and follow C.S. BoyackGoodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog: Cold Hand Boyack

The final author today is D.G. Kaye who as you know is a regular contributor to the blog with  her new column on Relationships and the Laughter Lines. She has received a recent review for  Twenty Years After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging..

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”. May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

Twenty Years: After “I Do” is an autobiographical non-fiction book about the author’s experience with marriage and relationships. I’ve previously read another of her autobiographies about her relationship with her mother, and it was such an emotionally charged and well-written book, I decided to keep reading more from her every few months until I caught up on all her works.

In this one, Debby tells us what happened almost twenty years ago when she debated whether to marry the man who is now her husband. Given he was twenty years older, she had a lot of decisions to consider when it came to how her life would change. At the core of this book, and her approach to life, is her commitment and honesty in all that she achieves. Debby knew… if she married him, she would have to accept all that came with it in the future. From there, she dives into key aspects of married life: emotions, sex life, personal time, separation of couple and individual, fighting, decision-making, and death. Lessons we all need to consider.

Debby’s writing style is simply fantastic. It’s easy to devour in a short sitting, but it always makes you feel like part of her life. She openly shares so much (the good, the bad, and the ugly) while holding back in all the appropriate areas to allow for proper balance, e.g. we learn about the impacts to her sex life when one partner is ill but she doesn’t go into the details. She tells us how she and her husband tackled the issues from a day-to-day perspective and moved on… because they loved one another (to the moon and back).

There is a refreshing honesty and truth in her words, and readers will quickly find themselves a path to compare their own lives to that of the author’s. What have I done well? What could I do better? What needs to change? Excellent questions to consider, but Debby doesn’t directly tell us to do this–her actions show us why this is at the core of a good marriage. I’m thrilled I had the chance to read this one today. Although I’ve only been with my partner for 8 years, it’s easy to track where things are and what we could do differently.

Debby bravely tells us her story, allowing us to interpret for ourselves what everything means, especially in this ever-changing world where people live longer and have access to more things but it’s harder to get them. I highly recommend this book to nearly anyone in a relationship, or those who want to know how to handle one when they are. Debby shares a few secrets, some hints, and a few suggestions to consider. It’s not just for newbies or long-term couples… there’s a bit of everything for how to co-exist and still be who you are. Great work!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby via her blog: D.G. Writes

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

41 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  2. I just added Blackthorn by Terry Tyler to my list! And, as my review for Serang shows, I loved Serang by Craig Boyack. Thanks for sharing these books and authors, Sally, hugs xx

    Reblogged this on: https://harmonykent.co.uk/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-shortstories-karen-ingalls-thriller-terry-tyler-fantasy-c-s-boyack-memoir-d-g-kaye/ … with the comment: Check out this great collection of books over at Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore today >>> 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An excellent group of authors, Sally. Congratulations to all of them for receiving these amazing reviews! I’ve added Terry Tyler’s book to my TBR list. I already have the others. Thanks for sharing! ❤ xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 9th to 15th February 2020 – Food, Music, Guest, New book releases, Book Reviews and Laughter. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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