Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews #Mystery James J. Cudney, #Familydrama Mary Crowley, #Cyberpunk/Scifi C.S. Boyack

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates for the week, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his latest release Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6)

About the Book

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reader Editor 5.0 out of 5 stars Kellan’s Incredible Life Inadvertently Solving Mysteries Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020

In this 6th book of the Braxton Campus cozy mystery series, the author brings another character to the front of the action. Madam Zeyna predicts some occurrences in Kellan’s future that may be insurmountable. Once again, Cudney’s ability to portray his characters made me smile. While we envision Madame Zeyna – we know exactly how she may look – Cudney focuses on her personality and how she fits into the action.

Kellan’s grandmother, the feisty and wise Nana D goes missing. By the way, she is one of my favorite characters in this entire series. Cudney has created a spunky older woman we all might like to be when we age. Kellan is on overload searching for her while also solving the murder of a prominent Braxton citizen the has the town in near lock down. Then there is his tempestuous liaison with the Deputy Sheriff, April, which is becoming a solid relationship, but both have different duties, and this always tears at their relationship. As this series moves along, we watch the characters grow and learn life’s lessons. An air of mystery shadows this story and I feel it may run into the next story, though all the stories in this series are stand-along if you wish to read them that way.

Cudney builds an exciting story around these events, with occurrences and surprises we don’t see coming. As with all his stories, he ends this one with a superb cliffhanger. The story finishes nicely, but now we know there will be another soon.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow James: Goodreads

Connect to James via his blog: This is my Truth Now

The next author is Mary Crowley and a review for her second novel Under a Dark Cloud

About the book

Under a Dark Cloud is a grippingly emotional story of shattered dreams, haunting nightmares and bitter memories. Kelly Henderson wants reprieve to emerge from Under the Dark Cloud that shrouds her life.

Kelly Henderson returns to Bunreen, a small town nestled in the South East of Ireland, weeks after her husband’s tragic death, wanting to re-establish a relationship with her mother and sister. However, as the taxi approaches her old home, she is harshly reminded of the night her mother Lorraine banished her to live with her father in Scotland, when she was only fifteen years of age.

Kelly’s’ heart is heavy and her grief raw, but she must keep strong as she soon discovers there are more secrets within the family. While Lorraine’s indifference to her pain gives renewed determination to right the wrongs of the past and prove she had not been lying about what had happened to her as a teenager. A wrongdoing that led to the breakdown of her marriage and in Kelly’s mind, inevitably caused her husband’s death. It’s time to take back control and get the reprieve she deserves.

Nessa Quinlan has a simple but happy life with her devoted husband Liam; however, her life is turned upside-down when her estranged brother contacts her to say he is dying of cancer. Nessa had broken all ties with Donald after he had killed a local teenager in a road accident showing no remorse.

Kind-hearted, Nessa becomes his carer which concerns her family and best friend Clodagh, but Nessa has more to contend with than the disagreeable Donald, with ghosts from her past threatening to cloud her happiness, which in turn puts a strain on her marriage. This is not helped by Donald refusing medical treatment until one day Kelly arrives on their doorstep as his new Health Nurse.

Can Nessa save her marriage? Does Kelly hold the answers to Nessa’s problems, or will her presence bring further recriminations?

Under a Dark Cloud is Mary Crowley’s second Novel following her Debut A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, a heart wrenching tale of a mother’s loss when her son, a talented athlete is killed.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Feb 26, 2020 Joyce Murphy rated it Five Stars

The intrinsic set of secondary characters drawn from Waterford city create a suspense right from the start. Irish drama coming to life with a rich set of colorful characters, flawed in their own way but with very big hearts. A lovely companion book any time you want to sit down, grab a coffee and treat yourself to this special story.

I have just started reading ‘A Sweet Smell of Strawberries’ the authors first book and even after the first few pages, I am already hooked.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Mary Crowley

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Mary on: Goodreads

Connect to Mary via her blog/website: Mary Crowley WordPress

The final author today is C.S. Boyack with a review for his Cyberpunk/Scifi Grinders.

About the book

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt say it again: No one has a wilder and more fertile imagination than C. S. Boyack. His latest release is so packed full of entertainment, it boggles the mind! And the world-building is beyond creative. Holy Moly! This vision of an all-too-possible future is engrossing, funny, frightening, and compelling, all at the same time. And oh, yeah—about the story. It works to perfection as well. Take some cool characters, an interesting antagonist, and a few fun critters being taught wild and crazy skills, stir well, and what do you get? Grinders! A book that’s an all-around treat to read.

Although this was my first foray into cyberpunk, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I felt as though I were doing a “country bumpkin” walk through this futuristic cityscape, my mouth hanging open every step of the way. I highly recommend you take that walk, too. You’ll be glad you did.

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. Boyack:  Goodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog: Cold Hand Boyack

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


33 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews #Mystery James J. Cudney, #Familydrama Mary Crowley, #Cyberpunk/Scifi C.S. Boyack

  1. Great assortment of books/reviews here today, Sally. Thanks for featuring all three, and it’s super fun to see my review of Grinders here, as well. (I meant every word, by the way!) I’m way behind on my blog reading, but I’m glad this one caught my eye. Congrats to James, Mary, and Craig, and thanks to you, Sally! 🙂 ❤ Sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great spotlight post on works by James, Mary, and Craig. I’ve only read one of these (Grinders, and it was wonderful) but they all sound good. Best wishes to all the authors. Thanks, Sally.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a great round up of authors and reviews. I haven’t read Jay’s Frozen Stiff Drink yet, but it’s on my Kindle. I’ve read two of the other Braxton Campus Mysteries and adored them.

    And I LOVE Craig Boyacks books. Each and every one is highly imaginative, but he really raised the bar with Grinders. I think it’s my favorite to date. Excellent story in such a unique world/setting.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve got Frozen Stiff Drink and Grinders waiting for me on my Kindle. Just about the time I start to get caught up, I get a few more books. I’m not doing much writing these days, but there’s plenty of time for reading.

    Liked by 3 people

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