Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Horror Vashti Quiroz Vega

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review isTeri Polen for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michael P. Hartnett 5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Dystopian Novel of Complex Emotions and Countless Revelations  Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020

About two-thirds through Teri Polen’s terrific dystopian novel Subject A36, our narrator and protagonist Asher Solomon makes a declaration: “I’m in control, not A36.” But with all of the stunning revelations that have delivered before that statement, neither the reader nor Asher can be sure. Indeed, this novel has challenges for the reviewer since Polen unfolds so many clever surprises that I have to worry about passing along spoilers.

Asher, his girlfriend Brynn, and Noah head an insurgent movement that combats the Colony. That Colony harvests the genetic attributes of its victims. Asher and his companions daringly rescue many of those captured by the Colony before those victims can be harvested. Yet, while the Colony soldiers hunt the insurgents, their greatest goal is get their hands on Subject A36. From this premise, many intrigues emerge. Asher must consider the past, confronting his father’s legacy, even as he must face a future where the specter of what A36 might do next haunts him.

The central psychological tension of the novel homes in on Asher’s struggle to maintain his humanity under the tremendous dual combination of situational stress and hard-wired genetics. This emotional intensity gives the narrative greater richness and force. Polen has well considered the details of this novel right down Asher’s last name of Solomon, whose Biblical namesake was famous for a decision splitting a child, certainly a bifurcated position with which Asher could identify.

Dr. Everly serves as Asher’s worthy adversary, a villain of diabolical tactics and mental manipulations. Ultimately, the conflict leads to a series of tremendously compelling scenes, right down to the final twist. The first installment of the Colony Series, Subject A36 signals that a rip-roaring sequel will follow, one that promises to be true to the complicated emotions of this powerful dystopian novel.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Teri Polen

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow TeriGoodreads

Connect to Teri via her website:  Teri Polen

The next author is Frank Prem  with a review for his poetry collection – Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection

Amazon Customer  5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful love poem  Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020

This book takes you through each line of the original Lowell poem in a way that is like living it through the author’s eyes. You get a sense of his place, his longing, his love. It’s not overly sad. If fact, it’s happy. It’s a celebration of love and life and flowers in the garden. It’s like reading two stories in one, the way it is intertwined with the classic poem. A very talented poet and I’m very much looking forward to the next book.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

The final author is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for her short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

Ms. Quiroz-Vega has mastered characterization!!! What it takes many authors an entire novel to impart, she’s accomplished in a short that takes an hour to read. Abandonment, matricide, mental, physical, and sexual abuse are either exacted or avenged to the readers’ satisfaction.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Vashti : Goodreads

Connect to Vashti via her website: Vashti – WordPress

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

38 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Horror Vashti Quiroz Vega

  1. Great shares today, Sally, thanks!! I’ve got Subject A36 on my TBR pile, and looking forward to reading it, but I’m happy to add Frank and Vashti to the mix! 🙂 ❤ Sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – March 29th – April 4th 2020 – Musique Mechanaique, Finger Limes, Letters from America and all that Jazz | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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