Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Mystery Mae Clair, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is USA Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar with a review for Sunset Beach (Blue Haven Book 2)

About the book

An explosive secret threatens the peace and tranquility of Sweetheart Cove

Single father Trace Michaels hands are full coping with a rebellious teenage daughter, troublesome ex-wife, and campaigning for the mayor’s election. He doesn’t have time to get distracted by an old flame from his past– one he’s never forgotten.

When an unknown source leaks surprising news that could damage his career, Trace turns to the one person he trusts for the truth.

Single mother Mona Samuels knows how difficult it can be to raise a daughter. She empathizes with Trace, but when he comes to her for advice she’s conflicted. They say the truth will set you free, but unburying the past could destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair  5.0 out of 5 stars  A Charmer!  Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2020

Trace and Mona are both single parents with teenage daughters and history that goes back to their dating years in high school. Trace made the mistake of cheating on Mona with Sally, now his ex-wife. In a small town, paths cross and gossip flies. When Mona decides to run for Mayor against Trace, life becomes even more complicated, especially as these two struggle to navigate underlying feelings for each other.

This is a sweet romance with engaging characters set in a charming town. Of special mention, Trace and Mona’s daughters, Bailey and Amber, provide a secondary plot line that shines every bit as brightly as the first. The ending is superb, providing the perfect HEA you’d expect from a story like this. A winner all the way around!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie : Goodreads

Connect to Jacquie via her website: Jacquie Biggar

The next author is Mae Clair for her recently released mystery with a touch of humour… In Search of McDoogal

About the book

In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Mae Clair’s In search of McDoogal (2020) is fun, quick paced, and clever. It’s not long so I barely started before I felt like it ended too soon. Brady Conrad thinks he has something special with his girlfriend of six weeks, Vanessa, like she could be The One. So he offers to help her out during an emergency, run a sale at her art gallery while she’s taking care of personal business. It all goes well–he does end up selling a lot–but also sells a painting she wanted to keep. How hard can it be to get it back? Brady knows the man’s first name, where he lives, and that his van is bright orange (who else drives an orange van?). He’s about to find out even with that treasure trove of information, it can be nearly impossible.

I’ve read lots of Mae’s prior books and always loved them for their careful plotting and well-developed characters. Despite this one’s brevity, she again does a good job of developing her story with snappy dialogue, a mix of love and action, and a believable plot (I mean, anyone could make the mistake that landed Brandon in hot water). This is an entirely entertaining story I recommend to those who have experience with something so simple going so wrong.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And:Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mae: Goodreads

Connect to Mae via her Blog/Website: Mae Clair

The final author is Audrey Driscoll with a recent review for her action adventure, She Who Comes Forth

About the book

October 1962. The developing nuclear missile crisis in Cuba is of no concern to Francesca “France” Leighton. Recently turned 21, France travels from her home in Providence to a job at an archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. She takes with her two legacies—an emerald ring from the grandfather she never knew, and an antique cello from his friend, a man she loved like a grandfather.

The dig disappoints. France is relegated to sorting chunks of stone, the dig’s director makes unwanted advances; rivalries and mistrust are everywhere. And it’s too darn hot. Tasked with playing her cello at a gathering of archaeologists, France meets the enigmatic and fascinating nuclear physicist Adam Dexter. She’s smitten, especially when he promises to show her the secrets of Egypt, including a hitherto undiscovered tomb.

One of the recent reviews for the book

benjamin l haskett 5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, great cast, and a great, subtle plot in the background.  Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2020
She Who Comes Forth was a fantastic read. The story it told was engaging, but even more impressive was its delivery. The book is narrated in first-person by main character France Leighton, a young woman tasked with sorting rocks at an archaeological dig site in Egypt. France is a wonderful storyteller. I felt like she spoke to me directly; like she was recalling her time in Egypt to me from a comfy chair in front of a fireplace. Her tale is frontloaded with natural digressions about family and her apprehension for various tasks that she is ill-suited to carry out. She is honest and personal and warm, unashamed about her fears and self-doubt.

The backdrop here is that in the 1960s, France accepts a gig in Egypt to work at an archaeological dig site. She admits to the reader that she has zero applicable experience, and… it’s revealed early on that the man who hired her may have done so for, well, dubious reasons. (One detail I do not recall is whether she had any experience/education that was even tangentially applicable.)

When she arrives at the dig house and it’s revealed that she doesn’t really belong, the people in charge empathize with the long journey she’s taken from the Providence, Rhode Island, and go out of their way to find a place for her. Sorting rocks is kind of a bummer job, but she makes the best of it with good cheer and an upbeat attitude (mostly). Once she settles into her minor role, she’s asked to play her cello (alongside a violinist and violist) at an investors’ event, and it’s clear even then that the music gig is more about the people in charge finding a suitable place for her than anything else.

(In case you were wondering: yes, it is in fact weird that she packed up and brought her cello to Egypt. But there is a good reason for it!)

The whole book is an exercise in subtlety. I mean, honestly, when you consider that the first third of the book centers around France preparing for a semi-formal event where she’s going to play some Beethoven, it’s remarkable that the author is able to make everything so engaging. Thanks to a colorful cast of characters and France’s narration, the book thrives on these mild story beats.

The ending takes some unexpected but satisfying turns. There are a lot of supernatural elements at play here, also subtle, which seem so out of place (in a good way!) sometimes that they’re genuinely creepy when they occur. I’m sorely tempted to lay out some examples, but I don’t want to spoil anything — read it!

Most books have a slump in the pacing somewhere, and this book is no exception, but the slump here is brief. The majority of the book is so crystal clear about what’s going on that chapters 10 and 11 kinda dragged. They were fuzzy and unclear, like someone recalling an alien abduction while under regressive hypnotherapy. Not bad by any stretch, but I was glad to make it to chapter 12.

I recommend this book to just about anyone. Whether you’re into Egypt, the supernatural, music, the 1960s, or conversations with inanimate objects (*wink*), you’ll have an excellent time. Great characters, great cast, and a great, subtle plot in the background.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other  books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on: Goodreads

Connect to Audrey  via her website: Audrey Driscoll

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

62 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Mystery Mae Clair, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll

  1. This looks like a fun collection of books and authors, Sally. I have all of Mae’s and especially enjoyed the humour in McDoogal. The cover on Sunset Beach is lovely. I’ll have to check out all of these. Thanks for sharing. Hugs xx 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m a huge fan of your first two authors. Nice to see them here. I haven’t read Jacquie’s latest (though I have no doubt it’s amazing) but I have read Mae’s and I love it. It’s such a fun story; just what the world needs right now.

    And now I have a third author to look into. Thanks, Sally. Best wishes to all the authors.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I couldn’t wait for the Weekly Round Up to stop by for this group! Some super sounding books and authors here today, Sally, and I can vouch for Mae Clair’s In Search of McDoogal, too. I absolutely loved it. It’s the perfect short read, too, for those times when you are too busy to start something epic. Full of fun from start to finish, with a super relationship developed between Brady and his friend, Declan. I highly recommend it!

    Looking forward to checking out both Jacquie’s and Audrey’s books too. Thanks for sharing these! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m a huge fan of Mae’s work and am eager to read this one. Great reviews all round, and I’m looking forward to checking out both Jacquie’s and Audrey’s books too. Great post, Sally.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What terrific additions to your shelves, Sally. McDoogal sounds like my idea of fun, and with Mae behind the pen I know it’s beautifully written.
    I have plenty of sun and sandy dirt… I could fill up the bathtub and pretend I’m at the beach! Because Jacquie’s book really appeals to me too. Oh yes… need to get both of these.
    Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wow, I am doubly honored today! My review of Jacquie Biggar’s wonderful story, Sunset Beach, shows, up, plus a spotlight on my own story In Search of McDoogal. Thank you so much, Sally. And congrats to all of the authors featured here. Lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a fantastic group of authors to feature, Sally – and I know all of them, lol! I haven’t read this new release of Mae’s yet – it’s waiting for me, but I can certainly vouch for her other books. I’ve also seen some rave reviews for Jacquie’s and Audrey’s novels.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 17th – 23rd May 2020 – Rainbow Fairies, Sound of Music, Books, Guests and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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