Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman

The first book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Faith-Filled.  Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020

The author of this collection of poetry and short snippets takes us on a journey through life—her life—as seen through the music of words and photographs. She shares experiences through marriage, parenthood, the loss of loved ones, even cancer treatments. Heartfelt and often spiritual, the book resonates with strength, love, and faith. There are multiple poems and snippets that touched me, but a few that really stood out are Cocoon-Butterfly, A Tribute to My Dad, and Gratitude for Being. Each reader will no doubt find poems that speak to their heart. Although this collection is a reflection of the author’s life, the beauty and spirit of the work brings something for everyone.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next book with a recent review is the memoir.  My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog, edited by his best friend Andrew Joyce.

About the book

Danny the Dog is a prolific writer. He’s written articles for bloggers around the world and has his own very popular blog where he dispenses his wisdom on a monthly basis. He’s humorous, clever, charming, delightful, and sometimes irascible. Or, as he would phrase it, “I’m a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and words.”In My Name Is Danny, Danny writes about his real-life adventures living on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his human, Andrew. He tells of their trials and tribulations … and the love they have for one another. Fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz will enjoy this book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jane Fulkerson 5.0 out of 5 stars From Jane in Montana: What dogs really think of their owners.  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020

I’ve always wondered what dogs really think about the people who own them. This book answers that question. If you end up with the likes of houseboat owner Andrew, it fluctuates between “toleration” and “all out love.”

This book takes you down to small dog level – right next to the ground – where all of the good smells are. There are places you can go hide where no one can find you, and if you are cute, which Danny is, you learn how to use that to your advantage in all situations.

I enjoyed these dog adventures very much, especially the Q and A Interviews, where Danny speaks his mind – no holds barred. He certainly earned his turkey slices and won my heart in very short order.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on : Goodreads

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew via his blog: Andrew Joyce WordPress

The final author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and Thought-Provoking  Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2020

Marian Beamon writes an honest and revealing memoir about growing up in a Mennonite family and community. The oldest of four children, Marian, grows up surrounded by family. Her grandparents live only a half-mile away with her Aunt Ruthie. Marian, like most Mennonite children, is caught in a world of contradictions. She learns that being fancy is an accepted part of the culture when you are a child, but the conventional style of dress is to be plain when she gets older.

Marian could be rebellious at times, which led to her father’s ire. She knows this provokes her father, but she occasionally challenges his authority. Her father responds with lashings across Marian’s legs. She questions why this type of physical punishment is permitted from a culture professing to be nonviolent. She thinks it odd for a community that is against war and only permits the use of guns for hunting to tolerate corporal punishment. She also begins to resent her mom for merely acting as a bystander when her dad loses his temper. She also wonders why none of her siblings receive the same treatment from her father.

There are further disappointments when Marian’s father promises to get her a bike for her birthday for working so hard alongside him on the family’s tomato crop. When the time comes, she is hurt when he gets her a secondhand antique, dents and all.

There are many wonderful times, too. Marian’s father gets her a violin at one point, and she gets quite skilled at playing it, even participating in the high school orchestra. Her grandmother teaches her to sew, and she spends many good times with her aunt and her grandmother. In the end, Marian faces the difficult question of whether or not to remain a Mennonite.

Beaman’s writing is exceptional, and she retells stories with a keen sense of detail. I learned a lot about a culture that I knew little about beforehand.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marian via her blog: Marian Beaman.

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

29 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman

  1. Sally, you are the most generous author I know. I am so pleased to be among this company. May you be blessed as you promote others.

    This promo cheers me, a great pick-me-up during hard times! Virtual hugs to you, Sally, and best wishes to the other authors as well. ((( )))

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for including me for your author update post, Sally.

    I’m grateful for Mae’s fabulous review. Andrew’s book is fascinating to me, writing about life from a dog’s perspective. What a brilliant idea. Marian’s book is very interesting. I don’t know too much about the Mennonite, but I know a friend and his wife broke the tie from the Mormon church. He wrote a book about his Mormon life.

    Great to meet my fellow authors and thank you for all the excellent reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st -27th June 2020 – Josh Groban, Lemon Meringue Pie, #Ireland, Book Reviews, Authors and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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