Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #ScienceFiction A.C. Flory

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves…

The first review is for Lorinda J. Taylor for her recently released The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World

About the book

What would it really be like to be immortal? And how important is the power of friendship and the need for communion with one’s fellow humans? On Ziraf’s World, a planet in a universe far away from ours, an old priest named Gilzara decides to ask the Dreamers for the gift of immortality, and Krozem the Creator of Humankind grants his request, including giving him the power to make others immortal. However, things go tragically wrong; Gilzara’s dying wife refuses the gift, and Gilzara is left to live his immortal life alone.

The Troil, incorporeal spirit beings who also inhabit this world, take it upon themselves to save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality, but he continues to see himself as a freak and an outcast, unable to relate to any mortal. The Troil teach him the power of venwara – wizardry – and thus fortified, he returns to the human world, desperately searching for a connection. He finds it in Halrab, a young novice priest, and together they set out to climb the Starbell, the highest mountain in Ziraf’s World, the symbol of an unattainable goal.

An early review for the book

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be immortal? Would immortality be a gift or a curse? Speculative fiction author, Lorinda J. Taylor explores those questions in her recent release, “The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World.”

On Ziraf’s World, a distant planet in the universe, the world is illuminated in various shades of the color blue. The planet has its own cosmology (the sun and moon rise in the west and set in the east, and the year is shorter than on Earth.

The author’s notes share:

“The culture is late Neolithic; metallurgy is unknown except for some gold-working. Obviously, the culture is on the cusp of technological development, but the path to that level will be different from Earth’s – based on spiritual and mental arts that can be called magic, for want of a better term. The gods (Ziraf’s Dreamers, the Seven Zem’l, whom Ziraf the High Dreamer appointed to engineer creation) are palpable in this world, as are a different kind of beings called Troil, who are pure spirit and are immortal.”

“Naturally, such a world will have its own languages, but in this tale, we are concerned with only one race of humans, called the Kairam (the Slate People); there are in fact other races who would have languages of their own, but they figure only tangentially here.”

(Taylor, Lorinda J. The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World (p. 231). Kindle Edition.
The tale sets in motion when a man and his wife ask the old priest Gilzara a simple question. Why do the Troil live forever while humans are mortal?)

Both elderly now, Gilzara and his wife, Javon, ponder the question. More than anything, Gilzara fears he already knows what the answer will be from Krozem, the Creator. But he can’t help wondering… what if Gilzara and Javon could live forever, healed, and once again whole?

Krozem grants Gilzara’s request, including the additional power to make others immortal. The old priest hurries back to Javon to share this significant news. Javon refuses his gift of immortality and dies in his arms. Devastated, the priest realizes that he must live his immortal life alone. The ramifications of such an existence are staggering.

Gilzara is heartbroken over the loss of his wife, and he feels the weight from the gift of immortality like a noose hanging around his neck. Without Javon, life no longer holds any joy. He hides from other humans and even starves himself to near death, wishing for the sweet release death would bring to him.

When Thav, a cave Troi, stumbles across Gilzara’s almost frozen body, she knows the Troil must save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality. Thav and the other Troil eventually teach Gilzara the power of venwara, a type of wizardry.

I’ve noticed “wounded male characters,” is Taylor’s specialty. She excels in her portrayal of the old priest as a deeply wounded soul finding redemption through a journey of love and acceptance. The prophetic magic of her words come together when Gilzara finally learns to live with his immortality.

Look for spectacular world-building, rich characters and descriptions, and bits of spiritual wisdom that will resonate with your own belief systems. The personas of the Troil captivated me. These Yoda-like creatures remind me of benevolent nature spirits, always looking out for the good of the planet and the people who inhabit this strange land. In fact, some of Taylor’s descriptions of venwara magic are so breathtaking, I found them to be poetic.

“The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World,” is a standalone novel. For your reading convenience, Taylor adds a detailed list of characters, a list of geographical names, and a Glossary of Terms at the end of the book.

I’m a tremendous fan of this author, and this recent addition to her repertoire has become an instant favorite of mine! Something tells me you will love this novel, as well. Enjoy!

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on : Goodreads

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: Termite Writer Blogspot

The next author is M.C.V Egan with a recent review for her novel Defined by Others.

About the book

A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse, Frank, leaves her at the age of forty-seven, coming out of the closet literally in a closet.

She finds herself back in her hometown of Skvallerby, Connecticut among her high school friends which she had left in her past.

An inheritance from a frenemy leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances.

In an attempt to run from her reality Anne becomes engrossed in a game of fun and flirtation with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie.

Their fun games turn into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game. Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michael Thal 5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Will Destroy You  Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020

Do you have a secret? Most of us do. In the words of author MCV Egan, “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.” To keep your secrets safe, keep them to yourself, for they give you power. And if you share your secret, “…it will destroy you!” Keep this in mind as you read Egan’s superbly written novel, Defined by Others.”

Written in the first person narrative, Anne Geyer tells her tale of betrayal and lies. At age 47, her husband Frank pulls a “Grace and Frankie” by coming out of the closet, from a closet, to let Anne know he’s leaving her for a man. Who turns out to be her high school friend, Connie’s husband, Mike.

Like on the Netflix blockbuster show, “Grace and Frankie,” Anne and Connie pull together to fight their depression and lost lives.

Meanwhile, a frenemy, Amanda, from Skvallerby High School, dies. She leaves Anne an organized social media game to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances. Anne and Connie embrace the game in an attempt to escape their own reality, and the consequences could prove deadly.

Defined by Others is a 170-page novel exploring the darker side of relationships causing readers to pause and think of their own friendships and loves and how our treatment of others affects each of us in different ways.

The author’s characterization is authentic, the plot is excellent, and the dramatic climax unexpected and dramatic.

Defined by Others is an excellent read and provides an opportunity to wonder, “What would I have done if placed in Anne’s position?”

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by M.C.V. Egan

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US 

And: Amazon UK 

Follow M.C.V. Egan: Goodreads

Connect to Catalina via her website: The Bridge of Deaths

The final author today is A.C. Flory for her Innerscape Omnibus

About the Omnibus

Innerscape: a virtual paradise where the terminally ill live out their lives in young, pain free bodies.
But Miira Tahn discovers paradise is an illusion.
An assassin stalks the Burning Man.
Lies masquerade as truth.
Together with her friends, Miira plunges into a deadly game of cat and mouse.
If she loses, she loses everything.
Her life – Those she loves – All of Innerscape.

A recent review for the omnibus

Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and difficult to put down  Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020

I have been following the author of Innerscape Omnibus for a while via her blog and have grown to appreciate the amount of research she includes for her books. This is the first of her works I’ve read. It is spectacular. She weaves a story so well that I felt as if I were right there. She must be a fan of video games as this aspect is also included. Suspenseful and thought provoking.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by A.C. Flory

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow A.C. Flory: Goodreads

Connect to A.C. Flory (Meeks) via her blog: A.C. Flory WordPress

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


40 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #ScienceFiction A.C. Flory

  1. Great reviews on very interesting books, Sally! Thank you, because immortality is a point we should think and read about. Maybe we ourselves, or some politicans will become this. I am sure the last one would cause faster development of spaceships for colonizing other planets. Lol Michael

    Liked by 2 people

      • I haven’t written any children’s books, or specifically YA, either. Of course, most of my books could be read by YAs, or by even younger children who had good reading skills. The Blessing of Krozem would be fine for YA, also Children of the Music (my other fantasy offering). There’s only one of my books that I don’t recommend for children or YAs – Monster is in the Eye of the Beholder. It’s pretty dark and has more sex than most of my books, and also considerable shock value.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 26th July – August 1st 2020 – Positive news, #Author Spotlight, Music, Short stories, Guest Bloggers, Health, Humour and Book Reviews | 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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