Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – New Releases, Reviews, Offers #Poetry Denise O’Hagan, #Contemporary Jessica Norrie, #Fantasy Adele Marie Park

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases, reviews and offers for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a new release is Denise O’Hagan, her debut poetry collection, The Beating Heart, was published by Ginninderra Press August 17th.

About the collection

The Beating Heart is an allusion to the continuous pulsing of feelings that lie beneath the surface reality of our lives. This collection ‘slips into the lining’ of various experiences from a childhood in the ancient city of Rome, whose ‘famous walls bulged with sanctioned corruption’ to the loneliness of a London bedsit, ‘narrow as a capsule, a chilly low-cost limbo’, to the lure of a Sydney bushwalk, where ‘mist lies over the grass, the trees, the everything, as lightly as a suggestion’. The elegant assurance of these meditative and melodic lines remind us that poetry can be, as the author believes, ‘a form of music’.

‘Here is a poet who understands the extraordinary in the commonplace, the flimsy place of life. The poems mill to edges, ripple by recollection and poignancy – the intergenerational weight of knowledge in simple things, ‘with foldings of clothes pressed smooth as stone’, where the ‘paper-hin’ present is convulsed waiting on a child’s operation. O’Hagan’s mastery of the transcendence in moments, and the distillation of experiences, is the gift of a writer at the height of her powers.’ – James Walton, poet

‘Each and every poem in The Beating Heart penetrates deeply into the core of our existence. There is no path, crossroad or threshold this gifted poet fears to take with her astute observations of what is often taken for granted. The migrant, the traveller, the historian, the pioneer and the mother are framed within immaculate and harmonic wordscapes. There is not one missed beat within this captivating collection of what it means to be alive.’ – Angela Costi, poet and social justice advocate

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – Amazon Australia – And: Amazon UK

Also by Denise O’Hagan

One of the recent reviews for the Mini Style Guide

 Charleann Davis 4.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener an look at real style  Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2020

A real eye opener about style.Opens your eyes to a lot of options.Never expected so much for! A mini style book.It’s opened my eyes in A lot of ways .Thanks so much for a great book.Can’t wait to see what’s next by this multi talented author.

Denise O’Hagan, Buy:  Amazon UK And: Amazon US  Follow Denise:Goodreads –  website: Black Quill Press –  Twitter: @DeniseOHagan3

The next author is Jessica Norrie with a recent review for The Magic Carpet.

About the book

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

A recent review for the book

Steph Warren VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story about family, diversity and the importance of stories  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 August 2020

The Magic Carpet features a tapestry of different cultures, nationalities and generations, all woven together through a shared school, neighbourhood and a story-centred school project.

We get to dip in and out of the lives and houses of a diverse cast of children, parents, siblings, grandparents and friends as they all tackle the task of reinterpreting a classic fairytale in their own unique ways.

The themes of cultural identities and cultural integration, and the struggle for immigrants to balance their own family history and traditions with their desire to ‘fit in’ with those around them are sensitively explored from a variety of different perspectives, giving plenty of food for thought, especially in our current social context.

The other overarching theme is that of the importance of stories and storytelling. The importance of ‘own voice’ story experiences, the unity of collaborating on stories; the way stories can be written and rewritten to shape reality into different patterns and change the way we think about the challenges we – and others – face.

More than a morality tale, though, this story paints a warm picture of each different family environment: their individual struggles and successes, dreams and fears. The characters feel like friends and neighbours, and I was thoroughly invested in what happened to them… still thinking about them long after I turned the final page.

This is a beautiful, skilfully-crafted tale that entertains and moves the reader (to tears on occasion!), and really makes you think about privilege, respect, diversity and what these things mean to different people. And, of course, it is perfect for anyone who loves a good story!

On the magic carpet with Xoriyo I’m a child again, whooping with joy and laughter, swooshing, swirling, fearless of the height. We’re children together, but also wise: we know the languages of the places we see, our homeland and those of others. We can communicate with any of our fellow travellers… Xoriyo sees curving blue rivers far below and she knows they are called meanders; she sees oxbow lakes, murrains and wadis and she knows what all these are too. On the magic carpet we understand all people we meet: the goatherd, the engineer, and his toddling twins. We may choose to wear whatever we like from abayas to swimsuits. We are confident in our choices and violence and ignorance can do us no harm.

Really there is no reason my daughter should not make friends at this school, new friends, who can take this journey with us through fresh places and new joys. We can have every passport and none, here; we can belong and invite others to belong with us. On the magic carpet we are free.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US

Also by Jessica Norrie in English and German

Jessica Norrie, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Website:Jessica Norrie on WordPressGoodreads: Jessica Norrie – Twitter: @Jessica_Norrie

And the final author today is Adele Marie Park  with a recent review for her new release Sea Dragons: Wisp II –

About the book

The malevolent and ruthless mage, Dante Asano is defeated but victory came at a horrific price.

Before Wisp and his companions could intervene, Dante possessed Pendra Thorn’s body. In order to stop Dante without killing Pendra, a magic sleep spell was cast.

A glass coffin warded with powerful spells encased her body while her mind fled to a favourite memory; unfortunately, Dante is also trapped with her.

The magical coffin will only keep her alive, and Dante contained for a short time.

A desperate plan to undertake a treacherous journey across an unknown sea means Wisp and his companions must disband. Some journey with Wisp to find an ancient spell to release Pendra and banish Dante’s spirit.

Those left behind must guard Pendra in a city under threat.

An ancient evil casts a shadow over Edra causing burgeoning unrest and setting the inhabitants against one another.

Wisp’s journey must be successful not only for Pendra’s sake but also for Edra itself.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 29, 2020 M.J. Mallon rated it Five Stars it was amazing

I was lucky to be part of the beta reading team for Wisp II and was entrusted with an early copy before release. This a highly imaginative fantasy book with many aspects to it to keep you entertained. It is the second in the series continuing the tale from the first book which I read and enjoyed also.

The story begins with the news of the death of the senior law enforcer Nether Green. Could this be a murder case? Marsh fairy law enforcer Wisp is drawn into the mystery and must try and discover what has happened. Alongside this, there is a change in the tone of writing – becoming darker – in the sections devoted to Pendra who is sealed in a glass coffin. We are whisked away on a trip across the Great Sea to Samoyer, (Wisp’s father’s homeland,) to find a spell to separate Dante from Pendra.

There are times when Park’s writing takes you to a very special place drawing you into the narrative beautifully. An author to watch, a talent in the making.

I enjoyed the amusing dialogue which gave the protagonists a distinct voice and style.

I’d recommend reading the first in the series before continuing with WISP II (which I have also reviewed on Goodreads.)

My recommendation: 5 stars. Read this if you like dark fantasy tales which are full of intrigue, mystery and murder! A definite recommendation for fantasy readers, and may also be of interest to LGBT YA Fiction readers due to the (continuing love story between Wisp and Finn.) 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And  : Amazon US

Also by Adele Marie Park

Adele Marie Park, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Adele: Goodreads –  Website: Adele Marie Park – Twitter: @Binky567

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally

28 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – New Releases, Reviews, Offers #Poetry Denise O’Hagan, #Contemporary Jessica Norrie, #Fantasy Adele Marie Park

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