Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with new releases and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
Stevie Turner has a new release on pre-order for October 1st – Barren: Two Mothers but only One Baby.
About the Book
Esme Jones and husband Aron have completed their family and have twin sons Jared and James. Esme’s older sister Eden Reece is desperate for a child, but a hysterectomy has put paid to any chance of her becoming a parent. When Esme offers herself as a surrogate, Eden and husband Billy are delighted. However, when Esme notices the first fluttering of life inside her and a scan reveals that she is carrying a girl, both sisters are not prepared for the outcome which threatens to tear the fabric of the whole extended family apart.
A selection of books by Stevie Turner
The first review is for This is Lockdown by M. J. Mallon with contributions from writers around the world.
About the collection
An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.
The full list of authors are can be found: Amazon UK
One of the recent reviews for the anthology on Goodreads
This is Lockdown is a new collection of short stories, journal entries, and poems that were prepared or collaborated by MJ Mallon. I’ve previously read one of Mallon’s books, The Curse of Time, and recommend her writing style and storytelling capabilities. This book was my first introduction to her poetry and journals, other than following her interesting and varied blog. In This is Lockdown, she explores the impact of COVID-19 on her UK town and home life.
Mallon kicks off the book with a handful of tributes and mentions to a dozen or so wonderful bloggers and writers, many of whom I’ve gotten to know in the last year. While I won’t name everyone, as there are a couple I haven’t had the privilege of meeting, you can see them all in the author link here in Goodreads or on Amazon. I can tell you this is a great way to get to know new writers, especially with the helpful author bios near the end.
Hearing the perspective of another person’s life during COVID-19 is inspirational and concerning… only because you feel for them and what they’re going through. To see the impacts on MJ’s family, in particular her parents, is hard to witness in writing. I can’t imagine what they felt outside of these journal entries. Between a plumbing flood, insect bites, and grocery store insanity, there was a ton of road blocks in the UK. I know we felt them here in the US too, but to see the differences, and to watch the rising counts of deaths and infections, is scary. I felt a few problems here in NYC, but we were lucky enough to get delivery on everything (except sanitizer and toilet paper!). I also had grocery store delivery each week, which meant I didn’t have to venture out.
MJ surprised me in some of her journal entries too. What a wonderful mention of my book and our interviews together – I am grateful. Hearing what she was doing day by day helps you feel like part of her life. Rather than judge true ‘writing’ here (while it’s good… and some of the poems and stories make you think critically)… I’d rather recommend this for the personal connection levels MJ offers… from her family’s way of dealing with hibernation to how difficult it was to hear bad news from others… or if you suddenly felt warm or had a cough, what did it mean? This is a relatively quick and easy read because it’s broken down in small pieces and allows you to read in sections without forgetting about past plot or specific characters. Wonderful insight into what it might be like to have lunch with her one day!
You’ll find some poetry and short fiction from a few amazing writers, links to helpful sites and informational places, notes on other blogger’s posts about COVID, and upcoming news about all these great authors. It’s a collection that allows you to decide which most interest you and to find bunches of more books to read. I look forward to visiting more blogs as a result of this collection. I hope you do too!
Also by M. J. Mallon
The next author is Don Massenzio with a recent review for Frankly, My Dear: A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel ( Book 4)
About the book
Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, has left his tragic past as a police officer behind for life as a private detective. Frank and his partner Clifford “Jonesy” Jones work with the local police to solve crimes that are virtually unsolvable.
In Frankly My Dear, the fourth in the Frank Rozzani Detective Series of novels, Frank and Jonesy are at it again and this time the case is one of the most bizarre that they have faced.
Their latest client, arrested for domestic abuse, swears that he is the victim of one of the most vengeful women on the face of the earth.
Frank and Jonesy must determine if their client is telling the truth. As they investigate the case, they again pay a personal price for their involvement. Is their client trying to get away with his crime or is his ex-girlfriend continually coming up with new ways to damage him and his reputation?
Follow them as they navigate the twists and turns in this exciting new installment in the series, Frankly My Dear.
One of the recent reviews for the book
I have a particular fondness for private detective novels, particularly those set in the USA and this one proved to be no exception. The detectives involved here are clearly a close knit family. All seemed to be involved in this story to some extent, including the detective’s dog, but the chief protagonists are the private detective, Frank Rozzani and his lawyer partner, Jonesy.
The plot is a twist on the normal narrative for this type of story, in that the detectives are asked to represent a man who has been accused of abusing his girlfriend. All the characters are believable, especially the villains. Rossani and Jonesey are accomplished jazz musicians and a little of the action revolves around their music and the club where they play. I am not familiar with the music titles or the work of the artists referred to in the novel but the author is clearly a Jazz aficionado.
The pace is fast moving with a number of twists and turns which is a prerequisite of the genre. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.
A selection of books by Don Massenzio
The final author today is C.S. Boyack with a review for his recent release H.M.S. Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 2)
About the book
The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.
Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.
HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.
Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.
One of the recent reviews for the book
C. S. Boyack delivers another colorful adventure with HMS Lanterfish. I loved the first novel, Voyage of the Lanternfish, which introduced us to James—pirate captain Bloodwater—and his crew. The gang is back again (including the scene stealing root monsters), along with new characters, imaginative creatures, and plenty of action. James is drawn from a peaceful retirement to act as privateer for the war effort.
As always, Boyack delivers a story that brims over with adventure and explosive action. There are exploding monks (and that’s only part of the “explosive” action, LOL), a possessed weapon, a shogun, con artists, terrifying creatures, a beautiful princess, and a crew of thoroughly unique characters. Some standouts for me are the relationship between James and his adopted son, Mule, and Serang, a fiercely loyal female warrior who can kick butt like no other and who gets her own ship this time around. It’s hard to catch your breath when Lanternfish sets sail.
If you enjoy fast-paced fiction, a good sea yarn and a fun time, you’ll love this book and this series. And if you have no clue what a root monster is, grab your copy of HMS Lanterfish and prepare to be enchanted, as these guys have plenty of tales to tell, and they are not shy about it as the crew can attest. When a root monster earns a name, it is really something special, just one more highlight in this wildly entertaining book!
A selection of books by C.S. Boyack
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.