Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair -New Release – #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, Reviews -#Memoir Liesbet Collaert, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Shortstories Janice Spina

Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. Today a new release and some recent reviews.

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Gwen M. Plano, The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.

About the book

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

One of the early reviews for the book

John W. Howell VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A MultiFaceted Thriller  Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020

I describe The Culmination as a political thriller with a strong military influence. There are many challenging situations presented in the plot by the author Gwen M. Plano. These situations are designed with action in mind and are very intriguing. The worldwide stage on which these situations play out serves to keep the reader riveted to the end. This story is a continuation of The Contract Thriller series and does reflect the title. It almost feels as if this book has been the end goal of the other two. I have read all three and can say that a reader must not have read the other two to enjoy this one thoroughly.

The scope of the plot is vast. The reader moves from what appears to be simple situations of trouble to complex machinations that could lead to World War Three. The story involves multiple nations and heads of state. There are some surprising moments, as well as a tender love story.

If you like a book with plenty of action, compelling characters, political intrigue, military maneuverings, and a compelling love story, this one is for you.

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

Other books by Gwen Plano

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand Amazon US – follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

The first review today is for an author who has recently added her books to the Cafe and Bookstore, Liesbet Collaert and I am sharing one of the wonderful early recommendations for her memoir Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary. 

About the book

Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir, as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?


Have you ever wondered how life could be if you had made different choices? If you didn’t marry early, commit to a large loan for the house, focus on your career, start a family?

Maybe you’re just curious about how a person thinking outside the box manages? A person without boundaries, striving to be flexible, happy, and free. What you are about to read is how one such person follows her dreams, no, her intuition, and how she survives her naivety, life altering twists, and a relationship in close quarters.

Plunge is a story of what happens when you go with the flow, when you have a bright idea – or thought you had one – and ride the waves of the unknown. Ready to hop aboard and delve in?

One of the early reviews for the book

Nov 17, 2020 Ellen rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This memoir has it all – adventure, romance, fascinating characters, and travel!

The author takes us on a riveting tale of her life as a nomad, exploring the world from a sailboat and embracing the highs and lows of life at sea. This memoir will appeal to all sorts of readers, not just sailors, because, ultimately, it’s a story about the choices one woman makes in search of love, fulfillment, and happiness – choices many of us can relate to.

For me, what sets this memoir apart is its unflinching honesty. The author bares her soul, exposes her innermost feelings, shares her hopes and fears, and reflects on the struggles she’s experienced and the difficult choices she’s had to make. This isn’t a cheerful travelogue that takes the armchair voyager on a pleasant trip around the world, glossing over any unpleasant moments and difficulties. Instead, this is a fascinating and compelling account of a woman in pursuit of a life less ordinary that tells it like it is – the ups and the downs; the times of celebration and the times of sacrifice; the excitement of travel coupled with the challenges one can encounter when exploring new countries; and the joys and struggles of relationships.

Once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down. The author has a unique voice which will quickly draw you into the story of her unconventional life and the path she’s taken.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Find more reviews on: Goodreads

Also by Liesbet Collaert

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –  Follow Liesbet: GoodreadsBlogs: Roaming About Cruising the World the way it is – Facebook pages: Personal Liesbet CollaertRoamingsabout – ItsIrie – Twitter: @LiesbetCollaert

The next author with a recent review is Frank Prem for his most recent release which is a selection of his poetry from across his current collections – Pebbles to Poems

About the collection

Pebbles to Poems is a sample pack of Frank Prem’s free-verse poetry and storytelling published between 2018 and 2020. Extracts from six collections, ranging through memoir, and wildfire though to contemporary love poetry.

  • Small Town Kid – growing up in a rural Australian town during the 1960s and 70s.
  • Devil In The Wind – the stories of victims and survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires in Australia.
  • The New Asylum – an experience of public psychiatry in Australia, from childhood roaming the mental hospital grounds, through student psychiatric nursing and on to managing acute wards and patients.
  • A Love Poetry Trilogy:
  • Walk Away Silver Heart – derived from the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’.
  • A Kiss for the Worthy – derived from the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.
  • Rescue and Redemption – derived from the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.
  • This is poetry that is meant to be read on the page and aloud, as well. Poetry the way you always wished it could be written.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Pebbles to Poems is a selection of Frank Prem’s treasured poems between 2018-2020. It is almost like inviting your old friends to afternoon tea and indulging in the memories and reflections of yesteryear; you will not be disappointed From the seemingly carefree childhood to the career that brought reflections of human nature and institutional mayhem, or the horror and devastation of the Marysville bushfires versus the reflections of love and nature in the poem trilogy Walk away Silver Heart, A Kiss for the Worthy and Rescue and Redemption, this little book whets your appetite to indulge in more of Frank’s poetry style. It might even be good to purchase more copies because this like the others is an ideal gift. Happy reading

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

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –And:Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter:@frank_prem

The final author today is Janice Spina with the ideal gift of a short story collection An Angel Among Us.

About the collection

A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story is specially created for her and is the inspiration for the title of this book.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Pick-me-up Any Time of Year!  Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020

I have read, enjoyed and gifted many of Janice Spina’s delightful rhyming children’s books and am glad I decided to give her short story collection An Angel Among Us a go. The collection contains heartwarming stories from diverse genres. One of my favorites was “The True Meaning of Christmas.” Readers can enjoy this collection one sweet story at a time. Perfect for a pick-me-up any time of year.

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

A selection of other books by Janice Spina

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Janice: Goodreads – blog:Jem’s BooksTwitter: @janice_spina 


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some great gifts to share.. thanks Sally.

52 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair -New Release – #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, Reviews -#Memoir Liesbet Collaert, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Shortstories Janice Spina

  1. Thank you, Sally, for showcasing my book along with the other amazing selections. I’m deeply honored and most grateful.💗

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So must fabulousness here! The Culmination sounds like a movie! And the memoir, The Plunge had me at getting on a sailboat with a man and two dogs! And, poetry? As we know, all the world loves a poet! Thank you Sally! This was fun to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just saw this! Thank you so much, Sal, for featuring my books along with these talented authors. Congrats to Gwen, Liesbet and Frank!! Blessings to all and Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁 💕hugs and thanks to you, Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 6th – 12th December 2020 – New Book, International Carols, Foods XYZ and a Christmas Party with pets. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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