Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.
First today two new book releases
The first author today is celebrating the release of her latest book which I am delighted to share. Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin
About the book
With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note.
Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting.
Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.
One of the early reviews for the book
I’ve been a fan of Paulette Mahurin’s writing for a few years now and each time her new book comes out, I grab it right away. “Where Irises Never Grow” is another fine example of Ms. Mahurin’s literary talent. From the opening chapters, in which an old newspaper cutting is found in a first edition of Aesop’s Fables, I was riveted to the plot that ultimately led to Nazi-occupied France and the mystery behind the two names on an old newspaper cutting. I won’t be retelling much of the plot to avoid spoilers, so I’ll just say this: if you’re looking for a meticulously researched French Resistance novel that will pull at your heartstrings and reveal not only love, sacrifice, and devotions, but also atrocities of Klaus Barbie, rightly nicknamed The Butcher of Lyon, search no further.
“Where Irises Never Grow” is a stark reminder of a recent past, in which xenophobia and nationalistic hatred lead to the annihilation of millions of people; it is also a warning for our generation not to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers and apply our all to fight bigotry, racism, and dictators that inspire the ugliest sentiments in their followers. The story of Charlotte and Victor Legrand, the story of Agnès Eisenberg and her beloved Jaques is a must-read for sure. Just make sure to have a box of Kleenex ready – you’ll most likely need it. The ending in which we meet an elderly Holocaust survivor is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it’ll remain with you long after you close the book. A truly timeless novel that should be read by everyone. Highly recommended!
A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin
Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
The next author with a new release out in time for Christmas is Heather Kindt with The White Door (The Eternal Artifacts Book 3)
About the book
The game is no longer a game.
With the completion of the Red Door and the prize money doubled, Meg is determined to tackle the White Door, a portal she’s been drawn to since they started the game. But when Brek is attacked and almost killed, they are thrust into the new world sooner than they planned.
And it is a world unlike any they’ve encountered before. Within a setting five hundred years in the future, they find a human race on the brink of extinction. The leader had helped a select few escape Earth on a spacecraft before the planet was destroyed, attempting to create a sinless society. The ones who are less than perfect are exiled to a nearby planet.
Traveling to the future, Meg and Brek finally discover the inner workings behind the game and Rosenbaum’s true motivations. They also find out that the people they thought they could trust might be holding secrets far too deep to forgive.
The White Door is the third book in Heather Kindt’s young adult fantasy series. If you like secret societies, masquerades, and family reunions, then you’ll love the third installment of the Eternal Artifacts series.
One of the early reviews for the book on Goodreads
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love that it is mainly sci-fi themed with a mix of fantasy. The story was fast-paced and thrilling that will keep you glued until the end. I like the introduction of new characters and the uncovering of their identities, but the world-building and the stories are getting better and engrossing as the series progresses. Out of the three books in the series, this was by far, my favorite read!
The story is about Megan and Brek entering the White Door to win huge prize money to support their families. The third book started with Brek’s car accident that almost cost his life. And due to a threat in Brek’s life and with Carter missing in action, they decided to escape their pursuers and went straight to the Rosenbaum Mansion.
This book is where all the bombshells will be revealed and the plot has a pivotal part in the whole series. I’m happy that my favorite supporting character was again introduced in this story and I can’t wait to know how she will help the main protagonist in the Black Door. I don’t want to reveal so much and I highly recommend you to read this book!!!
Also by Heather Kindt
Now time for some recent reviews for books on the shelves.
The first author today with a recent review is Jacqui Murray for Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) A series that I can highly recommend.
About the book
A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.
The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of the People’s long search for freedom, safety, and a new home.
A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!
One of the recent reviews for the book
I normally review trilogies by reading the first book in the series but in this case I went against my norm by starting at the last first. This maybe because I have a passing interest in writings about early man and had read some of the works by Jean M Auel, starting with The Clan of Cave Bear, and having enjoyed them.
In this work I did not feel a pressing need to go back into the history of the central character but felt that I knew enough about primitive humans to skip that part. I may have missed out on some of the story but feel that any novel featuring the same central characters should be able to stand on its own. I found this book in that regard was largely able to do that. However, it contained a large assortment of characters with strangely spelt names which probably made who they were and how they interacted clearer if I had indeed started with the first book.
The author had done her research and obviously knew a great deal about the period of which she was writing. This was clear not only from the list of references at the end but also of the descriptions she used in the narrative. Giving such characters depth is a challenge in itself as primitive peoples were far more involved in surviving from day to day than interacting with each other in what we would describe as a social level today. The author manages this extremely well, giving the objects, animals and people that surround them names that were possibly used by humans of that time. The book is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.
Also by by Jacqui Murray
The next author with a review to share is Daniel Kemp who moonlights on Smorgasbord every two weeks as our guest comedian on Open Mic nights!..The Widow’s Son (Lies And Consequences Book 3)
About the book
Three months before the invasion of Iraq, a member of a Masonic fraternity known as the Rosicrucians escapes from a British Intelligence holding station.
Orchestrated by the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, this event is somehow linked to a the highly classified CIA file only known as Gladio B. Tasked to destroy an unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, the chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee plans to bring the criminals to justice.
But he is running low on both time and allies, as mass annihilation threatens the whole planet. Who are the mysterious eight families that seem to be behind the mysterious events, and what do they have to do with the ancient 33rd degree level of understanding, only known by the mysterious Rosicrucian brotherhood?
One of the recent reviews for the book
When you get a promotion, you would expect problems; hopefully, that can be solved with help from your cohorts. In Patrick West’s case, his predecessor, Geoffrey, is not upfront with the real situations at hand, which he must confront in his new position.
From the first banter between these two spymasters, Geoffrey’s lies lead Patrick into a maze of international intrigue that elitists have festered. Many characters are involved in a diabolical conspiracy.
Sorting it out is Patrick’s job as head of a British Joint Intelligence Committee. What he uncovers after finding out the truth, culminates into a near disaster.
This novel is the third in a trilogy, beginning with ‘What Happened in Vienna Jack?’ then, ‘Once I Was a Soldier,’ that I have read because of Mr. Kemp’s grasp of English (UK) language. The tit for tat of the main character’s lucid conversations kept me turning the pages to see what came next.
I love a conspiracy novel of fiction, particularly one that leads to an unpredictable ending. It would be best if you started by reading book one. However, this novel stands on its own.
A selection of other books by Daniel Kemp
The final author today is Cecilia Kennedy with her debut collection of paranormal short stories, The Places We Haunt
About the collection
When a pastry-obsessed ghost follows Audrey M. K. Summons back to her apartment, Audrey feels compelled to write the story—along with a few others she has collected. The resulting manuscript becomes The Places We Haunt, which a literary scholar discovers when Audrey dies. To the scholar’s surprise, the pages magically fill with more stories from beyond the grave, so she publishes the book in order to put Audrey’s spirit to rest. This collection of 13 eclectic dark tales takes place in museums, swimming pools, houses, restaurants, the cemetery, and outdoors in nature. The stories told are sometimes humorous, absurd, pensive, or cautionary. Those who tell them, don’t even realize they’re dead.
One of the recent reviews for The Places we Haunt
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.