Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Release – #Romance #Saga The Heartstone by Judith Barrow, #Myths Barbara Spencer, #Teaching Pete Springer

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates with a new release and some recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share the news that Judith Barrow has a new book on pre-order for 18th February…a romantic historical saga…The Heartstone,

About the Book

1914. Everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her feelings for Arthur are far more than friendship. And just as they are travelling home, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan. Only Jessie can see how vicious he is. When he turns on her, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her, the two women drawn together by Jessie’s deepest secret.

Facing a desperate choice between love and safety, will Jessie trust the right people? Can she learn to trust herself?

Head over to pre-order the book for February 18th 2021: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by Judith Barrow


One of the recent reviews for The Memory

Dec 22, 2020 Christine rated it five stars

A great poignant and moving story!  As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I was attracted by this book as it depicts the life of a little girl, Rose, born with trisomy 21 in 1963. I was interested in what impact her birth had over her family, her relationship with her sister, her parents and grandparents. I wanted to know about educational opportunities of the time and her place in society at large. That was very informative.

However, the book has much more to offer. Told in the first person by Rose’s sister Irene, and in two timelines, the story is about a rainbow of emotions acutely felt by the reader as well! Irene is tied to her family by strong bonds of love and duty. Her unselfishness in forgetting herself to remain faithful to the value of Family is remarkable and makes this book very special.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow Judith: Goodreadsblog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

Now time for some reviews

The next author who has a recent review is Barbara Spencer for The Year the Swans Came.

About the book

Growing up amidst the ruins of war, four children play among the bridges and cobblestone walkways of an old city, using them as a backdrop for their games. Pieter Bader, the eldest, wants nothing more than to work with their father in the family business, designers of mirrors for royalty since the 17th century, while his young sister, Maidy, dreams of becoming a writer. She has her own special bridge, the smallest in the city, around which she weaves stories of swashbuckling pirates and princesses, dressed all in silver, who wear sandals made from the silken thread of a spider’s web. Her best friend is Ruth, a young Jewish girl whose family returned to the city as refugees after the war. Slightly the older, and both rich and very beautiful, Ruth dreams of marrying Pieter, only for him to vanish from their lives late one night.

Is his disappearance linked to the arrival of the swans, feared as cursed and birds of ill-fortune? What will happen when they return six years later, on the morning of Maidy’s sixteenth birthday? And who exactly is the charismatic and mysterious Zande? Follow Ruth and Maidy’s cursed tale of love as they discover what happened to Pieter, how the appearance of Zande will affect both their lives, unleashing events as tragic and fantastical as one of Maidy’s stories

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lizzie Dee 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story wth a hint of mystery  Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

What I most enjoyed about Barbara Spencer’s novel was the beautiful descriptions and the warm family scenes she created in a post-war city, which I presumed to be Amsterdam. With hints of the past occupation but a determination to carry on and try to forget about the past, it was still evident that the scars of the past were not quite healed. I kept thinking I must pass this on to my Dutch friend, who grew up in a Dutch town and now lives close to the Anna Frank house. I think she’ll love it for the memories it would evoke. I have walked along those streets and canals many times and so I felt close to the family. I could picture the father working down in his basement, making mirrors. There was a hint of mystery about the past, particularly about the main protagonist’s brother who returned to the family home after a long absence. This made me curious. What was going on here? And who were these beautiful young men who were in love with Maidy’s best friend, Ruth. There’s a tale of love, sadness and betrayal, wrapped in beautiful prose and a lingering mystery throughout. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming until the final couple of chapters. I am reminded of a similar bit of folklore involving swans and one of the lakes near where I grew up in Ireland.

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

A selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

The final author today is retired teacher Pete Springer with his memoir They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

P. Wight5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for All who Teach/Parent/Love Children  Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021

I ordered Pete Springer’s book as a gift to my daughter’s in-laws, who are both retired elementary school teachers. I follow and read Pete’s wonderful blog and knew that his book would “speak” to this couple who devoted their lives to teaching in the Cape elementary schools and raising a son (and now being amazing grandparents to three children). Now the secret: I read They Call Me Mom before I wrapped up the book as a gift. It held my attention every page. I wish every future and present teacher would read this book about the ways to love and teach children through caring structure, lessons, and kindness mixed with strength.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof


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


71 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Release – #Romance #Saga The Heartstone by Judith Barrow, #Myths Barbara Spencer, #Teaching Pete Springer

  1. Thanks so much, Sally. You know that some reviews are a bit more special because of who they came from. I have great respect for Pamela’s writing, and her kind words mean a lot to me. Thanks to all of the teachers who give their hearts and souls to their children each day. It’s not a job for the faint of heart.

    Congratulations to Judith and Barbara. I wish them great success with their books.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lovely reviews, Sally. I also enjoyed Pete’s book although I am not a teacher. It is very useful for parents too. I tried to pre-order Judith’s book but Amazon is doing something funny. I will try again tomorrow. This book holds a lot of appeal for me so I shall read it first of Judith’s books.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I was so delighted to receive the review on The Year the Swans Came by Lizzie Dee and so thrilled she loved the story. There is a sequel, both challenging and time consuming to write and this will be revealed at the end of Feb. Also I loved the review of ‘Call me Mom’ by Pete Springer and will get hold of this for my daughter, a primary school teacher.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Great selection, Sally, and especially nice to see Judith and Pete featured along with Barbara, as I have books from both on my Kindle, and am looking forward to reading them, hopefully before too much longer. (It’s a good thing downloads don’t weigh anything, otherwise, I wouldn’t even be able to LIFT my Kindle these days!) Thanks so much for sharing these lovely reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The never-ending TBR list. 😎 For every book that I finish, it feels like I’ve replaced that with two more. Oh well, if that’s my worst problem, then there’s little to complain about.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Another three books that I need to check out – especially after reading these reviews. Both my daughters work in schools and Pete’s book would make great gifts. I loved Judith’s The Memory and am counting down the days until The Heart Stone’s available.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I appreciate that, Debby. So glad that we have crossed paths. I always enjoy reading your blog. Though it comes from a female perspective, it makes me consider issues from that point of view. Keep dialing up the humor. I regularly find the things you post on Facebook and here quite humorous.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 24th – 30th January 2021 – 1960s music, America, Book Reviews, pH balance, Anti-Aging and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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