Smorgasbord Bookstore and Cafe – Weekly News – #Biography Mary Smith, #Historicalfiction Bette A. Stevens, #Dystopian #Thriller Terry Tyler

Welcome to the weekly news sharing recent reviews for authors on the shelves. The Meet the Authors series is ending soon and I will return to the three update posts a week.

The first author is Mary Smith who received a recent review for Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.

About the book

Drunk Chickens and Burn Macaroni (subtitle) offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.

One of the recent reviews for the book

ACFlory 5.0 out of 5 stars armchair travelling at its best  Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2021

I’ve never been to Afghanistan and I probably never will, but Mary Smith’s stories about the women of this little known country have changed my mind about Muslim women. They’re not shrinking violets. Given half a chance, they’re strong, vibrant and courageous.

I would recommend Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni to anyone who wants to know what another culture is like, from the inside.

Other books by Mary Smith

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

The next author with a recent review is Bette A. Stevens for her coming of age story Pure Trash.

About the book

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

A recent review for the book

Maura Beth Brennan 4.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet and evocative tale of boyhood in the 1950’s Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2021

Pure Trash is a charming, nostalgic, and bitter-sweet look at life in the 1950’s from a child’s perspective. Nine-year-old Shawn sets out on a day of carefree fun and adventure with his six-year-old brother, Willie, leaving his alcoholic father at home, and forgetting his judgmental and bullying classmates. We follow Shawn along on what should be a blissful time in the countryside, complete with a visit to the country store and luscious ice cream, when suddenly the day is complicated by young Willie’s bike accident. Shawn has no choice but to enlist the help of a neighbor. It is then he is reminded of his “place” in the local hierarchy, one he and his family can’t seem to escape. The story is beautifully written in clear but evocative prose. This short story is a prequel to the author’s full-length novel, Dog Bone Soup, and if the writing is any example, the book will be well-worth reading.

Other books by Bette A. Stevens for adults and children


Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog: 4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

And the final author today is Terry Tyler with a review for her latest release Megacity (Operation Galton Book 3)

About the book

The UK’s new megacities: contented citizens relieved of the burden of home ownership, living in eco-friendly communities. Total surveillance has all but wiped out criminal activity, and biometric sensor implants detect illness even before symptoms are apparent.

That’s the hype. Scratch the surface, and darker stories emerge.

Tara is offered the chance to become a princess amongst media influencers—as long as she keeps quiet and does as she’s told.

Aileen uproots to the megacity with some reluctance, but none of her misgivings prepare her for the situation she will face: a mother’s worst nightmare.

Radar has survived gang rule in group homes for the homeless, prison and bereavement, and jumps at the chance to live a ‘normal’ life. But at what cost?

For all three, the price of living in a megacity may prove too high.

Megacity is the third and final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy, and is Terry Tyler’s twenty-third publication.

‘As long as some of us are still living free, they have not yet won. Anyone who refuses to live as they want us to has beaten them. That’s how we do it. That’s how we win.’

One of the recent reviews for the book

fictionreader 5.0 out of 5 stars Aargh! Its the last in the series!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2021

When you get to the end of a cracking series it’s always a bit sad, particularly if you’ve enjoyed every book. This series of books, which cleverly riffs on the sort of society we’ve almost become, is both realistic and speculative in equal measure. The megacities, in which every persons movements are controlled by a chip and various devices, are the only option unless you want to struggle at subsistence levels in the Wasteland. Government control is at the heart of this book which explores how far is too far, in terms of giving up your rights.

The characters are well-drawn and believable, and their problems immediately relatable, even bad boy Radar, and the struggles and choices of single mum Aileen are heartbreaking. You will easily race through this book as it is well-written in an easy conversational style from each main characters’ point of view. you’ll only be sad when you reach the end and there’s no more.

if you haven’t read the others, then do, because some of the characters reappear or a referred to in this book, though of course there’s a helpful precis at the end for those that haven’t read them.  

A small selection of books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4


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


25 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Bookstore and Cafe – Weekly News – #Biography Mary Smith, #Historicalfiction Bette A. Stevens, #Dystopian #Thriller Terry Tyler

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 11th -17th July 2021 – Podcast, Hits of the 70s, Stories, Reviews, Chicken Pox, Pet Health and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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