Smorgasbord Book Reviews September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

A short recap of my reviews this month for adult and children’s books.

The first review in September was for children Lulubelle Loves to Bake.

My review for the book September 4th 2021

This is a great sized book for children A4 with big print and beautifully illustrated by the author.

Lulubelle definitely has a sweet tooth and all the recipes are favourite deserts and cookies that children will be immediately drawn to and offer an opportunity for some fun baking sessions in the kitchen with mum or dad.

Some of my personal favourites are Perfect Pumpkin Pie and Zucchini Muffins…although I wouldn’t say no to Kitchen Sink Cookies either.

Each recipe is accompanied by Lulubelle and her friends, suitably attired to complement the particular recipe, and a rhyme for a child to read and learn, featuring the letter of the alphabet featured.

A great idea for a cookbook and perhaps Lulubelle might follow it up with an A-Z of easy savoury dishes that will introduce them to other foods as well as the format is terrific.

Bright, colourful and full of rhymes and recipes adults and children alike will enjoy reading as they prepare and eat the treats. A recommended read.

I also reviewed Marisa’s First Fishing Trip

My review for the book 16th September

This is a delightfully illustrated story that would engage any small child. A perfect book for grandparents to keep on hand to read and it demonstrates the wonderful bond and teaching moments this offers.

Every page is filled with colour, celebrations such as Christmas and the joy of opening gifts, a plane journey and the adventure of spending the day on a lake with your grandpa learning to fish. And the surprises that you manage to hook on the end of your line.

There are plenty of opportunities to expand the story to personalise it for a child which will extend the enjoyment of the book. Recommended.

A selection of other books by Dawn Doig which are available in several languages.

Read the reviews and Buy Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Dawn: Goodreads – Website: Dawn Doig – Twitter: @Shoebears

Dawn donates the sales of the books to the orphanage CAESEDA Centre d’Acceuil et d’Education Specialisee des Enfants Deficients Auditifs Nkolmebanga, Cameroon

The next review is for a book that caught my attention when viewing a series of delightful videos on Youtube about the wonderful pair of labradors who entertain and endear themselves to millions. Olive and Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs… by Andrew Cotter

My review for the book 11th September 2021

I have to admit that watching Olive and Mabel on YouTube, with a commentary by their owner Andrew Cotter is a guilty pleasure. One that during the last 18 months in particularly, has offered a wonderful few minutes of escapism away from the world’s woes. When I saw there was a book about these two Internet stars and their versatile sports commentator companion, I leapt at the chance to discover more about their joint backgrounds.

As a dog lover I really appreciated the humourous and accurate summation of a dog’s approach to life, in particular to food, walks, toys and rolling in all things aromatic. General observations aside, it was the difference in the natures of Olive and Mabel that brought them to life especially, in their approaches to adventure.

Of these there are plenty as Andrew Cotter is a dedicated mountain man, not only in his native Scotland that offers some magnificent climbing opportunities across the seasons, but also when commentating abroad in places such as Australia and Japan where challenges presented themselves. Whilst happy to scale the summits alone far from the madding crowd, Andrew clearly considers hours spent in the mountains with Olive and Mabel, up to their hollyhocks in snow his greatest pleasure. If you are considering visiting Scotland for some climbing then you will find this a useful guide.

For anyone who is considering bringing a dog in to their home there is an excellent chapter about making the right decision about breed, temperament and happiness of this important new family member, never more so than during the pandemic when suddenly everyone wanted a puppy or cat. Some without thought to how a return to more normal working hours and routine would impact their pet, accustomed to having a family around them 24/7.

Apart from mountaineering, other adventures include the wonder of beaches, love of water; a labrador’s favoured habitat, assorted accomodations from small cottages to exclusive hotels. Not to mention the navigation of clearly dangerous, and to be avoided floor compositions and unacceptable coverings.

There is also a reminder of other remarkable dogs through time who have proved to be man’s best friend and have followed their masters unquestioningly. These include Andrew Cotter’s family dogs as he grew up, who all had very distinctive characters and have chapters dedicated to them.

The author has done an amazing job in bringing Olive and Mabel from the exulted status of stars of the computer screen into our lives as the two adorable and much loved companions they are. I recommend the book to all dog lovers, and those who seek the wonder of being on top of the world in the mountains.

Read some of the over 2000 reviews and buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads

Watch the videos of Olive and Mabel: YouTube

New book being released on October 7th 2021: Amazon UK

This week my advance review for the latest release by Richard Dee.. a Fantasy YA/Teen Sci-fi adventure – The Syk’m. On pre-order ebook for October 15th at an offer price

My five star review for the book September 18th 2021

This is the first venture into fantasy by Richard Dee but I hope it won’t be his last. As an author he is known for his excellent world building and he has carried that across to The Syk’m, creating a number of different worlds that find themselves overlapping by design and sometimes by accident.

Although there are interesting differences physically between the races, there is also a meeting of minds and emotions that provides for some interesting interactions. There is an enemy intent on taking over the world of the Syk’m that have little intention of stopping their advance there. With connecting corridors to other planets the way lies open for a domination of the universe.

The band of young trainee warriors from Skander have a difficult quest ahead of them, filled with danger, far from family and a peaceful existence now enjoyed by their world. Much will be asked of them and the outcome is far from certain.

The characters are all well-crafted, each bringing something significant to the story. Although a fantasy world, there are parallels to be drawn with our own with power seekers, treachery and corruption. There are also heroes willing to sacrifice their lives to succeed in this mission to save this world and others at risk, and to fight shoulder to shoulder with new allies.

I recommend this to those who enjoy well-written fantasy with excellent characters, great world building and plenty of action.

Head over to buy the Ebook on pre-order for Ocober 15th Ebook at £1.99/$2.99: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1 Facebook:Richard Dee Author

A lovely poetry collection in time for Halloween by poet Annette Rochelle Aben, Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku.

My review for the collection 25th September 2021

This book has two lovely purposes… The first is a tribute to the author’s sister who has become somewhat of a neighbourhood legend with the amazing Halloween displays she creates each year with photographs showcasing her skills.

Secondly it is a vehicle to demonstrate how Annette Rochelle Aben can turn even a gruesome skeleton or demonic mask into a thing of beauty by the use of her descriptive Haiku.

No mean feat to strike terror in the hearts of her readers whilst delighting them with the humour she employs.

This is a short read but long on great poetry and images. I can recommend as a wonderful gift in print for children in the family to mark this festivity. For adults it will remind them of the joys of adjusting fangs and green slime before heading out to terrify the neighbourhood into giving them treats. Also provide some ideas on how to decorate their own house and garden this coming Halloween.

Head over to buy the collection in print and ebook: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

And the final review for September Going Home.. a family, murder mystery by Sharon Marchisello.

My review for the book 30th September 2021

This is a well written and thought provoking story that combines a care crisis that many of us face with elderly parents who have developed dementia, and the unravelling of the mystery surrounding a murder in a family home.

It is clear the author has experience of the challenge of communicating with someone who has short term memory loss, and brings in a cleverly crafted murder plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.

There are flashbacks to the past and events which have a bearing on the present, and the reader is witness to the fallout that revelations result in as the search begins for a viable suspect amongst the outsiders who have access to the family home. It would seem that the authorities have only one suspect in mind, and without the ability to communicate coherently, an elderly woman must rely on her extended family to prove her innocence.

The author does a great job in keeping all the various strands of the plot running smoothly in parallel and brings the story to a satisfactory climax.

I recommend to those who enjoy well written murder mysteries and family sagas.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UsAnd: Amazon UK

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello


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




29 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book Reviews September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

  1. Thank you again for sharing on your blog, Sally! It always means a lot to see any of my books posted with other selected reads! The fundraising for the school for the deaf/orphanage in Cameroon has been very slow, but I am gradually making more and more connections and more people are discovering my books so I try to remain positive that the book sales will pick up and the beautiful deaf children in Cameroon will get their new home and school. Your support is always greatly appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 3rd – 9th October 2021 – James Bond, 1979 Hits, Green Kitchen, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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