In this first feature for the Smorgasbord Bookshelf I am sharing authors whose books I have read and can personally recommend along with one of my reviews for their books.
The first author and poet today is Annette Rochelle Aben who generously visits and shares many blogs in the writing community. Apart from spreading love and kindness, Annette is also a wonderful poet with a number of seasonal and annual collections which I have enjoyed.
Meet Annette Rochelle Aben
Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)
A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!
Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!
These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.
Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.
January 2022 Son of Booku was awarded an honorable mention by Author Shout
A selection of books by Annette Rochelle Aben
My review for the Booku 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.
I have nearly all of Judith Barrow’s books and have been engaged and delighted by them all. Family sagas across the last century reflecting love, loss and hope.
Meet Judith Barrow
Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines,has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for over forty years.
She has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University. She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.
Books by Judith Barrow
My review for The Heart Stone February 2021
I have read nearly all of Judith Barrow’s previous novels and was delighted when a new book was announced.
As always the author has created a cast of characters that embody all aspects of human nature and are guaranteed to elicit an emotional response. Combined with the harsh reality of life during this dreadful period in history, Judith Barrow has written a compelling saga .
The book covers seven years in the lives of two young people who face moments of joy but also untold dangers, loss, and at times despair. Arthur at only 16 is thrown into the maelstrom of the first year of the war leaving behind Jessie, his first and only love, to face her own devastating life events on the home front.
Times were very hard and despite the progress made by the suffragette movement, for women it was even tougher. Despite some enlightened men, particularly in this small village, the pressure was applied forcing women into marriages doomed from the start.
I am not going to share any spoilers but I do recommend The Heart Stone as a wonderful story with well drawn characters which will certainly bring you to tears from time to time. The author deals with the heartbreak and trauma with great sensitivity but does not shy away from writing honestly. This includes a thread of hope running through the novel which leads to a fitting conclusion to the story.
As with all the books of Judith Barrow, I highly recommend The Heart Stone. It is a story that will linger in your mind for a long time to come.
The final author today is Richard Dee, a prolific author of science fiction and fantasy novels. The books I have read are very enjoyable and I can highly recommend.
Meet Richard Dee
I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon. I was never a writer, at least not for ages. I made up stories in my head, based on dreams and events in my life, but I never did much with them. Life, a wife, three daughters and now three grandchildren have kept me busy.
I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything I could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.
I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.
My first novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of The Rocks of Aserol, a Steampunk adventure, and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space, the first of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective.
Sequels to most of them have either followed or are in production. I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.
Check out my videos on Richard Dee’s Scifi where you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors.
A small selection of books by Richard Dee
My review for The Syk’m September 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.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.