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 prolific author Lucinda E. Clarke is also an award winning scriptwriter. I am sharing the review for the first book I read as it is the first in her psychological thriller series.
Meet Lucinda E. Clarke
Lucinda E Clarke was born in Dublin but has lived in 8 other countries to date. She wanted to write but was railroaded into teaching. She fell into other careers; radio announcer, riding school owner, sewing giant teddy bears. She began scriptwriting professionally in 1986 winning over 20 awards. She also wrote mayoral speeches, company reports, drama documentaries, educational programmes, adverts, news inserts, court presentations, videos for National Geographic, cookery programmes and street theatre to name but a few!
She lectured in scriptwriting, had her own column in various publications, and wrote articles for national magazines. She was commissioned for two educational books by Heinemann and Macmillan, and book reports for UNESCO and UNICEF.
She set up and ran her own video production company in South Africa. .
A selection of books by Lucinda E. Clarke
My review for A Year in the Life of Leah Brand July 2020
A tense thriller that hurtles towards a cliff…..
I don’t think that I could have lived through the year that Leah Brandt did in this psychological thriller by Lucinda Clarke. Even when attempting to deal with the events and doubts that are causing such mayhem, in a rational way, Leah is drawn deeper and deeper into madness.
Surely this woman has already faced enough tragedy in her life? To lose your family and become disabled, would by daunting enough. However, it would seem that the fates have not finished with her just yet.
We are carried along on a roller coaster ride over the year, as each of the main characters, her dismissive new husband Mason, his stroppy teenage daughter Belinda and the seemingly warm and supportive next door neighbour Andrea Coe, all adding levels of manipulation, rejection and secrecy. There is little respite, even in her mother’s home where she might have assumed to be free of the disturbing goings on in her own house. Layer upon layer of self-doubt results in a crisis of identity, and it is painful but compelling to watch the spiralling descent into despair.
The characters were all well drawn and it was easy to have very clear opinions about their personalities. At times you almost you could reach into the pages and make your presence felt with a few choice words….. it is not easy to stand by and see someone being victimised and to remember this is a story!
Who is behind this personal vendetta and why? Will Leah be saved from this train wreck of her life? Who can you trust? I recommend that you read the book for yourself….
The next author, Jaye Marie, writes thrillers and mysteries but also shared her very personal memoir about her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment..Recommended for every woman and in particular those who are facing the same diagnosis.
Meet Jaye Marie
Jaye Marie is affectionately known as the giant redwood, probably because she is very tall, but also because of her love for trees. Most afternoons she can be found repotting or taking care of her bonsai collection, but her love of detective mysteries soon brings her back indoors. She has written three fiction novels in this genre, Nine Lives, Out of Time and Crossfire and is about to publish Silent Payback, her fourth book.
She spends any free time learning everything she can about self-publishing, and despite all the obstacles, she never gives up on anything and is as stubborn as a mule
She also enjoy running a website/blog and all the wonderful people she continues to meet from all around the world. She learns something new every single day and it is much appreciated.
Also by Jaye Marie
My review for Apple Blossom February 2021
Receiving the diagnosis of cancer is everyone’s fear. Jaye Marie shares her journey through this frightening experience from the first examination and her treatments at Queen Alexander hospital in Portsmouth with honesty and courage. A journal such as this is so important, not just as a way to document the experiences of those living through this devastating illness, but for those who might be at the start of that journey. Half the battle is the fear associated with the diagnosis, and at times the lack of information available as the medical professionals are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a definitive prognosis. Whilst it is frightening, being informed is a key factor in getting through the treatment and remaining positive about the future. Jaye Marie does an excellent job and whilst the book is a short read it is filled with heartfelt inspiration.
Irish poet and children’s author Joyce Murphy released her debut poetry collection in 2020 and it shares her life experiences. Since then four colourful children’s books have joined the poetry on the shelves.
Meet Joyce Murphy
I have been a scribbler all my life. We didn’t have money for writing paper in my house so I scribbled stories and poems on anything I could get my hands on. Wherever scribbling material was to be found, I wrote on it. This included between the lines of my Enid Blyton books, the white top and bottom margins of my parent’s ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Coat’ program, bits of copybook paper and even blank pages torn from other books.
The poems found in my book, ‘Inner Rumblings,’ were written on small pieces of paper, torn out copybook pages and even on blank pages at the end of my biology book – lack of paper was never going to stop my urge to write.
Books by Joyce Murphy
My review for Inner Rumblings April 2020
Poetry should stir the emotions and convey imagery with flow and rhythm and Joyce Murphy achieves that in her debut collection of verse.
It is a collection that reflects many shades of human emotion through the various phases of the poet’s life from 15 years old after what was an idyllic childhood. Teenage years are not the easiest for many of us and it is clear that the poet experienced anguish and self doubt as she moved into young adulthood including the turmoil of first love. We travel with her to Germany where she worked as an au pair, experiencing feelings of being an outcast in this very different environment to Ireland… and the dilemma caused by a romantic attraction.
There is also lightness from touches of humour and the renewal that comes with finding a soul mate in ‘Love’s Vision’, but it is countered by the enormity of great loss.
The poetry is a roller coaster that takes you along for the ride. I am sure that there will be life’s experiences that many will relate to throughout the phases of the collection.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.