Three authors celebrating new reviews, V.L. McBeath, Stevie Turner and Jann Weeratunga.

via Smorgasbord Air Your Reviews – V.L. Mcbeath, Stevie Turner and Jann Weeratunga


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Sandra J. Jackson, Kim Cox and Chuck Jackson

The first review is for the recently published book by Sandra J. JacksonPlaying in the Rain ( Escape Series Book 1).

About Playing in the Rain

There’s nothing harder than pretending to be unaware, robotic even, but that’s exactly what A2 has to do once the drug starts wearing off. Constantly being followed by the camera’s red eye, A2 is mindful of her every move as she tries to understand where she is and why. Things get more complicated for her when she is introduced to another robotic girl.

Who is she and how did they both get there?

A recent review for the book

“Both Bethany and I realized that the room was transforming into our tomb.”

Though the author has been talking about this book for a while, the content and subject matter always seemed a bit vague, and now I understand why. For almost a third of the book, along with the protagonist, at first known only as A2, I wondered what was going on. It’s deftly done, involving the reader in her plight, and her thought processes concerning her circumstances. Those circumstances encompass who she is, where she is, how she came to be there, and perhaps, what she is. Is this Science Fiction? An involving tale of captivity? Is it both, or neither?

The important thing is that the reader is involved. In this type of tale especially, the narrative either needs to have great movement, or involve the reader until they’re invested in the outcome. There is a little of the former, and much of the latter, which is a good balance as this moment-to-moment, day-to-day narrative could become tedious if not well written. It skirts the edges a bit for a very brief time, but from the halfway point forward, there is a gradual mounting suspense. While it never reaches a fever pitch, it does become enthralling, and exciting.

It is that instance as a reviewer, when revealing too much can ruin this for the reader. Basically, there is a hospital or lab called C.E.C.I.L. at which A2, and then B2, find themselves trapped. There are drugs and cameras, and only hazy memories. Someone named Jasper becomes an ally, or does he? Who is Cecil, what is Cecil, and why is it imperative that A2 not reveal that she’s become self-aware, and is beginning to remember? She remembers her name, then recalls who B2 is, and her name. A2 finally recalls enough to work out her own age, and that of B2, only multiplying her questions; questions she cannot ask:

“What is this place? Who is watching us? Why do we have to act like we’re robots?”

There is a breakout that is not their salvation, just a different, creepier venue. A necklace, a cabinet, a window high up which reveals the woods outside, all offer hope. There is a moment when all hope appears lost that is quite poignant in this nearly claustrophobic narrative. The ending was terrific, being satisfying and complete, but at the same time promising more, as we need answers to other questions. It also left me back at point A, because I still wondered if this was in the future — because of some revelations about their captivity I won’t reveal — or something more diabolical.

I really enjoyed this, the first third and the last third the best parts for me. It’s bereft of blood and gore, yet has a quiet tension, and the threat of danger. It captures the boredom and restlessness of any captivity, and the very human need for hope. This is the author’s second book, and it really shows. This is a nice piece of storytelling, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, to find out more. I purchased this from Amazon Australia on Kindle. Highly recommended!

Head over and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read many more reviews and follow Sandra on Goodreads:

Connect to Sandra via her website:

The next author with recent reviews is Kim Cox for her latest release in October Love’s Endurance

About the book

Twenty-eight-year-old, Madison Barrett, and her husband, Eric, decide it’s time to start a family? She’s young. She’s healthy—until she gets news no woman wants to hear . . .

As the holidays come, it becomes harder for Madison to deal with her situation.

Love endures on October 21, 2017

I enjoyed reading this story. Eric is definitely a keeper, he is so patient with his wife and her antics. Maddie, I felt sorry for her and understand why she had such a difficult time but her actions were jaw-dropping, lol. She completely shut down on her husband, he was so devastated but he loves his wife even when she has a mental break down which is just what I felt happened to her. Eric’s love for her endures this storm, strengthens and encourages his wife. Excellent writing and realistic example of how losing focus on your helpmate can strain the relationship but with a man like Eric who loves his wife unconditionally, that tight rubber-band may be stretched but it won’t pop.

Emotionally Charged on October 19, 2017

Madison Barrett ha a wonderful life. Her husband loves her, they have a beautiful home. Both of them have occupations they have a pasion for. Now all she needs for a perfect life is a child. They are both ready and looking forward to starting a family together.

But then she gets news that sends her into a deep depression. This is one woman’s journey in deciding what she wants and how to get it. I laughed and I shed a few tears. For such a short book it is well-written and packs an emotional wallup.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

A selection of other books by Kim Cox

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Kim Cox on Goodreads:

Connect to Kim Cox via her website:

The next author with reviews coming in for his recently released memoir What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson.

About What Did I Do?

What Did I Do?  is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, What Did I Do?

Two of the recent reviews.

This story is a remarkably sensitive account of how a young man who travels on his own personal journey of acceptance while dealing with his own parents’ prejudices and bigotry. Any person coming out of the closet and any parent dealing with a child who is different need to read this book.

Knowing the author and then reading his story is incredibly enriching. That anyone could go through what Chuck Jackson went through is a miracle in itself. It is a powerful and fascinating story that parents AND children of age should read. Abuse seems to seep from generation to generation and it destroys lives in the process. It has to stop. Books like “What Did I Do?” help immensely. I feel enriched that I have heard his story.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy both books:

And Amazon UK:

Connect to Chuck via his website and blog:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will explore the authors and their books further. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Round Weekly Round Up – Sir Tom Jones, King Arthur, Brussel Sprouts and Author Media Training

Welcome to the weekly round up where I share my posts from the week and also those of my guests. Those guests are providing a much valued different perspective on topics that I might not cover normally and I thank them so much for their work and time that they spend creating their posts.

Also news of some new ways to promote your books and blog this week and tomorrow the start of the new Sunday Interview show… The Ultimate Bucket List and to show you how it will look… our foodie guest writer Carol Taylor volunteered to be the first victim guest……going out just after midnight.

Resident musical director – William Price King is back with a new music series… the every youthful and dynamic Sir Tom Jones, and this week in the early years, William shares some of his early influences and hits.

Paul Andruss tackles the legend of King Arthur this week which is not an easy thing to do. As you will read, Arthur has been a pawn in other Kings and Emperor’s claims to their position and there might have been a few pretenders along the way too.

Julie Lawford has been with us over the summer with some excellent posts on lifestyle and weight loss and I hope that in the future she will find time to donate some of her archived posts again. This week Julie shares some useful links to healthy living sites and some videos that are worth watching.

Carol Taylor has been adding her special blend of spices and love of fresh produce to the foods that I have showcased in the past as being particularly healthy.. Sally and Carol’s Cook from Scratch is going from strength to strength and we are grateful for you likes, shares and comments. This week the little powerhouse of nutrition… Brussel sprouts.



And in the new series of Posts from your Archives, Pete Johnson from Beetley Pete starts a four week series on posts from his stash. In this post you will also find out how you can participate by giving posts that you would like to share with a new audience a showcase. Look forward to hearing from you.

Milestones along the Way by Geoff Cronin

Last weekend we came to the end of my late father-in-law Geoff’s books with the love story of how Geoff and Joan, his wife of 50 years met.  All his stories are in the directory for you to revisit.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Public House Landlady my host Chris the Story Reading Ape.

This week some challenges in my role as landlady of a pub in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with rather over the top customers courtesy of the ‘booze cruises’ on Saturday nights – Read all about it:

New Series – Media Training for Authors.

I have been an Indie author for 20 years and without a massive budget behind me to get noticed, I had to push open a few doors myself. For most of it is very hard to self-promote, even for someone like myself, who have a background in public speaking at conferences and major events.

We have a tendency to think global with our marketing because we have access to the world via the Internet. But I have always sold more books, especially print books by creating a market in my local environment. When I first began marketing my books there was no Amazon, worldwide web or global readership to the same extent and we relied on local media picking up the story. This sometimes led to nationals then taking an interest. That is how it worked with my first book Size Matters and I enjoyed both local and national coverage. The same applied to my family health book – Just Food for Health that sold well at book fairs, health events and summer fetes.

Most authors that I speak to are seeking international recognition for their work and to become a bestseller. But, there is no harm in getting some much needed experience locally first, before stepping onto the worldwide stage. One reason being, that most national radio stations and media, will be looking to interview authors who have had some experience of being behind a microphone or in front of a camera.  I have adapted my media training course to focus on authors and book marketing.

Here are the first two posts with more tomorrow and next weekend.

Book Promotions

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

Air Your Reviews – share your most recent rave review with everyone..

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Blog Promotions – The Blogger Daily now on hold for next week (writing break)

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Smorgasbord Pet Health


Personal Stuff

I underwent a procedure this week that was long overdue.. the process prompted a poem!

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and as always very grateful to see you and get your feedback. Enjoy the rest of the weekend… thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Sue Coletta, J.E Spina and C.S. Boyack

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates for the week and the first author is Sue Coletta with her brand new novella – Brotherhood Protectors: Fractured Lives.

About Fractured Lives

Three couples, the perfect Maine vacation, and a fateful night that lands one of the women in mortal danger.

Couples are going missing in Sunset Cove at Long Lake, and the authorities seem more concerned with not tarnishing the reputation of their popular tourist destination. Until … while out for a spin on her wave runner, Shawnee Daniels pulls alongside a deserted canoe.

Blood stains the seat.

When retired SEAL Brandon “Boomer” Rayne wakes to an empty bed—his bride-to-be Daphne nowhere inside their rented cabin—he enlists the help of the only people he’s met in the state: the couple next door, Shawnee Daniels and Revere, Massachusetts Detective Levaughn Samuels.

Uncertainty bonds the two neighbors, forced together by tragedy. Their predicament turns even deadlier when the half-nude body of a female washes ashore. No obvious signs of homicide exist. How did she die? Does her death relate to Daphne’s disappearance?

Time’s running out.

Can they piece together the mystery to find Boomer’s fiancé? Or will an elusive serial killer determine their fate?

Head over and buy the book:

A small selection of other books by Sue Coletta.

The most recent review for Blessed Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book Two) released on August 9th 2017.

Read one of Sue Coletta’s stories, and you’ll want to read all of them. Read Wings of Mayhem and/or Hacked, and there’s no way you’ll want to miss Blessed Mayhem.

This series picks up with Shawnee Daniels, current forensic hacker and former cat burglar, reverting to her old ways. That’s bad in and of itself, considering she not only works for the police, she’s dating a detective. What makes matters worse is she gets caught—by a serial killer in the middle of a… let’s call it a project. Thus begins a pulse-pounding game of cat-and-mouse. Or maybe I should say cat-and-bird. The way the author incorporates crows and ravens into this story is nothing short of inspired.

Coletta has a fabulous ability to craft believable characters who do extraordinarily memorable things. Our heroine (or is she an anti-heroine?) has a complex past that we learn more about in this novel, a past that not only impacts all her present-day relationships but also inspires a rather bold decision on her part. Her love interest is sexy and stalwart, the perfect complement to the heroine and her less-than-pure actions. Her best friend is a quirky delight. And the villain is deliciously complex. I haven’t been this enthralled by an antagonist since Hannibal Lecter.

The plot is fast-paced, the settings exquisitely described. I love everything I read by this author, but this may have been my favorite work of hers so far. If you like heart-hammering suspense, you don’t want to miss this.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads :

Connect to Sue Coletta via her website/blog:

Next new edition and cover for Hunting Mariah by J.E.Spina (Janice Spina as Children’s author).

About the book

An insane killer, obsessed with blood and death, seeks revenge with those he perceives wronged him. He is now on the loose. His next victim may be Mariah.

Mariah has lost her memory. Will she remember what has transpired in her past? Can Mariah escape this deadly killer’s grasp. Will she finally be safe? Will the killer be apprehended?

One of the reviews for Hunting Mariah for the previous edition

I had known Janice Spina as the author of charming, award-winning children’s picture books. So when her thriller novel “Hunting Mariah” hit the market, I was quite surprised! The next surprise (shock, in fact), came in reading the book’s opening. Raw and brutal, yet Spina tells it like it’s completely natural –thereby setting up getting the reader into the mind of the killer. This book started off with a bang!

The twists and turns this tale takes keep the reader off-guard as Mariah retells the events she slowly recalls after surviving her attacker – a man (and there are several men in Mariah’s life in the story) whose identity the reader is unsure of for most of the book. Devious poetry accompanies the text, as the killer verbalizes his justification for his savage desires, intentions, and actions.

This story runs the reader through the gamut of human emotions as Mariah, her friends, and family experience and endure what would be life’s normal course shattered by tragedy at the hands of a psychopath. I found myself deeply moved at one completely unexpected tragic point in the story.

I won’t give much more of the story away. After all, it IS a mystery/thriller, and I want you to be as surprised and entertained as I was.

Head over and read all the reviews and buy the book:

A selection of other books by Janice Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy:

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads:

Connect to Janice via her website:

The next update is for C.S. Boyack and his book Panama which has received some great reviews in the last month.

About Panama

Ethan and Coop are sent to the construction zone along the Panama Canal. They have some experience with strange phenomenon, but nothing prepared them for this.

They are faced with civil war, Carlist pretenders to the thrones of France and Spain, an invading Spanish army, and another from Hell itself. They’ll be lucky to survive, let alone take care of anything while they’re down there.

This story is based upon the construction of the canal, Panamanian independence, international cooperation, and a few celebrity cameos. Even the magic takes on an international flavor.

Ghosts and Voodoo are one thing, but they have no idea what waits along the isthmus.

The most recent review for Panama

Excellent Read  on September 5, 2017

Taking historical fiction, paranormal, and steampunk and mixing them together in a book sounds ambitious. It is ambitious, but C.S. Boyack does it well and the result is an engaging page turner. I say this as someone who is not a fan of the genres mentioned, but I am a fan of this book.

The tale centers around two federal marshals, enlisted by the larger-than-life Teddy Roosevelt, to facilitate the construction of the Panama Canal by using their respective abilities.

The characters in this book are engaging and colorful in their unique ways. The backdrop and gadgetry in the story reminded me of the Wild, Wild West television show, one of my childhood favorites.

This is the fifth C.S. Boyack book that I have read and I am amazed at the depth of the writing in various genres. The writing is solid in all of them. The biggest compliment that I can give is that Boyack’s books make me forget about the genre or mixture of genres and I become invested in the characters and the story.

I highly recommend that you give this book, and others by C.S. Boyack, a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

A selection of books also by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads:

Connect with Craig via his blog:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will check these authors and their books out further.

If you are an author who is not in the Cafe and Bookstore then you might like to read the benefits in this post.. It is FREE and you can enjoy regular updates of your news.

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Ancestry DNA Results, Ultimate Bucket List and Black Cats

Welcome to the weekly round up and my posts from the week that you might have missed.

It has been a quiet week with lots of rain but instead of complaining as we usually do here in Ireland there has been a recognition of how lucky we are not to be living on Islands and low lying coastal regions of the United States. Each day brings more news of devastation and loss of life and we all hope that that this present set of storms will die away soon.

As always my thanks to guests and long-term contributors such as William Price King, Paul Andruss and to Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who have been lighting up the blog with their posts. Julie finishes her summer of lifestyle posts next week, but we hope she will come back soon with another series. Carol is going from strength to strength and we hope you love our collaboration as much as we do.

Another series coming to an end is Geoff Cronin’s stories on Saturday and Sunday with the last, and most poignant one to us, this morning. it is nearly seven months since Geoff died and yet it only seems like yesterday that we were laughing at Bradley Walsh on The Chase. I know that if he is able to see the comments you have left on his posts, he would be delighted. So thank you on his behalf.

My thanks to Marsha Ingrao for her guest post sharing her visit to Maui. What an amazing place. I love Hawaii.. and it might just go on my bucket list to visit again… see the next item!

New Series

From next week there will be a new series beginning on Sunday. Time for a new theme to the Author Interview and this time it is The Ultimate Bucket List and you can find all the details in this post.

I am looking to find out more about your top two ambitions to complete before you die… a long time in the future I hope of course.  This is about you… and even if it is a wish to bring about global change, you will need to convince us that you have given thought to the why, the how and the when. Take a read and if you would like be on the guest list, my email address is in the post.

I am also inviting all of you who might have posts of recipes that have involved natural, fresh ingredients to share with us and get some promotion for you blog and books at the same time.

And here are the other posts that you might have missed.

William Price King meets some Legends is back with a brand new series this Wednesday. Be prepared to swivel those hips as you enjoy the life and music of Sir Tom Jones.

Writer in Residence – my review for Thomas the Rhymer and two FREE books.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

The buying and renovations of a family home in Waterford.

The story of how Geoff met Joan his wife of 50 years.

Lifestyle and guest posts by Julie Lawford.

Cook from scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor

Author Marsha Ingrao on Maui at the Ka ‘Ikena O ‘Iao state park

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Smorgasbord book promotions – Air Your Reviews

Some Personal Stuff

My latest DNA results are in and I now know where I originally began my journey.

Book Lover’s Tag nominated by Brigid P. Gallacher

Odd Jobs and Characters – hosted by Sue Vincent

The latest episode of my series on some of the quirky jobs I have held was hosted by Sue Vincent this week – Stock taking Peas and Ghosts.

Please head over to Sue’s blog to read the post:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Health

Gluten Free products and consumption in the news.

Smorgasbord Laughter academy and afternoon videos

Thank you so much for joining me this week and contributing by liking, commenting and sharing.. I really am very grateful… Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your #Reviews – Richard M. Ankers, Judith Barrow and Sacha Black

Welcome to the first of the review posts this week and the first author is Richard M. Ankers with the third book in his trilogy –  Into Eternity – The Eternals Series.

About Into Eternity

Queen Serena and her allies have fled the Nordic massacre, taking Princess Linka with them. For Jean, it’s heartbreak; for Merryweather and the abandoned Aurora, far worse. Not even the return of a broken Prince Grella and a dramatic escape from an obliterated Hvit softens the blow of their loss. Tempers flare and the pursuit resumes.

Leaving the Arctic ice behind, Jean and the others must reconcile with both current and past deaths, as they close in on the Baltic home of the hated Duke Gorgon. Here, their enemies gather and confrontation is inevitable.

Under Merryweather’s frustrating tutelage, Jean marches from one infuriating revelation to another, but as the lies unravel and the truth unfurls, he discovers the Britannian is not the fool he’s taken him for. The enigmatic Merryweather appears the key to the greatest mystery of all. But will he ever show his true colors?

In the stunning climax to The Eternals Series, a brooding Jean must do what he’s never done before: place his trust in others. For only at the end of all things, as the sun dies and Shangri-La falls, will Jean know what it means to step Into Eternity.

The most recent review for the book

The third book of The Eternals trilogy is entertaining from start to finish, bring back Jean, Aurora, Walter, and Sunyin for one final adventure.

Filled with colorful prose that fits the setting well, it tells a tale that spans an impossible amount of time to great effect. In particular, it brings the character of Walter Merryweather, a mainstay of the series from the get go, into the spotlight, and makes him much more than the dandy we’ve come to know and love(?)

Though there are some parts that stretch the imagination to the breaking point, it never becomes so much as to overburden the reader. All in all, a very solid end to a trilogy.

Buy the book:


Also by Richard Ankers

One of the most recent reviews for Book One in the Series The Eternals

Vampires, shifting landscapes, cloned monks & 500 year old princesses, this amazing tale has them all. The main character, Jean, is a loveable rogue, trying desperately to keep one step ahead of those in pursuit. This face-paced story is fun with more than a few tongue-in-cheek quips which caused me to read with a wide grin on my face. Intensely descriptive, fiercely imaginative & highly entertaining, I loved this from start to finish.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:


Follow Richard Ankers on Goodreads:

Connect to Richard via his blog:

The next author with a great review for her latest release A Hundred Tiny Threads is Judith Barrow.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

The latest review for the book

How I discovered this book: I’d read the rest of this series and was looking forward to this prequel. I highly recommend the short stories attached to the series, Secrets.

This is the fourth book in the Pattern of Shadows series, though in some ways the first, because it’s the prequel to the others, which are set in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. I’d recommend reading it first, anyway. It spans the years 1911 to 1923, and tells the story of earlier members of the Howarth family.

So, there was me thinking this was going to be an ‘eh-up, love, put the kettle on’ family drama amongst the cobbles, with a bit of WW1 angst thrown in. I was wrong; it’s so much more than that, and far more interesting. The book starts with Winifred Duffy, daughter of ‘orrible Ethel, joining up with some enchanting Irish scallywags with irritating dialogue tics who are involved in the fight for the women’s vote. The story was jogging along in a modest fashion, until (enter stage left) along came Winifred’s grandmother, Florence, who I loved, and whose story was heartbreaking. A moment later I was reintroduced to Bill Howarth (Mr Prologue), a thoroughly unlikeable character who grew increasingly despicable, and all of a sudden I realised I was engrossed. I do love a well-written nasty piece of work, and Judith Barrow has done a masterful job with Howarth. He’d had a bad start in life, yes, but I didn’t pity him; my loathing of him grew more intense as the book progressed.

The saga moves through the treatment of the suffragettes, lost love, unwanted pregnancy, dark family secrets, the evil, pointless horror of WW1, the general godawful fate of the impoverished classes, the 1919 influenza epidemic, the atrocities committed by the Black and Tans ~ this is no rose-tinted piece of nostalgia, and no detail is spared. Saddest of all is the life of Winifred, in many ways; although she finds some degrees of happiness, the theme all the way through seemed to be how women of the time had to put up and shut up, and accept what they got, even if it was so much less than they deserved. This aspect of the book is so well done, without being hammered home. I was pleased that, although there was resolution, there was no great happy ending. 100 Tiny Threads is about real life, and quite an eye-opener it is too; it made me glad I wasn’t born fifty years earlier, for sure.

When I got to the end, I wanted to nip back to Pattern of Shadows, set in WW2, to find out what happened to Bill and Winifred; it’s two or three years since I read it, and I can’t remember. D’you know, I think I will.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:


Also by Judith Barrow


Read all the reviews and buy the books:


Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads:

Connect to Judith via her blog:

The final author today is Sacha Black whose debut release 13 Steps to Evil has been receiving terrific reviews.

About the book

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:

+ How to develop a villain’s mindset
+ A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
+ Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
+ What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.

If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

Two of the latest reviews for the book

I’ve been writing novels for twenty years, been published for eight, and the truth is that nowadays I very rarely bother with How To Write books. It isn’t that I think I know everything. It’s that over the years I’ve seen lots of the same old stuff repackaged many times.

This book isn’t one of those books. This book is bloody good. I learned from it. New ideas, new twists, and new connections, all presented with cleverness and humour. Sacha Black expects her readers to be intelligent. I like that in an author.

A great reference guide to how to write wicked villains. Chocked full of examples, samples, a few appendixes, and other goodies to help you along your way to create evil characters. The psychology behind the evilness is a wonderful insight to why good guys go to the dark side. A must-read for writers who want to develop believable villains.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:


Connect to Sacha via her blog:


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope if you have not already slipped these books into your TBR…. you will head over and check them out.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Angie Dokos and Andrew Joyce

The first reviews today is from Goodreads and Amazon for the latest release by Angie Dokos. New adult and romance – Roadside tells the story of Serena and her journey back from violence with the help of a stranger.

About the book

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

Some of the early reviews….

D.F. Jones rated it Five Stars on May 23rd on Goodreads

Tale of triumph over tragedy
 Roadside is a gripping tale of triumph over tragedy. Serena is a strong woman who fights through the physical, mental, and emotional violation of her body, and over time, the healing of her mind and spirit as the narrative unfolds.

This is the second book I’ve read from the author, and I enjoy how she allows the reader to organically unravel the plot.

Zayne is the hero in Roadside. He and his father find Selena’s lifeless body on the roadside. His tenderness, kindness, and compassion earns Selena’s trust, and the push and pull of their growing friendship evolves into a blistering attraction. Will Selena and Zayne allow their friendship to develop into something more? That my friends, you’ll need to read for yourself.

Kudos, Angie Dokos!

And two from Amazon.

Loved it!  on June 4, 2017

Drama and intrigue, true love and lies come together to make Roadside the perfect poolside read!!

on June 3, 2017

Angie Dokos book Roadside was a fantastic book. Once I started it I could not put it down and finished it in a weekend.

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The next author who continues to receive excellent reviews is Andrew Joyce with his book Yellow Hair. I really enjoyed this book and reviewed earlier in the year but here are some new reviews. The book follows the story of a young man who treks west with other families intent on a better future.

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. (less)

About the book

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.

Awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews.
Awarded Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Reviews


Two reviews from Goodreads and Amazon

Peter Walsh rated it Five stars.

WOW !!! A very necessary insight into American history, which would be a hugely, worthwhile inclusion in any school curriculum … The Genesis of the Wild West as only Andrew Joyce can tell it … Gripping, from the very start, a tale of survival, faith and destiny, colored with empathy, admiration and love for a stolen culture … Amazing indigenous peoples who still stand together today at Standing Rock, against insurmountable odds … A spirit such as that will never be broken … It leaves a rustle in the trees and a rhythm in the Dakota rivers which will remain forever ..

This book is about a white man who assimilates into the Dakota Indian tribe in the 1800s, and expérennes all of the conflicts of the day along with them, such as the battles of Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee. The book is a solid narrative, making historical events and characters relatable, specifically life on the California/Oregon Trail, the traditional ways of life of the Dakota Indians, and Indian/White conflicts of the 19th century. From reading it, my awareness was increased of the Indian perspective of Westward Expansion. I came to understand their plight much more clearly.

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Also by Andrew Joyce

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Thank you for dropping in today and please feel free to share. If you have great reviews that you would like to showcase email me on Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Sue Vincent and Barb Taub

Welcome to the first of the posts where you can air your latest reviews either from Amazon, Goodreads or from a blog post. This is an opportunity to crow a little about your work.. don’t miss it.. email me on

The first review is for Sue Vincent’s Laughter lines on Robbie Cheadle’s blog :

About the book

Take a life with a small dog in tow, add a dash of red hair dye, a selection of crumbling biscuits and a passion for recitable verse… The result is a recipe for laughter. Sue Vincent shares her world in verse.

Robbie and her son’s review for the book.

Michael and I are firm Ani addicts so another whole book about Ani’s antics is a real treat. The goings on of Ani’s two legs, sets Michael off into gales of laughter so we are really happy to read about the trials and tribulations of “Her” too.

The book is written in rhyming verse and tells all sorts of tales. To coin a phrase, Ani says:

“The time has come,” the doglet said,

“to talk of many things;

Of tennis balls and squeaky ducks,

and sneaky bees with stings; …”

In this book, Laughter Lies, Life from the Tail End, you will meet some of Ani’s friends, OR NOT:

The cat likes to sit on the roof of the shed

While the dog views this as an intrusion,

It’s all fur and teeth

As the dog growls beneath

And the birds flutter round in confusion.

We get some insights into Ani’s diet:

Its cream cheese and crackers for me and the dog,

While I’m more the epicure… she’s just a hog…


Me and the dog had a sandwich for brunch

(Well, for me it was breakfast, for her it was lunch.)


The ham disappeared without leaving a trace

Except for the grin upon one small dog’s face.

So if you like to enjoy life and have a good giggle, pick up this delightful book of light-hearted poems and jump right in. There are also some lovely photographs in the book for the reader to enjoy.

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A selection of books by Sue Vincent

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The next featured author is Barb Taub and her book Do Not Wash Hands in Plates. She received a glowing review on Goodreads from poet Ritu Bhathal.

About the book

Once upon the Land Before Time (or at least before mobile phones), my two best friends and I decided to leave the US from separate locations and meet up in Europe. To everyone’s shock, Janine, Jaya and I pulled it off—mostly because we went to Luxembourg, a country so small the odds in favor of chance street encounters were almost 100%, but also because Jaya was carrying the BS, a blue suitcase so enormous it took up approximately a third of the country’s square footage and was visible on satellite images. We couldn’t possibly miss.

It took over thirty-five years before—in a combination of optimism and failing memories— we recklessly decided to repeat this feat. Hey, we reasoned, now we’ve got smartphones, better credit ratings, wheeled suitcases, medical insurance, and the ability to drink legally. Just to make it more interesting, this time we chose to meet in India, where the odds against the three of us actually linking up were approximately a bazillion to bupkis.

This is the story of three women eating our way across India in search of adventure, elephants, temples, palaces, western toilets, monkeys, the perfect paratha…and the kindness of Indian strangers.
The review from Ritu Bhathal who rated it  5 stars

What a delicious recount of what was a most memorable trip to India by Barb Taub and her friends. Being an Indian myself, I relished in the thoughts of many a situation that we consider normal, but which, for Taub, would have been most alien!
Saying that, as an British Indian, I have seen far less of my Motherland than Taub and her friends!

Taub’s recounts are hilarious, and each page is peppered with the delicacies that they encountered along the way, proving, once and for all, that India is one of the most hospitable countries out there, with an abundance of yummy food at every corner, literally. Parathas…? YUM!”

Reading about how they encountered the driving there (I too travel in a car with my fingers in front of my eyes when we visit family there!) and crossing roads in busy Mumbai (same in Delhi and Ludhiana!) brought back funny memories of past trips.

If you are looking for a quick pick me up, with laughter at every turn, this is your book!

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Also by Barb Taub

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Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great if you could spread the news about these authors and their new reviews.. Let me know if you have one to share.

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Allison D. Reid and Nicholas C. Rossis

Welcome to the first review post of the week and I am starting things off with a review for  Journey to Aviad ( Wind Chronicles Book 1) by Allison D. Reid by Terri Webster Schrandt on her blog last week.

About the book

Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come. Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master.

His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow. With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator.

She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.

Terri’s 5 Star review:

If you have ever read Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, you will enjoy Reid’s fantasy tale of two sisters who embark on a journey of survival and spirituality. This is an allegorical tale set in what may be medieval times. Whether it is in our Earth’s ancient past or far future isn’t clear, but the world and setting Reid builds is consistent and believable.

Reid’s writing is eloquent and riveting—I was drawn in to the mystery after the first few sentences. Her female main characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, with the capacity to grow and learn as the story unfolds.

Reid deftly weaves in scriptural themes and concept such as— “you must drink from my cup, for it is filled with living water, and you shall never thirst again”—without alienating the reader’s existing faith or lack thereof. She introduces the “Ancients” much later in the story as the counterparts to the Biblical Jesus, Satan and the Holy Spirit. Of course, Aviad is God, the Creator. You will begin to see the parallels as you read deeper into the story.

I recommend this book and series to young adults and those of us adults who have been around the block once or twice.

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Also by Allison D. Reid

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Apart from being a prolific and award winning author of fantasy and children’s books, Nicholas C. Rossis has also released a non-fiction book for authors – Emotional Beats: How to convert your writing into palpable feelings.

About Emotional Beats.

Do You Want To Show, Not Tell, Emotions?

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

This emotional thesaurus includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings. Use it as a feeling thesaurus and watch your writing take off!

Emotional Beats was an award-winning Finalist in the IPA 2017 Awards.

Two of the latest reviews on Goodreads

Janice Spina rated it it was amazing
Wonderful resource for writers!

Emotional Beats is chock full of helpful suggestions about all phases of writing. If you are looking for ways to improve your writing you need to read this book and keep it close for reference.

This book covers all the senses, feelings, descriptive passages, antonyms, synonyms and examples of how to put emotion into your writing. I found it quite enlightening and well done.

The author also included a section of suggestions to improve your writing that are offered by other authors. I plan to use this book as a reference from now on as I write

Angelique Bochnak rated it it was amazing
Great writer’s reference book

This is one of the more helpful how to books I’ve read in a while. This one will be going on my reference book shelf and used often. It’s full of great examples to help even the most seasoned writers overcome dull writing. Thanks to the author for putting this book out there!

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A selection of other books by Nicholas C. Rossis

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Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Karen Ingalls and Paul Cude

Welcome to the spot where you can showcase your latest review on Amazon, Goodreads or on a review blog. Karen Ingalls has received a five star review by Angela Kay on Lit World Interviews for her book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.

The memoir won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the the category of women’s health. It was a top three finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.

The purpose of the book is to provide information about this too often deadly disease, and offer hope and inspiration to women and their families.

All proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized ho little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

Review by Angela Kay for Lit World Interviews:

I found this story incredibly informative and inspiring. There is little greater fear than hearing you have cancer—no matter whether you have a long family history of those that battled the disease or if it’s completely taking you by surprise. Most, if not all, of us, knows someone that has or had cancer. We usually watch from the outside looking in at how the person fighting for their life chooses to deal. Karen Ingalls gives us her firsthand, raw experience with one of the leading causes of death: ovarian cancer.

It’s a short book and I finished it in one sitting, finding myself wishing there was more. I couldn’t set it down and I’m amazed at how uplifting people can be when dealing with cancer. For me, this book isn’t just about fighting cancer or even teaching others about the seriousness of the issue. It’s about how she not only relied on her family and friends for comfort, but she relied on Jesus Christ’s unconditional love and grace. As I read through Karen’s story, I could see how her faith in the Holy Spirit grew stronger. Sure, she had her ups and downs, but she’s human. Still, she leaned on her faith, rather than crying out “Why me, Lord?”

At the end of the book, she listed signs to look for in ovarian cancer (formerly known as “the silent killer.”) and question suggestions for the patient and their families. I highly recommend reading Outlook: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. It’s a quick, easy read, tightly and well written. Although I found myself fighting back tears, there were places where I giggled at the humor.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

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Also by Karen Ingalls

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My next review is for Paul Cude whose first book Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past. If you love dragons and FREE books then you are in luck as you can download the Kindle version for Amazon and Epub from Smashwords
About the book

Ever been addicted? Most people have at some point, but it was different for these three. They’d become addicted to their respective sports: hockey, lacrosse and rugby. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, apart from the fact they’re DRAGONS, living in the present day, in a world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

Three young dragons, a master mantra maker, and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, become caught up in an evil plot by a sinister newcomer to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?

Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?
In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon team sports, you’ll learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile!  You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.

The latest review for the book. 

Whatever flaws we might identify or frustrations we might feel are trivial in comparison to a reader’s pure joy in losing himself/herself in a narrative. When all the elements come together: an intriguing plot, thoughtful, profound themes, complex, troubling, characters, and language that make us shudder for its honesty, clarity, and confidence; we gratefully set all analysis aside and give ourselves up to the sheer magic of a great book. And for me, Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is such a book.

The story had every element a good story should have. An exciting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well illustrated scenes that really make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book.

The book synopsis says it all; “Ever been addicted? Most people have at some point, but it was different for these three. They’d become addicted to their respective sports: hockey, lacrosse and rugby. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, apart from the fact they’re DRAGONS, living in the present day, in a world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

Three young dragons, a master mantra maker, and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, become caught up in an evil plot by a sinister newcomer to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?

Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon team sports, you’ll learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile!…”

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens next, you’ll just have to turn the pages yourself to find out!

This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The story flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional skill when it comes to storytelling. There are attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a spellbinding journey!

It’s one of those stories that come along once in awhile that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader!

I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Paul Cude in the future. I would definitely recommend this book. Five stars from me.

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Also by Paul Cude

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