Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Crime Sue Coletta, #Humour Goeff Le Pard


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

One of the recent reviews for the memoir.

This well written memoir by someone with whom I went to high school turned into a page turner as I learned what Mennonite life was like from her perspective. I knew the people and the places but I didn’t know what her internal life was like as a “minority” in a college preparatory program during the Sputnik era. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that there is more than one meaning to the term “minority” and those experiences are important in formulating character.

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

Meet Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday. Sue’s a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

2019, 2018 & 2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 100 Crime Blogs on the Net (Murder Blog sits at #5) and 2019 Award-winner of Expertido’s Best Crime Blog, Sue shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, true crime stories, and anything and everything in between at https://www.suecoletta.com. If you search her archives, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts… crime, crime, and more crime.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where members will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes, when available. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door.

BONUS: When you join Sue’s community you’ll receive two killer reads!

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, who deals with a crazy crime writer feeding circus peanuts to crows named Poe and Edgar, a squirrel named Shawnee (the Marilyn Monroe of squirrels, with her silky strawberry-blonde tail), and a chipmunk dubbed “Hippy” for his enthusiasm and excited leaps each time he scores a peanut in “Hip, hip, hooray!” fashion.

A selection of books by Sue  Coletta

A recent review for Hacked

Sherry Fundin 4.0 out of 5 stars Could this happen in real life?  Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020

Shawnee Daniels is an unforgettable character that lives by her own set of rules…so I wouldn’t recommend getting on her bad side. She is a forensic hacker extraordinaire, working for the police. She makes me think of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. She is also a cat burglar, but we’re keeping that on the down low. I love a unique character and Shawnee fits the bill. Her BFF, Nadine, is quite the character in her own right. She is bubbly, effervescent and adds a lighter touch to the inherent danger that follows Shawnee around. I have wondered about this scenario in the real world and to see it play out in fiction is all too frightening. A quick reading novella that only whets my appetite for more.

Sue Coletta, Buy: Amazon US –  AndAmazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter@SueColetta1

Meet Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

One of the recent reviews for Booms and Busts

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Tickled me!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2020

Oh, I was glad to get back to the adventures of Harry Spittle in his lawyer days!

What a fantastically farcical tale of the mishaps and misadventures that Harry finds himself in, narrowly escaping prison, mixing with the wrong sorts, and with reappearing ghouls from the past.

I really enjoyed it, and Le Pard’s way with words, his dry sense of humour, makes the book for me!

Hooray for Harry, the hapless hero!

Geoff Le Pard, Buy:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreadsGeoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Horror #Fantasy Julia Benally, #Thriller Iain Kelly


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Andrew Joyce

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

A selection of books by Andrew Joyce

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A recent review for My Name is Danny

Jane Fulkerson 5.0 out of 5 stars From Jane in Montana: What dogs really think of their owners.  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020

I’ve always wondered what dogs really think about the people who own them. This book answers that question. If you end up with the likes of houseboat owner Andrew, it fluctuates between “toleration” and “all out love.”

This book takes you down to small dog level – right next to the ground – where all of the good smells are. There are places you can go hide where no one can find you, and if you are cute, which Danny is, you learn how to use that to your advantage in all situations.

I enjoyed these dog adventures very much, especially the Q and A Interviews, where Danny speaks his mind – no holds barred. He certainly earned his turkey slices and won my heart in very short order.

Andrew Joyce, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Andrew : Goodreads – blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPressTwitter: @Huckfinn76

Meet Julia Benally

Born to the Bear Clan of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Julia enjoys writing stories, mostly horror, about her area, but every once in a while, she delves into romance, and she loves fantasy.

When not writing, she loves dancing, playing the piano, and killing zombies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Christine Marshall 5.0 out of 5 stars An action-filled monster adventure focused on family  Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020

This book is great, just don’t read it as a bedtime story for your kids! I would have read it sooner if the summary on the back had specified that it was a high-action adventure rather than a horror story that spent lots of time in a compound with a wasteland of monsters everywhere else (no offense, but that’s how I interpreted the summary). The new vocabulary takes some getting used to but is well worth it!

Julia Benally, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Julia : Goodreads – blog: Sparrow IncarnateFacebook: Sparrow Cove

Meet Iain Kelly

Iain Kelly lives in Scotland, UK. He is married with two children and works in the media industry as a television editor for the BBC. When he is not creating stories through sound and vision, he is writing them. ‘A Justified State,’ published in 2018, was his first novel. It was followed by a sequel, ‘State Of Denial’, was released in September 2019. ‘The State’ Trilogy will be completed in 2020 with the forthcoming publication of ‘State Of War.’

Books by Iain Kelly

One of the recent reviews for State of Denial

Oscar McCloud 4.0 out of 5 stars The Underground Movement and Rebels Prepare Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 March 2020

A newspaper reporter, Maxine Aubert, asks an unscripted question during a government news brief. They sack her. The “State” is playing lip service to democracy and has created an illusion in which the citizens conform or else! The up-and-coming elections are a sham and there is an underground force prepared to confront the State; there is a rebel movement gathering in the Northern Wilderness.
This second novel of the trilogy expands on the politics of the dysfunctional State and justifies the social unrest that hums in the background. However, it was not clear to me how the rebels intend to replace the “State” and what the new social structure will be.

If you enjoy both the mix of Sc-Fi and political upheaval in society fighting against the government type of scenario – then you may enjoy reading this.

Iain Kelly, Buy:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – follow Iain:  Goodreads – website: Iain Kelly WritingTwitter@iainthekid

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Guest Writer -The importance of a book cover by Roberta Eaton Cheadle


Delighted to welcome back regular contributor Roberta Eaton Cheadle with some important elements to consider when designing your book cover. It is also a chance to find out more about her forthcoming book A Ghost and his Gold.

The importance of a book cover by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

The cover of a book needs to convey certain information, namely, the title of the book, name of the author, name and logo of the publisher and the blurb. It also needs to let a potential reader know precisely what the book is about. That aspect of designing a book cover is very important as you don’t want to mislead a potential reader by using an inappropriate cover.
Certain colours and designs traditionally indicate a certain genre, for example, romances often use pink and purple in the cover designs and self-help books use blue which is intended to convey a feeling of calmness.

My forthcoming novel, A Ghost and His Gold, is a supernatural historical novel. A couple, Tom and Michelle Cleveland, move into a recently built townhouse on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, near Pretoria, in Gauteng (previously the Transvaal). A one-hundred-year-old jacaranda tree grows in their garden and Michelle discovers that it was planted by the first owner of the farm, a Burgher who died in action during the Second Anglo Boer War. It quickly becomes apparent that their new townhouse is haunted by three phantoms, one of which is a poltergeist intent on murdering Tom.

Michelle must unwind the history of the three ghosts, Piet van Zyl, a Burgher, Robert, a British soldier, and Estelle, Piet’s daughter, all of whose lives were deeply impacted by the war and all of whom need to resolve their personal conflicts and resentments in order to find redemption and move on to the next phase of their existence.

When I spoke to the cover designer, Tim Barbar from Dissect Designs, I had a couple to definite ideas about the concepts I wanted the cover to convey. Firstly, I like to use silhouette designs for my covers. I also used silhouettes for the covers of my previous books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I think silhouettes convey a strong message without needing to be overly detailed. They are also clean and neat.

 

I wanted to feature a Burgher on his horse riding away from a scene of destruction in the form of a burning wagon. The design of the figure on the horse, and particularly the shape of his hat, was important in order to differentiate a South African Burgher from an American cowboy.

The wagon is symbolic of the frontiers and pioneering spirit of the Afrikaner people and the burning and flames are representative of the devastation of war generally and, in respect of this war, the burned earth policy implemented by the British soldiers in the Transvaal and the concentration camps where the Burgher’s wives and families were incarcerated. The purpose of the silhouette pictures is, therefore, to clearly indicate that this is a book about war and/or destruction in a frontier situation.

A Ghost and His Gold is a book about war and contains some violent and disturbing scenes of death and destruction. There is also a violent rape scene, which while not graphic, could distress sensitive readers. Unfortunately, rape plays a significant role during times of war. It is a tool used by men to intimidate and break the spirits of the civilian population.

The veld grass, trees and birds introduce the idea of Africa and the yellowy gold background is intended to give the reader a sense of dryness, wildness and destruction. The tones of the cover also resonate with the word gold in the title and let the potential reader know that gold plays a role in this novel.

Finally, the golden sunset is also symbolic as it indicates an ending. The Second Anglo Boer War was the end of the independence of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State in South Africa. Both republics were annexed by the English during 1900.
What do you think about book covers? Do they influence your decision to purchase a book?

Let me know in the comments.

©Roberta Eaton Cheadle 2020

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

I am an author who has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my young adult and adult writing, these will be published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first young adult supernatural novel, Through the Nethergate, has recently been published.

I also have two short paranormal stories in Whispers of the Past, a paranormal anthology edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.

Discover all of Roberta’s books, read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Contact Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Website: Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Blog: Roberta Writes
Twitter: @RobertaEaton17
Goodreads: Roberta Eaton Cheadle
TSL Publications: Books Roberta Eaton Cheadle

My thanks to Roberta for sharing the process that led to this wonderful cover for her upcoming book.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Historical Noelle Granger, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Daniel Kemp


The first author today is Noelle Granger for her recently released historical novel The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

What a fascinating read, especially with the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower this year. I had no idea about all the hardships the Pilgrims/Separatists had to endure, and if they had not made it then we wouldn’t be here today. Her book makes you feel present at that time right along with the new settlers to the Americas. This is an entertaining way to learn the history of our great country.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by N.A. Granger

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Noelle: Goodreads

Connect to Noelle via her blog: Sayling Away

The next author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the collection

L D Tanner5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Social Issues Tied to Symbolism of Trees  Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020

What drew me to read “When I Rise” by Karen Ingalls are 12 modern-day tales of social issues and how they are symbolically tied to trees. Each of the tales is about a social issue that is told in a unique way. Some tales span several generations while others are told about a moment in time. Some of the tales are inspiring while others are sobering. The tales that most resonated with me are “The Cigar Box” and “The Machine Shop.” Others may find other short stories have special meaning for them.

“The Cigar Box” is about a hand-crafted box that is hand-crafted from cedar, but the carving on the top of the lid is an olive tree standing alone in a field and with branches stretching “as if trying to reach out and touch someone or something.” The tale spans several generations as the cigar box is handed off to each new generation. It is a poignant story of how family members tried to reach out to each other while working a winery beginning in 1833. The cigar box has a magical mist that whenever someone breathes in its aroma, the person’s well-being or sense of purpose improves in a mystical way. It as though the cigar box embraces the best of each person’s essence and emanates its sweet fragrance.

“The Machine Shop” is a sobering short story about the psychological impact on a family after the mother dies. It is a tragic tale that is associated with the Cypress Tree about the importance of talking with children about life and death, and helping them to deal with difficult times instead of succumbing to them.

Author Karen Ingalls masterfully reveals the truth about how we deal with issues in life by symbolically relating these to trees. I recommend reading the softcover book as it is beautifully formatted which adds to the reading experience.

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The final author today is Daniel Kemp with a recent review for A Covenant of Spies

About the book

In 2007, intelligence operative Nikita Kudashov attempts to escape his native Russia after a series of top-secret spying operations.

Years later, Patrick West of MI6 is assigned to investigate the operations Kudashov took part in, and discovers a shocking connection between the former Soviet Union and the Foreign And Commonwealth Office.

Can West unravel the ambiguous connection – and the final clue that disguises the information Blythe-Smith never passed on to the Secret Intelligence Service?

A recent review for A Covenant of Spies on Goodreads

Daniel Kemp’s A Covenant Of Spies deals with British Intelligence investigating Russian operative.

I enjoyed the clever, complex tale featuring a net of lies and political cover-ups that made me think twice about the daily news headlines.

An entertaining story of 21st century spies and tales of the Cold War sprinkled with clues till the end, it reminded me of “Bridge of Spies”.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel via his website: Author Danny Kemp

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors #Fantasy Deborah Jay, #ParanormalRomance A.J. Alexander, #Historical Ruth Larrea


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay writes fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Fortunate enough to live not far from Loch Ness in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands with her partner and a pack of rescue dogs, she can often be found lurking in secluded glens and forests, researching locations for her books.

THE PRINCE’S MAN (#1 The Five Kingdoms), winner of a UK Arts Council award, is her debut novel. #2, THE PRINCE’S SON, and #3, THE PRINCE’S PROTEGEE, are both now available.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the first in a projected 5 book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and a stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is available for FREE.

Deborah has also published a multi-author SFF anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which includes her SF story, PERFECT FIT.

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush

Books by Deborah Jay

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A recent review for The Prince’s Son

Rachel 5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn’t put it down!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2020

I couldn’t put this down, I enjoyed it even more than the first book. Can’t get enough of this author, can’t get enough of the characters and can’t get enough of The Five Kingdoms!

Deborah Jay, BuyAmazon US – And:Amazon UK – follow Deborah : Goodreads – website: Deborah Jay – Twitter: @DeborahJay2

Meet Aurora Jean Alexander

I’m a fantasy author working on a paranormal romance series. The first book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018.

I have written short stories and poetry in the past. Some of my poems can be read on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

Books by A.J. Alexander

One of the recent reviews for Demon Tracker

JannyC 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Good!  Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020

With all that is going on in this world, Alexander provides a wondrous escape into her magical mythological world.

‘Demon Tracker’ throws all the punches and hits every target! ‘Demon Tracker’ is good to the last page read! Not one page was I bored! I think the best book in the series yet. Zepheira is a breakout character and I fell in love with her instantly. Alexander creates a character that is brash, sarcastic, witty, and tough without any effort. She has to be my favorite book character to date. I hope this is not the last in the series. We do still have a jilted Lucifer sulking in the shadows!

A.J. Alexander, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Aurora Jean Alexander – Twitter: @AuroraJean_A

Meet Ruth Larrea

As a child, I lived in my imagination. It was a safe place, beautiful, full of possibilities. I didn’t write stories. I dreamed them.

At school we wrote. The stories came alive in my head and spilled onto the page. A Special Place. Flights of stone steps cut into the cliff, waves crashing on the beach, pebbles under my feet, the air fresh with salt and seaweed.

I loved adventure, excitement. I read The Famous Five, The Lone Pine Club. At school we read the classics. Each term a new one. My world was expanding. I loved the pattern of words, the structure of sentences, nuances of meaning. I applied for a degree in English Language and Literature, entered a world where almost everyone dreamed of being a writer. I dabbled secretly, too shy to show my work.

I taught teenagers, hated it, went back to write an MA thesis in the ivory tower of university. They wanted me to do a PhD, but I wanted to see the ‘real’ world. I saw it, sank ever deeper into problems. Before I knew it I had a son to bring up, a husband with mental health issues. Survival became a daily challenge.

A lucky break came my way. I was asked to write and illustrate leaflets and brochures for local environmental organisations. Then I taught English to wonderful adults from all over the world, and loved it. At home I wrote novels, inspired by my crazy experiences. I retired, took an MA in Creative Writing, found that agents want writers with a career ahead of them, who fit neatly into boxes: literary, or commercial, not a blend of both.

So I did what I’ve always done, for better or worse: my own thing.

Ruth Larrea, buy: Amazon UK – and: Amazon US –  Website:Ruth Larrea

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Mystery #Romance Alex Craigie, #Children Dawn Doig, #Humour Linda G. Hill


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.

As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her books – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.

She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

Books by Alex Craigie

One of the recent reviews for Someone Close to Home

A Martin 5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifyingly believable  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 June 2020

My heart was literally pounding at times as I read about Megan’s so-called care. Megan is trapped in her own body, unable to communicate her needs and entirely dependent on others. She reflects back on her outwardly successful, inwardly turbulent life which contrasts sharply to her current, nightmarish predicament. It’s a fate no-one should endure and alerts us all to the importance of good management in care homes. At times I felt frustrated with Megan; I especially wanted her to contact Gideon earlier in the story, but as a domestic abuse survivor myself I know how easily a young person can be manipulated into a situation they would not have chosen, had they foreseen its outcome. Well-written with an acute understanding of human frailties and never succumbing to sentiment, this is an acutely observed and painfully described book that should be widely read.

Alex Craigie, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Alex: Goodreads – Alex Craigie via: Facebook

Meet Dawn Doig

Dawn Doig, M.Sc., M.Ed, is the author of several children’s picture books on a variety of topics including childhood hearing loss, bullying and forgiveness, dysgraphia, and learning English as an additional language. She has been blessed with two extremely rewarding careers working with children as an audiologist and as an English as an additional language teacher. Dawn has two grown children who live in Canada. She currently resides in Cameroon with her hubby Bruce and two very rambunctious but adorable female kitties. She gets her inspiration for her children’s books from her family, the children she has the pleasure of working with, general life experiences, and her feline friends. Dawn is a passionate baker who loves to share her homemade goodies with others. She is always ready to head out on the next thrilling adventure with Bruce and they never know where the wind will blow them to next.

A selection of books by Dawn Doig

One of the recent reviews for Hair Peace

SJ Scaife 5.0 out of 5 stars Your Hair Is Not Who You Are!  Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2020

Johanita does not like her hair and tries several wigs, day after day to change who she is; but still nothing makes her feel comfortable! Johanita meets a new friend who has no hair which makes her feel more confident with her own hair. This book is a good read for young girls and women who don’t love their hair. This story confirms, that our hair doesn’t dictate who you are and we should accept who we are and find peace with our appearance. Great read.

Dawn Doig, Buy Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Dawn: Goodreads –  Website:   Dawn Doig –  Twitter: @Shoebears

Meet Linda G. Hill

Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

Books by Linda G. Hill

A recent review for Saddled

Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020

Michael Throne is hired to work at the Studletter Condom company. He is the only man working there. Michael is then approached by a gaggle of women who conspire to revolt against the boss’s ”rules” of the office. Sales manager Sandra Weber is aware of the rebellious woman and keeps her eyes open.lol. The women see Michael as an opportunity to convince Sandra into changing her office rules. Instead, Michael and Sandra unite to fight against the close-minded women. One night Sandra’s friends take her to a gay male strip club where Michael dances with the alias Saddle Mcfleshbomb. Soon enough the truth is exposed and Sandra thinks Michael is gay. How is he supposed to convince Sandra he isn’t when there is a “No dating in the office rule?” I loved this book. It was so light, airy, and funny. It reminded me of a Saturday Night Live sketch. Lol. I saw it as a great satire of the “Office romance cliche’s you usually read. Lol. The slow burn was satisfying as well as the sex scene. It was tasteful and yet very, very sexy. I agree with another reviewer who said they loved the fact that Sandra and Michael become friends first before becoming lovers. I found that also refreshing. The characters were fun and the story kept my interest throughout the book.

Linda G. Hill, BuyAmazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Linda on: Goodreads – website: Linda G. HillTwitter: @thegreatdagmaru

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews -#Horses Jan Sikes, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens, #Romance Ritu Bhathal


Welcome to the first of the cafe updates for the week, with recent reviews for authors in the cafe and bookstore.

The first author is award winning Jan Sikes with a recent review for the short story Satin and Cinders

About the story

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Young 5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Story  Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2020

Satin & Cinders is a story told through the eyes of a stallion named Cinders. This verboten love story centers around two horses – Satin, a white tamed mare, and Cinders, a wild black stallion. This micro read book could well be about two people in love from different backgrounds. This enticing tale by Author Jan Sikes is both inspiring and elevating in more ways than just a love story between two horses. An enjoyable read indeed.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of  books by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

And find more reviews and follow Jan: Goodreads

Connect to Jan via her blog: Jan Sikes WordPress

The next review is for author and poet Bette A. Stevens and her coming of age novel Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey

About the book

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup on Goodreads

Jun 07, 2020 Erica Henault rated it Five Stars

“Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey” is an engaging, heartwarming, coming of age story taking place in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I vividly remember this time period where we also had one of the first televisions on our block.

The protagonist in this story is Shawn Daniels, the eldest of four children. He grows up in a poor, dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father. Many of us can relate to how alcohol addiction affects people close to us or even within our families.

Shawn’s character is inspirational in how he thrives and succeeds despite many challenges and obstacles in his life.

Bette Stevens expertly weaves “Dog Bone Soup” throughout the story. Shawn’s Mother, Henrietta, displays strength of character, persistence and deeply rooted work ethic keeping food on the table and making a home for her children. The food is often soup made from the leftover bones from the butcher. Henrietta does whatever it takes to raise her children, modelling values and expecting the best from them.

Bette Stevens also shows us how love and nurturing can come from many different people throughout a child’s life.

“Dog Bone Soup” is uplifting and enjoyable. I found myself often smiling, reading about the children’s fun games and antics.

Bette Stevens does an excellent job capturing the time period. The characters are timeless and relatable.

“Dog Bone Soup” is a beautifully written and entertaining story. I found this book captivating from the beginning to the end.

I highly recommend “Dog Bone Soup” for teens and adults of all ages!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Bette A. Stevens

***Pure Trash on offer at 99c/99p through to July 4th***

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

And the final author today is Ritu Bhathal for her romance Marriage Unarranged.

About the book

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

One of the recent reviews for the book

ElizabethC 5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing romance read.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 June 2020

If you are looking for a wonderful romance read full of flavour and contrast, then take a look at this book. The characters are beautifully written and you are transported into their world at every turn of the page. This is a love story with lots of twists and turns, heartbreak, unfaithful relationships and ultimately, happiness. The story is rich in culture, heritage and family expectations. Perfect for those who love a romantic novel to add to their bookshelf.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

andAmazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ritu: Goodreads

Connect to Ritu via her blog: But I smile anyway

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book – #Familysaga – The Memory by Judith Barrow


Welcome to the series where authors in the Cafe and Bookstore an extract from their most recent book. If you are in the Cafe, and would like to participate you can find all the details here: Share an Extract

Today bestselling author of the Howarth Family Saga, Judith Barrow shares an extract from her compelling family drama The Memory. A book that I can highly recommend.

About the book

Mother and daughter tied together by shame and secrecy, love and hate.

I wait by the bed. I move into her line of vision and it’s as though we’re watching one another, my mother and me; two women – trapped.

Today has been a long time coming. Irene sits at her mother’s side waiting for the right moment, for the point at which she will know she is doing the right thing by Rose.

Rose was Irene’s little sister, an unwanted embarrassment to their mother Lilian but a treasure to Irene. Rose died thirty years ago, when she was eight, and nobody has talked about the circumstances of her death since. But Irene knows what she saw. Over the course of 24 hours their moving and tragic story is revealed – a story of love and duty, betrayal and loss – as Irene rediscovers the past and finds hope for the future.

An extract from The Memory

The baby was in the old blue carrycot that had been mine and stored in the attic. I’d helped Dad to clean it up ages ago.

‘What’s she called?’ Mum didn’t answer. When I glanced at her she’d come out of the covers and was looking away from me, staring towards the window. Her fingers plucked at the cotton pillowcase. ‘Is she okay?’ I asked. The baby was so small; even though I could only see her head I could tell she was really little. I leaned over the carrycot. ‘Can I hold her?’

‘No,’ Dad’s hand rested on my shoulder, warm, gentle. ‘She’s too tiny.’ He paused, cleared his throat. ‘And she’s not well, I’m afraid.’

That frightened me. I studied my sister carefully; tiny flat nose between long eyes that sloped upwards at the outer corners. A small crooked mouth pursed as though she was a bit cross about something. I could see the tip of her tongue between her lips. ‘She doesn’t look poorly.’

I tilted my head one way and another, studying her from different angles. Nope, except for the little twist in her top lip, which was cute, she looked fine. ‘What’s she called?’ I asked again, watching her little face tighten and then relax as she yawned, then sighed.

Turning on her back, Mum slid down under the eiderdown. ‘Take it away,’ she mumbled.
At first I thought she was she talking about me. Had I done something to upset her or the baby? But then I thought perhaps having a baby made you cross so I decided to forgive her. In the silent moment that followed I heard the raucous cry of a crow as it landed, thump, on the flat roof of the kitchen outside the bedroom window.

‘What’s she called?’ I whispered to Dad, determined one of them would tell me. When there was still no reply I looked up at him and then back at my sister. ‘I’m going to call her Rose, ’cos that’s what her mouth looks like; a little rosebud, like my dolly’s.’

Dad gathered both handles of the carrycot and lifted it from the stand. ‘I’ll take her,’ he said and cocked his head at me to follow.

‘Do what you want.’ Mum’s voice was harsh. ‘I don’t want that thing near me.’

Then I knew she meant the baby; my baby sister. I was scared again. Something was happening I didn’t understand. But I knew it was wrong to call your baby ‘it’. It made me feel sick inside.

‘That’s mean,’ I whispered.

Mum held her hand above the covers. ‘Irene, you can stay. Tell me what you’ve been doing in school today.’ She pointed to the hairbrush on the dressing table, pushing herself up in the bed. ‘Fetch the brush; I’ll do your hair.’

The words were familiar; it was something she said every day. But her voice was different. It was as though she was trying to persuade me to do it. Like in school when one of your friends had fallen out with another girl and she was trying to get you on her side.’ It didn’t seem right; it didn’t seem like the mum I knew.

‘No, I’ll go with Dad.’ Suddenly I couldn’t bear to be anywhere near my mother. I held the end of the carrycot, willing Rose to wake up. And then she opened her eyes. And, even though I know now it would have been impossible, I would have sworn at that moment she looked right at me and her little mouth puckered into a smile.

That was the first time I understood you could fall in love with a stranger, even though that stranger is a baby who can’t yet talk.

And that you could hate somebody even though you were supposed to love them.

One of the recent reviews for the book

DGKaye 5.0 out of 5 stars Mothers and Daughters  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 June 2020

Barrow paints a complex emotional story written in first person where Irene tells her story in two time-frames. One is in present 2002, depicted in a 24 hour time-frame, and the past in flashbacks about what transpired in her life and lead to that one day.

Three women under one roof – Irene, her mother Lilian, and her Nanna, and Sam, Irene’s ever faithful and compassionate boyfriend, are the central characters, as well as little sister Rose, born with Down Syndrome, who dies at the age of 8 years old, and the secrets about her death that keep Irene connected to the house they grew up in together. The burning secret Irene carries will take a monumental twist near the end of this book. Rose is an embarrassment to her rotten mother Lilian, and Irene and Nanna are the ones who look after Rose.

Rose’s death creates a bigger distance between Irene and Lilian, spurring Irene’s anticipation to finally move away from home and finish her schooling for her dream to become a teacher. Only, there are obstacles at every milestone for Irene from her demanding, needy and lacking of compassion mother.

Lilian is a complicated, moody, miserable bitch, whose husband has left her, leaving Irene to put up with Lilian’s antics on a daily basis – seemingly no matter how far Irene flees does not stop Lilian and her demands. Thank goodness for Sam. Sam knows Lilian well and knows how she gets under Irene’s skin and staunchly supports Irene’s decisions, despite them often leaving Sam in second place to Irene’s worries concerning her mother and the indelible bond that remains between Rose and Irene even after her death.

Irene is the designated carer for everyone in this book – first Rose, then her Nanna, then Sam’s sick father, then her sick father, then her sick (in more ways than one, mother) – a modern day Florence Nightingale.

Sam is the ideal boyfriend and then husband who adores Irene. He’s been through a lot with Irene and her family woes, causing delays for them to make a life together. When they finally do make their life complete, once again ‘mother’ calls in her neediness. The mother who never had the time of day for Irene makes her a lucrative offer, which once again turns into a bad deal and should have had Irene running like a dog on fire. But instead, she flees back to her mother leaving Sam disappointed and dumbfounded.

The twist at the end focuses on the painful secret Irene has carried with her since Rose’s death. A lot of drama ensues between Irene and her terrible, ungrateful, undeserving mother as Irene once again sacrifices her happiness with Sam in order to pacify her mother. Irene is a great character of strength who takes on all the family problems in her selfless good and compassionate nature, even risking losing the love of her life, but does she? You’ll have to read to find out!

Read the other reviews and buy the book : Amazon UK

AndAmazon US

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Judith: Goodreads

About Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines,has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for 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 and She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions..

She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.

Connect to Judith

Blog: Judith Barrow
Twitter: @judithbarrow77
Facebook : Judith Barrow Author

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed this short extract from The Memory and will head over to buy the book. If you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to share an extract from your most recent book.. there is the link again: Share an Extract

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st -27th June 2020 – Josh Groban, Lemon Meringue Pie, #Ireland, Book Reviews, Authors and Humour


Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are all well as we peel back the layers of re-entry into the world again. Some are getting on better than others, and I can understand why the younger generation wants to dive back into the deep end of the pool.. but I think I will potter around in the shallows for a little while longer.

I am delighted that my hairdresser has finished the re-opening preparations, and they rang without prompting to ask if I needed an appointment.. David has done a great job with his clippers at the back, but the front that I have attended to, looks a little ragged around the edges. You can’t do it when wearing glasses very easily so took those off… not a good move… so it was a bit hit and miss with the scissors and I think I might have accidentally removed half an eyebrow too!.

Anyway…July 7th I will have it all cut back and aim for a quick visit every six weeks… with no magazines, a cup of coffee and no chit chat behind our masks it will not be quite the relaxing treat it used to be. It will be a while before the longer appointments for colour, highlights and extensions are reinstated but thankfully I use a silver rinse once a week at home and I am done…

The weather has been a mixture of very hot days, thundery nights, and now rain for the next five days. At least the lawn and the pot plants appreciate it. I have loved sitting outside with books and music and I am hoping that after this few days summer will return… one can only hope.

In the last couple of weeks I have been a guest on some friend’s blogs and if you have time to pop over and read and share that would be amazing.

Last week I was the guest of Marjorie Mallon as part of her series on poetry and thoughts of writers in isolation. She kindly share a recent poem of mine and my views on our lives going forward, particularly those of the younger children, those waiting for treatment for life threatening diseases and the elderly. Marje will be releasing an anthology of her own stories and poetry as well as her guests thoughts on the pandemic soon.

Photo by Jordan Benton from Pexels

Sally Cronin: Lockdown #Poetry #Thoughts #Isolation #Writers

This week I was the guest of author Darlene Foster whose successful Amanda travel series has introduced children around the world to the joys of discovering new countries and cultures. I shared my experience as a ten year old, of travelling to South Africa and some of the adventures during our two year stay in Cape Town.

Special Guest, Sally Cronin: Travels as a Child

Time to get on with the posts from the week and my thanks to William Price King, Carol Taylor and Debby Gies for their contributions which are always a delight to share and clearly enjoyed. Also thanks to you for dropping by, commenting and sharing; it is much appreciated.

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban – Part One

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘L’ is for Lamb, Lavender, Lemon/ Lime Meringue Pie, Liquorice and Liver…

James the Landlord 1939

#Thriller – Five Stars – The Reckoning Squad by S. Burke

#Eagles – The Daredevil by Sally Cronin – Image Tofino Photography

Tales from the Garden Chapter Seven – Little Girl Lost

Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge – #Butterfly Cinquain – Our Legacy

Letters from America 1985-1987 – #Texas weather, Suntans and Trivia Pursuit

#Acidity/Alkalinity pH Balance for Health Part Three and Music Therapy –

Food Therapy – Make the most of Summer – Homemade Fruit Salad and Smoothies

New Author on the Shelves – #RomanticComedy – Cogrill’s Mill by Jack Lindsey

#History – Great Spirit of Yosemite: The Story of Chief Tenaya by Paul Edmondson

#Murder #Mystery – Redlined: A Novel of Boston by Richard W. Wise

#Thriller Mark Bierman, #Mystery #Romance Lizzie Chantree, #Thriller John W. Howell

#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman

#Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye

#Poetry Frank Prem, #Fantasy Teagan Geneviene, #Humour #Mystery Mae Clair

Meet the Authors – #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Janet Gogerty, #Thriller Eloise De Sousa

#BritishHistory Mike Biles, #Thriller Suzanne Burke, #Doglovers Patty Fletcher

#PsychologicalThriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Thriller John L. DeBoer, #War #Dogs Patricia Furstenberg

#Scifi #YA Heather Kindt, #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #Scifi Jack Eason

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 23rd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 25th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – TGI Friday – host Sally Cronin

Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed your visit..look forward to seeing you again next week…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book- #Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the series where authors in the Cafe and Bookstore an extract from their most recent book. If you are in the Cafe, and would like to participate you can find all the details here: Share an Extract

Today’s author, D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) will be very familiar to regular visitors to the blog as the long-term contributor to the blog with The Travel Column, D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020 and the twice weekly Laughter Lines.

The exract is from Debby’s most recent memoir Twenty Years After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging

About the book

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

An extract from the memoir.

In this chapter, I’m talking about the familiarity of moments in silence, when we grow to understand a loved one so well, often words aren’t necessary.

Knowing

In his quietest moments, I can hear him thinking. He’s always thinking.

There’s no silence in Gordon’s head. Even while watching TV, his mind is busy spinning. His thoughts may be focused on anything from the customer who’s coming in tomorrow to an item he’s remembered to remind me to pick up at the grocery store—or, often, he’s thinking about me, some old memory he’ll feel compelled to remind me about.

Often when speaking to him, I’ll notice his concentration focused on something other than me. He’ll claim he’s listening to what I’m saying, but his attention is on something else within. I call it attention-span lapsing, not quite ADD but more like brewing an idea while in the midst of a separate conversation. These little moments used to drive me crazy in the early stages of our relationship because I felt as though he wasn’t paying attention to our conversation, but he was. He always did. I hadn’t yet learned how his mind worked.

I’ve had plenty of years to study my husband and can read his thoughts just by a certain look on his face, a silence between us, or sometimes from the first word of a sentence when he speaks. Even the manner in which he’ll call out my name prompts me to know what he’ll ask me. When he calls me Cubby with a higher pitch and an emphasis on the y sound, I know he’s in a jovial mood and eager to share good news or something funny. When he calls me Cub, I know he’s going to ask me a question or has something pressing on his mind he wants to share. Deb is reserved for his pissed-off moments.

We’ve always been so in tune with each other, spoken words or not. Many times, I’ll walk into his man cave, and he’ll be watching TV, not even noticing I’m there as he focuses with eyes glued on whatever he’s watching. I’ll announce myself after standing to his left with one of my usual smart-ass comments, “Earth calling,” and he’ll turn after I startle him, chuckling because he knows the thought police is on to him.

Based on whatever may be currently going on in our lives, I have a reasonable idea about what he may be dwelling on in his moments of silence. I’ll remind him he’s home now and it’s time to turn off his brain and relax. He’ll smile with that familiar twinkle in his blue eyes and once again ask how I always seem to know what he’s thinking. I don’t know how I know. I just do. After spending so much time together, we grow an inherent understanding of the silent language interpreted by eye contact, a lack of it, body language, silence, temperament, or sometimes even by the bang or the silent closing of a door.

The thought police in me is always on duty, ready to dissect Gordon’s brain. It’s become second nature. In this past year since Gordon’s health suffered, I have noticed how much more he likes to remind me about some of our best times we’ve shared. Sometimes I know he’s trying to get a rise out of me with laughter. Other times I can’t help but feel he’s thinking about his mortality. I don’t dwell on it, nor do I let him know I know what he’s thinking about.

Nobody ever wants to think about the end of existence. But trust me, as we age, we all have many of those days when we feel the hands of time ticking by. Gordon’s brushes with death have somehow opened the curtains of a window he never previously cared to look out of, a window he never talked about—one we’ve never talked about. But I know that window revealed to him how close the end almost came for him in the past year, causing him many pauses for thought. He doesn’t say so, but I know.

Once in a while, when Gordon breaks a silent moment between us and says in mere passing, “We’ve been together twenty years,” I know where his brain goes. I never ask him to elaborate on where those thoughts come from, but I know when he’s in a reflective mood, when he feels the urge to relive tender moments, when he’s fearing his mortality. In those exact moments, I know.

One of the reviews for the book

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study in Married Life  Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2020

Twenty Years: After “I Do” is an autobiographical non-fiction book about the author’s experience with marriage and relationships. I’ve previously read another of her autobiographies about her relationship with her mother, and it was such an emotionally charged and well-written book, I decided to keep reading more from her every few months until I caught up on all her works.

In this one, Debby tells us what happened almost twenty years ago when she debated whether to marry the man who is now her husband. Given he was twenty years older, she had a lot of decisions to consider when it came to how her life would change. At the core of this book, and her approach to life, is her commitment and honesty in all that she achieves. Debby knew… if she married him, she would have to accept all that came with it in the future. From there, she dives into key aspects of married life: emotions, sex life, personal time, separation of couple and individual, fighting, decision-making, and death. Lessons we all need to consider.

Debby’s writing style is simply fantastic. It’s easy to devour in a short sitting, but it always makes you feel like part of her life. She openly shares so much (the good, the bad, and the ugly) while holding back in all the appropriate areas to allow for proper balance, e.g. we learn about the impacts to her sex life when one partner is ill but she doesn’t go into the details. She tells us how she and her husband tackled the issues from a day-to-day perspective and moved on… because they loved one another (to the moon and back).

There is a refreshing honesty and truth in her words, and readers will quickly find themselves a path to compare their own lives to that of the author’s. What have I done well? What could I do better? What needs to change? Excellent questions to consider, but Debby doesn’t directly tell us to do this–her actions show us why this is at the core of a good marriage. I’m thrilled I had the chance to read this one today. Although I’ve only been with my partner for 8 years, it’s easy to track where things are and what we could do differently.

Debby bravely tells us her story, allowing us to interpret for ourselves what everything means, especially in this ever-changing world where people live longer and have access to more things but it’s harder to get them. I highly recommend this book to nearly anyone in a relationship, or those who want to know how to handle one when they are. Debby shares a few secrets, some hints, and a few suggestions to consider. It’s not just for newbies or long-term couples… there’s a bit of everything for how to co-exist and still be who you are. Great work!

Read the reviews and buy the memoir: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

About Debby Gies

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye –
Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye
Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

Thanks for dropping in and if you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to promote your most recent books then please check out the post: Share an Extract