Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Paulette Mahurin and Jean Lee


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for the second book in his Braxton Campus Mysteries – Broken Heart Attack.

About the book

Who killed Gwendolyn Paddington?

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies. But when one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D asks Kellan to investigate.

With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Although this book has elements of a cozy mystery (I.e. amateur sleuths, small town setting, quirky/eccentric characters), there is more of a contemporary mystery feel to it. In this outing of The Braxton Campus Mysteries, Kellan is recruited by Nana D. And her friend Eustacia Paddington to find out who killed Gwendolyn Paddington. I will say Kellan has more patience than I do. The Paddington family is full of spoiled, rude, greedy and secretive people who tried their best to get rid of Kellan’s interference. Throw in other snarky females (his boss Myriam, the sheriff April, and Nana D.) and it is a wonder he doesn’t hate women. Do not give up hope, his sister Eleanore and friend Maggie, are understanding and supportive and by the end of the book, even the sheriff comes around. While trying to solve the mystery, Kellan is dealing with all the changes in his personal life, things at work and running Nana D’s mayoral campaign.

This is a very character driven story with characters that are being developed more in each book. The main characters are also becoming more likeable which I am happy about. The mystery was a good one with clues being dropped throughout the book, but also several red herrings. I thought I had it all figured out, then something else was revealed to lead me in another direction. As the reveal occured, I followed along shaking my head, thinking, “of course, why didn’t I think of that.” The dialogue was crisp, snarky in many cases, and revealed so much about the characters. Emma, Kellan’s 6 year old daughter is adorable. She is sweet, mature and can also give the attitude (I think Nana D is rubbing off on her). I am looking forward to the next book in this series to find out what happens next in Kellan’s life as well as picking up on those few situations that popped up at the end of the book. If you enjoy a mystery with some cozy elements, pick up this series and delve into life at Braxton College and town.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website and blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

The next book to receive a recent review is A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin.

About A Different Kind of Angel

Inspired by real events chronicled by a journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.

Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.

This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.

At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A harrowing and riveting portrayal of Jewish refugee from the Russian pogroms of 1881. Klara Gelfman’s loses her father during her voyage to New York. Alone and with little English she is mugged and accused of being a prostitute she lands in Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. In the asylum for five long years she exposed to the worse and the best of the human condition.

It is a heart-wrenching to read about the horrid, inhumane and violent treatment of the patients in Blackwell. However, it is also a testimony of the strength of the human spirit to rise, survive and find strength in one another.

Paulette Mahurin did an amazing job in capturing the history Blackwell Island. The story is richly researched, well-written, emotive, inspirational, and unforgettable. I highly recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GZYXNR4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GZYXNR4

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and BUY the bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin

 
Connect to Paulette via her website: https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

And last but not least today is a recent review for the first book in the series Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee which is YA/Dark Fantasy

About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Peru Editor 5.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Fantasy, Emphasis on the Adult January 22, 2019

‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ fits into the category of classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ where a strong female lead must do battle with mysterious forces in a fantastical realm. Lee’s book is a bit darker than the typical fantasy fare, and I’d put it in the category of Young Adult (although it should be mentioned that my perspective always puts the emphasis on ‘Adult’ rather than ‘Young’). As I was reading Lee’s book, I found myself thinking, “What is it that this book reminds me of?”

I think it’s a testament to the book that I had a nagging sensation of familiarity, and it took me a long time to pin it down. The uncertain familiarity meant that Lee had captured an ambiance of a certain well-known, high quality writer, but had replicated it with enough originality to create something new. I was about a quarter of the way in when I finally figured out that the storytelling reminded me of ‘American Gods,’ and after that there was a section that reminded me specifically of ‘Coraline.’ I think fans of Neil Gaiman will see his influence on Lee, and be appreciative.

Lee isn’t quite the polished storyteller that Gaiman is, but she is certainly an author to follow. I’m kind of torn about the present tense style. On the one hand, I think it’s effective, even liberating to read. But on the other hand I know the literary world is very much a creature of habit, and they often snarl with contempt at present tense and slam the cover no matter how effectively it’s used. I like that the publisher took the time to get the book a Kirkus review, but these days Kirkus doesn’t wield nearly as much clout as it used to. I wish, instead of the Kirkus review, they’d invested in a more dynamic cover.

Jean Lee is an interesting new voice, and I think ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ will be a delight to a certain category of genre readers. The writing style is dynamic and interesting, but, unfortunately, that’s the type of thing that will make it less palatable to a wider audience. Lee creates an eerie, magical ambiance, and her characters are interesting and well-developed. A small press book, ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ represents the kind of fascinating divergence from the standard media conglomerate entertainment that so many people claim they’re looking for, but so few actually endeavor to seek out. Give it a try, and leave a response, I’m curious to hear what other’s think of this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1949428001

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1949428001

Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6/

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee

Connect to Jean via her website: https://jeanleesworld.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – Waterford Castle, Romance, Great Food, Music and a few Laffs.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I have been off on a jaunt this week. As a birthday treat we went down to Waterford, which is David’s home town for a couple of days and stayed at the Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private Island.

You reach the island by a chain link ferry which only takes two minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night. We had a suite overlooking the magnificent gardens and all the rooms have wonderful features introduced over the long history of the castle. Such as this fireplace with a Wedgewood insert.

History of Wateford Castle

Throughout the centuries, the Island’s strategic location, in a pivotal position near Waterford City, brought it historical fame playing a major role in the history of the region.

From the 6th century settlement of Monks to the Vikings in the 9th – 11th Centuries. Followed by Norman Invasion of 1170 were Maurice Fitzgerald became the potentate of the Island and the Fitzgerald family legacy lasted for over 800 years.

You can download the full history of the castle
Click here to download our History brochure.

The food was wonderful and we ate in their award winning restaurant on the first night – freshly sourced produce, deliciously prepared. The service was brilliant and it was a meal to remember. We were treated to some live music in the form of a talented pianist and each course was much appreciated. Certainly a stunning venue for a Wedding.

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast (great poached eggs) in an atrium overlooking the gardens, with some of the wildlife in attendance. Including a red squirrel, unusual to find in Ireland but clearly the grey squirrels who decimated the red population have not learnt to use the ferry to get to the island. As we walked to the car park, we also encountered to deer intent of feasting on the new crocus shoots.

We spent the day touring the coast and revisiting some of David’s childhood and teen haunts as well as the cottage, right on Woodstown beach where Geoff Cronin (you might have read his memoirs here) grew up. Also Dunmore and Tramore, holiday spots in the summer when the family lived in the centre of Waterford.

That afternoon we went in to the city and checked out the regeneration that took place in the 1990s up to the present day. We had a birthday tea in The Vintage Parlour Tea Rooms and I had the best Victoria sponge I have ever eaten… with fresh cream… and David had a delicious piece of apple tart. Fortified with a couple of cups (porcelain) of tea, we explored the local estate agents with a view to moving to Waterford once we sell our house here in Wexford next spring (or sooner). Certainly Waterford is on the list of options as the city has great facilities and is close to some stunning coastline.

We ended the day with dinner at The Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant and I can highly recommend, especially the monkfish scampi starter. The  food, atmosphere and service was excellent and brought back happy memories of our years in Madrid.

If you are planning on visiting Ireland I do recommend that you put Waterford on the schedule. If you are travelling with family then I suggest you book one of their lodges which sleep six people and are self-catered, but you can still eat in the restaurant or clubhouse if you wish. There is a golf course, tennis courts and fabulous walks around the island. You are central for the coastline to the south of Wateford towards Cork, and when the new bridge is completed (the longest in Ireland) later this summer, it will be a much faster trip to Dublin.

Now time to catch up with the posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed during the week.

This week Paul Andruss shares part two of his recommendations for early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-this-week-spring-bulbs-part-two-daffodils-narcissus-jonquils/

And on the subject of food…. something from the Thai kitchen of Carol Taylor.. a three course meal that should get Valentine’s evening off to a good start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-st-valentines-day-thai-three-course-dinner/

A new series of Posts from Your Archives and to kick the series off, one of D.G. Kaye’s heartfelt and heartbreaking – Memoir Bytes where she shares her childhood memories. Details of how you can share previous articles from your archives are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-love-notes-and-other-words-by-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author Abbie Taylor who shares her inspiring story as well as some interesting responses to the questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-abbie-taylor/

Here is my response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 123

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-romance-by-sally-cronin/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction this week prompted 99 word stories on the subject of Valentines.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-flash-fiction-challenge-together-forever-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s music column, I share a song from each of the decades that I have been listening to music… and next Friday I will be sharing the requests that you shared, the songs that you felt were the most romantic.

Now time for the round up of the posts this week that you might have missed.

An extract from Tales from the Irish Garden to celebrate romance. Queen Filigree meets the roguish Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-valentines-day-story-the-magic-garden-comes-to-life-by-sally-cronin/

Last year I wrote this post for USA Today Bestselling romance author Jacquie Biggar on keeping the magic of romance alive…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/keeping-the-magic-of-romance-alive-every-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life, part two on the subject of relationships, and the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on our ability to connect as adults.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-two-adulthood-by-sally-cronin/

I reviewed two books this week.. the first being The Beast Within (Mended Souls Two) by Jacquie Biggar.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-beast-within-mended-souls-book-two-by-jacquie-biggar/

And the second book was first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-book-reviews-mystery-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-claire-fullerton-darlene-foster-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacquie-biggar-clifford-browder-and-christine-campbell/

Many foods have been labelled aphrodisiacs through history, some deservedly so…but they also tend to be highly nutritious and have a positive effect on the whole body and not just the libido.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/smorgasbord-health-column-foods-to-get-you-in-the-mood-for-st-valentines-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s chapter looks at the impact of an overgrowth of Candida Albicans on our overall health. The symptoms number around 125, and I included some of the key signs that your gut may have been compromised.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentine-special-you-knows-i-loves-you-right/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentines-day-special-and-a-parrot-with-moves/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your visits this week. Your comments and sharing on your own social media is much appreciated as always. Have a great week and hope to see you again soon.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Jacquie Biggar, Clifford Browder and Christine Campbell


Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and bookstore and the first author with a recent review is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar for Book 1 in the Wounded Souls series – Tidal Falls.

About the book

If you like Military Romance, Wounded Warrior Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Romantic Suspense, this is a sure to be a story you will love from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar.

Nick Kelley spent years working as a dog handler in the U.S. Marine Corps. His sole focus, to keep his team alive in the midst of chaos. When he fails to notice an IED in time and loses most of his teammates, Nick shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life’s worth living.

One of the recent reviews for the book

LA Bookworm 5.0 out of 5 stars NEW (TO ME) AUTHOR! January 23, 2019

What a terrific first book!!! It has all the good stuff….a heroine who is soft but kick butt, a studly former military hero, good friends for both and an ex-hubby/bad guy you love to hate. It’s not often that a first book from an author really is outstanding, but this one is. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series! (By the way, I found this author on Kindle Unlimited which has introduced me to authors I didn’t know and couldn’t afford to buy to try!)

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MS89MA6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tidal-Falls-Wounded-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00MS89MA6

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

Now a recent review for Fascinating New Yorkers: Power Freaks, Mobsters, Liberated Women, Creators, Queers and Crazies by Clifford Browder.

About Fascinating New Yorkers

A prostitute’s daughter who got to know two ex-kings and a future emperor; a cardinal archbishop known in certain circles as “Franny”; a serial killer who terrorized the city; a pioneer in female erotica who had two husbands and kept a “lie box” to keep her two lives straight – they’re all here in Clifford Browder’s collection of posts from his blog, people who, some remembered today and some forgotten, fulfilled themselves richly or horrendously in the wild and crazy city of New York. Some of these people Browder knew or encountered briefly, and some he got to know through their works. He relates surprising things about J.P. Morgan and his nose, Andy Warhol’s sex life, Nicky (Mr. Untouchable) Barnes, and Polly Adler, Queen of Tarts. Getting to know these New Yorkers, readers will be shocked or angered, puzzled or amused, but never bored.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book is my bed-time Bible, which is to say, I’m never without something fascinating to read, even when I’m between books. It’s studded with details. On every street-corner in NYC, at every intersection, numerous people lived, died, fired a gun, made love, led a march or quelled an angry mob. The buildings that do survive are silent witness. Clifford Browder brings it all home.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DQRDYPC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fascinating-New-Yorkers-Mobsters-Liberated-ebook/dp/B07DQRDYPC

A selection of other books by Clifford Browder

Read the reviews and discover all Clifford Browder’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Clifford-Browder/e/B001HOP166

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clifford-Browder/e/B001HOP166

Read more reviews and follow Clifford on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/296927.Clifford_Browder

Connect to Clifford via his blog: https://cbrowder.blogspot.com/

And the last author today with a recent review for Gold Plated is Christine Campbell

About Gold Plated

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul.

What could possibly go wrong?

When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were.

Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m not always the world’s greatest fan of writing in the first person, present tense – but for this story, where it’s particularly important to be able to identify with Rosanna and feel the impact of the events in her life, it was a perfect choice. I liked very much too the way the story was constructed – as the excitement and anticipation builds with the approach of the anniversary party, and we get to know Rosanna and her family, the story slips back to 1964 to explore their earlier lives and all the twists and turns of life that brought them to this point. The music of the time works well as a soundtrack for the optimism of youth, the attraction of the unattainable, the naive infatuation, the betrayal and reconciliation, and the sewing together of a web of secrets that has repercussions down the years.

I so don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, so I do need to be a little cagy about what happens at the party – but its impact and what follows was perhaps the part of the book I most enjoyed. The scenes on which the story turns are vividly drawn – with a cinematic quality and emotional impact that delivers a tremendous punch. And the story that follows is one that any older reader will absolutely identify with as I did, with an exceptional authenticity about the relationships, actions and depth of feeling. There were times when I found myself aching inside – but there were other points when I rejoiced over small victories and forward steps that really touched my heart.

And I really must mention one aspect that particularly struck me about the writing itself – the author’s exceptional powers of description, which transport you into the heart of the story. It creates that important difference between reading – and being at a distance from the story – and being able to feel it. Textures of fabric, the different nuances of colour, the varieties of brushstrokes, the small but significant details that bring a scene into being – this was very accomplished writing, and a joy to experience.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN/

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her blog: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

2019 – New Series of Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Memoir Bytes: – Love Notes and Other Words by D.G. Kaye


Time for a new series of Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

dgkaye

Delighted to share some posts from the archives of non-fiction author D.G. Kaye…Debby Gies. This week something very personal that shows the depth of hurt a child experiences when desperate to connect with a parent.

Childhood Scribbles by D. G. Kaye.

Vision perception - Memoirs

Whenever I’m asked when my passion for writing evolved I always remember that my journey began through writing love notes for the people I loved as far back as I can remember as soon as I learned how to write, which is stated in my bio.

As a child, I had so much love in my heart and empathy for others going as far back as I can remember. It’s rather odd when I think back to my childhood because “I love you” words weren’t familiar words in my home, leaving me feeling uncomfortable to say them. But writing from my heart to express my feelings was easy.

Memoir love notes

I Wrote:

I love my mommy and my daddy. I drew pictures of them and wrote: This is mommy and daddy.

My mother died five years ago October. When we sat ‘shiva’ in the mourning period for her at my brother’s home, my sister-in-law brought out some photos my mother kept in a worn out looking makeup case. I was still feeling a million unresolved feelings that day and wasn’t too interested in looking at them at the time. But last week I went to visit my sister-in-law and she told me she had cleared out her basement and found some photos and items I may want. I came across a few of those cards I wrote my parents along with a few of those ‘love notes’ I had written.

The notes I found had me wondering why of all the many things I’d written as a child, my mother had clung to these very few items my sister-in-law gave to me. Where were all the rest gone? And the note that moved me most was one poem my father had written to my mother. Besides how touching and beautiful that poem was, it broke my heart to read it. It had taken me back to many memories of my father asking me to help him get back together with my mother.

Memoir love not from Dad

It reads:

E – Is for you’re Everything to me

L – Is for my Love for you

I – Is for If I had you

Z – Is for Zilch when I’m without you

A – Is for I’ll Always want you

B – Is for you’re Beauty

E – Is for my never Ending want for you

T – Is for the Time I wait

H – Is for when I’ll Have you

After my tears subsided, it dawned on me that my father must have had some instinct for writing. Nobody in my family had ever displayed an interest for writing. I knew I was a blacksheep in many ways, and often wondered where my passion for writing came from. That love note was a reminder that I had inherited my compassion from my father. But did I also inherit the secret passion he had for writing?

Paper Towel Love Note Cover:

To Mommy from Debby (I love you inside the heart)

Unfolded scrap of paper towel: Inside:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar and honey are sweet

But you are the sweetest

(I love you inside the heart)

One more I found written on a piece of cardboard. This card reminded me of the numerous cards I’d written each time my parents broke up when my little heart was aching and the only wish I had in the whole world was that they’d reunite.

Memoir love not to mom

Front of card: To Mom from Debby. I love you Daddy

Back of card: I love you mom I love you dad.

Memoir love note 2

Inside that card left side: Dear mom I love you and daddy I am always going to be fair with you and daddy

Left side: hugs and kisses mom xxxxxxoooooo hugs and kisses dad xxxxxxoooooo – look on back

I remember another card I’d made during one of their separations, which I never did see again, but the memory of that card stuck with me till this day. It said:

I have a mommy and I have a daddy but I don’t have a mommy and a daddy.

I remember that card well because I was afraid to give it to my mother and had left it lying around somewhere. She eventually found it and I got slapped for writing it.

Such was my tormented childhood growing up with a mother I idolized as a young child and a father who lived apart from us more than he ever lived with us. My heart ached for my father because I had such empathy for his broken heart. As I grew into a young teen my resentments began to grow for my mother as I learned to understand her manipulations and watched the games she played on my father. My love for my father never faltered. I took care of him as a child as I did till the day he died. A heaviness in my heart that even 27 years passing never lightened.

One other sad note – my atrocious handwriting remains the same. 😊

©D.G. Kaye 2018

About D.G. Kaye

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.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for P. S. I Forgive You

The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.

A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.

The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.

I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Debby writes a monthly Travel Column for Smorgasbord and you can read her articles HERE

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for sharing this very intimate side to her relationship with her mother, and from comments and reviews of Debby’s books that I have read, it is clear that many of us have had relationships with our own mothers that were complicated.

Please share your thoughts with us. Thanks Sally.

I look forward to hearing from you with your posts from the archives.

Something to Think About – Keeping the Magic of Romance Alive Every Day by Sally Cronin


This post appeared on Jacquie Biggar’s website last year. I thought you might like to read again on this day of love and romance….

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day and I believe that romance is something that infuses every day of a relationship, but if receiving a card, or some roses, reminds someone of how much they are loved, then this is a good day.

My thanks to Jacquie for inviting me to share my views on romance. It is one of the elements of our lives which is universal, and much sort after. People often ask what the secret to a happy relationship is… darned if I know.  All I can offer you is some of the little things I have come to appreciate over the last 50 odd years of dating and relationships. Make that 55 as I had a crush on Peter Birch at primary school age ten which resulted in my first broken heart!

Because many of you who are reading this are writers, I thought you might be interested in a few statistics on the billion-dollar-a-year Romance book industry via Romance Writers

  • The annual total sales of romance novels per year is in excess of a billion dollars.
  • Romance novel share of the U.S. fiction market is 34%.
  • 82% of romance readers are women.
  • Average age is 35-39.

What interested me about these statistics is that romance is a hot ticket item. It is also evident that romantic stories are very much sought after by women, but clearly not as high on the list for men. Something that those who feel men are sometimes not as romantic as they might be, would find interesting!

Another statistic is that the average age of those seeking out romance stories is between the ages of 35-39… which begs the question… Do women in their 40s, 50s, 60s give up on romance, or they are simply not catered for by the romance writers?

Like most young girls of my generation, I was infused with the myths surrounding love and romance at an early age. Between fairy tales and my mother’s desire to make the goal of romance clear cut in my mind, I surmised that at some point a Prince Charming, on a white horse, would sweep into my life, whisk me off my feet, and we would ride off into a future of bliss, children and Happy Ever After.

I was encouraged to take the available wisdom to heart, and with hopes and dreams of my own, embarked on my own dating adventures. The trouble with ingrained expectations is that they are not always as revered by others, particularly the opposite sex.

However, after some false starts, at the age of 20, a more mature Prince Charming of 26 did arrive, in uniform and driving a classic American sports car. It seemed that expectations had been met and exceeded, and it was crowned with a spectacular wedding with matriarchal approval on both sides. We drove off into the sunset with clanging tin cans behind the steed… which proved to be tolling bells of doom!

Trouble is what you see is not always what you get! And when compounded with differing expectations of what a relationship is supposed to be, and a lack of commitment of one of the participants, things tend to fall apart. After four years, some interesting life lessons, and an expensive legal intervention which took three years, I finally managed to extricate myself with a vow to never marry again.

Then wouldn’t you know it, six months later, into my life walked a softly-spoken, unassuming guy who took me out on a date and asked me to marry him before the night was over. Five weeks later, without any ceremony, and with just our parents in attendance, we exchanged rings and our own vows.

The last 39 years have taught me that romance is not one-size fits all, is unique to two people who love each other, and is not always about red roses and chocolates.

Some of the elements that spell romance for me.

As Jeremy Taylor quoted ‘Love is Friendship set on Fire’. Of course there is that initial, and amazing firework display of hormonally induced physical attraction, which then evolves over the years into a familiarity that can still be breathtaking. However, without the essential elements of like-mindedness, shared moral code, sense of humour, and appreciation of another’s unique personality, the fire of romance slowly dies down to embers.

An analogy I often use for romance between two people, is that it is like an extended ballroom dance that flows and whirls with two partners in perfect sync. Always staying within the limits of the dance floor, allowing other styles come into play, with fiery tangos and playful sambas as the tempo of the music changes. Even when there is a momentary loss of connection, there is a coming together again, and the dance always finishes in a firm embrace.

Whilst there may be the occasional extravagant gesture when a special event warrants it, mostly it is the small things that keep romance alive and flourishing.

Red roses are wonderful, and we all love to receive a bouquet on Valentine’s Day or an anniversary. But it is the odd flower brought in from the garden and laid on a breakfast tray, a small tree planted in the garden that blossoms every spring, or the paper flower, misshapen and oddly coloured that appears by a bedside, that really help to keep romance alive.

Romance is waking up on every birthday to find cards hand-made from images of sea, sunflowers, cats and dogs, golden sunsets with handwritten verses inside that come from the heart. It is also those few minutes on your wedding anniversary when you sit silently, holding hands and remembering that special day and the people who are no longer there to share the memories with you.

True romance flourishes when you are unwell and scared and a strong hand holds yours and a voice close to your ear, tells you that it will be alright, that you are safe. It is when you suffer a loss and cry together and heal together. It is when you walk through the door and someone says, ‘hi love, how was your day?’

Romance is when the last words before you go to sleep are ‘I love you’

Romance does exist after 39 years old, whatever the statistics might say.

Romance and love go hand in hand, and as I watch very old people together, you can tell the ones who still adore and respect each other. It is easy to still see that spark and twinkle in the eyes, the small touches of a hand or brush of lint from a shoulder. That unity has been welded from years of life, laughter, sadness, joy, disappointment, excitement and love. Thousands of cups of tea, breakfasts in bed, dances in the kitchen, date nights, holding hands in the movies and vigils by a sickbed, have gone into the rich tapestry that is romance. There might be a faded red rose pressed between the pages of a diary, or a diamond ring that comes out on special occasions, but it is these small daily gestures that will have kept the romance alive and will continue to do so long after one or both of them dies.

Romance is also about the things we don’t do in a relationship.

We don’t belittle someone we love in public and then say ‘But you know I love you’.

We don’t bully them and then say we are doing it ‘Because you know I love you.’

We don’t marry who we believe is Prince Charming or the fairy princess, and then set about changing them by saying ‘You know it is because I love you.’

We don’t take the actions of those we love for granted, and saying ‘thank you’ for a meal, a wardrobe full of clean clothes or for being a great mum or dad, goes a long way to keep romance alive.

Romance is not about making someone happy or expecting them to make you happy. Your happiness is your responsibility and choice. Putting the onus for your happiness on someone else is a very quick way to lose them.

I will leave you with one of my favourite poems on romance from Elizabeth Barrett Browning courtesy of The Poem Hunter

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Most of my stories have an element of romance.. and with my latest book, I have even got a Prince Charming (the good kind).

About Tales from the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature. Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell. This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

All my books in Ebook are available: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

You can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: Goodreads

Thank you for dropping in today and even if you don’t celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, what is the most romantic gesture you have ever received?

Smorgasbord Health Column- Foods to get you in the Mood for St. Valentine’s Day by Sally Cronin


Perhaps Adam thought the apple was an aphrodisiac when he offered it to Eve and certainly the belief that foods could stimulate and arouse us to passion has been honoured by both men and women since earliest recorded time.

It is a belief that is held across every race, culture and age group, which makes for interesting research into the subject.

Foods, herbs, spices and unfortunately certain animal parts have been considered to be stimulating over the ages and I am going to focus on food and herbs that are still readily available today in our supermarkets.

The background to aphrodisiacs

Aphrodisiacs were taken in the first instance to calm anxiety and therefore improve sexual performance. Having children was considered a necessity from both a moral and a religious perspective and so being at peak fertility was considered essential for both men and women.

Aphrodisiacs are broken down into two distinct functions. Primarily they needed to be nutritional to improve fertility and performance and secondly stimulating to increase desire.

Being poorly nourished will affect semen, egg production and quality so it was considered important to eat nutritional packed foods such as seeds, roots and eggs, which were considered to contain sexual powers.

To stimulate desire it was thought that eating foods that resembled the sexual organs would produce the required result and of course there was always the hearsay element of mythology and fairy tales to establish credibility for one food or another.

Many of the foods considered by the ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman civilisations to be aphrodisiacs, are still available today, and we eat them on a regular basis.   This makes it a little difficult to determine if the rocket, pistachio nuts, carrots and basil that you eat as part of your normal diet are acting as stimulants or not.

At least most of us are no longer indulging in gladioli roots or skink lizard flesh although the French may well claim that their continued consumption of snails may have something to do with their reputation as the best lovers.

Are there foods that are more of a turn OFF than a turn ON?

Allegedly there are a few foods that may not be helping you in the romance department but there is no definitive research on the subject.

Apparently eating too many lentils, lettuce, watercress, and water lilies might affect your performance although I suspect that there are more than a few rabbits that might disagree with that belief. Also one needs to choose and prepare food that is not likely to produce wind as there is nothing more disastrous during a romantic interlude!

What are considered the most effective aphrodisiacs?

Aniseed was believed by the Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans to have very special properties and they sucked the seeds to increase desire. Aniseed was also favoured for its medicinal properties, which may explain its popularity as a sexual stimulant. It was used to reduce flatulence (not a particularly attractive condition) remove catarrh, act as a diuretic and as an aid to digestion combined with other herbs such as ginger and cumin.

One of its properties was to increase perspiration and one wonders if this additional heat was confused with an increase in desire. However if you are planning a romantic interlude avoid drinking it in tea form as it was considered a very effective insomnia cure.

Asparagus was well regarded for its phallic shape and also for particular stimulating properties. It was suggested that you fed it to your lover over a period of three days either steamed or boiled. One explanation of its supposed success is that it acts as a liver and kidney cleanser and also a diuretic. After three days it is likely that you might feel more energetic and also have lost a couple of pounds, guaranteed to give anyone a boost sexual or otherwise.

Almonds have long been considered the way to a girl’s heart in particular their aroma, which is supposed to induce passion in a female. Almonds are incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat so there is no doubt that regular consumption of these and other nuts would be likely to improve overall general health and therefore fertility. Almonds have been prepared in a number of ways over the ages but certainly the one that seems the most popular is marzipan, guaranteed to win over any sweet-toothed female, young or old. All nuts and seeds have similar nutritious content so you can lavish these on your sweetheart if you find it difficult to find Almonds.

Avocado was regarded as an aphrodisiac mainly due to its shape. The Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuati” or testicle tree and when brought to Europe the Spanish called the fruit aquacate. Apart from the shape the fruit has a sensuous smooth texture and exotic flavour that stimulates all the senses. Again including avocados in your diet several times a week will contribute to your general health as well as possibly improving your love life.

The banana has been featured several times in my blogs on healthy and medicinal foods. Obviously the shape played some part in its reputation as an aphrodisiac but it is very rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are both essential for healthy hormone production. Eating one banana is unlikely to enhance sexual performance but including them on a regular basis will certainly have you firing on all cylinders.

Cloves amongst other herbs and spices contain eugenol, which is very fragrant and aromatic. It has been used for centuries as a breath freshener, which may be hint to why in days before dental hygiene became so important eating it before a date was considered an aphrodisiac.

 

Chocolate like almonds has long been regarded as an enticement to females and contrary to popular belief; Cadburys were not the inventors of this delicious if very addictive treat. The Aztecs called it the “nourishment of the Gods” probably because of the chemicals in chocolate that stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain that produce a feel good effect. It also stimulates the production of theobromine, which is related to caffeine and would no doubt stimulate performance in other areas.

If only Adam had been better informed, he might have made a better impression!

Honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years and was considered essential as a cure for sterility and impotence. Even in medieval times less than scrupulous suitors would ply their dates with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. This was also drunk by newly-weds on their honeymoon probably acting to relax inhibitions and anxiety. Honey is wonderfully nutritious and again including it regularly in your diet is likely to improve your general state of health, which would lead to improved sexual performance.

Mace and Nutmeg contain myristicin and some compounds related to mescaline. Mescaline is found in Peyote cactus and has been used in South American and North American Indian cultures for over 2000 years as a hallucinogen. This might explain why the use of mace and nutmeg in aphrodisiac potions may have produced mild euphoria and loss of inhibitions. Hot milk and ground nutmeg has long been a night-time drink and now we know why.

Oysters were well known for their aphrodisiac qualities in Roman times and their reputation continues today. There is some reference to their likeness to female sexual organs but the main thing going for oysters is their high content of Zinc. This mineral is essential for male potency but if you do not have a balanced diet with other sources of zinc, eating a dozen oysters from time to time is unlikely to give you the desired results.

Saffron has been used since the times of the ancient Greeks where it was harvested from the wild yellow crocus, flowers. Its use has since spread throughout the world and has been used for thousands of years as a medicine and as a perfume. It is said to be an excellent aid to digestion, increases poor appetite and being antispasmodic will relieve stomach aches and tension. More recently it has been used as a drug to treat flu-like infections, depression and as a sedative. As far as being an aphrodisiac is concerned its most important property is likely to be its ability to regulate menstruation which would of course help lead to a better chance of conception. It is generally a tonic and stimulant and being very versatile can be used in many dishes regularly in your diet.

I obviously could not miss out the carrot – since it played a starring role in one of my health books. Carrots taken long term provide the body with a great source of vitamin A essential for our hormones and in men their sperm production. Hence, the title of my health book. Forget the Viagra……which is a men’s health manual and not just about aphrodisiacs!

 

There are many other foods, herbs and spices that have for one reason or another been associated with sexuality. These include liquorice, mustard, pine nuts, pineapple, strawberries, truffles, basil, garlic, ginger and vanilla.

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that if you have an excellent balanced diet with plenty of variety you will be taking in all the above nutrients on a continuous basis and that will enable you to enjoy an active and full sex life. Adding a few of the above ingredients will certainly do you no harm and who knows you may be able to prove if they really are all they are cracked up to be.

I cannot leave you today with a recipe that includes some of the above ingredients but I suggest if you are planning a St. Valentine’s Dinner for your loved one, you create a three course dinner from the above… Get creative!

Isabella’s aphrodisiac ice-cream.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup peeled and mashed rich ripe figs
1 teaspoon vanilla

To prepare

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the almonds and sauté until just golden. Remove the almonds and dry on paper towel. Put aside for later.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a stainless steel bowl, or double boiler, whisk the yolks with the sugar and salt for 3 minutes, or until pale yellow. Add hot milk slowly while whisking. Place the stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmer water and cook whisking constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from the water and stir in the chilled cream, mashed figs, vanilla, and almond extract.
  4. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, then pour into an ice cream maker or the freezer compartment of your fridge until set.

Of course there is allegedly an equally anciently revered aphrodisiac that has nothing to do with food!

Thanks to Pixabay.com for the images.

Thanks for dropping by and I wish your Valentine’s Day to be all you wish for. As always I love to receive your feedback.. Sally

©sally cronin Just Food For Health 1999 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.. or if you prefer send in an email to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Claire Fullerton, Darlene Foster and Angie Dokos


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week, for books with recent reviews. The first author is Claire Fullerton for her novel Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 18, 2019 Jaymi Couch rated it it was amazing

This book took my breath away with its beautiful and emotional story of a family living in Memphis, TN in the early 70s. Millie and her older brother Finley are inseparable and she adores him. 
On the second page we’re told something about the ending, so right away there’s tension as we watch the story unfold.


Millie has a kind of hero worship for her brother. He explains things to her, includes her, protects her and they have a close bond.


”In the dense woods surrounding our house, we built tree houses and horse corrals, just like the Cartwrights in Bonanza. We cleared the earthen floor with brooms made from twigs, and lined the boundaries with rocks we rolled heavily in to set the stage for cowboys and Indians because Finley liked creating imaginary worlds, and I never cared what we did as long as I was with him. “

The Crossan family matriarch is Posey and she is a southern girl through and through. She brings the children from Minnesota to her hometown Memphis after their dad’s drinking goes too far.


There’s no way to summarize succinctly everything that happens. We are observers as Millie and Finley grow up in the 70s in a town where image and reputation are everything. Alcoholism, mental health and religion also play a part.

The time period was captured perfectly, in all its hippie glory from the bell bottoms and drugs to the music scene. It’s southern fiction at its best – the genteel manners, the societal expectations of which schools to attend, the five o’clock mandatory cocktail hour, the “right” families, the “outsiders”, the polite denial in the face of something unpleasant – author Claire Fullerton brings the south to life in a way that reminds me of the late Pat Conroy. I was completely transported and engrossed and captivated.


”Your heart breaks only once in a lifetime. Every offense in its wake is only a variation of the original laceration.” 
This is my first 5 star book of 2019!

Read some of the other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

The next author is Darlene Foster with a recent review for Amanda In New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About the book

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

The next author with with a recent review is Angie Dokos for her first novel  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when he career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

This book is not erotica, but does have sexual content. It includes some curse words, but not many. It doesn’t have any major violence.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Caroline 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent plot and engaging writing! January 25, 2019

I was super excited to read Angie Dokos’ debut novel, and it did not disappoint. There was a genuine authenticity in the characters’ dialogue and individual personalities. In the wake of tragedy and exposed secrets, Mackenzie finds love and personal growth while maintaining a close relationship with her family. I found Mackenzie herself to be incredibly down to earth and therefore, relatable. She maintained her sense of independence while opening herself up to love. I found the supporting characters to also be well-developed. There were many, which brought a community to life. I was sad when I approached the end of the book as I felt like I was losing some of my friends. The ending was very satisfying. The conclusion to Trevor and Mackenzie’s romance was exactly what I was hoping for. A truly sentimental, heart-warming, and exciting tale. Great job Angie, I cannot wait to read more from you!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s collection… Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know #Romance author Laura M. Baird


Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream…First a little bit about Laura…

As one who grew up with a love of reading, I’ve turned that into a love of writing. And soon I hope to make that my full-time endeavor. I continue to practice dental hygiene – a career I’ve enjoyed for over 18 years.

I’ve been married twenty-eight years to my stud of a husband, and had the pleasure of raising two sons who make us proud.

Growing up on the East Coast in Florida, and after meeting my husband in Georgia while we both served in the U. S. Army, we call the West our home. After living in Idaho for many years, where hubby is from, Washington State is where we now reside. Traveling is a dream for us, as we have passports just waiting for stamps from Canada, Scotland, New Zealand, and Fiji!

Besides reading and writing, I enjoy music and movies, art and tattoos [both admiring as well as personally getting], staying active, watching football [NFL and Boise State], dark chocolate, and stalking my favorite authors on social media. To give you insight as to who I read and what I enjoy, here is just a sample of my favorites… Nora Roberts, Donna Grant, Laura Kaye, Laura Griffin, Laura Drewry, Robyn Peterman, Darynda Jones, Rachel Grant, Toni Anderson, Rebecca Zanetti, Elisabeth Naughton, Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick), Kerrigan Byrne, Cynthia St. Aubin, Tiffinie Helmer, Cindy Stark, R. L. Merrill, Ellay Branton, Sabrina York, Marlo Lanz, Rayanne Haines, Jasmine Silvera, Anna Alexander, Dania Voss, Lynn Burke, Anna Durand…Like I said, just a sample 😉

I write in many sub-genres of romance: contemporary, suspense, comedy, and erotic.

Before we look at some of Laura’s books, here are the questions that she has selected to answer.

Welcome to Smorgasbord Laura and can you describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had?

I’ve had MANY strange and vivid dreams since childhood; I could probably write dozens of novels from them. One in particular was extremely vivid and realistic, and as soon as I woke, I started scrawling what I remembered in the notebook I keep by my bedside. (Yes, I do that! Everyone should!) This was the impression I was left with from the dream: She wandered the halls aimlessly, knowing there was a purpose to her presence. But what? For the life of her, she couldn’t say, but a feeling she couldn’t ignore tugged at her subconscious – protection.

She was supposed to protect someone. Who? Why? And certainly, how? She was one person, and a normal one at that. But what was normal anymore? She had no special skills; unless you considered compassion a skill in this world turned cold and impersonal. She had no training in anything remotely associated with fighting or weaponry. Could intellect be her weapon? Or her shield? And how was she supposed to know this mysterious person? Would an incident occur prompting her to step in? Would someone cry out for help leaving her no choice but to act? Having no destination in mind, she stalled in an alcove, wondering what to do. Soft footfalls sounded to her right, and as she gazed in anticipation, a young man – a boy really – strolled by with not a care in the world. He smiled at her as if he knew she’d be standing right there. Behind the flash of his brilliant teeth, the gentle expression and softening of his eyes sent a jolt of awareness through her. He’s the one! – At some point, I know this will be incorporated into a story.

Do you prefer the big city or country life?

Definitely country life. I grew up in a small(ish) town, visited several big cities such as New York and Boston, and while I love to explore new places and see the eclectic offerings a city has, I love the feel of a small town and what the country has to offer. Early in my marriage, we lived in a town of about three thousand. The familiarity you gain with the people, waving to everyone because you know them is a comforting feeling. Everyone pretty much knows everyone.

And while that’s both good and bad, I like that most people could be counted on to help others. We were surrounded by foothills that were fun to explore, as well as a river that provided tubing, boating, and a few beaches to take the kids. Nature was at your backdoor, offering quiet and solitude, room to roam. We currently live a bit out of town on five acres, and it never gets tiring seeing deer, rabbits, elk, and a plethora of birds grace our yard.

If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?

While pursuing my writing, I’ve been working as a dental hygienist for over eighteen years. But if I could do anything else, it would be to own and operate an animal sanctuary. I love dogs the most, but I’d be willing to take in any creature in need. That, of course, would mean employing people who knew how to properly care for an assortment of creatures, and that would also mean extensive income to provide for them. So if funds were unlimited, I’d be set!

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, and hate to see any animal in distress. There are too many discarded pets and other creatures that need a place, plenty of room; those that for one reason or another either aren’t wanted or cannot return to live in the wild.

And while I understand the idea of zoos, it still troubles me to see restless animals behind bars, glass, and netting. I’m also an idealist, yet know the only way for some animals to survive and not reach extinction is to be raised in captivity. As sad as that may seem, is it better for them to have that life than no life at all? …and I’m getting all philosophical. So back to the positive, I’d love to give animals a place when they have no other place to go.

Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?

Among my many loves is music; many genres. During childhood I played the piano, cornet (small version of a trumpet), bells, and “dabbled” with percussion, flute, and saxophone. A few years ago, hubby and I tried teaching ourselves to play acoustic guitar. Sadly, I didn’t maintain any of these practices. I donated my cornet to the high school band, and the guitar sits prettily by my bedside. While I’d love to say I’ll try again with any of these instruments, the fact is I’ll only think of them while I listen to music. Work and writing take up much of my time, and when not doing those, I’m trying to enjoy time with hubby or read a good book. Could I become disciplined enough to try again? Probably, but time is precious, and I enjoy writing too much. As for singing in public, I tried Karaoke once, had fun, and would love to sing more.

But if duets with hubby on car rides and impromptu concerts in our living room counts, then I’m definitely singing more. I would love to have the courage to sing our national anthem at one of our local ball games, but know the stress would work on me and I’d be that person that flubbed the lyrics. Therefore, I won’t dishonor that song, but I’ll sing along in the privacy of my home when it’s played on TV.

Sally here: Since Laura loves animals and singing in the car… I thought this video might inspire her to go public.

Do you have any tattoos and if so, where?

I developed an early fascination with tattoos, thinking beautiful artwork on a body was marvelous. It wasn’t until I was twenty-nine that I got my first, a cross and rose on my left shoulder, and thought, “What the heck was I thinking?! This hurts like #&*@!” Well, it didn’t stop me from getting more, and learning that different areas of the body feel much better to have tattooed. I currently have my left arm covered in a sleeve with images that reflect myself and my family: my father’s name surrounded by a heart and angel wings, along with a sand dollar and conch shell; a rose and three buds, for my mom, whose middle name is Rose, and my three siblings.

I have a fairy sitting on books, a daffodil, my birthday month flower, along with an orange blossom and Syringa, representing Florida and Idaho, where I spent most of my years. I also have a Celtic knot surrounding a heart, along with the Celtic zodiac symbols for my husband and two sons. My upper right arm has a tattoo that reflects my love of my Scottish heritage, along with a cutesy bee with a crown, as my hubby calls me his Queen Bee. On my lower right leg I have the start of my fantasy creatures with another fairy and unicorn. I’d love to get more, but my money goes to other priorities; namely promotion for my writing! 😉

Let’s have a look at Laura’s books starting with her latest book – In His Sights ( Shifter Clans Book 1)

About the book

Intelligence analyst Charity Masters is raising her niece after the death of her brother. If that isn’t enough to up-end her world, she’s pulled into a government project involving shifters, and a handsome distraction in the form of tempting hawk shifter, Mason. Although her strong personality has kept men at a distance, will she allow Mason close enough to appreciate the woman inside?

As clan leader of his Native American tribe, Mason Wegi wants to ensure their relationship with the government remains beneficial but well-contained. While focusing on a project involving human and shifter DNA experimentation, not only will he have to safeguard his people, but that of the alluring and willful beauty, Charity.

Will two people from different worlds come together for their happily-ever-after?

An early review for the book.

LAS Reviewer Good Reading January 31, 2019

Charity’s life had undergone a complete change when her brother died unexpectedly in a car crash, leaving Charity with guardianship of her six year old neice. Moving from DC to a small town in Arizona Charity is determined to give everything – including all her time – to Leah and make the small girls life as normal as possible. Mason loved the freedom being a hawk-shifter gave him. After noticing Charity, Mason had been learning everything he could about her. He was surprised to discover she was the sister of a man Mason and his team had been working with. With more questions than answers, both Charity and Mason discover they need to work together to try and uncover the truth.

I found this to be an interesting and well plotted story. There was quite a bit of information in the first part of the book, which I honestly thought was handled in a good way. While the author came close to some info-dumping I genuinely couldn’t see where it could have been pared back to keep the pace of the story moving faster. I personally felt that the background on Charity and how she found herself in the middle of Arizona with a new life and her young niece was important for the context of the story. Also – the history behind Mason – both his gifts, the shifter world he lived in and the unusual circumstances surrounding the work he was a part of – all was central to the main plot and the reader had quite a bit of background/information to catch up on. Thankfully, for my tastes, the author kept my interest with this transfer of information and helped me understand the situation – not just wanting to skim past it and get into the real meat of the story. I’m uncertain if other readers will feel the same with this, but I personally thought it was handled well

The mystery aspect of this plot – what, exactly, is being conducted in the research laboratory and the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the “accidental” death of Charity’s brother – are very strongly in the forefront of much of this book. Indeed, while I enjoyed the mutual attraction and chemistry between Mason and Charity throughout the book, a part of me wondered at times whether this might be a paranormal mystery book with a bit of romance, rather than an erotic romance book with a bit of a mystery in it. Particularly for the first half of the story I feel that the mystery and plot aspects certainly are on centre stage, with the romance, relationship building and other aspects of Charity and Mason’s growing connection taking a back seat. I’m uncertain this will appeal to readers looking for a strongly explicit, heavily erotic story. That said, Charity and Mason finally get their romantic relationship moving forward – both in the bedroom and out of it – in the last third or so of the story. When they do finally get there, I was pleased that Mason and Charity were as compatible inside the bedroom as outside.

With a very strong and wonderfully complex plot as well as a number of interesting and well-written characters I feel this is a very strong first book in the series. Readers who enjoy a complex mystery plot and a different sort of shifter story should find this book as enjoyable as I did.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M62K32V

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/His-Sights-Shifter-Clans-Book-ebook/dp/B07M62K32V

A selection of other books by Laura M. Baird

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-M.-Baird/e/B0745JY9CF

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laura-M.-Baird/e/B0745JY9CF

Read more reviews and follow Laura on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17049270.Laura_M_Baird

Connect to Laura

Website: https://www.laurambairdauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraMBaird
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraMBairdauthor/
Other online bookstores: https://www.laurambairdauthor.com/books.html

Thanks for popping in today and I know that Laura would love to hear from you and answer any questions. thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Miriam Hurdle, Linda G. Hill and Mark D. Giglio


Welcome to the Friday author update for books on the shelves of the Cafe. The first book today to receive a recent review is Miriam Hurdle for her collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

“Songs of Heartstrings – Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” is a most enjoyable book of poetry. Told in the first person, Miriam Hurdle takes you along on her many journeys, in the ups and downs, of life. I particularly enjoyed the photos, placed before many of the poems. It brought me closer to what Miriam was relaying in her words.

My favorite poem is “Life’s Currents”. Here, the author reminds us we are never alone, no matter the hardships we might face in our time here on Earth. There is no doubt Miriam has a strong faith and relies on it for many of life’s obstacles.

The book is broken up into eight different sections, making it a very pleasant read. Miriam uses different styles of poetry, so you’re never just reading. She easily gets and keeps your attention throughout. If you are looking for a poetry book filled with inspiration, and thought provoking passages, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this to any and every one, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Songs of Heartstrings – Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude”.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam via her website: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

The next recent review is for award- winning author Linda G. Hill, and her modern-day Gothic romance series, The Magician’s Blood: A Paranormal Romance- The Great Dagmaru Book Two.

About the Magician’s Blood

Herman Anderson is in love. Thrilled to travel across Canada with her boyfriend as his assistant onstage, she returns to her hometown—the first stop on the Great Dagmaru magic tour. Anticipating a reunion with her brother, instead she finds her family has moved without a trace.

Stephen Dagmar’s career as a stage magician is taking off. With Herman by his side, his only concern is her father’s dislike for him. But as Herman’s father makes a prediction and resolves to come between them, Stephen’s family curse returns to haunt him.

Darkness descends as the reality of the Dagmar’s incubus bloodline surfaces for the first time in over a generation. Can Herman and Stephen’s relationship survive this new trial? Will Herman survive at all?

A sinful tale of beauty and romance, love and determination, The Magician’s Blood will chill you and leave you breathless for more. *18+ Contains explicit scenes.

One of the reviews for the book

Linda Hill has a way with words! I was consumed by the plot and the story-telling, and enjoyed its pace so much that I had trouble putting it down when it was time to sleep. Linda Hill has set very high standards for herself, and I look forward to reading more from this author! Highly entertaining!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FKZMVLS/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magicians-Blood-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B07FKZMVLS/

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0/

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Connect to Linda via her blog: https://lindaghill.com

The final author today with a recent review is Mark D. Giglio for Alchemist Gift (Alchemist Series Book 1)

About The Alchemist Gift.

Time travel to the age of alchemy.

The life of grad student Roland Hughes changes when he cheats on his long-term girlfriend Liz. Soon after, specters of Renaissance men and women pull him back to a time of witchcraft, magic and curses.

Roland pays dearly for his fling, and desperately wishes for another chance. The cosmos hears and delivers him – with the help of the enchanted Alchemist Cabinet – to a new life and time.

But will he redeem himself, or chase the same temptations?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Marilyn J. Collier 5.0 out of 5 starsTime Travel February 2, 2019

You start in the 14th century, then pop to the 21st century with Roland and Liz. Their romance is on hold while Roland tries to get his studies in order. Liz has the high powered job and an attentive married boss. Then you’re back in the 14th century with witchcraft and miracles and, of course, the bad apples in the Catholic church hunting for the witches, a tad futile with the first group miraculously rescued by the wood from an old apple orchard. The wood is as much a part of the unfolding drama as the characters involved for it becomes the Alchemists chest that transcends time. Roland stumbles onto the chest and looks in one of the drawers. There is a folded paper with his name and several thousand dollars. This gives him the wherewithal to purchase said chest. His romance with Liz seems nowhere and he examines the chest in his rented, dingy rooms. Something explodes and he winds up in the 14th century almost in the arms of Sofia, the daughter of the cabinet maker. She has been raised by the man known to have dabbled in the art of alchemy while at this studies. He is now mostly bedridden. Roland is not able to remember his past life and develops a strong attachment to the two. The countryside is besieged by the Protestant forces from the North. The local duke is allied with the Catholics and he too has an adopted daughter. His abuse of her has stirred her into a plot or revenge. A chance meeting of Roland while the Duke’s soldiers make off with a number of orphans to sell to a slave market, causes her and Roland to strike a deal for gold through the process of alchemy. Will the scheme work? How will Roland, Sofia, and Liz all resolve the missing parts of their lives will be found within the tale.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O4C5230

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alchemist-Gift-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00O4C5230

Also by Mark D. Giglio

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mark-D.-Giglio/e/B00NID9AAW

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-D.-Giglio/e/B00NID9AAW

Read more reviews and follow Mark on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7936157.Mark_Giglio

You can also find other books and Mark’s short stories individually on Smashwords and here is a selection

Discover all the books and buy: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MarkGiglio

Connect to Mark via his website: http://www.alchemistgift.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two…thanks Sally.