Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Celebrity Corgi Romance Series – Charming the Chef: Sweet Promises – C.A. Phipps


Delighted to welcome USA Today bestselling romance author C.A. Phipps to the Cafe and Bookstore with the fourth book in her Celebrity Corgi Romance Series – Charming the Chef: Sweet Promises, released on August 2nd 2019.

About the book

Culinary student Lyra St. Claire can’t believe her luck when she becomes the face of America’s hottest new cooking show and an overnight sensation. For now, she’s loving the lime light and with her faithful corgi, Cinnamon, by her side she knows she’s on the cusp of achieving everything she’s ever dreamed of.

Kaden Hunter trained side-by-side with Lyra. While they once had a rock-solid friendship, he found himself left behind when she became a household name. Now, rising from the ashes of their one-time friendship, he’s determined to make it big—no golden ticket required.

When Lyra’s newest contract forces her to face her former friend turned rival, she can see all of her dreams burning up right before her. Can she and Kaden move past the bitter taste of their ruined friendship? And could the heat in the kitchen lead to something even more?

Each Celebrity Corgi Romance stands alone, but they’re definitely more fun if you read the whole series together. Get your copy of Charming the Chef and book your romantic escape today!

One of the early reviews for the book

Charming the Chef is another wonderful book in the Celebrity Corgi series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Lyra St. Claire is a celebrity chef who has her own television show, A Lesson with Lyra and she has her own restaurant, La Joliesse in LA. She also has a cute corgi named Cinnamon.

Sexy Kaden Hunter studied with Lyra for three years when they were in culinary school together and dreaming about their future restaurants. They have not really talked since Lyra left Portland for LA until she ends up stopping in to eat at his restaurant in Portland before she returns to LA.

This book was so full of interesting characters, a cute corgi and a mystery to solve too. I also liked that one of the characters from the first book in the series had a small part in this story too. Great suspense to keep you reading although I do wonder what happened after the story ended. I received an advance copy of this book and I willingly chose to write an honest review. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VBGKSQH

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VBGKSQH

Charming the Chef by C.A. Phipps is one of a four book box set published by Celebrity Corgi Romances an the set can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W4CWZB2

A selection of other booksby C.A. Phipps

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C-A-Phipps/e/B07D96GWWZ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C-A-Phipps/e/B07D96GWWZ

Read more reviews and follow C.A. Phipps on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18056267.C_A_Phipps

About C.A. Phipps

C. A. Phipps is a USA Today best-selling romance author from beautiful Auckland, New Zealand.

Cheryl loves a good mystery filled with feisty heroines and wonderful small towns with heart-warming tales of strong family ties mixed in with a little romance and humor.

She lives in a quiet suburb of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, with her wonderful husband, whom she married the moment she left school (yes, they were high school sweethearts).
A lover of animals, with a few children, and even more grandchildren, who keep her young, she loves family times, dining out, and travel, in that order.

Connect to C.A. Phipps

Website: http://caphipps.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcaphipps
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylAPhipps

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if your could spread the word of the release of Charming the Chef: Sweet Promises. Thanks Sally.

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jeanine Lunsford, Marcia Meara, Judy Penz Sheluk


Welcome to the second of the update posts this week for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author is Jeanine Lunsford for her book Remembering First Love (The Rivera Sisters Series Book One)

About the book

20-year-old Carina Rivera is a prodigal daughter on her way back to her childhood relationship with God when she falls into the seductive trap set for her by her handsome supervisor, Aaron Mendoza.

“Remembering First Love” the first in the Rivera Sisters Series, takes the reader into Carina Rivera’s struggle to clean up the reputation she has acquired during her teen years as the “Bad Rivera sister”. Carina’s hopes of turning a new leaf are shattered when her mother loses her job and Carina becomes the sole breadwinner for her family.

When Carina is introduced to Aaron Mendoza, her handsome supervisor at the garment factory, she is captivated by his amazing looks and dreams of finding a meaningful relationship with him. But Aaron has a different kind of plan for Carina–a plan to lure her into his web of seduction.

Will Aaron’s allure continue to hold Carina captive or will God’s Hand of Providence and the prayers of her family help her escape from the dark shadows of Aaron’s world?

One of the recent reviews for Remembering First Love August 5th 2019

Remembering First Love is a charming faith based romance novel. Carina Rivera is 20 year-old single Cuban woman of faith living in southern Florida. She could be described as wayward, but contrite. On the day of her beloved older sister’s wedding Carina vows to return to God and correct her path. Due to some poor decisions within her control and some unfortunate incidents out of her control, Carina struggles with feeling of self-worth. Will she be able to repair her besmirched reputation? Will a handsome man’s inappropriate intentions sway Carina or will the pull of God’s love be enough to rescue her?

Jeanine Lunsford has written a truly inspiring novel. Carina is relatable in her imperfection. She falls for her supervisor and quickly finds herself in a compromised situation. It doesn’t take long for Carina to discover Aaron’s violent tendencies or his penchant for young attractive women. The story deals with her feelings of guilt balanced with mercy from above. The book also considers the long lasting consequences of child abuse. Although the dialogue feels forced at times, the transformation Carina makes is motivating. Christian readers will relate to the struggles of a modern day woman trying to retain chastity until marriage. Remembering First Love is a steamy novel that pushes the envelope. The drama will leave you breathless and aching for more!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Remembering-First-Love-Rivera-Sisters-ebook/dp/B07KRMNQD9

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Remembering-First-Love-Rivera-Sisters-ebook/dp/B07KRMNQD9

Also by Jeanine Lunsford

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jeanine-Lunsford/e/B07KV4S1QH

And on Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jeanine-Lunsford/e/B07KV4S1QH

And read more reviews and follow Jeanine on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18646293.Jeanine_Lunsford

Connect to Jeanine via her website: https://www.jeaninelunsford.com

The next author with a new review is Marcia Meara for The Emissary – A Riverbend Spinoff Novella which follows the story of a previous character in the series.

About The Emissary

Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jun 24, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it five stars

A delightful little book. The writing is clear and to the point with excellent dialogue that pulls you into the story. The characters are real and you care about them. I love the idea of a sort of angel, or angel’s helper, who drives a semi. Very clever. There is enough action to keep the story moving along. I’m pleased there are more books in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Emissary-Riverbend-Spinoff-Novella-ebook/dp/B075Y2T3CL

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emissary-Riverbend-Spinoff-Novella-ebook/dp/B075Y2T3CL/

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

Connect to Marcia via her website: http://marciamearawrites.com/

The final author with a recent review is Judy Penz Sheluk for Past and Present

About the book

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.
It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

As it happens, I read book one (audio!), but long enough ago I was gratified to find that any references to the past were adequate to the instant plot, making each a standalone. In this tale, our intrepid heroine Calamity sells her house and buys another, and then starts a new business. Sudden deja vu to Judy Garland’s “I have a barn; let’s put on a show!” as various characters are swept in to lend their talents to a new investigative service. But then the first case comes along and serious hard work and research are highlighted with flashes of psi concepts and tarot reading which seem to guide the discoveries. The characters are largely likable with hiss-worthy villains to keep it balanced and I enjoyed the journey and look forward to the next case (hinted at but not a cliffhanger).

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook-dp-B07FYZ6HPF/dp/B07FYZ6HPF

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook/dp/B07FYZ6HPF

A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk

Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

Connect to Judy via her blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arms… Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #Poetry – The Fisherman by L.T. Garvin


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. The next guest in the series has shared post on the blog before, but of course this time I get to do the choosing. For L.T. Garvin’s third post, I have chosen a poem that I am sure you will enjoy too.

Image Pixabay.com

The Fisherman by L.T. Garvin

The fisherman is
sun happy
today
and lake loopy
He loaded his plastic
container full of
black earth and
slithering night crawlers
Balanced in his
patchwork boat
hull and spar built
casting rod,
dropping lines
fish haul for a
fish fry
greasy spoons for
the wild-eyed
But alas,
not today
fish won’t bite
lake won’t pay
but our fisherman dear
hugs his gear
and gleefully glances
o’er the glassy lake

©L.T. Garvin 2017

About L.T. Garvin

L.T. Garvin is a huge fiction fan and literature lover. She enjoys writing fiction, short stories, and attempts at poetry. L.T. has a particular fondness for Southern literature possibly because they have such good food and bigger than life stories in the South.

She currently has three books available, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete, a humorous children’s book about a boy named Nathan and his exuberant experiences in school and sports. Another children’s book, Animals Galore explores unique animals and their antics. A novel, Dancing with the Sandman, is suitable for all age groups and takes readers on time travel journey back to the 1960s. L.T. Garvin maintains a WordPress site where she shares fiction, poetry, and humorous essays

Books by L.T. Garvin

About Dancing with the Sandman

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
***
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.
A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

One of the reviews for the book

The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.

Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.

Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.

And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DP2VJ8S

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancing-Sandman-L-T-Garvin-ebook/dp/B07DP2VJ8S

Also by L.T. Garvin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

Read other reviews and follow L.T. Garvin on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579153.L_T_Garvin

Connect to L.T. Garvin

Website: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/welcome/
Books: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/books/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LT-Garvin-791835704234435/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LanaBroussard

My thanks to Lana for allowing me to share from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy exploring more. Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves – Pre-Order for August 25th – Fallout: Are You Safe? – Harmony Kent


Delighted to welcome Harmony Kent to the shelves of the bookstore with her new release on pre-order for August 25th. Fallout: Are You Safe?

About Fallout

WHEN EVERYTHING FALLS APART, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The year is 3040.

The location is Exxon 1, part of a six-planet system in settled space.

Determined to avoid the mistakes of old Earth, the surviving humans avoided democracy and opted, instead, for a non-elective totalitarian system.

The new way worked well, until now.

A crazy, despotic president releases a nano-virus on the population.

No one was ready for the fallout. It came anyway.

In this post-apocalyptic world, can you stay safe?

One of several  advance reviews on Goodreads

Jul 30, 2019 Staci Troilo rated it Five Stars

The Title Says it All; There’s Fallout!

I’ve been in sci-fi mode recently, and Fallout caught my attention. I’ve enjoyed other works by this author and was eager to give this story a try.

This story reminded me of a space-version of The Casual Vacancy—political power is up for grabs and everyone is keeping secrets. The duplicity is multi-layered and deliciously dark. Every time I thought someone had hit rock bottom, I was surprised to find another twist.

Exxon 1 is part futuristic, part dystopian, and all fascinating. The author created a world of advanced technology, tragic consequences, and complex subterfuge that kept me wondering until the very end.

If you like dark, dangerous, and a little bit demented, this is the novel for you.

Head over to Pre-order the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07S6PJ3L2

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S6PJ3L2

or Universal Link: : mybook.to/FALLOUT

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harmony-Kent/e/B00CO0AR7U

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Harmony-Kent/e/B00CO0AR7U

Read more reviews and follow Harmony on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7086026.Harmony_Kent

About Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Connect to Harmony

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news about Harmony’s new book.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves – #Poetry – Moments We Love – Balroop Singh


Delighted to feature the latest poetry collection from Balroop Singh, Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

An extract from an early review by author Robbie Cheadle August 10th

Moments we love is a delightful book filled with poems about all the the moments in our lives that make us the people we are and give our lives meaning. Often these moments are lovely ones, memorable due to this happiness, but others are darker, and are those moments that shape our characters and test our strength and endurance.

This book is divided into three sections as follows:

Moments of Love which features poems that mark the passage of love from youthful, young love to more mature love, memories of love, forbidden love and even the demise of love.

These two short extracts illustrate the fascinating range of the poet’s expression:

From First Love

“Like a blooming bud
First love beams bright
Brings distinct delight
Lights up our life”

From Rift
“We just counted our flaws
And laughed together
When did it become a fissure?
Wide enough to devour us!”

Read the rest of the review on Robbie Cheadle’s blog: Balroop Singh Review

Head over to buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

I hope you will head over and check out Balroop’s new collection.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for one of her recent short story releases Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide.

About Voodoo or Destiny

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

One of the recent reviews

M. Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Short Story July 23, 2019

This was a fantastic short story! It made me want more after that last page, but it also left it open for the reader to create their own outcome. There was suspense and even a little humor. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by Voodoo, so I was excited to read this story, wondering how involved it would get. It was better than I imagined! A lot of research and time went into this story. The author even mentioned one of the well-known Voodoo Queens of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. This earned major brownie points because she was always one of the main reasons I wanted to visit NOLA.

Overall, the writing was flawless, and the story flowed as it should. I have other works by this author on my Kindle and can’t wait to dive into the next!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TMQJKSS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Destiny-Decide-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07TMQJKSS

A selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next author with a review to showcase is M.J. Mallon for The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

For lovers of fantasy with supernatural characters, in surprising settings.

A fantastic encounter with a strong character, teenager Amelina, a character that draws you into the story. She is courageous and resourceful and proves herself able to see past the obvious to find answers and solutions to the problems those dear to her heart are suddenly facing. And does this in a supernatural way.

I enjoyed the poetry that opens each chapter.

Young adults who enjoy fantasy stories with supernatural characters, in surprising settings will love this book.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The final author today with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing.

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

How Dare the Birds Sing – indeed, how dare they? The extent to which man can be cruel to his fellow man never ceases to amaze me, as does the distance people will go to survive in the face of unspeakable cruelty. As a teenager, Lyuba and her best friend Natasha meet two student pilots. Stepan is Russian while Günter is German, studying in the Soviet school. It’s 1933 and Germany and the Soviet Union are on good terms, after all. Long story short, Günter has to return to Germany and everyone who has known him is under a cloud of potential espionage. Stepan, by then a Hero of the Soviet Union, has a privileged status. Turning his back on Natasha, he forces Lyuba into marriage, in significant part to protect Lyuba and her mother.

Then Germany and the Soviet Union have a falling-out and war comes. Lyuba, her mother and adopted daughter are on their way to join Stepan when the Germans attack. Lyuba is spared by a fluke. From there, the war takes charge of her life. Brief instances of happiness punctuate major periods of horrible danger, misery and even virtual torture.

Still the birds sing.

When the war finally ends and Lyuba is free to return home, her first objective is to find Natasha. Suffice it to say that Natasha’s war wasn’t Lyuba’s, and when Lyuba leaves the town where Natasha had lived, she sets out with Natasha’s daughter. Arriving in her home town, she finds her home still untouched and with several years’ accumulation of mail. Stepan’s letters are a cruel punctuation to her own journey, but she has the little girl, who finally calls Lyuba ‘Mama.’

Fifteen years later … you’ll have to read it to find out what happens then and has happened in the interim. It’s a compelling read, although it’s emotionally difficult. A fabulous book, overall. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N2BDF9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dare-Birds-Sing-Book-Love-ebook/dp/B07N2BDF91

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457862-the-cruel-romance

Connect to Marina via her website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. .thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up.. Travel Safe, Chicken Kiev, Classic Italian Rock Legends and all that Jazz


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are all well and thank you for dropping in to see me this week, and as always it is much appreciated. Nothing much to report on a personal level as the week has flown by and the weather has not been very conducive to being out in the garden.

There are however some upcoming events on the blog. Next Sunday 18th August I will be posting about the new Sunday author interview. This time it is specifically for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, as my intention over the next few months is to ramp up the book promotions. The Cafe and Bookstore has around 150 authors at any given time whose books are receiving reviews or they have a new release in the last six months.

I would like to give those authors another opportunity for promotion with an interview – answering five questions from a selection of twenty.. and excerpt from the book they wish to promote.  Please drop in next Sunday to find out all the details.

I am also putting together the next Archive post series. This time it will be for authors who have only been blogging in the last 12 months. An opportunity to give new bloggers a boost and to welcome them to our community. It can be tough going those first few months and I would love to share the amazing posts that should have a wider audience.

This week sees the end of the serialisation of Tales from the Irish Garden and I am delighted at the lovely comments it has received. Next week I am starting a new book that has not been shared since 2016. Just an Odd Job Girl.. I know that many of you read the first time around, but I am hoping that new readers of the blog will enjoy.

Time to get on with the posts from the week… and as always my thanks to the contributors who spend time and effort to write such interesting and informative post.

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies reminds us that preparation is key if you want to have a safe and secure holiday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/posts-from-my-archives-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-preparing-for-a-safe-trip/

If you enjoy chicken to delicious recipes for you.. and for dessert lovers.. apple and mulberry crumble.. Courtesy of Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-chicken-kiev-multi-coloured-chicken-breast-and-apple-and-mulberry-crumble/

A wonderfully simple but flavour packed Italian classic from Silvia Todesco.. Summer Fresh Tomoto Fettuccine…

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-fresh-tomato-fettuccine-bring-on-the-tomato-bounty/

This week author Karen DeMers Dowdall shares her very special gift.. a sixth sense that is highly developed.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-my-sixth-sense-by-karen-demers-dowdall/

Those of us who have books available on Amazon and other online book sites, particularly ebooks are also vulnerable to pirates, and Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye, shares an interesting possible action we are taking to enable this. Felony or Flattery? #Copyright Infringement and Content Scraping by D.G. Kaye

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-reblog-felony-or-flattery-copyright-infringement-and-content-scraping-by-d-g-kaye/

Some rock ‘n’ roll this week to get your feet tapping. Status Quo, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and Eric Clapton and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-get-your-rock-n-roll-boots-on-with-my-top-five-picks/

This week in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 139 being the first challenge of the month, is for the poet to choose their own words. I hope you will enjoy my double etheree…A Dog’s Life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-double-etheree-a-dogs-life-by-sally-cronin/

The last two chapters for Tales from the Irish Garden this weekend… Queen Filigree is delighted to announce the betrothals of both her daughters and accept the gifts that are offered by their future husbands… Plus concerns about her health are getting the court into a bit of a lather.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-winter-chapter-betrothals-and-surprises-by-sally-cronin/

The final chapter of Tales from the Irish Garden… the court’s first Christmas in their new home and an announcement from Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/tales-from-the-irish-garden-winter-chapter-twenty-one-the-first-christmas-by-sally-cronin/

Another wonderful tale of dog sitting from Debbie the Doglady.. This week meet a Dalmatian with a wonderful nature.. JJ.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-dogsitting-chapter-two-j-j-the-dalmation-by-debbie-the-dog-lady/

This is the second post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives. Due to the number of photographs I suggest that you head over to the blog to view them all.. Olympic National Park

View of Lake Quinault from our campsite, Willa Campground Olympic National Forest

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-olympic-national-park-part-1-quinault-hoh-rainforests-by-marsi/

A little retro summer magic from 2016 for L.T. Garvin’s second post.. and a little rock music. Summertime, Gnomes and Rock Music (2016) by L.T. Garvin

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-pot-luck-summertime-gnomes-and-rock-music-2016-by-l-t-garvin/

This is the second post from the archives of Claire Fullerton, and this week a birthday celebration for renowned author Pat Conroy. An event over several days that clearly was a highlight for Claire. Notes on Pat Conroy’s 70th Birthday Celebration in Beaufort, South Carolina (2015)

Notes on Pat Conroy’s 70th Birthday Celebration in Beaufort, South Carolina

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-notes-on-pat-conroys-70th-birthday-celebration-in-beaufort-south-carolina-2015-by-claire-fullerton/

This is the second post from the archives of Smitha Vishwanath who shares poetry, wonderful travel posts and life experiences on her blog. I have selected this poem as it brought back memories of all the times I have stood behind a podium to give a presentation or speech…The Speaker’s Ordeal…by Smitha Vishwanath

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-speakers-ordealby-smitha-vishwanath/

This is the second post from author K.D.(Karen DeMers) Dowdall’s archives and she also has some news, with The Captain’s Witch, her latest book being released on September 1st…A short story, that might have its roots in truth… anyone’s worst nightmare when walking in the woods. Fire in the Sky or The Black Bear and Me (2017) by Karen DeMers Dowdall

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-fire-in-the-sky-or-the-black-bear-and-me-2017-by-karen-demers-dowdall/

This is the third post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. Today the joys of being a kindergarten teacher…. things I am sure they don’t share during the career advisory days at secondary school when you are faced with so many options! Kindergarten Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 2015 by Ritu Bhathal

weeeeee

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-kindergarten-weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-2015-by-ritu-bhathal/

This is the third post from the archives of author Elizabeth Gauffreau who has some wonderful posts, including an interesting look at her genealogy journey, seeking out her family history. This week a post by William Wordsworth, which reminds us of those moments when life or nature takes us by delightful surprise. Poetry – Surprised by Joy”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-surprised-by-joy-2018-by-elizabeth-gauffreau/

This is the third post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. This week a poem about a much loved old friend. Fred’s Legacy by Cathy Cade.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-humour-freds-legacy-by-cathy-cade/

This is the third post for author Chuck Jackson and this week I have selected a post that Chuck wrote about editing software that I am sure you will find helpful if you are looking to buy a package. Do you use Editing Software

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-editin-do-you-use-editing-software-by-chuck-jackson/

This is the third of the posts from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. This week a post from 2017 on the subject of fascinating and mostly long forgotten words… some I must really work into both conversation and story..thanks Joy. The Phrontistery revisited (2017) by Joy Lennick

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-phrontistery-revisited-2017-by-joy-lennick/

Linda Bethea is a regular contributor here on Smorgasbord, but this time I get to select the posts from her archives to share with you… I am sure you will enjoy her stories as always. This is the third post and I have selected and it was one that Linda posted about a patient of hers, who inspired her as a nurse. Lessons from MIchael 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-lessons-from-michael-2014-by-linda-bethea/

New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-cold-cream-murders-book-four-sun-scream-by-barbara-silkstone/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-jewel-by-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-roads-a-journey-with-verses-vandana-bhasin-and-smitha-vishwanath/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-d-wallace-peach-terry-tyler-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-linda-bradley-john-w-howell-and-gwen-plano-and-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

The liver is the largest waste organ inside the body (the skin being the largest overall). This week, a look at the role it plays in keeping us healthy and alive.

Liver

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-three-the-liver-largest-waste-organ-inside-the-body/

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-spiders-asthma-eyesight-and-chihuahuas-amongst-other-things/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-one-liners-interrupted-by-comedic-images/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Linda Bradley, John W. Howell and Gwen Plano and Deanie Humphrys-Dunne


Welcome to the second of the author updates this week with recent reviews from authors on the shelves.

The first author to have received recent reviews, is Linda Bradley for Maggie’s Way – Montana Bound Series Book 1

About Maggie’s Way

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

One of the reviews for the book

Lovely story of a women who after 26 years of marriage feels her life slipping away. The story tells her relationship with her pesky 7 year old neighbor and how Maggie finds herself, her own way in life and realizes she can find happiness. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Maybe a 7 year can make her see a happy life is there and nothing is always perfect. You can find it. Story is slow in some areas and often you find out what occurred to the characters after you learn the outcome of it all. Interesting way to lay out the story line.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZSOX4BA

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggies-Way-Montana-Bound-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZSOX4BA

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

Connect to Linda via her website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

The next authors with a recent review are John W. Howell and Gwen Plano for their co-written paranormal thriller.. The Contract.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

L.D. Tanner 5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Fast-Pace Thriller with Paranormal Reflections of Life’s Journey  July 22, 2019

“The Contract Between Heaven and Earth” by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano is a unique paranormal thriller with a strong element of romance. The story immediately hooked me in the first chapter when celestial soul mates are sent to earth to help prevent a catastrophic event on earth. Their souls are incarnated into their hosts: an abused wife who has been almost choked to death and a Navy Seal who has mortal wounds. Memories from their past lives are erased and replaced with memories of Brad and Sarah, who are both on the brink of death. Brad and Sarah recover from their wounds and begin a new life. Sarah leaves her husband, who has dubious connections to terrorists. Brad finds a new career in civilian life as a writer. Brad is approached by a CIA agent to gather information about Sarah and the activities with her former husband. However, when they meet, they inexplicably fall in love with each other. As their love grows, Brad is torn that he is withholding the truth about his connections with the CIA. Their lives are thrown into a whirlwind when an attempt in made on their lives. The action accelerates as the conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States is revealed, but they don’t know who to trust. The climax ends in a twist, tying back to the original mission of the celestial soul mates.

Authors Howell and Plano have taut writing styles that moves quickly from scene to scene, but the romance is heartfelt. The characters are engaging, and I cared about what happened to them. The authors are able to blend suspense, romance, and paranormal elements to make this a riveting thriller mixed with reflections about what each person learns on his/her life’s journey.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

 Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

You can connect to John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

My final author with a recent review for her memoir My Life at Sweetbriar : A Life Changed by Horses, is Deanie Humphrys-Dunne.

About My Life at Sweetbriar

What if you grew up on a horse farm and your single passion was to become a champion horseback rider? The problem is, you were born with a disability. Doctors tell your parents you’ll never walk, let alone ride. What will happen next? What does her dad do that changes her life? Will a failed racehorse and a handicapped girl become a winning team? This is the author’s true story of her journey. Even if Deanie prevails, will she find exactly the right horse to help her win?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jun 18, 2019 Debra Cox rated it Five Stars

Life is tough, sometimes. But, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne proves to readers in My Life at Sweetbrier, that if they persevere, anything is possible. The author encourages children to set goals and reach for their dreams, as one day they may even beat the odds, like she did. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, doctors were convinced that Deanie would never be able to walk. Deanie’s Daddy refused to accept their opinion and shortly after, made the decision that changed Deanie’s life, for good. He thought that learning to ride would help Deanie’s legs get stronger so she could walk. Her determined father helped Deanie not only to learn how to ride and to walk, but to also follow her dream of becoming a champion horseback rider. Ultimately, it’s Deanie’s fighter spirit that makes her a winner.

The writing style is a little repetitive, but from a child’s perspective the language is aimed accurately, and it flows well. The fact that the author is very honest and speaks to the reader like a friend, adds to the story’s charm. I actually appreciated all the equine terminology, since I know nothing about horse riding. The old black and white photos capturing moments of Deanie’s life, help the reader immerse into Sweetbrier, too.

I was moved by this inspirational true story. My motto is also, ‘Never give up,’ and now, I’m certain, it’s definitely the right attitude to have in life. Children will be motivated to try their best, definitely recommending it!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Sweetbrier-Changed-Horses-ebook/dp/B0711P67DM

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Life-Sweetbrier-Changed-Horses-ebook/dp/B0711P67DM

Also by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15S

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15

Follow Deanie Humphrys- Dunne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3309880.Deanie_Humphrys_Dunne

Connect to Deanie on her website: http://www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #ShortStory – Jewel by Jan Sikes


Delighted to showcase the new book by award winning author Jan Sikes released at the end of June..A short story Jewel.

About Jewel

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?

Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

A recent review for the book

This short story reminded me of the movie “Pretty Woman” though the setting, circumstances, and characters are quite different. Jewel is a sweet young woman from an impoverished family outside of New Orleans. Out of desperation, her mother arranges questionable work for her with a dream that she’ll escape poverty.

What I liked most about the story was the colloquial voice of Jewel’s narrative that included southern inflections and phrasing without being overbearing. The story is terribly bleak at the start and the happy ending is a relief despite the means to get there. And entertaining short read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKMXK5B/

And on  Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewel-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07TKMXK5B

A selection of books by Jan Sikes.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

About Jan Sikes

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Connect to Jan

website: http://www.jansikes.com
Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

I hope you have enjoyed discovering Jan’s new book and will add to your reading list.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Pot Luck – Summertime, Gnomes and Rock Music (2016) by L.T. Garvin


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. The next guest in the series has shared post on the blog before, but of course this time I get to do the choosing.  A little retro summer magic from 2016 for L.T. Garvin’s second post.. and a little rock music.

Summertime, Gnomes and Rock Music (2016) by L.T. Garvin

Well here it is, almost the end of June, and I am way behind schedule as usual. Why is this? I think the Stupid Bug bit me. I just injured my back because I went to move a trunk, which on its own was not really that heavy, but I had forgotten that I filled it up with a bunch of stuff which of course, made it much heavier. So I just reached down to grab it and (insert shrill scream here, and a few choice words too). My back of all things! The good news, if there is ever any good news in this situation, was that I only impacted a muscle and luckily did not have to end up in traction anywhere, but the bad news is that it hurts (and has continued to hurt). After a week of medicine and muscle relaxers, I am finally seeing some improvement. So instead of working on the millions of things that I need to be, including a book trailer for my book that is coming out, I have been painting gnomes, talking to cats, and napping. I haven’t really been able to concentrate on these types of tasks with my aching back, and the gnome was originally headed to the trash before I turned his life around. You can see the before and after photos. The colors are fairly gnome-like except his basket tray is painted purple and gold that are the colors of my high school, former glory and all that, I mean, I just figured, why not?

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20160620_083525Meanwhile College Boy, also known as, Boy Who Should Have Gotten A Summer Job is back home. He frequently bothers me when I am gnome painting and napping. “Umm, mom…wake up, mom….”

He says mom differently than my daughters do. Their mom is shrill, more like, “Mom!” as in “Mom, have you been coloring your own hair!!” This question would be asked by my younger daughter who was a professional hairstylist for quite awhile. She notices everything and will call me out on my hair in a New York minute. Such questioning will have me answering Andrea of the Perfect Bone Structure in a nonchalant way, as in: “Honey, whatever do you mean? YouTube? No never….”

Anyway, College Boy Who Needs A Job will pop up from time to time asking me to fund his various activities which are all so important, and on which, his very life depends. Sometimes he even volunteers to do chores, but he tends to do them badly, although I am thinking about having him paint, not gnomes, but maybe the side of the house that gets that lovely westerly sun.

The local radio station has been playing a lot of Aerosmith lately including the one song that used to never be played and one of my personal favorites, Kings and Queens. I don’t know why I’m excited about the radio since I have my own music collection, but these days it doesn’t take much to excite me. I also learned that none other than Joey Kramer now lives in Texas. This really surprised the Rock Guy who had no clue about this either. He now lives in Georgetown, a name that sounds like it should be an English colony, but that actually a suburb of Austin Texas. Who knew? So now, if we happen to be strolling around Georgetown, and we run into him, we can be all surprised-like and say something such as: “Joey Kramer…Aerosmith…no way!” So the summer of 2016 continues to unfold. At least the heat was a bit late to arrive, so I’m not completely fried out of my mind, but give it a couple weeks…

©L.T. Garvin 2016

About L.T. Garvin

L.T. Garvin is a huge fiction fan and literature lover. She enjoys writing fiction, short stories, and attempts at poetry. L.T. has a particular fondness for Southern literature possibly because they have such good food and bigger than life stories in the South.

She currently has three books available, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete, a humorous children’s book about a boy named Nathan and his exuberant experiences in school and sports. Another children’s book, Animals Galore explores unique animals and their antics. A novel, Dancing with the Sandman, is suitable for all age groups and takes readers on time travel journey back to the 1960s. L.T. Garvin maintains a WordPress site where she shares fiction, poetry, and humorous essays

Books by L.T. Garvin

About Dancing with the Sandman

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
***
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.
A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

One of the reviews for the book

The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.

Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.

Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.

And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DP2VJ8S

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancing-Sandman-L-T-Garvin-ebook/dp/B07DP2VJ8S

Also by L.T. Garvin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

Read other reviews and follow L.T. Garvin on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579153.L_T_Garvin

Connect to L.T. Garvin

Website: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/welcome/
Books: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/books/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LT-Garvin-791835704234435/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LanaBroussard

My thanks to Lana for allowing me to share from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy exploring more. Sally.