Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck- #BookReview LEGACY (PROJECT RENOVA #4) by Terry Tyler (@TerryTyler4) by Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the series  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.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

I am delighted to another post from the blogs of Olga Nunez Miret, author and translator who I can highly recommend. Olga is well known for her in depth book reviews, that I am happy to say I have received for my books over the years. In her final post I share her review for a book that I also enjoyed.. Legacy by Terry Tyler.

 #BookReview LEGACY (PROJECT RENOVA #4) by Terry Tyler (@TerryTyler4) by Olga Nunez Miret

Hi all:

Today I bring you the fourth book in a trilogy! Yes, what can I say? We writers sometimes can’t let go. Best laid plans and all that. To be honest, I hope the author keeps going…

All books Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

‘Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’

A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels back in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.

Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.

In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him―or so his mother tells him.

In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…

Book #4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear … but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future.

About Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of eighteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Legacy’, the final book in her post apocalyptic series. She is currently at work on a new dystopian novel, set in the UK, twelve years in the future. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological/cultural/anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix, autumn and winter, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this novel but that has in no way influenced my review.

I have been following Terry Tyler’s Project Renova from the beginning (you can check my reviews for Tipping Point, here, for Lindisfarne, here, and for UK2, here)and loved all of the novels, getting more and more personally involved in the adventures and with the characters, that became part of the family, as it progressed. When a trilogy comes to an end and you see readers wondering what happened next and pestering the author for more, you know this is not just another dystopian adventure.

Before I get into the detail of this novel, which is fabulous in case you’re wondering, I must say that my recommendation is to read the four novels in the intended order. The series is written to be read as a whole, and the books are not independent. Although this novel introduces many new characters, to fully appreciate the project (yes, I know) and the overall effect, you need to be familiar with the complete story so far. But don’t worry, though, if it’s been a while since you’ve read the other novels, because the author includes a link to “the story so far” before the new novel starts, so you’ll be able to quickly refresh your memory.

This is the most structurally complex novel of the series. Although all the books are narrated by several characters, and that is the case here too, and in UK2 we had different settings as well, this novel takes us back and forth in time. After a brief interlude that follows directly on from the last novel (and there are a few of those interspersed throughout the text, but very brief), Part One is set in 2127, a hundred years later, and we go back to Norfolk, where we meet Bree, a young girl who lives there, and Silas, a traveller. This gives us an opportunity to learn what has happened in that period all over the UK, at least in large strokes, and also to meet two young people that, at least to begin with, we don’t know how they relate to the rest of the plot. Part Two goes back to 2089 and we learn about Sky, who lives in a Northern settlement called Blackthorn. Although she lives a life of luxury, we soon learn that she is in a minority, and the place sounds like a dystopian nightmare (if you’re familiar with Huxley’s Brave New World that part of the story will give you pause, and women will be particularly horrified by that possible future), so it’s not surprising that she ends up taking a fairly extreme decision. Part Three is set in 2050, and in this case we follow the next generation of some of the characters we had left in the last novel, particularly Phoenix. Part Four, set only two years after the last novel, in 2019, reunites us with Lottie, my favourite character of the series (and I’m not the only one). Part Five is set again in 2127, and we see what happened next to Bree and Silas and we get a sense of how the whole story fits and see the bigger picture. And the last bit of the story, back in 2027, answers a question that most people will be wondering about.

Does this mean the story is confusing? Not really, but if you’re trying to find connections and work out who everybody is from the start, you might feel a bit lost. My advice would be similar to what I used to tell people who were reading William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury: even if you can’t see where things are heading, keep reading, because it will all fall into place. And it is fabulous. In fact, the way of telling the story works wonderfully well to emphasise the theme of legacy, the fact that family lines, and especially people’s behaviour, mark those who come into contact with them and is carried through the generations. The structure made me think of novels such as Cloud Nine, and movies like Pulp Fiction, and if you enjoy a bit of a challenge when it comes to the way a story is told, this will add to your enjoyment.

The epic story (a saga) is narrated in the first person in the present tense by the different characters, and that gives it immediacy, making it easier to connect with them, even when sometimes we might know that things are not what they seem to be, and at times we might know much more than the characters do, and that give us a fascinating perspective. The story works well, and as I said, everything fits in, but the author has a particular skill for creating vastly varied characters that are totally believable, and like them or not, we can’t help getting involved in their lives. Lottie continues to be my favourite character, but Bree and Silas are great as well, and their relationship is heart-warming without being overly sweet. Both of them have doubts and reservations, and they prove their feelings with actions, rather than meaningless words. Even the less likeable characters have a heart (well, at least the ones we meet personally) and I was surprised when I felt sorry for some of them, whom at first I had thought of as unredeemable.

I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, because the story has to be read. The writing is fabulous, descriptive enough without ever getting boring, and the characters and the events narrated will make you think about known historical figures, religious beliefs, and about what moves society, and what is truly important.

I am pleased to read in the author’s note that she is thinking about writing some novellas and possibly a novel set in one of the places we visit here. Although I loved the story and the ending as well, I know I’ll keep thinking about the series, and I won’t be able to resist further incursions into this world. And yes, I’ll be one of the readers pestering the author for more.

Thanks to the author for another fantastic book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

©Olga Nunez Miret 2019

My thanks again to Olga for allowing me to share posts from her archives and if you would like to be reviewed then Olga has some tipsA review for your book.. some suggestions.

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes

This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.

We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.

I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio bookshttp://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

About Olga Nunez Miret

Olga Núñez Miret is a doctor, a psychiatrist, a student (of American Literature, with a Doctorate and all to prove the point, of Criminology, and of books and people in general), she writes, translates (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and although born in Barcelona, Spain, has lived in the UK for many years. She’s always loved books and is thrilled at the prospect of helping good stories reach more readers all around the world. She publishes a bilingual blog (http://www.authortranslatorolga.com ) where she shares book reviews, advice, talks about books (hers and others) and about things she discovers and enjoys.

Olga has translated her own books into Spanish of course and she has also translated some excellent Spanish books into English and you can find out more here. http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/translationstraducciones/

Follow Olga onSocial Media

Website –http://www.olganm.com/
Blog- http://authortranslatorolga.com/
Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/OlgaNunezMiret
Twitter- https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy other posts in Olga’s archives. Thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Frank Prem, C. S. Boyack, Stevie Turner and Judith Barrow.


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore Updates this week with more reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Frank Prem whose latest collection Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires is receiving wonderful reviews.

About Devil in the Wind

Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.

In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.

And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.

In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.

In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people who had lived through the experience — victims, rescuers, and observers — were spoken and were heard.

Devil In The Wind is Frank Prem’s poetic anthology of the personal, and very human, accounts of those who themselves experienced and survived Black Saturday. Poetry writing that interacts directly with readers emotions.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m not a poetry person, at least not normally, but I cried when I read ‘Devil in the Wind’ by Frank Prem. It’s about the Black Saturday fires that claimed 173 lives here in Victoria.
I was at home in Warrandyte that day. I’d sent the Offspring away, but I was at home with Dad and the animals because Dad had mild dementia and…I don’t think any of us really believed. I listened to 774 radio all day and some horrific reports were being phoned in, but we had the best roof sprinklers money could buy, and fire-resistant shutters. I was sure we’d be fine. And we didn’t really believe.

The next day, the reports started coming in and finally, we believed.

It was ‘all in together’ for a while after Black Saturday. We grieved, and donated food, and money, and hay because the animals were starving, and because we were alive and so many were not.

The togetherness has disappeared now, but we had it for a while, and I thank Frank Prem for helping me remember.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Wind-anthology-Saturday-bushfires-ebook/dp/B07Q9YLD8V

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Wind-anthology-Saturday-bushfires-ebook/dp/B07Q9YLD8V

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank via his blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/

And the next author with a recent review is C.S. Boyack for his Sci-fi/Fantasy the novella The Hat

About The Hat

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

One of the recent reviews for the book 

This book is not in my usual reading genre, but nonetheless, a delight to read. The Hat is a whimsical tale of a dynamic team – Lizzie, a 21 year old girl with troubles it seems at every corner, who manages to team up with the talking hat.

Lizzie manages to scoop a box off the moving truck taking away what’s left of her recently passed grandmother’s estate. Completely unaware what’s in the box, Lizzie strikes a real gem when she discovers in that box is a hat, but not just any hat.

As Lizzie and the talking hat get acquainted, finally becoming friends, the hat teaches her more about her family background, and ultimately becomes her cohort in her quest to save the kidnapped babies she learns about after her friend’s baby is kidnapped.

The story progresses through the quest to solve the crime, all the while experiencing magical situations and escapes when she puts on the hat and it empowers her with its magical properties, even being able to transport her to safety when the goings get rough.
A fun escape with lots of laughs and a perfect short read and entertaining read for a rainy afternoon.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078YYCNSF/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hat-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B078YYCNSF/

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect with Craig via his blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Now for a recent review for Stevie Turner and The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

About The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome.

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric. Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother. Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride. Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive. After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…

A recent review for the book

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update -#Reviews Sue Vincent, Janice Spina, Christoph Fischer and Teri Polen


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is Sue Vincent with a recent review for Sword of Destiny.

About Sword of Destiny

“…and the swords must be found and held by their bearers lest the darkness find a way into the heart of man. Ask the waters to grant guidance and tell the ancient Keeper of Light that it is time to join battle for the next age.” Rhea Marchant heads north to the wild and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales where she is plunged into an adventure that will span the worlds. The earth beneath her feet reveals its hidden life as she and her companions are guided by the ancient Keeper of Light in search of artefacts of arcane power. With the aid of the Old Ones and the merry immortal Heilyn, the company seek the elemental weapons that will help restore hope to an unbalanced world at the dawn of a new era.”

A recent review for the book

An amputation of the soul
So dark, so final, yet I understand it.
I love the way you became a priest
Absolving Merlin of the sins written about him
None of which I believed
Arthurs birth is better told without the sting of rape
Robed in rainbows, like moonlight on water, FAB
I didn’t so much read this book as eat my way through it…

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sword-Destiny-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B00F2HDM7Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Destiny-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B00F2HDM7Y

A selection of books by Sue Vincent and with Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links: UKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue via her blog: https://scvincent.com/

The next author with a recent review is Janice Spina for the latest adventure of Davey & Derek Jr. Detectives The Case of the Missing Bells.

About The Case of the Missing Bells

Step into another magical and fun adventure with the twin detectives to solve this new mystery. There are clues at every turn, ghostly dreams with strange messages, and a surprise visitor that shakes things up. Even Aunt Gigi and Mianna are at a loss to provide any assistance to the boys.

Will Davey & Derek be able to solve this mystery of the bells? Where do they turn? Will they be able to put all the clues together? Can they use their new birthday gifts in this adventure? Find out what the boys do in this magical mystery.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Janice Spina’s new book “The Case of the Mystery Bells” Davey and Derek’s Mystery Book 6, is another entertaining, wonderful story. This time the twins, Davey and Derek work diligently to solve the mystery of the bells. Why to they hear bells at certain times? Who are the ghosts in their dreams? Why do the boys hear bells in their dreams? Even their gifted Aunt Gigi is baffled from time to time. The boys are introduced to a new member of the family and they even learn more about their ancestry. Young readers are sure to enjoy this story and marvel at the literary skills of its author, Janice Spina. I highly recommend this story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Mystery-Bells-Junior-Detectives-ebook/dp/B07QWZZHJN

And on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07QWZZHJN

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy  https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://Jemsbooks.com

The next author with a recent review is Christoph Fischer and his book Ludwika.

About Ludwika

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

One of the recent reviews for the book

1 April 2019

Once again, Fischer shows such talent for bringing history to life, with this based-on-fact novel about the survival of a young Polish woman during WW2. Taking the small details he could find, the author weaves them into a story by adding fictional characters, delivering a page-turning experience that showcases his style and skill.

From a peaceful life on a Polish farm, to near slave labour in far-off Germany, we follow the trials and tribulations that beset our young heroine during the long years of that war. And to round it off, we also get to find out what really happened to her, later in life.

This combination works so well, giving us completely believable characters, authentic locations, and set around the cataclysmic events that rocked Europe from 1939, until well after the end of hostilities. Recommended unreservedly, this is a book for everyone to read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ludwika-Polish-Struggle-Survive-Germany/dp/1519539118

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ludwika-Polish-Struggle-Survive-Germany-ebook/dp/B018UTHX7A

A selection of books also by Christoph Fischer.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Connect to Christoph via his website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

And last but not least….time for some Science Fiction/Fantasy from Teri Polen with The Gemini Connection which has received a recent review.

About The Gemini Connection.

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is. On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing. A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

One of the recent reviews for the book

The Gemini Connection is a most intriguing book which weaves the human emotions of frustration, anger, jealousy, resentment, self depreciation and love like colourful threads through the greater fabric of an exciting and unique science fiction novel.

The book features twins who live in a futuristic dystopian world where the inhabitants of the planet have exhausted many of its resources and what remains is being decimated by unknown and untreatable diseases. Scientists and other clever and inventive people, who are able to contribute towards findings solutions for the salvation of a society that is in the process of failing, are held up as heroes and are the recipients of accolades for their societal contributions as well as better food and lifestyles. The twins parents fall into this category and, at the beginning of the story, spend all their time and energy on saving their people and planet. This complete change in their focus from their family and two sons to the quest for glory in the guise of saving their planet changes life significantly for Simon and Evan. The backstory of their evolution into scientists, obsessed with their work, and the related increasing disdain for ordinary people who are not able to contribute towards saving the planet in the same way due to different talents and aspirations, is an important theme of the story and sets the scene for the unfortunate events that come to pass in the book.

Simon has a brilliant mind and is following in the footsteps of his illustrious parents. Evan is not as intellectual and demonstrates more physical and sporty gifts. This makes Simon the child of their parents dreams and Evan the disappointing child they cannot relate to or understand. This attitude by their parents results in Evan becoming a young man who lacks confidence and belief in himself and who feels inferior to his cleverer brother. Despite this unfortunate home environment, Simon and Evan are very close and share a unique bond that enables them to both “feel” the other’s presence and emotional state. When Simon disappears soon after discovering a sordid and dark secret by one of his mentors in his job, Evan feels responsible and sets off on a path of emotional self destruction. However, Evan has a talent of his own which enables him to access the minds of other people and help them sort out their chaotic thoughts. This talent gives him to tools track down and help save his brother but it also serves as the gateway to his own possible destruction. Will Evan be able to detect their joint enemies and stop their evil plans in time to save his brother and return him home? I enjoyed this book’s fresh take on a science fiction story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Gemini-Connection-Teri-Polen/dp/1684330343/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gemini-Connection-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B07BFGFN66/

Also by Teri Polen

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B01NBIFRF4

Read more reviews and follow Teri on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Connect to Teri via her website: https://teripolen.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm… You can find all the authors and how to join them in this post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Bookreview FALLEN IDOLS: A CENTURY OF SCREEN SEX SCANDALS (IMAGES OF THE PAST) by Nigel Blundell (@penswordbooks) by Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the series  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.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

I am delighted to another post from the blogs of Olga Nunez Miret, author and translator who I can highly recommend. Olga is well known for her in depth book reviews, that I am happy to say I have received for my books over the years.. here is her review for a book by Nigel Blundell.

FALLEN IDOLS: A CENTURY OF SCREEN SEX SCANDALS (IMAGES OF THE PAST) by Nigel Blundell

Dear all:

I bring you another one of Pen & Sword’s books, one for those of you who love movies and photographs of the Hollywood of the Big Studios and its tarnished stars.

Fallen Idols. A Century of Screen Sex-Scandals (Images of the Past) by Nigel Blundell

Book available Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Idols-Century-Screen-Scandals/dp/1526742144/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Images-Past-Fallen-Century-Scandals/dp/1526742144/

Pen and Swords: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Images-of-the-Past-Fallen-Idols-Paperback/p/15651

It’s a scandal! How often we use that phrase and what a catalogue of sins it covers. That’s what this book is all about. It is literally a catalogue of sins – committed by some of the most celebrated names on the planet.

Within these covers are startling stories of scandals during a century when screen idols seemed to vie with each other in outraging public decency. It was an age when fan fever was at its height and an endless supply of shocking revelations emerged to fuel the frenzy.

Because of the perpetrators’ superstar status, the shame of exposure was often heightened, not only wrecking reputations but often harming careers and, at least, ensuring very public humiliation.

The lessons learned from these cases of celebrity scandal (though often, it seems, not by the celebrities themselves) is that the bigger the star, the harder the fall … and that deceit and intrigue so often turn hard-won fame into instant infamy.

Author Nigel Blundell

About Nigel Blundell

Nigel Blundell is a journalist who has worked in Australia, the United States and Britain. He spent 25 years in Fleet Street before becoming an author and contributor to national newspapers. He has written more than 40 books, including best-sellers on crime and royalty. He co-wrote the Top Ten exposé Fall of the House of Windsor, which first revealed the so-called ‘Squidgygate’ tape and the infidelity of both Princess Diana and Prince Charles. His other factual subjects have included military history, celebrity scandals, and ghosts and the paranormal.

My review:

Thanks to Rosie and the whole team at Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

A while back I read and reviewed a book in the same series ‘Images of the Past’, called The British Seaside, and I enjoyed the combination of the wonderful images and the informative and humorous text, fairly light on reading but high on entertainment value. In this case, the same is true, even with the serious subject and the unavoidable reflections on how times don’t seem to have changed so much, although now we get to hear about many of the details that in the past would have remained hidden from the general public.

I’ve always been fascinated by the history of cinema, and Hollywood, from its beginnings to now, although times have changed somewhat, and tinsel town is not what used to be (if it ever was). I have watched documentaries and read magazines about the industry, particularly about the era of the big studios, when everything seemed more glamourous and shiny than our everyday lives.

This book looks, mostly at past scandals, from the early history of Hollywood to some more recent ones, but does not include the XXI century, and although some of us, who grew up watching reruns of classics, will remember many of these stars (and some have become icons, like James Dean or Marilyn Monroe), to the youngest generation most of them will sound like ancient history. Only Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and the TV preachers are still alive, and although their controversy remains alive, it seems to have been dwarfed by most recent scandals.

This is not an in-depth study of any of the cases, but rather a quick survey with a few details of the biographies and circumstances of some of the stars, whose lives became as well-known and exposed to the public attention as that of their characters. Despite that, although I thought I was familiar with the majority of the actors and actresses the book talks about, I discovered I didn’t know many of the details, perhaps because they were not discussed at the time or have been revealed later, and many of the pictures were totally new to me (and I thoroughly enjoyed them, especially those showing the stars when they were young). I am sure, though, that experts or true fans of these actors and actresses will not learn anything new, but I enjoyed the combination of text and pictures (and I particularly relished the introduction, which offers interesting insights into the effects of some of these scandals, like the Hays Code, that went beyond the content of the movies and affected the personal lives of the stars as well), that makes it ideal as a present for people of a certain age who enjoy celebrity magazines of the time, and also for the younger generation who might not have been exposed to these stories and the old-fashioned notion of celebrity and stardom.

It is impossible to read this book without comparing many of these scandals to some of the recent ones. The big studios spent a lot of money on lawyers, on keeping the press at bay, and of course, power has always talked. Thankfully, some of the things that were considered normal practice at the time have now become unacceptable and are the subject of legal procedures.

To give you a better idea of the content, there are fourteen chapters, each focused on one of these stars: Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Jean Harlow, Errol Flynn, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Elvis Presley, Roman Polanski, Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, Jim Bakker & Jimmy Swaggart, and Woody Allen.

I thought I’d share a couple of the quotes I’ve highlighted, so you get some idea of what to expect. Here, referring to James Dean:

“The star of East of Eden and Rebel without a Cause was bisexual and had affairs with actresses Pier Angeli and Ursula Andrews but when asked if he was gay his reply was: “Well, I’m certainly not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back!” (Blundell, 2018, p. 8).

In the chapter about the TV preachers Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart (a fascinating phenomenon that seems pretty unique to the USA), it explains that Swaggart confessed and apologised to his congregation and the viewers of his TV channel the first time he was caught with a prostitute. But the second time, he truly spoke his mind:

This time, rather confessing to his congregation, Swaggart brazened it out with the rebuff: ‘The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business’ (Blundell, 2018, 143).

In sum, this is a fun book for people who love anecdotes and to peep into the lives of the Hollywood famous, especially those from the era of the Hollywood big studios. If you want a brazen and amusing book, with its dark moments and plenty of pictures to get the conversation going, or are looking for a present for somebody who loves movie memorabilia, I recommend it.

Blundell, N. (2018). Images of the Past. Fallen Idols. A Century of Screen Sex Scandals. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword.

Thanks to Rosie, Pen & Sword, to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and keep smiling!

©Olga Nunez MIret 2019

My thanks to Olga for permitting me to share posts from her archives and the last post next week.

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes

This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.

We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.

I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio books http://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

About Olga Nunez Miret

Olga Núñez Miret is a doctor, a psychiatrist, a student (of American Literature, with a Doctorate and all to prove the point, of Criminology, and of books and people in general), she writes, translates (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and although born in Barcelona, Spain, has lived in the UK for many years. She’s always loved books and is thrilled at the prospect of helping good stories reach more readers all around the world. She publishes a bilingual blog (http://www.authortranslatorolga.com ) where she shares book reviews, advice, talks about books (hers and others) and about things she discovers and enjoys.

Olga has translated her own books into Spanish of course and she has also translated some excellent Spanish books into English and you can find out more here. http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/translationstraducciones/

Follow Olga onSocial Media

Website –http://www.olganm.com/
Blog- http://authortranslatorolga.com/
Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/OlgaNunezMiret
Twitter- https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy other posts in Olga’s archives. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations -the futility of triple words by Frank Prem


Welcome to the series  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.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Frank Prem is an Australian author with two collections of poetry that describe his childhood growing in a small town… and the second, the dreadful wildfire that rapidly engulfed communities and took many lives. Both of which I have read and can recommend. I am delighted to be allowed to sample his archives to share with you.

In June 2017, Frank posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations -the futility of triple words by Frank Prem June 11th 2017

sitting in the dining room
the back corner where he won’t get disturbed
he’s got a book of rules out
dictionary thesaurus and words
a world of words

he does so many pages a day
a genius at the triple-word plays
because he practices moves and combos
knows a little-used term to describe
a master scrabble player
that includes a q tile or maybe a j

he’s scored five hundred
he’s scored five-fifty
he’s scored on every play
in this game of ours
while I’m stuck
looking for a way to turn my tiles in
try to find better letters
maybe find a triple word he hasn’t claimed yet

but then
he really ought to be good for the big scores
he’s got the dictionary open
at eight in the morning and anyway
it’s time for me to make my way to the meds room
to line up anti-psychotics in plastic cups
a thesaurus won’t keep his eyes open
he’ll be sleeping
dreaming about big scores
about jousting in tournaments

about victory

in his room
non-compus
before a result is declared

©Frank Prem 2017

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind on Goodreads

Apr 29, 2019 Joy RS rated it Five Stars

Very moving, beautiful, and terrible. This book is more than I can adequately describe, so bear with me here. It’s a poignant account of a terrible event, which, living on another continent, I had heard of, but didn’t properly take in.

It’s not a gruesome book, just incredibly moving: a salute, in a way. The author has taken the words of those who witnessed and survived the tragedy and woven them into poetry. I do hope that in some manner it brings these people catharsis and at least a few nights of undisturbed sleep.

When people die so terribly they deserve to be honoured and remembered around the world. I was left with a profound sense of respect, as well as a reminder that we should never take for granted every precious every moment of life. What can we do to live the life we were born to, given that some have never had the chance?

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

My thanks to Frank for allowing me access to his archives and I suggest that you head over and enjoy for yourselves..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Fiction — The Truth About Fairy Tales by HL Carpenter


Welcome to the series  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.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second post from  mother and daughter writing team HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri). They have two blogs and one is for guest posts and book promotions which I featured last week and is a great place to share your work Top Drawer Ink Corp. Now I want to focus on their other blog and their own work.. and here is a short story… keeping the fairy tale alive.

Fiction — The Truth About Fairy Tales by HL Carpenter

I can tell you two things about fairy tales. First, it’s absolutely false that only a princess can de-frog a prince. I’m not a princess, and one kiss from me released my prince, Mack, from his wicked curse.

Second, the endings are totally wrong. It’s been a month now, and I’m starting to think whatever hope Mack and I had for our happily-ever-after is doomed. No one approves of our relationship because I’m not royalty, and because Mack…well, Mack’s still sort of a frog.

I want my fairy tale back.

Image source: tzunghaor via openclipart.org

The palace is a riot of colorful strobe lights, music, and laughter. I’m standing to one side of the dance floor, corralled by Princess Allison. She’s a true princess, from the tines of her towering tiara to the painted petunias on her tiny toes.

She eyes my newly green hair and says, “Listen, Cindy, I’m really happy you like kissing frogs, and I’m especially grateful you saved Mack. But you have to give up this silly idea he’s going to be your boyfriend. He’s not for you, sweetie.”

“Of course he is, Allie.” I scratch my elbow and smile at her. “Haven’t you ever read a fairy tale? Only the prince’s true love can free him from the evil curse.”

“You only half-freed him. And it’s time for you to buzz off so a real princess can finish the job.”

“Nope. Not gonna do it.”

She crosses her arms and scowls. “You do realize there’s a reason he was turned into a frog in the first place, right?”

“He mentioned your mom,” I say, as Mack hops up next to us.

He grins at me. At least, I think he’s grinning at me. It’s hard to tell, since his eyes are on opposite sides of his face. He says, “Want to dance?”

“Love to,” I say, at the same moment Allie says, “Yes.” I guess she can’t tell who he’s looking at either.

I grab Mack’s hand. “Sorry, Allie. First dibs.”

When Mack and I are face to face on the dance floor, I gaze into the eye that’s aimed at me. He says, “I like your hair. Frog green suits you.”

“Thanks.” I lean toward him and whisper, “I’m shedding.”

A hush descends, as if the band and the chattering nobility surrounding us have left the ballroom. Mack leans away, and I half-expect him to walk off the dance floor. Instead, he lowers his head and whispers back, “Goes with the territory. Still happens to me once a week.”

“Allie could change that.”

“I’ll pass. I like being me.”

“The kiss—”

“Yes,” he says. “It changed both of us.”

“You okay with that?”

“Yep.” He pulls me closer. “I’m thinking of ditching this clambake and going for a swim in the lily pond. You interested?”

“Absolutely,” I say, and think, this fairy tale might have a happy ending after all.

©HL Carpenter 2014

Ah…lovely story… definitely a Fairy Tale….

About HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri)

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity Their website Top Drawer Ink Corp  also offers opportunities for promotion for other authors and their books.

A selection of books for adults, YA and children by HL Carpenter

One of the reviews for Murder by the Books

Peggy M McAloon  5.0 out of 5 stars Is the Answer in the Missing Journals & Accounting Records?

The mother-daughter duo known as HL Carpenter created a character in Fae Childers who can go the distance. Murder by the Books is well-paced and will hold your interest to the end.

I have a long-standing background in researching financial scams and con-artists, so the topic was a perfect one to entertain me on a cold and dreary Saturday.

Fae Childers is so horrified by the suggestion that she has embezzled from the accounting firm she leaves without defending her decades-long career with the firm.

The fact that her boyfriend has sided with the owners causes her to stay in seclusion in her apartment in Tampa. Wallowing in self-pity, she’s intrigued when a letter arrives informing her of an inheritance from a grandmother she had no idea existed.

The lawyer she encounters in Seafoam appears to be thoughtful, compassionate and handsome. Why is Fae drawn in so by his passionate green eyes? Could Ret Karaffa be at the center of the murders and break-ins that suddenly seem to happen with an unnerving regularity around all the people her grandmother came in contact with while living along the coast in Seafoam?

You’ll learn to love to hate the annoying local reporter, Pat Jablonski. Will she show up dead in the surf too?

The real mystery is whether or not the killer believes that Fae has inherited her grandmother’s abilities to see things most of us will never experience. Will he or she recognize the piercing headaches as the same ones Fae’s grandmother had before she solved the mysterious puzzles the inhabitants of Seafoam had with unnerving regularity?

The missing journals and balance sheets hold the answers, but will Fae discover them in time to save herself and protect the vast inheritance everyone is focused on? What of the handsome Ret? Will he provide the love connection she’s been looking for her whole life?

This book has a clever plot, interesting characters, and enough last-minute revelations to keep you interested from beginning to end. It was a fast read filled with richly defined backdrops. I thought I’d figured it out three times before I finished it. You’ll need to pick up a copy to find out if Fae has fortune-telling instincts like her grandmother.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B007SHS9LA/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HL-Carpenter/e/B007SHS9LA/

You will find a lot more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5820921.H_L_Carpenter

Connect to HL Carpenter

Website and blog: https://www.hlcarpenter.com/
Author Guest posts: https://www.topdrawerinkcorp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hl_carpenter
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hlcarpenter/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hlcarpenter/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to both of Helen and Lorri’s blogs to explore them further and to take advantage of their kind offer to promote your work.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Andrew Joyce and Marina Osipova


The first author with a recent review is children’s author Bette A. Stevens for Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages with 87 reviews.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!
This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lisa Kradjian 5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely story! April 30, 2019

“Amazing Matilda” is a simple story about a caterpillar who wants to fly, but is told — and illustrated — so beautifully. Flowers, insects, animals and more are described in caring detail. We root for Matilda but cherish the advice her friends give her “Be patient and trust your instincts.” Advice for us all! Bravo.

Read some of the many reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Time to catch up with the recent reviews for the  latest release ….Mahoney by Andrew Joyce.

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Grady HarpTop Contributor: Children’s Books  HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER

Massachusetts author Andrew Joyce took a leaping chance on providing follow-ups to an American classic Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – and oddly enough he succeeded: REDEMPTION: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN AND TOM SAWYER was voted Best Western novel n 2013! Joyce is an inveterate hitchhiker and doubtless that lifestyle has supplied him with the rich imagination he so freely offered in his book YELLOW HAIR – another award winner for historical fiction. MAHONEY explores the history of immigrants from mid-19th century on.

Andrew transports us to Ireland and sets the tone in his beginning of the book – ‘In the second year of an Gorta Mhór – the Great Famine – MacMurragh stepped into Devin Mahoney’s cabin but stopped short, just inside the door. There was not a stick of furniture present; everything had been sold off, one piece at a time, as hunger grew. Devin had not eaten a meal for five days, and then it was only a meager bowl of cornmeal. Before that, he had gone three days with out a single morsel of food passing his lips. Devin Mahoney, the descendant of kings, lay on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin, waiting for Death to take him by the hand and lead him out of his misery.’ So Andrew remains passionate about American history – the struggles immigrants from Ireland and many other countries endured just to reach the golden shores of America. The subject of the book is history, but we are still living that history now: immigration is still elusive in our contemporary state of discord.

The book is appropriately lengthy, covering as many struggles as it does, and the provided synopsis gels the story well: ‘In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.’ The story takes us to 1963 and Martin Luther King’s dream.

The novel is rich in elegant prose and captures that elusive sense of hope at the end of a dark tunnel with finesse. The book is rich in engrossing history and written in a manner that makes it a very fine novel. Grady Harp.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RZPMVP5

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mahoney-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B07RZPMVP5

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242284.Andrew_Joyce

Connect to Andrew via his blog: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is Marina Osipova with her novel of love and war The Cruel Romance.

About The Cruel Romance

October 1941. A small village outside Moscow. Serafima bids farewell to Vitya, a Soviet officer going to the front. With only moments left together, she places a cross around her beloved’s neck and reluctantly releases him into a cruel world where nothing is certain, especially whether she will ever see him again. Days later Germans invade her village and take over her tiny house. Serafima and her mother must comply with orders, endure abuse, and stay put or their village will be annihilated.

As World War II intertwines Serafima’s and Vitya’s life with that of a young German violinist and a Russian intellectual, their destinies are irrevocably altered. Can they rise to the challenge of agonizing moral choices and learn to forgive and love again? Praise The Cruel Romance is a tale of love, violence, and acceptance as Serafima is forced to live with what the Germans left behind.

This compelling story makes for a thrilling read in a setting and time that comes to life, pulling the reader into the vividly drawn, rarely seen world. Elisabeth Amaral, author of When Any Kind of Love Will Do and Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 15, 2019 Billie Kowalewski rated it Five Stars

Fantastic!
I took my time with this one because it became clear to me early on that this the kind of book you can’t really read in one sitting. This story follows a young Russian girl and her mother during WW2 and the hardships that she dealt with during that time. This author has a gift for bringing such details into her story which really open up the image playing in your mind, providing a much more realistic feel and effect. I love reading stories set in different time periods and this author truly did this time in our history justice. I look forward to reading more from this very talented author

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

And Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

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 Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck- Can Women Escape Domestic Violence? An Emotional Approach…by Balroop Singh


Welcome to the  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.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Poet and author Balroop Singh is always a welcome guest here on Smorgasbord and has shared many posts in the past. This time I get to choose the posts from Balroop’s archives this week I have selected a post that carries a very important message for all women, particularly those of us who have experienced abusive relationships.

Can Women Escape Domestic Violence? An Emotional Approach…by Balroop Singh

Domestic Violence

My friend Lisa is writing a story on women’s escape from domestic violence. This post got an inspiration from her unstinted efforts to help ‘The Great Escape’

Is it possible to escape domestic violence? I have often wondered…

If this could be probable, why would a woman of 21st century swallow everyday abuse, why would she compromise and be told to ‘ADJUST’! Adjust to intimidation and assault? To slapping? To emotional blackmail?

If this could be conceivable, why would female feticide be forced upon a young mother who yearns to hold her child in her hands!

Why would a woman be assaulted or killed for petty demands like dowry or standing up for her rights?

I know I am presenting a very negative picture despite being a robust optimist.

But I have seen domestic violence, its shapes and shades. I have seen it grow and flourish despite laws against it.

Domestic violence is not just perpetrated by a husband or a partner. Families too are a party to it. To my mind, violation of basic human rights by anybody around us – a parent, a sibling or a relative – is domestic violence.

According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( NCADV ) Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

I have seen so many women in such situations. They don’t even think that a mistreatment in a family means domestic violence. They don’t have the courage and the confidence to confront it.

Not just a husband unleashes domestic violence upon her; his mother is more to blame for nagging, verbally and physically abusing, making her work like a slave and not giving her enough to eat.

This is the story of most of the homes in many Asian countries.

Real story:

I had seen this woman in my early childhood…working all day, carrying out all the odd jobs of the house, from looking after the cattle of the house to cooking for the family as well as all those who worked in the fields. My most vivid memories are of those days when it would be raining heavily and continuously but she would be as active as ever, with just a gunny bag on her head, attending to the milking of the cows, early in the morning.

Abandoned by her husband at the young age of 25, she chose to live in his home all her life, probably due to societal pressures. She devoted all her life to her only child and grand children, giving them all they needed, without even a single word of complaint.

As I look back now, trying to understand the definition of domestic violence, this image seems to be more disturbing than physical violence in the homes. This memory is etched in my mind. The emotional wounds that I can feel even today for my aunt, after almost 5o years are irreparable.

Even today I can hear that unspoken message…where can I go?

Even today I can see that agony in her eyes saying…what can I do?

Who is responsible?

Women too are equally to blame for accepting such a behavior. Fifty years ago when economic independence and social taboos didn’t let them take any action, it could be understood but in the present era when there are no such constraints, women accept domestic violence as part of their life and destiny.

The sordid saga continues…

Domestic Violence

Another real story:

She is a highly educated, successful doctor and financially independent woman. There was a time when she could take her own decisions, when she was single though many of her friends couldn’t.

She married according to her own wishes, having found her soul mate at the age of 20. She has been living with domestic violence of unspeakable volumes but could never gather the courage of reporting it, stepping out of her marriage or divorcing her husband. She is a widely travelled woman but cannot step out of her own home, without her husband.

People say women have been empowered and emancipated! Really?

We live in a world in which women are battered and are unable to flee from the men who beat them, although their door is theoretically standing wide open. One out of every four women becomes a victim of severe violence. One out of every two will be confronted by sexual harassment over her lifetime. These crimes are everywhere and can take place behind any front door in the country, every day, and barely elicit much more than a shrug of the shoulders and superficial dismay.” – Natascha Kampusch

Who can help?

No soft words or empathy, no laws or stern action against those who inflict such a cowardly act can help.

Only women, yes those women or victims who accept such a beastly behavior can help.

Unless you help yourself, all others effort go futile:

  • Refuse to tolerate domestic violence
  • Never hide it to protect your self-esteem
  • Stand up for your rights
  • Don’t equate it with destiny
  • Communicate your dissent the very first time
  • Speak your mind out loudly and clearly
  • Seek help
  • If the perpetrator doesn’t change, be bold
  • Never believe in their false promises
  • Never give a second chance to such offenders
  • Be firm and take your own decision
  • Walk out of such relationships as soon as you can!

Do you know that 603 million women live where domestic violence is not considered a crime!!

If you are living in a country that recognizes domestic violence as a serious offence, you must report it.

My dearest friend Kim supports this cause most vociferously at her website. You can visit her for advice and help.

My thanks to Balroop for permitting me to share this post from 2015. Sadly the statistics have not changed significantly for the better. It still happens in our street, our town, our country and in some cases our family.

©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.

Books by Balroop Singh

One of the recent reviews for Timeless Echoes

This book of poetry was amazing! I loved the sublime emotions that were expressed – those of young love, lost love, estranged love, motherhood, a mother’s pride, forgiveness, disillusionment, et al. Balroop Singh has the power over the poetry lovers soul and her poems are inspiring as well as therapeutic. I have found great counsel, hope, and peace in reading Balroop Singh’s book of poems entitled – ‘Timeless Echoes’. I would really like to stress here that Balroop Singh’s poems are really therapeutic and can aid in overcoming the monotony and banality of the modern materialistic world. Please read and cherish these poems and they will cure you of any heartache that you are going through. If you are a poetry lover and want to read something fresh with therapeutic overtones, read ‘Timeless Echoes’. If you are an ardent lover of sublime poetry, especially poetry which is ethereal, then this is the book for you. If you prefer poetry about love in all its forms with a touch of gentleness and forgiveness – a healing touch, then this is the book you should be reading. My favorite poems in this book were ‘Silent Echo’, ‘Eternal Wait’, ‘Eternal Love’, ‘My First Love’, ‘Do You Love Me’, ‘Love Changes’, ‘Illusional Calm’, ‘The Door’, ‘New Life’, ‘Your Eyes Say All’ and ‘They Are Not Born’. Liked the sounds and ‘feels’ of those poem titles then what are you waiting for? Ggo and pick up Balroop Singh’s ‘Timeless Echoes’ right now, and heal the scars both inner and outer. Support Balroop Singh and buy her book. Happy Reading to all!

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

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/

My thanks to Balroop for permitting me to browse her archives to share with you… we would love your feedback  thanks Sally.

Tales from the Irish Garden Serialisation – Chapter Three – Winter: A Place of Sanctuary by Sally Cronin


Winter: A Place of Sanctuary

The magic garden was bordered by ancient forests, and during the frozen years the surrounding farms and villagers had been protected by the cloud of pollen produced by the trees, in response to the threat from the Winter Fairy. Life had gone on as it had for centuries, but it was with great relief for all who lived around the woods, that there was now a warm breath of spring in the air.

Most of the old-timers knew the Storyteller, and had been grateful for his intervention over the years during times of hardship. He was a kind old man and despite suffering tragedies of his own, he had never turned down a request for help. When news arrived of the lifting of the curse, villagers packed up baskets of food and fruit, taking the paths through the forest to welcome him back from his imprisonment.

To the south of the forest that bordered the Storyteller’s garden, was a cottage on a small plot of land with a pretty flower borders and vegetable patch. A widow and her children had returned to her family home last year when her father had passed on. The mother was a healer, growing many herbs that she made into essences, and sold to the villagers who would come to her door. The village was too remote to have its own doctor, and she was welcomed home from the city with her children with open arms. Along with her healing gifts, the mother, whose name was Summer, was also of royal fairy blood. Many hundreds of years ago there had been a love affair between a farmer’s daughter and a fairy king who had fallen for her red-haired beauty. Although through the years, that magical connection had been diluted, it was still powerful enough to give Summer the ability to work with nature, and understand the language of animals. She was not sure if this gift had passed to any of her three children, but she had a feeling she was just about to find out.

Summer looked out across her vibrantly coloured spring garden and smiled in satisfaction at the vivid green patch of herbs. She searched for her two sons and daughter; catching sight of them standing by the door to the garden shed, and wondered what they were looking at.

The three young observers peered into the dim depths of the shed, and the eldest, who was no longer a child, but a young man, placed a protective arm across the shoulders of his younger brother and sister. They had come to collect wood for the stove in their living-room, and having opened the door, had been startled by the sight before them.

After a moment or two Alexander realised that their visitor was not going to bring harm to Jonathan and Savannah, and the three of them quietly eased into the gloom.

Gently they moved towards their guest who looked at them with weary and bewildered eyes. As they drew closer, Savannah suddenly smiled and reached out her hand to the bedraggled speckled bird with his winged legs. Without hesitation the pigeon hopped from his perch on a wooden coat peg, and sat cupped in the young girl’s hands. Just then there was a rustling noise in the corner of the floor, and as their eyes became accustomed to the poor light, they saw two more black-and-white birds huddled together on top of an old basket of logs.

At first, Alexander wondered how the birds had managed to get into the shed, but then noticed that the small window had been blown open by the recent high winds. Luckily for these weary travellers; who would have surely died if they had not found this small sanctuary.
Jonathan ran inside to find his mother whilst his brother and sister waited with the weary visitors.

Alexander watched as Savannah raised the black and white speckled bird towards her face; it seemed to be whispering a message in his young sister’s ear. A few minutes later their brother returned with their intrigued mother, a shallow dish of fresh water and some bird seed that was put out every day for their own garden birds. The three pigeons clustered around the welcome food and water, and the family backed away leaving the birds to their meal.

As they sat around their kitchen table with mugs of hot chocolate and cookies, Alexander asked Savannah if the bird had really been talking to her, and if so what had it said.

The young girl’s eyes lit up and she beamed at her mother and brothers. ‘He told me that they are fairy messengers sent from a Spanish queen, and were blown off course by the storm. A rescue party will be sent out to guide them home, and we must look out for a butterfly that will be searching for them.’ Savannah who had always believed in fairies and magic, wriggled in her seat in excitement. ‘The pigeon said that he could tell that I would understand him as I was clearly very special.’

Summer smiled at her youngest child and was delighted to know that her gifts had been passed onto her lovely red-haired daughter.

Throughout the next day, the new young guardians of the magic pigeons, checked on their wellbeing several times. Within hours the birds looked stronger, and even came out on the roof of the shed to sit in the winter sunshine and fresh Irish air.

In the late afternoon, Jonathan came rushing into the kitchen waving his arms and twirling in excitement. ‘It’s here, it’s here,’ he shouted in delight. The whole family rushed out of the back door and sure enough, perched on the wall of the garage was a brightly coloured butterfly.

Savannah stood beneath the creature and stared up into its eyes. It fluttered its wings in understanding, and as the three children walked away across to the garden shed it followed gracefully in their wake.

Respectfully the family stood back as the butterfly entered the shed, and after a few minutes they returned to the warmth of the kitchen to observe through the window. The pigeons flew out of the shelter and perched on the garden wall next to the house. One of the birds fluttered onto the wooden gate and stared into the kitchen; nodding his head several times. The two brothers looked at their sister who smiled happily.

‘He says that the butterfly will guide them home now that the winds have dropped, and they will be home safely in two days,’ Savannah cocked her head to one side as she absorbed more of the bird’s message.

‘Our home is now protected by fairy magic and we are officially appointed as a Royal Pigeon guest house to be used on long journeys across this part of the world.’

She turned to her mother who stood watching this interaction with delight. ‘Mother, the pigeon says that he is breaking protocol,’ she shook her head at the word, but her mother nodded in understanding.

‘He is carrying an important message from his queen, but we would not understand the fairy writing so he has to break his bond and utter the words. His queen and her court are in danger, and she is looking for a new home, and he wondered if we might know of a safe place where she could bring her court to live?’

Her mother thought for a few minutes and then smiled. She nodded her head and beckoned the children to follow her to the end of the garden and through a gate that suddenly appeared in the hedge. The children stared at their mother, but she just laughed and told them to follow her along the path through the forest. High above them the canopy of trees sparkled as the spring sunlight filtered through them to light their way. The three pigeons and the butterfly flew from branch to branch as they watched their new friends walk swiftly through the trees, until they entered the brightness of the day again.

The pigeons and the special envoy lined up on a branch of an old oak tree and stared in wonder at the emerald jewel before them. Hedges of brilliance surrounded a garden full of bushes, budding with gems of purple and rose. There was a fountain in the middle of a lush and wild field, gushing sweet water that flowed over its brim and onto snowdrops and bluebells surrounding its base. Fruit trees gathered in an abundance of blossom to the side of a stone cottage, standing proud in the middle of the land.

But the queen’s messenger’s eyes settled on the most wondrous sight of all. A tall and ancient magnolia tree grew by the side of the house, with large pink buds just waiting to burst into beautiful blossoms. It was a fairy tree, and the pigeons knew that beneath its strong trunk, lay a wonder of roots that arched into chambers fit for a queen. Summer and her children walked hand in hand across the lush grass towards the house, and as they did so, the back door opened, and the Storyteller emerged to greet them. The pigeons and butterfly followed and perched on a limb of the magnolia, observing the humans as they talked. The Storyteller approached and looked up at them and immediately spoke to them in their own language.

‘You are welcome to my land which has been released from the curse of the Winter Fairy. There once lived a mighty Fairy King and his court in the palace beneath this tree, but he left for warmer climes 100 years ago. Please convey my best wishes to your queen, and tell her that she is free to come and share this garden with me for all time. I am the guardian of the land and will remain so for many hundreds of years to come.’

The pigeons and their companion fluttered down to the Storyteller’s outstretched hands, sitting there for a moment or two, absorbing his essence. Finally satisfied, the butterfly flew away, followed by the birds who circled the house several times, imprinting the location before winging their way back to Spain with this wonderful news.

Two days later a very happy Jacamo carried a wicker basket down from the garden to the pigeon loft where he and Queen Filigree fussed over their beloved birds. They listened to the story of their adventure, and learned about the three special rescuers, and the offer of a new home in the Emerald Island. At first the queen was a little bit doubtful, since it had been the home of their arch enemy the Winter Fairy. However, she had heard from one of the southern realms that he was now grounded for all eternity in a sand covered desert and no longer a threat.

She called a special meeting of the council, and plans were drawn up to move the contents of the palace, and as many of the guardians from the garden, to their new home as quickly as possible. The deadline for the new owner to begin the destruction of the house was only a week away and there was no time to waste.

A few days later as the children played in their overgrown garden in the Emerald Island, one of their new black and white feathered friends arrived, carrying a personal note of thanks, written on gossamer silk paper and infused with magic so that they could read it. They dashed inside to their mother as she prepared their evening meal, excitedly relating the news that the royal court of Magia was on its way by swan express and would be here in the next two days.

Summer and the children hurriedly made their way through the forest to inform the Storyteller of the imminent arrival of the Spanish court, and to help prepare the palace for its new occupants.

©Sally Cronin 2018

One of the reviews for Tales from the Irish Garden

Tales from the Irish Garden is a wonderful book. It has the magic of the Narnia Chronicles, the mystery of The Secret Garden and the delight of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

As I read this book I became completely immersed in the world of Fairy Queen Filigree and her court. I shared her anxiety as she searched for a new home where her people and bees could be safe and participated in her delight when the perfect spot is found on the faraway Emerald Island.

It is not an easy task to undertake such a big move but the fairies managed it admirably with the help of some of their friends. The Storyteller, a delightful elderly man, is a wonderful new character you will meet and get to know and he proves himself to be kind, thoughtful and understanding. In no time at all the fairies are settled into their new home, kitted out in clothing more suitable for the colder, damper weather and even aided in meeting new friends.

Of course, life is never straightforward and Queen Filigree and the fairies experience their ups and downs, losses, romances and worries as they adapt to their new environment. There are plenty of celebrations and happy moments to smooth the way and it all makes for a very entertaining read.

The illustrations in this book are deserve a mention as they are amazing. They are the creations of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka.

Robbie created a beautiful fondant Queen Filigree to accompany her review on her blog.

If you would like to browse my other ebooks.. you can find their reviews https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoy the rest of the book.. Chapter Four next Saturday.. Sally.

The previous chapters of Tales from the Irish Garden can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update- #Reviews – Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Toni Pike and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the second Cafe and Bookstore Update this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share a recent review for the 6th book in the Sir Chocolate series of stories and cookbooks by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

About the story

Number 6 in the Sir Chocolate series: Five zoo animals go missing and Sir Chocolate needs to find them. Includes five lovely new recipes. Not only a storybook but a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to create wonderful recipes together.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle and her son Michael, in the delightful book Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five Story and Cookbook, combine children’s story, poetry and recipes together. The story is about a zoo in Chocolate Land with Fondant Five, namely the lion, king of the jungle, the gentle elephant, the elegant leopard, the bulky rhino, and the buffalo. Sir Chocolate cares for them. One day, these five fondant animals disappeared. Sir Chocolate found Fondant Cat who could help to find Fondant Five.

This fun story book includes recipes for Lady Sweet Rusks, Buffalo Coconut Cake, Rhino Soetkoekies, Cheetah Cheese Scones, and Sir Chocolate Peppermint Caramel Pudding.

The book has beautiful photograph of the fondant animals and desserts. Students in the classrooms will enjoy the story, poems and photos in this book. I will read this to my granddaughter. I also love the idea of parents doing the cooking with their children using these recipes.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PVKZ851

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Fondant-Five-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B07PVKZ851

A selection of books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael Cheadle via their Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Now for a recent review for the recently released  thriller from Toni Pike…..Desolation Bluff

About the book

Blind romance author Oliver Cameron uses the pen name of Fidel Amore and thinks he has the perfect life at his country estate near Desolation Bluff. After a honeymoon in Paris, his wife Vanessa continues her work as his assistant. His friend Ray is the business manager who lives in the gatehouse and also acts as the public face of Fidel Amore, doing all those book-signing trips that Oliver never wanted to attend. Helen Dunkley is the housekeeper devoted to him since childhood – but she detests the two newcomers.

Complications set in when Ray, working on his old car, accidentally backs into Oliver. His injuries appear minor but the next day he suddenly regains his sight. Oliver wants Ray and Rachel to be the first to hear his good news, but when he finds them he uncovers a shocking betrayal.

A game of cat and mouse begins – and with the arrival of a mysterious stranger, it turns deadly.

A short suspense novel that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 03, 2019 Debbie Harris rated it it was amazing  · 

I have enjoyed Toni Pike’s books before, particularly Dead Dry Heart and when she asked if I’d read her new novel Desolation Bluff I was pleased to do so for an honest review. I received an ARC at no cost from the author.

This story was interesting, riveting and full of suspense. The fact that Oliver Cameron was a romance writer and blind as well, made for an intriguing main character. When he was able to ‘see’ what was happening around him with his new wife Vanessa and friend Ray, it all became clear!

I enjoyed the location as I know the area quite well and could imagine it all happening there. The characters were well drawn and the story moved along at a good pace. It was all a bit over the top at times but this fitted in with the whole romance writing genre and made it a fun read. It wasn’t all happiness and light with a few deaths, but well written and highly enjoyable.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RCDRF86

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desolation-Bluff-Toni-Pike-ebook/dp/B07RCDRF86

Also by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14736589.Toni_Pike

About Toni Pike

Connect to Toni Pike via her website: www.tonipike.com

And for the final author today, Jan Sikes, a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes is a passionate love story that raises some questions. Since this is a true love story, I was all the time thinking how naïve young lovers are, why their decisions are capricious and why can’t they see reason. Love is said to be blind and if this is true, no story can ever illustrate it better than this one. I wonder how could Darlina continue to love a person who didn’t confide his dark secrets to her? I couldn’t relate with either of the protagonists, Darlina is too emotional and immature and Luke, a married man with children seems to be a womanizer. This love story may seem charming to young lovers.

The plot moves slowly as it revolves around two lovers and their world of music and nightlife but the good part is that it is unpredictable. It is Sikes’ simple and honest style of writing that would keep you engrossed. Having said that, I must mention that it is repetitive; uses too many curse words and doesn’t tell anything about the most crucial part of the story. Evidence details are missing and the ending is too abrupt. I closed this book, longing for more. Probably the next book contains the answers. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also 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

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