Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Colleen Chesebro, Natalie Ducey and Malia Ann Haberman


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore update and lots of news today.  First is a FREE offer from Colleen Chesebro for her book The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy 23rd – 24th June.

Here is the latest review for the book

This is not my usual cup of tea, but I knew Colleen Chesebro’s excellent work as a blogger for a couple years and was curious about her debut novel. I am glad I decided to read it!

This was a wonderful fairy tale, and in terms of the protagonist’s social relations, it was also a sweet, utterly believable YA novel that really tugged at my heartstrings. I loved Abigale’s relationship with her aunt in particular – it was terribly moving in places and the author’s vivid descriptions and excellent prose made it so lifelike for me, as if it all took place before my eyes. It was all very human, very easy to relate to, what they had to go through as they got to know and trust each other, and I loved this in the story more than anything else. Abigale’s relations with the local youngsters and the horse racing were a delight to explore and, of course, I found the fairies enchanting! I expect young teenage girls will most certainly lap up the whimsical fantasy elements in this story.

The antagonist is a scary villain that I believe bordered on madness. His malice balances out perfectly the sweetness and innocence that surrounds Abigale in her world, other than that. I am really surprised this is a debut novel! It’s very well-structured and told beautifully, a real feat for an emerging author. I am already looking forward to the next installment in this delightful tale! (I received a free copy and chose voluntarily to review it.)

Read all the reviews and download the book FREE today and tomorrow: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The next author with an update is Natalie Ducey who is celebrating the publication of her second book.

About the book

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain.

Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes.

In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart.

And in the end, we must never forget … Love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

Buy your copy of Natalie’s new book: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Lullaby-Natalie-Ducey-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

Also by Natalie Ducey.

One of the recent reviews for this poetry collection.

on May 9, 2017

Natalie Ducey’s intensely emotional debut book of poetry is a collection of 23 poems reflecting upon her views during both her fifteen years counselling others, as well as her own personal journey. Both have given her ample fodder for writing of the many diverse facets of human emotion. Author Ducey says, “I try to capture the essence of the fragility and resiliency of our hearts—the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.” Her words are an apt description of her lovely and deeply moving poems.

This powerfully written book of poetry touches upon all of the emotions of humanity, sometimes with a gentle loving touch, other times with the raging agony of love lost. Her words speak in the brutally honest language of the soul, connecting with readers following journeys similar to her own . . . and to those whose emotional trials are yet to come.
Unlike poets who make their readers study and search for meaning, this poet writes directly to her readers, as the songlike meter of her joys and travails draw them into her journey; feeling with her.

As a published poet myself, I tend to judge poetry on how it affects me. If the meter is slightly off, but the words draw me in to them, I am content. I loved every single one of these poems and could not pick a favorite as each one reached out to me on so many levels. I laughed, loved and cried with these poems which drew out anew memories of my own. Most importantly, I stopped to read some of them yet again, drawn to words that felt like heartbeats, comforting me as I traverse my own journey.

By the books end I was left satiated by a warm sense of peace and an overall warm and fuzzy good feeling. That, to me, is the sign of a true poet.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13534715.Natalie_Ducey

Connect to Natalie via her blog: https://natalieducey.com/

The last update today is from Malia Ann Haberman and her latest release this week. Letters from an American Soldier: A True Love Story told through real Love Letters. The letters were written by Malia Ann’s father who was fighting in the Korean War to her mother..

About the book

Sometimes real life is so much better than fiction.

These real and amazing love letters written by a soldier during training and then while fighting overseas in Korea will make you believe that true love really does exist. They’re filled with the raw emotions of a soldier who wants nothing more than to be with the love of his life. So put on some mood music, pour yourself a tall drink, and then slip into the mind, heart, and soul of an American soldier.

Buy Malia Ann Haberman’s new book: https://www.amazon.com/Letters-American-Soldier-Story-Through-ebook/dp/B072WM24Q3

Also by Malia Ann Haberman

One of the most recent reviews on Amazon for Book One.. Chase Tinker and the House of Magic.

Malia Ann Haberman exhibits her amazing talent through her story Chase Tinker and the House of Magic. I read it all in one day and refused to put it down— Er, close my Kindle app on my computer, to be precise. Her character, Chase Tinker, develops throughout the story in such a “magical” way. I cannot wait for the next to watch Chase develop, and, hopefully, to see where he is going with Persephone.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is about a young boy named Chase and his younger brother Andy who have to deal with coming into strange new powers without the support of their magical father. He’s gone missing. So when the boys finally share their lack of knowledge of their powers with each other, they were surprised to find the grandfather, who was supposed to be dead, at their door. They go with him back to the magical home that belongs to the Tinker family, and wondrous things happen as they gain knowledge about their family heritage, powers, and things they weren’t supposed to hear.

Everything quickly starts to go downhill after their arrival, forcing the boys and their cousin, Janie, and the housekeeper’s daughter, Persephone, to have to find their way through the mess of things.

Not only was her book amazing to read, it was amazing to see. I don’t mean that there were pictures or videos, nor that the structure was beautiful to look at (though it was structurally flawless); just that she used a great deal of imagery and description that I felt like I was there with Chase and Andy and Janie and Persephone as they roamed the magical home filled with rooms of bizarre powers.

Find out more about Malia Ann Haberman and buy her books: https://www.amazon.com/Malia-Ann-Haberman/e/B009CJ0DNE

Read more reviews and follow Malia Ann Haberman on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5769159.Malia_Ann_Haberman

Connect to Malia Ann Haberman via her blog: https://maliaannhaberman.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping by today and if you have news to share about a new book or an offer please let me know. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Shehanne Moore and Kevin Morris


Welcome to the second of this week’s review posts and this week Paul Andruss wrote a fantastic review for The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore on his website.

About the book

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

When it comes to doing it all, ‘wild child’ writer Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé and her being transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute. He needs Brittany as his obedient, country-mouse wife. Or, rather, he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed, he’s never known a woman like her. Nor a woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and remain, will having it all be enough, or does she underestimate him, and herself?

Paul Andruss with his review: http://www.paul-andruss.com/the-writer-and-the-rake/

I can confirm Shehanne Moore is no Miss Barbara Cartland.

Now there is two ways you can take this news. If you are anything like me it will be with a lusty huzzah and an air punch. I was never one for simpering virgins and sex scenes discretely ending outside the bedroom door.

Shehanne Moore writes historical romance with a sci-fi twist that’s unapologetically smexy. For those who don’t know, smexy (her word, not mine) is a cross between smutty and sexy… raunchy romance in the raw… or is that with a roar? Cos, boy, does the gal deliver!

If you want a complex heroine, so feisty she could bitch slap you in a stand-up row, meet tough but vulnerable Brittany Carter – ‘brittle as porcelain and deadlier than shattered glass. An irresistible combination.’

If you like a ruggedly handsome man, oozing animal magnetism, you can’t go far wrong with Mitchell Killgower. He’s not so tough. Underneath them smouldering looks and icy demeanour beats a heart to make you melt. At least something will be wet by the end of the novel.

By that I mean if a ‘good man who needs saving from himself’ don’t bring a tear to your eye then you are no Brittany Carter – not matter how smexy and gorgeous you are – ‘darling!’

Brittany is a struggling historical romance writer and no simpering virgin. Like most good-looking modern women in their mid-twenties, she’s had her fair share of men; all of them disappointments.

The book opens when a stranger called Morte stops Brittany for her autograph. Or so she thinks.

To be honest she’s not taking much notice. The girl’s got a lot on her mind. Off to straighten out her finances with some crap-head she used to date – he took everything but somehow managed to leave her name on a mortgage he’s not paying.

Morte’s weird, more stalker than fan. As his ominous warning about making the right choice rings in her ears, lightning strikes him. Brittany does the decent thing: calls an ambulance; helps Morte live.

Wrong choice!

Next thing Brittany wakes up in a sixteen year boy’s dusty bed. Wound tight as a cheese wire garrotte, she desperately plays it cool, frantically struggling to keep herself together while figuring out what the hell happened?

The boy’s furious. Handsome dad’s furious too. Not with her; with each other.

All the while she’s praying it’s a nightmare and she’ll wake up. Gradually it dawns. She’s somehow travelled through time, back to 1765 to be precise. To a crumbling stately home in Georgian England and the middle of a bitter inheritance feud between handsome rakish father and puritan unloved son, and with a cow of a sister-in-law holding the purse strings and fuelling the whole debacle.

The Writer and the Rake starts at 100 miles an hour and never flags. It is an unrelenting tour de force; a dazzling pas-de-deux of searing wit and laugh out loud moments between Brittany and Mitchell. The frisson between them is tangible, popping and fizzing across the pages as they slog it out to gain the upper hand, only to have the other snatch it back.

Despite wanting to return to her own time Brittany can’t take her eyes off Mitchell; while he can’t keep his hands off her behind. So, what about Morte? Don’t worry, he’s there too. Intent on sealing his Faustian bargain.

When Mitchell sees Morte with Brittany, he’s jealous as hell of her secret lover. It’s just the spark they need for scorching emotions to boil over into reckless sex. Even if you don’t smoke, you’ll be reaching for that post-coital cigarette Brittany can never have because she ran out in the first few days.

Casual sex has consequences. Hell, Brittany knows that. But she’s not prepared for what they are. Ok it’s not the first time she’s woken in a strange bed. But this one’s oddly familiar. She’s leapfrogged forward to her own time to find she’s been missing for weeks, presumed kidnapped, and her books are now best sellers.

Bingo!

Morte picks his moment to explain it all; a drunken night out with the girls. Apparently she’s a time mutant – the mother of a dynasty. Shame she’s too pissed to take it in.

Talk about sealed with a kiss. One drunken snog with some bloke in the club and Brittany’s back to Mitchell’s crumbling house. Only one thing for it, seduce Mitchell and use the ride of her life to hitchhike through the centuries back to her duly deserved fame and fortune.

Here lies the rub.

Mitchell’s the man she wants, the one she’s been waiting for all her life. She knows it from the moment he sweeps her up in his strong arms and drops her on his big old bed. From the second he unbuttons her bodice, and she his breeches. If only he was from her time. If, if, if…

If this is her last kiss; the last time she can make love for fear of ricocheting through the ages with every orgasm, then there is no one she would rather do it with.

Life’s never that simple, is it Brittany? Not with destiny calling… loud and clear.

The Writer and the Rake is a genre-bending adventure. It confirms Shehanne Moore as an author who know today’s woman is as likely to be into science fiction, playing computer games or watching light porn as reading heavy romance. And Moore’s not afraid to give her readers what they want … without ifs, buts or apologies.

The dialogue is racy, witty and thoroughly modern. This is no cod 18th century comedy of manners. That would get in the way of the lust and punishing pace. Her characters are real: gritty, decent and flawed as the rest of us. And ultimately, as redeemable by love we all are. Though it’s bloody hard work for them sometimes!

And in case you are thinking this is just for the girls, I’d advise you to give it a shot, lads. Cos let’s face it… it does no harm knowing what your woman wants.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Rake-Shehanne-Moore-ebook/dp/B06XS2R38K/

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW/

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore

The second review today is for the soon to be released collection of poetry My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems by Kevin Morris. Reviewed by poet Annette Rochelle Aben https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

The book will be available on Amazon and other online bookstores by the end of June.

Annette Rochelle Aben’s review for “My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems” by Kevin Morris

If you have yet to find yourself lost in a book of poetry by English poet, Kevin Morris, then lose yourself in My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems. Allow yourself to wander through the changing seasons, to experience the magic of limericks, and to be entertained by the musings of a man who sees this world through different eyes.

You’ll learn about girls with unsuitable shoes, what having dinner with Dracula might be like and wonder if a garden log might be an alligator or perhaps a crocodile. Be thought provoked, by a magpie and perhaps find yourself shaking your head in agreement with the last line of Kevin’s Melting Ice. “and now the call, of the bird, goes unheard, by those drunk on their own words.”

For Kevin Morris, another notch on the belt of his writing career. For us, the readers, yet another opportunity to experience the world through the poetic eyes of a multi-faceted English poet. My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems belongs in your collection.

A selection of other books by Kevin Morris

A review for Kevin’s collection Dalliance

Question: How can one line – one simple sentence – provoke such meaning, hold such depth, contain such raw emotion? You’re lost for answers if you’re asking me, for nor do I know or can fathom the talent Morris must have to accomplish such a thing.

Dalliance is a collection of poetry and prose, crafted by the wonderful talent of K. Morris, containing a mixture of short poems, long poems, and flash fiction, concluded with an essay at the end, which will dazzle and define you simultaneously; each poem we can relate to, each short story provokes personal emotion, and even the essay causes one to be contemplative. In a nut shell, with each page turn comes a new story, a new poignant perspective, with a bundle of more emotions, more passion, and more soul.

Personally, I favoured the short stories the most, for – of course – they’re all beautifully written, and in the perspective of a rhythmic voice, yet many of them contain sly humour, which catches you at the end. In particular, I noticed how Morris tends to begin on one topic, and right at the end switches it to another; the topic that had been discussed by the character is not irrelevant, but is instead the cause of the final paragraph, or final line. I really enjoyed this method of storytelling, because it’s very unique, and definitely something I’ve never seen before.

Furthermore, much of the poetry included in this collection is short, but this is not to say it is too short. On the contrary, in fact, the short poems are probably the most thought provoking. They are the ones that offer a quick insight into the mind of another, and are so ambiguous, you can interpret it in whichever fashion you desire.

Likewise, dissimilar to many poetry/prose collections, this collection isn’t structured around one theme or emotion. Quite frankly, reading of the same emotion or theme continuously is terribly boring, and so when reading Dalliance, you’re faced with differing emotions with each page, which I definitely prefer. Happy, funny, and joyous pages are juxtaposed with melancholic, serious, and abhorrent pages, all of which being victim to Morris’ underlying dark humour.

In a nut shell, Morris writes originally, beautifully, and true. The emotions described are raw, and lacking gimmicks, causing this collection to be a beautiful, contemplative read.

Read all the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.co.uk/K.-Morris/e/B00CEECWHY

Connect to Kevin via his blog: http://newauthoronline.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and don’t forget to let me know if you have received a great review you would like to share. Sally

Guest Posts Revisited Cook From Scratch with Author J.P.Mclean – Roasted Tomato Sauce


Another series that I would like to repeat is the original Cook from Scratch back in 2014 as the dishes are just as delicious and back then they were aimed at a much smaller audience.

This week the cook from scratch is a dish that I refer to as ‘red gold’… It can be used as a wonderful pasta sauce but also as the base for many more dishes.. I have a version (not as delicious as this sounds) that I cook up in bulk and store in the freezer in two portion containers. Not only do I use a couple of times a week in my everyday cooking but also very useful to have on hand when visitors drop by unexpectedly.

Cooked tomato is one of the exceptions when it comes to nutritional benefits.  The lycopene which is the most beneficial ingredient in the tomato is more potent when cooked than when fresh.  Add in the garlic and olive oil and this sauce with rice or pasta is packed full of goodness.

My guest today is J.P McLean (Jo-Anne) who has her recipe for roasted tomato sauce down to a fine art.

Jo-Anne is the author of The Gift Legacy. A Thriller that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night skies.

About Book 1 – The Gift – Awakening.

Every Gift has its Price . . .

When Emelynn Taylor accepts a mysterious gift from a stranger, her life alters irrevocably. Haunted by terrifying abilities she can’t control, Emelynn returns to her abandoned home on the British Columbia coast where she vows to take command of her unruly gift. A near-fatal miscalculation drops her into the hands of a man who takes her breath away and an underground society who share the gift; but as they steer her into unknown territory, secrets surface and conspiracies are revealed. Will Emelynn master her dangerous gift and escape the unfolding web of perils before they take her life?

A fantasy thriller that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night skies.

If you’re new to the fantasy genre, this is a good place to start. The Gift Legacy crosses genres. It’s light on fantasy, heavy on thriller, with a healthy undercurrent of action and adventure. The books have been described as smart, contemporary and addictive.

One of the recent reviews for the book

The Gift Awakening is a fantasy that starts off slowly and gains momentum. The main protagonist, Emelynn, knows she is different but doesn’t realize just how unusual her gifted talents are.

She was just a normal preteen when a woman visited her on the beach near her home and bestowed a strange gift upon her. Odd things begin to happen to her and when she is seen by a doctor after one of these peculiar episodes he makes her aware of what is happening to her.

When a handsome stranger comes into her life Emelynn is tossed into more turmoil than she could ever imagine. This story continued to intrigue me and I couldn’t put it down for long.

This author has a winning series that is sure to get the attention of fantasy lovers out there. I look forward to the next books in this gripping series.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/JP-McLean/e/B00JSZOXTC

Read more reviews and follow Jo-Anne on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6429987.J_P_McLean

Now time for Jo-Anne’s delicious and easy to make tomato sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I make this at the end of the tomato season to fill my freezer with read-to-use tomato sauce. It’s suitable for use as a base for spaghetti sauce, chili and soup, or for use in stuffed peppers or cabbage rolls. It’s quite flexible and can be adjusted to taste, adding onions or peppers or other spices. I’ve never weighed or measured the amount of tomatoes, I simply fill my roaster, and it’s one that fits an 18-20lb turkey.

Ingredients
Fresh tomatoes washed and quartered.
A whole head of garlic, peeled
¼ cup olive oil and salt to taste.

Method
Pile a large roaster with the tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle oil over top and sprinkle with salt.
Roast in a 350 oven for 4-5 hours, stirring every hour or so until reduced to 1/3 original volume.
The tomato skins will blacken, which is good – it adds flavour. Let the mixture cool.

You can either process the sauce with a food processor, or if you prefer to remove the skins and seeds entirely, you can process it with a European Tomato Press, known in our house as the Wapper because of the noise it makes when you operate it. I put the pulp through twice to get all the yummy goodness out.

Can be used immediately or frozen.

Connect to Jo-Anne

Blog: http://jpmclean1.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JPMcLeanBooks
Website: http://www.jpmclean.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jpmclean1

My thanks to Jo-Anne for contributing this delicious and extremely useful roasted tomato sauce.  For the previous recipes in the series please check the directory and I hope that you will accept my invitation to share one of your favourite cook from scratch recipes. Just email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Jacquie Biggar, Sacha Black and Sally Cronin


The first author with a new review is USA Bestselling author, Jacquie Biggar for her latest book released in April 2017 – Hold ‘Em – A Gambling Hearts Novel (Volume 1)

About the book

In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

The most recent review

on May 15, 2017

I have never read a book by this author but found it to be well written and it held my interest. Professional poker player Matt Shaughnessy wins more than he expected when the one player did not have the means to totally pay up. This player a Canadian diplomat was short the wagered amount, he dug into his jacket pocket and pulled out a diamond ring. Asking Matt if he will accept this as a token? It was a beautiful ring and it was in the family for generations and was for his daughter who was to be getting married soon.
Matt lives in Texas and comes from a good Texas ranch family. His grandmother is dying and her wish is before she dies to see her grandson with a good woman, about to marry.
Gardener from Canada, was feeling like he won and he was about to pull the winnings his way before Matt had a chance to lay down his hand.

Cassandra was Gardener’s daughter and they had just settled on her becoming Matt’s fiancée for a week. To come back to Texas with him, meet the grandma and pretend to be in love with Matt. This was to pay off her fathers $250,000 gambling debt.
Cassandra stepped up to the plate in doing what needed to be done to settle what her father had gotten her into. She would be living in the next room from Matt, with a Jack and Jill bathroom separating them. She had to encounter the whole Shaughnessy family and ranch hands, learning to ride a horse, etc.

You could tell that Matt and his grandmother Madeline had a wonderful strong bond. Madeline firmly believed that Cassandra was the girl that she had dreamt about for Matt.
I hope to be able to read more from this author.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hold-Em-Gambling-Hearts-Novel/dp/1988126134

A selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar

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

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

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

The next review is for Sacha Black’s debut book How to Craft Superbad Villains – 13 Steps to Evil published last month.

About the book

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

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

In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:

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

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

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

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

The most recent review on Amazon

Sacha Black makes a great point in the opening of this book – that a villain is at least as important as the hero and rarely gets an equivalent amount of attention as a book is crafted. And we all love a great villain, whether we know it or not, because a great villain makes our hero miserable, which promises a satisfying payoff when the hero prevails!

Black is thorough, elaborating on 13 different factors related specifically to villain development, though many of the points, including those covering motivation, conflict, and authenticity, apply to all characters. Villain-specific chapters address such things as female villains, cliches, the villain psyche, and anti-heroes. There is a thoughtful chapter on mental health challenges in relation to building a villain’s profile.

In general, Black’s presentation is a hoot, witty and conversational, and a joy to read. The book is well-organized with summaries at the end of each chapter and references and appendices in the back. Once read, the book can easily serve as an ongoing resource. 13 Steps to Evil is a must-read for new writers and has some good reminders/tips for seasoned writers as well.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0722X7Y4P

and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0722X7Y4P

Connect to Sacha via her blog: http://sachablack.co.uk/about/

And I am delighted to also include a new review for my latest book What’s in a Name by Marsha Ingrao in her blog this week.

About the book

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

Marsha’s review on Amazon

What’s in a name? Would you expect a dry rendition of the ancient origins for names? NO! Sally Cronin would not write something that would put you to sleep. What’s in a Name? is Sally’s newest book, published in February 2017.What’s in a Name?

In What’s in a Name? Sally wrote simple stories about people named Anne, who preferred to be called Annie, Alexander Winterbottom, Beatrix, and David. She gave them all interesting lives. Beatrix was a beautiful actress. Even after 40 years, she retained her regal demeanor and her audience appeal. Only at the end do you find out how. Celia buried herself in work for twenty years and then had to leave the nunnery and find a new life outside. Clive had a life-changing run-in with a cobra at age three. Diana Grace, courted by a handsome merchant banker, fell in love and married him in short order. When she got pregnant three years later, her husband did not react the way she expected he would.

Many stories, each with their plot twist that often made me smile, even when the protagonist murdered someone. Yes, there are a couple of murders and a few deaths. Four-year-old Grace went on a hunger strike when a loss broke her heart. I cried at that story. Hector accidentally killed a man who attacked his buddy and had already killed two security officers.

You will not be bored. It is an easy book to put down because each person has their own chapter. However, you will not want to. Can you tell I loved this book?

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

Also by Sally Cronin

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow Sally on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and please let me know if you have a great review that you would like to share. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Shehanne Moore and Gigi Sedlmayer


The first author with an update is Shehanne Moore with another excellent review this week for her book The Writer and the Rake.

About the book.

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

When it comes to doing it all, ‘wild child’ writer Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé and her being transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute. He needs Brittany as his obedient, country-mouse wife. Or, rather, he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed, he’s never known a woman like her. Nor a woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and remain, will having it all be enough, or does she underestimate him, and herself?

The latest review on Amazon.

I totally loved everything about this time-travel romance and would give it ten stars if I could.

Brittany Carter is an author, who drinks, smokes, and parties too much. After a surreal encounter with a character called Morte, she’s transported to the Georgian era and meets bad boy Mitchell Killgower, who is locked into an inheritance dispute with some hateful relatives of his deceased wife. When Brittany materialises out of nowhere, he hopes she can prove useful by pretending to be his obedient and mousy wife for long enough to hoodwink those who hold the purse strings and stop his son getting the inheritance. The only trouble is that the feisty Brittany is incapable of fitting into this role and Mitchell has truly met his match on the impossible person’s front.

I don’t want to give too much away, as this will spoil readers’ fun; and the novel is such great fun, in a quirky sense of the word, always sustaining a wonderful forward momentum with wonderfully entertaining dialogue. Come to think of it, I don’t recall the author using any dialogue tags at all, and if she did, they weren’t intrusive.

Brittany is often insufferable, but also pretty cool in a chaotic way. Mitchell is a Mr Darcy type: dark, handsome, brooding, stubborn, hard to impress, and master of his heart, but decidedly sexier than the original. His relationship with Brittany is meant as a short-term arrangement of convenience and nothing more. And the feeling is mutual …until it isn’t.

Speaking of the raunchy scenes, Shehanne Moore knows how to write about sex in a way that’s humorous, playful, erotic and, at times, intense. It’s never explicit, because it doesn’t need to be; the subtle interplay of all the human senses is sufficient.

On the hilarity front, the crowning moment for me is when Mitchell rifles through Brittany’s bag and puzzles over its contents from the future, and then questions her about one of the items in particular.

If you haven’t already guessed, I fell in love with Mitchell and felt really sorry for him when Brittany kept appearing and disappearing. A rake like Mitchell does not give his heart easily to a woman, preferring the casual company of floosies when needs dictate.

The Writer and the Rake can be read as a standalone novel, even though it’s the second part of a series. One reviewer has suggested that, in order to understand the time mutants better, it’s an idea to read the series in the right order, starting with The Viking and the Courtesan.

As you can imagine, Time Mutants #1 is near the top of my reading list, as I can’t get enough of Shehanne Moore’s writing and am delighted to have discovered someone with such a fresh and original voice. A highly recommended read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Rake-Shehanne-Moore-ebook/dp/B06XS2R38K

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore

Connect to Shehanne via her blog: https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

The next author who has been receiving great reviews for her books is Gigi Sedlmayer and here is the latest review for the first book in the Talon series Talon, Come Fly with Me.

About the book

The adventure of a young girl will captivate your attention in this beautiful book. The words soar off the page and into your heart as you read this imaginative story.

Enjoy seeing the family dynamic from the first moment with her brother, to the gentle times with her mom, and the exciting scenes with her father.

A young girl, Matica, is jealous of her brother, Aiken’s ability to have friends. But Matica’s ability to form friendships is extraordinary. The trust and camaraderie between Matica and the condors is truly wonderful.

The way the author revealed each situation is fun to read and it made one anxious to see what’s next. Acceptance was eloquently woven into the story without being blatant. And the other thing I learned was that when certain things happen, you don’t always know why and just maybe something goodwill come of it.

Talon, Come Fly With Me is not only magical but inspiring. The author is expressive every step of the way and paint such vivid pictures with her words.

The latest review

This inspirational story is the part one of a series of books about a family of condors taken care by a disabled girl named Matica and her Australian family residing in Peru amongst Indians and the wildlife of that country. Matica, a sandy-blonde girl who does not seem to grow in length appropriate for her age, goes through a series of hard events to make sure her condor friends Tamo, Tima, and their son Talon (which this book and those succeeding it are about) survive poachers and thrive in their natural habitat.

I thought this book was moving and endearing because it is a children’s book but the lessons in it are universal and can also benefit adults too. All throughout the book, Matica and I both discovered the beauty of purpose and advantage and how after the storm and turbulence, you come to realize that you have a reason for being here on earth. Matica is disabled and initially she had thought that her life was meaningless, that she did not fit in with her settings and environment, that she was a no-good individual that the Peruvian Indians were excluding from their society and was considered by them to be “weird” and or “cursed.” However, by the end of the book, she comes to terms with her own existence and that despite being disabled, she had a purpose, she had an advantage for living and that is to care for the condors she has named Tamo (the adult male); Tima (the adult female); and Talon (their son).

This book should be in your home library yes, yes, yes! I say this because it has a moralistic teaching about it that you can revisit over and over throughout your life. If you think you are a worthless, invalid person, just pick this book from your shelves and reread it and you will forget about your trouble. It is God-fearing, it is family-oriented, and it is inspirational. Great for your children, grandchildren, nephew/niece, godson/daughter, etc. Come on, reward that dear, favorite child of yours with a didactic story like this! Hey, and while you’re at it, get the other books in this 5-part series as well!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Thank you for dropping by today and please don’t forget to let me know if you have a great review, new release or a book on offer. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Genie Hunt by M.C. Tuggle


A welcome to M.C. Tuggle to the bookstore with his latest book The Genie Hunt (Spook Hunters Book 1) published on May 8th 2017.

About the book

Buddy Vuncannon, an attorney in High Point, North Carolina, and his friend Coot Pickard are heading out of town for a fishing weekend when they’re surrounded by a SWAT team. Three eyewitnesses have identified Coot as the gun man in the latest of a string of robberies. To defend Coot, Buddy must stand up to a bullying district attorney, uncover the identity of the real robbers, and battle a powerful genie who serves the robbers. Buddy’s investigation implicates an old friend, reigniting long-forgotten friction between Buddy and Coot. Old and new loyalties clash, leading Buddy and Coot to a desperate chase that forces them to seek the help of a madman they both fear.

Early reviews for the book

The supernatural strikes small town America in The Genie Hunt, Mike Tuggle’s entertaining, cozy mystery/fantasy thriller. Attorney Buddy Vuncannon must not only persuade a judge that his friend did not rob the local pawn shop, but must face a determined, sinister force to uncover the truth.

Tuggle redefines a popular fairytale character in his tale of the paranormal, of powerful dark alliances, and of deadly deception, set in a small town in North Carolina. Those bedtime stories we were told as children may just have a frightening, more threatening side. The Genie Hunt will keep you guessing about how a good lawyer can overcome evil to set an innocent man free.

A little bit of Grisham, a touch of Hitchcock, and some light-hearted shenanigans, make Tuggle’s The Genie Hunt a great lazy afternoon or summer beach read.

This genie won’t grant three wishes, but maybe a life behind bars.

Having read and enjoyed a couple of the Buddy and Coot stories, I was looking forward to this book. And as I had noted in another review of this couple (and particularly being from the south), the characters and dialogue are so on target. I feel I’ve known these very guys in another life. Tuggle always throws in a bit a magic and at first I wasn’t sure I liked the genie touch, but midway through, I was thoroughly into it. Definitely full of surprises and somewhere between light-hearted and suspenseful. Another fun read!!!

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Genie-Hunt-M-C-Tuggle-ebook/dp/B07282SDDN

Also by M.C. Tuggle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/M.C.-Tuggle/e/B00R6D9UKA

About M.C. Tuggle

M.C. Tuggle is a native North Carolinian whose ancestors arrived in the South in 1647. He majored in history and English, and completed his M.A. in English at Wake Forest University on a Wake Forest fellowship.

M.C. Tuggle’s fantasy, science fiction, and literary stories have been featured in Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Mystic Signals, Fabula Argentea, and Fiction 365. Novel Fox published his novella Aztec Midnight in December, 2014.

Connect to M.C. Tuggle

Blog: https://mctuggle.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.tuggle.125
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tuggle_mike

Thank you for popping today and it would be great if you could pass on the word about Mike’s new book.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – William Savage


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to the Saturday edition of the book reading at the cafe and my guest today is William Savage who writes murder mysteries set in the Georgian period. Before we dive into the interview and the book reading, let’s take a look at the official biography behind the author.

About William Savage

William started to write fiction as a way of keeping his mind active in retirement. He had always lectured and written extensively on business topics, including three books, many articles and a successful leadership blog which garnered more than 5000 regular followers.

He has no intention of letting his mind stagnate or his creativity wither. This means finding new sources of interest and inspiration.Throughout his life, William has read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of his other loves is history, especially the local history of the many places where he has lived. It seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk. Four books have appeared so far and he is currently at work on a fifth.

William’s books are set between 1760 and around 1800. This was a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, the revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman-physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations nearer to the North Norfolk coast. Adam tries to build a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and a knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

William has spent a good deal of his life travelling in Britain and overseas. After obtaining his degree at Cambridge, he set out on a business career, during which he lived in most parts of the UK, as well as spending eleven years in the USA. He has been a senior executive, an academic and a consultant to many multinational companies.

Books by William Savage

One of the top reviews for The Fabric of Murder an Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries Book 1

Absolutely loved it!  By Terry Tyler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2016

Having just finished William Savage’s The Code for Killing, I could read nothing else but another book by him, so started this one immediately! I loved it as much, if not more; whereas this author’s other two 18th century Norfolk murder mysteries centre round the earnest young doctor Adam Bascom, this one’s hero is the intriguing, charming man about town, Ashmole Fox, a different kettle of fish entirely.

The story is situated in Norwich, and portrays so well the different layers of society, from the upper echelons populated by Mr Foxe, to the underclasses, and illustrates that nothing changes when it comes to corruption and social pretensions. The mystery itself concerns the city’s textile industry and that of rare books, which I found fascinating, aside from the plot itself, which is intricate and well thought out, with a clever outcome that I hadn’t guessed.

One of the reasons I think this might be my favourite of this author’s books so far (although there is not much between them), is that there is more description and creation of atmosphere; I really got the feeling of 18th century Norwich, from the coffee houses, to the dwellings of the well-to-do. Because it’s a city I know quite well, this was of much interest to me.

The characterisation in this novel is terrific, as always, the dialogue subtle and witty ~ I adored Foxe and his associates. There is one character, an urchin messenger boy called Charlie Dillon, who I felt might benefit from more development in the future – I must agree with Foxe that he shows great promise 🙂

There is only one thing left to say: Mr Savage, hurry up and write me another book!

Read all the reviews and buy the books Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Savage/e/B00RZBGQ0K

Find more reviews and follow William on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/814395.William_Savage

William has chosen an extract from “This Parody of Death” an Ashmole Foxe mystery for his book reading.

Once he was fixed on a topic, George Tate was one of those people who couldn’t bear to leave a single detail out. “The ringing chamber is the lowest room in the tower, Mr Foxe. It’s got a high ceiling to allow the next chamber, the one holding the bells, to be placed just below the tower roof on a level with the slatted windows that let the sound out. The higher up they are, the further the sound spreads. Our bells —”

If he wasn’t interrupted, he’d explain every rope, frame and ladder.

“Who found the man’s body?” Foxe repeated.

Mr Tate looked hurt. “I’m telling you, aren’t I? It was the watchman. He came by the church as it was getting light and noticed the west door was open a little way. That’s the one in the tower that lets you into the place where the stairway —”

Now he was going to describe the church layout. It would be the stonework next and then the stained glass.

“So he went in,” Foxe said.

Another frown. Mr Tate did not like to be hurried. “Aye, he did. Thought some vagabonds might have taken the chance to bed down in the church. Always some hanging about the Market Place. They like to sleep anywhere they can get out of the wind. Some of them build little shelters in corners —”

Heaven help us all! If Foxe didn’t stop him he was going to explain the sleeping habits of Norwich’s tramps and drunkards. It was enough to drive a man insane.

“Were there any?”

“What?”

“Vagabonds in the church?”

“No. Well … there may have been, I suppose, but the watchman never got that far. As soon as he was inside, he saw the door that leads to the stairs up the tower was open. That’s always kept shut and locked. Safety, see? Bells are dangerous things if you play about with them. A few years ago —”

“He went up?”

“Of course he did. Might be someone messing about up there. Took him a while too. He’s an old man and not strong in his wind.”

Most of the city’s watchmen were old. The pay was poor and younger people didn’t want to be wandering the streets at night in all weathers. This particular watchman must be unusually bold. They generally ran away from anything that might be dangerous.

“When he got to the ringing chamber he found Richard Logan lying there in a great pool of blood. Blood everywhere. It’ll take hours to clean it up.”

“What did the watchman do next?”

“Went back down the stairs a good deal quicker than he came up. Then ran out into the street, shaking his clapper and yelling ‘Murder! Murder!’ at the top of his lungs. That fetched a good crowd even that early.”

“And then?” It was infuriating. You either got everything, or had to drag things out of him. When he was describing things of no importance, Mr Tate rattled on and on. Once he got to what mattered, he kept stopping and staring at Foxe as if he had no idea what to say next.

“All the commotion brought one of the constables. He took charge. Sent someone to tell the magistrate what had happened. Then he had the good sense to send for me as well.”

©WilliamSavage

Now it is time to put William in the hot seat for his interview.

Welcome William and can you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

I write historical mysteries. Historical ones because history fascinates me and sets me free from the technological and procedural biases of whodunit books set in modern times. Mysteries because they demand intellect, intuition, curiosity, reason and attention from writer and reader. What more can you ask of a book?

What adventures have you had publishing your work?

I wouldn’t claim any adventures, but I have found the path surprising. I began to write fiction very late in life (aged 69) and decided to take a Creative Writing course, which I hated! Everything was so regimented and simplistic. I almost gave up, then decided to go my own way entirely. After all, I wasn’t intending to make a career of it. I avoided the whole traditional path, self-published my first book and was convinced no one would ever read it. In the subsequent two-and-a-half years, I have published a total of six books and found more people like them than I could ever have believed possible.

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger.

The blog arose from the research needed for my fiction. I couldn’t bear to waste all the discoveries that wouldn’t fit into the stories. Rather than make the mistake of trying to cram more in somewhere, I found my ‘spare’ research a different outlet. I blog about 18th century England — and especially Norfolk — since that’s when and where my books are set. Readers seem to like the added authenticity that comes from researching far beyond what the books themselves demand. Here is the link to William’s recent post on Dealing with Habitual Offenders in Georgian England. https://penandpension.com/2017/06/14/dealing-with-habitual-offenders-in-georgian-times/

Your books are set between 1760 and 1800 – what appealed to you about that early to mid Georgian era?

It was so exciting. A period of massive change and development, much like today. Our modern world was being born in a maelstrom of war, constant scientific discoveries, burgeoning trade and the beginnings of the British Empire. America and France had their revolutions and we fought them both. Despite the enormous cost of these wars, we still became the richest nation in the Western world at that time. Even our landscape was changed for ever. Think of all the Georgian houses in our cities; the vast houses of the gentry and their estates landscaped by Capability Brown and Repton; and even the revolutions in agriculture and industry that let us feed and employ a population greater than ever before.

How much time did you have to spend researching for the character of Dr. Adam Bascom and the medical practices of the day?

Quite a lot, though even now I am wary of getting into too much detail in medical matters. It’s too easy to get things wrong! Fortunately, the medicine of the period from around 1770 to 1800 or so was fairly primitive compared even to Victorian times. I’ve made Dr Bascom something of a progressive amongst physicians, but the techniques available to him would still have been extremely limited. By giving him a friend who is an apothecary, Peter Lassimer, I’ve been able to include a few more techniques, including the primary drugs of the day like laudanum. Fortunately, determining the cause of death in a murder at the time wasn’t much better than taking a close look and using your common sense.

You have travelled extensively and finally settled in Norfolk. What are the key attractions for living in East Anglia?

Where I live, the landscape is rural, the small towns delightful and the sea not very far away. Norfolk must be one of the most historically rich counties in England. That’s not to denigrate anywhere else. It’s a simple fact. I believe that more finds are reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Norfolk than in most of the rest of the country combined. It has more surviving mediaeval rood screens that all the rest of Europe put together.

Norwich has the greatest density of remaining mediaeval churches. The county’s full of Georgian buildings and grand mansions like Holkham Hall and Houghton. It may be barely 100 miles from London, but it’s another world. Not a flat one, either. That’s the fens, which lie mostly in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. I live on top of a hill — albeit not a very tall one — so when the rising sea levels reach Cambridge, we’ll be safe on our new island.

My thanks to William for sharing his book extract and his writing with us and you can connect to him at these sites.

Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Savage/e/B00RZBGQ0K
Website: https://penandpension.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009908836774
Twitter: https://twitter.com/penandpension

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Geoff Le Pard and Pamela Schloesser Canepa


Delighted to share the news that Geoff Le Pard has a brand new book available on Pre-Order for July 15th at the special price of £1.54 or $1.96.  Meet Buster & Moo.

About the book

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair with a colleague and then she becomes involved in a police investigation into alleged money laundering and drug dealing at her old firm. She tries desperately to keep the sordid truth from Mervin as events begin to spiral out of control.

As the four lives overlap and criss-cross the one constant is their shared love of the dog named Moo. But the problems mount up. While Sheri and Mervin grow close as they struggle to help each other, it is the unlikely alliance between Sheri and Landen that leads to the dramatic climax. However, there is only room for one hero in this story – who will it be?

Pre-order the book on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Buster-Moo-Geoff-Pard-ebook/dp/B071ZWJM49

Pre-order the book on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buster-Moo-Geoff-Pard-ebook/dp/B071ZWJM49/

Also by Geoff Le Pard

One of the most recent reviews for Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle on Goodreads

Raymond Mathiesen rated it 5 Stars

Harry struggles in a more and more complicated web…

Harry Spittle is home from first year at university with not exactly spectacular exam results. But that’s the least of his worries. Stephen McNoble, a violent bully-boy from university, is holidaying in Harry’s home town. Even worse Stephen’s father knows Harry’s parents. Things seem to be going better when Harry gets a holiday job at Hemmingway’s, the local upmarket hotel, but things get very complicated and go from bad to worse.

This novel is full of entanglements, confusions and disasters, but light heartedly romps along, endearing the reader to Harry, despite all his weaknesses and faults. It is not a short read, but is entertaining all the way. One of the important themes is the values of family and friends, and the idea that we don’t necessarily cope if we feel we have to be totally self-reliant. But don’t get the wrong idea: this is not at all a ‘heavy’ read. Humour certainly runs throughout the book and you can expect the odd chuckle as you read.

Although this could certainly be described as a ‘guy’s book,’ Dina, Penny and Natalie, among others, represent the female perspective. There are plenty of capable women here, although not all are ‘good,’ indeed femininity in its many and varied forms are well represented.

There are a few mildly spicy scenes and some violence, but as I said this is mostly a light entertaining book. I’m certainly glad I read this

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0

Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9791177.Geoff_Le_Pard

Connect with Geoff on his bloghttp://geofflepard.com/

Another author with a book out today is Pamela Schloesser Canepa with Detours in Time.  A fun time turns intense.

About the book

Feisty Tabatha, a struggling artist, and Milt, an awkward Science professor, set off on a journey to the future. What was supposed to be fun soon turns quite intense when they make discoveries about their future selves and end up on other “detours.” The two set events into action that may save one life, yet destroy another. Can these friends of completely different mindsets agree on a course of action? Can Tabatha stick to Milt’s rules of time travel? Both Milt and Tabatha struggle to witness and not participate in a place and time that is not yet their own.

Amid the backdrop of a future that reveals great wonders and horrors, Tabatha and Milt must resist the temptation to use discoveries from future technology to aid them when they return to the present. Detours in Time starts as a fantastic escape and grows to present many moral dilemmas and surprises that can either destroy the strongest friendship or bring two people closer.

Buy the book Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF

Buy the book Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Detours-Time-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF

Also by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The latest review for Made For Me

There’s an old saying: you love whom you love. I admit it I’m a sucker for a good romance. This story is no exception to the rule. Can we control who we fall in love with? That’s s great question, but when we do, can we envision how our lives are to bee?
This story weaves well. It is a tender love story that reminds us all to cherish each day with our loved ones because it will never come again. At the heart of this book is a tender story of family and love, and by passing on gifts that can benefit others. I very much enjoyed it and will be looking forward to the third book in the series.

I think if I had read this first and then read, “Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes” I would have rated that book higher than I did previously.

Wonderful job on this. I admit I got terry-eyed several times.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

Read more reviews and follow Pamela on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15166012.Pamela_Schloesser_Canepa

Connect to Pamela via her website: http://pamscanepa1.allauthor.com/

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will check out these two books by Geoff and Pamela. Sharing would be great thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Singled Out by Julie Lawford


Please welcome a new author to the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. Julie Lawford is author of Singled Out set on an idyllic slice of Turkish coastline, but all is not as it seems.

About the book

There’s something delicious about not being known, don’t you think?’

Brenda Bouverie has come on a singles holiday to Turkey to escape. Intent on indulgence, she’s looking for sun, sea and … distraction from a past she would give anything to change.

But on this singles holiday no one is quite who they seem. First impressions are unreliable and when the sun goes down, danger lies in wait. As someone targets the unwary group of strangers, one guest is alone in sensing the threat.

But who would get involved, when getting involved only ever leads to trouble?

Singled Out subverts the sunshine holiday romance, taking readers to a darker place where horrific exploits come to light, past mistakes must be accounted for and there are few happily-ever-afters.

A simmering psychological suspense laced with moral ambiguities, for fans of Louise Doughty, Sabine Durrant, Gillian Flynn, Elizabeth Haynes, S.J. Watson and Lucie Whitehouse.

Two of the reviews for the book

Singled Out explores the relationships that develop between a group of people on a singles’ vacation in Turkey. Brenda, a fantastic character and my new favorite heroine (such a cool lady!), forays out on her own for the trip while dealing with a personal issue she must come to terms with. But her life soon becomes intertwined with the others at the vacation resort, and she finds herself caught up in something she’d rather not be. What follows is a great combination of who-dunit and psychological suspense.

The writing in this debut novel is impressive with descriptions so rich, you’ll feel like you’re touring, sunbathing, and feasting on delicious meals in Turkey yourself. Mystery cloaks every page, and answers are doled out in a page-turning manner. But a caution to sensitive readers–the subject matter deals with sexual assault (that’s not a spoiler as the opening scene depicts this) and misogyny, sometimes in quite graphic detail. Normally I would shy away from material like that, but I felt comfortable in the author’s hands given the strong female lead who carries the novel, and the important message that’s unveiled.

An impressive debut novel for fans of psychological suspense. I look forward to more of this author’s work.

Don’t let the fact that this is Julie Lawford’s debut fiction novel fool you… this lady truly knows how to write! Not only does she demonstrate a brilliant grasp of the English language but the entire book is beautifully written with fantastic descriptive passages that will transport you to the sights, sounds, tastes and fragrances of Turkey, where this story takes place.

I had other stuff to take care of today, but did it get done? Not a chance. I was locked away with ‘Singled Out’ until I finally finished it, wishing there was already a sequel. The way she writes her characters throughout the book is nothing short of masterful and I have a new favourite heroine in Brenda Bouverie; the twists in her personal tale made my jaw drop. I seriously can hardly wait for Lawford’s next book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Singled-Out-Julie-Lawford/dp/1505207517

Read more reviews and follow Julie Lawford on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13411991.Julie_Lawford

About Julie Lawford

Always engaged with the written word, Julie Lawford came to fiction late in the day. Following a career in technology marketing she has been freelance since 2002 and has written copy for just about every kind of business collateral you can imagine. By 2010, she was on the hunt for a new writing challenge and Singled Out – her debut psychological suspense novel – is the result.

Julie is based in London in the UK. Whilst penning her second novel, she still writes – and blogs – for marketing clients.

Connect to Julie Lawford at her website and on social media.

Website: https://julielawford.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieLawford
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.lawford.1
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julielawford/

Thank you for dropping in and please feel free to comment and share thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Poetry – Water God by Mary Smith


I am delighted to welcome Mary Smith today with her poem Water God from her collection Thousands Pass here Every Day. The poem is dedicated to her son and a reminder of his childhood.

WATER GOD
(To David)

Sun-gleam on wet bronze limbs,
seal sleek you slip
into the deepest pool.
From the rocks I watch,
afraid of your fearlessness,
breath held as brown water
closes over you.
Surfacing, you laugh,
a careless toss of your head
scattering miniature rainbows –
my water god of the Otter Pool.

Other children splash,
playing safe
in sun-warmed shallows.
Their mothers silently question
my carelessness of you.
They do not know
how deep the fear,
how powerless
the mother of a deity
who believes he’s indestructible –
my water god of the Otter Pool.

©MarySmith 2017

Two reviews for the collection

This is a poetry collection you will want to keep going back to. Mary Smith’s work is subtle and delicate, possessing a quiet, sure strength. The poems are well crafted but never over-written, a difficult balance to get right. Many of the poems have a quiet magic with wonderfully understated effects. The book also has a wide range of subjects, moods and forms so there is much variety and the reader is continually stimulated with fresh insights and discoveries. Highly recommended.

This is a wonderful first collection by Mary Smith. I know her work as a novelist through her novel No More Mulberries and I was delighted to find she has included several poems about Afghanistan. These poems provide vivid snapshots of life and landscapes and of a people who come across as resilient and life affirming despite the war.

She writes, too, about her native Scotland, in particular the wonderful wild landscape of Dumfries & Galloway and she explores themes of memory and identity, drawing on her own childhood experiences. Whether writing about the small boys in Afghanistan who, with their flocks of sheep, `helter-skelter down a mountainside/in a cloud of dust’; losing a parent to dementia; Afghan women laughing at her lack of education; or Glasgow’s Ramshorn Kirkyard where `the dead draw us in, entice the living/to consider past lives’ Mary Smith brings a warmth and compassion to her work.

Some of the poems, like the very amusing `Erratic’ and `Smeddum’ are in Scots, though most are in English, in this collection which readers will want to dip into time and time again.  

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousands-Pass-Here-Every-Day/dp/1907401911

Other books by Mary Smith

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary Smith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

About Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She longed to allow others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.

Connect to Mary on her blogs and social media.

Facebook addresshttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marysmithwriter
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith
Website:www.marysmith.co.uk
Blog: https://takefiveauthors.wordpress.com/mary-smith/
Blog: https://marysmith57.wordpress.com/

My thanks to Mary for her contribution to the poetry posts and if you would like to share one of your poems then please email me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com