Straightlaced Saturday — Cornelis Drebbel 22.1


As I close down for the night. I will leave you with the next episode of Copper, the Alchemist and the Woman in Trousers (Felicity) at Teagan Geneviene. There are all kinds of green pointers to the possible location of Copper’s father.. did he jump or was he pushed? you will get the meaning of that if you head over to read..and Cornelis might just have enough aura for you to fit into the road locomotive but you better hurry or you will be left behind. #recommended

Teagan's Books

Saturday, December 15 , 2018 

Cover Copper Alchemist Woman n TrousersIt’s Straightlaced Saturday!  Welcome aboard the #SteamPunk train.  Our destination is the northern Pacific coast of the USA, during the Victorian Era.  We’re headed for another episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.

Back in 2015, the random “three things” for this chapter were provided by John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites.  As some of you might remember, this serial was originally a culinary mystery.  John sent some delicious things to drive the episode.  Consider yourselves warned that reading may give you the munchies. 

Since I know you have a lot of other things to do on the weekend, I’ve divided this rather long chapter.  The third thing will play out on Hidebound Hump Day.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 21The alchemist had been using his harmonic tuner on a map, trying to…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a book for Christmas – #DogLovers, #Romance #Fantasy #Poetry – Patty Fletcher, Miriam Hurdle, Sandra J. Jackson and Deborah Jay.


Welcome to more Christmas gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and the first writer is Patty Fletcher who despite being sight impaired has not let this stand in the way of becoming a published author. Patty’s companion and Seeing Eye Dog, King Campbell comes into his own with Bubba Tales that would delight any dog owner.

About Bubba’s Tails

In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

One of the reviews for Bubba’s Tails

Wow! I loved reading this! What an amazing story about an incredible journey. This is about a journey from The Seeing Eye, Inc. in New Jersey to Kingsport Tennessee, but is also about the journey of a loving owner, and her special canine companion. I loved reading the story through King Campbell’s point of view, and how he is talking to the next litter of pups about to train as Seeing Eye Dogs. This is something the has always fascinated me and was the first time I was really allowed a look at some of what goes into training these special dogs. The book is made all the more exciting because the author and her dog Campbell went through this journey years ago. Such a creative way to share their story, and I can’t wait to read more of King Campbell’s Bubba Tails!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Bubba-Tails-Nursery-Seeing-Campbell-ebook/dp/B0765BWDJF

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bubba-Tails-Nursery-Seeing-Campbell-ebook/dp/B0765BWDJF/

Also by Patty Fletcher

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00Q9I7RWG/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG/

Patty has also contribute to two anthologies

December Awethology Light  https://www.books2read.com/u/3yPZvB

A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales  https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaAML

Connect to Patty via her blog: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com

A recent edition to the Cafe and Bookstore is Miriam Hurdle with Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude. A gift to keep close to hand to dip into for inspiration.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

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

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

A recent review for the collection

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude,” is a journey into the mind of a woman who has found her voice in this world through her poetry. Hurdle splits the book into poetic songs categorized by Nature, Dissonance, Physical Healing, Marriage, Parenthood, Tribute, Reflection, Challenge, and Inspiration. These categories lead the reader on a path to understanding her life through times of joy and sorrow. Her photos and artwork are stunning and compliment her poetry. For me, reading poetry is like walking beside the poet and stepping into their footsteps, connecting with their experiences in a deeper realm of being. Reading poetry is subjective, so I judge most poetry by how it invokes emotions within me and how it makes me reflect on my own human condition. The poem, “Healing,” touched a deep chord within me. Yet, there were so many more connections I experienced. I received this book as a gift from a dear friend. That’s the kind of book this is, one to be shared with others, and to be reread many times. MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars 

The collection is available in Ebook and print: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

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

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

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

Time for a metaphysical romantic fiction from Sandra J. Jackson and her book Promised Soul. Especially for those who experience déjà vu on a regular basis.

About Promised Soul

Just as Krista’s summer plans are almost ready, she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams and intense feelings of déjà vu.

Feeling like she’s losing her mind, Krista visits a psychic, only to feel more confused. When she arrives in England, her dreams persist, and she finds herself at the doorstep of another psychic. She needs clarity.

Finally, the words Krista was afraid to say out loud are spoken. Now, she has to figure out what it all means.

Promised Soul is a story of the past, present and future of two souls, bound together by eternal and transcending love.

One of the recent reviews for Promised Soul

Romance ficton on October 23, 2018

The book for review is “Promised Soul” by Sandra J. Jackson. This novel falls in the genre of romance fantasy and fiction.

Meet our main character Krista who has decided to take a chance and made summer plans to go away on a vacation on her own. Something her mother most definitely doesn’t approve of.

While she is entertaining her friends prior to leaving she starts getting strange dreams that feel so very real to her. Not knowing what to make out of them she visits someone a friend knows to help dive into the mystery of what is going on.

It however does not stop her from traveling or interrupting her summer plans to England. There the travel agent Aaron, who has arranged every detail, Krista is ready to embark on her adventure.

Between Aaron and his friend who has been very helpful Krista learns and loves the surrounding area as the landscape and people make her feel so welcomed.

But the dreams won’t stop. In fact they are getting stronger as the days go by. The couple in her dreams are vivid and won’t stop until Krista figures out what they mean and how it will impact her immediate future.

Will she figure it out before she loses her mind?

I enjoyed this book. The pace and characters were really nice. It’s a good romance novel that doesn’t get all gooey eye which is how I like it. A good pickup and a quick read.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Soul-Sandra-J-Jackson-ebook/dp/B07BZDK2SR/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Promised-Soul-Sandra-J-Jackson-ebook/dp/B07BZDK2SR/

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

Read other reviews and follow Sandra on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson

Connect to Sandra via her website: www.sandrajjackson.com

And the last author today but certainly not least  Deborah Jay with The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Oct 05, 2018 Erth rated it really liked it  · 

Erth rated it really liked it · review of another edition now I am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. I was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.  I would highly recommend this author and this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

Other books in the Five Kingdoms series and other books by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope that you will leave with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

#PoetryReadathon – Meet poetry blogger Brad Volz


Another excellent post from Robbie Cheadle as part of her Poetry Readathon.. and her guest today is Brad Volz… sharing his poetry and other poets that inspire him..#recommended

Robbie's inspiration

Poetry readathonmusebrad's profile picture

Michael and I are delighted to welcome blogger and writer, Brad Volz, to robbiesinspiration today

Brad Volz has a most interesting blog called Writing to Freedom. He writes a variety of lovely poems, including haikus, and he also has a series entitled Awesome Stories where he shares all sorts of amazing accomplishments by various people in the area of saving Earth from negative human interventions.

Brad has recently started a series called Soulful Sunday the purpose of which is to share poems, musing and thoughts that feed our souls.

I am sharing the following poem by Brad today:

A season of love

lush petals dripping

awakening hungry senses

a convoy of enticing aromas

wafting through my body

the goddess of romance beckons

with trepidation, I heed the siren call

venturing forth in a season of love

Brad’s beautiful poems are always accompanied by the most outstanding floral photographs.

Tell…

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Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, MJ Mallon

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A lovely conversation between Colleen Chesebro and fantasy author MJ Mallon. Find out more about crystals, spirit animals and inspirations..

Conversations with ColleenThe December Edition

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to share with you another of my dearest friends, British author, Marjorie (Marje, or MJ) Mallon. Over the years, Marje and I bonded over our love of all things magical, and especially our love for crystals.

Bloodstone or Heliotrope

So, when I asked Marje to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE she said she was happy to. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions from those who are traveling that path.

Marje is also a member of the Sisters of the Fey blog, a group of eight authors who came together to share their love of all things magical. As I mentioned, Marje loves crystals. All this research on the Sisters of the Fey blog goes to good use. Much of this information finds its way into Marje’s books. Check out this post HERE, about the Bloodstone crystal which is also the featured gem in “The Curse of Time.”

Everybody, please meet Marjorie Mallon.

Head over and read the full interview. thanks Sally

via Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, MJ Mallon

2018 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs And Books


It is your chance to introduce yourself to new friends and help a wonderful charity. Hugh Roberts will donate £1 up to £250 in total to The Dog’s Trust for each comment you leave with your links on his post. A class A experience…good for you, good for the Dog’s Trust… thanks Hugh

Hugh's Views & News

The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.

#christmastree #christmas #charity #dogstrust

For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you again to help me raise some money for The Dogs Trust.

The Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. Click here to go to their website.

Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do.

  1. In the comments section of this post, leave the name of your blog and a link to it. This can be a link to your ‘about me’ page, a favourite blog post you’ve published, or the home page of your blog.
  2. If you’re an author, you’re also welcome to leave a link to any books you have published. So, for example…

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Bill Hope, on #LisaBurtonRadio


Meet Bill Hope being interviewed today by Lisa Burton… Bill is a character in the created by Clifford Browder… always entertaining and interesting to get to the centre of a character… #recommended.

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you sleight of hand experts, pickpockets, and Artful Dodgers of every kind. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Bill Hope.”Welcome to the show, Bill.”

“How do, Miss Lisa. Glad to be here.”

“My bio says you’ve lived a pretty colorful life. There is a certain romance to being a thief. What is your preferred method of operation?”

“I work the streets and any place where the moneyed gents gather – theater lobbies, shops, horsecars, crowds watching parades and arguments and fights. The easiest hits are country bumpkins in wide-brimmed hats that walk around real wide-eyed staring at the crowds and sandwichmen and traffic with their coat open wide showing a shirtfront with a peach of a spark so when a mob of…

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Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar and John W. Howell


Welcome to the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas party where guests will share their best ever Christmas presents ever…and there will be food, drink and of course music and to get you into the spirit of the season.. here are some choristers with particular appeal..

I tried to remember the first Christmas that I was aware of as a child. I must have got the general idea of the concept of presents quite young as at age seven when we moved to Malta I began the practice of putting a pillowcase on the end of my bed from around mid-October…. I think this ticked my mother off somewhat because she sat me down at the beginning of December and told me that Father Christmas did not exist and that from now on I would have my presents around the tree like my two sisters who were in their late teens….. My brother would only have been three years old at the time and so was not really interested one way or another.

It must have made quite an impression on me as I then related this story to my husband before our first Christmas when we were talking about how we would spend our first together. Since we had only known each other for six weeks when we married in mid-November it was not surprising that there were a few things that we had not had time to discuss, especially something as trivial as Father Christmas! However, imagine my delight when I woke early on Christmas morning to find a heavy weight across my legs (oy… Nothing like that this is a family show) I switched the light on to find a pillowcase packed to the rafters with carefully wrapped presents… Nothing too grand as we were pretty broke but I remember bursting into tears at the time at this act of love and kindness…

Every year since then for the last 38 Christmas mornings we have woken early and sneaked a stocking full of nonsense on to each other’s side of the bed and when we had Sam still, he had one too. There is a frenzy of unwrapping or ripping in the case of Sam, and much laughter and illicit consumption of chocolate oranges and cashew nuts. In the case of Sam it was the sniffing out to the bottom of the snack to find his customary pig’s ear… I always put a tatty duvet cover on for this occasion and it was necessary.

As to my favourite Christmas present of all time……that would probably be the year that my parents came up to London to stay with us and have Christmas dinner. My father loved big band music and at the time was still listening to a 1960s record player. We gave him a fairly flat package, and he unwrapped it to find four CDs of Glen Miller Big Band Music.. He tried so hard to look excited, but then looked at me and said ‘I don’t have anything to play these on’. David then handed over another large package to my mystified father, who tore of the wrapping to find a box containing a combined radio and CD player with detachable speakers. The look on his face is still very clear in my mind today. Priceless.

Just in case my father is listening in from somewhere over the rainbow.. here is Glenn Miller with In The Christmas Mood…..

Actually the 12 days do not begin today but from Christmas Day until the evening of the 5th January. These days are associated with religious calendars and rather than the fun approach in the song we sing, many are in tribute to someone who met a tragic end. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the Middle Ages and were a time of celebration of various events around the birth of Jesus or to celebrate the life of a saint or martyr. Each day had its own significance.

Day 1 (25th December): Christmas Day celebrating the birth of Jesus and the setting of the nativity.

Now time to meet our first guest who is someone who has accompanied during the last five years of blogging and whose books I have enjoyed. Author Mary Smith lives in Scotland but has her experiences of working in Afghanistan and Pakistan to draw upon when writing her novels and short stories. Mary has also written in collaboration a series of books on her home in Scotland.

This is Mary’s very best Christmas present ever….

As soon as I read your  post I remembered my best ever Christmas present – roller skates. It was a completely surprise gift from Santa (my four-years-younger sister was still a believer), something I hadn’t asked for. It took me a while to master them because I kept trying to walk rather than roll but once I got the knack I was off, skating up and down the pavements. Those skates gave me such freedom. In the summer the grounds of the High School became my giant skating playground. I didn’t mind if I was alone but often other kids joined me. A steep, ridged concrete path ran from the playground to the tennis courts, which was great for testing our nerves. We tied a rope onto a bike and took turns being pulled down the slope, faster and faster – the ridges on the concrete made my teeth rattle. I can still feel the exhilaration and sheer joy my skating days gave me. Very tempted now to put skates on my Christmas wish list!

My Christmas gift to Mary courtesy of the most entertaining virtual giftstore ‘Youtube’

It took some doing Mary but my Christmas gift to you, is annual membership of this international group of skaters…Moxi Girls… who are preparing a wardrobe for your debut performance…they were thinking Mary, Queen of Scots as your moniker……

Books by Mary Smith: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

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A recent review for No More Mulberries

Thru the eyes of a converted Scottish midwife and her 2 husbands. Miriam is an highly trained midwife who meets an handsome Afghani engineering student in Edinburgh University. They fall madly in love, she converts to the Muslim faith for him and they marry and have a child. Not too long after their son is born, tragedy strikes and she is widowed. She marries again and the story, “No More Mulberries”, is the intricate unwinding of these lives in the midst of a war torn country.

The writing is rich with descriptions and emotion. The characters are well fleshed out, complex and burdened. This is not a one sided political treatise but rather an inside look from the vantage point of a common village family and some slightly higher up; but only slightly. Life in early 1990’s for the Afghani people was akin to 1890’s America, extraordinarily so for the women.

Altho’ M. Smith portrays the realities in her book, this story is not without a feeling of love and hope. These are resilient people in tragic circumstances trying to maintain families and some semblance of normalcy. There are moments of humor to relieve the tension so deftly written about.

There is nothing offensive in this book. All the language, violence and sexual content are easily within a PG rating with nothing being gratuitous or overly descriptive. You will get the picture without being given a high-def, 4K, knockout punch. This book will effect you, I know it did me. The invasion of Afghanistan was almost 25 years ago and the battle still rages. “No More Mulberries” will give you a chance to see what it might be like on the inside, from the inside.

We assume that carols are of religious origin but in fact they are pagan songs that were sung to celebrate the four seasons. For thousands of years at the Winter Solstice for example people would dance around large stone circles and the word carol actually means to dance in praise and joy. Over time the practice of singing carols became synonymous with Christmas and was adopted by Christianity as a way of celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Over the years it has become a tradition for musicians to bring out their own compositions in honour of the season and over the coming days I will be sharing the carols and music that are sung all over the world by those who celebrate this particular festival.

And to start us off, where is a wonderful choir called Proclaim with Mary Did You Know……

My next guest is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar who writes across the fantasy and romance genres. Here is what she shared about her best Christmas gift ever.

Jacquie’s best Christmas gift ever.

My favorite Christmas gift arrived six years ago, not long after I moved to the island. Hubby was working in Alberta and only came home every three weeks, and my daughter and grandson had started school—I was lonely.

Knowing my love of animals, hubby brought me a Christmas surprise, a tiny calico kitten! I fell immediately in love with her furry body and sea-green eyes. And best of all, I wasn’t alone anymore. I’m attaching a pic of her above. Her name is Harley

My Christmas Gift for Jacquie is a hamper of all the top cat lover’s gifts… I hope you and Harley have a blast…….

Discover all of Jacquie’s books, read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG
Website: http://jacqbiggar.com

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Here is one of the recent reviews Mistletoe Inn

I love Christmas books and the perfect holiday book has to be full of heart and romance, healing, redemption, warm and cozy Christmas themes and maybe a hint of the magic of the season. Throw in a small child and a dog and you have me. Mistletoe Inn has all that and more. Noah is on his way to becoming a grumpy recluse. He bears the scars, inside and outside from the fire that killed both his parents when he was a small child. His aunt, who raised him and he loved, recently died too. I think that she was a wise woman because just before she died she sold part interest in her B&B called Mistletoe Inn to a young divorcee with a small child wanting to make a new start. Like it or not, Molly starts to thaw the ice that encases Noah’s heart. And, in a place like Christmas, Michigan, covered in snow and Christmas joy,and surrounded by young families and couples coming to the Inn for a romantic holiday who can resist romance? The novella has some depth and lots of heart too with themes of grieving and starting over. You will quickly feel like Christmas when you read this!

Traditionally mince pies were a bit of luxury and also a status symbol for those living in 17th century and very wealthy folk would show off at their Christmas gatherings by having their pies in all kinds of shapes and sizes and were more a reflection of their ability to employ a high end pastry cook more than anything.  In the early days they would have contained minced meat of lamb, beef, chicken etc rather than those we eat today made with dried fruit and spices.

Traditionally it is said that if you have one a day from Christmas Day through to Twelfth night you will enjoy much happiness for the next 12 months… If ever there was an excuse to eat something sweet and fattening then this is the best yet….

They are really straightforward to make and our own Foodie… Carol Taylor shares her recipe in her post including how to make your own sweet mincemeat: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-columncarol-taylor-cooks-sweet-mincemeat/

And my third guest today is thriller and paranormal mystery author John W. Howell who lives on the Texas coast, has three dogs who have him right where they want him.. Lucy, Bailey and Twiggy..for example when it came to the Christmas Decorations

John was very quick to share his most favourite Christmas gift every and you can tell it made quite the impression on him…

John’s most favourite gift ever

When I was about six years old, I wanted an electric train. I told my parents that a train was all I wanted. They said a train was not in the cards that year.

I went to bed accepting the fact that a train was not going to be under the tree. My older sister had told me there was no Santa Claus, so I had not sent a letter to the North Pole with my request. If there was a Santa, which I believed before my sister filled me in, I could make a wish even at this late date. So before finally falling asleep, I asked Santa to please leave a train.

The next morning the living room was a magic land filled with presents. The tree sparkled with colored bulbs, and I could see a Lionel engine with ten cars sitting on tracks that went all the way around the tree. I could not believe my eyes. As a consequence, I still believe in Santa Claus.

My Christmas gift to John is a re-creation of that magical Christmas morning… kindly provided by Karla Hemingway

 Read all the reviews and buy John Howell’s books: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

A recent reviews for Circumstances of Childhood Aug 24, 2018 Karen rated it it was amazing

This book provides you with a first look at Greg, whereas Keith introduces you to the story.

With Circumstances of Childhood, John W. Howell has created a unique story of friendship, loss, and much more. Greg and Keith are very likeable characters; as the story proceeded, I became their invisible friend. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with depth and interesting interactions until the last page. I had a great time reading Circumstances of Childhood – it is a very intriguing and intense read; it turned me into an invisible ally and/or friend of the believable protagonists. I was drawn into the story right away, eager to learn more. Some of the events may start a new train of thoughts, maybe even shine a new light on something familiar.

This is for you if you like thrillers with excellent twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of the paranormal, and – food for thought. A compelling and remarkable read by a master of story-telling.

And something for you to drink before you head off into the cold. – The Eggnog

There is some debate about the origins of Eggnog but it probably goes back to what was called Posset in medieval Europe -it was a sweetened dairy based drink made with milk, cream, sugar and eggs which would have been beaten together to form a frothy drink with some cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top. Over time of course some bright sparks began to add some alcohol to the mix depending on where they lived at the time… Today in various parts of the world you will find a version of Eggnog served with rum, brandy or whisky. It is very warming and sweet and if also combined with rum I understand it has an impact on short term memory…..

What is quite delicious is to make the concoction into an ice cream and that goes beautifully with mince pies or Christmas pudding.

There are a number of great recipes online and I can suggest that you check this one out: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/homemade-eggnog/

Thank you for joining us today…The Second Day of Christmas… tomorrow….with guests, Darlene Foster and Miriam Hurdle

What was your most memorable Christmas gift? it would be amazing if you would share.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday #Poetry Challenge – Off Piste with Season of Goodwill.


This week there are three prompts as part of Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 114, 115, 116 as Colleen is going to be taking a well earned break.. So no recaps until early January. But Colleen has left you the prompts for those three weeks if you would like to continue with the series.

I have been very bold and gone off piste with my effort this week.. I wanted to try my hand at a festive Nonet which is new format that Colleen has introduced. Like an etheree but with nine lines beginning with the 9 syllables and ending with one.

Anyway here it is and I hope you enjoy..a little bit of fun. Season of Goodwill

If you would like to use the prompts that Colleen has left for us then please head over to the post: https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/12/11/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenges-no-114-115-116-synonymsonly/

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Mystery #Adventure #Fantasy – Andrew Joyce, Daniel Kemp, Teagan Riordain Geneviene and Linda G. Hill


We are now over two thirds of the way through the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with plenty more books that would make great Christmas gifts. I grew up with a father who loved Westerns, even more so if they had John Wayne in them. They are not making as many these days in Hollywood, but don’t worry because Andrew Joyce has a series that would satisfy the cowboy in all of us!

About Redemption

The Winner of the 2013 Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western

Three men come together in the town of Redemption Colorado, each for his own purpose. Huck Finn is a famous lawman not afraid to use his gun to protect the weak. He has come to right a terrible wrong. After his wife’s death, Tom Sawyer does not want to live anymore; he has come to die. The third man, the Laramie Kid, a killer Huck and Tom befriended years earlier has come to kill a man. For these three men Death is a constant companion. For these three men it is their last chance for redemption.

One of the many outstanding reviews for the book:

Andrew Joyce is a fabulous storyteller. After reading his second novel, Molly Lee, I knew I had to read the first. Serendipitously, I was gifted the book and was thoroughly entertained once again.

Action-packed, chock-full of adventure, and easy to read, Redemption is a book that the reader will find difficult to put down.

Huck Finn doesn’t seek notoriety, but from Missouri to Mexico to the Colorado Territory, he finds himself amidst situations that eventually give rise to fame. And even though he doesn’t fancy himself a lawman, destiny has a badge with his name on it that he wears for many years. Grit and an iron will provide him the fortitude necessary to establish order in many a lawless town. But he also has a kind and just heart that intermittently reveals itself without emphasis or fanfare.

Tom Sawyer has an unrelenting itch to sail to China. But when the journey proves longer and more arduous than anticipated, he jumps ship and ends up in Hawaii, where he falls in love and begins to settle down. But as it was for Huck, so it is for Tom; destiny has designated him a different fate. A series of misfortunes compels Tom to go stateside and once again partner with his old pal, Huck.

The two men team up with Jed Bevins, a young and now infamous man they’d met early on. Jed sets out to avenge the deaths of his adopted Pawnee tribe and, over time, garners fame as a gunslinger. However, the notoriety is ill-placed, because his intention is to kill only those who slaughtered his people. And, yes, destiny intervenes for Jed as well; the title “Laramie Kid” sticks and will not be dismissed.

These three men join forces to fight a corruptive and treacherous power in the town of Redemption. As tempers flare and bullets fly, farmers and ranchers find common ground, adding a sensational element to the spectacular showdown.

For those who enjoy a well-written adventure that trumpets the victory of good over evil, Redemption has it all. You won’t be disappointed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ENOPHVQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Redemption-Further-Adventures-Huck-Sawyer-ebook/dp/B00ENOPHVQ

The other novels in the series – Molly Lee and Resolution and other books 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

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

Now time for another series that would make a perfect gift- starting with the mystery, What Happened in Vienna Jack?, by Daniel Kemp.

About the book

A robbery in London’s Charing Cross Road. The murder of a catholic priest at the end of World War Two. A genocide in Namibia. The discovery of the remains of Hitler’s personal secretary.

Something connects all these things, and former British spy Jack Price knows the answer. He’s willing to die to keep the secret, but the problem is… he’s not the only one who knows.

It’s the lies that are not heard, but kept as secrets, that own us all. Deep in the world of espionage, lies and deception, how far is Jack willing to go to fulfill his mission?

One of the reviews for the book

Truth and lies, lies and truth and which is which? Can the truth be hidden in a lie and a lie be veiled in the truth?Suppose there are secrets too? Just the knowledge that something is hidden, well, reality can become a little blurred and obscure. When Patrick West meets Jack Prior in Daniel Kemp’s “What happened in Vienna Jack?” an investigation into police corruption in Soho leads, indirectly, to what could become a world ending catastrophe.

“What Happened in Vienna Jack?” Is a thriller, a tale of espionage and deceit, a story where a turn of reality can change with the turn of a page. I am constantly amazed by Daniel Kemp’s ability to not only keep control over a vast array of characters but, simultaneously, weave an erudite absorbing narrative that leaves me confounded. It was difficult to harness what I was reading. Daniel Kemp is meticulous in his research and extremely knowledgeable about Europe’s political landscape of 1933-1970.

In November of 1937 a violation, somewhere in Europe and prior to WW2, precipitates the unfolding narrative. Like any violation it is cruel, humiliating…just by reading about it, I felt dirty. The violation involves a prominent Nazi and a member of the British monarchy…see what I mean about secrets? This secret is so controversial (and “controversial” here is a massive understatement) that it is hidden, even to the point of murder, for fear of the secret being divulged. It’s an adroit piece of writing.

When I’ve posted this review I shall be reading “What Happened in Vienna Jack?” again. I think that most lovers of the thriller genre will feel the same. I’m not ready to leave either the characters, or this compulsive, gripping narrative…I’ll linger over every paragraph. And I’m pleased to learn that this book is just part one of a book series. If I haven’t made it clear enough, this book is highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Happened-Vienna-Jack-Daniel-ebook/dp/B076NMZ4P7

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B076NMZ4P7

The other books in the series – Once I Was a Soldier and Percy Crow and other books by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17257200.Daniel_Kemp

Connect with Daniel Kemp via his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbydaniel/

Now time to revisit the town created by Teagan Riordain Geneviene in the second book of her series Atonement in Bloom which was released in October this year.

About Atonement in Bloom

“Atonement in Bloom” continues the urban fantasy from the point where “Atonement, Tennessee” ended.The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted.On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.

One of the recent reviews for the book

When pigs fly… Even for Tennessee, the little town of Atonement is different. Of course Esmeralda—Ralda to her friends and, well, everybody except a few flying pigs and misinformed fae—already knew that. Her (now missing) next door neighbor occasionally has giant black wings, the handsome local florist does magic but then makes people forget it, and don’t even get her started on those glowing pigs with wings. But what really has Ralda worried is the house that just appeared, the same one everyone else seems to think has been there forever. Then her worry turns to fury when fae magic takes a decidedly dark turn, disturbing the balance of winter. Flowers appear in the snow, and further manifestations endanger Ralda’s friends. When one of them is attacked and another disappears, Ralda realizes it’s up to her to save Atonement. She just wishes she knew how to do it when all those things that go bump in the night turn out to be real.

I absolutely love the setting. Small towns in the South are already so full of idiosyncratic characters and moody locations that they fit perfectly into a southern gothic setting. In true gothic style, Ralda lives in Sunhold, a huge wreck of a mansion with its own graveyard. Her new neighbor, the owner of the mysteriously appearing house, is properly dapper and charming, but his eyes give him away.

“Then I saw it. I accidentally made eye contact with the man in the purple pinstripe suit. There was intensity in his eyes that did not match the gentle face. I don’t mean evil or anything over the top. However, something was definitely off kilter. I had to wonder if he was mentally stable.”

Add in an antique silver locket, attractive yet mysterious men, supernatural beings, a sheriff who speaks in Shakespeare quotes, and one small cat who seems to know more about the situation than anyone else, and you have it: a seamless southern gothic paranormal mystery genre mashup. Then if you stir in a sense of fun and humor that includes flying pigs and even a grocery store, Hogley Wogley, that echoes the South’s iconic Piggly Wiggly, and you have a recipe for a great addition to the Atonement Tennessee’s story.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a bit of Southern wit and humor with their tales of magical mystery. But Atonement in Bloom is definitely not a standalone. The large number of characters and prior events mean you should treat yourself to the first book, Atonement Tennessee. Although both books’ story arcs are nicely resolved, there are so many questions remaining. What really brought Ralda to Atonement? What are the supernaturals atoning for? Of course, Ralda’s cat Lilith probably knows the answers, but since she’s not talking, the rest of us will have to wait for the next installment of Atonement’s story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J5RRBLH

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Bloom-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B07J5RRBLH

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan Geneviene  via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

And last but by no means least today another writere with a second book released in a series, award- winning author Linda G. Hill, and her modern-day Gothic romance series, The Magician’s Blood: A Paranormal Romance- The Great Dagmaru Book Two.

About the Magician’s Blood

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

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

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

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

One of the reviews for the book

Jul 30, 2018 Gina rated it Five Stars

I’ve been waiting for the 2nd book in this series for what seems like for ever and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Full of magic and intrigue, the story kept me gripped from the first page to the last.

I loved the development of Stephan and Herman’s relationship as well as the further glimpses into the supporting characters.

While this book concludes the story nicely and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, the very last scene gives me hope that Stephan and Herman and their friends (and foes) will be back. 

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

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

Also by Linda G. Hill

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

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

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

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure there was a book or two that might have caught your eye.

Book Review: Encourage a Child to Watch Birds, by Denzil Walton


Audrey Driscoll reviews a wonderful book for children from Denzil Walton Encourage a Child to Watch Birds.. if you have a child in your life this book will open up the natural world to them. Denzil has two more books in the series coming out next year..#recommended

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

I’m not a birdwatcher, except in the sense of noticing who’s hanging around the bird feeders in the back garden. I don’t have a life list, nor even a decent pair of binoculars. And as can be seen from the two photos accompanying this post, I’m not that great at taking pictures of birds either. (That blurry shape in the featured image is a robin (American type) landing on a cotoneaster bush full of berries. Robins have been feasting on those berries for the past week.)

Despite the above, I like birds, and I’m keen on helping out the ones that live around here. A pair of Bewick’s Wrens nested in an old shoe on my back porch in 2015. So I hope that gives me some credibility for this book review.

This is a short, well-organized, and clearly written book intended for adults with a child or children in…

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