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

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

About the book

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

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

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

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

One of the early reviews for the book

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

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

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

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Charming the Chef by C.A. Phipps is one of a four book box set published by Celebrity Corgi Romances an the set can be found here:

A selection of other booksby C.A. Phipps

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow C.A. Phipps on Goodreads:

About C.A. Phipps

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

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

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

Connect to C.A. Phipps


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



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

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

About Fallout


The year is 3040.

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

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

The new way worked well, until now.

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

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

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

One of several  advance reviews on Goodreads

Jul 30, 2019 Staci Troilo rated it Five Stars

The Title Says it All; There’s Fallout!

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

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

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

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

Head over to Pre-order the book:

and Amazon US:

or Universal Link: :

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Harmony on Goodreads:

About Harmony Kent

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

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

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Connect to Harmony

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

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

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

About the collection

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

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

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

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

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

This book is divided into three sections as follows:

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

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

From First Love

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

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

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

Head over to buy the collection:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads:

About Balroop Singh

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

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

Connect to Balroop Singh.


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

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

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

About Jewel

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

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

A recent review for the book

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

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

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on  Amazon UK:

A selection of books by Jan Sikes.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads:

About Jan Sikes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Jan


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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore, New Book on the Shelves – Cold Cream Murders Book Four – Sun Scream by Barbara Silkstone

Delighted to show case the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series by Barbara Silkstone.. Sun Scream.

About the book

A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the early reviews for the book

Ms. Silkstone is a master writer! Not only does she provide a fantastic murder mystery, The Who-done-it was a complete surprise! The book ( as with all in her series) is laugh out loud funny! I seriously want to hang out with Olive, Lizzy and especially Grams in her new role as body guard!! When a celebrity who offers the possibility of an endorsement to Olive and Lizzy is coming to town everything has to be perfect. However one of their friends seems to be in danger and it is up to Olive Lizzy and Grams to keep her safe! With an endorsement on the line what could possibly go wrong?? Don’t pass up the chance to find out!!!

Other books in the series.

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on Goodreads:

About Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone’s most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES, and SOAP ON A ROPE. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg of Starfish Cove, Florida ~ a place near and dear to Silkstone’s hometown of Redington Beach on the Gulf of Mexico just north of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Barbara currently lives in Central Florida with her eccentric kitty who adores Liam Neeson and chasing lizards (the cat, not Barbara) 🙂

Recent series: Florence Nightingale Comedy Mysteries…THE GIGGLING CORPSE, THE KILLER CORSET, and THE CHEEKY CORONER. Victorian cozies.

Silkstone is the best-selling author of both Regency Pride and Prejudice variations, including the popular the MISTER DARCY SERIES OF COMEDIC MYSTERIES ~ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE contemporary variations. All her books are light-hearted adventures based on Jane Austen’s timeless tales of love denied and love discovered. “Feel good” tales to warm your heart.

She is also the author of the Wendy Darlin Comedy Mystery series. Five coffee-snorting tales that combine Cozy with outrageous adventures.

Plus a mixed bag of standalone cozy comedy mysteries: Zo White and the Seven Morphs, Cold Case Morphs, The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland … and more.

Connect to Barbara Silkstone


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round UP – July 29th to August 4th 2019

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

Thanks for dropping in today, and I wanted to share some news on the current series. The posts from the archives has been a wonderful series with 70 authors trusting me to delve into their archives and select four posts to share with you.. That is 280 posts reaching new readers. The series is not over yet, but I have scheduled the dates for those remaining on the list through to the end of September which is another 48 posts for you to look forward to.  If you have not seen your posts yet, don’t worry if you asked to go on the list you will be featured.

However, a new series begins in October – This time with the choice of the four posts to be shared, down to you. I will do a formal post nearer to October, but in the meantime you might be browsing your archives to find the ones that you feel deserve another airing and a fresh audience. As of this week, that audience across the blog and social media is 45,000.

Please don’t send any links right now, but I will do a specific post in September giving you the guidelines.

The summer Sunday Interview Series – Human in Every Sense of the Word will be finished  next week and the following Sunday I will do a post about the next series which will be author interviews of those on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

I want to develop the promotions for the authors on the shelves and this is just one new series that will accomplish that so stay tuned.

Time to get on with the posts from the week….thank you again for your support, it means a great deal to me. 

My thanks also to those who contribute to the blog on a regular basis, such as Annette Rochelle Aben and Jessica Norrie this week.

Gotta love August! Well, may be not but it sounds so regal, doesn’t it? Guess it depends on the way one pronounces the word, August.

Okay, August rocks because being the eighth month of the year, it is packed with energy. Not only the energy of the season but the Numerology Energy of the 8 as well. 8 calls to us to go for the gold, reach for all the brass rings and keep looking to and for the next opportunity. As this is the Personal Energy of this month, it holds a lot of weight regardless of where you are with Universal Energy or Personal Energy.

Do you want to know how this works?

Jessica Norrie explores Loneliness in fiction and also in recently published articles on the subject in leading business and science journals. When you have read the article, Jessica would love to have your views on the subject. O is for Loneliness

Today my guest is Mary Hiland author of a book that everyone who has cared for or will care for elderly parents in the future would benefit from reading. Find out more about The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir and read a review later in the post.

Mary shares a memory of a wonderful summer day when despite being sight impaired, she enjoyed the freedom and fun of being a teenager aged 14. A Whiff of Chlorine on a Happy Summer Day by Mary Hiland

My review for Mahoney by Andrew Joyce.. Five Stars..

This week more country music… Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Glen Campbell and Elvis.

Autumn – Chapter Eighteen – All Hallow’s Eve – Part Two – Freakish Village prepares for the Zombies

Winter: Chapter Nineteen – Winterising the Palace

And I was delighted to receive a lovely review for Tales from the Irish Garden this week from James J. Cudney

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 138 The two prompt words this week were ‘Clear and Nature’ and I have selected the synonyms ‘Unclouded and Character’

Double Etheree – Enchantment  by Sally Cronin

My response to the prompt this week by Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch. Rock Star.

This is the first post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. Days 11 to 13 (August 9-11) Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Colorado.

Vista along the Million Dollar Highway near Silverton

This is the first post of Debbie the DogLady who lives in Toronto, Canada and posts about travel, music, life and of course dogs. Chapter One: Luke

The first post by L.T. Garvin is a book review, for The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, which is in my top 50 book list.

This is the first post from the archives of author Claire Fullerton whose book Dancing to an Irish Reel is set in Ireland, where she has family links. On an Irish Bus (2015)

On an Irish Bus

This is the first post from author K.D.(Karen DeMers) Dowdall’s archives and she also has some news, with The Captain’s Witch, her latest book being released on September 1st…For Karen’s first post I have chosen a poem…which I am sure you will relate to. Beyond Tomorrow (2016) by Karen DeMers Dowdall

This is the first post from the archives of Smitha Vishwanath who shares poetry, wonderful travel posts and life experiences on her blog. This week I have selected a travel post from 2016 to share with you and the wonderful Kerala Temples. Kerala Temples (2016) by Smitha Vishwanath


This is the second post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. Conversations with random strangers (2017)image

This is the second post from the archives of author Elizabeth Gauffreau who has some wonderful posts, including an interesting look at her genealogy journey, seeking out her family history.  This week a post on the art of writing a short story that is believable but does not come across as a documentary. The Chet Arthur Five Play Jeffersonville: Some Thoughts on Verisimilitude 2017

This is the second post for author Chuck Jackson and he shares his journey of discovery of his heritage having been adopted at a young age. My Heritage by Chuck Jackson

This is the second post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. She shares posts on a variety of topics, including some excellent grammar tutorials. This week I have selected a post that is close to my own heart. Distractions….I love Codewords….and also online solitaire, which I have been playing for over 20 years. Puzzling It Out 2018 by Cathy Cade.

This is the second of the posts from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. Carrying on from Last week Joy and Eric face challenges as does Joy in her jobs! Thumbnail sketches – 1950: Hebrew, motzas and ‘Brown Boots’ (2014) by Joy Lennick

Linda Bethea is a regular contributor here on Smorgasbord, but this time I get to select the posts from her archives to share with you… I am sure you will enjoy her stories as always. Here is another of her fabulous family stories. Cousin Barbie Gets Married by Linda Bethea


New Book on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Special..Do No Harm – 17 Medical Thrillers.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

The Digestive System Part Two – The Oesophagus, Acid Reflux and Stomach We continue the journey through the digestive system – not as exotic as an ocean cruise but far more critical to your health.

What causes your Cravings – Part Four – Coal, Dirt and other strange stuff

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves #Fiction – Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg

Delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore. Patricia Furstenberg with her books for both adults and children. Her featured novel today is her latest release on July 9th, Silent Heroes set in Afghanistan were families, troops serving their country and service dogs, face daily dangers.

N.B.. The book will be free for one day only on Sunday July 28th on Amazon

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

Head over and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A small selection of books by Patricia Furstenberg

One of the recent reviews for Joyful Trouble on Goodreads

Mar 17, 2019 Jessie Cahalin rated it it was amazing and Five Stars.

I jumped aboard a fast paced, fun story and travelled back to my childhood. The Great Dane, Joyful Trouble, didn’t need a ticket and neither did I, but I packed plenty of imagination. Like Ana and Tommy, I sat beside my grandfather and listened to the ‘dog–faring tale’. I snuggled into my armchair: luxuriated in the heart-warming story, packed up my troubles and followed ‘the special dog’ called Joyful Trouble. I was placed in the ‘middle of the action’ with the ‘very clever dog’.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads:

About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

Author Blog:

Thank you for dropping in today and please leave your comments for Patricia and share the news of her latest book.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Tallis Steelyard – A Guide for writers and other Stories by Jim Webster

Delighted to share the news of two more books by Jim Webster who has created a wonderful world and characters in his Tallis Steelyard series of books. Today I am featuring Tallis Steelyard – A Guide for writers and other Stories..

About the Collection

We continue to explore the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. In this invaluable publication Tallis Steelyard discusses the ways in which a writer can bring their work to the attention of the masses and more importantly, sell the book to them. As well as this, we have the importance of getting home under your own steam, music and decorum, brass knuckles for a lady, and of course, a few simple spices.

Surely this is the one essential book that every aspiring novelist should both purchase and study.

An early review for the collection

Tallis Steelyard: A Guide for Writers, and Other Stories by Jim Webster is as advertised, a collection of stories with different themes. I will look at only a few of the twenty-six tales. The School for Assassins under the title Tidying Up Loose Ends is remarkable in its tone. In some areas of Tallis Steelyard World, purposeful and planned killing is accepted; it is the casual acceptance portrayed in the story that I find worthy of attention. There are several sections on writing (per the title). Tallis will comment on the associated functions of publishing and promotion. If you are a writer, an avid reader, a reviewer, a publisher, or a person who attends events for the free food and drink, these sections are not to be missed. Readers may find themselves portrayed in one of the groups. The section on writers who write about writing for fun, profit, and financial independence will stick in my mind for a long time. Webster uses humor rather than a direct assault on the commission of scams by charlatans. I believe the author is holding back on “saying what he really thinks.”

The unsurpassed beauty of Tallis Steelyard creations is the elegant language used with precision to separate the occasional absurd from the daily mundane then remixing to produce entertaining stories. I like to select favorite quotes because there is no better way to illustrate what I find to be a unique writing style. This five-star collection reminds me of a quote from a film (possibly paraphrased). “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never quite know what you are going to get.” (Attributed to F. Gump). Readers will find literary candy of many varieties in this “guide.”

The importance of getting home under your own steam ***** Readers might guess by this story’s title that there is alcohol involved. True, but it was Bongo’s birthday. The passing of years brought Bongo to maudlin reflection on a boring life. Tallis and company decided that if Bongo could be transported home on a palanquin carried by a score of naked harlots, at least the birthday party would be a point of interest in Bongo’s otherwise humdrum life.

I will point out one feature of why Tallis Steelyard stories are great. Look at the word “naked;” it is OK to free associate. Then “By the time the wine was finished I was somehow surrounded by nearly three dozen young women dressed much as nature had intended.” (Kindle location 53). Further interesting imagery comes to mind. The narrator is not vulgar or offensive and does not employ “shock” terminology to describe weird situations. Bongo’s wife was not offended; readers should follow her example.

Not perhaps the best location ***** Sneal, a wandering merchant spent a day traveling on his way home through the unfamiliar countryside in the hope of discovering new markets for his goods. He ended the first day by spending the night at an inn located in a tree. After traveling the next day, the same thing happened. Same inn, same customers, same barmaid. The third day was a repeat of the earlier two. Finally, he arrived home. How did this happen? Cue the scary music. What happened when he recounted his adventure to Tallis?

The frantic scribblings of a novelist ***** This chapter is the first of several observations related to the lives of a novelist or a poet. Tallis offers contrasts as he pities the unfortunate novelist. Poets are superior in their social lives and sufficiency of income. Tallis said so. This section and the following five sections explore the world of writing. Quotes that stick in my mind follow.

There in Black and White ***** One of my pet peeves is discovering that after I download a Kindle book, 20% of it is devoted to promotion. Tallis points this out with “There is a feeling amongst publishers that the reader doesn’t really want the book they’ve purchased, but instead in point of fact wishes to peruse an assortment of other books that the publisher has available. Pictures of these and even sample chapters can in extreme cases double the size of the book.” (Kindle location 181).

Learning from others ***** Writing books from the comfort of home while in any state of dress and personal hygiene imaginable can bring instant and immense wealth. All one must do is follow the advice of proven authors. Tallis looks at the advisors as “a community of writers writing books about how to sell books that were bought largely by people who were interested in writing books about selling books.” (Kindle location 244).

Nobody does it like that anymore ***** Tallis does not dismiss time tested good advice. Departing from tongue-in-cheek humor, Tallis notes, “Writing is just another craft like joinery or metalwork, the more you do it, the better you get.” (Kindle location 271).

The uncompromising principles of the successful writer ***** Tallis consults a printer to find out the kind of literature that sells best. “This is what feeds the press Tallis my boy, cheap stories of forbidden vampire love, or demon love, or love with a score of fantastical, imaginary, or hopefully extinct creatures. (Kindle location 331).

A distinct shortage of assets ***** Many authors assure readers that reviews are vital to an author’s success. How can an author get reviews quickly? Tallis would “ instruct (the printer’s) domestic staff and secretary to write glowing reviews of his work under false names” (Kindle location 401).

Subsequent stories address other topics as Tallis leaves the subject of writing out of fear of appearing maudlin. Any would-be writers should continue reading the rest of this collection to pull themselves out of any depression caused by an examination of prospects for fame and riches in their chosen profession.

At the end of this Tallis Steelyard set of musings, I am left with only one question not addressed in this examination of the world of writers. Why does an author choose to sell a novel for USD 1.26?

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Also released recently

A selection of other books by Jim Webster

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About Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning).

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Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Jim’s new books. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves – What About Love? (The Rivera Sisters Series Book Two) by Jeanine Lunsford

Delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore.. Jeanine Lunsford with her most recent release What About Love? (The Rivera Sisters Series Book Two)

About the book

After escaping her nightmarish marriage to Aaron Mendoza, Carina is looking forward to starting a new life, living with her sister Amelia in Killeen, Texas.

When she’s reunited with Mark Preston, the gorgeous single father she met at the Miami airport the night she left Aaron, she knows it’s not happenstance. His ice blue eyes and warm, soft kisses tell her he’s the good and godly man she always hoped she would find.

But Carina’s divorce attorney has other plans.

Handsome Eric Martinez persuades Carina to abstain from dating until her 6-month Texas residency requirement is established, putting an end to her blossoming relationship with Mark.

Eric has his own private reasons for keeping Mark and Carina apart—she’s reignited the fiery passion that once burned in his soul. He wants Carina for himself and he won’t allow anyone – especially Mark – to quench the flames.

But Mark is willing to wait for Carina.

When Mark discovers the shocking secrets, Eric has been hiding from Carina, he reveals the truth about Eric to her.

Is it too late? Has Carina already been captivated by Eric’s allure?

One of the early reviews for the book

It is amazing how God places things in our path that help us to continue following the plans he has for us. Unfortunately, sometimes we ignore those things, take matters into our own hands and venture off the path God has laid out for us, which in turn creates more havoc in our lives than there should be. Carina is a true reflection of this and Janine Lunsford paints the picture so vividly in this book. The characters encounter things we encounter in our lives on a daily basis in dealing with real life situations. It is when Janine describes their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in those situations that we find ourselves saying to the characters, “Why are you still following YOUR path, when God has laid out a perfect path for you?” Then we look at situations in our lives and realize we are doing the same things in certain situations. I am thankful for Janine sharing her talents with us and opening our eyes to things we need to change in our lives through the characters in her books. I can’t wait for the next one.

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Also by Jeanine Lunsford

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About Jeanine Lunsford

Jeanine Lunsford loves to write realistic Inspirational Fiction with Spicy Romantic Elements and a Sprinkling of Suspense. She writes to encourage and inspire her readers, to awaken their emotions, to make them laugh and cry. Her stories are fast paced with realistic characters, gripping plots, and lots of twists and turns.

​Jeanine likes to take her readers to places they’ve never been, introduce them to people they probably would have never met, and help them discover new depths in their hearts. Her stories are gritty but not raunchy–a little less sweet and a little more spicy than traditionally published Christian Romance books.

Jeanine is a member of ACFW. She loves living life with her husband on the Gulf Coast.

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to check out Jeanine’s books… Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves – Are We There Yet? An Andorra Pett Adventure by Richard Dee.

For Andorra Pett fans, Richard Dee has just released a prequel, taking you back to the beginning to the young Andorra aged ten.  Are we There Yet?

About the book

The story begins

Ten-year-old Andorra Pett and her best friend Maisie are on holiday, in Devon. Amid trips to the beach and the moors, they stumble on a mystery, in an old caravan in the woods.

Who is the owner and what is he hiding?

Years before she arrives at the Oort Cloud Café, Andorra gives us an early glimpse of her talent for solving puzzles.

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A Selection of other books by Richard Dee

One of the reviews for Andorra Pett on Mars

Andorra Pett returns for more hijinx bringing her brand of drama and action down from the space station orbiting Saturn to the red dusty plains of Mars. Leaving her cafe, her life with new-squeeze Derek for the funeral of a best friend from years gone by. But nothing, as usual for Andi, is as it seems. A suicide that seems suspicious, hidden ill-gotten gains in the canyons of Mars, her ex Trevor up to no good and two different groups of mobsters on her tail, this would not turn out to be a quiet visit for Andorra and her best friend Cy.

Unsurprisingly Andi and Cy find themselves limping from one dramatic situation to another from the moment Trevor shows up on the station to seek her help down on the red planet. From the very start trouble follows her in the form of personal shadows from two mob gangs and the police and the constant suspicion that Maisie didn’t take her own life and that nothing Trevor says seems to be entirely truthful.

Once again Richard Dee has crafted an entertaining, light hearted story that brings twists and turns throughout. It was a wonderfully warm and cozy feeling returning to a cast of familiar characters in Andi and Cy, getting to properly see Trevor who was only really referenced in the first Andorra Pett book, alongside cameos from Maz and Derek. A new supporting cast also bring something fresh to Andorra Pett on Mars, while the book retains its style that firmly ties in to the first book.

In need of a book I could pick up and find myself instantly enthralled with, I turned to this and it very much lived up to my expectations. The story moved quickly yet never once did it feel rushed. The menace was always there but did nothing to overpower the lightness that now feels like the style of Dee and his Andorra Pett books. Considering I work full time I ploughed through this book in a matter of four days from start to finish and immediately wanted more. Luckily I will only have to wait until later this year for the third book in this fantastic and fun series of books.

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About Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon, England He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.

Richard is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. He contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.

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Thank you for visiting today and please help Richard get word out about his latest book… thanks Sally