Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author update – Gigi Sedlmayer, Karen Ingalls and Kristina Stanley

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The first of today’s author updates is for Gigi Sedlmayer who not only has a recent review for Encounter, Book Four of The Talon Series, but is also moving to her new site in early February.. It will be still on WordPress but self-hosted.. If you already follow Gigi you will be migrated over but if you click on follow on the new site you can sign up for her notifications.. Full details are here.

515tsm3dql-_uy250_About the book

The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon! They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can’t get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.It is war. The poachers against the condors, Matica and the Indians – with the poachers even taking hostages to win the war.With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back.Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows playing their part, and Tamo being shot and injured, Matica goes above and beyond to help her beloved condors.Action-packed from beginning to end, Talon Encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The most recent review of Encounter.

The saga of “little” Matica is an inspirational and heartwarming story for all ages. “Talon Encounter,” expresses the courage, intelligence, wisdom and cunning of not only of a small in stature girl, but of her beloved condors as well! Unscrupulous poachers are back, threatening the villagers, family, and friends…intent on killing animals for profit. Can they be thwarted by Matica and her winged friend Talon before their horrendous plans are carried through?

Come and join in the adventure and excitement in this continuing story set in the beautiful forest of Peru. Bravo to author Gigi Sedlmayer for another heartfelt tale of inspiration and bravery in the face of adversity! Highly recommended!

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

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Connect to Gigi via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The next author update is for Karen Ingalls whose book Davida – Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens has been receiving wonderful reviews.

51uoh3ytil-_uy250_About the book

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though he was married and had a son, he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark. Their love affair lasted over twenty-five years and from which one son was born.

This fictionalized version of a true event is written by their great-granddaughter. It is her intent to bring honor and respect to Davida as a woman who was unconditionally in love with Augustus. Their son, Louis suffered all his life with the label bastard given to him during his childhood and she intends to remove that label.

She also wants to bring recognition to the wonderful talent and artistic contributions made by Saint-Gaudens.

In the book the reader will be introduced to some of the great works of art by Saint-Gaudens, the moral values during this Victorian era, and some historical facts.

One of the most recent reviews.

Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a fictional memoir and is my first read in a fictional memoir genre. Ingalls’ infused bits and pieces into this memoir based on a true story, true characters, and true family history. I felt like I was truly in the time period that this memoir recreates, and it shows how Ingalls’ did her research in this well-written book.

Ingalls’ writing made the characters come to life in such a manner that I was compelled to look up Augustus Saint-Gaudens and see his works. I now know that one piece of his sculptures, William Tecumseh Sherman, which is located on a corner of New York’s Central Park has been a piece I’ve studied and photographed on every trip I have made to New York City.

Ingalls writing is perfectly edited and extremely well written. This is intimate and sad love story is filled with all the emotions one would expect from a story of this type, as well as the additional emotional parts since Saint-Gaudens was married at the time. I place this book in the adult category of memoir due to some mature scenes and the fact that this is a love triangle. I was sad for Davida as I felt she deserved more in her life than what she had, or lack of thereof. I felt the hurt of all three in this love triangle, and I don’t favor one character over another. Davida was Saint-Gaudens’ model mistress and she bore a child out of wedlock, and this child suffered the most – for all of his life actually, as illegitimate, and not belonging to a society simply due to his birth status. He fought his whole life to tamper down his birth, and all that happened to him, working on living a life separate from his true birth, and living a life of bitterness and hate. Ingalls’ weaved historical truth and fictionalized parts so well that this is truly a perfect read. I highly recommend this memoir!

Read all the excellent reviews and buy the book:

Also by Karen Ingalls

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Connect to Karen through her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The third author in the update is Kristina Stanley and a new review for her book Avalanche the third book in The Stone Mountain series.

51c4zk2mfil-_uy250_About the book.

On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?

In her third installment of The Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Kristina Stanley begins the novel with her signature nail-biting tension. She immediately plunges the reader into the middle of an avalanche and we find out very quickly that “…Roy’s headlamp burst to life, eerily illuminating his surrounding snow coffin.” Lovely sentence.

Kristina Stanley maintains tension and suspense throughout the novel, whether it has to do with the protagonist’s decision to take an appealing job offer that might tear apart her newly married relationship with Ben, or, this being a mystery, on solving a murder.
I’ve had Avalanche on my Kindle since last June. When the weather started to turn cold and snow covered the ground I pulled up the novel. Avalanche is perfect to take on a ski holiday or to sit by a fireplace, sipping hot cocoa or tea and getting lost in the tangles of relationships.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Kristina Stanley

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Discover more about the books and buy:


Connect to Kristina via her Website/Blog:

There are two author promotions on the blog at the moment..

If you are in the bookstore already then please let me know of any new book releases or recent reviews so that I can share that in a Cafe and Bookstore update.

If you are not already in the bookstore then please take a look at the details in the post and then contact me with your information.

Thanks very much for dropping by and as always welcome your feedback.. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Caroline Clemens, M.C. V. Egan and Judy Penz Sheluk

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore UpdateThe first of the author updates is for Caroline Clemens with a great review for her romantic novel Into the Vines that was first promoted here early last year.

51qzgbgzndlAbout the book

Into the Vines is a novel of discovery, personal triumph and heroism. French Bleu, a vintage-jazz nightclub in Paris offers a reprieve to its inhabitants from death, illness and captivity. Olivier is a pilot who rescues stranded and desperate souls from famine and war torn areas of Africa, while Daniela, a young nurse, seeks that which is amiss in her own life. Brie, a strong woman, must find a destiny which awaits her own ambition. She celebrates a milestone birthday after encountering an illness, bringing grace and experience in her search for something more.

The latest review by Jeyran Main

This story is a beautiful contemporary take on what love is and means. It also touches on self-discovery and soul-searching. Brie is this courageous, strong woman facing everything that is thrown at her. Daniela is a nurse finding her purpose and looks up to Brie. Olivier is a rescue pilot saving stranded people.

From the beginning of the story, the reader is captured into this dramatic ordeal. I liked that very much. The heroine of the story is also not just the focus of the tale; this allows the reader to also enjoy the teasing effects of the backstory and built up to when they are going to hear from Brie again. The Author does a fabulous job in researching and providing detailed information on certain matters she emphasizes in the tale. Topics that are referenced in the book have substantial background information. This factor was refreshing and made the story more believable.

The character building and how they were all interconnected was also very nice. Harmony and support were apparent between some. Family meant something. The pace was a little slow but consisted of rich content.Into the Vines carries hope and understanding. The Author has skilfully added her poetry style of writing into the whole tale increasing the touch of magic of which the book provides. Many things are happening in this book, and you do get voluntarily trapped in wanting to know what happens next. I loved the twist in the plot and also the ending.

I recommend this book to romance fiction lovers and look forward to reading more from this Author. 

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Caroline Clemens

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Buy all the books:

71nlvxqrbhl-_ux250_Connect to Caroline via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The next update is for M.C.V Egan and her latest release Death of a Sculptor In Hue, Shape and Color.  Catalina will be embarking on her blog book tour next week and it would be great if you could share the posts when you see them.  This is simply to whet your appetite!

51mn6pyql9l-_uy250_About the book

Color coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers. Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

One of the early excellent reviews.

Brilliant By Molly Flanders on January 13, 2017

A truly inspired novel/ novella.

As a man is laid to rest each of the people who loved him reflect on him, while being watched by us in their grief and emotions. The varying view points work very well in their shortness and in the way they overlap and show the same man from different perspectives.

Each wife had a different experience, had a different place in his life and therefor is affected by his love and death in a different way.But what I thought was merely a study in relationship psychology turns out to be the background for a mystery / thriller. The man was murdered and that is not the only secret that transpires.I admire the author for packing in so much in such a short space. It’s easy to identify with the characters, my favourite was the segment with the police officer reflecting on the case.

Written seamingly with ease and versatility this is an easy and gripping read that captured me throughout. A much better book than I thought, with great literary qualities. Very impressive and highly recommended.

Read all the early reviews and buy the book

Also by M.C.V. Egan

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Find out more information and buy the books:


Connect to Catalina via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The next update is for Judy Penz Sheluk and her novel Skeletons in the Attic – A Marketville Mystery which was promoted in the middle of 2016 and now has an impressive 46 reviews.


About the book

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

The latest review for the book

The characters spring to life with their words and actions. Hints and clues are woven throughout the story and kept me guessing as the mystery unfolded. First of all the main character is named Calamity Barnstable and with a name like that you know it is going to be unique and interesting. Calamity goes by Callie Barnstable and inherits a house from her father that she never even knew existed. She is stunned when her father’s lawyer gives her the keys and a nice budget to work with as well as a thirty-year-old mystery to solve.

This story had so much going on that you could feel the frustration of this woman that had been tossed into a mystery that took place when she was six years old. A missing mother, a psychic, a nosy neighbor and other completely colorful cast of characters makes this book such an enjoyable read. Each chapter brought new suspects and helpful hints to light.

I almost gave it a 4.5 heart rating because of the hurried ending, but I enjoyed the book so much I stayed with the five.

Read the all the great reviews for the book and buy:

Also by Judy Penz Sheluk

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Read the reviews and buy all the books:


Connect to Judy via her Blog:

Don’t forget that if you are in the bookstore already and have news about one of your current books or a new release you can feature in the update.. Please check out the promotions and contact me..

Thank you for stopping by.. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Kathryn Meyer-Griffith, Richard M. Ankers and Nicholas C. Rossis

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

My first update is for Kathryn Meyer – Griffith who recently took back the rights to her many novels and self-published them. Unfortunately not all her excellent reviews crossed over from the previous editions to the new revised versions. Kathryn has made her thriller novel Vampire Blood: Prequel to Human No Longer, Free for the foreseeable future and hopes to encourage authors to download and review.


About the book

For years the vampire family lived in the shadows, hidden by the night and people’s disbelief; feeding on animals or throw away people who would never be missed. But as the family moves into an old theater, and uses it to cover up their crimes, the youngest of them are restless and determined to live as they like. Recklessly. Killing and feeding when and where they want. Feeding on who they want.

Only the parent vampires have managed to keep them in check. But no longer.
Unaware of the night stalking menace, the townspeople of Summer Haven, Florida, blithely go about their daily lives until, one by one, they begin to disappear. Screams are heard in the night. Fear grows. The lost are never found…alive.

But Jenny Lacey and her father, who are hired to renovate the old Grand Theater, can’t escape when they find themselves caught up in the middle of the vampire’s war. And, in the end, it’s up to Jenny, her brother, Joey, and her ex-husband, Jeff (who she still loves and reconnects with in this novel…happy ending there), to get rid of the bloodthirsty fiends that are destroying their town…if they can.

Read the background to the story on Amazon.

One of the reviews on Goodreads from Elke

I guess this kind of story will always remain my favourite kind of fangtale: vampire novels where bloodsuckers still suck. Vampire Blood is one of those straight stories where you are well aware of the vampires’ unholy motives, which definitely don’t include any romantic inter-human affairs. Instead, the human female has to fight the undead by all means, which makes her far more likeable than any longing damsel-in-distress waiting for her pale hero. Also, she’s just your average girl-next-door, not one of those modern vampire hunter amazons either, which seem to mark the opposite facette of modern vampire lit.

That’s what I really like about this book: take some normal people you can identify with and let them face sudden unexpected unbelievable evil. No superpowers or -weapons included, no common knowledge about the undead world, just plain fight or die

One of the recent reviews on Amazon

Really enjoyed this book and all her dinosaur lake books !!! Great characters and fast read. Looking forward to reading more books by her. Hope she will decide to continue Jenny’s story some day. If you enjoy Jurrassic Park you will love her dinosaur series .

 The books is available at a number of outlets:

Direct link to Amazon:

Also by Kathryn Meyer Griffith


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Connect to Kathryn via her blog:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

My next update is for Hunter Hunted – Book 2 in the Eternals Series by Richard M. Ankers, which was released late last year and featured in the Christmas Reading series.


About the Book

As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, he and Princess Linka are drawn into a world of darkness. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of supposed myth – transport their guests deep beneath the Arctic ice to the legendary city of Hvit.

Their mother, Queen Serena, offers the pair sanctuary, but all is not right. Betrayed by the royal family and almost drowned in an orca hunt, Jean is forced to leave Linka behind. His mood is darker than ever and the world will feel his fury. Renewing old acquaintances, both good and bad, Jean must solve the mystery of who manipulates him and the deepening saga of his parents’ deaths. Now, Jean fights for more than just himself; he fights for love.

Once again, aided and abetted by the increasingly manic Merryweather, and the mysterious beauty that is Princess Aurora, Jean seeks retribution. Both hunter and hunted, trapped between wolves of land and sea, all directions point north. Jean must return to Hvit, the cloying, lavender stench of death, and the never-ending quest for blood.

The most recent review.

Enchanting poetic writing By Diana on January 15, 2017

I read Anker’s first book, The Eternals, and looked forward to the second in the trilogy. Hunter Hunted picks up where the first one left off with Jean and Linka in the land of the Nordics, the powerful albino vampires of the frozen north. The landscape is dramatic, the world strange and beautiful as it spins closer to its end. The characters are consistent, compelling, and full of intense emotion.

Linka steps out of this book (though not out of Jean’s heart), and the beautiful Nordic princess, Aurora, joins him on a race through the dying world. Jean is both the hunter and the hunted in this novel and most of the book follows their journey south and north again. During that hunt, Ankers begins to hint at Jean’s destiny, a definite hook for the final book in the series.

Ankers has a lovely and unique poetic style of writing that I thoroughly enjoy: “There was something innately wrong about seeing one so beautiful as she stricken by grief. If there was a realm beyond our own, a place beyond the dark curtains of eternity, then I hoped it not populated by angels as sad as she, for my long-lost soul could not have borne it.”

If you enjoy fantasy, vampires, enchanting and stylistic writing, this series is well worth picking up.

BUY the book:

Also by Richard M. Ankers

the-eternals-completeRead the reviews and buy both books:


Connect to Richard via his website:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

For the final update today I have chosen Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Rossis.. It is easy as a writer to take short cuts when describing emotions as we assume everybody has and understands them.. But readers need to see the depths of our characters not the shallows and therefore being able to express emotions effectively is essential.  This is an excellent writer’s tool.


About the book

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.

Two of the most recent reviews

Very Helpful By Sue Coletta on December 9, 2016

Excellent guide for when you’re searching for a new way to express an emotion. The really nice part is, Rossis included emotions that very few other authors thought to add. I’m speaking of similar books to EMOTIONAL BEATS. He also included lists of alternate words most commonly used in a first draft. Very helpful!

A fabulous resource By Mae Clair on December 19, 2016

A fabulous resource for the writer! So many diverse sections to spark the creative muse. Every writer hits a wall now and then when reaching for that perfect description or way to express a specific reaction. This book is great to kick your imagination in gear. Very handy!

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

A selection of other books by Nicholas C. Rossis

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Buy all the books:


Connect to Nicholas via his blog:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will visit the above author’s Amazon pages to find out more about their work.

I want to promote your latest great reviews and also your new books.. If you are in the cafe and bookstore you just have to drop me a note to

If you have not been promoted here before and are not in the bookstore then here are some of the options for you.. please take a look then contact me.  thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Round Up – Kiri Te Kanawa, Ancient Greece, Bloggers, Authors and Parrots


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed. All then new promotional series are doing well and you will find a link at the bottom of the post that gives you details of the ways you can promote your blog, books, art, photography and any other creative endeavour.

It was my husband’s birthday this week so I planned a surprise trip down memory lane. David moved from Wateford to Wexford when he was about 11 to Wexford and one of the beaches that they used to visit every summer was Curracloe Strand.  Apart from enjoying this sandy beach that stretches seemingly for miles; it was a chance to take a look at what is locally known as Omaha Beach.  This was the beach used in the incredible opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan.

Here is part of an article in The Journal with a link at the bottom to read the full piece.

IN THE SUMMER of 1997, a massive Hollywood film crew headed up by director Stephen Spielberg landed on a Wexford beach.

They were there to film what would become one of the best known World War II movies and for many Irish men, it is their claim to fame, as hundreds featured as extras in the epic D-Day scenes.

As with Braveheart a few years before, the young army reserves of the FCA were asked to take part. Their reputation as a reliable and well disciplined band of extras on Mel Gibson’s film was the reason Spielberg decided to film those iconic scenes in this country.

Colonel Pearse McCorley told us previously it was Gibson who recommended them, despite the fact he thought they were a bunch of smartasses.

For now Captain Peter Kelleher, who was then just 17 years old, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and he said he “jumped at the chance” to be involved in the scenes filmed on Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand.

Read on….

On Wednesday Ireland was enjoying the backlash from the blizzards raging in the UK and it was very, very cold and windy.. However it was great to bring back memories of warmer days and visit the beach used in the film.

We did enjoy a great lunch in the Curracloe Hotel.. a plateful and a half to be honest and the best onion rings I have ever tasted. So if you are coming over to Ireland and planning a road trip down the south east coast perhaps you can add Curracloe to your plans.

Apart from that it has been a week of getting some writing projects re-started after the holidays and enjoying getting back into the swing of reading othe people’s posts and planning new promotions.

My thanks as always to William Price King for his continued presence here on the blog as both friend and contributor. This week too, a welcome to Paul Andruss who will be writing a post for Smorgasbord the first Friday of each month.. His first post is below.

And of course I am very grateful for your generosity as you leave comments, share across your own networks and keep me motivated.

Classical Music with William Price King

classical musicThe first part of the story and music of New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Find the previous classical posts in this directory.

Guest Writer – Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Delighted that Paul Andruss is joining the blog as a regular contributor on the first Friday of each month, and if you missed his two posts before Christmas you can find them in this directory in the menu.


The myths and legends of Ionia.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

glimpses-kdp-coverPure Trash Bette StevensYecheilyah Ysrayl

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves.




Smorgasbord Meet and Greet

This series if for writers, photographers, poets, artists, musicians who have never been promoted on the blog before. Have a look at this first post by Robbie Cheadle and then contact me on so we can talk about your promotion.


Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

This week 30 outstanding bloggers and their posts featured every evening. My intention this year is to devote as much time to bloggers as to authors when promoting and whilst I go on a hunt everyday… please feel free to leave a  link to your latest blog post in the comments to make sure that I don’t miss.. It gives me an opportunity to share across my networks and I will also inlcude in one of the Blogger Daily posts in the next few days.

Smorgasbord Health 

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Weight Reduction.

This year’s weight reduction programme continues with posts on boosting willpower, the benefits of food diaries, the small elements of your diet that may be sabotaging your weight reduction and some alternative rewards that do not contain chocolate!

A-Z of Common Conditions.

smorgasbord A - Z

Afternoon video – Equine Therapy

An extraordinary retreat where horses who have been born and trained to interact with humans, bring healing to the people that they come into contact with.

The lighter side of life.

Personal Stuff

The R's of Life

Chapter Thirteen of my book.. The R’s of Life….Retail Therapy – The Real Cost.

Weekly Image and Haiku

sally cronin haiku

Thank you very much for all your support this week and in particular for your generous sharing of the posts featuring bloggers and authors. It does make a huge difference.

Look forward to seeing you in the week and don’t forget there are a number of promotional opportunities to showcase your work.  Thanks Sally


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Hugh W. Roberts, Yecheilyah Ysrayl and Bette A. Stevens

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore UpdateWelcome to the first of the bookstore author updates this week. To start us off is my own review of Glimpses, the short story collection by Hugh W. Roberts. Glimpses has been sat on my desk since before Christmas and I have been dipping in and out in the last couple of weeks enjoying the 28 stories. Some I have read before on Hugh’s blog but nevertheless there is always something new to discover in each of the tales.


About the book

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book. Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh. Here’s what one reader has already said about the book. “If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future.

My Review.

Glimpses is an eclectic mix of genres including fantasy, science fiction,ghost, horror and drama. Each story has a twist or two that either make you smile or hide behind the sofa.The serial story, The Truth App, in particular makes you look at your online activities in a new light!

The characters are well drawn, and hopefully not all from experience, as you get a very strong sense of evil from some of them. such as in The Easter Bunny and The Gingerbread House. There are also some very poignant moments in stories about people’s loss of dreams or their desire to recapture happiness such as in the first story Last Train to Aldwych.

Hugh Roberts clearly understands our human frailties and exploits them in a very entertaining way in his stories.. Humour plays its role in many of the stories even in those that explore our darkest thoughts and deeds!  I thoroughly enjoyed my time glimpsing into the lives of the characters and the mind of the author.

Read the other reviews and BUY the book:

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The next author update is for Yecheilyah Ysrayl whose book The Road to Freedom: Joseph’s Story was promoted on the blog in March 2015.

Yecheilyah YsraylAbout: The Road to Freedom: Joseph’s Story (The Stella Trilogy Book 3)

Deeply concerned about the state of Black America, a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for SNCC’s (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and essentially no plan the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen also await them at the New Orleans bus terminal.

Find out in the 3rd installment of the Stella Trilogy how Joseph and his friends discover the truth about themselves in the Jim Crow south on The Road to Freedom.

Stella is a work of Young Adult Fiction as well as Historical Fiction and is distinctive in its focus on one woman’s road to self-discovery, against the backdrop of the African American fight for justice, racial equality, and freedom.

The 3-Part series focuses on the history of one family in their struggle for racial identity. Discover in this Trilogy how 3 individuals living in separate time periods strive to overcome the same struggle, carefully knit together by one blood.

One of the reviews for the book.

The final book in the series is Joseph’s story, where Stella’s grandson reconciles the feelings he has about his heritage. It is the story of a young man moved by the eloquent words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who yearns to be part of the white middle class and part of the movement to revolutionize the world all at the same time. A man, both white and black, hoping to evoke change in the world of 1960’s America.

The Jim Crow laws had come to an end in 1954 when the segregation of public (state-sponsored) schools was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Board of Education. However, the lasting effects of these laws were felt all over the United States, not just in the southern states.

Joseph along with a group of his friends, both black and white, embark on a journey of self-discovery. Naïve but believing that they could make a difference, the young people set out to become part of the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) conference in Georgia. This book chronicles the trials and tribulations of their journey.

My favorite quote from the book is when Joseph recounts: “In the beginning it was not about Civil Rights, it was about freedom and freedom is what it has all been about.”

Read the reviews and Buy the book:

Also by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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Buy all the books:


Connect to Yecheilyah Ysrayl via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

My final guest author today is Bette A. Stevens whose wonderful book Amazing Matilda has delighted children and adults as well as brought awareness of the incredible lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Today the update is for her book Pure Trash: The Story  prequel to the novel Dog Bone Soup.

Pure Trash Bette StevensAbout the book

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP.

The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying.

If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

The latest review for Pure Trash

Having read Dog Bone Soup from which this short story was drawn, I figured it would be a review of what I already read. I must say it was, but to a greater degree, this short story caused me to focus on the message. Two boys, Shawn and Willie, were children of dirt-poor parents. The story covers the day that the boys are going to take their bikes to town, trade in some bottles, and enjoy some candy. In short, a day free of worry and care. Unfortunately, this was not meant to be. A small accident causes the boys to have to face the reality of prejudice that will no doubt haunt them their entire lives.

The author tells this story with the realism that causes the reader believe they are witnessing the action personally. One’s heart goes out to the boys and their mother for having to endure ridicule and shame only because they were born into poverty.

I recommend this short story to anyone who wants to preview Dog Bone Soup. It is well worth the time.

Read the reviews and BUY the book:

Also by Bette A. Stevens

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Read all the reviews and buy the books:


Connect to Bette via her website:

There are a number of ways to promote your blog and your books and they are listed here.

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you would share the post on your own networks. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Book and Blog promotions, Weight Reduction and Ice cream!


The first week of 2017 is gone.. the Christmas tree and decorations have been put away for another year and it is time to get into gear for the next twelve months.

Because of my own writing projects I will be taking a little more time off… but not at the expense of the book and  blog promotions. Sunday’s now will just have this round up and I will be spending the additional time getting my next books out. In the spring we are also going to be getting a new dog.. something female, medium sized and patient!  But we want to make sure we have time to get out exploring our local area and taking advantage of the great sandy beaches along our coastline.

2016 was a wonderful year and I am so pleased to have connected to you and shared your blogging experience.. I am looking forward to doing even more in  2017.  I hope you will continue to find things of interest on Smorgasbord.

I do have a couple more things up my sleeve that I will reveal going forward.. but for the time being.. here are the posts from this week.

Classical music with William Price King.

classical music

Our new series begins next Wednesday when William Price King is back with the story and music of Kiri Te Kanawa…

Blog and Book Promotions for 2017

There are the three new blog promotions with the details of how you can get your book into the permanent Cafe & Bookstore along with your buying links and website information.

Please read them and then contact me on

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Updates


my-grl-resizedd-g-kayeLyn Horner

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves


Collaborative Anthologies


This week’s Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I know that I blog a lot.. and in addition to my own posts there are the reblogs.. I do encourage you not to get email notifications from me daily.. but to perhaps only have them once a week. However I have cut back on the number of posts by bringing my reblogs into one daily post that goes out in the evenings.  There are 29 blog posts that I think you will find interesting and perhaps one or two new blogs to follow.

Smorgasbord Health – A healthy weight reduction programme for 2017.

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Personal Stuff – Weekly Image and Haiku

crows-twoAfternoon video and humour

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed.. As always very grateful if you can share.  Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update -John W. Howell, D.G. Kaye and Lyn Horner

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

Welcome to my Cafe and Bookstore Update and the first author is John W. Howell.  My husband bought me all three of John’s book in December as part of my Christmas wish list and I made sure that I took the time to read My GRL the first in the series about John Cannon.

If I could just make a quick note about reviews. I do review every book that I read, but  unfortunately, whilst I do make time for this very essential part of my life, I cannot accept books for review.  There are some great reviewers on WordPress that I suggest you might approach and if you google ‘book review sites’ you should also get some good recommendations.

So here is my review for My GRL by John W. Howell.


About the book

John J. Cannon a successful San Francisco lawyer takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

My review for My GRL

I like books that are written in the first person, as I think it allows for a more intimate connection with the main character. In the case of John Cannon, it leads to more of a ‘we’ are in this mess together kind of relationship!  From the moment he wakes up in hospital, until the last page, you are dragged into a number of incidents that would be terrifying and seemingly impossible to resolve. However with careful consideration and some keen observational skills, John achieves some interesting solutions to the problems.

John Howell maintains the tension throughout the book and has you sitting on the edge of your seat as he takes you through John Cannon’s predicament. There are also some flashes of humour from the protagonist, who uses wit to deffuse potentially lethal interactions.

The mystery is centred around his new boat that he plans to sail the high seas during his sabbatical, but My GRL is the key to a terrorist plot that could cause carnage. The characters in the story are all believable and demonstrate many of the human frailities from vulnerability to power hungry evil.

This is the first book in the series and I am looking forward to John Cannon’s next outing in Our Justice.

There are nearly 60 reviews for the book – Buy:

Also by John W. Howell


Read all the reviews and BUY the books:


Connect to John via his blog:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

My next update is for D.G. Kaye also known as Debby Gies... Late last year Debby published her memoir P.S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy, and it has been receiving a great deal of attention. Time to update the book with its latest review.

P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

About P.S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

The latest review for the book

How to survive life (and death) with a narcissistic parent  By Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE on January 2, 2017

Originally a sequel to Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt, PS I Forgive You (Amazon Digital Services 2016) became a stand-alone final chapter to D.G. Kaye’s emotional story about surviving a narcissistic mother. You can feel Kaye’s strength as she’s forced to break off communication with her mother as a last-ditch effort to protect her own mental health–even as her mother is dying.

If you come from a loving supportive family (like I do), it’s very difficult to understand the damage caused by this sort of emotional abuse, but through Kaye’s eyes, I felt it. Suffered it. At one point, Kaye mentioned a concern that her mother might read what admittedly was a less than flattering book about her, but I already knew enough about her mother to know that she would never either read her daughter’s published words or listen to them.

That is how powerful this story is: I feel like I knew both Kaye and her mother well by the time I turned the last page. Highly recommended by anyone with a narcissistic family member. This will help you.

Read all the reviews and BUY the book: P.S. I Forgive You

Also by D.G. Kaye

book-debby-conflicted-hearts2 51ipqxbodml-_uy250_ crop have-bags-will-travelRead the reviews and buy the books:

D.G. Kaye Author

Connect to D.G. Kaye via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

The final update today is for award winning author Lyn Horner and her book Profiling Nathan – Book Five – Romancing the Guardians.  The book was published in October 2016.

Lyn HornerAbout the book

Nathan Maguire is a Guardian of Danu, and he possesses a deadly psychic gift. He also has a checkered past. As a young man, he spent time in prison, where he learned the rudiments of tattooing, a skill he has built into a successful business in Tampa, Florida. He’s content with his life – until a beautiful FBI profiler walks into his shop.

Talia Werner has come to deliver an urgent message from one of the other Guardians. The trouble is no one outside that select group is supposed to know they exist. Nate doesn’t believe Talia and suspects she is up to no-good. Meanwhile, she finds out a woman was brutally murdered not far from Nate’s shop. This is the third such killing in the past two months. A serial killer is loose in Tampa.

Working with the police, Talia discovers all three of the victims bore a blue butterfly tattoo, one of Nate’s designs. Suspicion falls on him but quickly points to other tattoo artists. Enlisting his aid in meeting and interviewing them, Talia develops a growing attraction to the man, who isn’t at all what he seems to be on the surface. Nate returns her feelings and their relationship heats up.However, the killer is still on the hunt, and he knows Talia is after him.

Will the stubborn woman accept Nate’s protection or will she be the murderer’s next victim?

A review for the book.

Good and Balanced, Starts Fast and Keeps Going.By Craig A. Hart on December 2, 2016

Lyn Horner doesn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story with this book. One thing that bothers me about a lot of writers is that they take forever to get to the actual story–not an issue here!I also enjoyed the characters. Nathan Maguire, a psychic tattoo artist, and Talia Werner, a sexy FBI profiler are both larger than life and help move the story along.

The story itself is a good mix of romance and murder mystery, so there’s something for everyone! Horner also does a good job of creating some great Florida atmosphere, although early on in the book, I got hungry for a Cuban sandwich and had to stop reading to eat something!

A great read!

BUY the book:

A selection of books by by Lyn Horner – please visit her author’s page for the full list.

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Read the reviews and buy all the books:


Connect to Lyn via her website:

How to get into the bookstore

The first step is to have an individual promotion for your latest book which will also feature your other books and some examples of reviews. Please read the following post with the information that I need to do your book justice.

If you are an author already in the bookstore then your new releases and recent reviews will be featured in one of these regular Cafe and Bookstore updates.

Thanks for dropping in today and please help spread the news from these three authors. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Helen Jones, Janice Spina, Darlene Foster


Welcome to the start of the 2017 author promotions here on Smorgasbord. Helen Jones has been in the bookstore since early last year and I am delighted to feature her latest book, A Thousand Rooms, published towards the end of 2016.


About the book

You don’t wake up expecting to die. Katie is thirty-two, single, and works in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

Two of the reviews so far.

Loved it! Laughed and cried so much!   By K. Ufland on 2 Nov. 2016

This book is an emotional rollercoaster! At times laugh-out-loud funny and at others you’ll need the tissues. It’s all that I would have hoped for in a book. The action is fast paced and I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I haven’t been put through the wringer so much since The Lovely Bones. I can heartily recommend you give A Thousand Rooms a read. I am just about to start it again, once I have bought myself a box of man size tissues!

Life Affirming  By Morris on 1 Nov. 2016

A Thousand Rooms is the quirky story of Katie who has just been killed in a road accident. Not sure where she’s supposed to go now she’s dead, her disembodied self floats around the scenes of her life as she tries to find her way to Heaven. The writing is sharp, funny and poignant. A joy to read.

Buy the book:

Also by Helen Jones. The Ambeth Chronicles a YA Fantasy Series


Find out more about Helen Jones, read the reviews and buy the books:


Connect to Helen via her website:


Award winning Janice Spina has released the fourth book in the successful series featuring her amateur detectives Davey and Derek Donato in The Case of The Brown Scraggly Dog.

51qlw6az0tl-_uy250_About the book.

Davey and Derek Donato are at it again in this new book. In this case they come across a brown scraggly dog with blood on its paw but when the boys try to stop the dog, it runs away. Aunt Gigi is here once again to assist the boys with their magic and provide some new spells. Clues surface that suggest that someone may be injured and in need of help. The boys will have to use their skills and a little magic to solve this case.

Buy the book:

The other books in the series.



One of the recent reviews for Book 3 – The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant.

Wonderful Third Installment in a Wonderful Series! Get It!   by Sarah M – Kid Book Reviewer on August 10, 2016

In the third installment of the now eleven-year-old Davey & Derek Junior Detectives series, fabulous children’s book author Janice Spina engages children in the twins’ wonderful new adventure. With elegance and aplomb, Spina allows young readers to accompany the junior detectives as they solve, with the help of their special Aung Gigi and their own special powers, “The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant”. Marvelously entertaining.Another winner for the prolific writer.

A selection of the other books by Janice Spina

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Find out more about Janice Spina, read the reviews and buy her books: Spina/e/B00HNET4HG


Connect to Janice Spina via her website:


My third update today is for Darlene Foster and her book Amanda on the Danube which features a young canadian girl and her global adventures. She has just received a terrific review from Erik.. a fifteen year old blogger with a blog I recommend you follow for his on point opinions of the books that he reads.

371883440About the book.

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.

Here is Erik’s review

What I ThoughtI really like this series. Ms. Foster has a neat way of writing that involves the adventure and intrigue of a mystery, but while also including information about real-life places. The book follows Amanda, Leah, and their families as they travel on the Danube River in Germany, and we learn things as they learn them. There is a neat mystery/thriller type plot, and even though I could guess what was going to come for some of the plot twists, it was still a good story that kids will like. This book is a shining example of great, well-written, age-appropriate middle-grade books! Ms. Foster has something great going on with this series, and I cannot wait to read the next book and see where Amanda goes next!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

If you are looking for a great holiday gift for a middle-grade reader who likes learning about different parts of the world while getting a good mystery, I recommend the Amanda series! There are five books in all. I really like how they take place all over the world.

Read the whole post

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Darlene Foster.

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Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books:


Connect to Darlene via her website:


If you are already an author on the bookshelves of Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore then any new books or excellent reviews will be featured in the regular Cafe and Bookstore Updates.. Don’t forget to let me know.

If you have not yet been promoted on Smorgasbord and are therefore not in the bookstore then I will do a New Arrivals post for you first.

Here are the details:

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the update on your social media to spread the news of these author’s books and reviews.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Author Promotion 2017 – If you are in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore.


I think most of you are now familiar with the virtual Cafe and Bookstore that has been in place for most of 2016.  There are now 135 authors in the bookstore with four of their bookcovers with a link to Amazon to buy the books and their websites for contact.

I want to build on this in 2017 and use it as a promotional platform.  A least twice a week I will do a Cafe and Bookstore Update featuring the authors who are in the bookstore with their latest release and a review of their previous books… or the most recent review for their last release.

With three authors per update this also results in extra coverage as I do ask the authors to share on their own networks.. with three authors across social media this drives more traffic to the post benefiting all the authors.

This brings me to a power that I sadly do not have……..well I do, but only after half a bottle of excellent red wine and if you cross my palm with silver.


I spend considerable time scouring the internet and Amazon checking on the authors in the bookstore and their latest releases and most recent reviews; because unfortunately my crystal ball only tells me about tall dark strangers and long trips across oceans!

If you are in the bookstore..  – A – Z list of current authors…. then email me on if you have a new book published or one being published in the next month so that we can schedule you in an update.

I just need the link to Amazon and your website.

Also check your Amazon listing and if your book has received a fabulous review in the last six weeks then email me on with the link to the book so that I can showcase it in one of the updates.

To give you an idea of what the Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update will look like here is one from the Christmas series which I used to trail the concept.

This post featured Susan M. Toy, Marcia Meara and Toni Pike and received 119 views within the first three days.

The first Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update will be on Wednesday and I have a space free!

Coming up tomorrow

I will be posting all the new promotions for bloggers and authors during this next week and tomorrow will be the turn of any authors who are not currently in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Following a first book promotion the author and their books will automatically be put on the shelves and will from then on be promoted in the updates throughout the year when a new book is published or to showcase a great review.

Don’t forget… I won’t see you in my crystal ball so please email me with your news so we can talk about how best to promote you and your work.