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


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

About Redemption

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

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

One of the many outstanding reviews for the book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the book

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

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

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

One of the reviews for the book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Atonement in Bloom

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

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

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

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

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

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

About the Magician’s Blood

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

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

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

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

One of the reviews for the book

REVIEWED BY: LINDA TONIS – MEMBER OF THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE REVIEW TEAM
Stephen Dagmar is travelling through Canada with Herman his assistant. Herman is excited because one of the stops is her hometown and she can’t wait to see her brother Chad only when she arrived it is to learn that the home has been sold.

She is forced to call her father who hates Stephen to get the information she needs on her mother and brother’s whereabouts. Her mom is in a nursing home and her brother is living with an aunt so she is able to visit them both. Her father George and Stephen hate each other and her father wants Herman to leave him. She finally discovered what her father did for a living which was to dress as a woman and act as the assistant to another magician even though he had more magic in him than the man he worked for.

George has the ability to read minds and see into the person’s future and he is convinced that Herman’s life is in danger if she stays with Stephen. Nina Curry is pregnant with Stephen’s child but she wants him and wants Herman gone. In spite of what George says Herman has no intention of leaving the man she loves and Stephen is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect the woman he loves.

It is finally discovered about the curse that has plagued Stephen’s family and the Curry family for generations, he has demon blood in him and it is an incubus answering the question why woman all throw themselves at him. Herman has a lot to accept living with Stephen, his numerous affairs with just about every woman she meets, his actual gift of real magic including being able to levitate and move from one place to another, but the one thing that bothers her is that Nina is going to be the one to bear Stephen’s first child, a daughter.

Herman like her father has inherited the gift of seeing into someone’s future and she can’t get over the fact that Stephen will betray her with his agent and best friend and past lover, Margaret. When Stephen’s demon presents itself what Herman saw comes to pass but it is not mere sex it is an invasion, a violent invasion. For the first time Herman has seen the demon first hand has she finally had enough?

This is not an easy review to write because there is so much going on that I could easily give away something I shouldn’t so I am trying to be very careful. There is sex, violence,true love and an interfering father determined to break up Herman and Stephen. There are so many secrets and surprises not only about Stephen but about Herman’s family and particularly her father but there is no cliffhanger.

I know that this was supposed to be the second and last book in the series but I am hoping for more I don’t think Herman and Stephen’s story is over yet, but then I am not the author just a reader who loves this series.

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

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

Also by Linda G. Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #thrillers #short stories Luna Saint Claire, Jan Sikes and Kristina Stanley


Some more books on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore that would make great gifts this Christmas, and the first is a psychological thriller The Sleeping Serpent by Luna Saint Claire

About the book

Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.

Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.

“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.”

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Ellen Weisberg‘s review Mar 11, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE SLEEPING SERPENT. The writing was excellent, vivid and detailed and effortlessly evoking empathy for each female character as they rapidly oscillated from intense passion to overt fear. I found the content very realistic and likely to be painfully relatable for anyone who has found themselves helplessly drawn to someone whose wants and needs come first and at all costs to those closest to them.

As an example, I could feel Olivia’s anguish after being abruptly dropped by Nico once she confided her news about the fellowship she had been awarded, and for the moment I was transformed into Olivia and experiencing her torment of being so sexually and emotionally attached to Nico that she was more than willing to give up her life’s dreams and aspirations to avoid losing him. And of course, Nico being Nico was unwilling to give her the option of having both her own life as well as a part of his, and no response to her final text was accompanied by her heart shattering into a thousand pieces.

Similarly, I was easily able to vicariously ride on the same rollercoaster as Sofia and Luna with Nico’s flattering sweetness and sensuality that would suddenly change to angry control and reprimand, sometimes insidiously interwoven with yet more sexual seduction that served to entice the women even further into his dangerous lair.

Luna Saint Claire and Virginia Bowen have created quite the fascinating page turner and eye opener that any woman with a breath and a pulse and who has found themselves under someone’s toxic, hypnotic spell can relate to.;

Read the many reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Serpent-womans-struggle-obsessive-ebook/dp/B016LUUB1K

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleeping-Serpent-womans-struggle-obsessive-ebook/dp/B016LUUB1K/

Discover more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14551692.Luna_Saint_Claire

Connect to Luna Saint Claire via her website: http://www.compelledbooks.com/

A recent review that would make a lovely gift is from award-winning author Jan Sikes with Two Shorts and a Snort

About Two Shorts and a Snort

This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Obsessed:
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.

Maggie:
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.

Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Sometimes when you’re gifted an Amazon card, you become like a child of the 1950’s who’s just found a $5.00 bill in the street, and you head over to buy as much candy as you can. [Back then with most candies/gum costing less than a nickel, you got a good-sized bag loaded to the brim with this stuff.] This is how I felt getting a $25.00 card.

Usually, I wouldn’t have bought a short book like this, but like an adult kid, I went on a shopping spree for KINDLE books I wound up buying this book, a purchase which wound up not being a disappointment, but a wonderful find.

Being an author of Flash Fiction, I love being able to read stories which cuts to the chase, and gets the message it’s trying to communicate readers without wasting time with a lot of unnecessary verbiage. And author, Jan Sikes, succeeds in doing this quite well with OBSESSED and MAGGIE.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a guy whose got an fixation on having to marry you, and is going to unbelievable lengths in seeing that you’ll say YES to his proposal; then you’re in Nelda Sue’s shoes being confronted with Charlie Riddle being OBESSED with you and you knows precisely how she feels. As I did.

In regards to MAGGIE, anyone who has a child know it’s essentially a God-given gift. But what happens when despite numerous attempts at having one, nothing has resulted. If you can understand how a woman might feel when this happens, then you can step into Mary’s shoes and feel the elation she gets when her husband Jackson finds an abandoned baby and brings it home; if this isn’t a God-given gift for his finding the infant then what is?

For giving her readers these two delightful stories and a bonus poem, I’m glad to give Ms. Sikes, the 5 STARS she’s gotten from this reviewer.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL

Also by Jan Sikes.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

Now for a real treat… a boxed set from Kristina Stanley at an extremely attractive price for three of her popular novels – Stone Mountain Mystery Bundle.

About the Stone Mountain Series.

A majestic mountain resort in the middle of nowhere, a newly-appointed security officer and malicious killers make this trio of thrillers a roller-coaster ride through ice and snow…

DESCENT – Book 1

When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.

BLAZE – Book 2

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

AVALANCHE – Book 3

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?

One of the reviews for the series

Although Kristina Stanley says at the end of the novel that she wrote Avalanche first, this became the third book in the series. Having read and enjoyed the first two Stone Mountain mysteries, I recommend them all and suggest reading them in order. Once again, Kalin Thompson is the main protagonist, but characters from previous books return and previous incidents are cleverly referred adding to the backstory.

From the fast-moving opening when Kalin’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears, the plot twists and turns with enough clues and suspects to keep the reader thinking to the end.

There are multiple suspects when the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, but with Ray as the prime suspect, Kalin must act covertly to clear his name. How she handles her discoveries and her torn feelings about her brother’s guilt drive the main thread of the novel.

The story is tightly plotted, well-structured and, as I noted down while reading, it’s ‘edge of my snowmobile tense’. There are various suspects when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police begin investigating from Ray to Kalin via other employees at Stone Mountain Resort. I kept wondering, ‘Who will be next?’, ‘Who is guilty of what?’ and ‘Who do you trust?’. Not only Kalin needed to be wary but others caught up in the events as the threat level escalated.

The suspects were gradually narrowed down, although there were enough remaining as the end drew near. Plus, the accusations against Kalin were ongoing, adding to the tension. Twists kept coming, leading to the final confrontation that I only half-guessed in advance. Key elements were cleverly foreshadowed.

The author’s characterisation is excellent in that everyone has something to distinguish them – even the lift-girl from New Zealand. The reader sees the other characters through Kalin’s eyes and through other characters’ viewpoint. The use of various POVs enhances the story and adds to the subplots, diversions and to the red herrings that I always enjoy in a mystery.

The resort offers an evocative setting and Kristina Stanley’s knowledge of that world rings true without creating unnecessary detail. From my time in Canada and my winters skiing on different hills, Stone Mountain Resort and the intrigues came alive for me.

Avalanche was a fast-paced and easy read, and, as I’ve come to expect from Kristina Stanley, and from Imajin Books, it’s well-edited. A definite recommendation if you want a pacey mystery. But read Descent and Blaze first for maximum enjoyment – not vital but best.

Buy the boxed Set for just $7.32 : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075DK4864

And on Amazon UK for £2.35 : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountain-Mystery-Bundle-Kristina-Stanley-ebook/dp/B075DK4864

Buy the novels individually and other books by Kristina Stanley.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Kristina-Stanley/e/B0106J097I

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kristina-Stanley/e/B0106J097I

Read more reviews and follow Kristina Stanley on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14130411.Kristina_Stanley

Connect to Kristina via her website/Blog: http://kristinastanley.com/blog/

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Collaborations – Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones


Time for more book gift ideas for family and friends this Christmas and I wanted to revisit some of the books that have been co-written including the recently published poetry collection Open a New Door, now in print, by Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle.

About the collection

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.

Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

One of the recent reviews for the book by Collen Chesebro Book Reviews

Poetry encourages a reader to get in touch with the emotions they feel when reading the written word. “Open a New Door,” does exactly that. The book is divided into four categories: God Bless Africa, God Bless of my Family & Friends, God Bless Me, and God Bless Corporates & Work, which are then sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly, of the continent they call home.

The book is liberally sprinkled with photos and even some image poetry, all sharing the thoughts and observations of the two authors. Their writing styles are different but they compliment each other perfectly allowing for smooth reading.

Africa is filled with extremes, ranging from the landscape to the temperatures, to the animals and the people, all impacting the culture of one of the largest continents on earth. The author’s poetry reflects the diversity of the people and how poverty has infiltrated and changed their societal views.

For someone who knows little about the life and culture of Africa, I found my own perceptions changed with each new poem.

One of my favorite poems written by Kim Blades was: “Lessons learned in a rural African village.” Her words tell the story of growing up with all the comforts: food, water, love, and plenty of sunshine. She compares her life to that of an aged beggar who lives at the edge of her village. The man has little food, and the people of the town always give him their leftover bread. He passes on the good deed by sharing his crumbs with the birds. The lesson is that we receive what we give. What a wonderful thought!

Robbie Cheadle shares a poem that also touched my heart but in a different way. It’s called “Disillusionment” and speaks of a world lacking in ethics while making decisions by using plastic integrity. I couldn’t help but draw similarities to what’s happening in my own government right now.

I enjoyed this collection of poems because it exposed me to a different culture and way of thinking. After each poem, the authors share their thoughts revealing what prompted them to write the particular piece, making their prose more intimate and intense.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Open-new-door-collection-poems-ebook/dp/B07K4RRC4W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Open-new-door-collection-poems-ebook/dp/B07K4RRC4W

You can connect to Kim at her blog and Website: https://kim153.wordpress.com/

Connect to Robbie via her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

A small selection of other books by Robbie Cheadle

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

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

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

Now for the paranormal thriller The Contract: Between Heaven and Earth by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, which I read and reviewed earlier in the year.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires. A Great summer read.

My review for the book

The Contract is a fusion of fantasy, thriller and romance and is the debut novel of the new collaboration between John. W. Howell and Gwen Plano.

I have read all of John Howell’s books and enjoyed, so I was eager to find out how these two popular writers would rise to the challenge of collaborating.

The concept is intriguing, and the opening chapter sets out this well, with the introduction to two souls, who had little time on earth to enjoy their love of each other. They are tasked by the divine council with preventing a major catastrophe on earth that could threaten mankind, but it will mean that they will be separated and have no memory of their task. Their hosts are two people with the knowledge and skill set to overcome the threat, but they are thousands of miles apart and both in mortal danger.

The writers do a good job of bringing these two characters together; now infused with the souls who have been contracted to neutralise the upcoming disaster. Watched and abetted  by guardian angels, their relationship begins with subterfuge, but quickly becomes attraction, and then love strong enough to take them through to the end of their endeavour.

This love story runs parallel to the fast escalation of violence and intrigue that reveals hidden agendas and treason in high places. The story has a good pace and there is plenty of action to keep the thriller lovers engaged with a number of surprising twists and turns in the plot along the way.

The final confrontation is a fitting climax to the story, bringing together all the players and their roles in the conspiracy, in an action packed battle of good against evil.

I am sure that this writing duo will go from strength to strength following this creative and exciting debut.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

You can connect to John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Books by John Howell

 Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

The next authors with a successful collaboration are Jane Risdon and Christina Jones for their novel Only One Woman.

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

An interesting read I wasn’t sure how it would work with two authors, but it is cleverly written like a diary of the two girls Renza and Stella who become involved with Scott the sexy guy from the band. Set in the late sixties there are lots of references to music and magazines and general things of these times. Renza can’t believe her luck when the band move in next door to her. Her life isn’t that exciting and she has to help her Mum a lot with the rest of her large family when all of a sudden she’s popular with the girls at school who want to hang out in her garden to see the boys. After falling for Scott Renza unfortunately has to move to Germany with her Dad as he is in the army. Stella comes into Scott’s life slightly older then Renza who will Scott choose. It was good reading the story through the eyes of both girls in their diary. I won’t give any spoilers to say who Scott ends up with. I wonder if there will be a second book following on so we can see if he made the right decision.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have found a few books to take away with you.. to read or to give as gifts. Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Promotions – The books that have been featured so far..


Welcome to the Christmas promotions and if you did not see the original post then here it is: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-author-and-blog-promotions-2018-its-party-time-again/

Here are the books that have been featured so far in the Christmas promotions in case you missed some. All the active authors in the Cafe and Bookstore will be featured all through this next week… so plenty more to look forward to.

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you might leave with a book or two.. but it would also be great is you could share these authors and their work. Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-special-preorder-price-mistletoe-inn-by-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-sci-fi-ya-tarkentower-by-daniel-scott-white/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-thriller-desperation-rules-the-day-by-colin-guest/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-worst-noel-a-juniper-junction-mystery-by-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-love-at-first-swipe-by-gareth-fosberry-onlinedating/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-2-pre-order-99c-99p-until-november-25th-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-after-ever-little-stories-for-grown-children-by-d-avery/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-romance-humour-if-you-love-me-im-yours-by-lizzie-chantree/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-becoming-someone-by-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mystery-murder-on-the-books-by-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-deadly-quotes-escaping-psychiatry-series-by-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-book-1-the-gift-legacy-secret-sky-re-release-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mo-the-spotlight-tales-by-s-pearce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-childrens-myrtles-game-by-cynthia-reyes-and-lauren-reyes-grange-illustrated-by-jo-robinson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-victoria-zigler-jann-weeratunga-janice-spina-bette-a-stevens-and-gigi-sedlmayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-andrea-balsara-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-annabelle-franklin-and-jemima-pett/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-teens-ya-paul-andruss-m-j-mallon-hl-carpenter-darlene-foster-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-rachele-baker-dvm-judith-barrow-c-s-boyack-and-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sally-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-science-fiction-tina-frisco-d-wallace-peach-lorinda-j-taylor-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-ritu-bhathal-christy-birmingham-colleen-m-chesebro-natalie-ducey-and-dorinda-duclos/

The Story Reading Ape

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-agnes-mae-graham-annette-rochelle-aben-and-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-linda-bethea-sarah-brentyn-eric-halpenny-and-gregg-savage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-mary-smith-annika-perry-and-hugh-w-roberts/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-memoirs-brigid-p-gallagher-chuck-jackson-karen-ingalls-and-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-supernatural-marcia-meara-charles-e-yallowitz-stuart-france-and-sue-vincent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-nonfiction-denise-ohagan-terri-webster-schrandt-dolly-aizenman-and-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-historical-wwii-mary-adler-m-c-v-egan-paulette-mahurin-and-marina-osipova/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-adele-marie-park-vashti-quiroz-vega-and-nicholas-c-rossis/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-historical-frank-parker-tony-riches-romance-shehanne-moore-and-lyn-horner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-vampires-paranormal-scifi-dragons-anne-marie-andrus-mae-clair-janet-gogerty-and-paul-cude/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mystery-thriller-series-n-a-granger-john-w-howell-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-social-injustice-thriller-fantasy-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-stevie-turner-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasty-scifi-paranormal-elle-boca-deborah-a-bowman-richard-dee-and-audrey-driscoll/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-linda-bradley-christine-campbell-billy-ray-chitwood-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-african-adventure-crime-history-scifi-with-lucinda-e-clarke-sue-coletta-jack-eason-and-david-r-grigg/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mary-anne-edwards-diana-j-febry-judy-penz-sheluk-and-toni-pike/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-family-drama-historical-survival-claire-fullerton-william-luvaas-jacqui-murray-and-terry-tyler/

My review for Legacy; Book Four Project Renova by Terry Tyler

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-book-review-for-legacy-project-renova-book-four-by-terry-tyler/

Thank you for dropping in and it would be amazing if you could share all the authors and their books..Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Christmas book promotions, music, humour and guests.


This week has certainly flown by with a few Mary Poppins moments with umbrellas in the rain and high winds. Just as well I have not got rid of that excess stone I was planning on misplacing before Christmas!

Do not take this as a free pass to do what you like eating wise over the festive season (well okay then . eat what you like)..but I am re-releasing my first book Size Matters in 2019 updated and revised to reflect new research and also my experience in the last 20 years as a nutritional therapist – I am going to do this via the blog by editing and updating each chapter on the blog in the first three months of the year. If you are thinking about getting fitter and eating healthier then you might like to take it one step at a time.

The first part of the book was my journal about how I got to the weight of 330lbs and the second part of the book is the programme that I designed to lose 150lbs. That is the bit that I will be revising and updating.

I have been featuring all the active authors in the Cafe and Bookstore since the middle of November with recent updates or first books in series. I have just scheduled the last one on 17th December… and there will be one more on 18th of December but that one will be my books and I have a couple of e-book giveaways on the day.

I did have an outing this week as the guest of Colleen Chesebro… and we had a lovely conversation about writing from the male perspective and inspirations.. if you have not been a guest of Colleen before.. it is well worth putting yourself forward. A great place to showcase your work and meet new people.

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Sally Cronin

On Thursday the Christmas party season starts with the First Day of Christmas.. If you are still interesting in being a guest there are four spaces left for the 11th and 12th days of Christmas.. Want another chance to promote your books and take part.. here are the details.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-christmas-promotions-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-party-guests-food-and-music-promotional-opportunity/

I am heading out today with a stand at the local Christmas Fair.. and the first sight of Santa Claus who will be arriving at 4pm. to day courtesy of the Coast Guard and RNLI.. ……….

Time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed and as always thank you for popping in and lending your support.  It keeps me motivated.

Paul Andruss has popped in to kick off party week… sharing his emotionally charged story of his most favourite Christmas gift ever….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-my-favourite-christmas-gift-ever-by-paul-andruss/

D.G. Kaye took us to the stunning island of Curacao and shares its history and the best places to stay, eat and swim.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-curacao-lesser-antilles/

Carol Taylor came back to the food column with a wonderful post this week. A full Vegetarian menu – with starters, mains, sides and desserts.. delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-blog-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-a-christmas-vegetarian-menu/

Linda Bethea shares the tale of Willie Tharpe, who invited himself for Christmas, bringing his dogs and thousands of unwanted visitors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-flease-dont-come-home-for-christmas-willie-tharpe-by-linda-bethea/

Geoff Le Pard with a special rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…if this does not get you in the mood for the festive season…. then repeat several times.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-poetry-twas-the-night-before-christmas-by-geoff-le-pard/

It is my 40th and I feel the need for speed…..and the music of M People, guest Annette Rochelle Aben and Elton John.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1993-toyota-mr2-mk1-m-people-and-elton-john/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-becoming-someone-by-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mystery-murder-on-the-books-by-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-deadly-quotes-escaping-psychiatry-series-by-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-book-1-the-gift-legacy-secret-sky-re-release-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mo-the-spotlight-tales-by-s-pearce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-childrens-myrtles-game-by-cynthia-reyes-and-lauren-reyes-grange-illustrated-by-jo-robinson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mystery-thriller-series-n-a-granger-john-w-howell-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-social-injustice-thriller-fantasy-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-stevie-turner-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasty-scifi-paranormal-elle-boca-deborah-a-bowman-richard-dee-and-audrey-driscoll/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-linda-bradley-christine-campbell-billy-ray-chitwood-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-african-adventure-crime-history-scifi-with-lucinda-e-clarke-sue-coletta-jack-eason-and-david-r-grigg/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mary-anne-edwards-diana-j-febry-judy-penz-sheluk-and-toni-pike/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-family-drama-historical-survival-claire-fullerton-william-luvaas-jacqui-murray-and-terry-tyler/

It is the time of year when coughs are quite common.. but it is important to know the difference between one associated with a common cold and one that has become chronic bronchitis.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-bronchitis-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of week when we get our syllables in a row or more in a format requested by Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 113 – being the first week of the month we get to choose our own prompts… Frost and Laughter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-poetry-challenge-etheree-december-and-laughter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-another-joke-from-sallys-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Historical #Survival – Claire Fullerton, William Luvaas, Jacqui Murray and Terry Tyler


Time for more gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and today novels that I have read and reviewed this year, that I can highly recommend. The first author is Claire Fullerton, and her latest release Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mourning Dove is an epic mid-century recounting of a family, a lifestyle, a simpler but dignified time, providing a reminder that behind the gilded societal walls, hardships exist and life goes on. Claire Fullerton’s development of these dear to her heart characters, makes the reader consider them family members within the opening chapters. Set against the backdrop of a real life Gone With the Wind, Claire’s mother brings about images of Jackie O, Audrey, Bacall, complete with her own resident Warhol. But behind perfection, often hides dysfunction. Is it dysfunction, or is it what we all live through – our best efforts to make it through this often difficult life? In this sense, Millie and Finley take decidedly different paths of working through it all.

A masterful use of description, often providing a bouquet of the very scent being described, the subtle facial tells one can relate to, and the constant feeling of “what if”. This book flows like a gathering avalanche, and never ceases to disappoint. I dreaded the end, as I felt something ominous on the horizon. A must read for those with a deep sentimental side – I’m left with a sense of longing, wistfulness, yearning. Or is it all out melancholy? Yes, that’s it…melancholy.

My thanks to the author for having the strength to pen this novel and bare her soul.

Read some of the 100 other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

The next novel that I read earlier in the year is Welcome to Saint Angel by William Luvaas.

Following on from the book release William Luvaas and Lucinda Luvaas, won a prestigious award. The short film adapted from William’s novel Welcome to Saint Angel has just won the “Best Adapted Screenplay” award at the Golden State Film Festival in L.A.  It started out as a book trailer and evolved into a short film. You can watch the film on Vimeo – Welcome to Saint Angel

About Welcome to Saint Angel.

Iconoclastic inventor, Al Sharpe, loves his canyon home in Southern California’s Saint Angel Valley. He builds his teenage daughter a tree house in a giant oak and invents the Sharpe Smoke Scrubber to detoxify wood smoke. When wealthy developer Ches Noonan, a fellow member of the Desert Green Lawn Association, sets out to fill the valley with houses and appropriate its precious water supply to fill swimming pools during California’s worst drought, Al and his quixotic pals rebel. In the Realty Revenge, they halt development through madcap high jinks and the help of local Indians, ancient demon Tahquitz, and mother nature.

Welcome to Saint Angel is a dead-serious comedy about development gone mad and townsfolk’s attempts to protect their rural Arcadia from bulldozers and climate change deniers. Part environmental fiction, part social satire, it speaks to exurban sprawl and the heedless development of fragile natural areas and to the power of communal resistance in the face of calamity.

“A painful, redemptive belly laugh and well worth it.” —Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jul 03, 2018 Roger Aplon rated it Five Stars

Besides being one of our best storytellers, Bill Luvaas, with the writing of Welcome to Saint Angel, must also be acknowledged as one of our most enlightened, if somewhat excentric, radicals.

From the outset, Welcome . . . bristles with the rollicking, ribald wit reminiscent of Rabelais as well as the caustic social & personal satire of Voltaire. When the desolate little desert hamlet of Saint Angel comes under attack from uncompromising, money-grubbing developers & unprincipled water-snatchers, an uncommon & often mind-boggling array of cast-offs, misfits, ornery & none-too-subtle humanity rise up to attempt to save their terrible paradise: what’s one person’s hell is another’s heaven – I guess & so does Bill Luvaas who teases us with serious arguments against over-development & miss-use of nature’s bounty while at the same time interrupting the ‘lecture’ with quips & currents of lawless madness & random mayhem.

From the likes of the peculiarly complicated character Tinkerspoon, the sometime wacky genius, who can hack any & all computers from the U S Government to the local bank, to the town of Saint Angel itself that speaks the facts that keep the plot alive & moving ever forward, Luvaas packs his pages with nudies, gunfighters, street brawlers, trackers tracking humans over hot & unrelenting desert, a swamp that devours all & any in its proximity & just to keep the romantic reader engrossed, a saga of father-daughter-love lost & found & the nourishing spirit of Tahquitz, a Native Demon, who keeps tabs on the merciless marauders while cheering-on the downtrodden but relentless protectors of Saint Angel. Bill Luvass has done us a favor with the creation of this book – do yourself one & read it!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

Also by William Luvaas

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

Read more reviews and follow William on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/300702.William_Luvaas

Connect to William via his Website: http://www.williamluvaas.com

And another book that I read and enjoyed more recently is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. To walk in the footsteps of one of our earliest female ancestors is quite an experience and humbling.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

My recent review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.

Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.

This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.

I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

Connect to Jacqui via her blog: Worddreams,

And last but not least my latest review which was for Terry Tyler and Legacy: Book Four Project Renova Series... I have read and reviewed the previous books in the series and I can recommend that you read all of them

About Legacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

My recent review for the book..

A fitting end to an amazing series.

It is difficult not to give away spoilers when you are excited about a book you have just read. Particularly when it is the final book in a series, and all the loose ends have been gathered up into one satisfying bundle.

If you have already read the other books in the series, then you will be as eager as I was to catch up with the previous characters as they dispersed to Denmark or escaped the new outbreak in UK Central. You won’t be disappointed, as their continuing stories are action packed, heartwarming and sometimes downright scary.

The author takes us forward, beyond these characters, to 100 years after the Bat Fever. We discover that many of the residents of the new UK have reverted back to the days of small settlements. They are self-sustaining and make an effort to bring children into a better world, although interestingly the gains made by women for independence have taken more than a few steps backwards.

However, there are still women taking control of their lives and in some cases being responsible for settlements such as Lindisfarne.  However, being human there are still those that have a craving for power at any cost. In the main population hubs and in the North, 100 years after the epidemic the veneer of civilization is very thin with violence a part of everyday life.

What is clear, having read the entire series, is that following an apocalyptic event, the majority of the population are completely unprepared without the infrastructure that provides shelter, food and medicines. They have little or no knowledge of how to sustain themselves and only those with resolve and bravery will survive. Those that do bring a glimmer of hope that mankind will survive and thrive in the aftermath of a devastating event and that is a thread that runs through this final story.

A brilliant end to the series, and I do suggest that you begin with the previous three books Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2 so that you are fully primed before reading Legacy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

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

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

Connect to Terry via her blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

I hope you have enjoyed this selection of just some of the books that I have read an enjoyed this year.. more to come later in the Christmas promotions. They would all make great gifts.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore- Buy a Book for Christmas #Mystery Series – Mary Anne Edwards, Diana J. Febry, Judy Penz Sheluk and Toni Pike


Time for some more book gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and here is a selection of novels that any book lover would enjoy. As always when there is a series I will share book one and that is the case for the first author Mary Anne Edwards and The Charlie McLung Mysteries... Here is the first book in the series – Brilliant Disguise.

About the book

Are you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?

Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life. Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.

A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.

How far can he dig before he uncovers secrets never meant to be unearthed? Throw in a shady police chief and an unexpected love interest and McClung quickly finds himself with more trouble than he ever imagined.

One of the 100 reviews for the book

This story has it all. Murder, mystery, crime, drama, love and a great whodunit. I absolutely love reading a great whodunit and Mary Anne has achieved that in this book. This is a clean murder mystery with romance. I enjoyed reading about the main characters Charlie and Marian. They are characters both in their 40s. Charlie is a big city detective that moves to a small Georgia town to find solace and relax. There he meets Marian. Marian is a widow. Charlie investigates the death of Marian’s neighbor which looks to be apparent suicide. I loved this cozy mystery. I read it all in one evening.

This story was so intriguing. I couldn’t stop reading. This is a must read. Mary Anne did a great job keeping me guessing. This book contained twists and turns, suspense and kept me wanting to read until I was finished. It was refreshing to read a book that I could relate to. I loved watching Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This story reminded me of those TV programs. I’m a huge mystery buff. I laughed, was puzzled, cheered on Charlie and Marian and can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you enjoy a good whodunit, mystery, suspense, touch of romance, clean read, you’ll absolutely love this mystery. Kudos to Mary Anne and her brilliant storytelling!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HYYOARE

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brilliant-Disguise-Charlie-McClung-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00HYYOARE

Other books in the series

Read all the many reviews and buy the Charlie McClung Series: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

Read more reviews and follow Mary Anne Edwards on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

Connect to Mary via her website: http://maryanneedwards.com/index.html

The next author is Diana J. Febry with the first book in her DCI Peter Hatherall Mysteries – The Skeletons of Birkbury again perfect for mystery lovers this Christmas.

About the book

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in Birkbury, the villagers close ranks. Gossip turns to fear and suspicion as they realize the killer is one of them and is prepared to kill again.

DCI Peter Hatherall must fight his past and class divisions to find the killer.
All must decide which secrets are worth dying for.

A recent review for the book

A good mystery  on 20 September 2018

The novel is a cold case detective story focusing on a dead girl who vanished twenty years earlier. This lends the story a slower pace than if it had been a recent murder, but that’s okay. In the small, slightly suffocating, rural community, we have plenty of suspects, and you’ll take against one or two right from the off. We certainly get a lot of detail about each character, possibly to make them all seem important (and therefore worthy of our suspicion), and we hop between points of view, even within a scene. The detectives work well together, although their off-topic back stories occasionally took centre stage, which may not suit an impatient mystery fan. All in all, a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

The next author with books in a series is Judy Penz Sheluk and here is book one of The Marketville Mysteries – Skeletons in the Attic. Some of the books have been re-released with new covers.

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 he had. 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 hopes to expose the Barnstable family secrets herself. 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?

One of the reviews for the book

As an (ignorant) American, I hadn’t realized that Canada had tried the Prohibition experiment too, and earlier than the U.S. Just a throwaway comment grousing about the government-run liquor stores made me take a second to check Wikipedia. That this well-written tale of a missing mother made me think and learn beyond following the clues was my own first clue that this was going to be an extra-enjoyable read–or, listen, in this case, as I allowed narrator Claira Jordyn to read aloud while I enjoyed breakfast and other otherwise non-brain activities. Intriguing premise, logical clue-following research (including hours in the library), and a surprise ending.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078HD3WH2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skeletons-Attic-Marketville-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B078HD3WH2

A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk including Past & Present the second book in the series that I have read and reviewed.

Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

Connect to Judy via her blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

A note in from Judy

Thanks so much Sally! This is such great timing as The Hanged Man’s Noose is now on for just .99 on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Google Play and Apple Book — until Dec. 13 and then $4.99 again. It’s the first book in the Glass Dolphin series. ALSO for your UK Audible listeners, I have 5 Free UK Audible codes available for each of my four books (no US codes), so if there’s any Audible UK listeners reading this, please email me a judy at judypenzsheluk dot com with your audible profile (I just have to be sure that you aren’t a scammer…)

And the final author today with books in a series is Toni Pike and The Magus Covenant: The secret that will change the world (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 1)

About the book

THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IS IN PERIL – UNLESS ONE MAN CAN UNCOVER THE TRUTH…

A long-forgotten sect, a deadly brotherhood, a billionaire who trades in relics and a race across Europe in pursuit of a killer.

Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD.

But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the bell tower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumours fly about a papyrus scroll. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for a hidden sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

Jotham is kidnapped, tortured and on the run. He races from Italy to England to Sweden. But the body count continues to rise and so does the heat in this non-stop thriller that will leave you breathless.

FEATURING: a fast-paced and gripping plot, chase sequences, Italian police, mysterious historical events and an ending that you won’t see coming.

Don’t miss this action-packed thriller! Discover the secret that will change the world.

There are three other books in this series – enjoy Jotham Fletcher’s continuing story.
Book 2: THE ROCK OF MAGUS – Code Red in the Vatican
Book 3: THE MAGUS EPIPHANY – Ancient treasures and a new revelation
Book 4: HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS – The covenant will be fulfilled

One of the reviews for the book

Anglican Priest Jotham Fletcher is due to give a lecture about Simon Magnus at the church in Rome where Magnus died. Magnus was the leader of a religious cult that is thought to have vanished around 400 AD. When a mysterious robed man is found murdered at the church not long before the lecture, Jotham becomes the main suspect.

As rumours surface about a papyrus scroll mentioning Magnus, things get worse and more dead bodies start to appear. Jotham gets kidnapped and tortured and ends up on the run, a journey that takes him across Europe. Meanwhile his Lover Antonella might know more about what is going on than she admits.

It’s up to Jotham to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and find out what the Brotherhood, a religious order that will stop at nothing to protect their beliefs, has to do with it all? And did the Simonean Sect really cease to exist or are they somehow also involved? And can Iago Visser, the rich reclusive billionaire friend of Antonella, be trusted or does he have his own agenda?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable story full of action and adventure. The plot is well developed, gripping, fast-paced and suspenseful with unexpected twists and turns. The characters were interesting, not superhuman as in some action and adventure stories and all the more realistic because of it.

The book fits into the same genre as Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” or “Angels and Demons”. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good action and adventure novel.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018X2GRT4/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magus-Covenant-Fletcher-Mystery-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

The other books in the series and other books by Toni Pike

Find out more about Toni Pike, read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

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

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

For more information on Toni connect via her website: https://tonipike.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you love mysteries, I am sure you will find a book for a gift for yourself or someone else. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #African Adventure, #Crime #History #Scifi with Lucinda E. Clarke, Sue Coletta, Jack Eason and David R. Grigg


Welcome to another Cafe and Bookstore Christmas promotion with a selection of books that would make great gifts for family and friends.. not to mention yourself.

The first author with books in a series that would make wonderful gifts is from Lucinda E. Clarke and I am featuring the first in her series Amie: African Adventure.

About the Book

Amie was just an average girl, living in her home town close to friends and family. She was happily married and she had her future all planned out. They would have two adorable children, while she made award winning programmes for television. Until the day her husband announced he was being sent to live and work in an African country she had never heard of. When she came to the notice of a Colonel in the Government, it made life very complicated, and from there things started to escalate from bad to worse. If Amie could have seen that one day she would be totally lost, fighting for her life, and enduring untold horrors, she would never have stepped foot on that plane

One of the recent reviews for the book

Having lived as an expat myself, I enjoyed the descriptions of the culture shock experienced by the main character in this story. To some it could sound a little far fetched, but it was more like a series of ‘Oh Yeah’ moments for me. When the main character finds herself transferred across the world with no real enthusiasm, and even less preparation, the culture shock is extreme. There is a saying among expats in my part of the world… “Dorothy, you aint in Kansas no more!!”

Just as she is starting to get a grip on her new life, the situation goes from culture shock to full on nightmare. She is forced to rely on her wits, her new understanding of the world, and no small amount of luck to survive. The question is whether the lessons she has learned and the confidence she has gained will be enough to get her through. The writing style is easy to read and the author appears to have good knowledge of the culture and environment she is writing about. You might want to read this book as a simple adventure story, or as an insight into culture shock and the need to understand other cultures, and how easily you can get caught out by them.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Amie-African-Adventure-Lucinda-Clarke/dp/1500546992

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amie-African-Adventure-Lucinda-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00LWFIO5K/

A selection of other books in the series and stand alone novels by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

Read more reviews and follow Lucinda on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke

Connect to Lucinda via her website: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Now one of the series from crime writer Sue Coletta who also shares her secrets in non-fiction writing guides. Marred: Grafton County Series Book 1. There are plenty of books by Sue to satisfy the most blood thirsty crime enthusiasts in your family.

About Marred

When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.

Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she can’t outrun the past.

When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister.

Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror with a matching set of corpses?

One of the reviews for Marred

This is a compelling thriller that will leave you chilled to the bone. You definitely want to read this book with the lights on. The author weaves a spectacular web of murder and mayhem that holds you captive. It took a moment for me to adjust to the different POV styles but once I did, I found I really enjoyed the story being told this way. The author writes in first person for Sage’s POV and then alternates with her husband, Niko, and his partner, Frankie, in third person. The third person POV’s from Niko and Frankie added another level of intrigue and suspense to this harrowing tale. And the author’s detail and description of the heinous actions of the killer were vivid and scary and I found the case details and forensics fascinating. I also really enjoyed Frankie and her snarky comments and banter; it helped to lighten up some of the more intense scenes and tension-filled dialogue among characters.

From the beginning pages you are drawn to Sage and her plight. You can feel her grief and turmoil as she wrestles with her everyday life, trying to come to terms with the brutal assault she suffered, her struggling marriage and the closely guarded secrets she has kept from her husband as well as her desperation and terror knowing her twin sister has disappeared and is in the hands of a serial killer that has his sights set on her. It was also easy to connect with and sympathize with Niko as he struggles to come to terms with his wife’s attack and continued effect is has on him and their relationship as well as his ability to perform his duties as sheriff; including his worry for keeping Sage safe. The dialogue and drama of Sage and Niko’s relationship was intense and sometimes overwhelming as they worked through their problems and struggled to understand each other’s reasons behind their secrets and lies. It was definitely an emotional journey for them both. This is a disturbing, dark tale full of suspense, turmoil and twists and turns. It is a steady paced psychological thriller that keeps you engaged and wanting more. *I was gifted a copy of this book by the author and am voluntarily leaving my honest review.

A selection of other books by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14078869.Sue_Coletta

Connect to Sue via her website/blog: www.suecoletta.com

If it is variety that you are looking fore, then you will find that in the books of Jack Eason an for those who enjoy stepping back in time his historical novella Autumn 1066: The End of Anglo-Saxon Dominance is definitely worth reading.

About the book

Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066. In Autumn 1066, author Jack Eason gives a great sense of ‘place’, of detail. The reader is right ‘there’ in that poignant year, marching, shivering with September cold (as ‘…no warming fires were allowed lest ‘enemy spies would soon spot their approach.’) From the very first few lines, Eason, practising his unique drycraft, begins to weave his particular brand of magic on his reader.

Eason glamour’s with well-crafted dialogue, drawing his reader into the time and into the action. To accomplish this, the author proffers a gentle blend of informative nomenclature coupled with familiar speech, to ease the reader into his story without distancing with words too unfamiliar, which is a criticism frequently made of Bernard Cornwell’s epics. I long to read more Martin Bradley

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m certainly no expert on British history, but after reading Autumn 1066 by Jack Eason my interest in this era was piqued and I found myself researching the battle of Hastings. Autumn 1066 presents as factual and well researched, looking at the battle from a “fighters” point of view gave a different perspective to the events. The read had me imagining the battle field and being part of the battle and the closeness of the fighting.
This is an enjoyable read which I have recommended to friends.

Read the reviews and buy the book  –  https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-1066-Anglo-Saxon-dominance-ended/dp/1546685308

And Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1546685308

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY

Follow Jack and read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason

Connect to Jack via his website: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

And now something for science fiction book lovers from David R. Grigg with his recently published The Fallen Sun

About The Fallen Sun

A world where the sun never sets; where there is no day and no night; and where shadows never move. Beyond an oasis of light, the freezing outer darkness stretches far away.

In this strange environment we follow the stories of three remarkable young people.

Together, these three must struggle to save their world. And in saving it, they change it and themselves forever.

Here’s what Bruce Gillespie, editor of the award-winning critical magazine *SF Commentary* says about it:

A real winner… Unputdownable… I found the characters instantly interesting, and the novel keeps on delivering surprises that undermine one’s expectations about the world they live in. And the landscape itself remains very vivid and interesting… If any novel deserves the top awards in the YA category, it is this one.”

One of the reviews for The Fallen Sun on Goodreads

Sep 30, 2018 Derrick Ashby rated it really liked it

This is an excellent book. It’s got interesting technology, good world building, a collection of characters that you care about, and some mysteries that keep you reading to the end. (And when you get there you want to start the next instalment straight away, except it hasn’t been written yet. Hopefully David Grigg is not the new George Martin.)

The world of Sunfall is one of perpetual day. The sun isn’t in the sky, but on top of a tower. Think Tolkien’s vision of Arda, except on Sunfall the power of the sun does not wax and wane, and there is no moon. So not really very similar, I guess… The locals believe that God put the sun there because it had been too far away from the planet to provide sufficient light, but it’s reasonably apparent that it’s an artefact of an earlier civilisation. I can’t help asking myself whether the people responsible for the “fallen sun” wouldn’t have contrived to make it wax and wane, but then the story would have been quite different, so it’s best to decide that they must have had a reason.

We don’t find out all there is to know about the science behind Sunfall and it’s entirely likely that more will be revealed in subsequent episodes. The planet is clearly orbiting a star that doesn’t provide a lot of energy. Is that because it has aged to the point where it is low on fuel? We are given evidence that at some point the planet supported more life. It has a breathable atmosphere, which suggests that a lot of plants expired a lot of oxygen over a long period. Is that atmosphere gradually bleeding off, as has been speculated was the case with Mars? Does the planet rotate? I’m curious about how much heat exchange goes on between the habitable area around the “fallen sun” and the rest of the planet. Is there a pattern of prevailing winds, and if there is, would the fallen sun system in fact work. Wouldn’t the heat just dissipate?

The human society on Sunfall is patriarchal and clan based. The clans are formed around industries or professions. The clan of the main character, for instance, is that of the Bellringers who are responsible for timekeeping. The society is also stratified; there are the “Brights”, or the aristocrats, and the “Dims”, who are the menial workers. Almost all the main characters are Brights. Among the Brights women are not allowed to do anything of any significance, but of course this doesn’t apply to the working class. There is gender-based tension and class-based tension.

It’s hard to say a lot about the social situation on Sunfall without giving away too much about the plot, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that change is imminent, and that the story is mostly concerned with what sort of change that will be, and whether it will be good change or bad change. “The fallen sun” is well worth reading, particularly if you like science-based science fiction. 

Head over and buy the book –  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H1QSFP2

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallen-Sun-David-R-Grigg-ebook/dp/B07H1QSFP2

And Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Fallen-Sun-David-R-Grigg/dp/0994256612

Also by David R. Grigg

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/David-Grigg/e/B0053A9QIY

Read more reviews and follow David on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8080180.David_R_Grigg

Connect to David via his website: https://www.rightword.com.au/writing/category/blog/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found the selection of books interesting. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Romance – Linda Bradley, Christine Campbell, Billy Ray Chitwood and Angie Dokos


Time for another selection of books from the Cafe and Bookstore that would make great gifts for Christmas.  And an author that definitely leaps off the page at this time of year is Linda Bradley with a novella, A Montana Bound Christmas: Ho,ho, Home for the Holidays  (Book 4 in the popular Montana Bound Series). The series would make a great gift for lovers of family/romance dramas.

About the book

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

One of the reviews for the book

Perspectivepower, Annette Rochelle Aben 5.0 out of 5 stars A Holiday Gift

What fun! From the first chapter to the last, this story is a like a warm hug. Linda Bradley weaves the different worlds of each of the characters together in a rich tapestry that mirrors the story line itself. This could easily become a beloved holiday movie classic, if it were given the chance. Maggie, John and Chloe will feel as much like family to you as they do to each other. Open a wonderful gift of the holidays, when you open A Montana Bound Christmas. 

Read the reviews and the book: https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Bound-Christmas-Home-Holidays-ebook/dp/B0772BBQ4W

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Montana-Bound-Christmas-Home-Holidays-ebook/dp/B0772BBQ4W

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set of the series: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

Connect to Linda via her website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

Another book that would be enjoyed by those who love family dramas is the latest release by Christine CampbellGold Plated.

About Gold Plated

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul.

What could possibly go wrong?

When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were.

Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

One of the reviews for the book

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating their Golden Wedding with a grand party at the local Golf Club. Aided by their only daughter Heather, Rosanna is making sure that everything is perfect including baking a delicious cake and buying Paul the ideal gift, but have all their years together been so perfect?

The clock is turned back to 1964 when Rosanna started at Art college and Paul was her young, charismatic tutor. Lacking confidence in herself, she was astonished that he chose her as his “secret” girlfriend, but against all odds, they have now been married for 50 years.

Abandoning her earlier artistic ambitions, Rosanna has looked after their lovely home while Paul continued his successful teaching career.

Christine Campbell is skilled at putting us inside Rosanna’s head. We begin to understand her calm, quiet personality and her loyal, loving nature. We can see that Paul takes her for granted but they seem to have a happy marriage. But at the party everything changes in a dramatic way. Secrets are revealed, treachery exposed, and Rosanna’s life is in tatters.

This is a story, with which we can all identify in some way. It is sadly true that many women, and men, can suddenly find themselves alone as old age approaches and dealing with the collapse of all they believed in can be catastrophic. But this is not a sad story, there is a positive message that life is what we make of it and Rosanna discovers new personal qualities of independence and self-reliance as well as rekindling her creativity.

Personally, I would have preferred the story to have been written in the past tense, especially for the scenes from the past, but that is probably just my particular bête-noire! The detailed involvement in Rosanna’s rollercoasting emotions and cleverly plotted, surprising events make this book a very rewarding read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN/

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her blog: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

The next author with a compelling drama is Billy Ray Chitwood and his latest release Hammer’s Holy Grail – A novel of Love and Redemption.

About Hammer’s Holy Grail

A star quarterback at Grand View University in Knoxville, Tennessee battles not only his gridiron foes but his Appalachian father’s anger toward his mother and sister. By a turn of fate and nature, Wesley Walton will meet a man ravaged by war and lost love, a man, through his hardships, has come to peace with his spirituality, a man who will become a surrogate soulmate and mentor to the confused young athlete.

This is a short novel but it is long on love, family, forgiveness, and football action – all blending to make this short read a ‘tour de force’ in its own right, with a twist at the end to tie the ribbon to this gift of a novel!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Like many compelling stories, “Hammer’s Holy Grail” is a journey – in this case, both for its main protagonist and for some of its minor characters.

Wesley Walton is a young man with serious potential to make it as a professional quarterback. But he is also a troubled soul, weighed down by family problems and relationships.

Author Billy Ray Chitwood takes the reader on an emotional voyage of highs and lows, injecting some surprises along the way. As is usual in Chitwood books, there are reflections on some of life’s big questions, especially the issues of redemption and what family really means.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good heart-rending tale (not to mention sports fans!).

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCVQX36/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hammers-Holy-Grail-BR-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07FCVQX36

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

Connect to Billy Ray via his website: https://brchitwood.com

The next author with with books that have a family theme is Angie Dokos  and here is her first novel  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when he career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

This book is not erotica, but does have sexual content. It includes some curse words, but not many. It doesn’t have any major violence.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Reading new genres has become part of my routine to find fantastic new authors, understand different writing styles, and explore great stories and content. I found all three with the latest book I read, Mackenzie’s Distraction, written by Angie Dokos in 2016. The book is considered new adult contemporary fiction, but it’s stocked full of romance, emotions, attitude, and possibilities. I bought the book a few weeks before a recent vacation and read it poolside on the Amalfi Coast while in Italy. What a perfect combination of beauty in a book just like the many splendors of my surroundings.

Mackenzie’s been hurt in the past and steers clear of relationships especially when the man seems too good to be real or true. But in this case, before she even meets him, her life is traumatized when her mother is a car accident and struggles to survive. Though Mackenzie has friends and other family to help her handle the huge blow, it’s not quite as simple as all that. Her mother’s hospitalization leads Mackenzie to learn a few deep-rooted family secrets, meet friends from a parent’s former life, and discover things about herself she never knew existed. That’s when the potential man of her dreams walks into her life, but is she too crushed and shocked to accept it? Let’s not forget the sudden onset of several available and potentially great catches who are very interested in getting to know her. Who will she choose, if any? Now that’s where the plot of this book takes off… weaving readers on a very emotional and manic ride with the unfortunately impacted young woman just looking to heal.

I’m normally a plot, then character guy. In this book, though the plot is important, it’s less about what the secrets and actions are and more about how Mackenzie deals with all the repercussions. It was a great change of pace for me as you had to settle in, listen, and understand why Mackenzie reacted the way she did in each instance. I didn’t always agree, and I sometimes got angry with her for what seemed like an unnecessary or spoiled adolescent attitude; however, I also haven’t suffered through the craziness that hits her in the span of a few days. In that sense, she certainly tries to find a balance, and readers can easily connect with her on the journey. I vividly recall thinking, if she didn’t accept Trevor’s love and attention, I’d certainly volunteer to stand in. (I won’t tell you if she does or doesn’t, but it’s complex!) He was practically perfect in every way, what exactly was stopping her? Well… that’s where psychology and personality truly come into play and drive her responses. It takes a truly analytical, sensitive, and courageous mind to deliver this kind of story. Kudos to Dokos.

Writing style and caliber were strong. Characters were vivid and relatable. Actions and dialog were balanced well, even if at times I was feeling a little frustrated with some of the things people did or said. But that’s the beauty of a good book: sometimes it takes the writer to challenge the reader to engage outside their normal comfort zone, and readers should keep an open mind to fully understand the vision of the author. Then you see why it works… and you have a thrilling escape in someone else’s complicated life. Being a teenager or even in you early 20’s is ridiculously tough in a modern world. Dealing with siblings who have different attitudes, step families with bigger concerns and questions, friends who just want you to be happy but get in your face all too often… wanting to open your heart to love but not knowing how any more… trusting someone who is virtually a stranger despite spending days with him in the first week… people are often secretive and misleading, so I understand Mackenzie’s concerns. But from one particular scene, the girl can take care of herself! Awesome scene, Ms. Dokos. 😊

I really enjoyed the book and will definitely look for more from the author this year, as she has another book published and is hopefully working on a few more already! She’s got a new fan and I’m confident many more as they take a chance on reading her work. I recommend giving it a chance for all readers, but most definitely if you enjoy balanced romance and emotions, journeys, analytical decision-making and learning how to let go and accept change.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I do hope you have enjoyed the selection of books for Christmas. Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Fantasty #SciFi #Paranormal – Elle Boca, Deborah A. Bowman, Richard Dee and Audrey Driscoll


Welcome to today’s selection of books for Christmas from the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. Today something for everyone, beginning with some Science Fiction/Paranormal from Elle Boca with The Weeia Marshals Series.. and here is book one.. Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia….There is a several books in the series to enjoy and give as a gift this Christmas.

About Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia

Sworn to protect the secrets of their race, marshals are trained to police Weeia hiding among humans. After completing her advanced marshal training, Danni is blown away by her new plum assignment to Paris. But, all is not well in the City of Lights; the offices are a shambles, her boss is apathetic, and her predecessors died under mysterious circumstances; it’s almost like somebody doesn’t want the law there. Despite that she risks her life in the seedy underworld of gypsies and tramps to search for a missing Weeia man.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Elle Boca is the prolific author of seven books about Weeia, and three in the Marshalls series, of which this is the first. Although I have not read the previous books, it was easy to immerse myself in this one.

The Weeia look like normal humans but they possess special powers for the sole purpose of protecting humans and Weeia alike. Their lifespan is longer than humans, but they are subject to the same dangers. Marshalls are trained to police Weeia hiding among humans.

At the opening of this story Danni Metraeux, who, while constantly bullied at the academy, completes her final exam and becomes a level 3 Marshall. The bullying is the result of something that happened to her family, but it’s not explained, so I was left wondering exactly what had marked her. Expecting to be given an assignment in a backwater place, Danni instead receives a plum assignment to Paris. Arriving there, she discovers why the assignment isn’t plum: her housing is less than substandard, her immediate superior isn’t interested in working with her, and her predecessors all died.

Nevertheless, Danni, who is strong, persistent and inventive, gradually overcomes all the negatives and finally – one her own – discovers a purpose for her being in Paris: to find a missing Weeia man in the underworld of gypsies and tramps who also populate the city.
The author does a good job of creating a three-dimensional protagonist with special powers and a whole host of tangential characters: a sort-of boyfriend named Ernie, who as second to the school’s Weapon Master, supplies her with the weapons she needs for her work; her BFF Marla, with whom she can share her troubles, both at school and in Paris; Odile Marmotte, an overly-made up matriarch who handles the day to day affairs of Weeia Marshals and is largely dismissive of Danni until Danni stands up to her; and the handsome Alain, who takes her on a tour of Paris on a motorbike, introducing her to the city. Of course, there is also Paris, and the author makes the city real and immediate.

In Paris, Danni comes into her own, as her growing powers allow her to be successful. I did like the paranormal aspects of the Weeia and enjoyed this world the author created.
There were a few issues for me, in addition to wondering about Danni’s parents. The pacing of the book was somewhat uneven. The testing of new marshals at the beginning started the book at a good pace but was followed by a lot of background information slowing the story.

The tempo finally picked up around the middle of the book. The author does a great job with action scenes – I just wish there were more of them!

This book will definitely appeal to readers interested in the colorful world of a paranormal race, and there are two more books in this series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsies-Tramps-Weeia-Marshals-Book-ebook/dp/B01A01R5SI

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gypsies-Tramps-Weeia-Marshals-Book-ebook/dp/B01A01R5SI/

A selection of other books by Elle Boca

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Elle-Boca/e/B00HRCBEYK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Elle-Boca/e/B00HRCBEYK

Read more reviews and follow Elle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7499807.Elle_Boca

Connect to Elle via her website: https://elleboca.poyeen.com/

Take a step back in time when intolerance and persecution were the norm, especially if you were different.. Here is Deborah A. Bowman and her book Annie’s Story.

About Annie’s story

This story of love and faith by “different” people—now called “special” people—begs to be told. “Annie’s Story” is about a dwarfed, mentally slow child growing up in Colonial America, who is “Blessed With A Gift” from the Spiritual Universe. In Annie’s lifetime, babies born with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death—their names cleansed from all church and legal records. Annie’s message is timeless, and her shining spirit reveals that “History Does Repeat Itself” in the treatment, abuse, labeling, and bullying of women, children, and individuals with special needs.

Factual research has confirmed what many generations have tried to eradicate or conceal as was done in the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692-93, nearly half-a-century “after” Annie lived. JOIN THE ANNIE MOVEMENT to continue the fight for women’s rights, cure birth defects, and stop bullying. Have perceptions changed all that much since the mid-1600s? Have they changed enough? Sadly, they have not. Purchase the book to support women and children. Please, write a review and contact the author. Fundraiser opportunities available.

One of the reviews for the book.

on March 20, 2018

Annie’s Story is a magical tale of a wee lass born into harsh times in the colonial colonies of America. Born stunted and without hope, she blossoms into a wonderful child who is loved by all in her Scottish colony. The story follows Annie and her grandmother who is the healer and wise woman of the colony as they walk through the hardships and horrors of this time.

I adored Annie and her grandmother and the other characters in the Scots colony. The characters are so well written that I moved with ease through the book, sometimes moved to tears by the horrific events in the American colonies and Scotland.
The author doesn’t hold back and although painful at times, a strong voice is needed to write about the horrors of sectarianism which is still so much a part of Scotland today.

I highly recommend this book, it is not a weekend read, rather it is a novel that you lose yourself in.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annies-Story-Blessed-Deborah-Bowman/dp/1520487398

A selection of other books by Deborah A. Bowman

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS

Read other reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980347.Deborah_A_Bowman

Connect with Deborah via her blog: https://www.bowmanauthor.com

The next author who has a selection of books that would please a scifi/humour/fantasy book lover is Richard Dee and here is the first book in his Andorra Pett series, Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe which receiving great reviews.

About Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe

Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!

She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.

But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets.

Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands.
In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright?

One of the recent reviews for Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe

If you’re a fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Agatha Christie style murder mysteries, this novel has it all. Lovable characters and light humour make this a very enjoyable read, not so much ‘science fiction’ but more of a fun filled adventure set in space. When Andorra Pett and her friend, Cy, lease a café on a mining station around Saturn they never imagined they would find the previous owner’s body in the freezer.
Excitement kicks when the café starts to attract customers, not to mention an unofficial ‘King Pin’ (who runs the rival diner) and his guards. So instead of coming clean, Andi and Cy endeavour to solve the mystery themselves and the suspense thickens. I won’t reveal more but this novel has an exciting plot, good dialogue and down to earth characters but not only that. The author drew me into a surreal and fascinating alternative world that makes me wonder how advanced the human race really could become in the future, from mining rocks in the rings of Saturn, to growing and harvesting crops on planet earth style farm. The rapport between Andi and Cy was witty and sharp with lots of twists

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Andorra-Pett-Oort-Cloud-Café-ebook/dp/B075XSGVGQ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andorra-Pett-Oort-Cloud-Café-ebook/dp/B075XSGVGQ

Books by Richard Dee https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/portfolio/

Read the reviews and buy the books from Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/

Read more reviews and follow Richard on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15289756.Richard_Dee

Connect to Richard via his website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

Now for another series that has a strong following from supernatural/paranormal author Audrey Driscoll, starting with Book one in the Herbert West Series – The Friendship of Mortals. The series is also available to buy as a set.

About the book

Arkham, Massachusetts, 1910. Librarian Charles Milburn takes up a position as cataloguer in the Library of Miskatonic University. He becomes the keeper of the Necronomicon, an ancient book of secret lore kept in the Library’s vault.

Herbert West, a medical student with a dubious reputation, requests access to the fabled book, and Charles grants it despite his misgivings. So begins a friendship that takes Charles far from the rules of cataloguing and the conventions familiar to an honest young man from a good Boston family.

Herbert West can restore the dead to life, he says, and he persuades Charles to be his assistant. Their experiments, carried out in secret by night, in improvised laboratories and by stealth in the hospital attached to the university, achieve success – of a sort. Charles finds himself caught between the demands of his fascinating friend and his growing attraction to Alma Halsey, daughter of the Dean of Medicine.

In 1914, as war begins in Europe, Charles is both relieved and distressed to say goodbye to West as he sails away to France to serve as a medical officer. Over the next four years, West’s letters reveal a mixture of cynicism and black humour that hint at – what? Charles doesn’t know and would rather not guess. Engrossed in cataloguing the books of an eccentric professor, he develops an interest in alchemy as a way to transform the base into the excellent.

West returns from the War to a career as a surgeon utilizing techniques perfected on the maimed, dying …and dead? Lonely and self-doubting despite his professional success, Charles can’t bring himself to abandon West as his reputation grows and darkens. Rumours of illicit experiments overshadow West’s spectacular public successes, and he begins to crack under attacks from colleagues and threats from his gangster brothers. Beleaguered on all sides and under threat of investigation, West appeals to Charles for help. Charles is sympathetic until West reveals the perilous nature of his plan.

Vacillating between horror and hope and haunted by West’s misdeeds, Charles must draw on his knowledge of alchemy and his tottering faith in powers beyond himself if he is to save his friend’s life. Only his conscience stands in the way.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m familiar with Lovecraft only by reputation, since I’m generally not into horror. And after looking at some of the other reviews, I think that’s an asset when you read The Friendship of Mortals. If you come with no preconceptions, you won’t be disappointed that the author has not written an imitation of Lovecraft. Instead, she’s extracted some concepts and made a whole new tale.

The book has a lot of things I like – libraries, universities, mysterious characters, Gothic atmosphere that is both seamy and elegant, plenty of dialogue (dialogue is how people communicate, after all), and outstanding descriptions. It’s a long book, but that’s not a problem for me. I had no trouble with the flow of the plot. It kept me riveted.

You can’t really like Herbert West, but you can be fascinated by him, even as the narrator, Charles Milburn, is. In fact, I found Milburn to be more interesting than West, because we can watch his complexity developing, even as West remains a mystery. There is always a paranormal element in the book, but this increases toward the end, as Milburn becomes more familiar with ancient alchemical writings. He begins to see ghosts and is visited by the apparition of John Hocks become a demon (the existence of Hocks haunts the entire book).

And then of course there is what happens to the Necromancer’s blood … And the unexplained mystery of the emerald ring …

The early 20th-century period in which the book is laid is perfect for this tale of pseudoscience. Medical knowledge was advancing rapidly, but it hadn’t reached the stage of forensic DNA testing – still primitive enough that experiments such as West’s might be plausible.

Some fine descriptions gem the book, just enough of them to enhance the atmosphere. Here is an example from the very first page:

“I will admit that certain of my memories are too heavy to carry around with me. I have entrusted them to a mental root cellar – dark, cold and difficult of access. The key to this place, unlike most keys, permits itself to be found only on nights such as this, when I have drunk deeply enough to set aside daytime scruples.”

One might say that the idea of cellars and darkness dominates the book, in contrast with certain passages of beauty and light, such as these:

“Her home resembled a ship’s cabin, afloat on a sea of leaves visible through the window.”
“The wind blew over the cliff top, stirring the grass tussocks that clung to the thin soil on the rock. On the far horizon was a bank of high-piled cumulus clouds, their battlements and crenellations like the gate of heaven.”

Great stuff!

This book is only the first of four parts, which I plan to read before too much time passes.

How can you not want to learn what happens next to Herbert West and his steadfast friend, Charles Milburn?

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZUC5V4

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Friendship-Mortals-Herbert-West-Book-ebook/dp/B00IZUC5V4

A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll including the complete set of the Herbert West Series.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

Connect to Audrey via her website: www.audreydriscoll.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of books that would make great gifts for Christmas.. thanks Sally