Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Mary Anne Edwards, Christoph Fischer, Claire Fullerton, Linda G. Hill

Welcome to Friday’s update and as you will have gathered I am not here at the moment. I will be back online next Wednesday but in the meantime I did not want to miss the weekly opportunity to promote authors in the bookstore.

I would be very grateful as I am not here to boost the post if you would share, thanks Sally

The first author with a new review is Mary Anne Edwards with Flirting with Time, Book Five in the Charlie McClung Mystery Series..

About the series

The Detective Charlie McClung mysteries are gripping yet tender novels. The books are set in the early 1980s, a time without cell phones or laptop computers making life more simple but solving crime more difficult. The plots are filled with twists and turns. The characters are believable yet complex. They are people you know or want to know.

About Flirting with Time – Book Five of the series

Do you know what it’s like to feel someone stalking you, shadowing every move you make?

For months now, Detective Charlie McClung and his wife have been tormented by an elusive figure, toying with them, almost daring the detective to catch him.

Any hopes that this is the work of a harmless prankster vanish when an innocent man is found brutally murdered.

McClung will go to any lengths to protect his family, but how far is too far?

A recent review for the book

My husband and I were married on Valentine’s Day and I get a few hearts around that time. Marian is getting more than a few and not around Valentine’s Day either. Charlie must try to solve one conundrum at a time. He must also try to do this quickly because someone seems to be after Marian. This was a very fast moving book with quite a few conundrums popping up. It turned into a game similar to Who Do You Trust. I enjoyed it and recommend it to those who like to try to solve the story before the end of the book. Bet you can’t do it!!!

Read the other reviews and buy Flirting with Time:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Mary Anne Edwards

Read all the many reviews and buy the Charlie McClung Series:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Mary Anne Edwards on Goodreads:

Connect to Mary via her website:

Delighted to share the most recent review for Christoph Fischer:  The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac: Key to the Truth (Fraud or Miracle? Book 3)

About the book

Arpan has set up a training school and spiritual retreat on the small island in the Caribbean. Yet, the peaceful and quiet existence he has sought soon comes to an end. The arrival of Erica teaches him that lose ends won’t stop until they’re truly healed and dealt with.

Erica, out to seek revenge for past wrongs soon begins to fall under the Caribbean spell and the magic of Arpan. Torn between her desire for justice and her own longing for peace, what she discovers at the school sets her again on the path of confusion and distrust.

Set in a beautiful location and spiked with a crossover from the cast of Fischer’s other mystery novel, “The Gamblers” this is another fast-paced psychological thriller about faith and deceit. Erica will finally find out the full truth about who tricked whom and we’ll all get an answer as to who will walk away with the last laugh.

A recent review for the book

This is the third book in the Fraud or Miracle trilogy, and I enjoyed this one just as much as Book 1 and 2. In this book, we are taken to Cayman Brac where Arpan has moved his new retreat – a spiritual healing training center where his new peaceful hideaway becomes the center for chaos, deceit and a thrilling ride of who is authentic and what are the character’s motives for showing up to the retreat in this mystical thriller. Greed is the motive for all these characters wanting to destroy Arpan and steal his business.

Erica returns to find out from Arpan if he is truly a healer or merely a con man pretending to heal her of a disease she’s not sure she really had. While taking part in the classes, she spends secret time investigating the truth behind Arpan and his dealings with the two mysterious women Julia from the pharmaceutical company who forbid Arpan to practice healing after her company bought the rights for the so called ‘elexir’ which Arpan had given up and Hilda, Erica’s ex assistant who was part of the scheme with Julia to make Erica believe she had terminal cancer but was miraculously healed. We also find Ben the accountant from the Gamblers, who shows up wanting to put his spiritual side to good use by joining the retreat, but are his intentions honest or is he part of the deceitful clan who power this story?

Fischer has a great talent for keeping his readers hooked til the very end of his books. His characters are memorable and well fleshed out. This book will keep you wondering all the way who is good and who is evil. A superb ending I never anticipated. A great whodunit for mystery lovers.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon US:

A selection of the books by Christoph Fischer.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads:

Connect to Christoph via his website:

The next author with a recent review is Claire Fullerton with the wonderfully titled Dancing to an Irish Reel set in Connemara.

51nljcd9dgl-_uy250_About the book.

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.

One of the recent reviews

Fabulously written!! You will not be able to put this book down, and will greatly enjoy escaping into the lives of the characters, the colorful Irish landscape and lifestyle, and the reminder of what it feels like to fall in love. The beautiful skill in which Claire Fullerton writes brings you into the hearts and minds of her characters so much that you feel you are one of them. I picked up the book on a Saturday morning and except for a few personal interruptions, I could not put it down and was finished that afternoon…and wishing the journey was not over. A definite MUST READ!!

Read some of the many reviews for the book and buy:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Claire Fullerton

51xyrp8hy7l-_uy250_Buy both books and audio editions:

and Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads:

indexConnect to Claire via her website:

The next author is Linda G. Hill and her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

About the book

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A mysterious curse, a chance meeting on a train. The hauntingly beautiful Stephen Dagmar meets and instantly recognizes the love of his life on a train running away from her complicated family life.

This story challenges the reader to suspend disbelief and allow oneself to be drawn into the world of magic and the supernatural and accept it as reality.

The antagonist of the story, Nina Curry, has a level of vulnerability that makes her a compelling character to watch.

Herman Anderson, the heroine of this piece, is a blank sheet. Her age and inexperience make this the case more than anything else. She is acted upon rather than acts. As this is an ongoing series of works, I look forward to Herman’s development in the course of the story as things continue to unfold for this pair.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads:

Connect to Linda via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you will find a book or two that you will enjoy.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – St. Valentine’s Day Culinary treats, poetry and music.

Welcome to the round up of posts from the week and a very big thank you for dropping in and sharing the articles.

It has been a busy week getting the blog sitting posts scheduled for my time offline. I will be posting a calendar of posts tomorrow but I promise you have some treats in store from some of your favourite writers and some new contributors.

There will be some of the regular posts too, but the one real change is that the blog sitters will be in charge in my absence and I know that they will do an amazing job.

I have mentioned before that I am leaving David at home (he is looking forward to peace and quiet) whilst I join my two sisters for a joint birthday celebration.

This means that if you do send an email to between Thursday 15th and 21st of February, you won’t get a reply until my return. I also will not be responding to comments on the posts either but promise to catch up as soon as I can.

As always a thank you to the regular contributors to the blog who write amazing columns and this week William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor have shared music, poetry and a St. Valentine’s Day feast.

Next week there will not be a round up on Sunday but I will do a blog sitting round up on Wednesday 21st.

On with the posts from the week and again, thank you for stopping by…Sally

The Music Column with William Price King

William Price King  and I are taking a break from the music series the next couple of weeks as I prepare for my trip away. But we begin a brand new one on Wednesday 21st with the life and career of the pop legend Madonna.  I hope you will join us.

In the meantime I would like to share the creative artist interview from last year in case you missed meeting William Price King in person.

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss

This week Paul Andruss shares a conversation between a Muse and a Pilgrim on the subject of poetry…..and its various forms. With examples from some of the most revered poets of all time. Part two in a few weeks. According to the Muse – A Dialogue in 2 Halves – What is Poetry

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Carol Taylor’s Food Column

This week Carol shares a Valentine’s Dinner that you can prepare for your loved one… providing just the right romantic vibe and privacy in the comfort of your own home. Staying in for Valentine’s Day by Carol Taylor

The Open House Sunday Interview

Today’s guest is author Debra Purdy Kong who will be sharing the background to why she writes mysteries, her publishing adventures, her viewing preferences and favourite quote. We will also find out more about her work at then end of the interview.

The New Series of Posts from YOUR Archives begins in March with a slight twist.

Personal Stuff

Letters from America – 1985- 1987

My first birthday in Houston was my 32nd on February 13th and a lot of things came together around that time as we found both our new home for the next two years in the Chancellor apartments, Parramatta Lane. Here is my letter to my parents announcing the good news and sharing a photo of our new car on February 23rd 1985.

I thought I would share one of the stories from my WIP – Tales from the Irish Garden to prove that I had actually been working away in the background… This story is based on the bedtime stories we told to my younger brother..called Jeremy, and is about a little donkey who finds himself on the wrong side of the hedge… because of a mean bull called Gerard.

Donata Zawadzka has created six of the book’s illustrations and I think you will agree the one for Jeremy is delightful. I hope you will pop and see it.

Sally’s Drive time playlist

This week two pieces of music that have always emotionally moved me. The theme song from The Last of the Mohicans and the hugely successful theme from Beaches.. The Wind Beneath My Wings sung by Bette Midler.

Posts from MY archives.

To promote the upcoming Blog Sitting Special whilst I am away with my two sisters for a few days.. I shared some of the posts from last year at the same time. Last year Linda Bethea entertained us with the story of the moral ambiguity attached to a suitcase!

Linda will be joining the blog sitting team again with a wonderful tale of her mother’s spending strategies.


I was delighted that my lovely friend and talented author Tina Frisco leapt into action when I invited writers to blog sit whilst I am away with my two sisters last year. Tina is hugely supportive of all her blogging friends and in this post she explores our perception of time. Time is an illusion

Last year whilst I was away with my sisters in Portsmouth, Mary Smith shared a photograph and memories of her time in Afghanistan. A wonderful post to revisit and also a reminder of Mary’s books and recent reviews.

Mary Smith - web ready

Last year when I was away on my annual family reunion, Colin Chappell entertained us with some funnies. You can find out more about Colin and his book after you have had your laffs.


The Saturday Meet and GreetWatering Hole for Bloggers.

As it is St. Valentine’s Day next Wednesday I thought that today we should feature some of the elements that have played a part in the celebration traditionally. Featuring Colleen Chesebro, Dolly Aizenman, and Mairi from Citrus and Cinnamon.

The first poetry written about romance was probably slipped into an epic poem at some point by some lovesick Greek or Chinese scholar. The earliest recognised written poem was written in Hieratic in around 2,500 BCE.  Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and I am sure there must have been a line in there that formed the toast of all sailors since then ‘To our loved ones, and may they never meet’!

Posts from Your Archives

D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies kicked the week off with one of her commonsense guide to working with social media. There is nothing more pleasing, having composed a blog post than to receive feedback in the form of likes and shares.


There has been a publishing revolution in the last twenty years and more recently with the advent of eBooks. Janet Gogerty explores the options now open to us with this format and also Print on Demand. A way to print a limited number of books at a time to order. Reinventing The Printing Press

Darlene Foster gives us a guided tour of the port of Messina with its stunning architecture and history.

Another Time, Another Place by Geoff Le Pard  People know the Angel of the North, that scary be-winged man that startles the unsuspecting motorist on his way north, but I’m not sure how many people have made it around Liverpool to Crosby Beach and three kilometres of sculpture.


This week Jennie Fitzkee shares with us one of the teaching experiences which resulted in a wonderful suprise. A small child who noticed something in a masterpiece that Jennie has not noticed before….

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Smorgasbord Health Column

Gender-bending chemicals found in plastic and linked to breast and prostate cancer are found in 86% of teenagers’ bodies

Almost 90 per cent of teenagers have gender-bending chemicals from plastic in their bodies, according to a study. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic containers and water bottles, on the inside of food cans and in till receipts. The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen, and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

Welcome to part three of this series on Irritable Bowel Syndrome.. In the last two posts I covered the new research showing the involvement of Vitamin D in our gut health and also some of the strategies you can put in place to minimise the symptoms. I also looked at the impact that chronic stress can have on our digestive system and our gut welfare.

The two previous posts can be read here at these links.

The six week programme.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

Last week I posted about the epidemic levels of Pre-diabetes and today I am following up with a mineral that is contained in sufficient foods to include on a daily basis in your diet that helps to control blood sugar levels. And in my experience help to curb sugar cravings. Chromium

Humour and Afternoon Video

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Music, Food and Spring Bulbs with Guests and Humour.

Many thanks for dropping in today to catch up on posts that you might have missed during the week. I am in full on ‘Going on a break’ mode, busily scheduling the Blog Sitting posts contributed by some of your favourite writers. The Blog Sitting begins on February 15th through to Tuesday 20th and I am sure that you will be right royally entertained.. I know I was when I read the posts.

Because I will be working my fingers to the bone…. aahh.. I am going to get you in the mood my sharing some of the Blog Sitting posts from this time last year. They are too good not to be shared and allows me to work out what I can pack in my carry on!

When I went to book my ticket it turned out that a checked bag was going to cost me £40 each way. They are small planes flown by this regional airline and clearly they wish to discourage their customers from taking 15 changes of clothing.

Does anyone else take their seat with trepidation, wondering if this time the seat belt will not meet around their middle?  With visions of having to hold your hand up and request an extension?

The other thing that miffs me is the clear plastic bag that announces to the world all your toiletry requirements. Long gone are the days when I could throw a lipstick and a bit of moisturiser in the bag. Now I have all sorts of ungents required to get me through 24 hours let alone 5 days and some of which I do not wish to publicize. So I have prepared a jiffy bag of tail ends of all my moisturisers, plumpers, wrinkle smoothers, toothpaste, Vitamin D Spray, Multi-vitamin Spray, Magnesium oil, gum soothers, Volterol joint gel, silver water, antiseptic handbag size hand sanitizer and some unmentionables. There is also the fact that these will add weight to my carry on which is restricted to 10k between two bags of specific measurements.

So they are now cling-film wrapped for spillage, bubble wrapped for breakage and in a Jiffy bag that is going to cost me £5 to post to my sisters to await my return. I will leave what is left there for my next visit. Simplzk.

Courtesy of Meerkat Youtube Channel

I have also worked out my wardrobe requirements and with the cunning use of small ziplock bags I can get enough in my rucksack for three different outfits and will make full use of my sister’s washing machine.

During the time I am away my guests will be in charge of their posts and responding to comments but since I will only be around once or twice I hope I can rely on you to help out by sharing the posts.. that would be fantastic thank you.

Now on to the posts from the week and as usual I must thank the amazing contributors who work so tirelessly each week to provide you with fantastic posts.. This week William Price King – Music Column, Carol Taylor – Food Column and Paul Andruss – Gardening Column. All of them would love to answer your questions on their areas of expertise.

The Music Column with William Price King

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades. In this final post in their series William brings up bang up to date.

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

Welcome to the second of Paul’s Gardening posts and you will discover that not only is Paul Andruss is an exceptional writer, he also has a very great knowledge of plants. This week bulbs that blossom into brilliant colour in the spring garden – Light up your life with brilliant bulbs –  Part 1: Early Spring Bulbs

The Food Column with Carol Taylor – The wonder tree…Jack Fruit!

This week Carol talks us through the preparation of this exotic fruit that takes some time, but produces some delicious savoury and sweet dishes.

Smorgasbord Saturday meet and Greet

This week a look at some recommended author services from Proofreader Wendy Janes, Translations from Olga Nunez Miret and illustrations from Donata Zawadzka. Plus some great posts from bloggers in the comments.

Smorgasborg Open House Interview

My guest today on the Open House is supernatural/paranormal author of The Herbert West Series, Audrey Driscoll.

Personal Stuff- Short Story – Great Aunt Georgina

A bit of fiction for you. A short story I wrote over 30 years ago that got mixed up with my Letters from America file. I wrote several stories when we lived in Houston in the mid 1980s and I have also found a couple of poems…. Anyway I hope you enjoy.

Letters from America 1985-1987

Last week I shared our experiences as we arrived in Houston in the first week of February and faced the challenges of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, extra large portions in restaurants and the search for a more permanent place to live.

The Driving Test!

At the same time as I was writing my weekly letters home to my parents, I was also writing articles on various events that took place or about places we visited. I wrote this piece about the dreaded driving test that we had to take to enable us to buy a car and get insured.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

This week some ZZ Top…. and Tina Turner. They are my go to musicians when I need to reboot. Got me Under Pressure and On Silent Wings by Tina Turner.. do the trick.


Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies with words of wisdom on the subject of making every day count, including treating yourself to a pair of shoes… or anything else that brings you pleasure… because life is too short.

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have. Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster


This week Janet Gogerty explores the various writing muses that some authors appear to have time to walk, groom and pamper……Llamas and Labradoodles by Janet Gogerty

Here is a post from the archives of Jan Sikes from 2016.. when she turned 65.  Very appropriate as I will be too in a couple of weeks… will be interesting to compare notes. What I Have Learned #65 by Jan Sikes

Geoff Le Pard who joins us with his four posts from his archives. In this post Geoff explores the changing face and religion of the East End of London and in particular the various guises one building has adopted over the centuries. Upcycling buildings: if only it was as easy with people by Geoff Le Pard

Delighted to share another wonderful post from pre-school teacher Jennie Fitzkee. This week the joys and benefits of reading aloud for both child and teacher…or parent.

Welcome to the last in the series from the archives of Lori Bonati-Phillips who shares one of her experiences as a school psychologist, where Joni Mitchell and and Cosmos makes a world of difference to a young man.

Chris is a massive supporter of writers and his guest posts are very popular and widely read. Jo Robinson is an author who has been a very welcome visitor to this blog since it began in 2013 and Chris is sharing one of her very informative posts on social media. I will share some of her work, including her illustrations, after this article on Twitter.

Last week Elizabeth LLoyd shared her mother Betty’s diary entries for her her last weeks in Brussels towards the end of the war. In this final post Betty heads to Germany at the end of 1945.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Smorgasbord Health Column

Those of you who are regulars to my health posts will know that I am passionate about communicating the fact that those of us living in northern climates with limited sun exposure are at a risk of Vitamin D deficiency. This is more so for children who spend less time than ever outdoors playing in sunlight or even daylight. In this post the latest research linking a deficiency to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

On Monday I outlined the basics of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and today a look at some of the nutrients that your intestine needs to work efficiently and also some of the triggers for the condition.

I posted on pre-diabetes two years ago, but the latest statistics are in and they make for very worrying reading. It is estimated that there are 84 million Americans who are pre-diabetic and are at very high risk of developing full blown diabetes. CDC January 2018


The Afternoon Video

Thanks very much for dropping in today and everyday.. it is much appreciated. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jemima Pett, Annika Perry, Jacquie Biggar, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update and as usual a full house with new releases and recent reviews. If you are in the bookstore and have news to share then please email me on

The first author with a new release is children’s author Jemima Pett with The Princelings of the North… released on January 30th.

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

Head over and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of books also by Jemima Pett


Here is a review for the first book in the series The Princelings of the East.

Jan 16, 2016 Anna Dye rated it it was amazing

The Princeling of the East is an enchanting tale that will delight boys and be very much enjoyed by girls. This fourth to sixth grade chapter book will keep young readers enthralled for hours on end. You will find well-rounded characters, an interesting plot and many adventures within the pages of this book.

I truly enjoyed the tale and loved the telling. It relates a completely new idea in a medieval fantasy setting and plot that will be enjoyed by all the inventors or thinkers in your home. It will be a welcome volume in any home, school, or library shelves. George and his almost identical twin Fred, live in a castle where they work hard at not being seen. Now for some years, the power is being sucked from their castle and they wonder who or what is the cause. George, being the inventor, and his brother, Fred, the thinker, unite their talents to figure the answers to this dilemma.

They have never been beyond the marshes that surround their castle, but they both know they need to go and see if other castles have the same problem. In their travels, they meet some interesting people: princelings and others that will help them discover what is afoot. Meanwhile, they learn much from those they meet. The Princeling of the East is a medieval fantasy with a touch of time travel that is very well written and easy to understand. It stays on age level and keeps the reader alert for the thought provoking results. What a wonderful tale with a great story. Well done.

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads:

Connect to Jemima via her blog

The next author with a brand new review and also some excellent news is Annika Perry whose debut collection of short stories, The Storyteller Speaks has hit the local press. Halstead Gazette

About The Storyteller Speaks

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?

In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.

One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.

Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

The latest review for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Written and Eclectic Mix of Stories 30 January 2018

I am a big fan of Annika’s blog and “The Storyteller Speaks” does not disappoint. It is a well written and eclectic mix of stories from different genres that will indeed “win your heart.”
“The Whiteout Years” is poignant and beautifully written and “The Game” is both short and spooky. I particularly enjoyed “Kew a Rare Passion” based on a true story, and “Loss of a Patriach,” on the loss of Annika’s dear grandfather known as Morfar.

I believe both Morfar and Mormor will be incredibly proud of their grand daughter.

Read the reviews and now buy the collection:

And Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads:

Connect to Annika via her blog:

Another author with a new release is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar with With This Heart – Wounded Hearts Book 7.

About the book

What happens when two of Tidal Falls’ most beloved citizens have second thoughts just before they get married?

Jared Martin can’t wait to tie the knot with the woman of his dreams and become a real father to his son, Chris.

Annie Campbell is finally going to marry the man she’s loved for most of her adult life and she couldn’t be more excited–and anxious.

An unforeseen event will test their devotion to each other and bring the entire town in on the action. Will Jared and Annie’s love stand the test, or is their relationship doomed?

*Warning: This book contains a delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, strong, sexy heroes, and mystery. With this Heart has something for every reader.

One of the early reviews

What a beautiful follow-up to “The Rebel’s Redemption” (book #2 in the Wounded Hearts series). You could read this book without having read the series, but you would be missing out on so much of the back story involving the beloved characters of Tidal Falls. Jared Martin and Annie Campbell are now planning their wedding, making their family complete with their son Chris. You are invited to the ups and downs of the planning in this charming novella. Ms. Biggar is one of my all-time favorite authors. She writes about strong characters with emotion and humor. Her stories with continuing characters are some of my favorites. I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to give an honest review.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And at Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads:

Connect to Jacquie via her website:

The authors today are, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones who co-wrote Only One Woman released in November 2017. This is the debut novel for Jane Risdon.

About 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

This story was right up my street. It had everything I love to read about. The sixties can do no wrong for me. The music, obviously, the clothes and the way they were described, the band, like so many young bands I grew up knowing, some that made it, some that didn’t. Even the food, AND a mention of The Alan Bown Set, all balanced out in a lovely romantic tale of a three way love, leaving me pulled first one way and then the other. I felt sorry for both Renza and Stella in equal parts as they fall in love with Scott.I’m still not too sure he made the right choice, maybe, maybe not. He was quite young to make big decisions. Hopefully there will be a sequel as I’m sure the story could be taken further and I’d love to know what the future holds for them all. Fingers crossed. Thanks for a lovely read.

 Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon US:

Connect to Christina via her blog:

I hope that you will find some books to add to your reading list. Thanks for dropping in.. Sally


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Judith Barrow, Bette A. Stevens, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Dan Alatorre and Eloise de Sousa

Welcome to the first of the updates this week for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. If you are a first time author then here is a post which shows you how you can get FREE promotion for your new book and join the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author is Judith Barrow for a recent review for the first book in the Howarth family saga, Pattern of Shadows.

About the book

Mary is a nursing sister at a Lancashire prison camp for the housing and treatment of German POWs. Life at work is difficult but fulfilling; life at home a constant round of arguments—often prompted by her fly-by-night sister, Ellen, the apple of her short-tempered father’s eye. Then Frank turns up at the house one night—a guard at the camp, he’s been watching Mary for weeks—and won’t leave until she agrees to walk out with him.

Frank Shuttleworth is a difficult man to love and it’s not long before Mary gives him his marching orders. But Shuttleworth won’t take no for an answer and the gossips are eager for their next victim, and for the slightest hint of fraternization with the enemy. Suddently, not only Mary’s happiness but her very life is threatened by the most dangerous of wartime secrets.

One of the recent reviews

A brilliant book about the life of a young nurse struggling to cope during WW2. Mary is from a working class family and the details of her life are spot-on for the period without being laboured or sounding artificial. She is so well-drawn she quickly becomes a figure we understand and love despite her mistakes, and when she is faced with danger from those around her we want to protect her and keep her safe. She faces prejudices that we all still face today and we can understand her dilemmas.

The others in the book all have their own multi-layered personalities which means we can sympathise, for instance, with Mary over her selfish, flighty sister, yet still feel for Ellen when things go badly for her.
This is a love story and a story of hatred and prejudice. The tension builds inexorably to its conclusion and I read on apprehensively but unable to put the book down, genuinely afraid for several of the characters. That is the mark of a good book.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon US:

Also by Judith Barrow

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and Amazon UK:

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Connect to Judith via her blog:

The next author is popular children’s writer Bette A. Stevens.. and instead of one of her stories, here is her puzzle book, Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, which has received a recent review.

About the book

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! is a resource for multi-cultural and interdisciplinary studies in the classroom or at home. Integrates Math (measurement and geometry) and Language Arts (research and writing) for elementary and middle school students, while presenting a few historical facts about tangrams.

Tangrams and word puzzles (rhyming riddles/poetry) encourage students to have fun while they’re learning, and then to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Includes ideas for home/school projects. Tangram outlines, with rhyming riddles as clues, are even labeled for coloring for preschoolers. Hands-on fun for the whole classroom/family!

A recent review for the book

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever! January 2, 2018

I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make– with clues or riddles as to what they are. Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

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The next author who has received a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for The Fall of Lillith.

About The Fall of Lilith:

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

The most recent review

I enjoyed reading about the various characters of this book, They are angels with wings to fly, one of them has additional abilities to change into different shapes. other one can breath fire, third one can sense the presence of others at any distance from him. There are others too with special abilities including Lilith, who can influence anyone by her words and can see future. All of them are created by God Himself to live in Floraison, with strict rules.

Most of them followed the rules, but Lilith despised following those rules because she had visions about the freedom to be bestowed upon yet to be created mankind of Earth. She revolted against God for not allowing the angels of Floraison the same freedom.
The revolt led to a bloody war between angels who followed rules and the others who were influenced by the designs of Lilith. Lilith and her supporters lost badly in the revolt and God condemned them to fall on Earth and bear punishment of hard living on earth.

They had to endure the punishment given by God in various forms. Fighting with various animals of earth, escaping from natural disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, dust storms in deserts etc. and finding food for survival were only some of the problems they had to tackle. This story of the survival of fallen angels on earth is very interesting till the last page.

Besides the story, I liked the use of vocabulary in this book to express the various actions and thoughts. Honestly, I learnt the use of many new words from this book. Most interesting part of this book for me was the narration of a story by Lilith. 

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy both books:

and on Amazon UK:

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Connect to Vashti via her website:

The next author is International best selling author Dan Alatorre and An Angel on her Shoulder.

About An Angel on her Shoulder

A series of unexplainable tragedies surround a family and their young daughter as they seek to determine whether they are possessed, paranoid or collectively going insane. Meanwhile, forgotten clues from the father’s past may indicate forces are at work in ways more ominous than any of them could have imagined.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Audio version. This was wonderful. It starts with a horrible accident. But the next thing you know it goes to something else that has you thinking, what the heck did they mess up the story it’s totally different now. It took me a little while to realize that the story was now in the past. It goes back and forth like that several times, so it eventually started to make sense. I hate spoilers so I’ll leave it there.

The narration is superb he really brings the story to life.

This Audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.

Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed, Unpredictable, Great world building, Original, Page-turner, Entertaining, Happily Ever After, Inspirational, Whimsical, Scary, Haunting, Easy-to-read, Wonderful characters, Twisted.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

A small selection of other books by Dan Alatorre

Discover all of Dan’s books, read the reviews and buy:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Dan on Goodreads:

Connect to Dan via his website:

The final author today with a recent review is Eloise de Sousa for her book The Iron Pendulum.

About the book

Julia Webster and Hugo del Fuego are missing from their third floor apartment in Bagley. The grisly display discovered in their home leaves Detectives Perkins and Jones with little evidence to follow and, as more remains turn up, the pressure mounts to find the killer. Time is the key element in solving a case riddled with dead ends and a strange family hiding its true evil behind the façade of money and power.

Can they unravel the secrets hidden behind the closed doors and will it be enough to solve the case and rescue the couple in time?

A recent review for the book

Stella F 5.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling Read December 17, 2017

High paced crime thriller? or rather slow and going nowhere in the case of detectives Perkins and Jones. But what makes their job so addictive? There are plenty of descriptive elements in here; a mix of first person, Julia Webster, and third person, narrative. Whilst the majority of us would consider ourselves normal, we continue to read what unveils to be far from the ordinary. This is a thriller that shines its light into the dark recess of a mental institution. Eloise rations the laughs, but there are still one liners beautifully woven between the suspense, intrigue and horror. Skilful plotting and insidious build-up of tension, makes for an unexpected outcome.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of books by Eloise de Sousa

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found an addition or two to your groaning TBRs…… thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – U2, Blog Challenges, Literary Column and Letters from America

Welcome to this week’s update of posts that you might have missed. As always very grateful to the contributors who put so much time and effort into preparing their columns. William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor and this week joined by Jessica Norrie with the new Literary Column.

Late last year I mentioned that I wanted to evolve the blog towards more of a magazine layout and I am delighted with the way that it is progressing and I hope you are too.

I love writing my own blogs but I really want to showcase other writers and artists and provide a wide variety of subjects for the readers who visit here. In this next phase I am looking for someone to provide a monthly or even perhaps twice a month column on movies. Much as I love going to the cinema I am finding that with my own writing projects and posts I am not able to do the movies I see justice.

If you already do movie reviews you might think about doing a monthly column with your reviews for the month posted here… anyway email me on

If it is any incentive.. I can offer you exposure on the blog and my social media with 35,000 connections and the blog received 240,000 views last year. Whilst I love sharing your content on the blog, the aim is to showcase your own writing and blog at the same time.

My thanks too for all the wonderful archive posts that I have received and the blog sitting posts for when I am away for a few days next month.. You are in for some treats.

This week I have got to grips with one of my books that has been on the go for a couple of years. The R’s of Life…. I just need to complete two more chapters and finish the editing process. I am also making progress with the sequel to Tales from the Garden and the plotting and planning is well underway for my wartime novel set in the village where I was born and my mother grew up. It would be great to see them all out in 2018.. hope springs eternal…

So thank you very much for dropping in and supporting the blog and look forward to seeing you again soon.

On with the posts from the week.  Thanks Sally

The Music Column with William Price King

U2 has one of the most impressive catalogues of awards of any of the groups in the last forty years. Apart from 170 million + records sold world wide, the group has also won an impressive number of industry accolades. Here is part three.

The Food Column with Carol Taylor

Thank you very much for your lovely responses to my first post on my food column..It has been much harder to think of what to write about this week but I have shelved the exotic fruits until your weather warms up somewhat and am bringing to you another soup this time from Columbia.

New Series – The Literary Column with Jessica Norrie.

Jessica Norrie explores the way children develop a love of reading and some of the books that she remembers from her own childhood that inspired her love of books.

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss.. a reblog of his post on his own blog about Anne Boleyn.

New Series – Letters from America 1985 – 1987

David and I lived in Houston from 1985 to 1987 as he worked around the US selling optic fibre cable. We took full advantage of the amazingly diverse geography and coastlines to visit as many states as possible, including Hawaii.. Every week I wrote home to my parents in England, and after his death my father left them all to me with a note suggesting they become a book. I thought I would share them on the blog and see how you enjoy them.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

This week Country royalty with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers with Islands in the stream and Keith Urban with one of his country rock ballads.

Smorgasbord Open House Interview

Welcome to the Sunday Interview and this week I am delighted to introduce you to Sharon Marchisello who talks about her genre, her publishing adventures, most useful invention and activities she feels we should experience.

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet

This week Challenges and Book Reviews.

One of the best way to increase your visibility as a blogger and a writer is to participate in one or two challenges that are popular. Today I am sharing both a #writing and a #photo challenge organised by two very high profile bloggers and they definitely have watering holes you want to gather around. Guests Charli Mills, Sue Vincent and Reedsy

Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies shares the strategy that she adopted to cope with a particularly difficult time when her husband was seriously unwell. As you will read, it was a time to let go of many familiar routines and task but a time to embrace some different, even for a short time each day to allow time to breathe.

It is actually nearly four weeks since Christmas but this poem from Aurora Jean Alexander from this time last year is very topical for many of you.

Last week Jane Risdon shared her experiences visiting the home of Rudyard Kipling and an encounter with a banana skin and a sleeping policeman.  This week the ‘Jolly’ continues…. Jupiter, the Moon and Herstmonceux – tales from my ‘jolly’ part two

Delighted to welcome Janet Gogerty to the Archive post series and her first post, explores keeping diaries and the possibility that our writings might last forever.

An inspirational piece by Jan Sikes, reminding us that however tough things might be there is usually a chink of light to give us something to be positive about.

Welcome back to a new series of archive posts from children’s author Darlene Foster. In this post Darlene shares the photographs that she took when visiting the ruins of Pompeii.

Welcome to Geoff Le Pard who joins us with his four posts from his archives. This week catchphrases, particular from our youth on television or the odd phrase that somehow does not come out as intended…Malapropisms ran rife in our family as my mother was very creative…. known as molliepropisms..


Very pleased to welcome back Jennie Fitzkee with a new series of posts from her Archives. Last year Jennie delighted us with tales from her pre-school classroom where the children learn about reading, music and art. This week one of her go to classics each year and it is always popular with her children.

Chris the Story Reading Ape shares a very useful checklist on things you should know about the character your have created.

Last week Elizabeth LLoyd shared her mother Betty’s diary entries for her first weeks in Brussels towards the end of the war. Here is part two of her time in the city in 1945 and also about a trip home to Scotland.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Smorgasbord Health column

Welcome to this week’s health column. Last week I looked at both prescription and over the counter pain medication.

This week I am looking at the use of supplements, the ingredients you should avoid and which ones are more easily absorbed by the body.

Laughter Lines

Thank you all again for the wonderful contributions and for stopping by, liking, commenting and sharing. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D.G. Kaye, Heather Kindt, Leslie Tate and Janice Spina

Welcome to Friday’s author update and a catch up on news for the talented authors in the bookstore.

The first author whose memoir Twenty Years: After “I Do” is receiving rave reviews is D.G. Kaye.

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Here is one of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

“Twenty Years After I Do” is a love story, all the more compelling because it is true. Kaye shines a light under the table, exposing those things many of us prefer to keep out of sight. For all of the unpleasant topics in the book, this is not a depressing journey. She doesn’t say that love concours all, but she shows us, through her own life, that it so often does. More accurately, she explains that love will help us face whatever outcome life gives us.

The author is one of the decreasing number of people who understand that marriage is “til death do us part.” Staying together is not optional, it’s not a choice to be made. That choice was made with the speaking of the words, “I Do.” She shows us that love and humor are tools we can use to overcome obstacles we would have thought unsurmountable.

This is a good read. Reading it has made me feel like I’ve made a friend. 

 Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Other books by D.G. Kaye


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to D.G.Kaye via her website:

And now time to catch up with Word Weaver Contest winner Heather Kindt whose debut novel Ruby Slips and Poker Chips was published in November..

About Ruby Slips and Poker Chips

Second-grade teacher Dottie Gale lives in the tiny town of Quandary, Kansas, which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of nowhere. No mountains. No ocean. No life. Her ex-boyfriend and current school board member, Corbin Lane, cheated on her, making school functions more than a little awkward. But worst of all, a tornado named Maxine Westward rips through Dottie’s school as the new principal and has made her life at work a living hell.
When Dottie is chosen to go to a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she knows her life is going to change.

Driving from Quandary to Vegas, three strangers enter her life. Through a string of situations involving poppies, flying monkeys, and a life-size sculpture of an iconic rock star the four soon become inseparable. So, when Westward arrives on her broom in Vegas, Dottie is ready for battle. Her boss black mails her with stories of incarceration, thievery, and a steamy relationship with her travel companion, but Dottie knows that those who hurl insults shouldn’t hold secrets of their own.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Roses are Amber 4.0 out of 5 stars Modern day Wizard Of Oz December 30, 2017

Ruby Slips And Poker Chips is a romantic comedy and a modern-day tale of Dorothy Gale.

Fans of The Wizard Of Oz might well sit up and take note, as this book is filled with plenty of teasers to delight the reader. Dottie Gale is a teacher in Quandary Elementary, Kansas. When a tornado blew through town, she swore it dropped off Maxine Westward, the new Headmistress.

Dottie and Maxine are instant enemies, especially when Maxine installs new, unpopular, rules. Dottie is restless in boring Quandary, so when she’s picked to attend a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she jumps at the chance to attend.

If I tell you that Dottie is forced to drive to Las Vegas, that she pops in a tape of her favourite band, Toto, and she is asked to pick up Mr Fields and Mr Lyons who are also attending the conference, you’ll get a good feel for the storyline.

Will Dottie find the answers she wants? Does ‘there’s no place like home’, ring true for our modern girl?

I had so much fun reading this and spotting all the clever twists, it was very entertaining. In fact I’m tempted to re-read it, to find more of the subtle hints. I’ve also been to a few of the places mentioned in the book which meant an extra thumbs up for me. I would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy a modern take on a good original oldie.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Smashwords for other Ebook versions:

Connect to Heather via her website at

The next update is for Leslie Tate for his memoir Heaven’s Rage. Leslie was the first guest in the new series of Open House last Sunday.

About the book

HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage — William Blake

One of the recent reviews for the book

Susan Hampson5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 25 January 2017

The book description just does not do this novel justice as after finishing reading I was left in awe of this incredible man. There is such a raw honesty about everything that I read, where he doesn’t just simply tell you a story around an event in his life but how it made him feel too. The deepest raw feelings that you would normally keep to yourself.

Leslie Tate’s novel takes you through his early years both at home and in school where he struggled to fit in either place. There was, what I felt to be, a very touching moment when his granddad had formed a close relationship with him. He had loved going there and playing games, granddad telling him to play tricks on his grandma. I could ‘feel’ the excitement in him as he talked about this time in his life. Here was an adult that played with him, listened to him and talked to him,then the guilt and disappointment when he grew up and he found out what his granddad was really getting him to do. My heart felt like it nearly stopped for him. I really don’t know how he grew up to be such a caring man

I just love the passion he has which he shares both in his writing and poetry with his readers. Both are very powerful. He demonstrates that strength isn’t always in bulk and muscle but in character, to be able to say to people this is who I am and be at peace with yourself. He was really a forerunner of his time when electric shock therapy was thought of as a cure to threat anyone that questioned their gender. That is courage. One thing that did come across very strongly was the bond that he has for his friends and the love that he continually has for his lovely wife Susan.

It really has been a pleasure to read this book

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon US:

Also by Leslie Tate click cover to buy

And available on Pre- order for March 18th.

Signed copies of all the books can be found in Leslie Tate’s own bookshop including pre-order for Violet:

Connect to Leslie via his website:

The next author is celebrating another wonderful children’s book to add to her collection. Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab by Janice Spina and illustrated by John Spina

About the story.

Clarence Henry is different from other hermit crabs. He came to his new home minus one claw and a leg. He needs to protect himself until he can grow new appendages. Will Clarence Henry be able to meet the challenges in his new water world?

Clarence Henry was a real aquatic hermit crab who lives in a saltwater fish tank in our home. We watched him interact with the other creatures in the tank.

He was resilient, intelligent, and a joy to have as a pet. We took some photos of him as he grew his claw and leg and changed shells.

We shared these photos and facts about hermit crabs in the back of the book. I hope you will enjoy them. This book will make a wonderful resource for classrooms.

Head over and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

One of the recent reviews for Colby the Courageous Cat.

Who doesn’t like books about kittens, especially kittens which like adventures? It wouldn’t be a real kitten if it didn’t get in some trouble. I know this because have kittens adopted me a few times now.

“Colby the Courageous Cat,” written by award-winning author Janice Spina and illustrated by John Spina, is one of those books that entertains and educates young children at the same time. While following Colby the kitten and his siblings on great adventures, children will face a few dangerous situations that will make them applaud the brave kitten. It’s a lovely story that encourages children to think and act when they see a danger, and to take responsibility then they are in charge.

The bright, colorful illustrations and rhyming storyline put children into an exploring mood and paying attention to Colby’s actions, as he is in charge of his frisky brothers and sisters. Their love of exploring could get them in trouble, but the biggest brother makes sure he keeps them safe. It is a fast read for any child, wonderful for a bedtime story or nap, and to read aloud at mom’s clubs or libraries. A great book for toddlers and up, and for sure the cat lovers like me!

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and

and on Amazon UK:

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found more members for your every eager TBRs… thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Three Sisters and Walnuts.

Welcome to the weekly round up.. I have been at my last Christmas fair this afternoon so a little later than planned.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed archive posts, original articles and to all of you who have visited and shared those posts.. ♥

William Price King shared the last post in the Abba Series and the wonderful King Singers and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Writer in residence Christmas Story Part One and Two – The Three Sisters

And a detailed look at the birth of Jesus.

Carol Taylor Cook From Scratch and this week the lovely, crunchy walnuts.

Christmas Book Fair

Thomas the Rhymer

New Author on the Shelves

Thom Hickey – 12 posts daily until the big day. – Christmas Cornucopia – Art, Music and poetry.

Posts from Christmas Archives


Personal Stuff


Thank you once again for contributing, liking, commenting and sharing.. you are all stars.. Sally




Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Judith Barrow, Shehanne Moore, Judy Penz Sheluk and Marcia Meara.

Thank you for dropping in to the last Christmas Bookstore of the week. Another five authors with terrific books that would make wonderful gifts.

The first author is Judith Barrow with more reviews for her latest book A Hundred Tiny Threads, a book that I enjoyed and reviewed a few weeks ago. Definitely a gift for someone who loves family dramas.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is the first book I have read by Judith Barrow and it certainly won’t be the last! A superbly written novel set in 1911 and during the First World War. Winifred Duffy is disillusioned with her mundane job and domineering mother and wants to become involved in the Suffrage Movement. She is persuaded by her Irish friend Honora to go to a meeting and is determined to play her part in trying to get women the vote. Winifred is introduced to Honora’s brother and falls in love for the first time in her life. Can it last?

Bill Howarth works in the mines and has a serious accident which leaves him out of work and disgruntled. He worships Winifred from afar and is determined to be with her. However, things take a turn for the worse and then Bill is drafted into the war. When he comes out, he is battled scarred and weary, but still his needs for Winifred are undiminished.

How will the story unfold? Will it end in tears or happiness for our three main characters?

An excellent read from start to finish, great narrative and Judith Barrow is an author to be commended.

Head over read the reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads:

Connect to Judith via her blog:

The next author with a shelf full of books that would make any historical romance lover happy is Shehanne Moore. Here is Splendor ( London Jewel Thieves Book Two) which was published in May this year.

About Splendor

The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

For Splendor, former servant to London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol before. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

One of the reviews for the book

I loved every delicious page of this book. The story of Splendor’s tempestuous rise from skivvy to become the wife of the gorgeously glowering Kendall Winterborne, third Earl of Stillmore, is an enthralling read. Exhilarating, witty and wicked, as well as wonderfully original. Ms Moore has a voice like no other and it is as irresistible as chocolate brownies. I gobbled it up. This is Georgian England, so of course there is a rollicking duel, class warfare and subjugation of women, but no one is going to get the better of the brilliantly ballsy Splendor, whether it’s at chess, at disguise or at love. Yet underneath all the abundant fun and crazy cross dressing there runs a powerful and serious comment on what women have had to face throughout history.

In Splendor Ms Moore has created a cracking champion for the female of the species, infinitely more deadly than the male. She comes out fists swinging, but the vulnerability that she is so determined to keep hidden from view is immensely touching. And the finale will capture your heart. Shehanne Moore can spin a tale that is a romance like no other. Savour it.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon US:

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

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The next author is Judy Penz Sheluk and her novel Skeletons in the Attic – A Marketville Mystery which is now available in audio for those who love to listen to their books as well as read them.

Judy has some FREE codes for the audio book as she would like obtain more reviews for the book. If you are interested please connect to Judy via her website listed below.

51wcykazzl-_uy250_About the book

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

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

One of the reviews for the book

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

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

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

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Also by Judy Penz Sheluk

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Our next author who has a series that would make fantasy readers very happy is Marcia Meara and here is her most recent release, The Emissary – A Riverbend Spinoff Novella which follows the story of a previous character in the series.

About The Emissary

Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.

One of the recent reviews for the book

As a spinoff, I wouldn’t recommend reading this before the Riverbend books, unless you don’t mind plot spoilers. If you read Finding Hunter, and wondered what was up with the mysterious Gabe Angelino, this book will answer all your questions.

This is a perfect read for this time of year–cozy, magical, and even set in winter. Jake Daughtry, AKA Gabe Angelino, died–and then the angel Azrael put him to work helping lost souls. There’s liable to be some issues along the way–angels aren’t the cuddliest of people, and Jake has a bit of a sense of humor–but there’s also going to be wonder, and hope, and examples of humanity’s best and worst.

At 105 pages, this story packs a lot into a short amount of time, making it a great read for a busy season, without the story being rushed. It wraps up satisfactorily at the end, but leaves more room for the next adventure. And in between–is a sweet story, full of faith without hitting too heavily on dogma, willing to have a little fun with the idea of angels, and the emissaries they might need to get their jobs done.

The relationships between the characters grow pretty quickly like any novella, but are engaging for all that. There’s not as much space for lovely descriptions of the landscape, but there are song titles and funny place settings at the chapter headings, such as “close to here but not far from there.” It’s a story of journeys, physical and spiritual, and always in motion. No matter the tragedies that form obstacles along the way, you know that there will be a happy ending coming, because this is that kind of book–the sort that wraps you like a warm blanket. A great read for fans of Marcia’s work, and fans of cozy mysteries with a bit of the supernatural.

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A selection of books by Marcia Meara

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I am sure there will be a book or two that you might add to your TBR for your own reading pleasure or might buy as a gift for somebody else. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – ABBA, Constantine The Great and Brown Rice!

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week.. I was off on my travels this week to Belfast to celebrate our wedding anniversary and to visit the Titanic museum. We don’t get out much!  But, when we do we like to push the boat out. We stayed at the Culloden Estate and Spa with a suite overlooking the loch and only 3 miles from Belfast City Centre and 10 minutes from the Belfast City Airport. It is on 12 acres of wooded gardens and the food was superb. I think 37 years is worth celebrating in style. Here are a few photos to whet you appetite. In fact mid-week rates for two days are exceptionally good value and you can use the spa and swimming pool free during your stay.. and no…you do not get to see me in a bikini!  Not in this lifetime anyway.

Can definitely recommend the hotel and the food was delicious.

Titanic Belfast is an award winning exhibition and museum and you need to allow at least two hours to see all the various exhibits, interactive displays and the ride by suspended car through the bowels of the ship watching the animated images showing the work involved in building this mammoth ship.. no works comp in those days and over 250 accidents and several fatalities that need to be added to the loss of life over a few hours a short time after her launch.

You can find more details here:

Anyway, whilst I was off having fun for my three days, contributors were still working away in my absence and I am as always very grateful. This is what the week looked like.

William Price King began a new series of the all time favourites of millions.. ABBA… this week meeting the individual band members.

Writer in Residence. This week Paul Andruss continues with the story of Constantine the Great who was allegedly the first Roman Christian Emperor.

Carol Taylor spent time in her kitchen in Thailand to turn the raw brown rice grains into wonderful recipes for all the family.

Cook from Scratch with Robbie Cheadle and a cake you really would not want to cut into and eat.

The Ultimate Bucket List Interview

Robbie Cheadle joins us again for the last in the current series of Sunday Interview shows and shares her two top wishes on her Ultimate Bucket List.. Wedding Cakes and a very personal wish…

Personal Stuff

My review for Look the Other Way by Kristina Stanley a romantic thriller set in the warm coastal waters of Florida and the Caribbean.

Smorgasbord Reblogs

Last week I was the guest of Christy Birmingham on her eclectic blog, writing about elderly health care in the colder months and some ways to avoid colds and flu.

Jessica Norrie visited Lisbon last week and apart from a tour of the old part of the city, she also shares some of the books written or set in the city.

Contributors to the Posts from Your Archives series

We are today because of the choices we have made… Carol Taylor explores where those choices lead us.. and how we feel about that.

Allie Potts has an eventful walk with her beloved dog.. and comes a cropper….and shares the lesson learnt.

J. Hope Suis shares the most beautiful Japanese restoration process that turns broken china into works of art with gold and silver. Something that as humans we can learn too when putting ourselves back together after life’s experiences.

Do you wish that you had not selected your Twitter handle in the beginning?  Rosie Amber takes us through the simple steps to change it. I am @sgc58 and realise I should have gone with RedHotMama.. ah well.. if only I hadn’t just had 500 business cards printed!

Karen Ingalls shares a post in tribute to an elderly friend who passed away after a gracious life well-lived.

Can you remember your first kiss.. Patricia Salamone shares this experience with an interesting outcome!

Darlene Foster takes us on a tour of a medieval market in Orihuela in Spain.. food, colour and sunshine.. what else do you need?

Having almost given up showing my mother how to operate the DVD player with a different remote from the TV … I take my hat off to Jane Risdon who managed to get an 83 year old relative online and on Facebook… I think Jane was on herbal stress relief!

Annika Perry shares an atmospheric visit to Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Adrienne Morris is on the subject of toxic criticism and how to handle it.

Marian Beaman shares her wonderful tradition of family dinners through the decades.

Lillian Csernica continues her tour through the gracious city of Kyoto

D.Wallace Peach with a post about what defines the characters that we write about, and the stereotyping that is applied to emotional character,  according to the gender of your protagonist.

Do you know what a Fidget Spinner is?  I didn’t but I do now courtesy of Cecilia Kennedy.

Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes join us with their archive posts this week. It would seem that children are discovering the joys of computing earlier and earlier. I was in my early 30s when I was introduced to one and I only really used it for word processing and loved the freedom it gave me from tipex! It was a while before I got into the programme side and that was a huge dent in my self-confidence… read on.. I am not alone.

Smorgasbord Poetry

A poem on the subject of Happiness by Balroop Singh

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author Update

Air Your Reviews

Monday Night Quiz with Debra Russell author of Trivia Lover’s Ultimate Reference

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you to all the contributors and to you for all your support by dropping in, liking posts, commenting and sharing..