Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – June 6th – 12th 2021 – 1970s hits, Narcissism, Green Kitchen, Humour, Health, Pets, Book and Author Promotions.


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

I hope that the week has been good for you.. nothing very exciting to report from our neck of the woods except that I will be having my first official haircut on Monday after almost a year of hacking it myself in the front and David using clippers on the back.. To be hones wearing a mask in public I am sure nobody noticed but it will be great to have some shape back in it… that is if my hairdresser is still talking to me!

I am just about to head out to the garden with books and music to catch some rays… the promised tropical air mass is hovering over us for the next couple of days. I believe the temperature is going up to 17 C (62F) degrees and I am concerned that I might become overheated!!

With that in mind and the window of opportunity rather small….time to get on with the posts.

My great thanks to the contributors this week.. William Price King, D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor and Daniel Kemp... they add so much to the blog and it would not be the same without them.

And of course to you for your ongoing support during the week and for keeping me motivated.

Chart Hits 1971 Part One – Ike and Tina Turner, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones 

Relationships Rewind -Envy, Jealousy, Bullying – A Path to Narcissism? 

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – June 2021 – Dutch Oven Bread, Kale, Home Grown Pea Shoots, Fishing Nets, Neighbours. 

What’s in a Name? Volume One – Brian – The Birthright  

Chapter Five – Trouble in Paradise – Part one 

#CrownCinquain – Life’s Progression  

#Mystery #Paranormal – The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4) by Marcia Meara 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Fantasy – Allies and Spies (Unraveling the Veil Book 2) by D.Wallace Peach… 

Part Two – Author Biographies -Tips and Translations 

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Kennel Cough – Hygiene is as important for dogs as humans  

A-Z of common conditions – Athlete’s Foot  

3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group by J.Q. Rose 

#Paranormal John W. Howell, #Poetry Anita Dawes, #WWII Paulette Mahurin 

#Thriller Allan Hudson, #Relationships M.C.V. Egan, #Fantasy Jean Lee 

Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Memoir Patty Fletcher 

Hugh W. Roberts

Monday June 7th 2021 – #Food #Environment Carol Taylor, #Blogging #Interview Hugh W. Roberts, #Poetry Colleen Chesebro 

Tuesday 8th June 2021 – Entertaining Again? #Recipes Dolly Aizenman, Eat Dessert First, Dorothy of New Vintage Kitchen. 

Wednesday 9th June 2021 – #Newhome Ritu Bhathal, #Reviews Jan Sikes, #Writing D.L. Finn 

Thursday June 10th 2021 – #Children #HandWriting Robbie Cheadle, #BetaReaders Richard Dee, #Guest C.S. Boyack with D.L. Finn 

#Fantasy – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach 

#Contemporary – Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin 

#Safety Miriam Hurdle, #Malta Darlene Foster, #Environment Kathleen Jae 

June 8th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Catnip and Groaners 

June 10th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – #Twins and more Groaners 

June 11th 2021 – Anniversary Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Carbolic Soap and It could be worse 

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and for all your support.. I hope you will join me again next week…Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Mystery #Paranormal – The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4) by Marcia Meara


I will now be sharing the reviews from the first few months of 2021. The focus tends to be on new releases but good books deserve to be in the spotlight too on a regular basis.

I loved the Wake-Robin Ridge series by Marcia Meara and this fourth book in the series was no exception.. The Light.

About the book

The Magic is Back!

For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light different from all the rest.

In his biggest challenge to date, Rabbit—aided by his daddy and his newest friend, Austin Dupree— begins a quest to learn more about the mysterious light. Their investigation unveils a web of cons and corruption none of them expected and exposes a brutal murder along the way.

Throughout all, Rabbit is unfaltering in his commitment to do whatever it takes to understand the truth behind the glowing orb and to determine how he can help it. After all, it followed him home.

My review for the book 7th January 2021

A delightful addition to the Wake-Robin Ridge series and as always the star of the story is a little boy called Rabbit. An old soul who sees far beyond human comprehension, he still retains his gentle and loving nature. He also sees far more than a boy of eleven should, and yet his determination to help those in limbo and their living loved ones, is too powerful to deny.

In this chapter in the series, Rabbit’s family extends to new friends and those who have lost their way. Collaborations and combining ‘The Sight’ with modern technology takes this current investigation into the depths of the stunning Appalachian mountains building the suspense as the story behind the light runs parallel.

As always the author engages us with her scenic descriptions and charming characters, weaving an intriguing mystery which unfolds with some surprise revelations. Heartwarming and thought provoking this series is a must read. I do recommend that you begin with Wake-Robin Ridge, followed by A Boy Named Rabbit and Harbinger.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and one small dachshund.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you have enjoyed my review and will check out this book and the others by Marcia Meara. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Fantasy – Allies and Spies (Unraveling the Veil Book 2) by D.Wallace Peach…


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This was my review from November 2020 for Allies and Spies (Unraveling the Veil Book 2) by D.Wallace Peach…

About the book

Trust is as thin as a blade’s edge. Secrets abound. And no one is who they seem. Kalann il Drakk, the First of Chaos, makes a bargain with his brethren, in which the future of civilization hangs in the balance.

Thrust together by a sacred oath, a halfbreed goblin, a misfit elf, and a changeling spy unite in an uneasy alliance. But their mission to learn the truth of the strange disappearances must wait—for they owe a blood debt to the changeling queen.

In the Raveen Mountains, the cornerstones of Naj’s life crumble. Goblins assemble a massive shipment of crystals for the Borderland—enough to power Ka Radiff for a decade or, with a single spark, blow it apart.

In the elfin Riverlands, Alue learns of the clandestine Coalition. Rumors whisper of a vast conspiracy. But that knowledge pales in comparison to a startling revelation that shatters the foundation of her life.

When a dead goblin turns up on the slopes beneath the Veil, Talin has no choice but to admit to changeling crimes. The tenuous alliance falters. Treachery runs deep and wide. And in the changelings’ jungle, the queen releases her venom. The ground fractures. And only the truth about il Drakk’s cruel designs has the power to spare their lives.

My review for the book November 19th 2020

Allies and Spies, the second episode in the Unraveling of the Veil series, is another triumph for D.Wallace Peach. Sometimes a second book can be an anti-climax, but it is certainly not the case here. We hit the deck running with Alue, Naj and Talin as they continue their quest to find the cause of the shifts in the surface of their respective worlds and loss of so many of their people.

They are dancing to somebody’s tune, but despite moving back and forth across their homelands and into forbidden places, they are no closer to the truth. Their combined skills are powerful, and as they accept and adapt to match each other’s abilities they risk more and more, including their lives in the venture.

Those in power are not always who they seem, and telling the difference between friend and foe becomes more difficult, putting them and others in danger. Friendships are shattered and they suffer traumatic loss, but as this chapter in the story reaches its climax, we begin to see the how each of them individually are more complex than even they knew.

This is a fast paced thriller and the author has not just created one brilliant fantasy world but four intricate societies of goblins, elves, changelings and the hidden world behind the veil.

We are left on a cliffhanger as the three allies make a decision to undertake a perilous mission in a last ditch attempt to find out who is behind the destruction of their worlds. Thankfully the next book in the series is already available. I highly recommend that you read the first book in the series Liars and Thieves.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

About Diana Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the review for Allies and Spies, and will head over to buy the book.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Book Reviews – #Paranormal #Historical #BoerWar A Ghost and his Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.


This week my review for the recent release A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

robbie a ghost and his goldAbout the book

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904. Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death.

As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

My review for the book June 5th 2021

This was certainly an ambitious project from a number of perspectives. The fusion of paranormal and history with two stories running in parallel is a challenge, but the author has succeeded in writing a flowing saga spanning 130 years. All the characters are excellently crafted and are memorable..

Usually it is left to the victors to write the history of wars, but that means you get the abridged truth and their own atrocities and failures tend to be skirted over. In this account of the Second Boer War between 1899 and 1902, both sides of the conflict are represented by two soldiers, enemies, but united in death by a need for resolution and forgiveness. They share the unabridged truth from their individual perspectives of the military and civilian devastation that occurs during this period, and it makes for sombre reading.

Their accounts of the conflict have been meticulously researched and provide a compelling behind the scenes background, not just to the military victories and defeats, but the appalling impact on whole families, the Boer way of life and Africa’s future.  Those who worked the land with their native farm workers saw treasure in the earth and in the animals that grazed the grasslands, and fought for the right to retain their rights. The British Army was sent into battle to secure what lay beneath the ground for politicians who wanted gold and to remove the right to autonomy.

Men on the front line from both sides suffered from ineffective leadership and devastating losses but the conflict spread uncontained across the veld due to the scorched earth policy which destroyed farms and livestock, leaving nothing for the Boers to return to. Families were incarcerated in concentration camps lacking the basic human needs leading to the deaths of thousands of women and children from starvation and disease..

Running parallel to this personal account of two men caught up in this vortex, is the story of a modern day couple living on the land once a thriving Boer farm. The earth holds secrets and the house, now built over the rubble of its troubled past, also contains an unresolved mystery.  One that has attracted the attention of another ghost who is not seeking forgiveness but revenge.

The author manages the various threads of the story with skill, weaving them back and forth across the loom of time.  She brings them together for a dramatic climax which will shake the foundations of the future, as the dead and living claim their right to be heard.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

robbie new profileAbout Robbie Cheadle

I am a South African writer specialising in historical, paranormal and horror novels and short stories. I am an avid reader in these genres and my writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

I was educated at the University of South Africa where I achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. I was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

I have worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and have written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. I have won several awards over my twenty year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

I have been published a number of anthologies and have two published YA books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I have recently published my first adult novel called A Ghost and His Gold which is partly set in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Robbie’s latest book.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Haiti #Thriller – Vanished by Mark Bierman


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This was my review from November 2020 for Vanished the debut thriller set in Haiti by Mark Bierman.

About the book

Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for those.

Turning their backs on the crisis, however, is unthinkable, it’s just not who they are.

My review for the book 28th November 2020

This book is a challenging read, not because of how it is written, but the subject matter. We tend to picture islands in the Caribbean as having sun swept sandy beaches, luxury accommodation and smiling faces of the inhabitants, happy to see tourists pouring into their paradise. However Haiti has had centuries of political, economic and social unrest and suffered devastating natural disasters. Following one such event, the earthquake in 2010, thousands of men, women and children were killed and many more thousands were left homeless. The population is left reliant on assistance from the outside world, including volunteers to help them rebuild. However, as well as the suffering caused by this natural disaster, there is an underlying evil that thrives on misery, and manipulates parents in dire straits, to offer up their children under the pretense of a better life.

Two Americans Tyler and his father-in-law John Webster arrive on the island following a tragedy of their own, with the loss of Joy, Tyler’s wife and John’s daughter from cancer. Hopeful that the physical labour of helping to construct an orphanage, will bring them both a measure of peace, they find themselves caught up in the violent world of the human traffickers preying on children in particular. From mines to plantations the trade in cheap slave labour is thriving, and it is manned by thugs with money the motivator.

In a desperate search across the mountainous interior of the country, and forced to form alliances with those they cannot trust, and in some cases with those wishing them violence, the two men seek one child among thousands. Their story runs in parallel with heartrending accounts of others who have been caught up in the trafficking, who seek to escape, often at the expense of their lives.

The author has created strong characters across the spectrum of good vs. evil, and the story maintains its pace throughout the book. The mission Tyler and John have undertaken hurtles towards a violent climax, and consequences that will need to be faced. A thought provoking thriller that serves as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a kinder world.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

50% of the proceeds from Vanished go to an organization that helps victims of human trafficking.

About Mark Bierman

Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman’s childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non.

Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this “country boy” to life in the big cities.

After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UKFollow Mark: Goodreads – Blog: Mark Bierman WordPressTwitter: @mbiermanauthor

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Vanished by Mark Bierman… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery – The Visitor – Terry Tyler


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This was my review from December 2020 for Terry Tyler, and The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery Only 99c/99p from June 3rd – 9th

About the book

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…

The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.

My review for the book December 5th 2020

I am familiar with the world that Terry Tyler has created following the virus of 2024 which has decimated the UK population, and have enjoyed all the books in the series and the spinoffs.

Although the the world is therefore not unknown, there is an added twist to the sense of fear and foreboding that is felt by the survivors in this book. It is not just the ‘Bat Fever’ they have to be afraid of. Taking advantage of the situation is a serial killer, remorseless and without mercy, working their way through a small community desperately trying to survive the pandemic.

The author offers up a number of perspectives from the lead characters about their daily lives in this close knit community, and also the occasional word from the killer who is hiding in plain sight. Already suspicious of their neighbours, theories are rife, and secrets are discovered that might offer up motives for the deaths fracturing the trust between them. Normal emotions become distorted including love and friendship, and as one by one the killings continue, the fear becomes as contagious as the virus. The villagers are facing danger on all fronts, from foraging for essential supplies in violence ridden towns, to the terror on their own doorstep.

As always Terry Tyler serves up excellent characters and provides a flowing narrative in this post ‘bat fever’ thriller, set in a time so close to our own pandemic and unnervingly close to home. It is hard not to draw parallels and edge towards a ‘prepper’ mentality, but I certainly will be checking my doors and windows are locked before I go to bed at night.

Recommended for those who enjoy a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Head over to buy the book 99p until June 9th: Amazon UK – And 99c: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4

About Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-one books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Wasteland’, the sequel to ‘Hope’. She is currently working on ‘The Visitor’, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as her Project Renova series. Proud to be independently published, she is also an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and all things post-apocalyptic/sociological/cultural/anthropological, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix binges, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Terry’s book and will head over to Amazon to check out all of her work.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Western #Horror #Thriller – Guns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1 by Jessica Bakkers


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This is my review from October 2020 for the debut novel by Jessica BakkersGuns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1

About the book

IT TAKES GRACE TO HUNT WHEN IT’S DARKSOME

Jessie expects he’ll be forever cleaning up after the cowpokes of the Bad Hoss Saloon. That’s until the day a drifter strides through the doors, and blows away a blood-sucking demon, along with Jessie’s belief in an everyday world. Jessie is captivated by the enigmatic Grace, with her pearl-handled revolvers, and wolf companion. He throws in his normal life and follows her across the Wild West, as she hunts down and slays the evil creatures that roam the frontier.

Along the way, they seek the aid of a Native American warrior, cross paths with a Cajun Queen, and encounter a small-town tycoon with a deadly hunger for gold. Animosity and distrust plague Grace and Jessie, and their strange group of allies, but they must put their differences behind them if they’re to have any hope of finding and defeating the frontier’s true evil, the Darksome Gunman.

The Armageddon Showdown is a dark-fantasy, weird western series of epic proportions, focusing on the age-old battle between good and evil, though in the Wild West, it’s not always clear just who is good and who is evil.

Join Grace Dyer and her band of miscreants as they battle demons and demi-gods, in the frontier’s deadliest conflict…the Armageddon Showdown.

My review for the book October 8th 2020

This is not a ‘cosy’ mystery that you can relax in front of a fire with your slippers on and a cup of hot cocoa just before bed. It is more saddle up, get your boots on and prepare for the ride of your life.

This multi-genre debut novel of Jessica Bakkers has all the elements of a classic western, including the lingo, intersected with demonic apparitions, shapeshifters, and an evil overlord, with displaced Indian tribes and innocent townspeople caught in the crossfire.

Horror is a tough genre to carry off well and the author certainly achieves that in style. The characters are multi-dimensional and complex with both the dark and light shades to their personalities giving them depth. The pivotal relationship of Grace and Jessie evolves throughout the book as he grows from aimless teenager to a man with purpose and performs his role of narrator, conscience and scribe. She is hardened by childhood trauma and the ongoing quest for revenge, but this tough exterior hides a softness shown to only to her horse and loyal wolf until now.

At the heart of the story is an evil driving force that will stop a nothing to bring Grace and her posse to the final destination. The climax that awaits them is both horrific and unexpected as it is for the reader.

This book is excellently written, compelling and also violent and blood-curdling. There are also some lusty encounters which was not uncommon in the wild west of the time. Not many respectable occupations for women who ventured into the gold and cattle towns of the day, especially when they were a little devilish!

Expect the unexpected in this book and I am sure it will delight lovers of horror and action stories. A great start to the trilogy and I am looking forward to book two.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More Reviews: Goodreads

About Jessica Bakkers

I am a creative writer with over twenty years of writing experience. I am a speculative fiction writer, and have written in the genres of fantasy-romance and paranormal-romance, however my genre of choice when it comes to writing for myself is dark fantasy where I can allow myself to fully explore the anti-hero characters that pepper my stories. I dabble at poetry and have written professionally for clients locally and internationally.

My debut novel, Guns of Perdition, The Armageddon Showdown Book 1, is a dark fantasy stroll through a weird wild west setting, pitting bad heroes against worse villains.

My major love affair is with the written word; specifically creative writing. I allow myself to indulge and rendezvous with this secret lover whenever time allows… and then we make beautiful poetry together!

Connect to Jessica Bakkers

Author pages: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – WebsiteJessicaBakkers.com – FacebookThe Written Word – Twitter@JessicaBakkers

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the review for Jessica’s book and will head over to buy.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews – #Memoir #Hitchhiking – A Backpack, A Chair and A Beard by Eamon Wood


In December 2020 I read the memoir of an extraordinary man. I had followed Eamon Wood on his blog – Wayward Wheeler – back in 2017 as he hitchhiked around New Zealand, UK, Europe and America. Eamon Wood has just released A Backpack, A Chair and A Beard and it is an inspiring read.

About the book

A paraplegic since the age of four, Eamon found ways to give his wheelchair wings. He became the number one seed in the Kiwi men’s wheelchair tennis rankings, and represented his country on the men’s wheelchair basketball team, travelling the world. But that was in a safe, predictable team setting. He wanted more.

At twenty-eight, he set off on an epic journey, with little more than his backpack, his guitar, and an open mind. He hitchhiked around New Zealand’s southern island. The travelling bug took him to the UK and the USA, then along the fjords and lakes of Europe.

He slept rough, did odd jobs, busked in thoroughfares and made friends with oddballs. He wheeled his way through cities and small towns, searching… and found himself.

Join the Wayward Wheeler on his epic adventure, detailed with sincerity and humour in A Backpack, A Chair and A Beard.

My review for the book

This is a memoir and a journal of a trip of a lifetime. After a tragic accident at four years old leaving Eamon Woods confined to a wheelchair, and following a nomadic childhood, he developed a passion for achievement. Becoming a professional sportsman in the New Zealand Basketball team, travelling the world to compete, and completing a seven year apprenticeship in engineering.

If that was not inspiring enough, he decided in 2016 to take on a trip that would have the majority of us terrified. We tag along, trying hard to keep up, as Eamon completes a two week practice run around New Zealand, with a backpack and money for essentials and a hope that he would find the kindness of friends, family and strangers along the route.

Following the trial run, and having ironed out some of the issues of hitching in a wheelchair, carrying a tent, camping stove and crammed backpack, he decided to tackle a much bigger adventure around the world.

Armed with limited funds and contact details of friends scattered around the countries he intended to visit, Eamon took his first flight to the UK. He spent several weeks in Brighton before embarking on a whistle stop tour of England and Scotland before heading to America and then back to Spain, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. He provides a wonderful snapshot of each of the countries that he travelled through, and shares the highlights of the scenery and people he met that he emotionally connected to. This connection is shared through the lyrics to the songs he wrote on the journey.

Along the way he worked for accommodation, met friends via websites and in hostels where other world travellers gather. He was met with kindness most of the time, with people stopping to pick him up as he hitched, some offering a bed for the night and a hot meal. He also met indifference in some countries but always people would find their way to him and restore his faith in human kindness. With money running out he found ingenious ways to conserve his cash such as busking and renting cars as mobile bedrooms.

He returned to New Zealand as the pandemic took hold in Europe but I am sure when the restrictions have been lifted and his professional sports commitments allow, he will be off again exploring the world via the less travelled paths, inspiring us all to open our hearts and minds.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews on: Goodreads

About Eamon Wood

Born in Nelson, Wood has been in a wheelchair since the age of four-and-a-half, when a car accident left him with permanent damage to his lower spinal cord.

Now 31, he’s spent a lifetime pushing himself to his physical and mental limits; representing New Zealand in wheelchair tennis and basketball, and becoming the first person in a chair to complete an apprenticeship in engineering, helping, as he says, to “deconstruct a few roadblocks for people using wheelchairs who want to become fabricators”.

In December 2016 Eamon embarked on a worldwide journey about which he said:

‘I’m just a guy in a chair, travelling around the world. Expanding my culture, learning about myself and other people. I want to inspire other people, not just people that are disabled. Inspire them to do what they want to do. Follow me on my own journey for beauty and growth.’

Read interviews: Stuff.co.nz – And: NZ Herald – Read more about Eamon’s travels: blog – Wayward Wheeler – Follow Eamon: Facebook

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the review and will head over to buy Eamon’s book.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 -#Murder #Mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This was my review from November 2020 for th murder mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

About the book

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

My review for the book November 10th 2020

What an amazing location to set this novel which rapidly turns a cruise of a lifetime into a murder scene, and a deepening mystery about the star of the Galapagos islands, a giant tortoise called Tio Armando.

These celebrated islands are heavily reliant on tourism for the funding of conservation projects involving the unique flora and fauna, some of which is near extinction. There are several interested parties in maintaining this lucrative business opportunity and some are therefore keen to cover up discrepancies and even murder.

Things are not adding up on board the luxury cruise liner and the mystery deepens as one of the passengers appears to have disappeared under suspicious circumstances. This is followed as the passengers disembark for guided tours of the various conservation projects to find that promised exhibits are missing.

Giovanna is not only there to take in the sights and is on a mission to expose and get justice after being fleeced by a habitual conman, discovering in the processs that she is not the only one aboard the ship who has been taken to the cleaners. The subject of her investigation however has his own agenda, with prospective victims already drawn into his schemes. Lives are at risk as well as fortunes and the action heats up in a race against time.

The author has written articles on her visit to the Galapagos Islands and clearly spent her time well on researching the various islands and conservation efforts. This gives the novel a very authentic feel.

The action is played out on the ship, in the waters rich with marine life surrounding the islands and ashore as the group of sightseers visit scientific projects and the capital of the Galapagos.

The players are diverse and some of them you wouldn’t necessarily want to be trapped on a cruise liner with, but all have a part to play as the mystery unravels. There are some lovely interludes as we tag along with the passengers exploring this incredible region, where we are introduced to the wonders of the nature to be found there. And there is also the burgeoning romance between Giovanna and the young detective, who may be the only person who can bring all the threads of this mystery together to provide us with a satisfactory conclusion.

This is an exciting adventure as well as a murder mystery with the bonus of being a wonderful introduction to the Galapagos Islands.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope that you have enjoyed this review for Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #WWII – While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton.


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This is my review from November 2020 for While the Bombs Fell which is written by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

About While the Bombs Fell

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

My review for the book November 7th 2020

Mother and daughter collaborate beautifully in this story of the war years based on Elsie Hancy Eaton’s memories of her early childhood.

As we sit in our centrally heated homes and pop to the supermarket to buy our week’s groceries with produce from all around the world, it is easy to forget that only 80 years ago it was very different for millions of people in Britain. Times were hard anyway after the great depression that hit the UK in the 1930s, followed very quickly by World War II and food rationing and restrictions on use of essential utilities.

This is a detailed snapshot of life on a small farm in Bungay in Norfolk. A place steeped in medieval history with a ruined castle now a playground for children. Apart from those evacuees seeking sanctuary from the big cities, particular Norwich, hard hit by bombing raids, there is a small community which includes four year old Elsie Hancy and her extended family of grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins.

Her father is a dairy farmer who supplies the town with milk seven days a week in all weathers, including on Christmas Day. Whilst the family has milk fresh each day, with food rationing in force, butter, cheese, meat and fresh fruit is scarce and feeding a large family is a huge daily challenge.

The story is told through the eyes of Elsie and she shares every aspect of daily life from building an air raid shelter in the back garden, freezing bathing routines during the winter, the farm activities that began at the crack of dawn until last thing at night, going to school for the first time and stories of grandmothers and newcomers to the town.

As children, Elsie and her brothers and sisters are very resilient as they take these tough times in their stride. There are fun times too as the children head off in the summer school break to paddle and swim in the river taking packed lunches of jam and bread. There is the delight of a hand me down doll in a pram for Christmas, and the family involvement in the making of the pudding rich with saved up dried fruit.

Added to this first hand account of this harsh time in our history, is a section containing authentic recipes used by millions to make dishes from the meagre ingredients available. Whilst they may not contain the rich and diverse produce we enjoy today, in many respects they are ingenious and also nourishing.

Definitely a recommended read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US And : Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Robbie on : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the review for While the Bombs Fell.. thanks Sally.