Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – January 17th – 23rd 2022 – Hits 1986, Nat King Cole, Winter Sun destinations, Healthy Eating, Book Reviews, Funnies


Welcome to the round up with the posts from the week you might have missed.

A grey overcast day here in Ireland but at least it is dry and in fact I might have to water the pot plants in the front of the house which is almost unheard of during the winter months!

Not a great deal to report on the home front. I am just waiting until the end of the month to book my hotels for my planned trip to the UK for my sister’s 80th. We are still around the 6,000 mark here and the UK hovering around the 100,000. Hopefully that downward trend will continue in the next couple of weeks. Some of the paperwork, tests etc are being lifted from Monday.. they were put in place to prevent the spread of Omicron but that ship has sailed. There are murmurs about other variants but the general premis is that we are going to have to live with it. I am as boosted as I can be including the flu jab and have my travel permit, fingers crossed.

I did get out and about during the week and was delighted to be the guest of award winning author Janice Spina for an interview. Janice also very kindly reviewed Life is Like a Mosaic… so a double pleasure.

Interview with Author Sally Cronin

It is such a pleasure to welcome a fellow author to Interview an Author on Jemsbooks.blog. Today, please help me welcome talented author/poet/nutritionist Sally Cronin!

Thank you so much, Sally, for coming today to share a little bit about yourself and your lovely books. I am excited to have you here! The floor is yours! 

Head over to join us: Interview and review with Janice Spina

As ever I am very grateful for the contributions by William Price King, Debby Gies and Carol Taylor and I hope you will check out their posts and enjoy the music, travel and food.

And thank you for dropping in and reading, liking, commenting and sharing the posts.. it keeps me motivated.

On with the show….

Chart Hits 1986 Part Two – Peter Gabriel, Billy Ocean, The Bangles, Lionel Richie

William Price King meets the Jazz Icons – Nat King Cole – The 1950s

Three Winter Sun Destinations – Kauai, Hawaii, Malta and Martinique

Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B1 – Wholegrains, Mackeral, Pork, Pineapple, Eggs, Asparagus

#Winning Streak – The Charity Shop

Winning Streak – The Date

Tales from the Garden – The Santuary

The Gentle Detox – Part Three – Pre-Weight Loss – Willpower booster

#Interview Annika Perry on Priorhouse, #Writing Traci Kenworth, #Characters D.Wallace Peach, #Review Robbie Cheadle, #Writerlinks D.G. Kaye, #Stories Allan Hudson

Oh Baubles: A Christmas Romance Novella by Harmony Kent

#Christmas #Romance – Love Me by Jacquie Biggar

New Book on the Shelves – #Biography #WWI, Queen Victoria, #Adventures, Lucky Jack by S. Bavey

Personal Recommendations – #Paranormal Robbie Cheadle, #Western #Romance Sandra Cox, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Pizza, Coffee and Breaking and Entering

January 20th 2022 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Eye openers and Husbanding

 

Thanks for dropping in and have a lovely week ahead   Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Christmas #Romance – Love Me by Jacquie Biggar


I caught up over Christmas with some reading and selected books that were likely to be heartwarming and in the festive spirit.. and Love Me by Jacquie Biggar ticked all the boxes.

About the book

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, Kyle Roberts is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace needs a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

My review for the book January 22nd 2022

Having read other books by the author I fully expected that this story would be heartwarming and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. The characters are always relateable and being a romance they also tend to have attractive personalities which makes them likeable too.

The interactions between those falling for each other are subtle, and much is left to your imagination, which is something I prefer when reading about love. In this particular case you are left with the wonderful feeling that love is alive and well despite the global troubles impacting us all at this time.

At the heart of this story is also the issue of childhood leukemia which the author adds details of at the end of the book. A difficult subject to cover, particularly in a feel good romance novel, but Jacquie Biggar handles it very sensitively.

A book to curl up in front of a roaring fire, with a large mug of hot chocolate and a couple of hours free for some lovely escapism. Recommended for lovers of romance and those who enjoy a heartwarming reminder that there are good things in the world.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand: Amazon UK

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews 2022 – Oh Baubles: A Christmas Romance Novella by Harmony Kent


Delighted to share my review of a Christmas themed lighthearted novella from award winning Harmony KentOh Baubles: A Christmas Romance Novella.

About Oh Baubles

After a tragic accident one Christmas, Charlene loses her husband and her leg.

Scarred and damaged, the losses leave her lost and reeling, and a long recovery lies ahead of her.

When John, a hot young physiotherapist, comes into her life with his ripped abs and good-god good-looks, she can’t imagine he’d give somebody like her a second glance.

Then she falls for him.

Can Charlene overcome all obstacles to gain back her life and find true love once more?

Find out in this fun-filled, clean Christmas romance novella from award-winning author Harmony Kent.

My review for the novella January 18th 2022

The aftermath of a devastating tragedy leaves body, mind and emotional well-being in jeopardy, particularly when there are permanent physical reminders of the event. For a young woman in her mid-twenties, scarring and the loss of her leg, have understandably stripped Charlene of her self-confidence and self-belief.

How could anyone be attracted to the person she has become?  Who could possibly look passed the visible scars of the accident that also broke her heart?

Thankfully the author created someone who might, because of his profession be sympathetic to Charlene’s circumstances and see her as a beautiful and vibrant young woman.

The challenge then of course is for both these star-crossed lovers to put aside their personal misgivings and realise that they have to take matters in to their own hands if they are to achieve happiness.

Harmony Kent was adept at bringing this story to a satisfactory conclusion, having steered the reader through the rollercoaster ride of emotions and challenges facing these two deserving characters.

A lovely lighthearted read.

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

A small selection of other books by Harmony Kent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

Meet Harmony Kent

Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

  • The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
  • The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
  • Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
  • Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
  • Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
  • Interludes 1 & Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)
  • Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)
  • Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)
  • Backstage (Erotic Romance)
  • FALLOUT (Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree
  • The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. Harmony lives in Cornwall, England.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 10th – 16th January 2022 – Hits 1980s, Nat King Cole, Short stories, Podcast, Health, Reviews, Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed during the week.

I hope that wherever you live you are also seeing a drop in cases this week.. good news on both the UK and Irish front. Fingers crossed it bodes well for my trip to the UK at the end of February for my eldest sister’s 80th.. a chance to see family again after over two years.

Some sunshine this week and with the slightly longer days it certainly makes a difference. I actually wrapped up and sat outside for an hour which was just what I needed to boost my spirits….

Thanks to William Price King who is now with us Tuesdays for The Breakfast Show and on Friday’s with his music column.. delighted that they are both being enjoyed and thanks for your comments.

This coming week Debby Gies will be sharing some winter sunshine breaks along with an current advisory travel links, although most places seem to be open.

Carol Taylor will be joining me on Wednesday for another Cook from Scratch to prevent deficiency… and this week a look at Vitamin B1.

Although not with us this last week with their contributions on the blog, Debby and Carol have been busy as always with their own posts.

Debby Gies responded to the challenge set by D.Wallace Peach with a great poem that sums up the state of our TBR’s perfectly: Writing Challenge – The TBR Pile | Myths of the Mirror – The challenge runs to 23rd January so you might like to pay tribute to your TBR too..

Carol Taylor was the guest of Rebecca Budd this week talking about her life, dreams and of course a celebration of food.. head over to enjoy: Tea, Toast and Trivia Carol Taylor and Rebecca Budd

You can also find all of Carol’s posts in her weekly round up:  Monday Musings, Health, Ezekiel Bread, Stale Bread and Saturday Snippets,

Please don’t forget to let me know if you have a new books coming out soon either on pre-order or available on Amazon. Very happy to do a promotion… email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com with the link.  If I need anything else I will let you know.

Thank you very much for your support this week and I do love to hear from you when you visit.. it makes my day.

On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1986 Part One – Dionne Warwick, Lionel Ritchie, Simply Red, Robert Palmer

Jazz Icons – Nat King Cole – 1940s

Smorgasbord Podcast – Tales from The Garden – The Guardians

Connections – Long Lost Love

Winning Streak.. The Scratch Card

Thriller – The Hurler by Jack Talbot

The Gentle Detox – Part Two – Eat food your body recognises…and can work with!

#Moonshine #WWII -Novella – Father by Allan Hudson

Personal Recommendations – #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Memoirs #Nonfiction D.G. Kaye, #Thriller #Paranormal John W. Howell

– #Dystopian #Thrillers Terry Tyler, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Memoir #Teaching Pete Springer

#Writersblock Alison Williams, #New Carol Taylor, #Books2021 Jan Sikes, #Topposts Jacqui Murray, #Snow Jennie Fitzkee

The Senior Team pass the the funnies along – Showers and Mirror Images

 

Enjoy your week ahead and stay safe.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Ireland #Hurling #Thriller – The Hurler by Jack Talbot


Delighted to share my review for the thriller The Hurler by Jack Talbot

About the book

Hurling, revenge, atonement, murder….

A missing man, a tenacious female sergeant, a murky world of criminal activity and murder, all set in motion when local family man and hurler Jim Rourke goes missing….

When family man and local hurler Jim Rourke goes missing in Oldcastle, a troubled call from his wife sends Sergeant Britney Kent delving into his disappearance. Initially, the incident is dismissed as trivial by her colleagues. However, when another man is found murdered at a local hurling field, Britney is convinced there is a connection. This murder is closely followed by that of a high-profile sports correspondent and the connection is only enforced.

With victims piling up, Britney finds herself on the trail of the sadistic killer known only as ‘The Courier.’

However, as Britney digs deeper, it is made clear her interference in the investigation is unwelcome. Deep suspicion of corruption and criminal connections come to light. Britney finds herself wondering who she can trust. Is the killer really one of her own?

Only by unravelling the connection between the hurler, the criminal underworld and corruption at the highest levels, will the killer be revealed. But all is not what it seems.

With time running out, can Britney save this latest victim and in doing so, save her career?

In Jack Talbot’s thriller ‘The Hurler’ we learn how the ancient surrogate for war is more than just a game. And that all may not be as it seems.

My review for the book January 15th 2022

I enjoyed this thriller very much. Hurling is at the heart of Irish sport at both amateur and professional level, and there are not many families whose children have not played the game during school and beyond. Like any sport there are opportunities for manipulation and corruption, and when combined with a thirst for revenge, the door is opened to violent retribution.

As a young police sergeant discovers, solving the mystery of a missing local man and connecting the links in a nationwide serial murder case, is going to be difficult and dangerous when hampered by obstructive senior detectives and those with links to criminal enterprises.

When you don’t know who to believe, trust or respect and the investigation is blocked at every turn, all you have is your own commitment and drive to succeed at whatever the cost. Including the impact on a new and exciting relationship that offers an unexpected chance of a promising future.

The author has created characters that are richly drawn and in some cases downright despicable. As the various threads of institutional corruption within the police, sports officials and the escalating violence of the serial killer knit together, cleverly inserted red herrings have the reader eagerly turning the pages to find the answers.

The momentum was maintained throughout the book and the reader is kept guessing right to the last chapter. There are surprises in store and revelations that will shock and satisfy.

I recommend this to lovers of fast paced thrillers and look forward to reading more books by this author.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

About Jack Talbot

Jack Talbot was born and raised in Kilkenny, Ireland. He lived for a short while in Australia, America and Europe before returning home to his native country. A carpenter by trade he also worked in drapery, bars and as a fitness instructor before turning to writing. Being an avid reader all his life his main interest is fiction, especially crime thrillers. This passion allied to his life experience and his youthful fling with the game of hurling provided plenty of inspiration for his first novel, ‘The Hurler.’

Connect to Jack Talbot: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – Website: Jack TalbotFacebook: Jack Talbot – Facebook Author Page: The Hurler – Follow Jack: Goodreads – LinkedIn: Jack Talbot

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Jack’s book… Sally

 

Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Meet the Authors 2022 – Personal Recommendations – #Dystopian #Thrillers Terry Tyler, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Memoir #Teaching Pete Springer


In this first feature for the Smorgasbord Bookshelf I am sharing authors whose books I have read and can personally recommend along with one of my reviews for their books.

The first author today is Terry Tyler, whose depiction of Britain after pandemics in books written before the current Covid, are almost too close to the truth for comfort… but make compelling reading. With twenty-two books in different genres there is plenty to choose from.

Meet Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-two books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Megacity’, the final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy. Also published recently is ‘The Visitor’, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as her popular Project Renova series. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller that centres round an internet dating con, but has not yet finished with devastated societies, catastrophe and destruction, generally. Proud to be independently published, Terry is 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 12th-17th century), along with books and documentaries on sociological/cultural/anthropological subject matter. She loves South Park, the sea, 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.

A small selection of books by Terry Tyler

My review for Megacity June 2021

There is always anticipation when Terry Tyler announces a new release, and having read both Hope and Wasteland, the first two books in the trilogy, Megacity was eagerly awaited.

The author’s version of the future, following a mysterious and fortuitous pandemic, makes for thought provoking reading. The characters Tyler has cleverly crafted could be a member of your family or a neighbour, and it is easy to become invested in their lives and challenges. They are strong and often flawed but most of all they are memorable.

There is little you can do when those in positions of power have narcissistic and psychotic tendencies. They manipulate and deceive from behind a facade that is charming and enviable. Those who have been lied to all their lives and come from desperate living conditions, are perfect prey for these elite, and the price most of them will pay is beyond inhuman.

But there is hope, as those who defy the increasing institutionalisation, and eradication of free will, form groups and networks to spirit some lucky souls to freedom. Away from the technical tethers and government lackeys that watch and monitor every move and emotion in the Megacities. And it is the hope that the author weaves through the story, which keeps you turning page after page as you follow the lives of three victims of the new order.

There are moments when you shudder as you read to what lengths the depraved will go to achieve money and power. There are also times when you weep for the desperate plight of those who blindly accept the promises made offering them a better future. The one thing this book is not short on is emotion.

This is a thriller, a coming of age of a young woman caught up in the evil, affirmation of a mother’s love, the redemption of a lost soul, and the courage of ordinary individuals who are willing to stand up and say ‘No more’.

Although a version of the future that hopefully will never happen, it is a reminder to us all that we need elect the best and most honest leaders. Not an easy task when the public face shown to the world sometimes hides a dangerous truth.

I can highly recommend the trilogy, portraying a very different Britain to the one we are lucky enough to inhabit today.

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

The next author and poet, Colleen M. Chesebro, is a mentor for many of us who aspire to write syllabic poetry and her weekly challenge has created a platform for us to practice the art of writing the various and intriguing formats. This guide to this form of poetry is a must read.

Meet Colleen Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.

Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. The debut issue of this journal will publish in October 2021.

Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for Carrot Ranch. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020.

Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.

Books by Colleen Chesebro

My review for Word Craft Prose and Poetry May 2021

I have enjoyed poetry from childhood and would write stories in verse from an early age. I was introduced to Japanese syllabic poetry when I began participating in Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge three years ago. At first hesitantly, but then as my confidence grew under her tutelage, I became more adventurous.

Word Craft: Prose and Poetry shares an expanded guide to the various forms of syllabic verse shared on the author’s website, and includes the history and provenance of the traditional and more modern versions. It is fascinating and also humbling that we are in this day and age, creating poetry with such a lineage.

This guide reminded me of how much I still have to learn about the intent of each form and their accepted applications. Nature and the self are prominent, but in some there is a freedom to express emotion, irony and humour. Most forms tell a story and the challenge is to do so with sometimes as few as seventeen syllables and within the framework of the format.

I was very honoured to have some of my challenge pieces included with the talented poets who have participated, and whose poetry brings such pleasure to those who read it in the challenge recap… and that includes the author who always explains the intricacies of a particular form then shows with examples for even beginners to follow.

I recommend this guide and collection for all lovers of poetry who will enjoy the poems shared throughout the book, beginners who are looking for a way to express themselves with brevity, and more experienced poets who are looking for a new challenge. For me as a writer of short stories and novels, writing syllabic poetry has been a great way to learn how to make a few words convey more.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

The next author is Pete Springer who shared his experiences and wisdom as a teacher for over thirty years, in his memoir They Call Me Mom: Making a difference as an elementary teacher. Having read the book, it made me appreciate even more the impact a good teacher can have on a child’s future.

Meet Pete Springer

My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over three years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.

When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.

I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!

While I was teaching, I decided that one day I would write books for children. That ship is now in the harbor. I took some writing workshops, found a writing critique group, joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I recently finished writing my first middle-grade novel. I’ve always connected with kids, and this is my new way of teaching.

My debut MG novel, Second Chance Summer, just got professionally edited, and I will be querying in the coming weeks.

My review for the book February 2021

This memoir of a teacher with over thirty years experience, is an interesting snapshot of the American education system, particularly the elementary school years for 5 to 10 or 11 years old. This is a key period in a child’s life and so important that the skills for learning and development are absorbed during these years.

Pete Springer provides a step by step guide to creating the best environment within a classroom, for learning and as a place of safety and respect. Clearly a dedicated teacher, but also an observer of human nature, Springer provides a manual for new teachers, including how to achieve a rapport with both students and their parents. Importantly of course, creating lesson plans that stimulate and educate, and how to use effective and empathetic methods when dealing with behavioural and discipline issues.

The book it is not just about teaching a curriculum set out by a state education board, but also developing relationships in and out of the classroom with key people in a child’s and a teacher’s life. As the author points out, children come from a multitude of backgrounds with varying family circumstances and one size does not fit all when it comes to treating them as individuals or those in their lives.

With anecdotes of life in the classroom with young minds trying to be one step ahead of you, overeager parents, and absent ones, and differing teaching methods being supported by successive administrators, it is not a 9-5 job. Especially when you are a dedicated educator intent on sending well taught and well-adapted children on to secondary school.

There is much to enjoy by the casual reader looking for an informative and entertaining read, with memories of their own early years rising to the surface, not all as positive as in the classes of Pete Springer.

I do think it is an excellent guide to those who are considering teaching as a career or have just begun their training. Also new teachers trying to find their own style, and a way to connect with their students effectively and the others involved in their lives.

Parents, and to a degree grandparents, would certainly benefit from understanding the complexities of the work of a teacher. Whilst this is written from the perspective of the American education system, children of this age around the world require the same level of dedication and commitment to their well-being.

The author includes some wonderful stories of students (with their names changed) their parents and incidents that will entertain. It is heartwarming to learn about past students who keep in touch, even when they too have become parents with children passing through Springer’s classroom. All of which underline what a caring person and teacher these children were lucky to have in their lives.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally.

Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Meet the Authors 2022 – Personal Recommendations – #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Memoirs #Nonfiction D.G. Kaye, #Thriller #Paranormal John W. Howell


In this first feature for the Smorgasbord Bookshelf I am sharing authors whose books I have read and can personally recommend along with one of my reviews for their books.

The first author that I can personally recommend is D. Wallace Peach and I have enjoyed several of her books, stand- alone and in series. Diana writes compelling storylines with amazingly engaging characters and I always look forward to her next book.

Meet D. Wallace Peach

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach

My review for The Ferryman and the Seawitch 16th October 2021

Wow. This stand alone fantasy novel from D.Wallace Peach is fantastic. The author is known for her world building and creation of memorable characters, and does not disappoint with the worlds above and below the sea, and those who struggle to survive within them.

Deals have been made following a dreadful incident. Innocents must suffer to fulfil the terms of the agreement. A floating derelict world with a queen intent on survival, and a rich and fertile land with an unrelenting king, are connected by one ship and the Ferryman. He bears the burden of keeping to the bargain made to the Sea Witch for free passage between the two realms, and he has sacrificed much over the years to maintain this fragile peace between them.

There is deceit, side-deals and an undercurrent of violence that races towards a deadline set many years ago. Young lives are at risk, as are those who sail the dangerous waters ruled by the Sea Witch. There are heart-stopping moments when it seems that all is lost, and heart-warming interactions between humans and those beneath the sea that demonstrate the power of trust and love. However, those seeking their own version of justice will stop at nothing to to achieve satisfaction.

This is a love story, adventure, mystery and thriller rolled into a compelling and page-turning fantasy. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: GoodreadsAuthors Website: D.Wallace Peach Books – blog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

The next recommended author is non-fiction and memoirist D.G. Kaye whose books I read long before she kindly began contributing travel and relationship columns to the blog.  All are written from the heart and contain many wisdoms often with refreshing sense of humour.

Meet D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

My review for Words We Carry

Words We Carry is packed with the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, survival tips and strategies from someone who went through difficult and unhappy childhood and teen years.

I think it is fair to say that most of us are less than confident about our body shape, and that is particularly tough when you can no longer use the excuse of puppy fat, and your friends are heading out in slinky black dresses and high-heeled shoes.

Unfortunately, not all mothers are born with the nurturing gene and as soon as you become competition, there is an opportunity to reinforce your lack of self-esteem with carefully chosen and cutting words.  I would like to think that the experiences that D.G. Kaye describes were rare, but I am afraid that after counselling women on their health and weight for twenty years, the story is very familiar.

Those harmful words from those who are supposed to love us, are the ones we carry throughout our lifetime, unless we can find a way to dilute their power and replace them with affirmations of a much more positive nature.

D.G. Kaye describes her strategies to claim her own identity, build her self-esteem and evolve from the ugly duckling that she had been made to feel she was, into a swan. This involved a makeover in a number of departments, including wearing high heels at all times and over every terrain, and standing out from the crowd with her now signature titian hair colour. She also developed a healthy, outgoing personality and independence that led her to discover groups of people who accepted and embraced her as a friend.

In the second section of the book Kaye looks at the impact this early negative conditioning had on her relationships, including romances with older men whose different approach to dating and expectations provided a more secure environment. Unfortunately, having entered one serious and long-term relationship, echoes of the verbal abuse that she received as a child and teenager, threatened to undo all the hard work that she had accomplished. Thankfully she went on to find happiness and empowerment with someone who appreciates all that she has become.

Kaye looks at issues such as the difference between Alone vs. Lonely, Negativity and Self-Worth, Forming Healthier Relationships, and importantly Exposing our Personality Through the Internet. All the chapters provide commonsense strategies to overcome a lack of self-confidence, and I do think that women and men in their 50s and 60s, will definitely be able to draw parallels to Kaye’s own experiences.

Whilst I recommend this memoir/self-help book to men and women of my age, I also think that it should be read by all mothers whose daughters are heading into their teens and beyond. It might just remind them of how fragile their child is when about to face the outside world, and that there are enough external challenges to be overcome, without encountering them in the place they should feel safe.

It is also a book for young women who are struggling with weight issues and those who feel that they are not as attractive as their friends, or who feel that they are somehow going through something never experienced before.

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. By reading this they might take strength in knowing that this is an age old problem, and that they can change the narrative and write their own story.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads –  – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye

And my third recommended author today is John W. Howell  whost thrillers, some with a touch of paranormal have provided much reading pleasure.

Meet John W. Howell.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.

His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series.

John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre.

John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John W. Howell

My review for Eternal Road

I am a fan of John Howell’s books and as always was looking forward to his latest. The story of this road trip undertaken by the delightful characters James and Sam does not disappoint, as it crosses timelines and genres with ease and entertaining as well as thought provoking results.

It is an accepted truth that at some point we will die, but the question has always been about our destination after that defining moment. Religions have for millennium offered their own versions of heaven and hell, with various incentives for one and warnings about the other.

John Howell creates a middle world between death and your final destination that offers infinite possibilities, and tantalizes with the thought that perhaps some of our worldly emotional and physical pleasures might be still be enjoyed. And, perhaps an opportunity, particularly following an unexpected departure, to tidy up some loose ends.

The devil of course is in the detail, and in this case the charismatic Lucifer is recruiting likely prospects for one of his key employment openings, and will stop at nothing to get his way. Thankfully Sam who is guiding James through this confusing limbo he finds himself in, has a few tricks up her sleeve and a back up team.

During this interim period, the two travellers get to visit times in man’s recent history that could use some fine tuning, provided it does not compromise the time continuum. However, sometimes it might just be devilish meddling. There is adventure, mystery, humour, romance and some just desserts served up across the last 200 years, and it makes for a lively read with plenty of action.

As an alternative to what is currently on offer from the established authorities on the matter, I would happily take advantage of John Howell’s interim world. To have extra time to get used to the idea of passing on and to revisit events and people in my life to tidy up some loose ends. Temptingly, whilst you are not allowed to influence the events that have taken place already in history, the author hints that there might be a way to prevent a catastrophe in the far distant future.

I recommend that you suspend accepted belief for a few hours and try this world on for size.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again to discover more of my recommended authors on the Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Shortstory – #Supernatural – Breathless by Yvette Calleiro


This week my review is for the short story Breathless by Yvette Calleiro… a great introduction to the author’s full length novels which I look forward to reading soon.

About the story

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

My review for the story January 8th 2022

As a lover of fairy tales from childhood, I appreciate that there is often a sinister element to the stories, even if they do eventually end with everyone living ‘happily ever after’.

This story by Yvette Calleiro takes that disquieting element to a new level by focusing on the cursing abilities bestowed on certain beings living amongst us. The trouble with special powers is that they are not so easily controlled, especially when emotions are high and expectations are not met.

It would take a saintly kind of person not to occasionally wish to visit misfortune upon certain people we come across, however, as is often the case revenge takes its toll on both parties.

The author has created an interesting storyline with great characters who come together for one brief moment, impacting the rest of their lives and those around them.

An intriguing short story and an excellent introduction to the author’s full length books which Iook forward to reading soon.

Books by Yvette Calleiro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews: GoodreadsAuthor Blog: Yvette M. Calleiro Blogspot – Twitter: @YvetteMCalleiro – Facebook: Yvette M. Calleiro

About Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – December 26th – January 2nd 2022 – New Schedule, Starship, NY Party, Shortstories, Reviews, Bloggers and Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts bridging the gap between 2021 and 2022…

Happy New Year and wishing us all a healthy, wealthy and love filled year whatever life and opportunistic pathogens throw at us.

We had a quiet Christmas and New Year with plenty of movies, good food and the occasional glass of cheer. As with most countries there has been an avalanche of cases here topping 23,000 yesterday, which for a country with only 5 million people.. is high. Thankfully the trend of deaths associated with Omicron is lower than previous variants and there is evidence from other countries such as South Africa that it comes in fast and furious and then burns itself out… Fingers crossed it is its last attempt to infect the world and we see a more positive outcome in 2022.

We have not made resolutions for many years but we have made plans. To redecorate the house and put in the market by the summer. Find a new home further down the south east coast of Ireland, possibly between Wexford and Waterford. And once moved it would be good to be able to travel a little before coming back to settle down with a new fur baby.

Flexibility and adaptability have to be built in to those plans, but that is something we are prepared for.  And there is also time allocated for me to finish some of my writing projects and read more books in 2022.

As always I have had help this week between Christmas and New Year by much appreciated friends and collaborators – William Price King, Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen.

In 2022 William and I will continue with The Breakfast Show on Tuesdays… and I am also sharing updated posts from William’s two series – Jazz Icons and Music Greats on Fridays over the year.

D.G. Kaye’s Travel Column Rewind begins tomorrow morning with updates on travel restrictions for all the countries featured, which are open for tourism.

Carol Taylor and I will reshare the posts Cook from Scratch to prevent Deficiency from this Wednesday.

The Health Column returns on Thursday with the series The Gentle Detox to get you into 2022 in good shape.

The new Smorgasbord Bookshelf kicks off with two new releases during the week and the new series of Meet the Authors begins on the 10th.

There will be afternoon videos, some funnies, short stories and a blogger daily.

I hope you will enjoy the new schedule and join us when you have the time. As always I am so appreciative of your support

On with the show

Chart Hits 1985 Part One – Sade, Whitney Houston, Huey Lewis & The News, Jefferson Starship

appy New Year 2022 – Music to get the party started – hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, ABBA, Swing

Short Story – Technology – The Weekly Shop

Short Story – Technology – DNA

The new Smorgasbord Bookshelf of personally recommended authors and their books

#NorthernIreland #Thriller #Romance – Stones Corner Turmoil by Jane Buckley

#Children’s – Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens

#Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Romance Jan Sikes, #Romance Staci Troilo, #Shortstories Mae Clair, #Thriller Jane Buckley

#Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Bookreviews Terry Tyler, #Christmas Carol Taylor, #Donation Jennie Fitzkee, #Videos D. G. Kaye, #Farewell to a friend.

January 2nd 2022 – #Pinenuts Carol Taylor, #Reviews Gwen Plano, Colleen Chesebro, Jan Sikes, #Spotlight C.S. Boyack

Head over to find out more about the health benefits of laughter and some funnies to get you started: Laughter the best Medicine 2022

December 28th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Balance and Remote Controls…

December 30th 2021 – Malcolm Allen Rewind – E-Reader and Pole Dancing

 

Thanks for joining me during this week of fesitivites and wishing you a very healthy, happy and wealthy 2022….

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – December 2021 Round Up – #Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Romance Jan Sikes, #Romance Staci Troilo, #Shortstories Mae Clair, #Thriller Jane Buckley


Welcome to the last of the book reviews for 2021 with some wonderful books that I can highly recommend.

The first book I read in December was the thought provoking contemporary novel Matilda Wilson is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.

My review for the book 9th December 2021

This book is a behind the scenes drama played out behind the doors of a mental institution transitioning from a place to stash those who suffered from alleged mental disorders or lapses in moral judgment. Many living within these institutions may not have originally suffered from a mental impairment, but after fifty years within this closed and rigid environment, they have developed the inability to distinquish between reality and fantasy.

Told from three different perspectives we are introduced to Matilda (Matty), Janice and Henry who all have threads from the past keeping them from living life to the full.

Matilda’s story is heartbreaking and from an early age she was blighted by poverty, loss and abuse by those who should have kept her safe. She was a free spirit trapped by circumstances and the actions of others, and even behind the walls of this institution, there are those eager to take advantage of her vulnerability.

Her escape is the make believe world of princes and country houses in an era she felt most comfortable in. There is humour and logic behind her thinking and it was easy to fall in love with her mischievous approach to modern intrusions into her fantasy. However, after all the deprivations she has suffered, will she be able to move onto the more relaxed approach of community living?

Henry has been stuck in a time warp since his older sister he knew asTilly left when he was very young. He cannot move on as he is convinced that one day she will return to the house they shared fifty years ago. Now reaching retirement that dream is fading despite events in his neighbourhood that conspire to shake him out of his comfort zone. Can he let go of the past and move on to find love and a new life?

Finally Janice a young social worker, idealistic and convinced that she can prepare Matty for life in the new open community housing despite a number of setbacks during the process. Janice has her own past to explore as she becomes more disconnected from her adopted parents and sister and begins to question her role in mental health.

There are times, as events unfold and Matilda shares her childhood and teenage years, you as the onlooker are moved to outrage, despair but also admiration for the spirit that reached breaking point, only for it to escape instead into a fantasy world that provided comfort.

This is a thought provoking novel that is the first in the Matilda Windsor story, written by an author with first hand experience of the world of mental health institutions and the changing approach to treatment as a clinical psychologist. I look forward to discovering how the story unfolds in the next book.

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

Also by Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin, Buy:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Anne : Goodreads – blog: Annecdotal – Twitter: @Annecdotist

Just in time for the holidays, a lovely read from award winning author Jan Sikes a novelette Mountain Laurel Christmas

My review for the book December 17th 2021

This story by Jan Sikes may be a short read but it is packed with heartwarming moments and reminders about family and how important they are at Christmas and every day of the year.

For the last two years we have been restricted in meeting family and other loved ones in person, missing the shared memories, laughter and physical hugs. Mountain Laurel Christmas delivers all of those in beautiful gift wrapped packages.

Throw in a flawed, lost superstar whose material possessions and fame leave an emptiness that seems impossible to fill, a road trip that leads to redemption, and you have a wonderful addition to your own Christmas.

I have no hesitation in recommending.

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

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

Delighted to review the festive romance by Staci Troilo – No Such Luck (Keystone Couples)

My review for the book December 22nd 2021

There is nothing like a feel good romance and a reminder of family and friendship at this time of year and No Such Luck by Staci Troilo delivers all of those elements. A short heart-warming read to add some glitter to the holiday.

As time passes. it is often the case memories can cast a rosier glow on relationships, events and expectations than in reality. We also evolve emotionally and mentally based on our experiences of life, and going back to our teenage years and our hometown, can put the spotlight on those memories with intriguing results.

This is the case for Piper Seidel, a feisty journalist who speaks her mind which can land her in trouble. Returning home for the holidays between jobs, she is faced with realisation she may have been pinning her hopes and dreams on a talisman that is not as lucky as she thought.

The characters are distinctively drawn and the story gathers momentum towards a very satisfactory outcome. Recommended

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A small selection of books written by Staci Troilo

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –Follow Staci: GoodreadsBlog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo

Very pleased to share my review for the short story collection by Mae Clair – Things Old and Forgotten

My review for the stories December 23rd 2021

Wow this is a story collection across the genres that will amaze and delight the reader.

We travel roads from the past and into the future meeting interesting characters along the way, some drawn from the worlds of fantasy and others from the edge of darkness. There are also light-hearted moments with encounters with intoxicating small yellow birds and escapees from the confines of ancient bottles.

Mae Clair writes with clarity and with a focus on the reader’s engagement, creating memorable characters and bringing favourite legendary elements into a new environment.

The stories are all excellent and tough to highlight any for special merit but my heart was warmed by Father’s Day, I was totally drawn in by Robin of Sherwood and Miss Lily Makes a Wish had me laughing.

I can highly recommend this well written and entertaining collection of stories that crosses the genres with ease and expertise.

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

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

My final review for the year was for the thriller Stones Corner: Turmoil by Jane Buckley

My review for the book 28th December 2021

The author gives a warning in the blurb about what a reader can expect in her debut novel set in Derry, Northern Ireland during one of the darkest years in the province’s history. The book delivers the reasons for that warning with chilling effect, bringing home the reality that this was a part of the United Kingdom, experiencing civil war within the last 50 years. The ripples of this violent outcome to the separation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and its issues of belief and inequality, spread devastatingly outwards from the province; at times devastatingly.

When extremism on both sides of the divide are intent on winning, those innocents caught up in the turmoil are at the greatest risk, and when an outside force such as the British army are brought in, it adds fuel to the fire. The author creates that atmosphere of everyday fear and loss with great skill.

At the heart of this turmoil are young men and women who are vulnerable to manipulation by the fanatics, and imprisoned by age old segregation between religions and class.

Inhumane treatment of individuals, bombings resulting in mass casualties of innocents, illicit love affairs, revenge, espionage and poverty all combine to break the spirit of those who can see no end to the deprivation and conflict.

The author has created characters that will haunt you and some who inspire. Despite the environment, good people try to find comfort in their lives, falling in love across the divide and working to bring peace and stability.  As the story moves forward they all come together centred on an event which will impact all of them and the future of the city.

This intiguing thriller delivers a great deal in terms of the writing, characters, storyline and expectations and I highly recommend the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon.

Also by Jane Buckley

Connect to Jane Buckley: Jane Buckley Writes – Author Page: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Jane:Goodreads – Facebook:Jane Buckley Writes – Twitter:@janebuckley_sc

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. .thanks Sally.