Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #ShortStories – We All Die in the End Elizabeth Merry


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Elizabeth Merry shares an excerpt from her short story collection We All Die in the End.

About the collection

This is a diverse collection of interlinked stories set in a small, seaside town in Ireland. Some of them verge on the macabre; others deal with abusive relationships and many of them are grim. But there is humour here too – although it is dark humour:

“SADIE said nothing. She trimmed the fat off the kidneys and the liver, her fingers curling away from the soft, red slither and she held her breath against the faint smell of blood.”

“So, I watched Lydia and waited for some bloody nuisance of a child to come screeching after her but no child came. Well, that didn’t make any sense but then Lydia stopped and I saw her speak to the doll. Oho, ARTHUR, I said to myself and I threw down the cigarette. Oho, I said, what’s this? What have we here?”

“ANDY felt the unhappiness grow in his chest again. It was heavy and he fought against it. No, he said to himself. No. He held his arms up and out in front of him and made soft, crooning, engine noises.”

“ROSEMARY always made Dominic wait outside the door until she was in the bed. He could feel the slackness in her thighs and arms; he didn’t have to look at it as well. ‘Come in,’ she called when she was ready. Dominic bounced into the room half-undressed and dropped his shoes. ‘Wait now,’ he said, and brought in a bottle of red wine and two glasses.”

This is just a flavour of the great characters who people this small town, where everyone knows their neighbours, and everyone else!

An excerpt from We All Die in the End.

The last few months have been tough, you know. It’s not always easy. You needn’t think it’s easy to motivate myself. I do the mental exercises – say the right words – but it’s like I’m not listening sometimes, and then I just lie around all day. I listen to the radio and I keep the curtains closed. Jennifer knocks but I don’t answer. The thing is – it always passes and I get up again.

And I remember what I’ve been told, that I should try to help others and not be feeling sorry for myself. It’s easy for others to talk, people with families, cars, holidays, all that. What do they know about routine and exercises and watching every word that comes into your own head? Oh, Arthur, I say to myself. Where did you go wrong? Well, I know the answer to that one all right.

Anyway . . . It was two weeks before I saw Lydia again (having gone through a bit of a bad patch) and I said to myself, oho, Arthur, there she is, poor soul, a woman who lost a baby if ever I saw one. It was obvious, wasn’t it? She was holding the doll again, tight under her arm. You see, other people wouldn’t notice a thing like that – they would just assume there was a child with her. But I’m different – I pay attention. I kept my distance this time, happy to be back by the sea. It was a cold, calm day and the sea was blue and quiet. I sat on my rock and stared out at a ship moving slowly against the horizon and when Lydia turned to go back up the street, I followed her. It would help me to help her and that was a fair exchange.

Well, it was the strangest thing, and it made no sense at all but I thought she was going to my house. She wasn’t, of course; she went straight on up Main Street to one of the wee terrace houses. To think I’d never seen her before and her living right here under my nose! Of course I’ve been away for a long while but all the same, I’d have thought I knew all the faces.

When she went into her house I sauntered past and back a few times and then I went to sit on the low wall opposite and have a smoke. I studied the house; the paint was a bit tired looking but the curtains were white. Poor woman, I thought, with a little dead baby. Maybe she had a collection of pills too and a bottle of that which cannot be mentioned.

I ground out the fag and stood up and right then the curtain moved in the front room. I was sure of it and I stood still for a minute. I lifted my hand to my eyes and peered up and down like I was waiting for someone, and then I thought – so what if she had seen me anyway? I wasn’t hiding, was I? I was entitled to sit on the public wall if I liked – in fact, she had no business nosing around the curtain like that.

© Elizabeth Merry..

One of the recent reviews for We All Die in the End

S. J. Main 4.0 out of 5 stars Good collection of stories Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2021

We all die in the end is a collection of interlinked stories that are placed in a small seaside town in Ireland called Co Down. Aside from the beautiful cover design, the book consists of diverse and colorful characters. Alongside humor, you also get stories that are grim and sometimes dark to the nature of storytelling.

I liked the book because although the book was a collection, the characters all knew each other and somehow connected with one another within the stories.

The stories were descriptive and exciting to read. I particularly enjoyed Eleanor, who was married to Jack and planned to kill her tormenters. Most of the stories were compelling and relished with amusement.

When it comes to collection stories, I always comment on how nice it is for people who like to take breaks between readings. However, since the characters were connected with this one, it was best to read it as a whole.

The book isn’t for the light-hearted but still manages to keep you going till the end. The book’s title is very fitting, and as haunting as it is, we certainly will all die in the end.

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

Other books by Elizabeth Merry in the Cafe and Children’s Reading Room by Elizabeth Merry.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Elizabeth: Goodreads Blog: Embookstuff WordPress – Twitter: @ElizabethMerry1

Elizabeth Merry was born in Bangor, Co Down in the province of Ulster but has spent most of her life in Co Dublin. She has been writing for many years and has previously published a novel for children and many short stories. “We All Die in the End” is a series of interlinked “scenes” set in a seaside town on the Ulster coast where most people know each other. It is a book filled with miserable couples, meddling siblings, or individuals struggling to survive. Some of the “scenes” are twisted, some are macabre, and more than a few deal with abusive relationships. But there is joy here too, and a lot of dark humour.

Elizabeth’s has recently published a collection of poetry, much of which has been published over the years in literary magazines. Also two children’s books Ghost’s in Trouble and Felix Finds Out.

Thank you for visiting today and I know that Elizabeth would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Medical #Thriller – Going Home by Sharon Marchisello


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Sharon Marchisello shares an excerpt from her medical thriller Going Home.

About the book

Michelle DePalma expected to jet into Two Wells, Texas, check on her elderly mother, and hurry back to her orderly life in Atlanta, where she has a happy marriage and satisfying career. Instead, she finds her mother, Lola Hanson, hovered over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver, Brittany Landers.

Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola’s memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer’s. Now Lola can’t tell anyone what happened to Brittany.

The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school. A secret thought to be long buried–that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption–surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.

Going Home was inspired by the author’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the perspective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women’s fiction and touches increasingly common issues such as elder abuse and end-of-life decisions.

Excerpt from Going Home. (Michelle and her mom stop at the drug store after a frustrating interview at the police station.)

My mother shuffled up and down the brightly lit aisles of the drug store and, like a toddler, grabbed items off the shelf and set them down elsewhere.

“Mom!” I cried as I watched her fumble with a large glass container of bath salts, coming perilously close to dropping it on the shiny tile floor. “Put that back! All we’re getting is cough syrup.”

I located the cough syrup and then we negotiated our way through the minefield to the cash register. The young cashier had a pierced eyebrow threaded with a silver ring; looking at it made my own eyebrow hurt. My mother picked up the bottle just as he scanned it with a flash of laser light. “So expensive! Five dollars!

“Don’t worry about it, Mom, I’m paying for it.” I slid my credit card through the reader and the cashier put the cough syrup in a white plastic bag.

“I can’t let you pay for it, Michelle,” my mother argued. “You’re buying it for me.”

Her high-pitched voice was loud enough for everyone in the store to hear. “Let me give you some money. Where’s my purse?” She patted her sides. “Where’s my purse? Someone stole my purse!”

“Your purse is in the car.” I took the bag from the cashier and steered my mother outside.

“It’s done, Mom. Let’s go home.”

One of the reviews for Going Home

Gerri A.5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read with an unexpected ending  Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2019

I enjoyed reading Sharon Marchisello’s contemporary story of returning to her small hometown of origin in Texas and finding her aging mother in crisis.

Not only is the mother disoriented and confused, the dead body of her caregiver is lying on the floor. Thus opens Marchisello’s murder mystery, with includes lots of real-life emotions, dilemmas, and situations. The main characters have histories that go back to their childhoods, with the inherent difficulties of forgiving, forgetting, and letting go. An unexpected guest at the mother’s front door, with her ten-year-old daughter in tow, generate both interest and concern as the guest finesses herself into the family.

Law enforcement considers various murder suspects among the motley crew of caregivers who had had access to the protagonist’s increasingly vulnerable mother, each with believable motives and many opportunities. The prime suspect becomes the elderly mother herself, who is unable to offer a coherent account of what happened. Tension increases when the identity of the unexpected guest becomes apparent, and the protagonist must reveal a deep secret to her husband. The twists, turns, and unexpected ending will keep mystery lovers turning pages until the end.  

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 for visiting today and I know that Sharon would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Christian #Mystery – Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q Rose


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today J.Q. Rose shares an extract from her Christian murder mystery Dangerous Sanctuary

About the book

Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Detective Cole Stephens doesn’t want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

 Excerpt from Dangerous Sanctuary

Christine stood in the parking lot hanging onto the leash of the agitated pig in one hand and the docile kangaroo in the other. Taking her eyes from the ambulance careening out of the parking lot, she turned her attention to the animals and wondered what just happened here. Her heart caught in her throat when she spotted Cole Stephens speed into the parking lot, barely missing the departing ambulance. What was he doing here? He pulled up near her and jumped from the car. “I heard the call come through. I was afraid of what I’d discover at this church.”

His serious expression broke out into a huge smile. “You never know what situation a 9-1-1 call will lead to. This… this is a first for me.” His hearty laughter echoed off the brick walls of the building. He wiped tears of laughter from his eyes with the back of his hand.

Cole’s appearance seemed to shake up the animals. Christine struggled to hang on to them, so the detective grabbed the kangaroo’s harness and tried to calm the frightened animal.

“What are you doing with the Noah’s ark critters?”

She saw the twinkle in his eyes. Her face cracked into a smile. She had to admit it was an odd situation. She must look like an idiot standing out in the lot hanging onto these two adorable creatures.

“Well, in a nutshell. A woman had a cardiac arrest here in the parking lot. As you saw, she’s on her way to the hospital, and well, these are her pets.”

Christine swept her free hand toward the animals.

“Yes, her pets.” Ella nodded and pointed to Katy and Abraham.

“Um, I guess I’m keeping them till, well, until… Let’s just say we didn’t really have time to discuss it. I’m sure you probably have a place to put them, don’t you?”

“Huh-uh, lady. I’m not taking in any animals.” He backed away as if they were wild animals ready to attack. “Anyway, my retriever would probably eat them.” His wink was disarming.

©J.Q. Rose

One of the reviews for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Feel-good story that includes romance, murder, and faith  Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2021

In J.Q. Rose’s Dangerous Sanctuary (Books We Love Ltd 2016), 32-year-old Christine, Pastor of a small, neighborly church, is stunned when her congregation’s beloved music director, William White, is murdered. When the handsome detective, Cole Stephens, who is investigating the crime suspects her because she has means, opportunity, and argued with William over music, she does two things: 1) she trusts God to secure her innocence, and 2) she works with the detective to find the real killer. Along the way, she becomes attracted to the sexy, hunky Detective Stephens but she’s still recovering from a broken marriage that also broke her faith in men. As Christine amateur detectives her way through searching for the real murderer, we get a peek into the life of a small-church minister as she prays with her congregation, plans church activities, arrange youth projects, and everything else that her members require no matter the time of day, her schedule, or her energy level.

“She could mingle with her congregation at the supper held in the basement of the church. It was an evening of good food, Bible studies, choir practices, and fellowship”

What really makes this book stand out is that Christine keeps her trust in God front and center with everything she does, humbly asking for his help and trusting that he will do just that:

“Lord, I have so much to do. I cannot allow a distraction like Cole Stephens into my life. Help me to focus on the work of the church, Your work. My heart isn’t healed enough to give it away again to another man.”

Highly recommended for lovers of cozy or Christian fiction or even those who simply like a feel-good story that includes romance.  

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

A selection of other books by J.Q. Rose

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow J.Q. Rose: GoodreadsWebsite: J.Q. Rose – Blog: J.Q. Rose – Facebook: J.Q. Rose Author

About J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines.

Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon

Thank you for visiting today and I know that J.Q Rose would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Paranormal Swamp Ghosts (Riverbend Book 1) by Marcia Meara


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Marcia Meara shares an excerpt from the first of her Riverbend series – Swamp Ghosts.

About the book

Marcia Meara, author of the popular Wake-Robin Ridge books, sets her second series in the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida, where the hungry creatures swimming in the dark waters of the St. Johns River aren’t nearly as dangerous as those walking along the quiet neighborhood streets.

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.

An excerpt from Swamp Ghosts –

He turned to his right and made his way down a narrow and heavily overgrown path that followed the curve of the stream. It was slow going for a hundred yards or more, with branches and palmetto fronds slapping him in the face and scraping at his arms. Sweat trickled down into his eyes, stinging like fury, but even as hot as he was, he was glad he had thought to wear long sleeves. They at least afforded him a bit of protection from scratches and the relentless mosquitoes, which swarmed his head in a hungry cloud.

Repellent kept most of them from biting, but it was hard to breathe without sucking them into his mouth or nose, and their humming grew louder with every slow step he took.

Gritting his teeth, he shifted the weight on his shoulder, and plowed ahead.

Seems to be a longer haul each time, but it can’t be much farther now.

He pushed his way through the worst of the underbrush, and there it was—a small open area on a raised embankment, about four feet above the water. He walked to the edge and dumped his burden on the dirt beside him. Taking a deep breath, he stretched his arms, rolling his shoulders once more.

Damn. Ought to be an easier way to do this. Probably is. But not likely to be as efficient.

Untying the lengths of white rope from each end of his bundle, he opened up the blue plastic tarp. For a moment, he admired his handiwork, once again congratulating himself on his hunting skills, and his ability to outsmart the law. Those clowns had no idea who they were up against.

Snickering, he dragged the tarp closer to the water’s edge. He snapped it sharply toward himself, lifting up on the edge of the plastic, and spilling the contents down the bank, where they landed with a splash in the shallow water below. He stood there, folding up the tarp and watching the moonlit surface of the creek. Within seconds, ripples appeared on the other side, rushing toward him, but slowing as they neared his offering. He waited just long enough to watch the huge head come out of the water, jaws wide, before he turned and walked away. The sounds of thrashing and tearing followed him halfway back to his car.

Alligators. Nature’s best garbage disposals. Soon, there won’t be much left of that little package for anyone to find.

He tossed the folded tarp into his car, and climbed in, just as the first fat raindrops began splatting against his dusty windshield. Within seconds, the water was coming down like only a Florida rainstorm can, heavy and fast. It would be over just as quickly as it started, but not before wiping away all traces of his visit.

He snickered again. Right on time, and thank you, Mother Nature. No need to worry about evidence left behind now. It will all be washed away.

He turned the SUV around, and headed back to civilization, smiling the whole way, and wondering how much longer it would be before some sharp-eyed detective or reporter began to connect the dots. He almost wished they would hurry it up, so he could find out what they would call him.

After all … Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, The Night Stalker…all the good ones have names.

©Marcia Meara

One of over 100 outstanding reviews for the book

C. S. Boyack 5.0 out of 5 stars Strange people make wonderful stories.  Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2020

I don’t actually read romances, but was drawn to this one. The author is a nature lover, much like myself, and knowing she was placing this tale in what amounts to her back yard appealed to me. The swamps of Florida are foreign to a westerner like myself. The depictions and descriptions are wonderful.

What I found was a wonderful murder mystery that lands squarely in these same swamps. It’s intense, thrilling, and scary. I pegged the killer early on, but that didn’t detract from the story. He’s so wonderfully creepy, Meara gets this across like she lived some of it.

I walked in knowing it was a romance, and that part was well done. I admit it was the nature tours, and the murder mystery that called to me. I’m giving it five stars, because it was that wonderful.

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

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And : 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?

Thank you for visiting today and I know that Marcia would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #WWII – While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton.


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Robbie Cheadle shares an excerpt from the book written with her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton and based on her childhood memories of World War Two. While the Bombs Fell.  Childcare was a little more relaxed at the time..

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

An excerpt from While the Bombs Fell

The river bed in this part of the river suddenly dipped down a few yards from the shore, and the water went from being shallow to deep. The children called this sunken piece of the river bed “the hole.”

“Do not wade out too far or you’ll fall into the hole,” Jean told Elsie when she set off with the other children. Jean no longer swam because she didn’t have a swimming costume and considered herself too old to manage without one. She accompanied the children to keep an eye on them.

The sun beat down on the children’s uncovered heads and arms as they walked as fast as possible towards the river. When they arrived, the water looked grey and cold, but that didn’t deter the children.

The children took off their shoes and stripped down to their underclothes. The boys ploughed through the shallow water and dived into the deeper water in the middle of the river, screaming and shouting at its coldness.

Jean helped Elsie to remove her shoes, socks, and dress. “Stay near the bank, Elsie,” warned Jean, “It gets deep further out.”

Elsie then slid down the muddy bank and into the water. Its coldness made her gasp with shock.

Elsie waded in the water. Her upper body erupted in goosebumps from the cold. She splashed and chased the fish that darted through the water. They moved so fast that she only saw a bright silver streak.

Facing towards the bank, Elsie ventured deeper and deeper into the water. Soon the water came up to her waist, and her body felt light and airy. She didn’t realise that her brothers, swimming in the middle of the river, were getting closer and closer.

Elsie took a step too far and disappeared under the water. She went down and down into the coldness. She saw bubbles floating up towards the surface as she kicked out and struggled.

Water filled her eyes, mouth, and ears. She couldn’t breathe.

A firm hand grasped her arm and hauled her upwards. She broke through the surface of the water and gasped for air. Joey had seen her going under and pulled her out. He saved her life that day.

Joey took her to the river bank and handed her over to Jean, who used the one towel that they all shared to wrap her up.

“If you go back in,” Joey said, “stay close to the bank.” He then headed back to where the boys were having water fights and ducking each other.

For a while Elsie sat on the bank next to Jean, watching the activities and recovering from the cold and shock.

Her other brothers and sisters carried on as usual.

A ditch ran across the meadow and emptied into the river nearby. The ditch drained the excess water off the meadow and into the river.

Elsie watched her older brothers run up to the ditch and jump in. They sank deep into the mud in the ditch and got themselves covered. When they looked like mud monsters, dripping with sticky mud, they climbed out of the ditch and ran down to the
water shouting and screaming.

They dived into the water and rinsed off the mud. At only three years old, Elsie knew she needed to learn to swim before she could join in this fun.

©Robbie Cheadle  and Elsie Hancy Eaton

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 visiting today and I know that Robbie would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #BiographicalFiction – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Jan Sikes shares and excerpt from the first book in an biographical fiction series Flowers and Stone

About the book

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything.

But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

An excerpt from Flowers and Stone

Luke Stone couldn’t remember the last time he’d bought a piece of jewelry for a lady, although lots of ladies had bought jewelry for him. He wondered how in the hell this sweet young girl with sparkling blue eyes had gotten under his skin so quickly. He imagined what it would feel like to run his fingers through her long auburn hair and speculated that it must smell like sweet blooming flowers.

As he stood at the counter in one of the finest jewelry stores in Abilene, he asked the clerk, “What would you suggest for a very sweet young lady that I just met?”

The clerk immediately brought out a tray of necklaces. “These are all very nice, Mr. Stone.”

He looked them over and spotted a small gold heart on a delicate chain with a tiny diamond set in the middle of the heart. “This one oughta’ do.”

The clerk placed it in a black velvet box, and Luke paid for it. He blinked and reached for his sunglasses when he walked outside into the bright sunshine. He wasn’t accustomed to being out of bed at ten a.m., much less cleaned up and purchasing jewelry. Again, he questioned himself as he drove to the ABCO Boiler Factory.

Darlina sat at her desk typing a contract on an IBM Selectric typewriter this particular Monday morning; her back turned to the door.

The bell rang, announcing someone’s arrival. She half turned. “May I…” She paused in mid-question, shocked to see Luke standing there with the trademark crooked grin on his face. “…Help you?” she finished.

“That is exactly what I’ve been asking myself,” Luke replied.

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to see if you were for real or a figment of my imagination.”

“For real?”

Luke’s smile widened, “Yes, for real. You see, I thought maybe I just made you up so had to come and see.”

Darlina didn’t reply, and Luke quickly continued, “I brought you a little something.”

She stood and walked to the open window that separated her and Luke. “Okay, what did you bring me and more importantly, why? After all, you barely know me.”

She wondered what kind of strings might be attached to any gift from Luke Stone.

Luke fished the small box out of his pocket and handed it to her. Their hands briefly touched, and an electrical current passed between them. She looked up at Luke, then down at the box.

“Open it,” Luke encouraged.

Darlina gasped as she opened the box to find the delicate gold heart necklace. “Oh, Luke, how beautiful. I’m not sure what to say.”

“Well, you could say thank you, and you could say that you’ll have dinner with me, just me, and you could say that you’ll give me a chance to redeem myself.”

“Okay,” she hesitated. “I guess so.”

©Jan Sikes Flowers and Stone

One of the five star reviews for the book

AvidReaderToo 5.0 out of 5 stars Love And Drama In 1970’s Texas Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 June 2018

I saw this book on a writers’ blog and after reading more about it, I simply had to get my own copy. This is a rare story which will take you to the heights of pleasure and the depths of despair – a love story between Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone, a musician in Texas during the 1970’s, who has much talent, but also a taste for the unusual – a daredevil, often living for the moment. Darlina, on the other hand is more stable and holds down a 9 to 5 job, but she loves music and go-go dancing, which she pursues after hours. Inevitably, she and Luke Stone meet and fall in love – not just for the moment, but for good.

This is a candid love story – a fictionalized memoir – told in the third person. The author has a wonderful engaging style of writing with much showing by means of excellent, often fast-paced dialogue, enhanced by specific scene setting – important because she paints a clear picture of the music and times of Country Music in Texas. I simply couldn’t put it down. I loved this book for its originality and telling things just as they happened, from the moment Darlina and Luke make love for the first time, to where Luke thinks he does Darlina a favour by insisting she leaves him alone and he drops her off at her sister’s house. A highly recommended read.  

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

About Jan Sikes

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.

Thank you for visiting today and I know that Jan would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Medical #Thriller – Type and Cross (Cathedral Lake Book 1) by Staci Troilo


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

I hope you will participate in this series.. there are currently 130 authors on the shelves with reviews within the last six months and you can check your entry at this linkCafe and Bookstore

Today Staci Troilo shares an excerpt from her medical thriller Type and Cross (Cathedral Lake Book 1)

 

About the book

Blood defines family. Blood reveals betrayal.

Dr. Royce Keller is no stranger to blood. As Chief of Emergency Medicine at Oakland Regional Hospital, it’s his job, his calling. To Royce, it is the very essence of life—what ties his family, his career, and his world together. Until he learns everything he believes is wrong.

Vanessa Keller has a secret she has kept hidden for almost two decades. It’s her burden, her cross to bear. To Vanessa, the truth is a choice—something best forgotten for the greater good of her family and their future. Until the day it comes back to haunt her.

A tale of family dysfunction, betrayal, heroism, and loss, Type and Cross is the story of one family’s journey from devastation to redemption.

An excerpt from Chapter Two of Type and Cross, Book One of the Cathedral Lake Series

Vanessa was in her element—planning a blood drive and hospital fundraiser—when the doorbell rang. She kept working, but when she heard a second chime, Vanessa sighed and took off her reading glasses. “Lydia!”

No answer, other than a third ring of the bell. Apparently her housekeeper had no intention of answering the door. Or doing anything Vanessa wanted her to do. She saved her document then walked to the door. “May I help—Oh. It’s you. What do you want?”

Ben Lyndon stood there, eyes hidden behind mirrored shades, dark curly hair wind-mussed from the ride over. “Is that any way to greet an old friend?”

“I’ll give you the ‘old’ part, especially if you think mirrored lenses are in fashion. ‘Friend’ is a bit of a stretch.”

“Ouch.” He placed a hand on his heard like she’d wounded him, took off his sunglasses, and stepped inside.

“I didn’t invite you in.”

“I’m not staying.”

“Shouldn’t you be at work?”

“I was at work. Stanford’s assistant called. Said he wanted me to come get you.”

“For what?”

“Do I look like Fox News? She said to bring you straight to his office. He and Royce are in a meeting.”

“Is this about Royce’s promotion? Why didn’t she just call me herself?”

“Look, Ness.” He pinned her against the wall, his hands next to her head, his body way to close to hers. “I had to cancel a full docket of patients to do this. I’m sorry if the timing isn’t good for you, but I’m here now, so clear your schedule.”

Lydia walked into the foyer and cleared her throat. She stood there, bucket in one hand and rags in the other.

Ben turned to look at her but didn’t move away from Vanessa. “You need something, sweetheart?”

“Not from you. I just need to see Dr. Keller this evening.” She hurried away, a smile on her lips. Her brown hair, pulled into a loop, bounced as she retreated, and her hips swayed dangerously hard with each step.

And Vanessa thought she only worked it around Royce. Apparently any warm male would suffice.

“Lydia.” Vanessa scrambled to get out from between Ben’s arms. “Lydia!”

But the housekeeper kept going, humming on her way up the stairs.

“Damn it, Ben. I have enough problems with her without you adding to them.”

“Trouble in paradise?”

“Just fix this.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“You’re always doing something.”

He shot her a wolfish grin as he looked her up and down. “Are you ready?”

“For what?”

His jaw ticked as he glared down at her. “Get your damn purse or whatever it is you need, Ness. Because in five seconds, if you haven’t walked out that door willingly, I’m carrying you out.”

©Staci Troilo
One of the five star reviews for the book

tpolen5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, Flawed Characters  Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2017

As a fan of medical shows and thrillers, the beginning of this book especially piqued my curiousity – but I’m not giving away spoilers. By the time that mystery was solved, these characters had me completely caught up in their family dynamics and secrets.

At times with each character, I alternated between being on their side, then wanting to throttle them on the next page. The author did an exceptional job of creating realistic, flawed characters, and Royce and Vanessa’s range of emotions after tragically losing their daughter are heartbreaking and genuine. Once the secrets are uncovered, I appreciated the fact that Royce and Vanessa’s troubled marriage didn’t undergo a quick fix with a fairy tale resolution.

This story wonderfully portrays that things aren’t always what they seem on the surface and some secrets can have residual effects for years to come. Highly recommend for fans of suspenseful family drama.  

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

A small selection of books written by Staci Troilo

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Cross: Goodreads – Blog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo –

About Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about her on her website. Staci Troilo

Thank you for visiting today and I know that Staci would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – Dead Dry Heart: A #psychological thriller by Toni Pike


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Toni Pike is sharing an excerpt from her psychological thriller Dead Dry Heart

Dead Dry Heart: A psychological thriller by [Toni Pike]

About the book

“A suspense thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat!”

Tyler Thompson is Australia’s young, brilliant and charismatic Prime Minister, riding high on a wave of popularity. But the past has come back to haunt him and there is a shocking secret from his childhood that he will do almost anything to conceal.

The one man who knows what happened twenty-five years ago is back – and he is hellbent on revenge. Tyler’s precious wife and baby have disappeared and their safe return will cost him everything: family, career and freedom.

But even that may not be enough to satisfy his nemesis – and the truth may be more terrible than he could possibly imagine.

A chilling novel about deceit, betrayal and murder, with twists and turns that you will not see coming.

An excerpt from Dead Dry Heart – Chapter Fourteen

I drove at high speed but pulled over after thirty minutes to switch off every radio, GPS and security device in the car, determined not to be found. From there, I travelled several hours into the desert, wondering if there would be another rebirth for Tyler Thompson in the middle of nowhere.

The sound of waves could be heard lapping on the shore before the ocean appeared, a dull roar rising up from the wide expanse of Eighty Mile Beach. It was easy to find the spot where we had our campsite all those years ago. I recognised the sand dunes and the outcrop of red rocks – my hiding place when Joshua first arrived.

There was no sign of anyone else around. I parked the car and slowly opened the glovebox. Inside was a semi-automatic pistol, the last line of defence for my security detail. I sighed with relief as I ran my fingers over it. But then I reminded myself that I was the Prime Minister and that I should be able to outsmart him. I could negotiate and compromise to solve my problems like a grown man.

I closed the glovebox, leaving the gun inside.

Flies buzzed around me as I stepped out of the vehicle and walked towards the beach. The heat beat down on my skin. Although I knew the precise spot of the campfire there was no sign of it after all those years or the spot where my parents lay with blood oozing from their skulls. The sand was still as hot as hell and that reminded me of how I feared my father.

“Hello, Tyler, you’ve grown up,” said a man’s voice, kind and gentle. I looked up in alarm as Joshua Byrnes stepped out from behind a rock. He smiled as if he was pleased to see me.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. “Hello, Joshua, how are you?” I asked.

He gave me a blank look for a moment, but then words started to pour out of his mouth. He stood there giving me a thirty-minute monologue about the last twenty-five years of his life. He described how he followed my career from his jail cell, watched my election night victory on television, travelled to Queanbeyan after his release and moved into a boarding house. Then he talked about his expertise with computers.

I’d been completely wrong about him. I imagined him in jail, isolated from the outside world, unable to hear the news about me. When he left prison I thought he’d head into the outback, resume his old lifestyle and be far away from me.

But now the reality struck me. He knew as much about me as anyone could.

Finally he stopped talking and stared at me in silence for two long minutes. He seemed to age by a hundred years.

“What do you want from me?” I asked.

“Tyler, you took my life away.”

An adrenaline rush made my heart rate soar. I needed to do or say something. “You saved me and gave me a whole new life,” I said.

©Toni Pike

One of the five star reviews for the book

Uma Iyer Van Roosenbeek5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, electrifying, riveting psychological thriller!  Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2018

Tyler wins the hearts of the readers when he exhibits a very amazing attitude in the face of all the abuse meted out on him by his parents. Just when the reader is compelled to step into the book to take Tyler away from the abuse, an “angel” in human form intervenes, saves the boy, sends him off to safety with specific instructions. Tyler’s memory of the events is very hazy. Tyler makes a strong enemy of the ‘angel ‘ when he points to him as the killer of his abusive parents in the court!

Tyler is adopted by an extremely loving couple who encourage him to reach stupendous heights. Thanks to them, he progresses from excellence to excellence and his momentum reaches the pinnacle of success when he gets elected as the PM of Australia, an immensely popular one! He also has acquired a very loving wife and a very precious baby. This is when the ‘angel’ who has been released from the jail comes back to seek his revenge.

Events take such an unexpected turn that the readers are on tenterhooks to know what happens next. Are Tyler’s family rescued from the clutches of the mad man, what exactly transpired twenty five years ago when Tyler’s parents died, does Tyler get redeemed are questions that are answered in this outstanding thriller. Added to the delightful mix are all the 4-legged family of both dogs and cats!

The narrative is magnificent, the characters are endearing and it was an incredible reading experience. Thank you Ms. Pike!!!  

Also by Toni Pike for children and adults

Connect to Toni: Buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter: @piketoni1

About Toni Pike

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

I hope you will participate in this series.. there are currently 130 authors on the shelves with reviews within the last six months and you can check your entry at this linkCafe and Bookstoreand Children’s Reading Room

 

Thanks for dropping in and I know that Toni would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – April 18th – 24th 2021- Hits 1967, Podcasts, Online presence, reviews, new books, health and humour


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

It would be comforting to see the numbers of new Covid infections coming down as the vaccinations are rolled out, but nearly 900,000 people worldwide were reported in just one day on Friday.. taking the total to over 146 million so far and over 3 million deaths. Personally it will be a long time before I am tempted to travel despite many European countries opening up for tourists this summer, some like Spain with no requirement for masks on crammed beaches. Of course those vaccinated are not immune to catching the virus in whatever variant it is hiding in at the time, and whilst Spain and other countries may not see the fallout from these trips abroad, their home countries will.

We have restrictions still in place for non-essential travel in Ireland but public demand is likely to loosen that necessary mandate for the summer months. We personally are more than happy to remain where we are and I am afraid we do not want any visitors however much we love them, staying with us. Vaccinations are definitely part of the solution but continued safety precautions are also going to be essential for far longer than we anticipated. I hope that others will consider staying at home and enjoying what is on the doorstep and leaving more time before leaping into someone else’s backyard.

On a brighter note.. this week the sun has been shining and I have spent time in the garden catching up on my reading which was long overdue.

Podcasts – Marketing and Pleasure.

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rebecca Budd for her Tea, Toast and Trivia Podcast –

The reason I am including this in the round up is to encourage more authors and bloggers to add podcasts to their marketing options and reach a new audience for their writing.. and to enjoy as it is great fun too.

About Rebecca Budd who has a other wonderful blogs including Clanmother –  Lady Budd – And On The Road Book Club

I was given the title, Clanmother, September 2008, when I was travelling the Scottish Highlands with an audacious collection of young people who came from all over the world to join an expedition to the misty Isle of Skye. I was the oldest woman on the tour so the title was appropriate. What was more surprising was that I liked the label – it was catchy, spirited and encompassed the next stage in my life. It was my turn to grow old. I stood at Glencoe, breathing the chilled air, memorizing, for future recall, the rugged terrain covered with proverbial heather. There was certainty in my thoughts. This was going to be my most profound and daring adventure.

I want to share this journey with other, like-minded individuals – young, old, or in-between. It is an exploration that will take many turns as life advances. Many say that wisdom comes from the aging process. I am not ready to accept that premise as I have learned from children. What I do know, is that connection is the greatest gift of all. Clanmother is about a backward look forward!

We talked about book marketing, obesity and life in general and the time flew by.. A wonderful experience and I am looking forward to sharing the interview with you in coming weeks.

I have also been catching up with previous podcasts over the week on Rebecca Soundcloud with more to enjoy, including from some of your favourites from the Cafe and Bookstore: Liz Gauffreau, Paul Andruss, Teagan Geneviene, Robbie Cheadle, Darlene Foster, Shehanne Moore and D. Wallace Peach.

You can sign up to Soundcloud with your email or by linking to Facebook etc, and it means you can share the interview and comment to your own social media.

Because of the care taking with editing the interview before broadcast (thanks to sound engineer and editor, Rebeccas’s husband Don) the resulting broadcast is top notch.

I love radio as a medium and it was wonderful to get back on the air. I know from passed conversations that many of you are reluctant to take the plunge. But you are in safe hands with Rebecca, and it is not live so you don’t have to worry if you fluff your lines. It is very relaxed and enjoyable. I do recommend that if you are an author who would like your books to reach a wider audience that you get in touch at the link above.

Meet the Authors

Over the last few weeks I have been sharing the bios and books of authors who have joined the Cafe and Bookstore over the last six months. In May I will be revisiting all the other authors in both the Cafe and the Children’s Reading Room and updating their bios for promotional posts going forward, social media links, covers and most recent reviews to share in posts throughout the summer.

I am in and out of Amazon UK and US in particular and Goodreads to check on reviews for the authors in the cafe and to check for new books. There are quite a few new books that I have to search for because they are not on the author page. So in preparation for the new series here is a checklist you might find useful in updating your online platforms.

  1. Make sure your up to date bio is on your country of origin and also Amazon US and UK as the main English speaking sites.
  2. Check that you claim any new books you have released in the last few weeks or months through Author central so that potential readers are not chasing all over the place to find them.. and they can see your complete portfolio in one place.
  3. If you have a Goodread Author page please do the same.
  4. If you don’t have a Goodreads Author page then I highly recommend that you do. This is the one place that you can showcase all your reviews from any country and worth offering this link to readers to place their reviews as well as their regional Amazon. This is also the place readers who have borrowed the book, been gifted or have read an advance copy can post their reviews by-passing Amazon’s buy to review policy. (Despite the fact Amazon owns Goodreads!)
  5. If you have changed the cover for a book make sure that it is changed on Amazon and Goodreads.
  6. Just a reminder that you need to update your bios on Facebook pages, Twitter and other social media platforms when you have a new book. Don’t forget to pin a tweet about your new releases.. and thanks to Hugh Roberts  who recently reminded me that you need to change your pinned tweet every week or so and anyone wishing to share it can only do so once.  If someone retweets a post of mine I will reciprocate by tweeting their pinned tweet… it is a marketing tool that is underrated and sometimes I see pinned tweets going back several years.. if it cannot be retweeted by your most supportive followers then it is being wasted.

Probably time to get on with the posts from the week… otherwise you will be needing a packed lunch and a bottle of wine to get through the rest…. okay perhaps you do anyway.. here you go..

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog each week William Price King and Debby Gies …. also to you for dropping in and so kindly commenting and sharing.. .

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1967 – Part Two 

Forming Healthy Relationships – Rewind – What’s Inside the Box? 

Chapter Chapter Fifteen – Summer – The Piglet Races 

The Kindness of Mice

#Fantasy #Adventure #Humour – H.M.S Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 2) by C.S. Boyack

Past Book Reviews 2020 -#Fantasy – Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1) by D. Wallace Peach 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Thriller – Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke 

Double Reversed #Nonet – Ageism 

Family Health A-Z – Arthritis (osteo and gout) by Sally Cronin 

Monday 19th April 2021 – #Smoking Arthur Rosch, #Romance Linda Lee Greene, #Reviews James J. Cudney, #Award Grammy’s Grid, #offer J.Q. Rose 

Tuesday 20th April 2021 – #Community Jennie Fitzkee, #Wellbeing Toni Pike, #Guestpost offer Beetley Pete

Wednesday April 21st 2021 – #Treasure Mary Smith, #Finance Sharon Marchisello, #Kindness Jane Sturgeon 

Thursday 22nd April 2021 – #Torrevieja #Salt Joy Lennick, #NewBlog Patty Fletcher, #Bookoffer Bette A. Stevens 

New Book on the Shelves – Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam Hurdle 

#Psychic #Thriller – Anasazi Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 4) by G G Collins 

#Fantasy Savagery (War of Nytefall Book 6) 

Pre-Order – #Romance #Humour Shh… It’s Our Secret by Lizzie Chantree 

#Suspense #Mystery – The Vanished Boy by Harmony Kent

-#Genetics – My Father and Other Liars by Geoff Le Pard 

#Family – An Uncommon Family by Christa Polkinhorn 

#YA #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #Scifi Richard Dee, #Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #119 – My Hideaway by Miriam Hurdle 

A tale of many cities by Joy Lennick 

#Cricket- Don’t Stop the Carnival by Barbara Spencer 

#YAFamily Sian Turner, #Fantasy P.L. Stuart, #Scottish #Historical Ailish Sinclair 

April 20th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Genius and Maths Lesson 

April 22nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Stress Test and Cheap Cow 

Open Mic Night – 23rd April 2021 – Guest Malcolm Allen – Physics and Collies 

 

Thanks very much for dropping in and all your support during the week.. it keeps me motivated.. have a good weekend.. Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Family – An Uncommon Family by Christa Polkinhorn


We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today Christa Polkinhorn is sharing an excerpt from An Uncommon Family

About the book

The power of love and friendship in turbulent times

Three people with a troubled past meet in Zurich, Switzerland. Six-year-old Karla longs for her dead mother. Anna struggles with her former husband’s deception, and Jonas, artist and teacher, mourns the death of his wife. While caring for and teaching little Karla, who promises to be a talented painter, Anna and Jonas fall in love but sinister events in their past threaten their budding romance.

An Uncommon Family is a story about loss, lies, and betrayal but also about the healing power of love and forgiveness. It takes place in Switzerland, New York City, and Guadalajara, Mexico.

An excerpt from An Uncommon Family – Chapter One

 

Karla licked the crispy cone, trying to catch the sliding droplets before they hit the ground. The raspberry ice cream was a dark purple, her favorite color. She wrinkled her nose as she caught another whiff of exhaust from the busy street along the Limmat River in the city of Zurich. It was August and hot in Switzerland. The six-year-old girl scanned the scenery in front of her with dreamy eyes.

A canoe was sliding by a tourist boat on the river. People with funny-looking sun hats and dark glasses sat on the benches of the boat. Along the river on the other side, the built-together stone houses looked like a row of uneven different-colored teeth, gray, yellow, white, and some with a tint of orange. Behind the houses, on top of the hill, the linden trees at the park shimmered in their pale-green foliage and a curtain of dark-green ivy hid part of the gray granite wall.

Karla took another lick from her ice-cream cone, then turned around and peered through the window of the art shop, where her aunt was picking up two framed pictures. When she looked back at the sidewalk, her breath caught.

“Mama?” she whispered.

She saw the woman only from behind, but the bounce in her step, the long, reddish-blond hair flowing down her back, swaying left and right, the tall, slender figure—it must be her mother. She tossed the rest of the ice cream into the trash can, got up, and ran after the woman.

“Mama!” she called as the woman got ready to cross the street. The light turned from blinking red to solid red, just as the woman reached the other side. Karla rushed after her, barely aware of the honking around her or of the shrill warning bell of the blue-and-white streetcar. She heard someone yell at her but by then she had arrived at the other side. The woman was walking along the river toward the Lake of Zurich.

“Mama, wait!” Karla bumped into someone.

A man stepped aside. “Watch it, kiddo.”

“Mama . . .”

The woman finally turned around and looked back, scanning the people behind her, then walked on. Karla stopped dumbfounded. It was the face of a stranger.

A wave of despair washed over her. Not believing that she could have been so wrong, she started to run again. She didn’t see the slight indentation in the pavement. As she fell, she barely noticed the searing pain in her knees; the disappointment hurt more. She covered her face with her hands and sobbed. Mama would have helped her. Mama would have picked her up, hugged her, and even sang a little tune to her to make her feel better. But her mother was gone.

“Are you hurt, honey?” a dark voice said. Karla felt a hand on her back. “Come on, let me see.”

A pair of strong arms lifted her up. She looked into a face with a gray-white beard and kind, blue eyes below thick tufts of eyebrows. The man was tall and sturdy. He had wildish white hair. He reminded her of Saint Nicholas. But it was summer and Saint Nicholas only appeared in December.

“Are you here alone?” he asked. “Where’s your mother?”

 

©Christa Polkinhorn

One of the Five star reviews for the book

Gareth Stokes 5.0 out of 5 stars So good I read it twice!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom

A rich and emotive story around three principal characters, each with their own troubled pasts. Although each of the characters bears an entirely different burden to the others, all three become inextricably linked in the unfolding story of an unlikely union.

Karla, a precocious and talented young girl; her guardian aunt Anna, withdrawn and mistrustful of men, devoted only to her niece; and Jonas, a kindly, gentle-souled man who undertakes art tutoring of young Karla. In doing so, a warm yet cautious relationship develops between he and Anna – but one that the reader wonders how it may possibly develop with Anna so rigid and full of doubt.

All three have tragedies to conquer, from grief to betrayal to guilt. Yet a close bond forms as Jonas becomes closer to both his protégé Karla, and the woman of his increasing desire, Anna. But as secrets unfold, and memories of betrayal linger, even as childish mischief comes into play, it looks sadly like this trio of loveable characters are going to drift apart.

This is a story described in a beautiful literary prose style, the narrative detailed and lyrically descriptive. I’m especially fond of the portrayal behind each three personalities. In Karla I see the amazing, if tragic, devices that a child may employ to deal with grief. Imagining under certain circumstances that ‘a crack opens in the sky and you can see into Heaven to talk to those you’ve lost’. Very touching. And in Anna, the stoic mentality that is her armour against another betrayal, yet her own self-doubt at her capability to be enough of a `parent’ to Karla. And in Jonas, the persistence and patience of a solid character with a heart of gold, but a mind full of guilt for a crime that, in my opinion, really isn’t his to bear.

And… wherever I may have suspected the story would lead, I could not guess at the surprise twist in Anna’s past, a revelation that changes Anna’s perspective and, perhaps, enables her to release some of her pain. Only by moving beyond the past and looking optimistically ahead, will she have any chance of happiness.

All of the texture in this story, the smooth passage of time through seasons and years, the crisp dialogue and smooth plot development, makes for a thoroughly rewarding read. I recommend you read it, and ease into the nourishing atmosphere of this charming and cleverly depicted story of love, loss, loneliness, and hope.

A selection of other books by Christa Polkinhorn

Christa Polkinhorn, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Christa : Goodreads – blog: Christa Polkinhorn – Twitter: @cpolkinhorn

Christa Polkinhorn

 About Christa Polkinhorn

Born and raised in Switzerland, Christa has always had the desire to explore the world outside of her beautiful but tiny country. She traveled in Europe, China, Japan as well as South America. Now, she lives and works as writer and translator in southern California. Her interest in foreign cultures informs her work and her novels take place in several countries. She published a volume of poetry (The Path of Fire). Now, she writes and publishes contemporary fiction with a focus on family drama/love stories (The Family Portrait trilogy) and family drama/suspense (The Wine Lover’s Daughter series). Aside from writing and traveling, she is an avid reader and a lover of the arts, dark chocolate, and red wine.

I hope you will participate in this series.. there are currently 130 authors on the shelves with reviews within the last six months and you can check your entry at this linkCafe and Bookstore

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I know that Christa would love to hear from you… thanks Sally.