Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Contemporary The Gilded Beaver by Margaret Lindsay Holton


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 by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. This current series is now closed.

Today an excerpt from an award winning book with an interesting history, one that has only been revealed with the publication of the eBook version… The Gilded Beaver by Margaret Lindsay Holton

About the book

– What happens when an aspiring designer meets up with a big-wig financier? –

Winner of the Hamilton Literary Awards in 1999, ‘The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous’ has been updated in 2020 to reveal the author’s true identity.

Award-winning Canadian artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton explains, “I am free now from a decades-long agreement to hold-my-tongue until ‘one of us dies.’ The previously undisclosed client, ‘G’, passed on in March of this year in his 80th year. I can now claim this ‘story’ as my own.”

In this quasi-fictionalized account, Canadian fine furniture designer, Iris Ann Burdock, is introduced to one of Toronto’s financial-elite executives, Luke G. Henderson. He considers her, as well as a commission. The problem, for Iris, is that her recently-divorced client is moody and unpredictable. Iris must excavate his carefully-crafted façade to find the ‘real man’ in order to rise up to meet his design challenge. A witty and frustrating exchange erupts between them. Romantic sparks fly.

As the battle-of-wills escalates, Iris’s meticulous design efforts are contrast to her meandering solo sojourns to a 25-acre bush property in the backwoods of Muskoka. There, quiet reflection makes her question, again and again, what really matters …

Critical Reviews from 1999:

… like good wine – rich, complex, pleasingly acerbic … a dance of intellect & eros that expertly unfolds … and closes with panache.” – Jim Bartley, Globe & Mail, Toronto

“… a psycho-sexual tug of war in the world of design” – Spring Book Review, Globe & Mail, Toronto

“… Novels about the relationship between two brothers, mothers and sons, husbands and wives, or fathers and daughters are common. But the relationship between a fine furniture designer and an imperious client can be just as fraught with tension, drama, comedy, incomprehension and hurt as any family relationship, and this novel proves it. – Why the ‘anonymity’? Because, quotes the author, ‘This is a true story’… ” – The Toronto Star

An excerpt from the beginning of The Gilded Beaver

LOOK FORWARD

IMAGINE, dear reader, if you will, that we are in the year two-thousand-eight-hundred and ninety-seven. 2897 A.D.

We are watching an old man. His name is Wong. He is carefully removing the tattered remnants of decaying cloth from an ancient and fragile black walnut chair frame. As he gently brushes the dirt and grime from the backside of a brittle marquetry panel, an inscription is uncovered in a language that he does not know. Close by, there are two numbers beside each other, pencil written by two different hands. One is relatively recent, the other an ancient script.

1997 / 2336

Wong’s experienced fingers caress the smooth worn-out carving on the shafts of the weakened and cracked legs. He discovers that the once dramatic and voluptuous human figurines at mid-section are oddly without hands. He has never in his long years of restoration seen this kind of mythic imagery. One leg had been professionally pinned and well-repaired long ago. Wong quietly admires the subtle and skilful craftsmanship of his talented predecessor of 2336.

He stands back to study the piece. Puzzled.

Again, he examines the intricate marquetry panel. Once beautifully done, it shows a small mouse nibbling on a cherry seated on a burled wreath of pine cones beneath a sprig of mistletoe. Wong’s index finger thoughtfully touches the adjacent inlaid antler image, trying to understand. Some pieces of the original ebony stringing are now missing.

He looks again at the overall shape of the chair frame.

He curls his fingers around the knuckle on the armrest. It had originally been crisply carved by, and for, a delicate hand. But the overall size of the chair was uncommonly large. For a large man, he thought. But there was something being told by the taut stance of that back leg. And why was the wood hoof on the front cuffed with what seemed to be some kind of beaded bracelet? Again, he looks at the fading antler image, damaged by time through exposure to raw sunlight.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the long, lost mystery of Origin began to reveal itself to the aging Master’s Eye. This strange decorative art object was North American, late-twentieth century, of that he was certain. As for the rest of the intricate details of its engaging story, who had so artfully made it, and why, that, he regretfully knew he would never ever know.

He chuckled, returning to his work. Nature still managed to keep some of her creation secrets from the prying sharp eye of her attentive white-haired apprentice.

PART 1.
‘Think globally, act locally.’

TORONTO, 1996

“Saddle up sonny, it’s time to ride.”
Luke changed the channel.
“The TSE opened at 6840 today. Gold remains steady.”
Luke changed the channel.
The phone rang.
Luke zapped the tube off, and flipped open his cellular.
“Hello?” …

©Margaret Lindsay Holton The Gilded Beaver

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jul 16, 2020 Trish rated it five stars it was amazing  Shelves: award-winners, novels

I loved this story. Iris is an up scale Canadian furniture designer and lover of all things nature. Her newest client is an eccentric millionaire who is challenging her on every level. This is her chance to create a masterpiece in the form of 4 chairs which truly represent Canada, one for each season of the year. This will entail the work of many experts and take many months. At the same time, we also journey with Iris to her piece of wilderness in Northern Ontario with its deep forests , boulders. lakes and wild animals. It was the language of this book that spoke to my soul. It was a 3 dimensional rather than a 2 dimensional experience. it read like a deep meditation on the flow of life contrasting the rush of the urban world with the stillness of deep Canadian forests. This book explodes into multi dimensions. I felt immersed in life. If you love this land and everything about it, if you love the best use of language, if you love good craftsmanship this is the book for you.  

Head over to buy the book: Amazon CA –  Amazon US And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Margaret: Goodreads –  Facebook Author/Artist fan pageMargaret Lindsay Holton –  FacebookTrillium NovelTwitter@TrillLINDSAY

About Margaret “Lindsay” Holton extract from Wikipedia

Margaret Lindsay Holton is a Canadian artist primarily known for her ‘naive-surreal-folk-abstracts’ oil and acrylic paintings, pinhole photography, short documentary film productions, poetry and literary novel works.

Holton is the winner of the K.W. Irmisch ‘Arts Person of the Year’ Award in 2016 from the City of Burlington. In 2018, she received the Alumni of Influence award by University College, University of Toronto and was nominated for the Premier of Ontario Arts Award.

Holton studied English Literature at the University of Toronto, and produced her first written works in the 1980s. She began her first novel, Economic Sex, while working as an English tutor in Spain in 1984. This literary work was published by Coach House Press of Toronto, under pen-name, Ali Janna Whyte, in 1985.

She produced and edited ‘The Spirit of Toronto: 1934-1984′, a compendium of essays by religious leaders of 45 different faiths highlighting multiculturalism in Toronto. Launched at Fort York, a hard copy was presented to the Pope’s personal secretary.

Holton registered her artist’s press, Acorn Press Canada,[13] in Ontario, in 1997. As a writing artist, she published her second novel, The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous, (1999), as well as two books of poetry, On Top of Mount Nemo (2002), and Bush Chord, (2006, with an e-edition in 2012) under her artists’ imprint. The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous novel won the Hamilton Arts Council[14] ‘Best Fiction Award’ in 1999. Her third novel, and Finalist for the Hamilton Book Awards, TRILLIUM, was first released in October of 2018.’

Fine Furniture Design & Construction

Holton apprenticed with her father, the late Luther Janna Holton (1922-2002), cabinetmaker and sole-proprietor of Holton Fine Furniture of Hamilton before going into business for herself in 1986 as a Canadian fine furniture designer in Toronto under ‘MLH Productions’.

Her furniture works can be found in national public and international private collections, including the Royal Ontario Museum, (curio box & display cabinets), the Canadian Film Centre, (library reception), Stanley Ho of Hong Kong (bedroom & dining room suite), David C.W. MacDonald of Toronto (‘Temagami’ pedestals, ‘Wolf Settee Courting Bench’ & ‘Thee Mirror), Rosamond Ivey of Toronto (bedroom suite) and Elizabeth Hanson of Toronto (children beds).

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to explore this book and the others by Margaret Lindsay Holton…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share and excerpt from a Previous book 2021 – #Fantasy -The Wolf Pack ( The Wolves of Vimar Book 1)by V.M. Sang


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. This series is now closed

Today V.M. Sang shares an excerpt from The Wolf Pack (The Wolves of Vimar Book 1)

The Wolf Pack (The Wolves of Vimar Book 1) by [V.M. Sang, Elizabeth N. Love]

About the book

All Carthinal wants is admission to the ranks of the mages. Traveling from Bluehaven to Hambara, where his rite of passage is to take place, he doesn’t expect to end up on a quest to find the long-lost sword of the legendary King Sauvern.

With strangers he meets on his journey, Carthinal sets out on the seemingly impossible quest. Followed by Randa, the snooty aristocratic daughter of the Duke of Hambara, and the young runaway thief Thad, Carthinal and his companions face tragedy and danger.

Watched by the gods and an implacable foe, they will have to accept help from the least likely sources and face their innermost fears. As the fate of their world hangs in the balance, they realize that this is more than an adventure. This quest will change them all.

An excerpt from The Wolf Pack

Close to the beginning of the book – Asphodel, having been sent to the Temple in Hambara in disgrace after disobeying orders in Bluehaven finds the temple in Hambara very severe and thinks her punishment excessive.

Asphodel reached the temple of Sylissa shortly after leaving her friends. Her heart beat faster as she ascended the steps, and her mouth felt dry. What would happen to her? She knew she had been sent here in disgrace and that Mother Caldo could not do any more with her, but what was the Great Father like here in Hambara? He would be stricter than Mother Caldo or she would not have sent her here.

She entered the temple through the great double doors. Inside found herself in a large circular area. Seats surrounded a central altar and windows pierced the walls and the dome high above. These windows concentrated the light so it fell onto the altar and on the alcove opposite the doors. In that alcove stood a life-sized marble statue of Sylissa that glowed as if from an inner light.

The walls of the temple shone with white marble and the floor was paved with a beautiful mosaic showing Sylissa giving the gift of healing to her first priestess. Asphodel stopped to admire the beauty.

“Yes, it makes everyone stop the first time they see it, Sister.” The voice came from behind her.

Asphodel jumped. “Oh! I didn’t hear you coming,” she said. Spotting his deep orange sash she added, “Minister”, bowing her head to a superior.

“Sorry, Sister. I’m Minister Micory. I’m on duty today. Can I help you? I don’t recognise you.”

“I have a letter for the Great Father, Minister Micory. Could you tell me how to get it to him, please?”

“I’ll get a novice to take it to him. Do you need a reply?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Wait here. The Great Father will send a reply as soon as he is able. I’ll let him know where you are. Use the time in meditation and prayer, Sister.”

Asphodel found herself thinking of the others as time passed. Where were they? What were they doing? Where had Carthinal decided to stay? In the Mage Tower or in the Golden Dragon Inn with the others?

Asphodel sat in the pew waiting for a message, but none came. Minister Micory left and another priest, this one a vicar, took over.

She approached Asphodel. “You are Novice Aspholessaria?”

Asphodel nodded. “Yes, Sister.”

“The Great Father won’t be seeing you today He’s been called away on urgent business. You’d better stay in the guestrooms tonight. If your letter needs a reply, the Great Father will send a message tomorrow. Follow me, please.”

She led the way to a door to the right of the altar. The vicar stopped at the second door on the right along the corridor.

“You can rest here tonight.” She pushed the door open and stepped back to allow Asphodel to enter. “The evening meal is served in the refectory in about an hour, and breakfast at the second hour in the morning, after the dawn service. You’ll want to attend that. It commences at the twenty fourth hour of the day.”

©V.M. Sang

One of the reviews for the book

John Thornton 5.0 out of 5 stars A solidly done, and crafted fantasy novel  Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2015

“The Wolf Pack” is an original and well crafted fantasy novel. If you like novels like the “Earthsea Saga” by Ursula Le Guin or “When the Heavens Fall” by Marc Turner then I suggest that you may well enjoy “The Wolf Pack.” British style and spellings throughout. Not really a negative, just a difference to be noted.

Positives: I found the characters well developed, and complex (in a good way).

The plot is unique and unusual. It is not easy to explain, but does unfold nicely as one reads through the book. I am trying to avoid spoilers, so I do not want to give too much away.

Dialogue is well written and each character has his or her own voice.

Negatives: It took me a bit to “get into” the book, but that might be because fantasy is not my favorite genre. Some might call this “high fantasy” but I am never quite sure where the lines are on the various types of fantasy novels.  Otherwise a solid book. My rating, A-

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

A selection of other books by V.M. Sang

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow: GoodreadsBlog/Website: Aspholessaria – Facebook: Viv Sang – Twitter: @vm_sang

About V.M. Sang

I started writing after I took early retirement from teaching. I taught science, Maths and English at secondary level.

My first book, which morphed into The Wolves of Vimar Series, was based on a D&D scenario I wrote in the 1990s. Since then I have written the second and third parts. I am currently in the process of writing part four.

I have another fantasy two-book series published by Next Chapter, who have also published my other books/ It is called Elemental Worlds, and the books are The Stones of Earth and Air and The Stones of Fire and Water.

I have also written a historical novel set in the time of the Romans in Britain, Vengeance of a Slave.

I live in East Sussex in the United Kingdom. I enjoy doing a variety of crafts as well as painting and drawing and also walking.

Travel is another of the things I enjoy doing, especially to places that have a historical interest. I have been visiting all the places in Germany where J.S.Bach lived and worked.

Another thing I like to do is to cook and I have produced a recipe book of some of my family’s recipes dating back to 1909 a link with history here. (It’s called Viv’s Family Recipes).

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Thriller Close to Home by Alex Craigie


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. This current series is now closed.

Today Alex Craigie shares an excerpt from Someone Close to Home

About the book

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

An excerpt from Someone Close to Home.

The house is modern and massive with ‘classical’ pillars decorating the front and a grand sweep of steps up to an elaborately carved double door with gold fittings.

As we arrive the door is opened by a servant who ushers us in to the hallway. I barely have time to take in the high ceiling, marble floors and chandeliers before a figure appears on the horseshoe staircase in front of us.

“Mum!” Jordon rushes forward and bounds up the stairs to greet her. She’s a short, stocky woman with abnormally blonde hair backcombed into an unbecoming beehive. Her mini dress is richly embroidered and teamed with unflattering, patterned tights that make her legs look like overstuffed sausages and she’s wearing clunky shoes with big bows on the toes. As he leads her down to greet me I wonder why he wanted me to change my appearance.

“Megan!” The heavy charm bracelet rattles as I shake her proffered hand.

“How delightful to meet you at last.”

“My pleasure, Mrs Hastings.” Her hooded blue eyes are sunk behind puffy bags and I try not to focus on her eyebrows which have been plucked into a narrow, upward sweep giving her a permanently surprised expression, nor her thin mouth which she has attempted to thicken by applying lipstick beyond the boundary of the lips.

“Do call me Miriam, my dear. Shall we go into the drawing room for a little aperitif?”

She takes Jordan’s arm and he leads her towards one of the doors. I follow. I suspect from her unsteady gait that she has been drinking. Jordan sits her on a regency striped sofa and directs me to sit on one of the matching chairs opposite. Then he crosses to a cabinet in the corner on which stand several bottles and a couple of cut glass decanters.

“The usual, mum?” “Yes please, Jordy.”

He drops some ice in a glass, adds some Cinzano and a slice of lemon and
carries it across to her.

Then he pours me a gin and tonic and splashes some bourbon into a glass for himself. He doesn’t ask me what I want and I’m irritated that he’s made the choice for me. My finger touches my brooch and I feel calmer. I’m marrying Jordan, not his mother. All I need to do is be pleasant and civil. I can do that.

After a long sip of her drink she begins her interrogation. “How long have you known my son?”

“About four months, Mrs Hastings.” I can’t bring myself to call her Miriam; her tone is not one that invites familiarity.

“And after only four months you’ve got yourself engaged to him.”

I’m unprepared for this barely disguised attack, but Jordan intervenes. “It wasn’t like that, mum. I asked her.”

The ‘hmph’ in response makes it clear she doesn’t believe him. I stare at Jordan who is looking discomfited.

“Mum, I love Megan and I’ve had a devil of a job getting her to even like me.”

“Poppycock! Everyone adores you. There are girls here every day hoping to
get a glimpse of you.”

“But Megan’s not like that, mum.” He gives me an encouraging smile. “Megan’s different.”

She takes another long sip, her watery eyes examining me over the top of the
glass.

“I hear you play the piano. Does it pay well?”

©Alex Craigie

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Nov 27, 2020 Balroop Singh rated it Five Stars it was amazing

Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie is a poignant tale of a talented and successful pianist who is too weak to rise to her own defense and thinks of others before her own self. A brilliantly written first person account of Megan, who is now languishing in The Yews, a cheap nursing home, and is at the mercy of insensitive caretakers who consider the inmates irrelevant. They have to face rough handling, insensitive comments; even verbal and physical assaults like slaps. They long for a genuine, friendly human contact but are treated as “their tasks.”

Mrs. Kenton’s non-serious attitude in managing the nursing home smacks of negligence, she doesn’t investigate any irregularities and fires the wrong persons. Annie’s atrocities go undetected for a long time but all that bothers Mrs. Kenton is, the reputation of the institution. Megan is the worst sufferer, as she has lost control over her body and her speech due to a stroke. She is “trapped in a web spun by adults,” (to put it mildly, in her own words.)

Craigie enters into the mind of Megan to bring out the abuse, the suffering and the resilience that shines through this book. The indifference of her son, whose love didn’t let her escape domestic violence, is heart breaking. Even Camilla, her daughter is callous and cold. Some of the characters are devilish, difficult to tolerate – Jordan, the tormentor who only knows bullying, Megan’s mother – devious, selfish and cunning and Annie – the pervert beyond anybody’s imagination. They fit into the story with perfect ease.

This book is emotionally draining and is predictable but is significant from two angles. One, it exposes the condition of nursing homes, which need to focus on hiring professionally trained staff and providing better care than just earning money. Two, it points at clear red flags in understanding relationships that Megan ignores.

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

Also by Alex Craigie

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Alex: Goodreads – Alex Craigie : Facebook

About Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

Since her birth in Sunderland, she has moved house fourteen times. The last move was to Pembrokeshire in 1986 with her husband and their three children under the age of four. They knew within that first week that they wouldn’t be going anywhere else.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Trish has had two books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. Both books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the NHS at its heart.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to check out Alex’s books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – May 9th – 15th 2021 – 1960s hits, Grief, Green Kitchen, Health, Stories, Poetry, books, reviews and funnies


Welcome to the weekly round up with some posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are all well… I know that like us here restrictions are being lifted in many countries although In Ireland there is going to be a slow roll out depending on any upsurge in cases.

The big news here is that overnight on Thursday criminals hacked the health service which is now offline which has resulted in the cancellation of thousands of appointments and more seriously life-saving operations. The government stance is that they will not pay any ransom and so as of this moment it appears that we are at an impasse. We all know that these parasites are out there, but to do this when all countries and their populations are at their most vulnerable is heinous.  All I can do is wish them everything they wish upon others!

This means that despite assurances that the vaccination programme will be unaffected, it probably will be. So no idea when I will be getting my first…

On a brighter note, and thankfully there usually is one…the sun popped out periodically during the week and took some time off for some badly needed fresh air and a Vitamin D boost.

Also as always, I am very grateful to my friends and co-conspirators this week William Price King co-hosting the Breakfast Show with me with some more 1960s music, D.G. Kaye with her new May relationship column exploring the impact of grief on our lives, and some funnies to keep us smiling, Carol Taylor with The Green Kitchen… and if you love soft dinner rolls…dig in.. And last but not least Daniel Kemp who shared his special brand of humour a the Open Mic Night.

Fantastic and talented friends.

On with the shows from the week.

Chart Hits 1969 – Part One – Sly The Family Stone, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Rolling Stones and Bobby Gentry

May 2021 – The #Grief Process

May 2021 – Dinner Rolls, Chillies, Recycled Face Masks, Grow Spring onions, make Apple Cider Vinegar – Waste Not, Want Not.. 

Winter: Chapter Twenty-one – The First Christmas 

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Chapter One – The Guardians 

Two poems this week….

-#CrapseyCinquain -Existence by Sally Cronin 

#BadgerHexastich – Yearning by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Book Review – Free Ebook – #Cookery #Culture – Ένα γλυκό βιβλίapaki – A “Sweet” Book. Eat Dessert First Greece 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Mystery #Paranormal – Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3) by Marcia Meara 

Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut 

– CROSSROADS (Winds of love): Poetry and Prose by Jude Itakali 

#Historical #Romance Lubelia Alycea: One Hundred Years by J.E. Spina 

#Thriller Death Between the Tables (Old Manse Mysteries Book 2) by Alexa Bowie

The Click of a Pebble: Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by [Barbara Spencer]

#Fantasy – The Click of a Pebble Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by Barbara Spencer

Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by [G G Collins]

#Psychic #Thriller Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by G G Collins 

#Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Biography #Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Poetry D.L. Finn. 

#Humour – Let Marcia Meara lift your spirits.

#Humor/Humour by Leon Stevens 

carol bio

#Wine – Recent News from the World of Wine Forgery by Carol A. Seidl 

#BookReview – Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough by Jemima Pett 

Monday 10th May 2021 – #Poetry #Trees Rebecca Budd, #SnailMail Pamela Wight, #BookReviews Jan Sikes

Tuesday May 11th 2021 – #Review D.G. Kaye, #ReadingAloud Jennie Fitzkee, #DogBooks Jacqui Murray 

Wednesday 12th May 2021 – Filmreview Beetley Pete, #BookReview Olga Nunez Miret, #Gingercake Elizabeth Merry, 

May 11th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Brussel Sprouts and Holidays 

May 13th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Exodus and Mary Poppins 

– May 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – The Month of May and Chickens 

 

Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement…I hope you will join us again next week.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Psychic #Thriller Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by G G Collins


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.Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021

Today GG Collins is sharing an excerpt from  Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1)

Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by [G G Collins]

About the book

The shaman told Rachel: “Allow the power to flow through you. Don’t try to capture it. You wish only to borrow it.”

All Rachel Blackstone wants is to talk with her father; solve the mystery of how he died. Using a Native American ceremony given to her by a shaman, she summons him in this paranormal mystery. Instead, a soul intent on revenge slips through and threatens people she loves. Now the Santa Fe, New Mexico reporter must follow the evil spirit, uncover its purpose and send it back. The shape-shifter has horrific powers. Rachel is tormented by what she has unleashed. There’s more. She’s seeing dead people; which frankly give her the creeps. Some are helpful; others lead her away from the truth.

One spirit, a lone wolf, seems to have an uncertain allegiance. What she, and friend Chloe—both fledgling women sleuths—uncover is an earthly scam involving both the quick and the dead. Rachel must play a dangerous game of fantasy treasure hunt to stop the ruthless ghost. To survive, she must discover her own psychic powers during a climatic supernatural storm of earth, wind and fire. In this thriller, to fail is to die.

An excerpt from Reluctant Medium

Joseph had not disclosed what would happen, probably because she hadn’t asked. At the time, her father was alive and it never occurred to her she might want to attempt such an experiment. A shape began to form in front of her; subtle colors carried on smoke eddy, sluggishly wrapped around a central shaft of air. Fear kicked in. She expected joy at the opportunity to see her father again, but how would he appear?

Rachel hadn’t considered that possibility. She willed the confusing ethereal episode away. But the coming proceeded. She could not stop it. What was that movie? The Monkey’s Paw? A grieving mother wished for the return of her dead son, only to discover him at the door, not as he lived, but as he died in all its horror.

Rachel continued to watch and wait. New sounds began. Like shot hitting a window in a staccato report, small fragments of matter were being yanked from the gaseous haze only to become magnetized to the core of whatever was developing. The room had become so hot she felt clammy.

“Dad?” she asked cautiously. Instead of her father’s gentle voice another reverberated inside her head.

“Fool!” It streamed through her mind like a banner trailing a plane. “You dare to intrude in things you do not understand. Once you have opened the gates of heaven or hell, there is no return.” Rachel shook her head to clear the disturbing statement. The mask fell, hitting her arm, tumbling to the floor. The cuff link came loose and bounced, stopping near a heating vent. She tried a reality check, reminding herself she was in the living room of her house. Safe. There was nothing to fear, but an occasional mugger or drive-by shooter.

She wanted to stand, but fatigue held her down. Her hand rose to her mouth as a figure materialized. This couldn’t be right, she thought logically. Her father looked nothing like this.

The man was too tall, too dark. She studied the figure searching her memory for a matching image.

“Where’s my father?” Her words were barely audible her mouth was so dry.

“Daddy’s busy.” The voice was contemptuous. “How did you know I wanted to come back?”

She willed her legs to work and pushed herself upright. The twig snapped in her hand, causing her to drop the paho. “No!” The scream of rage caught in her throat, thwarted by the mix of odors.

“You’re sputtering, Rachel.” He knew her! “How is brother dearest? Still looking over his shoulder?” The comment carried a threat.

Before she could think of anything to say, the arrogant spirit hastened to the front door and vanished, through it, beyond it, into the night.

Rachel stared at the door, willing it to reveal the truth of what just happened. She’d made a terrible mistake. “Oh, my god,” she whispered. “What have I done?”

©GG Collins

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 07, 2012 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri rated it five stars it was amazing  · 

I totally enjoyed reading “The Reluctant Medium,” and am thankful to see it is a series, so I can look forward to more. A very fast-paced story, yet there are pauses for the reader to recuperate, while the protagonist enjoys her friendships-long-term as well as new and budding-and takes time out to think through the situation in which she has, completely inadvertently, immersed herself and others.

Rachel Blackstone, a reporter, left Santa Fe when she left her husband, moving to Tulsa and experiencing a depressing reduction in her life style. Then her father died in an inexplicable vehicular accident below the Santa Fe Ski Basin, and Rachel is convinced it was more than an accident. An interview with a wise elderly Hopi shaman inspires her to try to recall her father to life temporarily, but instead, the ritual unleashes a “monster,” an evil spirit determined on returning from the dead to wreak havoc and achieve vengeance. The spirit claims a link to Rachel’s brother Chris, disliked mayor of Santa Fe, so she drives all night back to Santa Fe to help. What she finds is a complex of difficulties, danger, budding romance, and tension, which renders the novel engrossing and thought-provoking. 

A selection of other books by G.G. Collins

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow G G Collins:Goodreads – Blog: Reluctant Medium at Large WordPressBlog 2: Parallel Universe at Large WordPress – Twitter: @WriterGGCollins

About G G Collins

G G Collins writes the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries, the Taylor Browning Cozy Mysteries and young adult novels. Her love of mysteries began as a teen when she read “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson. From that time on she loaded up on mysteries from the library: cozy, police procedural and romantic suspense. Later on, it was Stephen King who drew her attention. “That scene when a character looked into her sink at a bowlful of lettuce that filled with blood; I was hooked!” With an interest in many metaphysical subjects and science fiction, she began writing paranormal mysteries. They are infused with Native American traditions and the American Southwest with many of her stories set in New Mexico and Arizona.

G G Collins loves the southwestern US where many of her stories are located. She can be found hiking through ruins of the ancient ones and enjoying New Mexican cuisine. When not traipsing about, she makes up stories with great friendships, quirky characters and, oh yeah, dead bodies. In real life she shares her time with a man, several neurotic—and psychic—cats and the ongoing struggle to grow a garden.

Thank you for visiting today and I know that GG 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 – #Fantasy – The Click of a Pebble Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by Barbara Spencer


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 Barbara Spencer shares and excerpt from Click of the Pebble: Tryst with the Devil (Book 1 of Children of Zeus)

The Click of a Pebble: Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by [Barbara Spencer]

About the book

Prequel Series to ‘The Year the Swans Came’

Born into the carinatae, a race of shape-shifters and magical beings, Yöst believes his life in their island village wondrous – until death comes to call. In the guise of the local priest, who is determined to wipe the carinatae from the face of the earth, only Yöst and two young children, Zande, destined to be the next ruler, and Tatania, survive the massacre.

Aware the priest will not cease his search until they too are dead, Yöst begs sanctuary from Ramon, a gypsy farmer whose family fled the war in Spain and, unaware of their history, Ramon offers a home in return for work.

Unused to labour of any kind, Yöst strikes up a close friendship with Rico, the only son in a house full of girls, who helps him through the first difficult years. As their relationship strengthens and deepens, Yöst begins to think of staying and making his life there as a farmer … forgetting that as carinatae, his own date with destiny is fast approaching.

And so is death …

An excerpt from The Click of A Pebble -Tryst with the Devil

Yöst listened to the darkness unsure what had woken him. In the distance, surf stirred restlessly and wind soughed through the tops of pine trees. Yet that wasn’t it. Those were sounds he heard every night since he’d come to live on the island, five years previously.

This was more the click of a pebble against a glass window. He and his mother had had glass windows in their tiny house on the mainland. Once he had broken a pane throwing a stone against its brittle surface. He stared into the darkness listening to the quiet breathing of his five companions. Older than him, two were from the great continent of Africa, their skins the colour of aubergines ripening in the sun. Geography was good, Yöst decided, grateful that his mother and grandmother had insisted he attend school, crossing the narrow gap between the island and mainland by boat.

‘Learning will take you places,’ his grandmother’s voice chided him, invading his thoughts as she did almost every night, her voice ringing out as plainly as it had when she was alive. That had been her speciality, nagging, when all he wanted was to play with the other boys. Going on and on about learning how to gut a rabbit and build a fire, ‘so that you can care for yourself when I am no longer about.’

‘Why should I bother?’ he had retorted impatiently. ‘None of the cobs do that sort of work.’

‘That’s no excuse. Just because someone else is lazy and stupid. If they stuck their arm into a fire, would you do that too?’ she countered. ‘I want you to do more than read and write.’

‘Why?’

‘Because the world is changing and when you are fully grown, you may not wish to live this life.’

‘Not wish?’ Yöst echoed. ‘How can there be anything more wondrous than our lives? I cannot wait to fledge; it is the most exciting thing ever.’

‘Yöst!’ The old woman had frowned, his name on her lips a rebuke. To her grandson, she was as old as Methuselah, even though her dark hair had little grey in it. Fifty was very old – too old. She had to be old to die from something as trivial as a cough. ‘Listen to me. This is no longer a world in which we belong—’

‘Grandmother, I’m not listening.’ He had laughed then and run outside to watch the young cobs.

A few days before she died, she had suddenly renewed her attack; warning him to be wary of people on the mainland and making him promise never to speak out about his heritage.

‘Why not?’ he asked, resting her head against his shoulder so she could sip a drop of water.

‘It’s only my usual winter cough,’ she had told him in the April, ‘It will be gone soon.’ Except it hadn’t, her cough worsening each day.

‘Because people fear anything different.’

‘Fear us!’ Yöst had laughed in protest. ‘We are too few to fear.’

‘It makes no difference. We are carinatae, descendants of Zeus, magical creatures—’

‘You aren’t,’ Yöst retorted.

She chuckled, her amusement quickly evaporating, her thin shoulders humped over her chest as she fought for air. ‘No, but I loved a man who was,’ she said, her words spoken on an outward breath, fast and shallow.

©Barbara Spencer

One of the reviews for The Click of A Pebble

Having read The Year The Swans Came, I was excited to read this first book about the beginning of the mysterious Zande’s life. The story begins when Zande is very small, about five years old, with a massive tragedy, which leaves Zande, a tiny girl called Tetania and an older boy of about thirteen called Yost, entirely alone, their mothers and companions having been brutally murdered. Although this does indeed begin Zande’s story, this book is really Yost’s story.

Yost, Zande and Tata become used to their new life with a family on a farm and Yost discovers the character building results of working rather than the life of ease he’d lived before, and the comforting love of living with a family with all their diversities of characters. It is a ‘coming of age’ story really, and the discovery of who he is, apart from being a ‘Child of Zeus’, or Caritinae – part man, part swan. We also learn more about the nature of the caritinae, which was somewhat puzzling in the other book, especially with regard to what happened to Peter.

The skilful ‘pen’ of Barbara Spencer brings all her characters to life so that the reader can’t help ‘knowing’ them and loving each one with all their curiosities and differences in the people they are, brought about by their life experiences before they came together. I was totally involved with Yost as he learned to work and to open up in response to love and caring shown towards him, helping to eventually dispel the nightmares brought to him by the terrible experience of witnessing the massacre of his people.
I am looking forward to being able to read the next book.  

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

A selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Connect to Barbara Spencer: Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

About Barbara Spencer

In 1967, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents, in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World.

A regular visitor to both primary and secondary schools, in 2010, the publication of Running, a Y/A thriller, took Barbara countrywide, her travels eliciting a series of Blogs and short stories which were published in 2017 as Age and the Antique Sideboard. This marked her retirement from writing, since when Barbara has written several books for an older audience.

The first of these, The Year the Swans Came, a magical fairytale for adults/top teens, was published at the end of 2018.

Thank you for visiting today and I know that Barbara 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 – #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.