Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Family #LGBTQ – His Ladyship by Stevie Turner


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Stevie Turner…#Family #LGBTQ  His Ladyship

About the book

Norman Wicks is 57, overweight, and has diabetes. He is sick of his life. He has never left home, had a girlfriend, or held down any kind of job. The only friends he has are online, as he prefers to stay in the comfort zone of his bedroom. His devoted 92 year old mother Agnes waits on him hand and foot.

Norman has a secret he has kept hidden from the world for the majority of his life, but now he is desperate to bring it out into the open. He is terrified of how his family will react. However, for his own happiness and peace of mind, Norman must find a way to tell his mother and siblings exactly what they do not want to hear.

HIS LADYSHIP reached the finals and the Longlist of the 2021 Page Turner Awards

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

A small selection of books by Stevie Turner

One of the recent reviews for Finding David

Mar 05, 2021 Patricia E Yarian rated it five stars it was amazing

There are those with a very special gift. The gift to “see”. There are also those that don’t welcome that special gift…but here, the telling of the story is because of the gift..

David, a young boy is “lost”. Taken by a nasty evil person..you see David won’t be back ..except thru the gift and a Spirit Guide. Even though the Guide has informed the psychic that yes, David has grown and isn’t the 9yr old that he was at time of abduction, he presents his spiritual self as that 9yr old in order to be recognized by his mother…

I can continue on, but I’ll end up blabbing the whole story to you! And we don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure…..what I will say is this…

Go ahead, grab a bit cuppa java juice, a snack and settle in with your feet up and enjoy the story!!

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.

One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from De Coder Media, an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition.

HIS LADYSHIP reached the finals and the Longlist of the 2021 Page Turner Awards

 

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Stevie’s latest release… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Historical #Witchcraft Nancy Kilgore


The first review today is for The Hat by C.S. Boyack that I can also recommend.

About the book

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

A recent review for The Hat

Chris Graham 5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 October 2021

What a fun and easy read this was. The interaction between an ancient hat and a modern young woman is spot on, especially when trying to teach the hat the do’s and don’ts of modern thinking.

Read the reviews and buy The Hat: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The next author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Elizabeth Gauffreau 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended for the Poet in Everyone!  Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2021

I have Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge “Tanka Tuesday” to thank for inspiring me to try writing syllabic poetry for the first time. That initial inspiration resulted in a tanka, which was followed by another, then another, finally becoming my first poetry collection.

Chesebro’s poetry craft book works in a similar fashion. Word Craft first acknowledges and encourages the creative potential in each of us, which I would consider the book’s main premise. We all have the inspiration for poetry inside us; we just need to help that inspiration find its most appropriate form of expression.

Given this premise, it makes sense to begin with syllabic poetry–and so be able to choose a structured form well-suited to what we want to express. For example, have we been struck by the way the winter sky looks when a cold front is approaching? Haiku can capture and hold this observation. Are we bemused by a particular human foible? This observation would be better suited to senryu. And so on, through a wide range of nonrhyming syllabic forms.

The book is well-structured and organized. Each section defines a form of Japanese syllabic poetry and its American counterpart(s), including a brief history of how they evolved. (Credible sources have been consulted and cited for this information.) Next is an explanation of how to write the form, including general subject matter, syllable count, and number of lines. Finally, there are numerous examples of each form written by a range of poets, including Chesebro.

What I most appreciated about Word Craft is that it shines light on syllabic poetry from a number of different angles–any one of which could serve as the reader’s inspiration for a new poem!  

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

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

The final review today is for Nancy Kilgore for her most recent release, Bitter Magic: Inspired by the stgory of a confessed witch.

About the book

Bitter Magic, inspired by the true story of Isobel Gowdie and her witchcraft confession, reveals a little-known corner of history—the lives of both pagan and Protestant women in the Scottish Reformation of the 1600s as witch trials and executions threatened their lives, values, and beliefs.

The story is told by Isobel herself and also by Margaret Hay, a fictionalized seventeen-year-old noble woman. When Margaret stumbles across Isobel one day, it seems as though Isobel is commanding the dolphins in the ocean to dance. Margaret is enchanted. She becomes interested in Isobel’s magic, in fairies, and in herbal remedies; Isobel freely shares her knowledge. While Margaret worries that being around Isobel could be dangerous, she also respects Isobel’s medical successes and comes to believe that acknowledging the efficacy of herbal remedies or believing in fairies does not challenge her Christianity.

But Isobel believes in more than cheery fairies and herbal medicine. She has dark wishes as well, unknown to most people. Isobel seeks vengeance against the local lord who executed her mother for witchcraft. More important, Isobel’s trance experiences (or are they dreams?) lead her to confess to a wide range of sins, including consorting with the devil. Then, during her trial, Isobel names thirteen others, calling them all witches. To her great shock, Margaret hears her own name. Can her tutor, a Christian mystic named Katharine, save them?

One of the recent reviews for the book

GHC Knox 5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Magic Is Like a Good Movie  Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

Nancy Hayes Kilgore is one cunning storyteller. With her third novel Bitter Magic she serves up a fine cinematic feast set in the mid-17th century Scottish countryside. It brings to life an array of characters from all levels of society, and animates their beliefs and superstitions in miracles and witches, God and Satan, truth and dreams. The novel is set at the intersection of religion and psychology, and Hayes Kilgore – a Presbyterian pastoral minister and practicing psychologist living in Vermont – is eminently qualified to write about both. She is a wordsmith whose command of botany and geography give the reader a real sense of being present as the novel’s action unfolds.

One can taste the surf along this rugged coast, feel the snap of a whip, smell the sweat of laboring beasts, or take sides in the warfare among clans and with the occupying English troops. Holding the tale together is the history of Isobel Gowdie, brought to trial as a witch at a time when witches were burned at the stake. We are asked to discern between good magic and bad, religion and idolatry, and the frequent ignorance and hypocrisy of those given power over others. Dr. Hayes Kilgore pits spirituality against religion, and explores how both shape and are shaped by their political world. She is a feminist, and this is a story of the oppression of women and the strengths they develop to free themselves.

Bitter Magic is no philosophical screed; excitement and suspense are created by the author’s technique of letting us see each step of progress in the story through eyes of its characters. She is a masterful presenter of the facets of human character as they are revealed in the book’s protagonists, Isobel the witch and Lady Margaret Hay of Inshoch Castle. Margaret is herself at the crux of youth and adulthood, confronting the issues that growth inevitably produces.

You will love this book if you are a student of history or humanity. It gives a snapshot of ourselves as we come to terms with the emotional and physical world we inhabited in renaissance Scotland – or the world we inhabit now  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads

Also by Nancy Kilgore

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Nancy: GoodreadsWebsite/blog: Nancy Kilgore – Twitter: @NancyKilgoreBks – LinkedIn: Nancy Hayes Kilgore

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Romance #Mystery – The Art of Spirit Capture by Geoff Le Pard


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Geoff Le Pard.. a contemporary mystery romance – The Art of Spirit Capture

About the book

Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked; and Christmas is round the corner to remind him how bad his life has become.

After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future.

While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbour so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?

Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption and good cooking.

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

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

One of the recent reviews for Apprenticed to My Mother

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and heartwarming memoir Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2021

I never thought of myself as a memoir reader, but when they’re this entertaining, I can’t help but fall in love with the genre. I’ve read a book of short stories by Geoff Le Pard and decided to give his memoir about his mother, Barbara, a try. What a touching book full of humor, compassion, and love. Lots of love.

The book starts with the funeral of Le Pard’s father, Desmond, an event that changed Geoff’s relationship with his mother, bringing it front and center. He became an unwitting “apprentice” for his father’s role, and got an education from his mother about her expectations. It made sense that his father’s death had created his opportunity and that the book would start at that point. But the book isn’t only about Barbara. Each chapter ends with a poem by Desmond, poems that highlighted this thoughtful and talented man and how much he loved his wife, family, and life in general.

As a person who takes care of her elderly parents, I could relate to many of the events that take place in the book from the baffling and frustrating to the downright hysterical. Though the book covers the last years of his mother’s life, there are plenty of look-backs to early times that give a well-rounded and colorful look into the Le Pard household. I laughed out loud at the Manure Years (something we had every spring at our house too), and the escaped guinea pig adventure. Another funny anecdote was after Barbara’s cataract surgery at the age of 82, when she took the author to task for not telling her that she had wrinkles. And there was the car that needed a half dozen clutch replacements… and Gran selling the garden vegetables when no one was looking…

I highly recommend this book to readers of memoirs who want to laugh, have their hearts warmed, and perhaps shed a tear.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreads: Geoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

About Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Geoff’s latest book.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Booktore Extra – #Anthology – Autumn Paths – Seasonal Collective of Nine Authors


Dellighted to share the news of a seasonal collection featuring nine authors and their stories. Autumn Paths: An Anthology.

About the Anthology

Nine writers from both sides of the Atlantic, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have created this miscellany of stories.

These tales of family, mystery, intrigue, adventure, and suspense will take you across continents, through time and space in this world and others. With a linking theme of autumn, discover new landscapes, encounter new and intriguing characters, uncover secrets and lies, and witness the resolution of old enmities.

Take the first step on this roller-coaster of an emotional journey, and you won’t be disappointed.

An early review for the anthology

Mr D G Pope 5.0 out of 5 stars A great read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 October 2021

A really good collection of short stories, mostly from writers I have not come across before.

Each author has thier own individual style and each story is very different from the others although they are all linked by the theme of autumn.

It’s hard to pick out any one story above the others – they are all so good. I liked the way the stories progressed from a gentle human story about life on a farm in Canada, to a good old fashioned murder at the end. In between there’s plenty of variety – adventure, crime, sci fi and more. One of my favourite authors is also in this collection and her story was just as good as her novels.

Not a single story here disappointed and I can recommend this book as a great read.  

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK –  Reviews: Goodreads

Featured Authors

Allan Hudson

Allan was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. Growing up in South Branch he was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a school teacher. He lives in Cocagne with his wife Gloria. He has enjoyed a lifetime of adventure, travel and uses the many experiences as ideas for his writing. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers & In the Abyss – received Honourable Mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition.

He has stories published on commuterlit.com, The Miramichi Reader, The Golden Ratio and his blog – South Branch Scribbler

Sandra Bunting

Sandra’s publications include two books of short fiction, a poetry collection, a non-fiction book besides articles, poems and stories in numerous literary magazines. Sandra is on the editorial board of the Irish-based literary magazine, Crannóg, and worked at NUI Galway where she set up the Academic Writing Centre and taught Creative Writing and TEFL teacher training. Now living in Atlantic Canada, she is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, New Brunswick Writers Federation, Words on Water Miramichi, the Grand Barachois group Women Who Write and the Galway Writers’ Workshop.
Sand Bunting

Scribbler visit – go HERE

Pierre C. Arseneault

The youngest of eleven children, Pierre grew up in the small town of Rogersville New Brunswick. As a cartoonist, Pierre was published in over a dozen newspapers. As an author, he has five titles published so far. Mysterious Ink

Dark Tales for Dark Nights (2013)
Sleepless Nights (2014)
Oakwood Island (2016)
Poplar Falls – The Death of Charlie Baker (2019)
Oakwood Island – The Awakening (2020)

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

Chuck Bowie

Chuck graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science. His writing is influenced by the study of human nature and how people behave. Chuck loves food, wine, music and travel and all play a role in his work.

His publisher has just launched his latest novel, set in Ireland and England, entitled Her Irish Boyfriend, fifth in the international suspense-thriller series: Donovan: Thief For Hire. He has just completed and published the second novel in a new cozy mystery series, set in a fictional town in New Brunswick, and is now finishing the follow-up in this series.Chuck Bowie

  • – Chuck recently completed tenure on National Council of The Writers’ Union of Canada
  • – Acted as Writer in Residence at Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts, 2019
  • – Acknowledged as an author of note in the Miramichi Literary Trail installation, 2021

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

S.C. Eston

Steve always had a conflicting love for the fantastical and the scientific, which led him to write both fantasy and science-fiction. He has three published books: Deficiency, The Conclave and The Burden of the Protector. He lives in Fredericton with his wife and children. S. C. Eston 

Scribbler visit – go HERE

Angela Wren

Angela is an actor and director at a theatre in Yorkshire, UK. An avid reader, she has always loved stories of any description. She writes the Jacques Forêt crime novels set in France and is a contributing author to the Miss Moonshine anthologies. Her short stories vary between romance, memoir, mystery and historical. Angela has had two one-act plays recorded for local radio. Angela Wren

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

Monique Thébeau

Monique is retired and lives in Riverview, NB. She has published a murder mystery ‘In the Dark of Winter’ (which she is currently translating) and a French historical novel of her hometown, Saint-Louis-de-Kent. She is as passionate about building suspense in her stories as she is about gardening and being a grand-parent. Monique Thebeau

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

Jeremy Thomas Gilmer

JEREMY is a writer of short fiction and nonfiction. He has been longlisted for the CBC Canada Writes Short Story Prize, won the inaugural Short Story Day Africa Flash Fiction Prize and was selected as the writer-in-residence at the KiRA residency in 2018. Jeremy is the Art and Literature editor-at-large for The East magazine.

Gilmer has spent over twenty-five years as an Engineering Consultant on environmental, energy, and mining projects. Born in New Brunswick, Gilmer grew up in Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and Canada and has lived and worked in over forty countries. He splits his time between Eastern Canada and Brazil.

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

Angella Cormier

Angella grew up in Saint Antoine, a small town in south east New Brunswick, Canada. This is where her love of reading and writing was born. Her curious nature about everything mysterious and paranormal helped carve the inspiration for her passion of writing horror and mystery stories. She is also a published poet, balancing out her writing to express herself in these two very opposing genres.

Previous titles include: Oakwood Island – The Awakening (2020), Oakwood Island (2016), A Maiden’s Perception – A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry (2015) and Dark Tales for Dark Nights (2013, written as Angella Jacob). Mysterious Ink

Scribbler visit – go HERE.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to download a copy of this season anthology.. sounds like a great read… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Canada Margaret Lindsay Holton, #Mystery Fiona Tarr, #Thriller J.P. Mclean


The first review is for the collection published on October 16th by M.L. Holton…Sticks and Stones: Ten Canadian Short Stories

About the collection

Ten Canadian Short Stories from Canadian artist and author, Margaret Lindsay Holton
Eclectic & Electric. Satisfying & Satiating. Delightful literary morsels to feed the mind …

From the INTRODUCTION: “… I am offering these stories to a wide range of readers because sharing well-chosen words expands our minds. New synaptic connections are made. We learn. We become more than we are. And, in these challenging times of reflection and crisis, reading really is a supportive and reassuring Gift that we can offer each other.” – mlholton

“Beautiful. A fine collection of memorable moments.” – “Cinematic.”
“Details described impeccably.” – “I loved these stories immensely.”

Experience isolated island life in the North, inner-city dilemmas, a heart-felt funeral, star-crossed lovers, untidy father-daughter dynamics, stories filled with razor-sharp elders and ever-constant rebellious youth – this collection is about life and the living.

An early review on Goodreads

Sep 13, 2021 M. Walker really liked it

Sticks and stones is a great collection of short stories. The descriptive work in these stories are absolutely wonderful! The book gives you a perspective view a life, love, and everything in between. I really enjoyed it! 

Buy the book: Amazon CA – And: 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

Another new release receiving great reviews is by Fiona Tarr – Presumed Missing (Foxy Mysteries Book 2) –

About the book

Most Runaways are Found Within 48 hours. So where is Gemma?

It’s been nearly two weeks since her disappearance. The police investigation has hit a brick wall until Liz, a high-class escort and part-time private investigator, takes on the case.

Detective Jack Cunningham thought he’d seen the last of Liz. But now her missing girl case has been linked to two interstate murders. With everyone on high alert, Jack and Liz team up once again.

Liz has no choice. She must jeopardise their budding relationship and lead Jack into her dark past to uncover a side of the sex trade he never knew existed. With a deadly predator at large, it’s a risk she’ll have to take, because the clock is ticking for Gemma.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 15, 2021 Jim Phillips rated it five stars

An excellent mystery with a good storyline and a strong female character. A new detective agency keeps Liz very busy, but she still finds time for her former business. A real page turner that I would highly recommend. 

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

A selection of books by Fiona Tarr

Read the reviews and Buy: Amazon Au Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write – Twitter: @FionaTarr

And the third recently released book to be receiving great reviews is by JP Mclean – a paranormal thriller Blood Mark.

About the book

What if your lifelong curse is the only thing keeping you alive? Abandoned at birth, life has always been a battle for Jane Walker. She and her best friend, Sadie, spent years fighting to survive Vancouver’s cutthroat underbelly. That would have been tough enough without Jane’s mysterious afflictions: an intricate pattern of blood-red birthmarks that snake around her body and vivid, heart-wrenching nightmares that feel so real she wakes up screaming.

After she meets the first man who isn’t repulsed by her birthmarks, Jane thinks she might finally have a chance at happiness. Her belief seems confirmed as the birthmarks she’s spent her life so ashamed of magically begin to disappear. Yet, the quicker her scarlet marks vanish, the more lucid and disturbing Jane’s nightmares become—until it’s impossible to discern her dreams from reality, and Jane comes to a horrifying realization:

The nightmares that have plagued her since childhood are actually visions of real people being stalked by a deadly killer. And all this time, her birthmarks have been the only things protecting her from becoming his next victim.

Blood Mark is the first in a brand-new paranormal thriller series by JP McLean, author of The Gift Legacy series and whose writing has been described as “. . . deftly crafted, impressively original, and inherently compelling from first page to last.”

A recent review for the book

Sep 29, 2021 John Kerry rated it five stars

Books can be powerful and moving, but they can also be just plain entertaining. After all, there would be little incentive to explore the world of fiction if it didn’t offer some joys! Thriller writers have understood this for ages, which is why an action-packed thriller remains the best choice for beach days and airplane travel. But any book can benefit from a bit of genre-bending, which is why we’re partial to the supernatural thriller: that special book that feels like a speculative fiction novel with a bit of thriller thrown in, or vice versa.

Anyone who knows me knows I love all things supernatural…and paranormal…and thriller related. So what’s better than a thrilling paranormal series or a great supernatural read? Well, a paranormal Thriller series of course. So Blood Mark is the first in a brand-new paranormal thriller series by JP McLean reads for you to sink your teeth into. I’ll be honest: I actually just read this book recently and I cannot stop thinking about it. Are you a mystry thriller reader who loves attempting to guess the twist with every new piece of information you receive? Because I am and this novel did not disappoint. This novel was truly addicting to the point where I kept trying to sneak my Kindle into the office so I could keep reading.

JP McLean truly has a way with words and this spooky story is sure to grab you from the start. It really does have all the best elements of a thriller novel mixed with paranormal horror for you to enjoy. Highly Recommended! 

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

Also by JP McLean

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow JP Mclean on : Goodreads – Website: J.P. Mclean Author – Twitter: @jpmcleanauthorFacebook: JP Mclean

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 17th – 23rd October 2021 – Pink Floyd, Movies, Short Stories, Books, Reviews, Anti-Aging, Health and Humour


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

Another week flown by and well and truly into autumn.. This week a major job in the garden with the side and back of the house now fully lawned. Not that I can claim any credit except for buying the biscuits to go with cups of tea, but the team who were doing the work barely stopped for a break. Very impressed with the result and they did an amazing job.

That is the last of the major jobs before tackling the internal decoration and waiting for the guy to come and repair the wood stove.. we now have all the spare parts and it will be great to get them off the dining room table…

I have finished my clothes, bags and shoes declutter and next week I shall be starting on the kitchen cupboards…that will be interesting…

The Blog

I am also working on the blog format and plans for 2022.. I shall be entering my 70th year and I have an urge to complete some online and offline projects  to celebrate. I also would like to revamp the blog in some areas, particularly if they are going to drop the classic editor completely so need to get that done before 31st December.

If you do visit the Cafe and Bookstore, you will see that for the rest of the year I won’t be accepting any new authors. My focus will be on the existing authors, their new books and reviews, and I am planning to feature everyone in the annual Christmas Book Fair.

Next year I want to up my own reviews for authors to hopefully help get their books noticed, and I will be doing some new features throughout the year to promote those in the Cafe.

I will do more on my podcast as well and also I plan on turning some of my own books into audio versions.

I began the blog in 2012.. so a ten year anniversary and in whatever the format it might take,  I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

As always my thanks to William Price King, Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen for their contributions this week.. and to you for visiting, sharing and commenting.

On with the show

– Chart Hits 1980 Part Two- Pink Floyd, Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright, Irene Cara, The Detroit Spinners

Yves – Be careful what you wish for! by Sally Cronin

Zoe Looking to the Future

#Choka – Dress Rehearsal by Sally Cronin

1967 – Portsmouth – Englebert Humperdinck – the Graduate

Turning Back the Clock – Part Five – The Hormone Factor Part Three – by Sally Cronin

Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress – Foods and nutrients needed to support you

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – #Calcium to #Manganese

Over the counter eye drops and possible side-effects by Sally Cronin

#Branding – Psychology and Business by Claire Plaisted.

Emotional Challenges of Being a Writer by Jan Sikes

#Pot Luck – #Short Story – Just My Luck by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Making Annual Plans 2020- Darlene Foster

#Poetry – Behind Closed Doors: A Collection of Unusual Poems by Robbie Cheadle

Book Reviews – Rewind 2017 – #Thriller – His Revenge (John Cannon Book 2) – John W. Howell

Tuesday 19th October 2021 – #StudentAchievements Robbie Cheadle, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Editing Paula Readman, #Vancouver #Art Rebecca Budd

#Shortstories #Fairies D.L. Finn, #NewBooks Norah Colvin

New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order – #Romance -Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel by Jacquie Biggar

– #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Horror #Suspence Audrey Driscoll, #Paranormal Romance Marcia Meara

#Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Memoir #Flash Pamela S. Wight, #Western #Folklore Staci Troilo

#Transylvania #History Patricia Furstenberg, #Thriller #Haiti Mark Bierman, #poetry #Shortstories Sally Cronin

October 19th 2021 -Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Security blankets and Dog Days

October 21st 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Typos and Exposure

 

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week… Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Transylvania #History Patricia Furstenberg, #Thriller #Haiti Mark Bierman, #Shortstories Sally Cronin


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first review is for the recent release by Patricia Furstenberg – Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories

About the book

In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.

Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.

A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1

Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference

The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.

“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)

An recent review for the book

Anna B 4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing little snippets  Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2021

Ms Furstenberg has written something of a teaser book, an entertaining mix of short sections of lyrical prose and equally brief fact sections that cast glimmers of light on the complicated history of Transylvania, a region that has had more than its fair share of invaders and settlers.

I suspect it is Ms Furstenberg’s intention to tickle the reader’s curiosity–if so, she more than suceeds, as I find myself overcome with an urge to read up about Dacia, about Saxon emigrants to the region, about Vlad himself, about the complex history of modern Romania.

I particularly enjoyed the sections about language: sometimes, we forget that even today we use words our very, very ancient ancestors also used. Ms Furstenberg’s little book helps remind us all that we are all part of a long, long sequence of people, with (hopefully) as many to come after us as have gone before.  

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

A small selection of other books by Patricia Furstenberg (some in Afrikaans)

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK Blog: Alluring Creations Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @PatFurstenberg

The next author today is Mark Bierman with a review for his novel a thriller set in Haiti, Vanished which I can highly recommend.

About the book

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

John W. Howell VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written and fast paced story  Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2021

The first thing that impressed me about this book was that the author took on the heinous subject of human trafficking but managed to create a compelling story without resorting to gratuitous graphic violence and sex. Instead, he kept the story within the bounds of true-to-life human emotions.

The second thing that impressed me was the author’s ability to set scenes and describe the action using colorful and descriptive metaphors that frequently occurred throughout the story. Such descriptions brought the book alive.

The third thing that impressed me was the story itself. The author spent a great deal of time on research, and it showed in the details in the story. For example, Haiti’s setting is not on the usual tourist destination list, so common knowledge of customs and other nuances was not because of kicking back on vacation but took work to ferret out.

This book has plenty of action for those who like action. Although, it does require buying into the premise that a couple of Americans want to help find a kidnapped child just to do it. But, once you get there, the story is page-turning entertainment. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a well-written fast-paced story.  

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

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

Finally today I would like to share my own news about reviews in the last few weeks. I am so grateful to those who have read the most recent book and also older collections and here are just two.

Patricia Furstenberg Bookbub October 15th

Having thoroughly enjoyed three of Sally Cronin’s previous books, the humorous fiction-memoir ‘ Just an Odd Job Girl’, the flash-fiction ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words’, and the short-stories and poems from ‘Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries’, I knew that ‘Life is a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony’ will be also a treat.

Sally Cronin’s gentle spirit and big heart glow in this charming poetry collection all the way from the acknowledgements’ page where Sally includes two word clouds as a special ‘thank you’ to her writing community 🙂

In ‘Life is a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony’ the reader will discover poems that are pensive, witty, or jocular, sentimental or contemplative (of life, love and nature). The poet ponders on a wide range of themes, from the joys of being alive to the everyday confinement that Covid19 has brought to all humankind, and from nature’s everlasting timeline of to the ticking of inner human clock.
Beautiful pictures point out the essence of the poems.

My absolute favorite poems were the charmingly whimsy ‘The Wise Woman’s Apprentice’ (and I am not even a cat person!) and cool and intellectual ‘The Night Sky.’

‘Life is a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony’ is a contemplative collection that I highly recommend to poetry lovers.  

Oct 15, 2021 Alex Craigie rated it five stars it was amazing

I’ve read several books by Sally Cronin and she never disappoints.
This collection of short stories takes a name from the second half of the alphabet from K for Kenneth to Z for Zoe for its main characters. The progression through the alphabet is one that clearly has to follow set rules but the stories that accompany them are hugely varied and contain twists that I really enjoyed.

There’s love, grief, joy, hate, revenge and self-sacrifice – a wide range of emotions stirred by an expert wordsmith. The settings are very different from each other, too. There’s everything from a fictitious royal kingdom to a block of flats terrorised by bored teenagers; from WWII pilots to a self-service checkout with a mind of its own; from a fortune teller’s room to a Greek Island. Every one of them has that ability to make you feel deeply for the characters, and the endings are neatly done.

There’s much poignancy is stories such as Lily and Xenia, feel-good factors in Norman and Walter and plenty of humour and surprises in Queenie, Rosemary, Theresa and Yves. Some of these tales are touching accounts of love and loss but others have a delicious edge to them where payback comes into play!

This is a selection box of treats and you never know what flavour you’re getting until the end. I recommend you sample the delights for yourself!

My other books and recent reviews: Sally’s Books and Reviews 2021

Amazon: Amazon US – Amazon UK: Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order – #Romance -Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel by Jacquie Biggar


Delighted to share the news of the upcoming release on pre-order for November 15thLove, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel by Jacquie Biggar

About the book

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

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

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

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

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

Head over to pre-order the book for November 15th: Amazon US –  and: Amazon UK

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

One of the recent reviews for Secrets, Lies and Alibis

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars Maggie has become my favorite character!  Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2021

Maggie’s story continues as she recovers from PTSD at Frank’s ranch with her ex-partner, boss, an ex-seal, and wife. There is the budding relationship between Frank and Maggie and the past bond with her partner, Adam, which I enjoyed, along with the missing cows. Then, a man living near the ranch who was recently released from prison added excitement to the story, along with familiar characters from previous books who dealt with their issues back in Tidal Falls. I loved the story, had more than one perspective, and how well it all blended. The characters are well-rounded, and the setting made me feel like I was there with them at the ranch. Although I have gotten attached to all the characters, Maggie has become my favorite. I can’t wait to read Wounded Hearts #8 and see what happens next. I highly recommend this book and the series.

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

About Jacquie Biggar

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

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Memoir #Flash Pamela S. Wight, #Western #Folklore Staci Troilo


The first review today is for the Halloween poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku

About the collection

The stage is set and the actors are fully rehearsed and prepared to have the night of their lives. Of course, it IS only ONE NIGHT but that night is Halloween. Come, and eavesdrop on the cast of fright night in the bright light of day as they speak in “haikulike verse”. While most subjects say cheese when facing a camera, these rascals say, BOO! BOOKU that is!

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Halloween Accompaniment!  Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

I love that this little book of Haiku is based on this author’s family and love for all things Halloween! The photos are outstanding. The extent this family goes to with decorations is over the top! But add the brilliant Haiku with the photos and you have an excellent spooky book to share and celebrate at Halloween! I highly recommend this very quick read. It will get you in the trick-or-treating spirit immediately!

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

The next author today with a recent review is Pamela S. Wight for her latest release Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary

About the collection.

Wow! Life goes by in a flash.

Philosophers and mystics ponder the mystery of these flashes. Pamela Wight writes about life flashes in her short stories that include family and friends, love and life’s challenges. Wight’s “Flash Memoir” promotes the belief that we all share sparks of the extraordinary that occur in our everyday life. Each short story is true and brings a smile of recognition to her readers: that life transports and enthralls us in all its confusing, amusing, challenging, and astonishing ways. Each story is light-hearted and short – like a flash – but be prepared for a page-turner that keeps you in your seat, smiling.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! A Must Read!  Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021

Flashes of Life by Pamela S. Wight brings to life those little moments of joy, which we often miss, those emotions that remain unexpressed, those relationships that we cherish and wish we could hold on to them as they slip out of our hands, however hard we may close our fists. Wight possesses the knack of converting an ordinary scenario into a humorous one, with her witty style of writing. I’ve never read a more marvelous account of the endeavor of a fourteen-year-old girl, to straighten her hair to look like ‘Jane Asher!’

I know Pamela writes with élan, as I follow her at her blog but this memoir, in the form of little stories and anecdotes from her life is amazing! She can look at the mirror and wonder, “where’s the cute twenty-year-old? Who the hell is this freaky lady?” I must have thought that a million times when I look at myself but only Pamela could express it so well to compress it into ‘Dancing Our Age.’ Her crisp style and ingenious choice of words adds a dash of delight that touches your heart immediately. Her stories flow like a gurgling stream, cascading at times and shimmering like the first rays of winter sun.

I thought ‘Straight Hair’ would be my favorite but then I read ‘How to Embarrass Your Kids’ (loaded with fun) and ‘A Renewal’ – dripping with subtle emotions and
‘Grilled Cheese,’ which is wonderfully narrative: “kitchen as tiny as an elf’s, and it has already taken me four minutes, thirty-eight seconds to find a knife to cut the cheese.” Wight is most creative but it hits the sky with ‘It’s All Golden!’ Just look at this: “my thirty year old son, once my hard child”, as hard as sleet on soft grass. I was the grass.” I loved ‘Nap Time,’ I laughed out loud while reading ‘Burnt Toast’ and would never forget her winter coat that she wore when it was 70 degrees outside! You have to read to find why!

I have no words to describe the superb beauty of ‘The Weight of the Soul’ and ‘Benji.’ Need I say this is a MUST READ book? I would like to give it double 5 stars and keep it at my bedside to read it again and again.

Also by Pamela S. Wight

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Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Pamela : Goodreads – website:Rough Wighting – Twitter: @pamelawight

The final author is Staci Troilo for her short story Valuable Treasures (The Medici Protectorate)

About the book

Life in the Colorado mountains isn’t easy for immigrants Anita and Ottavio Notaro, particularly when they’re isolated on a hillside and barely speak the language. Anita is carrying their first child, and Tav works many long, hard hours away from home. This isn’t the American dream they were promised; this is a brutal life on the frontier. Tav has been saving money to make their lives easier, and he stumbles on a windfall. The only problem is, he isn’t the only one who knows about it. Trouble befalls these two humble Italians, threatening their livelihoods—and their lives.

A strange posse made up of fellow countrymen ride to their rescue. But will they get there in time?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2021

Having read and loved the Medici Protectorate Series, I was thrilled to see there was a short story prequel to it. Ottavio and a very pregnant Anita are trying to live the American Dream in the Colorado mountains. Ottavio puts in long hours with little to show for it. One day he comes home with an unexpected find right as Anita goes into labor. They hoped to use this to go back to Italy, but things quickly change. This is beautifully written, and I could feel the hardship they had endured, including down to the detail of their poor diet. What happens next is heartbreaking, but then comes relief to see a familiar group. This can be a standalone read, but I highly recommend the following books in the Medici Protectorate Series.  

Other books by Staci Troilo

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

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Horror #Suspence Audrey Driscoll, #Paranormal Romance Marcia Meara


Welcome to the Monday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first review is for the latest release by Richard Dee.. a Fantasy YA/Teen Sci-fi adventure – The Syk’m. – I have recently read and reviewed and can highly recommend.

About the book

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.
As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us. Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting.

Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.

Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.

It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be.

There were others in the universe.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Steven Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy Epic  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 October 2021

The Syk’m represents a new genre for Richard Dee, venturing out into the world of fantasy. To date, I’ve read books by Richard Dee in a number of genres and enjoyed them all, so I expected nothing different from this one. The story follows a boy, Hors Lawis, and his friends. In their home of Skandir, the Syk’m are painted as evil, winged monsters, something children are scared into obedience with, lest the Syk’m come and take them away. Hors, roaming the streets and markets of his home for a gift for his mother ahead of her birthday, finds himself distracted by a female. Something about her catches his eye, not least that she has intense blue eyes in a land of brown-eyed people. She carries herself with the strength and purpose of a warrior. As their eyes met the shy Hors could not help but be intrigued. As she disappeared deeper into the markets he could not help but follow.

Down a quiet alley, she pauses, turns and looks at him before stepping through a brick wall. Puzzled and curious in equal measure, Hors followed, arriving not in the building beyond the wall, but a different world altogether. The mysterious girl removes the robe she hid under, unfurling her wings. The Syk’m, Hors quickly realised, were very real. In short order he is lifted into the sky by the Syk’m girl, and sees the sprawling land below. She paints a picture of unrest, of dire situations. The Syk’m are under attack from a band of warriors not of this world, the Druhann. Hors has been brought from his world to help defeat the threat and help restore peace to the world of the Syk’m

Hors, along with the girl, Enuna, must recruit his most trusted friends from Skandir to embark on a highly dangerous mission to cut off the Druhann, bring their leaders to justice and end the war. And perhaps in the process, they would be able to bury the rumours of the Syk’m being monsters once and for all.

Richard Dee is a fantastic writer, and something of a genre journeyman having written brilliant novels in the cosy crime, steampunk and sci-fi genres, so I entered The Syk’m with high hopes. I am a big fan of fantasy, more specifically the enormous Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. While that series is very much a satire of the real world, it also lovingly and mockingly follows many of the standard patterns or tropes of fantasy – warriors and beasts, dragons, kings and queens, witches and wizards and so on. I was pleasantly surprised to find Dee has taken a somewhat different approach to fantasy. It feels every bit a fantasy novel, but without all of the tropes. The adventure is grand in its scale, the characters developing as they work through setbacks and pitfalls. Richard Dee has crafted a fantastical fantasy filled with fun, adventure and danger all in equal measure. I look forward to seeing where he takes this new direction next.  

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1 Facebook:Richard Dee Author

The next review today is for Tales from the Annexe: seven stories from the Herbert West Series and seven other tales by Audrey Driscoll.

About the collection

Seven stories from the world of Audrey Driscoll’s Herbert West Series, followed by seven other tales of illusions, delusions, and mysteries on the edges of logic. Discover Herbert West’s connections to Egypt, and how a dead man can help solve a mystery. Share Charles Milburn’s ruminations as he explores another dimension of his friendship with Herbert. Sample the treats on offer from an ice cream truck from Hell. Ride along with a dad who abandoned his ten-year-old son in the woods where something howls. Find out why a woman paints her bedroom a very special colour. Watch fifteen-year-old Ann as she tries to prove she belongs to the glamorous family on the other side of town. These and seven other curious encounters may be found in this annexe to the ordinary.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

JC Gatlin 5.0 out of 5 stars 14 Short Creepy Tales of Horror & Suspense  Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2021

Tales from the Annexe is an anthology divided into two parts. The first part features seven short stories based on characters and settings from the author’s Herbert West series. The second part consists of seven unrelated short stories, all with an H.P. Lovecraft vibe of a dangerous, paranormal world lurking in the shadows.

I really enjoyed all fourteen stories, though I think I liked the last seven better. These stories are filled with interesting, off-beat characters and the author excels at setting a spooky atmosphere. Each story has a current of suspense that keeps the plot moving forward. You just know something bad is about to happen.

“The Ice Cream Truck from Hell” is absolutely my favorite story in the book. In fact, I read it twice because I was surprisingly blown away after the first read. The two misfit teenagers are so well drawn and have such depth that it makes the fate they’re headed toward become increasingly, nail-bitingly tragic. This is one of those stories that can be analyzed for deeper meanings. The ice cream truck that shows up mysteriously in the middle of the night could be a metaphor for so many things.

“A Howling in the Woods” is another stand out. It’s atmospheric and frightening, following a father and son hunting trip into the dark woods. They shot and wounded an elk and are searching for it as the blood-curdling cries of an animal—the dying elk or something else?—echoes through the trees.
The author has an affinity for writing troubled kids and abusive parents, and the world she’s created is twisted and dark in the most intriguing ways imaginable.

As much as I enjoyed this collection of stories, I do feel that the first seven tied to the Herbert West series are weaker than the final seven. Though I enjoyed them, I’m not sure they’re a good introduction to the series. I felt I was missing some crucial information, since I haven’t read the series. Because they are grouped together, it makes the first half of the book feel less rewarding. I think mixing the original stories with the Herbert West collection would allow each tale to stand on its own merits.

Still, I highly recommend this anthology to fans of horror and suspense. It’s a great read.

A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Audrey: Goodreads – Website:Audrey Driscoll – LinkedIn: Audrey Driscoll

The final author today is Marcia Meara for a recent review for the first in the Wake-Robin Ridge series that I can highly recommend..

About the book

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news . . . Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.

A story of evil trumped by the power of love and redemption, Wake-Robin Ridge will transport you to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and introduce you to characters you won’t soon forget

One of the recent reviews for the book

Oct 03, 2021 Debra rated it four stars

Although I’ve seen different labels for this book, I would call it a paranormal romance. There’s certainly a mystery and ghost story as well, but romance is the dominate component. Much of the book unfolds in two different time periods. One begins in 1962 and the other in 2011. In the latter time period, library researcher Sarah Gray finds herself dissatisfied with her job and her life. She quits her job and buys a cabin in Wake-Robin Ridge in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s the peace and quiet Sarah needs to start writing her first novel, but her aloof and handsome neighbor, MacKenzie (Mac) Cole, becomes a distraction.

Although neither she nor Mac are ready for a relationship, they build a friendship which inevitably becomes more. But a violent, terrifying incidents makes it clear that her home isn’t the peaceful refuge Sarah thought. To resolve the problem, she and Mac need to solve the mystery behind the violence. Mac also needs to deal with demons from his past.

Told from both Mac and Sarah’s point of view, plus that of Lloyd and Ruth Carter in the 60’s, it took a while for the story to get going and the tension to build. Once it did, the book became riveting. The more I read, the quicker I turned the pages, especially toward the last third of the book. The descriptions are beautiful and Ruth’s story is heartbreaking. Despite the story being a little long for my taste, it’s still a good read that romance lovers will enjoy. 

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.