Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Historical 1970s Jane Buckley, #WWII Paulette Mahurin, #18th Centuary Ailish Sinclair, #WWI Judith Barrow

Welcome to the Christmas book fair and today an exploration of man’s history across thousands of years.

The first author today is Jacqui Murray who takes us back to the world of early man in Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) a series I can highly recommend.

About the book

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help. But can they save Lucy’s tribe?***In this second in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa, the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. Circumstances make it clear that they can’t stay, not with the rest of her tribe enslaved by the treacherous enemy.

To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust. Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A recent review for the book

grace the mystic 5.0 out of 5 stars Where did we humans come from?  Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021

Jacqui captures the history of man and adds a story with all five senses. Smell in particular plays a part in identifying who you are feeling near you. Fear has a smell too. The journey and migration of people across the land to find a home, food and a safe place to live brings them into contact with danger unimaginable.
I am enjoying Jaquie’s carefully researched series. If you like Clan of the Cave Bear you will love Laws of Nature.  

A selection of books by Jacqui Murray

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter: @WordDreams

The next novel takes us to Northern Ireland in the early 1970s by Jane Buckley – Stones Corner: Darkness the sequel to Stones Corner: Turmoil.

About the Book

From Turmoil to Darkness, an unapologetic account of the darkest years of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

Darkness follows the next instalment from author Jane Buckley’s Stones Corner, Turmoil.

Relive the harrowing and very troubled years of the early ’70s, considered the darkest years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Following on from the catastrophic fall-out from the doomed Derry City Hotel meeting, the impact of the disaster has far reaching consequences for communities already divided and distrustful of each other.

Following the lives of so many, from the wealthy, vibrant James Henderson to the love-struck factory girl Caitlin McLaughlin and her family, you cannot help but be drawn in and empathise with the civilians caught up in a raging unrelentless war they want no part in.

All the while the guerrilla war in the province gains momentum as it extends to mainland Britain and the Irish Republic. Darkness takes us from the dank hellhole of the overpopulated Victorian Armagh Women’s Gaol to London’s lavish, opulent private clubs.

An unmerciful and harrowing tale, it endeavours to illustrate what life was like for Ulster’s war-torn, sectarian communities. It captures a story of conflict, survival of the fittest, and victims who attempt to live and love against a background of chaos and carnage.

Hope is deemed lost and forgotten until the power of love, truth, and justice steps in to create Light and a new beginning.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Oct 18, 2021 Martin rated it five stars it was amazing

The wait for this sequel was frustrating but very much worth it. Like I’ve read in other reviews it was hard to put it down. Absolutely riveting. The story moves from character to character , it’s very easy to follow she has a knack of reminding you where you left off. Can’t wait wait for the last two volumes. The books have got me back into reading again.

Also by Jane Buckley

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Jane:Goodreads – website: Jane Buckley Writes – Facebook:Jane Buckley Writes – Twitter:@janebuckley_sc

The next book is by Paulette Mahurin and takes us into the heart of WW2 – Over the Hedge.

About the book

During one of the darkest times in history, at the height of the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1943, members of the Dutch resistance began a mission to rescue Jewish children from the deportation center in Amsterdam.

Heading the mission were Walter Süskind, a German Jew living in the Netherlands, Henriëtte Pimentel, a Sephardic Jew, and Johan van Hulst, principal of a Christian college. As Nazis rounded up Jewish families at gunpoint, the three discreetly moved children from the deportation center to the daycare across the street and over the backyard hedge to the college next door. From the college, the children were transported to live with Dutch families. Working against irate orders from Hitler to rid the Netherlands of all Jews and increasing Nazi hostilities on the Resistance, the trio worked tirelessly to overcome barriers.

Ingenious plans were implemented to remove children’s names from the registry of captured Jews. To sneak them out of the college undetected past guards patrolling the deportation center. To meld them in with their new families to avoid detection. Based on actual events, Over the Hedge is the story of how against escalating Nazi brutality when millions of Jews were disposed of in camps, Walter Süskind, Henriëtte Pimentel, and Johan van Hulst worked heroically with the Dutch resistance to save Jewish children. But it is not just a story of their courageous endeavors. It is a story of the resilience of the human spirit. Of friendship and selfless love. The love that continues on in the hearts of over six hundred Dutch Jewish children.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nov 20, 2021 Bookish rated it five stars it was amazing An excellent read.

This is a poignant and powerful tale of compassion and humanity in defiance of evil. Set in The Netherlands during WWII, this book reflects the different ways in which Dutch people responded to Nazi presence and control in their country. The story held significant personal appeal for me as my own grandfather was part of the Dutch Resistance, and as I read, I found that the characters resonated strongly with the memories he shared with me.

This is evidence of the quality of Mahurin’s research and the depth of her empathy when telling other people’s stories. The book is very well written and profoundly moving. The cast of characters is colourful and realistic, exhibiting the best and the worst of human nature and behaviour 

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

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

The next book the historical novel set in 18th Centuary Scotland and Pennsylvania  Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair.

About the book

Elizabeth craves adventure… excitement… love…

For now though, she has to settle for a trip from her family’s castle, to the port in Aberdeen, where her father has promised she’ll be permitted to buy a horse… all of her own.

Little does she suspect this simple journey will change her life, forever. And as she dreams of riding her new mount through the forests and glens of the Manteith estate, she can have no idea that she might never see them again.

For what lies ahead is danger, unimagined… and the fearful realities of kidnap and slavery.

But even when everything seems lost, most especially the chance of ever getting home again, Elizabeth finds friendship, comfort… and that much prized love, just where she least expected it.

Set in the mid eighteenth century, Fireflies and Chocolate is a story of strength, courage and tolerance, in a time filled with far too many prejudices.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2021

Fireflies and Chocolate is a wonderful book that tells the story of Elizabeth Manteith, a titled sixteen-year-old, who is abducted off the streets of Aberdeen in 1743 and taken off to Pennsylvania to work there. These abductions really happened, facilitated by the merchants of the city who were paid for their help.

Elizabeth is gutsy, vulnerable, rash and caring, and her quick wittedness and bravery had me cheering her on from the sidelines. Like her, we are confronted by the harsh realities of life as a slave or indentured labourer and she experiences danger and brutality as she wades in to protect her new-found friends. There’s also fun and humour in the mix and a romance that grows and develops with the tale. I loved the author’s depiction of the confusion Elizabeth faced regarding her true feelings for Peter, who helped her during the voyage, and for Michael who gave her a job as his cook. I’ll leave you to find out for yourself how that pans out!

Also by Ailish Sinclair

Read the other reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Other reviews :Goodreads – Website:Ailish Sinclair – Twitter: @AilishSinclair – Facebook: Ailish Sinclair Author – LinkedIn: Ailish Sinclair

The final book today is set during World War I and is a love story and family saga  which I can recommend…The Heart Stone by Judith Barrow

About the Book

1914. Everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her feelings for Arthur are far more than friendship. And just as they are travelling home, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan. Only Jessie can see how vicious he is. When he turns on her, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her, the two women drawn together by Jessie’s deepest secret.

Facing a desperate choice between love and safety, will Jessie trust the right people? Can she learn to trust herself?

A recent review for The Heart Stone

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 October 2021

Judith Barrow is one of those authors you can trust to tell a good story based firmly in the real world. In her books the drama lies in the detail of everyday life, set in the physical landscape of early 20th century northern towns. This is a world where a lost reputation is ruin indeed, where a man has property rights but a woman hands them over to her husband on marriage. It’s a world where even an innocuous-seeming business like a bakery involves heavy physical graft and immensely long hours.

We enter Jessie’s story just as WW1 breaks out. What follows is as searing a drama as one set in the battle fields although it takes place almost entirely in the domestic arena of Nether Brook. The shadow of the war hangs over everyone. The losses are enormous, but so is the love.  

Also by Judith Barrow

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Goodreads – blog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77




Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up- 28th November – December 4th 2021 – 1980s hits, Wales, Book Reviews, Christmas Book Fair, Blogging and Humour

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

At last we can celebrate Christmas, online at least without feeling too guilty…now we are in December.

An early start here with the Christmas Fairs to make sure that I feature all authors currently in the Cafe and Bookstore and in The Children’s Reading Room.. The fairs will be posted until Christmas week.. so warn your Kindles that there will be  influx of books.. I hope lol..This week is a taster of what is to come..

In 2018 and 2020 I featured the twelve days of Christmas and I am going to do so this year but I have amalgamated the two. In 2018 I shared guests each of the days with their most special Christmas gifts and as the guest included the contributors over the last nine years, I thought it would offer me another opportunity to thank them. Because of the time lapse I have updated bios, books and links (hopefully)… and I hope you will enjoy seeing them again or for the first time if you are new to the blog. There will be music, food courtesy of Carol Taylor on most days and my favourite drinks for the holidays.

As always a big thank you to William Price King, Debby Gies and Daniel Kemp for their contributions.. they are amazing.

Thanks to you for dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing.. it means a great deal.

On with the show….

Chart Hits 1983 Part Two – Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler, The Eurythmics

1979 Part One – The Lady Magazine, Into the Unknown, Queen and Rocky

1979 Part Two – Bontddu Wales, Anne Murray and Star Trek The Movie

November 2021 – #Mystery Joan Hall, #Western Sandra Cox, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, History Patricia Furstenberg, #Poetry Colleen Chesebro, #Anthology Allan Hudson and Other Authors

Cook From Scratch Rewind – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries, Sauce, Camembert Puffs, Apple and Cranberry Roast Pork

#Children’s – New Book on the Shelves – Wilbur’s New Home: A Surprise for Wilbur (Wilbur the Tractor) by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – New Author on the shelves – #Thriller – The Hurler by Jack Talbot

#Children’s – My Baby Bear Brother and Kong and The Hungry Crocodile by Joyce Murphy

New book on the shelves #Mystery – The Waiting House: A Novel in Stories by Lisette Brodey

#Memoirs – D.G.Kaye, Pamela S. Wight, Cynthia Reyes, Karen Ingalls, Marian Longenecker Beaman

#Contemporary – #Community Jessica Norrie, #Mental Health Anne Goodwin, #LGBTQ Stevie Turner, #Thriller Alex Craigie

#Paranormal – John W. Howell, Jan Sikes, JP McLean, Roberta Eaton Cheadle

#Children – #Chocolate Robbie and Michael Cheadle, #Tractor Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, #Monkey Donald Lloyd jnr #Fairystory Wanda Luthman

#Mystery Novels – Sharon Marchisello, Harmony Kent, Geoff Le Pard, Amy M. Reade

#Children’s Books – Emiliya Ahmadov, B.C Byron, Dawn Doig

#History – #Britain Mike Biles, #Russia Marina Osipova, #Transylvania Patricia Furstenberg, #Witchcraft Nancy Kilgore, #StephenFoster Sarah Taylor

Thrillers – Carol Balawyder, Sue Coletta, Terry Tyler, Mark Bierman, Jaye Marie

#Poetry – #Tanka – Dancing in the Moonlight by Gwen Plano

#PickleBall —A Growing Sport by Pete Springer

#Dogs – The Frustrated Hunter by Annabelle Franklin

#LunarDiary – January – The Wolf Moon by Joan Hall

#Reviews Colleen Chesebro, #Guestpost Marcia Meara, #Christmas Eat Dessert First, #WATWB D.G. Kaye, #MeatFree Carol Taylor

December 3rd 2021 – #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Christmas Donna Parker, #Guest The Story Reading Ape, #Children’sbooks Jennie Fitzkee, #Guest Colleen Chesebro with D.L. Finn

November 30th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Houses and No Good Deed

December 2nd 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – To Do Lists and Police visit


Thank you very much for dropping in today and your support during the week.. have an amazing weekend and I hope you will join me again for more festivities soon.

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Children’s – New Book on the Shelves – Wilbur’s New Home: A Surprise for Wilbur (Wilbur the Tractor) by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Welcome to the Christmas book fair and just in time for Christmas… a new adventure for Wilbur the Tractor from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

About the book

Wilbur is very excited to present the second book in the Wilbur the Tractor series.

“A sweet story about Wilbur the cutest tractor, who faces an unknown future with patience and hope. This story features Wilbur’s adorable friend Hattie, who supports him along the journey into his new home.” ~Hollie Anne Marsh, children’s author.

One of the early reviews for the book

Grady HarpTop Contributor: Children’s Books HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding – and treasuring – friendships!  Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2021

Award winning Connecticut children’s book author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne writes enchanting stories that not only entertain youngsters and share insights into developmental life lessons, but by placing the stories with animal (and mechanical!) characters, the stories become more accessible for learning. This book WILBUR’S NEW HOME is enhanced by the superb illustrations of Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, Deanie’s talented sister, and Wanda L Urabazo and is a very welcome Book 2 in the WILBUR THE TRACTOR series.

Wilbur is a red tractor whose owner, Jim McNab, is his best friend, and this time ‘round Jim joins Wilbur in cutting the grass and Jim informs Wilbur visitors are coming. Wilber is hesitant about meeting this possible new owner, but Jim reassures him, and cleans Wilbur’s tires and washes him and places his blanket over Wilbur for a good night’s rest. The next day a potential buyer for Wilbur arrives and is critical of the ‘too old’ Wilbur, but Jim protects Wilbur’s feelings, and with further support from Hattie the Chicken, Wilbur is prepared for new visitors. Compliments from Susie the squirrel boost Wilbur’s anxiety, until the next visitor, Ben Blake, arrives and is critical of Wilbur’s red color (‘red tractors have bad tempers and they misbehave’), and leaves, again hurting Wilbur’s feelings. Another day, after joyfully working the garden with Jim, and other visitor – Willy and his dog Elliot – and through interactive acts of kindness a friendship is born. The result – Wilber has found a fine new home, greeting Hattie the Chicken and new friends, and finding happiness.

This is a fine story about friendship, about enjoying chores, and about changes that can open doors for new possibilities. Children (and their reading parents!) will have fun while learning important life lessons. And…there is a little quiz at book’s end to underline new knowledge. Recommended. Grady Harp.

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

A selection of other books by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Deanie Humphrys- Dunne : Goodreads – website: Children’s books with Life Lessons – Twitter: @DeanieHDunne

About Deanie

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is an award-winning children’s author of eight books : My Life at Sweetbrier–A Life Changed by Horses, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, A Tractor Named Wilbur and Un Tractor Llamado Wilbur and Tails of Sweetbrier. All of her fictional books are beautifully illustrated by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj who also designed the covers for them. The series of Charlene the Star books is told by the animal characters.

Deanie’s writing has won the coveted Mom’s Choice Awards for My Life at Sweetbrier and A Tractor Named Wilbur. Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes won the Reserve Champion Winnie Award at the Equus Film Festival in Children’s Fiction. In that same contest, My Life at Sweetbrier won the Winnie Award in Equine English Biography. Other accolades include the Feathered Quill Silver Medal, Readers Favorites silver medals, and New Apple Solo (Gold) Medal, among others.

Deanie believes the message that perseverance is the key to accomplishing amazing things and has made it her mission to share this message, one that can benefit every child. Through her inspiring, real life and fictional works, children learn that anything is possible when they refuse to give up on their dreams. Deanie knows from her own life experience that we can attain much more than we ever imagined possible by never quitting.

Deanie’s stories remind readers that tenacity is the key to success. She shares proof that obstacles can be overcome. With the goal of being a positive role model for generations of children, Deanie loves to write entertaining stories that emphasize values that build self-esteem and confidence in young readers. She works tirelessly to create stories that appeal to children in an engaging manner.

Deanie has been featured on several author websites including, and with authors JD Holiday and Annette Rochelle Aben.


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


Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Thrillers – Carol Balawyder, Sue Coletta, Terry Tyler, Mark Bierman, Jaye Marie

Welcome to another Christmas Book Fair and today some thrillers that would make perfect gifts.

The first author is Carol Balawyder – a coming of age crime thriller...Just Before Sunrise

About the book

A coming-of-age story with a domestic noir twist.

Nadine, tired of running her call-girl agency has upgraded to gold digger as she finds the perfect rich widower to marry. Discovering that her wealthy widower is an abuser she seduces his stepson, Charlie, to plot her husband’s murder.

But things don’t go as planned and soon she is turning to her experience hiring young call-girls to find the perfect girl to save her from going to prison…

Homeless Maya is drifting on the streets, grieving the recent loss of her mother.
When she is offered the opportunity to prepare a lake-side house to be used as a half-way home for delinquent girls, she doesn’t think twice.

She soon falls for Charlie, the attractive boy next door, who has a seriously dark side. She is drawn into his murderous schemes, doing anything he asks her to, risking her own safety for the promise of a future with him. When she finds herself party to murder, and she realises he is more concerned with his older female accomplice than with her, she must learn to trust her instincts and use all of her courage to get out of their trap alive.

As a subplot there is the rocky romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man who become involved in investigating the murder for which young Maya is accused of committing.

Just Before Sunrise is a story about loss and survival. About loneliness, betrayals and deadly desires.

A recent review for the book

Jill Weatherholt 5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of love story. Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2021

Having read and enjoyed several of author Carol Balawyder’s previous books, I was excited when she announced the release of Just Before Sunrise on her blog. The author’s background in criminal psychology as well as working in drug rehab centers is evident. From the start, the story pulled me in with the well-developed characters and the beautiful setting of Quebec. Having a background in psychology myself, I highly recommend this not so ordinary love story.

Also by Carol Balawyder

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder – Facebook: Carol Balawyder

The first author is Sue Coletta with a review for I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: # 4

About the book

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?

With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Carol Smith – Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Sue Coletta’s I Am Mayhem Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2021

Take a deep, deep breath now. Fill your lungs because once you start to read the story it will leave you breathless👹👹👹

Body parts are left for Shawnee Daniels first in a ring box then on her back deck. Shawnee is computer specialist/hacker for the police department. She was a cat burglar at night that is how she became aware of Mr Mayhem and his personal troop of crows,
led by Poe. Mayhem sends her cryptic clues by the crows. Will she ever be able to reason with her nemesis?

This is a gripping, riveting and emotional read! You will feel the intenseness surrounding Shawnee as Mr Mayhem sets her up to fight a challenge bigger than him. Will she be able
to conquer and live unscathed??

I felt that the characters are creatively and artfully drawn each with a distinctive personality. Even the crows have their own persona that make them seem real. The interaction of the cast of characters influences whether the consequences in connection with each other will result in evil or good.

Surprises for Shawnee at every turn!! I was amazed at how Shawnee had the strength
to face all that she faced. I felt the tension, suspense, intrigue and was stunned at the
twist and turns throughout this bone chilling, dynamic read.

This is a compulsive page turner and a highly recommended read. You will definitely want to delve into the midst of Mayhem. This is book # 4 in the Mayhem Series. Looking
forward to the next book already.

A selection of other books by Sue Coletta

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter: @SueColetta1

The first author today is Terry Tyler with a review for her most recent release Megacity (Operation Galton Book 3) Another book I can highly recommend.

About the book

The UK’s new megacities: contented citizens relieved of the burden of home ownership, living in eco-friendly communities. Total surveillance has all but wiped out criminal activity, and biometric sensor implants detect illness even before symptoms are apparent.

That’s the hype. Scratch the surface, and darker stories emerge.

Tara is offered the chance to become a princess amongst media influencers—as long as she keeps quiet and does as she’s told.

Aileen uproots to the megacity with some reluctance, but none of her misgivings prepare her for the situation she will face: a mother’s worst nightmare.

Radar has survived gang rule in group homes for the homeless, prison and bereavement, and jumps at the chance to live a ‘normal’ life. But at what cost?

For all three, the price of living in a megacity may prove too high.

Megacity is the third and final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy, and is Terry Tyler’s twenty-third publication.

‘As long as some of us are still living free, they have not yet won. Anyone who refuses to live as they want us to has beaten them. That’s how we do it. That’s how we win.’

One of the recent reviews for the book

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits) 5.0 out of 5 stars Grim dystopia  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2021

It’s a bittersweet experience finishing a beloved book series and that’s exactly how I felt on reaching Megacity’s final page. The third of Terry Tyler’s Operation Galton trilogy, following on from Hope and Wasteland, Megacity illustrates the realities of living within one of Britain’s new ‘perfect’ cities exploring the divide between people who will happily trade freedom for comfort and those for whom the price is far too high. I’ve given each of the three books a 5/5 star rating because of their gripping authenticity which draws me into the narrative. I know Tyler’s imagined world is a grim dystopia, but I would love to live in these books!

Megacity is told from several perspectives so, as a reader, I gained a wide view of how each character’s actions affected their lives and the lives of those around them. I appreciate that no one in the Operation Galton world comes across as supernaturally gifted or wise. They all feel genuine in their beliefs and motivations especially when the results turn out to be seriously unpleasant. There were a few scenes I wish I could unsee!

A small selection of books by Terry Tyler

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

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

The next author is Jaye Marie for her crime thriller Cross fire

About the book

DI David Snow has a serial killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and is now coming after him.

The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him. His efforts are hampered by the arrival of a new sergeant, ‘ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not what she seems.

Alarm bells start to ring when Snow realises she is after more than just his job

One of the recent reviews for the book

Aug 11, 2021 Colleen Chesebro rated it five stars it was amazing

DI Snow is ready for retirement until his partner Detective Jim Harris is murdered. This single event sets into motion the department’s hunt for Jim’s killer. When Jim’s replacement, Ruth Winton, shows up, Snow takes an instant dislike to the woman. She seems competent, but there is something about her that rubs Snow the wrong way.

When more bodies start piling up with the same wounds that Jim received, Snow considers the murders are all connected. He knows time is running out to catch the killers, but he has a problem. His health has taken a turn for the worse. If he’s too ill to find the killer, who will?

Leave it to me to start a series with the third book! However, I found “CrossFire” to be a standalone book. There are references to DI David Snow’s other cases, but nothing I couldn’t follow.

The book reminds me of some of the British mysteries I watch on Amazon Prime. As the suspense built, I kept turning pages, eager to find out what happened next. The characters are interesting, with Snow taking on the characteristics of the troubled detective. I found him to be a likable guy. There is great detail paid to the backstory of the murderer, which helped to propel the story forward.

If you like psychological mysteries, this was a good read. I’m excited to read some of this author’s other mysteries. Perhaps I should start with the first book in the series!

Books by Jaye Marie

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Jaye Marie : Goodreads – Jaye Marie: WordPress Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2


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



Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Children’s Books – Emiliya Ahmadov, B.C Byron, Dawn Doig

Another selection of gift ideas for younger members of the family.

The first book is by Emiliya Ahmadova with – My Twin Sister and Me: A scout always does her best! Readers’ Favorite five star rated

About the book

Glue on the windowsill and toothpaste in the shoes. Who did the deed?

Twelve-year-old Cub Scout twins Julieta and Rafaela have to deal with their older sister’s ugly tricks, which get them into trouble.

At school, Julieta is being mocked for the freckles on her face and her crooked teeth. Forgetting her own plight, however, she stands up to a bully, Claudius, in order to protect her friend Montano from being persecuted. Out of kindness she agrees to go to the movie with Montano. Due to situations beyond her control, it ends up being an embarrassment in more ways than one. However, once again, she stands up for Montano.

Another time, their Uncle David surprises the family by flying from his home in the US to Caracas for a visit. His visit causes worry; something is wrong. Julieta faces her fears in order to save her ill uncle in the middle of the night. After saving him, she becomes a hero in the uncle’s eyes.

The Scouts plan to attend a Jamboree in Russia, and the girls get caught up in the planning and carrying out of various schemes to pay for the adventure.

This book not only introduces children to Scouting, but also teaches them values, morals, and faith. My Twin Sister and Me shows how to manage anger, face one’s fears, the importance of self-respect, and how to deal with bullying. Above all, it helps kids learn how to show kindness to others. Oh–and very importantly: how to have fun.

One of the great reviews for the book

Amanda Gentry 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book no matter how old you are  Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2020

This book is about Rafaela and Julieta, twelve-year-old Venezuelan twins who fight most of the time, but they still love each other. Julieta hates her freckles with a passion and would do most anything to get rid of them as they make her the butt of jokes and the object of a lot of teasing at school. But she learns to stand up to bullies when she stands up to someone who is bullying a classmate of hers.

The sisters are Scouts and have been taught to always be honest and truthful. Like all humans though, they don’t always live up to those standards, not even with each other. When a trick is played on Julieta, she is convinced that her twin is behind it, and without investigating to find out whether or not she is right, she takes her revenge.

Julieta and Rafaela’s uncle comes for a visit. Even though he has stage 4 cancer, he is financially better off than their parents. Besides paying for braces for the twins, he has brought something of great value to them: toilet paper.

The plight of those in Venezuela is brought to light in several different ways, but it isn’t dwelt on nor are political statements made. I just want to say that I cannot imagine having to go to many stores and being able just to find two rolls of toilet paper to purchase. In another part of the book, one of the prizes is a roll of toilet paper. Those situations broke my heart.

Parts of the book made me laugh. The names of the girls’ Scout leaders—Baloo, Bagheera, and Raksha—amused me. I love Rudyard Kipling’s 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐽𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑒 𝐵𝑜𝑜𝑘, so much so that one of my cats has been blessed with the name Bagheera.

When their Scout troop visited Russia, Julieta and a couple of the other scouts sneaked off the bus because they had to go to the bathroom. When they arrived back to where they left the bus, it was gone. How much trouble will they get in? Julieta being lost in a foreign country brought to mind the time I became separated from my classmates while on a school trip touring the Smithsonian Institution.

Not only are those who read My Twin Sister and Me introduced to Scouting, they also see how the sisters learn to handle bullying, manage their anger, and face their fears.Being able to relate to certain situations in this book made it even more enjoyable for me.  

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

Also for adult readers

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Emiliya: GoodreadsWebsite: Emiliya Ahmadova – Twitter: @authoremiliya

Delighted to welcome B.C. Byron to the Children’s Reading Room with his first illustrated children’s book – A Cat Named Lump: 48 Poetic Tummy Turners – age 6-12

About the collection

Can you touch your own eye? I think you should try?
Can you lick your own nose? Hey that’s pretty gross.
Can you suck your own toe? Bend in half, there you go.
These poems are strange and a little deranged.Can you read the whole bunch without losing your lunch?
Maybe you can, but one thing is true:you’ll laugh out your insides before it is through!

One of the reviews for the collection

Amazon Customer5.0 out of 5 stars Super clever and just awesomeness! Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2021

This book is so great! I find myself chuckling at the cleverness and silliness of the poems! There’s some new ways of describing things I’ve not heard before, but are very accurate!

For example, he describes being about to puke as going to “remix the salsa” or “burp the rainbow.” One of my favorites is “The Noah’s ark Burger,” which raises an important question of what animal does baloney come from?? I also really love “Nursery Grimes!”

This book is a lot of fun and both children and adults (at least the cool ones) can enjoy!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – Connect to B.C. Byron: B.C. Byron – Twitter: @BCByronAuthor 

The next book which encourages younger children to embrace the differences in others they play and learn with And So, Ahmed Hears by Dawn Doig

About the book

Ahmed is a little boy who spends his days with his family doing things he enjoys like going to the park and swimming in the ocean. Although he seems to be a typical two year old, mama has concerns that he may not be hearing. So off they go to the doctor and eventually to the audiologist who diagnoses a hearing loss. Fit with hearing aids, Ahmed is now able to enjoy the sounds of life. And So Ahmed Hears was written to increase public awareness about childhood hearing loss and to help alleviate some of the stigma associated with it.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2021

A young boy doesn’t sing or talk or hear the roar of the sea, shouts of warning, or his mother’s call. Concerned, his mother takes him to the doctor and audiologist. Fitted with hearing aids, he gets to hear the sounds that he’d missed before.

A beautifully illustrated children’s book for young children with hearing aids or interacting with hearing-impaired people, especially peers. A simple story about diversity and acceptance.

A selection of books by Dawn Doig which are available in several languages.

Read the reviews and Buy Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Dawn: Goodreads – Website: Dawn Doig – Twitter: @Shoebears


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

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – New Author on the shelves – #Thriller – The Hurler by Jack Talbot

Delighted to share the news of the debut novel by Irish author Jack Talbot, a thriller set in the world of the sport – The Hurler

About the book

Hurling, revenge, atonement, murder….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An early review for the book

Ana Rocha 4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2021

Really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns that kept me thinking until the end.

Was shouting for Britney Kent but also felt for the villain.

His revenge means I will never look at hurling in the same way again.

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

About Jack Talbot

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

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


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the word of Jack’s novel… thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #History – #Britain Mike Biles, #Russia Marina Osipova, #Transylvania Patricia Furstenberg, #Witchcraft Nancy Kilgore, #StephenFoster Sarah Taylor

Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair and today historical non-fiction and fiction offering great gift options.

The first author is Mike Biles for his history compendium A Bit About Britain’s History: From a long time ago until quite recently, which I can highly recommend along with his second book A Bit About Britain’s High Days and Holidays.

About the book

Could this short, elegant, volume be the only book on British history you’ll ever need?

A Bit About Britain’s History is for anyone who wants a light introduction to Britain’s amazing story. If you don’t know the basics, or would like a reminder, this book is for you. It is also perfect for those that didn’t enjoy history at school, but who have suddenly realised they’d like to understand it a bit better now. Organised clearly and chronologically, A Bit About Britain’s History covers every period from a long time ago until quite recently. It begins by briefly mentioning that the place was once inhabited by extremely large lizards, and ends up with a post-war 20th century consumer society. Short articles explain the essential aspects of Britain’s past, including how the ancestors of its current inhabitants arrived, how they fought each other, formed nations, fell out over religion, acquired a large empire, became gradually more democratic, helped win a couple of world wars and were left wondering what to do next. At the end of the book are detailed timelines for each period, which provide useful reference and make fascinating reading in their own right.

So – what did the Romans achieve? How did Christianity arrive? Who are the English and why did they fight the French so often? What is Henry VIII’s greatest legacy? When did democracy start and people get the vote? Why on earth did Britain get involved in WW1?

A Bit About Britain’s History might be the only book on British history you’ll ever need; or it might be your stepping stone to more in-depth academic reading.

One of the reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2021

One of the best nonfiction books I’ve purchased & read in a while. It seemed appropriate to use my favorite and treasured bookmark I picked up at Cheddar Gorge back in 1999.

This isn’t a comprehensive history book yet richly detailed to keep your interest. The writing isn’t dry as one might think when conjuring up ideas of our school history tomes. The delivery of the historical information is very engaging and the humor kept me turning the pages. The time periods are broken down in eight chapters starting with ancient Britain, early medieval, Tudors, Stuarts running to the modern history.

I loved reading about the Romans and the timeline at the end of the book breaks things down, sort of a basic crash course on which period you may want to explore more. I learned more about Britain’s history and the development of government from this book and found subjects I want to know more about. Why couldn’t history classes in school/college be this delightful?!

If you have a history buff or Anglophile in your family this would make a dynamite gift for birthday or Christmas. Mike Biles has a wonderful and informative blog as well called A Bit About Britain.

I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered another of Mike Biles’ books – A Bit About Britain’s High Days and Holidays. This time I selected a Kindle version. My paper copy of the history book is littered with post-it bookmarks for reference. As soon as I have access to internet again (sigh) I will download and enjoy the holidays and high days book.

Looking forward to any publication by Mike Biles.  

Also by Mike Biles

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Mike on : Goodreads – Website: A Bit About Britain – Twitter@bitaboutbritain

The next book today is by Marina Osipova – Push Me Off a Cliff a novel set in post war Russia.

About the book

March of 1948. Three years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended in victory, disposing into the streets of the destroyed and hungry cities and villages brave decorated soldiers: thousands of them having been burned, maimed, or disfigured beyond recognition.

On a crowded commuter train, Maria hears an invalid singing, which painfully connects her to her time at the front and to the love that failed to happen to her. Why, then, since that day, does the voice from the past echo so insistently in her present life? The torture of uncertainty—was it really Armen?—intensifies after the next encounter and leaves her with an unsettling compulsion to do . . . what? Help him? Or, rather, rescue herself from her lonely and unassuming existence her heart subtly rejects? She must decide whether she is willing to let go of the life she knows for feelings she had never thought she could experience.

But, first, she has to find him.

As the genocide of 1915 within the Ottoman Empire destroyed the lives of Armen’s parents and about one-and-a-half-million ethnic Armenians, his future is shattered by this other war and betrayal. Legless and totally alone, and without any family after his mother is gone, it seems the most merciful thing for him would be to end his miserable existence by leaping off a cliff. Otherwise, he must find the courage to continue living in the condition the war left him and find his place in the bitter every-day reality full of difficulties prone to men like him.

Maria and Armen. Each carries private wounds. In the face of despair, will fate offer them a chance to heal their souls and hearts?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Just Reading 5.0 out of 5 stars A heartfelt look at war Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2021

We will truly never know what went on inside the minds of the ones who fought in this war. We only have books to guide us through history.

This book will captivate you. It did me. The time and energy this author put into this storyline is incredible.

As a veterans’s wife, I felt so.much of the main character’s thoughts and bravery. I’m sure life wasn’t pleasant back then and I couldn’t imagine anything they went through.

This is a story of love, but not just love. This is set at war time. The book gives us a peek into the lives of the main characters that are dealing with life.

It is well written and so worth the purchase!

Other books by Marina Osipova

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – follow Marina : Goodreads – website:Marina OsipovaTwitter: @marosikok

Another book that I can personally recommend is 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)

My review for the book November 20th 2021

What an amazing way to learn history, particularly of a country that has such a  rich and tempestuous story to tell.

The author has written 100 word fiction for each entry dating back to paleolithic times with the historical background to the story following. The stories tell of a country that is tempting to invaders, inhabited by resilient and proud people, who have survived extraordinary periods of occupation by Romans and successive marauders from neigbouring kingdoms many times over the centuries.

Transylvania is showcased in wonderful photographs, either of the breathtaking scenery or surviving historical structures of monuments. It is clear that Patricial Furstenberg has a deep knowledge of the country and its history and a love and respect for it too.

She offers a guided tour through the ages using fiction and fact creatively and compiled with great skill.

Not only do I have a greater understanding of the history of Transylvania but it has encouraged me to explore it further. Recommended

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 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

Tom Riddell 5.0 out of 5 stars Kilgore Enchanted Me With Her Prose- Pure Magic!  Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2021 

Isobel Gowdie was a 17th century woman who confessed to witchcraft during the Scottish Reformation of the 1600s. She is the main character in this riveting historical fiction novel that examines not only her life, but the lives of all of the people who were caught up in the witch trials during that period of time.

Margaret Hay, a fictionalized seventeen year old noble woman, who is filled with curiosity meets Isobel after watching her enchant several dolphins, causing them to dance in the waters of the ocean. Margaret becomes drawn to Isobel despite her Christian upbringing and this creates a great amount of conflict within her. She is afraid that it will estrange her from her family, who forbids her from involving herself with people like Isobel. Regardless of the consequences, Margaret becomes enthralled with Isobel’s magic, fairies and herbal remedies.

As pleasant and helpful as Isobel is with Margaret, things turn much darker as Isobel soon becomes entranced by the devil and black magic begins to take hold. Isobel is put on trial and she confesses to her “sins” but she admits to having a coven of witches and she names Margaret as one of them.

I love historical fiction. It transports me back to a time where I can endeavor to understand people and the places that have gone before me. To journey back to the 1800s or even the late 1700s is enjoyable for me but to take me back to the 1600s? It’s a little too far removed from the present for me, but I decided to take the leap with this one- and I am so glad I did! The author made me feel very comfortable as she walked me around inside of an old Scottish castle, visiting with the people of those times. Kilgore’s words have a beauty and a rhythm all of their own and the pacing flows nicely- I was entranced by her prose. I didn’t want to stop reading. It was pure magic by itself.

This story had me thinking a lot about religion, our views of the world and how we quickly jump to conclusions, without deeper introspection and examination of the world and the people around us. Even to this day, we are a deeply conflicted people. If we just took the time we could learn a lot from people like Margaret and the wonderful but tortured spirit that was Isobel Gowdie.

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

The final book today is by Sarah Taylor with Beautiful Dreamer – A fictional biography of Stephen Foster American songwriter of such iconic songs as “Oh! Susanna” and “Camptown Races” Sarah is also in the Children’s Reading Room in  with Old Dog Tray.

About the book

Quiet and dreamy-eyed, Stephen Foster wants nothing more than to be a musician in a world where boys are supposed to grow up and go into business, like the family hero, his older brother William. Even though he can play the flute perfectly from the age of six, his family’s expectations of a traditional profession drive him to Cincinnati, where he works at his older brother Dunning’s warehouse. While in Cincinnati, he publishes his first great hit at the age of twenty-one, “Oh! Susanna.” With Firth, Pond and Company, the best New York publisher, to sell his songs and E.P. Christy, among the greatest of minstrel performers, to sing them, Stephen is sure he can make songwriting his business. He turns out hits like “Old Folks at Home” and “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night,” songs that Frederick Douglass said “awaken the sympathies for the slave,” as if his life depends on it. With the Civil War approaching and personal tragedies striking, it does.

One of the recent reviews for the book

In Beautiful Dreamer, Sara Taylor not only gives us the story of a gifted artist working his way through a difficult life but she offers a remarkably convincing portrait of the author’s world, which was the eastern half of the U.S., both north and south, during the treacherous years leading up to the civil war. For this alone, the book is mighty valuable, especially since that age so resembles the one we live in, with political differences driving apart friends and families.

Aside from the background, what most engaged me was the fate of Mr. Foster’s courtship and marriage. Here is a capsule version (a spoiler, so stop here if you have already decided to read the book): a lovely woman accepts the hand of an artist, though he can’t promise her prosperity. But when times get hard, he senses her discouragement and retreats to the lonely part of himself, in part to devote himself to his art, and in part to get away from her attitude. His withdrawal sends her into darker discouragement, from which his only defense is to retreat even farther away, by solitude or with the help of liquor.

If you have any fondness for Stephen Foster’s music or for U.S. history, you should read Beautiful Dreamer.  

Also by Sarah Taylor

Connect with Sarah on her author pages: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Sarah: GoodreadsWebsite/Blog: Beautiful Dreamer


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





Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Children – #Chocolate Robbie and Michael Cheadle, #Tractor Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, #Monkey Donald Lloyd jnr #Fairystory Wanda Luthman

And another Christmas book fair today… some children’s books in print that you might like to order now so that they arrive by the big day.

The first authors today are Robbie and Michael Cheadle with a review for one of the books in a series for both children and parents… with a story and recipes – Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies Story and Cookbook

About the book

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.

One of the recent reviews

Marian Beaman 5.0 out of 5 stars Candy Delight Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2021

Treat yourself to a delightful confection of rhyming poetry, photos of creative fondant, all ensconced in a playful story featuring fairies, rainbows, and fanciful flavors of ice cream.

The author, who works in high finance by day, gives expression to her creative side in this book, tasty Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow and Fairies Story, part of a series. Recipes are included in this book with colorful photos, including cheese and bacon scones, fudge balls, and strawberry jelly cupcakes.

I can imagine parents and grandparents enjoying baking the recipes or simply reading the rhymes together. Excellent gift idea!

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

Other books in the Sir Chocolate Series


Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Robbie on : Goodreadsblog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

The next author is Deanie Humphrys Dunne with a review for one of her books that would appeal to younger readers.. also in Spanish A Tractor Named Wilbur – Illustrations by Holly Humphrys -Bajaj

About the book

WILBUR is a small, shy tractor. He loves cutting the grass for Jim. But what happens when he must find a new home? Will Jim still be his friend? Who will the new owner be? WILBUR would love for you to take him home and read about his adventure. A Tractor Named Wilbur is the first in a fun series coming your way!

A recent review for the book

Diana 5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and educative book Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2021

In the last two evenings I read with my 7 y.o. son the beautiful story about the red tractor Wilbur. My son liked the book and I think that the plot is suitable for every child.
In the end of the book you will also find questions from the author that the kids will love to answer together with their parents. Highly recommended.

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

A selection of other books by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne


Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Deanie Humphrys- Dunne : Goodreads – website: Children’s books with Life Lessons – Twitter: @DeanieHDunne

The next author with a popular book is Donald Lloyd Jr. for The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends

About the book

Ever wanted to make a new friend but were not sure how? Have you ever met someone and instantly knew that you would be friends? “The Adventures of Monkey and Toad: Two Remarkable Friends” is a story about finding a friend, learning how to be a friend and realizing that a true friend can be anyone from anywhere!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Laura 5.0 out of 5 stars Your Childrens favorite bedtime story. Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2021

My 8 year old daughter loved this book. The characters and colors are beautifully illustrated. We read it aloud, and she re-read it “all by herself” . The parent in me really appreciates the positive message. Looking forward to the sequel.


Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US –And: Amazon UK – Read reviews:Goodreads – Author Pages: Amazon US –And: Amazon UK – FacebookDonald LloydInstagramDonald Lloyd Author – Twitter@DonaldLl0yd

The final book which would make a lovely gift is the fairy story – The Lilac Princess by Wanda Luthman.

The Lilac Princess (The Princess Series Book 1) by [Wanda Luthman]

About the book

A young Princess with too much responsibility and not enough freedom finds herself facing the greatest decision of her life. She is an only child to an elderly King and Queen of a Kingdom in turmoil.

Upon her rests the responsibility to rescue her Kingdom one day, but for now, she is held within the castle walls for her safety. She longs to go outside just for a moment, to smell the sweet lilacs growing in the meadow.

Come along on her adventure when she dares to escape the castle walls and meets a cursed dragon. Little does she know that while the dragon has an evil plan, she holds the key to bringing peace to her Kingdom.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jessica D. Adams, Author VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A short chapter book for kids with a lesson on forgiveness Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2021

“The Lilac Princess” is a fun, short chapter book for kids. Each chapter starts with a brightly colored graphic of a character or scene. The story is about a princess who feels trapped inside the castle walls and she wants to explore beyond the walls despite her father’s wishes. The chapters are short yet capture the reader’s attention with a little suspense. It is interesting how the princess gets her nickname of the Lilac Princess and how she meets a common boy, Dirk, who becomes her friend and accomplice for her escape from the castle walls. The book touches on loyalty as well as forgiveness. When the two main characters are asked to forgive a wrongdoing, they must decide if forgiveness is the best choice even though they were wronged. They both realize that they too, are in need of forgiveness. It’s a good lesson for kids to learn about forgiveness.
I would recommend this book to kids around ages 8-11.

A selection of other books by Wanda Luthman

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Wanda: Goodreads – Blog: Wanda Luthman WordPress- Twitter: Wandalu64


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



Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Mystery Novels – Sharon Marchisello, Harmony Kent, Geoff Le Pard, Amy M. Reade

Welcome to the Christmas book fair and today I am sharing some of the great mystery books on the shelves that would make wonderful gifts.

And the first mystery today is one I can personally recommend is Going Home by Sharon Marchisello.

My review for the book 30th September 2021

This is a well written and thought provoking story that combines a care crisis that many of us face with elderly parents who have developed dementia, and the unravelling of the mystery surrounding a murder in a family home.

It is clear the author has experience of the challenge of communicating with someone who has short term memory loss, and brings in a cleverly crafted murder plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.

There are flashbacks to the past and events which have a bearing on the present, and the reader is witness to the fallout that revelations result in as the search begins for a viable suspect amongst the outsiders who have access to the family home. It would seem that the authorities have only one suspect in mind, and without the ability to communicate coherently, an elderly woman must rely on her extended family to prove her innocence.

The author does a great job in keeping all the various strands of the plot running smoothly in parallel and brings the story to a satisfactory climax.

I recommend to those who enjoy well written murder mysteries and family sagas.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UsAnd: 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

Another mystery that I can recommend is The Vanished Boy by Harmony Kent... a parent’s worse nightmare.

About the book

It’s so remote out here. Anything could happen …

A missed phone call in the night is all it takes.

When Carole’s 18-year-old son goes missing, she breaks into Jayden’s laptop to try to understand his life.

All too soon, Carole discovers just how little she knew her boy.

And when one lead after another dead-ends, the distraught mother has to face the unthinkable.

Sucked into a sticky web of deceit and lies, nothing is as it seems.

When your life turns inside out and upside down, who would you trust?

My review for the book June 23rd 2021

A parent’s worst nightmare. A missing teenager and a realisation that you didn’t know them as well as you thought you did.

The author has created a fast paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, as widow Carole searches social media for clues as to where her missing son might be. She heads down paths that lead to even more questions, as the empathetic detective in charge of the investigation does his best to keep her updated on developments.

The circle of family and friends she can turn to is small, and as she slowly uncovers key pieces of information, she begins to feel even more isolated and her sanity is threatened. The physical evidence mounts up and turns her world upside down; trust in everything and everyone in her life is challenged.

The characters are relatable, as are the extremes of emotions and pain that fuel the events leading to the unexpected climax of the story.

Can you believe all that you see and hear? Or are you being manipulated by someone with something to hide? You will have to read the book to find out.

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

A small selection of other books by Harmony Kent

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

The next book is 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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair5.0 out of 5 stars A brillant, quirky, and charming read!  Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2021

The Art of Spirit Capture is a VERY unusual story that mixes a bit of the metaphysical with small town politics, a splash of romance, and a collection of eccentric and intriguing characters. Jason Hales has just been sacked from his engineering job when he learns he and his brother, Peter, are the joint executors and beneficiaries of his deceased aunt’s estate. Peter, however, is in an induced coma following a biking accident, leaving Jason to sort out the legalities.

When Jason arrives in the small town he vaguely recalls from childhood, he learns the estate includes not just his aunt’s home, but also a large surrounding stretch of woods and several workshops where his uncle made spirit captures—glass ornaments containing the last breath of departed loved ones, and capable of producing strong emotional reactions.

Because Jason hadn’t seen his aunt in decades and because the spirit (and light) captures are integral to the life of many people in the town, Jason is immediately viewed with suspicion. What keeps this story moving forward is Jason’s need to locate the formula for producing captures, and the townspeople’s wariness of what he intends to do regarding the future of captures.

The characters are an eccentric collection, each with backstories of their own, many of which overlap in surprising ways. The deeper I sank into the book the more complexities the author revealed. The plot is ingenious and rewarding, with many twisting threads tied neatly together at the end. I loved the descriptions of the captures (especially the light capture display), and the resolution of how everything played out.

Jason is a highly likable character, but I also need to mention other personal favorites. Lotte, Jason’s childhood friend, now a lawyer assisting him the estate, and Cyrus, a neighbor farmer with a chip on his shoulder really stood out for me. I also loved Viscount, a dog Jason “inherits” with the estate.

If you’re looking for something different, give this quirky and well-written book a read. It’s well worth sinking into the pages!  

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

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

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

The final mystery day has a festive theme and is by Amy M. Reade with The Worst Noel (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 1)

About the book

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy, but for Lilly Carlsen, this Christmas is murder.

As a single mom, small business owner, and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the last thing she needs is to find a dead body on the floor of her jewelry shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as if that isn’t enough, Lilly has to deal with a deadbeat ex-husband, a mother with declining mental health, and two teenagers.

But when a second body turns up, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself? And will her family’s Christmas be merry…or scary?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jun 28, 2021 Marissa rated it four stars really liked it
Christmas spirit takes a deadly turn.

Lily a single mom and president of the local chamber of commerce finds a dead body in the floor of her jewelry store during the busiest shopping day of the season. Not only has she had to deal with her no good ex-husband, two teenagers and a mother who mental condition is declining.

When another body is found she finds herself in the middle of the things. Will she be able to save the day and find the killer before she might be another victim? Can she survive the chaos of Christmas alive and in one piece?

A delightful read which pulls you in.  

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

Also by Amy M. Reade

51dikCmd-RL._UY250_House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads – Twitter: @readeandwrite



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

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Paranormal – John W. Howell, Jan Sikes, JP McLean, Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair and today some stories that come with a paranormal element for readers who love a little ghostly influence in their books.

They are all books that I have read and can recommend too.

The writer today is John W. Howell with a review for his paranormal thriller Eternal Road

About the book

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

A recent review for the book

Elizabeth Gauffreau 5.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Original Novel!  Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2021

I don’t normally read books about the paranormal, but I found John Howell’s Eternal Road to be an irresistible read for the way it addresses the question of life after death. The premise of the novel is that there is life after death, but our eternal home is not predetermined at the moment of death. We need a guide to find it.

Setting out on the eternal road is James, a young man who has just died in a car accident. He is still driving his prized 1956 Oldsmobile when he unwittingly crosses over and meets his spirit guide hitchhiking on the side of the road. He doesn’t recognize her as the classmate who disappeared without a trace at age seven. Sam, short for Samantha, is the first inversion of expectations in this highly original novel: she is older than she was in life.

Sam leads James on a quest for his eternal home. The quest includes time travel to both the past and the future, interaction of the dead with the living, and the solution to the mystery of Sam’s disappearance all those years ago. Along the way are plenty of plot twists that kept me turning the pages. As well, Lucifer and various emissaries put in their appearance at the most inopportune times for James and Sam.

I particularly enjoyed the world-building in the novel, which took the form of the “rules” for being dead. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that addresses the large questions of life and death in such an engaging and entertaining fashion. I highly recommend Eternal Road: The Final Stop. Your wheels will be turning from the first page to the last!

Other books by John Howell

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

The next book with a paranormal element is Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series) by Jan Sikes

About the book

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

A recent review for the book

John 4.0 out of 5 stars One wild ride Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2021

I don’t read love stories and took a chance on Ghostly Interference because the story included bikers and a ghost. The story flowed smoothly and I was hooked before reaching the end of the first chapter.

It begins when Jag, an IT nerd, nearly hits a biker with his car. He is a strict believer of Karma and wants to keep things on the straight and narrow. Jag chases after the rider and finally locates the Harley parked outside of a biker bar; the rider, Rena Jett, turned out to be a ‘drop dead, gorgeous, biker babe’ with an attitude. It was clear right from the start that they were from different worlds, yet, something attracted them to one another.

Shortly after this encounter, Jag sees a ghost – he’s seen others in the past. Turns out this ghost is Rena’s deceased brother who was recently killed in Afghanistan. It soon becomes clear that “Sam” wants Jag to help Rena get through her nightmares and trust issues of her abused and tormented upbringing while raised in the Foster Care system. But there was something else Sam needed to say to her…

As readers meet other characters, the love between Jag and Rena grows. There are several ‘hot’ sex scenes in the story but the author doesn’t turn it into a pornographic exhibition, and it is nicely done.

There are many surprises uncovered in the story as well as some ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ suspense. In Ghostly Interference, everyone gets their wish – except for Rena’s boss – and lives happily ever after. Well worth a chance and highly recommended for those who want to see what real love is like.

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

A small selection of books by Jan Sikes

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

And the third book is a paranormal thriller by JP McleanBlood 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

Pat McDonald 5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional psychological thriller with a paranormal twist  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 November 2021

What an exceptional psychological thriller with a paranormal twist from the author of The Gift Legacies! J P McLean is an amazing writer and story teller who has moved from a quality series to this extraordinary new book that has kept me awake at night. New readers should be allowed to discover the fate of Jane Walker and her birth marks for themselves, so no spoiler alerts here, just the knowledge that they will not be disappointed. I have read all of the author’s books and to be honest she just gets better and better – where do you go from perfection? Wherever that is I’ll be there. (Pat McDonald British Crime Author)

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

The final book today which is set during the Second Anglo Boer War A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle .robbie a ghost and his goldAbout the book

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

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

A recent review for the book

Pete Springer4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Researched Historical Fiction Read  Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2021

A Ghost and His Gold is a complex read with dual timelines more than a hundred years apart. Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle initially starts in modern times with Michelle and Tom, who host a dinner party in their home with work acquaintances and friends. The events connecting the timelines are the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa between the Boers and the British. During the party, they begin playing around with a Ouija board. That’s when things start to go off the rails as they discover they are sharing their house with ghosts.

Two ghosts, Pieter and Robert, encounter each other on opposing sides during the war. Pieter, a Boer farmer by trade, and Robert, a British soldier, make brief appearances in the home. Michelle is the only one who can see them. Haunting the house as well is a poltergeist named Estelle. She is Pieter’s daughter from his first marriage, a secret unknown to her until much later on. She harbors resentment and anger for men, in particular. Despite having evil intentions, I found myself empathetic toward Estelle for all of the horrible things that happened while she was still a girl. While her father is at war, Estelle lives with her stepmother, Marta, and her two stepsisters. Marta is easily the least likable character in the book because she shows no love toward Estelle and blames her as the victim of a sexual assault.
Estelle plots her revenge toward Tom, as he has a dark past.

Tom is another villainous character who seeks redemption for a sexual assault and murder that he commits. Estelle hates Tom and haunts him in his dreams, and attempts to harm him physically.

The history of the war was somewhat complicated to follow, but Cheadle has done her research in writing this book. She includes many footnotes and sources for her information.

One of the more intriguing elements of the book was that Robert, Pieter, and Estelle couldn’t move on to the other side until they showed forgiveness and understanding of each other’s positions and points of view. This is not a light read by any means, but it kept my attention throughout. Readers gain a sense of how horrific life was in the concentration camps.  

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


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


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books for a gift for yourself or someone else at Christmas… thanks Sally.