Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore has been offering authors FREE book promotion for the last five years. With the various promotions each week and average of 25 authors are featured with their new releases, recent reviews, extracts and special promotions such as the Christmas Book Fair. Additionally there is an opportunity to participate in the Meet the Author and Posts from Your Archives…In the last twelve months there have been over 500 promotions shared on the blog and across my social media network of just over 46,000 connections.
How to get into the bookstore
The first step is to have an individual promotion for your latest book which will also feature your other books and some examples of reviews.
Please read the post at the following link to find out more about what I need from you: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves 2021 – #Free book promotion
Promotions for books in the bookstore.
After that your featured book and another six of your other titles will be displayed in the bookstore with your main selling link (usually your Amazon author page) and your website or blog and now Goodreads link, to ensure that there is access to as many reviews as possible. I will also share an extract from one of your most recent reviews. Please note that it would be difficult to keep the shelves maintained if all an author’s books were displayed. So authors with more than seven will have a note attached to their entry asking readers to head over to Amazon or the website to see all books.
Please note: Please forgive me if I don’t publish your own book launch posts. With 130 plus authors in the bookstore and on average 15 promotions a week it helps me if the various promotional formats are used. Also readers who visit the promotions regularly know there way around the post as well, especially when it comes to buying the books.
Once you are an author in the bookstore you can take advantage of the Cafe and Bookstore Update which goes out on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as specials such as Meet the Authors, Share an Extract and the Christmas Book Fair.
I have made a slight adjustment to the timescales for reviews as with so many authors now in the bookstore, it is likely that several weeks might lapse between featuring everyone. So I will be looking at reviews on Amazon UK and US and also Goodreads within the last six months.
To keep the numbers of authors in the Cafe and Bookstore to a level that I can promote regularly, I will be moving entries into a standby file if there has been no promotional posts for the last six months either for reviews or new releases.
I love promoting other authors and I am very happy to do so as a FREE service but it does take considerable time during the week to compile and promote posts with several authors and their books. It makes a difference when authors participate in the process. Also it works best when authors in the Cafe share other author’s updates from time to time. If you feel that you don’t have the time to participate in your own promotions either new books or reviews, then perhaps this promotion is not for you.
I also ask authors to individually respond to comments from readers of their promotions including in the weekly updates, as it does encourage both engagement and sales.
I aim to feature an author every four to six weeks and will check listings, it does help if you let me know if you have had a recent review. Bear in mind that review is a selling tool, so select a review that you feel best reflects the key elements of your book. Which is what I will do when picking a review to use.
I look forward to promoting your books and working with you to get you sales. Get in touch please.
N.B – Please let me know if you have released your book with a new cover so that I can change in the bookstore. thanks
If you would like to be featured in the bookstore for the first time then please take a look at this post and check out what I will need for to make your promotion as effective as possible.
SMORGASBORD CAFE AND BOOKSTORE
A recent review for A Haiku Perspective 2016
I am a fan of Ms Aben’s lovely haikus and other poetry. She is one of the most uplifting people I know and her writing makes me feel happy and able to face the world which isn’t always a happy place. I think this is a real gift. I often have a peep into one of the poet’s books when I feel in need of some happy dust. A few examples of her work from this book are as follows:
Nice moments are grand
Giving us distraction
And Great Memories”
Sometimes life hugs you
Just when you least expect it
A whisper of hope”
From Born to Bless
“You’ll be the rainbow
The moment your remember
You always were”
One of the reviews for Caribbean Tears (adult content)
I purchased this book after bumping into a post the author had put on social media. I Loved the cover so I was drawn in to read about it. I then had to comment and introduce myself because I had just also written my own book on human trafficking, the ironic thing was – hers is fiction, mine is not. It took many weeks before I could find time to read it because life is crazy busy right now, but I finally was able to open it yesterday. I could not put the book down, I pulled an all nighter to finish it as I experienced many emotions. I have read the other reviews and just want to say to the lovely lady who says everyone has a choice and it has nothing to do with a higher power….you live it, you would be singing another tune. And to the lady who only mentioned misspellings…if thats what you took away from reading this book you seriously have a comprehension problem or a very shallow mind. So many elements of this book were portrayed in a way that directly embodies things I lived that I had to remind myself that it was actually fiction. Hats off and highest regards to the author! Emiliya, I am honored to have met you and traded stories, literally, and you are an amazing writer! I loved Caribbean Tears and I will be purchasing the paperback to ship to you someday for your autograph, and I have found a new favorite author! I truly hope someday we can work together to blend fiction and nonfiction to co-author from 2 continents to produce a masterpiece!
One of the recent reviews for Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter is already the fourth book in the ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. While reading it, we meet not only the meanwhile quite familiar characters like Raphael, Katie, Sundance, Zepheira, and Uriel; we’re also introduced to Simin Arnatt. She not only turns Centriel’s head, but she also keeps a huge secret…
In this latest adventure, for the first time, Alexander wrote a big part of the story from the point of view of one of the Archangels, which I liked very much.
Of course, with Simin, we get to know another new, strong, interesting female character. But I also enjoyed very much how the author let us peek into Centriel’s life.
Bounty Hunter is a terrific book, filled with secrets, suspense, and the perfect amount of AJ Alexander’s unique humor. I didn’t like too much about the book because it ended at one point, and I will have to wait for the next book in the series.
One of the recent reviews for Blackbirch – The Dark Half
After the cliff-hanger of book one, how could you not be hanging out for book two?
Excited to see all the gang again as their adventure deepens and more mystery abounds. A lot of my questions from book one were answered but new ones woven in through an exciting witchy adventure mean I’m now dying for book three – why do you keep doing this do us, K.M?!
Definitely worth picking up if you enjoyed book one and want to know more about the magic that binds Josh and Kallie together
In Jessica Bakkers’ Guns of Perdition, Book 1 in The Armageddon Showdown (2020), female bounty hunter Grace Dyer and her oversized dire wolf (not really a dire wolf but with those characteristics) Kava are tracking a ruthless killer who murdered Grace’s parents when she was only eleven. Now, she’s grown up, trained herself to be one of the best bounty hunters of demons and monsters in the Old West, and she wants revenge. She funds her search for this personal demon by capturing the worst of the magical monsters, those that often look benign but are as bad as they come. In one small town, hunting a fanged demon that looks like a beautiful saloon girl, Grace gets unexpected help from a seventeen-year-old bar cleaner, Jessie. He saves her life and she allows him to tag along as she pursues her trade despite that he is not brave, not gun-savvy, and doesn’t even own a hat to keep the sun off. Why? He confesses he has nowhere else to go. Grace, Kava, and Jessie become a fighting unit, each with their own strengths but all with one goal: justice for the murders of Grace’s parents.
Though at its most basic, Guns of Pardition is a paranormal story, it includes plenty of popular western elements–guns, bounty hunters, saloons, whores, owlhoots, and the natural justice that tamed the West. Grace is strong, clever, and tenacious. She doesn’t back off and has a few tricks up her sleeve that few bounty hunters or lawbreakers can match. Recommended for those who love wolf stories, Westerns, and original paranormal.
A recent review for Just Before Sunrise
Carol Balawyder’s Just Before Sunrise (2021) is the story of a wealthy older man who marries a former owner of a high priced call girl business (which is how the two met). Nadine accepts this proposal as her chance to escape her past life but soon realizes (shock!) that he is not the knight in shining armor she had hoped for. It isn’t long before she dislikes him as much as he disrespects her. She is a master of manipulating men–
“Nadine had the kind of body you read about in pulp fiction novels”
so she persuades the older man’s thirty-something son–Charlie–to help her kill him so the two can be together. To cover their tracks, they involve a recently homeless and orphaned teen–Maya–who has been entrusted with the job of preparing a lakefront home to be used as a halfway house which happens to be next door to Carlie’s home. Maya falls for Charlies and not-so-reluctantly agrees to help him cover up the murder. If you read “cover up” as “take the blame for the homicide”, you have the gist of what will happen.
Tangentially, thirty-something Adam falls in love with an older woman (the same one who hires Maya to fix up the home) but leaves her because he wants children and she doesn’t. That sounds simple but it sure isn’t. You’ll see when you read it. The overlap between these two plots is clever and intriguing.
At its core, this is a love story but filled with hate and lies and hurt feelings and unusual events and so much more. Love in this book isn’t a synonym for blissfully happy or the answer to dreams. In this case, it’s more fake than real but young Maya doesn’t realize that.
A clever, enticing read that you won’t want to stop once you start. Recommended for those who like unusual love stories that are darker than cozy but still fulfilling.
One of the recent reviews for The Heart Stone
This is a beautifully written heartfelt story that takes place during the beginnings of World War I through 1921. It’s the story of love and war and the people whose lives are affected, painted beautifully with imagery and prose by this talented writer who is known for her heart-wrenching family saga historical fiction storytelling. It’s a story about struggles, love, hatred, abuse, survival, and highlighting the strength of the women left to endure.
Jessie and Arthur are best friends since childhood, now teenagers at the tender age of 16, who’ve discovered their friendship has blossomed into true love, Arthur decides he must enlist to join the war, despite his not being of legal age yet.
Jessie’s widowed mom runs a bakery and Jessie works alongside her mom to run the store, but at the news of upcoming war, quite a few bakers enlisted, leaving mom with the decision to marry Amos Morgan, head baker, who Jessie detests and remains puzzled why her mother would succumb to allowing Amos into the family business by marrying him.
In her own worries, Jessie and Arthur’s friendship turns into a romantic relationship just before Arthur announces he’s enlisted – under-aged, but the thrill of asserting his manhood calls, and he volunteers to join the fight with his country, England. This decision leaves Jessie distraught and tightening her bond with Arthur’s widowed mom, Edna, as they can share their worries and commiserate together.
Months pass no word from Arthur, but Jessie, now pregnant from their last goodbye stint continues to visit the the heart stone up the hill where they declared their undying love forever before Arthur left. Meanwhile, Amos the pig, married to Jessie’s mother, finds every opportunity to ‘touch’ Jessie. This was enough for her to revolt and move into Arthur’s mother’s home with her as a safe place and company to raise the baby.
Time passes and there’s no word from Arthur, but Jessie keeps in touch with her friend Clara, married to Stanley, Arthur’s best friend who also enlisted for war. Stanley eventually returns home – in a wheelchair, but home. Jessie travels to visit them in hopes to discover some news about Arthur.
Back at the bakery, Jessie’s mom falls ill and becomes bedridden, putting more pressure on Jessie at work – and more time around the pig, Mr. Morgan. After mum passes, Morgan takes over the bakery, even though it is rightfully in mum’s will left to Jessie, and that presents another interesting tidbit as to how he took over and what happened after; karma perhaps? And then suddenly, another baker, ‘old’ friend of Jessie’s, Bob Cleg, proclaims a sudden desire for Jessie. Somehow these two end up married – not in a good way, and a lot more dramatic things happen along the book to keep us turning the pages, and alas, Arthur returns home! This changes the dynamic of things to come now that Jessie is unhappily married to a man she can’t stand and the love of her life returns. And to find out what happens next, you are going to want to read this book!
#*+Johnnie Bernhard buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Johnnie: Goodreads – Website: Johnnie Bernhard Author – Facebook: Author Johnnie Bernhard – Twitter: @JABarnhard – LinkedIn: Johnnie Bernhard
One of the recent reviews Sisters of the Undertow
Sisters of the Undertow by Johnnie Bernhard is a well-written, thought-provoking book about two sisters – Kimberly caught in the undertow of self-absorption and isolation and Kathy caught in the undertow of a premature birth with hearing aids, thick glasses and a low IQ. Those of us with siblings relate to Kimberly and Kathy as they move through their own undertows and respond to the undertows of their sibling. They both need saviors – Kathy chooses Jesus and Kimberly chooses books. Kathy spreads love and joy while Kimberly rejects it. The sisters begin life sharing the same bed, loving each other. The book ends with one of the sisters in bed hoping the other will come home. This is a must-read page-turner for those with siblings. In the end don’t we all wish our siblings will come home?
One of the recent reviews for Marriage Unarranged
It was such an incredible new experience of a rainbow! I absolutely loved Aashi, Kiran, Bali, Sunny and Arjun’s journey from UK to India and back to UK. I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Bollywood since many years ago and thought I know a lot of Indian culture, traditions but what I didn’t know is that there were quite huge blank spots in my ‘knowledge’ that has been now filled with colours, smells, sounds, feels and taste of FOOD(!!!) of REAL India and Indians living both abroad and in India by talented author Ritu Bhathal and her first book Marriage Unarranged! Thank you, Ritu, for giving me this wonderful experience I so missed.
Clean romcom, amazing story, well developed and colourful characters, lots of humorous momments with giggles, history, culture and traditions. Loved how author merged modern tendencies with still strong traditional Indian culture both influencing younger generation.
I’m so glad knowing that there would be more books to enjoy! Okay, now go and get your copy of this amazing book!!!
One of the recent reviews for the book
I finally got around to finishing Vanished and the only negative thing I can say is that I’m sorry I didn’t read this earlier!
This was a powerful read about the controversial and real topic of human trafficking/child trafficking.
The story’s backdrop is the island of Haiti.
Multiple characters tell the story as it unfolds to a exciting ending. The characters kept me invested to keep reading.
Great read overall. Fantastic work by Mark Bierman!
One of the recent reviews for Secrets, Lies and Alibis
specialangel Danger around every turn Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2021
Secrets, Lies, and Alibis by Jacquie Biggar is the kind of book that haunts you long after you turn the last page. It is deep, intense, exciting, really keeps you on edge, you cry, you fall in love with characters and you must pay attention to every little incident or you will miss important information. I was easily hooked from the beginning. I absolutely loved this story. Adam and Amanda tugged at my heart. Their love was such a major element of this book, one in which if I felt as though I was suffering right along with them. I recommend it highly.
One of the recent reviews for A Bit About Britain’s High Days and Holidays
As an englishman I see some of the traditions in this book as utterly sensible, laudable and to be encouraged – while dismissing entirely, of course, those from the “RoB” [The Rest of Britain}. All are described in this volume with the concomitant touch of puzzlement, derision, love, nationalism, outrage and amusement that they deserve. This book – and another by this author – ‘A Bit About Britain’s History’ – ought to be compulsory reading for all of those below the age of “me”. If there’s one thing we do well in England – and, grudgingly, in Britain too – it is to be …peculiar.
Why did I spit my coffee over my lap and my hitherto pristine copy of this book? Well, the author won’t mind a brief “spoiler” when I say that the august figure of Robert Burns is (accurately) referred to as a chap whose brain was generally used as merely a periscope for his willie. If you don’t know what a ‘willie’ is then please, don’t look it up. I could have finished reading the book there and then; the author had earned his meagre royalty.
What made me curse the author? Christmas. Specifically the author’s criminal disregard for the magnificent creature that is the Brussels Sprout. At that point I wanted my money back.
Aside from the Brussels Sprout issue, this is an accurate book, providing sufficient detail but not too much. Beautifully written, well edited and admirably printed by the company that runs this website. I commend this book to the nation. Also to the Commonwealth, the remains of the old Empire, the poor souls in the “rest of the world” and any aliens looking for a great read during their stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure in RAF Woodbridge (the equivalent to ‘Merica’s “Area 51” thingy).
One of the recent reviews for Her Irish Boyfriend
Sean Donovan (Thief for Hire) doesn’t disappointment in Her Irish Boyfriend. His intellect, cunning instincts, and strength are what it takes to capture this ring of criminals and one ruthless Irish Boyfriend.
Gemma Trask, recently retired from New Scotland Yard, knows there’s something suspicious going on with Danny her boyfriend. He’s keeping his distance from Gemma which leads her to believe even more that he’s up to no good. She seeks help from her friend Donovan to uncover what criminal entanglements she believes Danny might be involved with. It all starts with a cell phone that leads them to multiple crimes. Soon Beth McLean (Donovan’s wife) and Constable Jimmy Flanagan (who analyzes behaviors) join the two in the hunt. The chase is on and involves multiple crimes and criminals. It’s a race to the very end in the pursuit of Danny.
There are so many twists and turns and action packed scenes where Donovan takes more than one tumble but comes out on top. What I always enjoy about the books in the series are the many lands and seas they take me across and in this story I especially liked the fight scenes and string of criminals caught along the way in the search for Her Irish Boyfriend.
In the latest installment of this must-read series, Boyack upped the stakes. The creature on the loose is a werewolf, which means Lizzie is hunting a mindless killing machine—who is human the rest of the month. That weighs on her conscience. Especially when she fears the monster might be a dear friend.
Boyack also adds a new character to the mix, a detective who talks to the spirit of his dead wife. This is a supernatural franchise, so I can see this becoming a storytelling device, and I’d love to see it develop further as the tales continue.
We get all the elements we’ve come to expect from hat stories: a great musical playlist, witty banter between the hat and Lizzie, Internet jokes, the return of some favorite recurring characters, and even the radio show continues to speculate about their alter ego. These callbacks make each installment of the hat series extra special and more fun to read.
But Lizzie is getting further steeped in the supernatural world, that that comes with dangers and horrors, which means the story gets a little darker. And while I don’t mind dark, readers should know the light-hearted tone they’ve come to expect won’t always be there this time.
Lunar Boogie didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely told me there was more to come. This world is growing and changing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
A recent review for Delilah Astral Investigator Infinity Series: Episode 2, The Boy Who Would Be King
Delilah Sanchez, her amazing cat, Mollie, and the 1774 American Colonial Lord Bartholomew Darnesworth Wharton, III, (Bartie) are back for another time travel adventure. This time, the threesome travel back to the year, 1502, the day before Prince Arthur Tudor’s death.
No one understands how or why they were chosen to intervene in the events unfolding before them. All they know is that this one change can ripple through time changing the present. After a series of Astral projections, Bartie and Delilah fear that the war they are witnessing would evolve into World War III in their reality. They believe they are the guardians, entrusted with saving their world. How do you save the past and the future at the same time?
Bartie is forced to make some hard choices. But now, he carries the guilt from those decisions. He’s fallen hard for Delilah. How does he tell her the truth of what really happened?
The author combines YA fantasy, history, and a bit of romance to create an exciting time travel novel. This is the second book in the series, and to maintain the character background I would start with the first novel, “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series.”
This fast-paced adventure will keep you up long into the night!
A recent review for Maggie’s Way
Maggie has her hands and her house full during this summer break with a brand new divorce from her husband of 20 something years who’s just informed her he’s gay; her 22 year-old son is away on an internship in Boston; her mother keeps dropping in unannounced; she’s having major parts of her home redecorated; new neighbor’s 7 year-old daughter keeps popping up in her yard/house/porch to ask questions; the 7 year-old’s dad is a very good looking doctor who is divorced; the doctor’s ex-wife has come for a visit to see her daughter; all while she’s trying to keep it quiet that she is being treated for breast cancer 🎀. This is a chaotic and emotional story that had me in tears and wanting more. Good thing there is more.
A recent review for The Sum of Our Sorrows
This book is amazing! I laughed, I cried, I was angry at a couple of the characters….what a ride.
Lisette Brodey is an incredible writer who has the ability to draw the reader into the story so deeply that all you (the reader) care about is to keep reading. I read this book in two days, I hated to put it down.
Ms. Brodey is a writer who belongs at the top of the Best Seller lists as she proves time and time again her skill and acumen in creating and allowing the characters in her stories to take us on incredible journeys.
‘The Sum of Our Sorrows’ is a MUST read 🙂
One of the recent reviews for the book
After Bloody Sunday, things are still volatile in Northern Ireland. The British forces in Derry, exhausted from lack of success, are zealous for payback. Private Robert Sallis is in his barracks, trying to understand the hatred with which he and his mates are daily bombarded.
19-year-old Caitlin McLaughlin is terrified by the sounds of invading helicopters. The Brits already have her brother Martin, who’s friendly with the Provos. Now they’ve come, causing as much destruction as possible, for her father Patrick.
A girl is wooed by the fervent Republican Kieran. Kieran convinces her to set up a honeytrap for soldiers.
Caitlin and her sister Tina try to carry on. Caitlin, her face black and blue from the soldiers’ blows, goes to work at the only remaining shirt factory. The boss’s nephew, James Henderson, catches her eye.
Her father has a heart attack in custody, and a neighbour rushes them to the A&E, through aggravating checkpoints and impossible traffic. There’s been a bombing, and the A&E is swamped. Her father is badly beaten, unresponsive, and not expected to last the night.
James, in his uncle’s opulent dining room, finishes his partridge dinner, surrounded by Protestant businessmen, politicians and policemen. The factories are threatening a strike against internment. At work, James needs a secretary, and her supervisor suggests Caitlin, warning him that she’s ‘a Papist’.
As he and Caitlin pursue a clandestine love affair, James plans a conference with both sides of the sectarian divide, hoping for a rescue strategy for the factory and peace for Derry.
All these characters interconnect in complex and heart-wrenching ways, finally climaxing at the fateful conference at the City Hotel. Stones Corner-Darkness, Part II of the series, deals with the fallout from this event.
The characters are rich, and the plot moves along at a good pace. The dramatisation is great and the dialogue believable.
My only niggle was that I found Robert’s naïveté a bit surprising. Surely British troops in Northern Ireland knew precisely what their historic role was. James seems a bit clueless, too. The characters at the extreme ends of the Republican/Orange spectrum—Kieran and Charles Jones—are a bit one-dimensional, but that’s alright, as all the other characters are well developed.
This novel is gorgeously written, with careful editing. We feel the terror of the raid on Derry—the down-draught of helicopter blades, the rattling of rooftiles, the salivating German Shepherds—the agonising grief at her father’s death.
I rate this 5 stars Plus.
A recent review for The Godmother
A modern Cinderella story with a cute adorable dog.
You may know Cinderella but do read The Godmother, it is way better!
One of the reviews for Becoming Insane
Becoming Insane is a fantastic novel. The two friends the novel centre around are brilliantly drawn, so believable. In the beginning, we can sympathise with them as the things which happen to them can easily happen to others. As the novel progresses we are drawn into the strangest journey, the writing is so good we are walking every step of this horrendous journey with the two men. The ending left me wanting more and I can’t wait for a sequel.
One of the recent reviews for Shh it’s our secret
Oh, Lizzie!! You have done it again! I had such a lump in my throat by the end of the book it was unreal. I knew to expect something like that when I read this book as it is the way but I had to grab a glass of water this time!! This is such a lovely story of love, loss ad growth. Violet, crippling shy and completely downtrodden thanks to her idiot ex-boyfriend Liam. He took everything from her, he broke her. Then Kai, a meeting by chance, changes everything she knows and holds on to dearly.
I love stories where things can happen to people. A bit like Sliding Doors, the what-ifs, and this is a HUGE what if. If Kai had not been in the café that day when Violet was singing who knows where she would be now.
The supporting cast are a delight! I loved Esme and Doris, Cole, Danny and Trina, plus Violet’s best friends. All played a part in her journey. All testing her and supporting her in different ways. The proper little family. There a whole host of characters who will stay with you and can I have them as my friends?
A recent view for the The Ghost and his Gold
I have had this book on my TBR list ever since I heard about it. Then, as luck would have it, I won a print copy in a giveaway! I was overjoyed and not disappointed. I tend to be a slow reader, especially if there is a lot of detail and characters, as this story has, but I could not put it down.
It is a well-written blend of historical and paranormal fiction. I love history but am not as keen on paranormal, but in this case, it works well. The author has skillfully used the ghosts of the past to tell their story, which give history a personal and more honest viewpoint. The attention to detail shows the huge amount of research Ms Cheadle has done to ensure the story rings true. In any war, there are always two or more sides and I like how all sides of the Second Boer War are represented in this story. The good, the bad and the ugly, from the point of view of both the men and women.
This is not simply a war story, it is about family dynamics, friendships, hardships and heartbreak, and ultimately forgiveness and redemption. A lot is packed into this novel and it is well worth a read.
One of the recent reviews for Word Craft: Prose and Poetry
“Syllabic verse is all about the brevity of words. For this reason, we’re forced to choose words pregnant with meaning to get our experiences across to our reader.”
Poetry is a very personal form of art (Yes, word craft is art) that blossoms from emotional stuff both positive and negative. From the 17th century haiku master Basho to today’s ad jingle we are in contact with it more than we may notice. Syllabic poetry is both easy and hard as Chesbro challenges the reader to look beyond haiku to other forms such as tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and others.
This is a very well written, easily accessible book that if I had the resources would sit on my shelf in paper form. Colleen Chesbro is a writer I have followed and communicated with through Tanka Tuesdays and other forums. I’ve even been prompted to restart my own poetry journey [ note I am an award winning poet on my own merits published in 2 anthogies in the 1980s and 90s]. I love the fact that this book being a non fiction contemporary look at a very old form of art as communication also reminds the reader to keep trying. one of the best non fiction books I have read this year and highly recommended. 5/5
One of the recent reviews for Follow Your Dog
I purchased Ann’s book after losing my guide dog to cancer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has loved a dog, experienced grief in losing one. Guide Dog or Family Pet. I can honestly say that you will find something here that will sound like a personal experience you have witnessed. The first day I picked this book up to read, I couldn’t put it down. This would truly be one of the best books you could gift yourself with. It spoke gently to my heart.
One of the recent reviews for End of Day
Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2021
Author Mae Clair demonstrates rare skill in this second book of the Hode’s Hill series. Particularly noteworthy is the ease with which she travels between the late 1700s and the present. The seamless intertwining of the storylines is, at times, breathtaking.
End of Day not only grabs at the heart, it opens doors to alternative ways of seeing. Readers face questions and possibilities, at times unsettling, at times reassuring. The story is a mystery that is full of contrasts — of time, of characters, of reality itself. And interwoven throughout is the supernatural – sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes calming, but always well-captured through Clair’s able hands.
I’m left wondering about my ancestors and the secrets buried through time. I suspect other readers might feel the same. Bravo author Clair. This was an amazing journey!
One of the recent reviews for into the Fire
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021
A recent review for A Year in the Life of Belinda Brand
Very Clever, well-thought-out Plot
Wow, what can I say? I have long awaited this book, the fourth in the series, and boy, I was not disappointed. I can go so far as to say, I think this was the best in the series, I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I could not put it down and read it in one sitting.
Belinda has been a stand-out character throughout the series, starting off as the troublesome step-daughter, always full of anger, rebellion, and mischief mainly triggered by her emotions. Now in her early 20s, Belinda has written a book, won a literary prize, and is now a famous author, albeit one with a secret.
Belinda is on her way to the big time, arriving in Hollywood, her book is to be made into a movie, her agent, Pamela Argent, is along for the ride and rather unscrupulous, withholding royalties and stringing Belinda along. The book is filled with kidnaps, villains, hippy commune along with a dishy policeman who is not all he seems to be, lots of twists and turns, including a car chase. I was held captive to the very end and, was totally engrossed.
I have said it before but, I will say it again. Lucinda is a very talented writer, writing with such consummate skill, everything is in fine detail and delivers a well-constructed story. In her unique style, this book contained the usual nail-biting episodes we have come to love and expect and it did not disappoint. Yet another edge-of-the-seat thriller that leaves you wanting more.
A recent review for I Am Mayhem
“Prepare Cautious Cat, for I am the storm you”ve feared. I am Mayhem.”
“There’s only one way to learn the truth. The question is, how far will you go to find the answers you seek?”
I waited…looking at the cover every time I opened my Kindle…to let the anticipation build. Mr Mayhem is a fascinating villain and I am enamored by him. He is definitely one of my favorite villains.
The murder of crows, spotlighting Poe, Edgar and Allen dog her footsteps, giving her ‘gifts’ that are clues from Mr Mayhem. It is up to her to decipher their meaning. Each of the crows have a distinct personality, at times seeming almost human. Does Poe have his own agenda? He really, really hates her.
Sue wasted no time getting to it, in a gruesome way. A crow. A GPS destination. A bloody nose in a giveaway box. Surprise…
At 6% I am already tied in knots, breathing a sigh of relief when…well…I can’t tell you. But that is only a respite, because there is so much more to come.
My biggest problem writing this review, is giving away no secrets, especially if you want to go back to the beginning and read the entire series. The suspense, the addition of Indian mythicism and culture, the crows, and Shawnee operating on her own, make for a thrilling read.
Sue puts a lot of research into her work and it shows in her writing. I am fascinated.
At one point, Sue Coletta brought to mind my love of rising early, and with a cup of coffee, sitting on the patio, listening to the world come alive. The birds sing, flitting through the tree branches. Listen closely and you can spot them…And Shawnee will need all her powers of observation to survive.
What do a cop, a serial killer and a Shaman have in common? The need to defeat a common foe.
Brace yourself before reading, because the depth and detail that Sue Coletta takes to show us Mayhem’s game and why he does what he does, may surprise you. He sure did me, but now I understand why he is so interested in her and why he doesn’t just kill her outright. Shawnee will be taken to a place she never could have seen coming and the results will be life or death.
One of the recent reviews for Plunge
The author, Liesbet, and her husband Mark, have chosen a life of travel and discovery over a settled and secure life. This is Liesbet’s account of the consequences of their choices, the inner and outer adventures they had, as well as the inner and outer challenges they faced.
Anyone who has made similar sacrifices to live the life they’ve chosen will relate to this narrative, half travelog and half diary, as this couple’s dream of cruising becomes their daily lives, with everything daily life entails; wonderful encounters with nature in pristine settings, human encounters both helpful and difficult, mechanical failures, business and financial struggles, and, the thread running through it all, the love Liesbet and Mark have for each other in spite of their very real differences, and the relationship challenges they face living together 24/7.
As one reviewer has done, it’s always easy to find fault with someone who bears their soul as much as Ms. Collaert has in this book. Self-doubt is never flattering and takes courage to admit publicly, though we all carry our fair share. For me, the author’s sharing of her most intimate feelings and the dynamics of their relationship is equally, if not more compelling than their experiences cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
This is not just an adventure book, this is a book about what it really takes to live an adventurous life.
#+++G G Collins buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow G G Collins:Goodreads – Blog: Reluctant Medium at Large WordPress – Blog 2: Parallel Universe at Large WordPress – Twitter:@WriterGGCollins N.A April 2021
A recent review for Atomic Medium
Atomic Medium (Rachel Blackstone #3) covers a much broader spectrum than just paranormal in an age of wonder.
A recent review for Montana Shootists
A hard-nosed lady shootist and Marine, a rift in time, and a love story straight out of the Wild West. As always, the authors prose is crisp and thrilling, the characters wonderfully crafted and developed, and a story that’ll keep you guessing till the very end. Seriously, the twists and turns at the very end are phenomenal. I was thoroughly entertained and delighted by this story. Great for fans of the western genre, but it’s so much more.
A recent review for Someone Close to Home
Someone Close to Home is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. The story is told through Megan, who alternates between the young classical pianist to her disturbing time in a care facility. While the story is fiction, I found myself comparing Megan’s experiences with those of my mother.
Megan and her neighbor, Gideon, form a special friendship that blooms into a love story. Unfortunately, Megan’s mother is controlling and manipulative. Her dream is for her daughter to marry the playboy actor, Jordan. He tries to convince Megan he is in love with her, but the attraction seems to be based mostly because he is used to having women throw themselves at him.
If readers like villainous characters, this book has plenty. Some of the workers in the care home abuse the residents. There are moments where I was furious that the owner of the facility was far more concerned with profits and reputation rather than carrying for the residents most basic needs. About the only thing that I found challenging at times was trying to keep track of all of the characters as there are many caregivers and residents. I still have to rate the story five stars because the writing is excellent and the plot moves along at a steady pace. I know after finishing this book that this will not be the last book by Alex Craigie I will read.
One of the recent reviews for Watching Glass Shatter
Though a bit slower paced than my usual reads, I found this story to be captivating. There was always, ‘one more secret,’ waiting for poor Olivia.
I must admit that I did not care for Olivia during the first half of the book, as I found her domineering and hypercritical. As the story matures, however, so does Olivia. I witnessed a transformation in her as she dealt with some devastating blows.
I think this is a story that plays out in so many lives; secrets kept, expectations unmet, and a lack of sympathy caused by misunderstanding.
James does a great job of weaving the lives of so many characters and their personal crisis together, without the story getting bogged down or confusing.
I’m giving this one, FIVE STARS!
One of the recent reviews for Shadows
‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.
‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.
Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them.
One of the recent reviews for Queen of Diamonds – Mafia Madame Book 2
This sequel to “Mafia Madame” is terrific! I loved the concept.
Cynthia Spagnoli is a sterling example of the sensitive and strong, woman protagonist. While grieving the deaths of her closest family in Nevada she steps up to the plate when asked to and takes on the responsibility wholeheartedly.
This book is so well written. The authors make a great team. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue; the action was good and an appropriate amount of scene-setting makes for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I award 4.8 stars to “Queen of Diamonds”.
#++++#*+++++++++Richard Dee, buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Richard Dee’s Scifi – Goodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter:@RichardDockett1 – Facebook:Richard Dee Author – Please go to Amazon to view all the books.
A recent review for The Sensaurum and the Lexis.: A Steampunk adventure.
I was curious to discover more about steampunk… and this has confirmed how interesting and different this genre is.
The Sensaurum and The Lexis is a Steampunk Spying mission story set in Norlandia with lots of fascinating details, secrets and discoveries.
You can expect… unscrupulous scientific experimentation, artificial limbs, flying machines, The Watchmen, (law of Norlandia,) a beast called the Drogan, spy accouterments, (007 for orphans!) the Rotaplane, walking exo-men, and other such imaginative wonders. Oaths to be made, secrets and lessons to be learnt, the ever-present fear of discovery, or dying on duty, as well as shameful moments to boot!
The main character Jackson Thwaite’s father and mother die in a terrible accident in a factory whilst making artificial limbs for the government. Intriguing, or what? Fellow spy Jessemine Batterlee is plucky and resourceful!
Relationships are forged and questioned – Is it a good idea to fall in love if you are a spy?
Richard Dee does a great job world building and creating wonderfully engaging characters.
Really loved this. Great story and great fun! 5 stars.
A recent review for Hunting the Phoenix
I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this book, since the ‘paranormal’ isn’t my usual genre of choice, but by chapter 2 I was hooked by the author’s vivid evocation of her story and its actors.
The characters were interesting and well developed and the plot contains plenty of twists and turns to keep readers engrossed.
I loved mentally accompanying the heroine, the journalist Miss Halsey, on her mission to research the apparent suicide of a nineteenth-century surgeon, who was being sued following an unsuccessful operation, and finally to uncover the truth of what happened after more than a hundred years.
The author has carefully researched the eras, past and present, in which the story is set and I loved her accomplished literary style and wonderful descriptive talent that permeate every page of the book.
This is my first foray into the Herbert West series, and although I’m late to the party, this being volume 4, I didn’t feel unwelcome since the book reads well as a standalone novel. The book is as hot as its title implies.
One of the recent reviews for The Heart’s Lullaby
“The Heart’s Lullaby” is a beautiful collection of poems that come from love. I felt many emotions as I read through the poems, some made me smile, and others brought tears. Each one offered something of the heart’s experience. Here are a couple of passages that moved me: “The power of a thousand suns/Delicate as morning dew/The dawn course of enchantment/This is my memory of you,” and “His haggard guitar;/Every note frees his soul/His voice carries on the wind/All welcome this one man show.” A thoughtful book to enjoy more than once.
A review for Brilliant Disguise – Book One Charlie McClung Mysteries
One of the recent reviews for Defined by Others
Defined by Others is a dark tale that makes the reader think about love and relationships. The characters are well drawn, particularly the female characters, and the dialogue is excellent.
The friendship aspect of the novel is well explored and a highlight. While the story is good, the main fascination is following the characters as they adjust to changes and challenges in life at a time when their paths seem to be well set.
With its undercurrent of menace, this is a novel that chimes with our times.
A recent review for Just Her Poetry
I’ve been curious for some time to read D.L Finn’s work. In fact, she has so many enticing novels, short stories, and poetry to choose from it was quite a job to decide on which to try first. I opted for Just Her Poetry, it is a sweeping poetry book with part one focusing on poems about nature, the seasons, and musings from the back of a Harley! Part Two is entitled Seasons of A Soul and expresses the author’s emotionally poignant poems about her experiences in darkness and light. There is a bonus section of Some Readers’ Favourites and bonus poetry too.
It’s a lovely book of poetry, so personal and moving. It’s almost as if you are sharing a day out with the author sharing her life, loves and sorrows via her words. In the author note at the end she mentions how nature inspires her writing. I am the same; I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the section of poems written on the back of her husband’s Harley motorbike! Journeying, seeing little details, observational poetry at its best. And some special mentions of poems that I particularly related to: Fingers of The Sea, Trees, Ocean, (as the sea is my spiritual home and I adore trees!)
My recommendation: A wonderful collection of poetry. Highly recommended.
A review for Pathway to Freedom
I met Patty last November and was immediately intrigued by her authenticity and witty personality. Over the past year we have become great friends and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her on a personal level. When I heard her new book was ready for purchase, I immediately ordered it! Due to my busy schedule, I read a little here and there, until finally, during the holiday, I was able to sit down with book in hand, really delve into the book and I was captivated! Patty’s story is one of trauma, perseverance and overcoming. Her writing style draws you in and will leave you laughing one moment and crying the next, all the while standing in awe of her honesty and transparency.
As a person of sight, I had no idea of the vigorous training it took to pair someone with their service animal and I completely appreciated every single detail Patty shared of her training with Campbell at The Seeing Eye. As someone who has also suffered from domestic violence, I appreciated Patty’s willingness to allow her readers to see inside her personal battle with the mental and emotional trauma that you experience at the hands of an abuser. Anyone who reads this book will be informed, educated and inspired
A recent review for The Vintage Egg
Several short stories, the first and last linked, all set in a world where climate change has changed the way humanity lives.
But there are glimmers of hope.
Humanities thinking and mindset might actually mature.
A recent review for Little Tea
“2020 Gold Medal Winner in Southern Fiction in the International Reader’s Favorite Book Awards”
Gorgeous writing! I can almost taste the sweet tea and feel the balmy afternoons breeze over my skin. Fullerton immerses you in the landscape and sentiments of the American South. The story moves deftly between present time and the character’s childhoods, where the roots of their troubles are firmly anchored. Changing attitudes and generational prejudice are front and center in this poignant story where the next generation teaches their elders a few lessons in tolerance, the unbreakable bonds of friendship, and ultimately love.
One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes
Poignant and thought-provoking, Silent Heroes gives readers an up-close and personal look behind the scenes of war in one of Afghanistan’s deadliest provinces. The author skillfully ties together the lives and objectives of a Marine K-9 unit serving in Helmand Province and a local community trying its best to survive as the Taliban’s rampant rule kills, threatens, abuses and uses them for its own sinister purposes. The author does an amazing job weaving the ravages and ruins of war into a beautiful heartrending story that is an eye-opener. Highly recommended!
One of the recent reviews for the book
I loved this book and applaud Gallagher’s courage and vulnerability in sharing her life story so far. Gallagher’s ability to share with her readers is natural and highlights her instinct on how she is living her life.
It takes courage to try different things and to slow down, dropping below the hubbub of noise and activity that is all around. She shows how this enabled her to make different choices, to discover healing techniques, which unearthed her intuition and life purpose in helping others to do the same.
I loved the descriptive world travels, therapies, peoples, healing and how they are linked to nature.
Gallagher has shared a wealth of loving life support in her book and may we all uncover the gift of ‘watching the daisies’ in our lives. Thank you, Brigid.
Telling Sonny is a compelling read about a naive girl, Faby, and her misfortune in being starstruck by Slim White, a vaudeville performer. Set in the 1920s, Elizabeth Gauffreau masterfully writes this poignant tale. Growing up in a small town, Faby and her sister, Josephine, look forward to the annual appearance of the vaudeville troupe who perform from town to town. Slim, one of the slick hoofers in the group, takes a special interest in Faby. She is fascinated more about the lifestyle than the man, but she meets him for several walks and shows him around the town.
On the last night before the troupe moves on, Slim takes advantage of Faby’s innocence and naivety and forces himself upon her before she understands what is going on. Months pass before Faby understands she is pregnant with Slim’s baby. She manages to keep the secret from her mother and father, but her grandmother, Maman Aurore, realizes the truth.
Slim, otherwise known as Louis Kittell, comes back to Faby after learning she is pregnant and takes her with him on the road. Faby finds the stories and lifestyle exciting initially, even though she knows little of the world’s ways. I had great empathy for her as it was a trying experience for such a naive girl. However, there were times I felt frustrated with her, especially the night Slim doesn’t come home all night, and Faby doesn’t even ask for an explanation when he leaves her alone at the theatre.
Gauffreau does an excellent job of portraying Slim as an egotistical and self-centered performer. He tries to attend to Faby’s needs at times, but he’s primarily thinking about himself.
The most heartwrenching part of this great read for me was when Slim puts a very pregnant Faby on a train to travel two days back home by herself. The reader is left wondering what the reception for Faby will be when she shows up at home unexpectedly, nearly ready to have her baby. I won’t spoil that part of the story, which has a sad but realistic ending.
A recent review for Dead of Winter Journey 6 – The Fluting Fell
I have loved the journey through “Dead of Winter.” Journey 6 offered some answers, but also added more questions. Emlyn is pulled into another’s dream and experienced a horrible time in the other dreamer’s life. That moment made it clear what evil the group was dealing with. After the reactions to the shared dream, they continue on their way. I love where they make camp for a while. I could easily imagine the old mansion through the vivid descriptions. Learning more about the household, and interacting with ghosts made this one another page-turner. They ended up in a strange place that didn’t appear to be safe, but it certainly set the stage for the upcoming Journey 7, which I can’t wait to read!
One of the recent reviews for Matilda Windsor is Coming Home.
“Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home” is a poignant reminder of what life was like in a mental asylum in the UK when the policy shifted from institutionalization toward the assimilation of patients back into community living. Even more interesting is the character of Matty Osborne. The story crosses, weaves, and intersects in the lives of Matty, her brother, Henry, and Janice, Matty’s social worker.
Not sure about accepting the position, Janice accepts after meeting with Matty in the Institution. The intention of the medical staff is to move the patients to a more suitable living environment. The older lady intrigues her, and Janice wants to help find Matty’s family. There are some interesting connections between Matty and Janice, who was adopted as a baby.
Henry, the brother, still lives in the family home. He’s in a relationship with a married woman, yet remains obsessed with why Matty left all those long years before. He stays in the home because he hopes one day, his beloved sister will return.
But it is Matty that steals your heart. She narrates some of the story hinting at some of the horrifying details of rape and incest by her step-father. The cruelness of the man doesn’t end there, and Matty finds herself institutionalized. Trauma does strange things to a person, and Matty retreats into a delusional world. Matty spends fifty years in the asylum. Her story chilled me to the bone.
In the asylum, Matty still believes World War II is carrying on. She assumes she is a fine lady attended by many servants. In reality, these are her nurses and medical personnel. Interestingly, she supposes the rest of the patients are people she is helping by providing shelter to those homeless from the war.
The story is fascinating and horrifying, at the same time. Anne Goodwin uses her years as a clinical psychologist to weave realistic characters and situations you will not easily forget. Her attention to detail makes her writing shine. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved by the characters. They draw you in and won’t let you go!
I doubt Matty will come out of her protective shell enough to assimilate back into society. But like they say, time will tell. If the title of the book is a sign, there is hope for Matty. The rest of the story will reveal itself in the sequel. I can’t wait to find out if my intuition is correct!
A recent review for The Last Pilgrim
#++*+Joan Hall, Buy :Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Read other reviews and follow Joan:Goodreads – Website: Joan Hall – Blog: Joan Hall – BookBub:Joan Hall – Facebook: Joan Hall Writes – Twitter: @JoanHallWrites
One of the recent reviews for House of Sorrow
This short novella is an introduction to a new series by this author.
Readers are initially introduced to Ruth as an elderly woman living alone in a large old house in 2016. No longer able to manage the stairs, Ruth lives on the first floor. Her nephew, Tim, is brought into the story through Ruth’s reading a letter from him asking her to consider either moving in with him and his wife or moving into assisted care. The first hints that Ruth is somehow tied to the house against her will are laid in this first chapter.
The story then moves to the 1960s, and we meet a much younger Ruth and her husband Lee. They have recently moved to Madeira following Lee’s appointment as the Chief of Police for the area. They have purchased a large Victorian house which Ruth falls in love with at first sight.
Unable to have children of her own, Ruth’s nephew, Tim, visits during his school holidays and, through him, she becomes friendly with children from the neighbourhood. The first half of the story portrays Ruth as a kind and sociable woman who bakes cookies for the local children and hosts all sorts of parties and events. She also volunteers to work at a local nursing home engaging with, and reading to, the elderly residents. Ruth learns some new information about the house through an elderly woman who lives at the nursing home. Her disclosures are little creepy in the context of Ruth’s own life.
This novella is very much an introduction to a larger work and is incomplete as a stand-alone story as the mystery surrounding the house and Ruth’s sense of entrapment is not solved in this book, but is the subject of the greater series.
A recent review for the book
One of the recent reviews for Sharp As A Serpent’s Tooth
Mandy Haynes’ collection of short stories pack a powerful punch! I’ve always found it impressive when an author can squeeze a whole lot of story into a tight narrative, while still delivering on fully developed characters, plot and MOST important –> VOICE.
I loved how Haynes created characters that were very different, yet with certain physical attributes – in this case, having red hair was one. She also centered on snakes in her stories, an ever fascinating creature, and like many other reptiles or mammals (opossums!) they are reviled simply because of their looks – well – and the fact they may be deadly, but trust me, they’re not thinking, “I’d like to bite a human today.” (That’s totally random and off-track, but true.)
Regardless, Haynes style will keep readers engrossed, and wishing for more. There are five stories, southern gothic, with a touch of magical realism in one.
One of the recent reviews for The Wake of the Dragon
Jaq D. Hawkins’ “The Wake of the Dragon” is a first-rate tale of Victorian era adventure, intrigue, and aeronautical derring-do that never forgets that character is key to all storytelling. Right out the gate, I need to say that the book is firmly in the steampunk genre but does not allow itself to get too bogged down in cogs, levers, top hats with goggles, coal dust, and several kinds of brass what-have-yous to overload the more casual reader. Sure, that stuff is in there, but the heart of it lies in the characters that inhabit all those trappings.
Essentially the story of a pirate airship crew stealing a load of opium from a shipping magnate and the magnate’s attempts to recover it, it’s all largely fodder for the unexpectedly broad cast of characters that makes the read worthwhile. There’s Mr. Zachary Wyatt, the shipping magnate with dreams of someday running his own airship, Captain Horatio Bonny, the pirate who harbors a deep fascination with the air goddess “Aide,” Mr. Bale, Bonny’s first mate who hates cats (or does he?), James Dudley, the fussy-stomached clerk-turned-detective who is sent off to investigate the lost shipment, Miss Anne Bardwell, a farm girl with dreams of a much more adventurous life, and Thomas Curson, who might be a wheelwright…or a vagabond, or well, whatever his deal is. Throw in a boatload (literally) of mechanical men only just learning how to be pirates themselves, and it’s quite a bit of fun.
I would say more, but I don’t want to give away the joys of getting to know those characters yourself, as I did. Suffice it to say that I loved the interplay between the cast and how it all came together to a satisfying, if not quite typical ending. Sometimes you really just want a breezy, fun, self-contained story that stands on its own and that’s just what I got.
One of the recent reviews for Trillium
Trillium, is a wonderful story of three families’ interwoven legacy, from early beginnings to successful entrepreneurs, business partners and dirty scoundrels.
A touching story about strong work ethics and love for a land. The struggles to keep a family heritage together while in a circle of secrets and deceit.
Also an excellent look at the development of southern Ontario’s history and its wineries.
I recommend this novel.
A recent review for Eternal Road
Without a doubt one of my favorite authors. John W. Howell’s books always have a great story to tell; his knowledge of history, psychology, personality, human laws shines through. It makes his books fantastic, fun to read, magical, special…
I love the characters in the Eternal Road! Not perfect, but always believable… and you don’t always know for sure how this all will turn out in the end! I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to all lovers of the paranormal, thriller, and mystery.
One of the recent reviews for Shattered Lives
Jo Naylor has escaped the fall out from her last case as a detective, hoping to find peace and oblivion in Thailand. She misses her old life and her detective partner but is solidly determined to enjoy her freedom.
But fate has a way of sticking its nose into our lives and it isn’t long before her detective hat is back on her head, prompted by the surprise arrival of her old partner, Adam Thorne.
But if he thinks he can get Jo to come back with him, he is out of luck. Jo has the taste of freedom now, and there’s no going back…
I don’t think this will be the last we see of Jo Naylor!
A recent review for the collection
The subtitle of this collection is “Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” and that is a great description of these poems. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is easy to relate to. There were so many poems that touched me and left me contemplating and reflecting on things. The book is divided into section, with the first being SONGS OF NATURE. I read this during an early spring, so the beauty of the words and the images that accompanied them had me heading outside to appreciate the joy that our beautiful world give us. SONGS OF DISSONANCE, REASON and SONGS OF PHYSICAL HEALING contain poems that show human struggles with sickness, cancer, grief, lost love and sadness. All things that we all deal with during out life. There are other sections dealing with moments of happiness and sadness, but I have to say my favourite section in this book was SONGS OF REFLECTION. I reread several of these poems many times. As I mentioned earlier, Miriam is a talented photographer and many of her photos accompany her poems. As well some of her paintings also grace the pages. This adds so much to the personal touches in this book.
Miriam wrote this poetry collection after dealing with many things in her life, some happy, some obstacles that she had to overcome. Her poetry shares those moments as well as some of what she learned as she dealt with things. Miriam also demonstrates many different forms of poetry, showing us that poetry comes in all forms. It’s not just about rhyming or repetition. Some of them could even be considered prose. One other thing that I appreciated is her open love and acknowledgment of God in her life. She thanks him for all she has received and asks for blessings when needed. This is a relatively short book, but it is chockfull of poems to make you think, reflect and be grateful.
One of the recent reviews for When I Rise
Author Karen Ingalls has taken some of the tragedies of life and provided context and healing through well-written short stories. Her depth of understanding and her tenderness kept me turning the pages well into the night. I not only related to the scenes, but I also connected with the author. She became a friend, someone I’d love to know. Though the book is fictional, it reads like nonfiction. The characters are people you know – good or bad, they are in your life. Your neighbor, your spouse, your sibling, your parent – you know them and through Ingalls’ book, you know them in a different way than before. Well done!
A recent review for Crossroads.
I enjoyed Jude Itakali’s debut poetry book. This is no ordinary collection of poems about love. Instead, Itakali’s poems tell a story about the journey of love, beginning with a prologue and progressing through three Parts. Part 1: Longing and searching. Part 2: Intimacy and Lust, and Heartbreak and its horrors, and Part 3: The other side of love, and New beginnings. The structure intrigued me as well as how he describes some of the poetry as short stories. The styles range from rhyming sonnets to free form verse to a number of syllabic forms including haiku, tanka, senryu, and nonet.
Personally, I agree that love is a journey with parts (or stages), and it was interesting to see the poems divided this way, as well as to follow the emotional journey with the author. A favorite from the section on longing, entitled Hope:
Sing me to sleep
Nightingale of sorrow
Soothe my lonely heart
Cool breeze of twilight
Let the robin trill in the dawn
And bring my soul hope
Let the first rays of sunrise
Beam upon the One
With whom I’ll spend, my last days
One of the recent reviews for Dancing in the Wind
I just love this series so much. It hasn’t lost any steam. This part was intense all the way the through. There are new issues as the survivors and April try to have some semblance of life. Some remember others don’t and there is a new person who is horrifying. A perfect replacement for Cecil to add the holy wow run factor to the story. I loved the development of the secondary characters as the world grows richer and the gifts were really neat. I like the way April’s gift is so central to everything. She really is my favorite at this point.
The tension never lets up, be it from the threat of virus mutations, the rush for a vaccine or cure, and the new threats from outside and perhaps inside sources. 😉
The way things end was totally satisfying but also leaves room and makes me hopeful there will be more. I would really love to visit this world again. Great series start to finish.
A recent review for The Prince’s Man
One of the best fantasy novels I have read in ages, The Prince’s Man combines court intrigue, nefarious plots, and dazzling realms. Rustam (Rusty) Chalice is a debonair dance master who lives a double life as a spy in the service of his prince, while also frequenting the beds of highborn ladies.
His life takes a turn when he is forced to team with Dart, the court’s royal assassin—a woman—with the goal of transporting a sickly elf across hostile, mountainous territory. Through the arduous journey, all three characters undergo brutal transformations and evolve as they are tested time and again, forced to rely on one another. At the same time, threats to the throne involve a traitorous noble, an illegitimate heir, and a diabolical torturer. There are layers upon layers of plot, all woven neatly together for a satisfying conclusion in this first book of what promises to be a stellar trilogy.
I was smitten with all three of the lead characters, especially Rustam who undergoes the most compelling transformation of all. You can’t read this book and not be caught up in the lives of Jay’s rakish spy, Risada, Elwaes and so many others. Even the secondary characters are fleshed out and vibrantly written. We meet so many along the journey, yet each leaves a distinctive mark.
The writing is exquisite, layered with beautifully detailed descriptions of enthralling realms, fantastical creatures, and breathless adventure. Every bit as riveting are the cloak-and-dagger machinations of several royal houses and the cruel manipulations of power-hungry men who seek the throne. From the moment I opened the first pages, I was sucked into the author’s expertly crafted world of intrigue and danger. A truly engaging story. Although book one delivers a wrap to the story as presented, I look forward to continuing for the full scope in books two and three. Highly recommended!
One of the recent reviews for Mahoney
Great novel that starts with a starving boy from Ireland,during the potato famine of 1850.
He was the only survivor of the Mahoney family and the caretaker told him,he had to leave the shack,the only home,he’d ever known.
He left for America on a crowded ship with all Irish Immigrants. They called it such,because they were packed in so tight, with not enough food and very little water, that many sickened with Typhus,died and were buried at sea. He made his way to NewYork and eventually found work on the Railroad.When the Great War started,he joined,was killed and left behind a wife and baby son.
His son,Dillon, grew up and when his mother passed,he had to make his way he went West,worked for a large rancher learned a lot about being a man and ended up in Florida,wildcatting for oil,finally struck it rich. He also married a beautiful woman and they had one son.
The third Mahoney,David grew up as an entitled rich kid,who was never told no.His mother died giving birth to him,so his father and live-in housekeeper,just spoiled him rotten.
He blew thru the inheritance that his grandfather left him and was hoping from more from his dad but his dad lost everything in the crash and only had his house left.
David,would inherit it soon,enough,as his father was dying of cancer. But,first he would lose all of his friends,fancy apt.car and be standing in line at the soup kitchens.
He regretted his choices and decided to go on the road to Calif.and Mexico to learn about the father,that he had treated so shabbily.
What happens to the third Mahoney and how the story is all tied together over three generations, is what great books are made of. Andrew Joyce is an outstanding author and although I just discovered him thru my husband ,cannot wait to read “Yellow Hair.”
Highly recommend, you won’t be sorry !
One of the recent reviews for The State Trilogy
Amazon Customer A fabulous trilogy Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 June 2021
A fabulous trilogy. The first book sets the stage, painting a vivid landscape of a post war civilisation. Peopled with characters who have depth and obvious back story.
The superbly structured story swept me along. Craftily introducing the key points of the narrative, until I felt like I was on a rollercoaster racing towards a brilliant cliff edge as the first book came to a sensational end.
A recent review for The Story That Had no Beginning
This book is an interesting and complex story about twins, Tom and Alice Collins, who enter the foster care system at a young age and are raised separately. The book starts with Alicia Collinson, aka Alice Collins, and her sophisticated boyfriend hosting two friends for a dinner party. Unknow to the dinner participants, the ghost of her brother Tom, known as Bobby Brown among his peer group, is also in attendance. It is obvious from the start that Alicia is a woman of good financial circumstances who mingles with the elite of London’s society. It also becomes evident quite early on, that Tom’s life has followed a very divergent path and he was a member of the mafia-styled criminal class.
The book follows the paths of the twins and how they come to end up in their different circumstances and lifestyles. Alicia is a well-know and talented photographer who owns her own home in London and has plenty of money. Tom has money, albeit ill gotten, but he dies the death of a criminal.
Tom is a conflicting character as he is a man involved in high class prostitution and other shady and illegal dealings. Despite being a seasoned criminal, his narration of the story reveals a different side to his character. One that questions the life he lived and celebrates the good fortune and success achieved by his sister.
Alice or Alicia has the great good luck to become the protegee of a wealthy single woman with no children who effectively adopts her and sets her on the road to success in her chosen field of photography. Unknown to the naïve Alicia, her benefactor isn’t everything she appears to be and some of the people she socialises with are infamous for their continuous promiscuous behaviour with the same, or the opposite, sex. In a contrast to her brother, Tom, who is in the centre of the debaucherous lifestyles led by the wealthy upper classes of London, Alicia hovers around the edges, not realising what is right in front of her.
The author has an in-depth knowledge of the illicit behaviour of the British upper class and paints a detailed picture of how greed, selfishness and a complete disregard for the values and ethics of society lead to the downfall of people.
This book will make you question what success is all about and whether it leads to contentment as the stories of the many characters unfold. This is thought provoking tale as despite the huge difference in the siblings financial and social positions, both of them end up with money but neither of them have good reliable partners or simply and happy lives.
My review for The Vanished Boy on June 23rd 2021
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.
One of the early reviews for The Ender
As the other installments in this series, I loved very much.I couldn’t wait till this one came, so I could finish the story and I wasn’t disappointed. Laney went through a journey here with decisions. The writing, plot and structure was on point and it kept me going , even do I took my time because I didn’t want it to end.This book along with the other two will draw you from the beginning.I highly recommend this series.
One of the recent reviews for Torn Between Worlds
A lot has been written about the long and hard road that the illegal Mexicans must face to reach the United States in search of a precarious but useful job to feed their families.
We adults are clear about it, but how a pre-teen girl feels it in first person is something surprising. Her story is straightforward, no explanations are necessary.
With her clear view she reaches the heart of the readers. They will be able to remember, from another point of view, the event that shocked the world: the attack of the Twin Towers.
But the story does not end there up, with an easy English suitable for intermediate level, the writer flies over the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, a country which welcomes to give a new chance of life to them.
Mucho se ha escrito intentando explicar el largo y duro camino que los emigrantes ilegales mexicanos deben soportar para llegar a los Estados Unidos en busca de un trabajo precario pero que sirva para sacar adelante a sus familias.
Los adultos lo tenemos claro, pero cómo una niña preadolescente lo vive en primera persona es algo sorprendente. Su relato es directo, no se necesitan explicaciones. Con una mirada limpia llega hasta el corazón del lector que podrá, desde otro punto de vista, recordar el acontecimiento que conmocionó al mundo: el ataque a las Torres Gemelas.
Pero la historia no se queda ahí. Con un inglés sencillo, apto para estudiantes de nivel intermedio, la escritora vuela sobre el Atlántico para llevar a sus personajes hasta España, un país que los acoge a para darles la oportunidad de una nueva vida.
One of the recent reviews for Fallen Princeborn Chosen on Goodreads
Fallen Princeborn: Chosen was fantastic dark fantasy that revolved around Charlotte and Liam’s growing relationship and trust in each other, their battle with Lady Orna and her minions who somehow has returned with vengeance and blood lust, and Liam’s family who are bigger trouble than Lady Orna. It was about good vs evil, dysfunctional family, betrayal, trust, love, letting go of past, and finding strength in love.
Villians were interesting, not just Lady Orna but Liam’s family as well. I was still puzzled how Lady Orna came back so fast from pit and acquired new kind of power that was deadly. Her incompletes were creepy but even creepier was Liam’s family. This family was full of crazies.
World was well written. It was interesting to read more history of land and water, its people and their powers. Aether created all the magical beings in this world but worst were princeborns and we know more of their crimes in this book. Stellaqui were interesting creatures. I enjoyed reading about them and their old high sage. Celenstines were most powerful of all. By meeting them readers could see what was those magical rings that Lady Orna wore and now other princeborns were wearing.
Overall, Fallen Princeborn: Chosen was intriguing, fast paced and well written adult fantasy with punchy prose, rich world and non-stop action.
One of the recent reviews for The Dead at Heart
The Dead at Heart by Suzanne Leist is the third installment of this cleverly crafted supernatural series. Fans of the author are acquainted with her parallel universes in which mortals and nocturnal creatures live side by side in a fragile existence. In this episode, the vampire stronghold of Oasis finds itself under attack by mysterious forces. Sheriff Sam sets out in pursuit of the werewolf team that kidnapped the lady of the estate. He asks Shana for assistance as her beloved William is suspected of complicity. She accompanies him on a hair-raising chase from the swamps of Florida to the historic city of Quebec. Shana’s loyalty to William is compromised yet she has no choice to continue the pursuit with Linda’s safety at risk.
The plot thickens as the Watchers, represented by Samantha and the Archangels, intercede with the intent of ending a potential conspiracy among a contingency of rogue vampires. Shana realizes that William may be condemned by the Watchers, yet dares not hamper the search as Linda’s fiance Gregg has joined forces with Sheriff Sam. They soon learn that an autoimmune virus has infected the outlaws and caused their insurgency. Proclaimed as the Dead by their fellow vampires, Shana fears the worst. Can she help rescue Linda from the damned and save William in the process?
This is a Gothic suspense/thriller that remains true to the vampire mythology while exploring fresh storylines and plot twists guaranteed to keep readers enthralled throughout. For vampire genre enthusiasts and romantic horror fans alike, The Dead at Heart by Suzanne Leist is one you won’t want to miss.
A recent review for Where Angel & Devils Tread
The charm of this collection of short stories written by Joy lennick and Jean Wilson, is that all of them are driven by interesting and authentic characters in a manner reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels. The superstitions, petty prejudices, and pleasures of these very English characters allow for thoroughly engaging stories with plenty of tongue-in-cheek British humour when circumstances and planned actions bring calamity down on their heads. I enjoyed the plots of the various stories but it is the style of the writing that made this a five star read for me.
A few examples of the humour which had me laughing as I visualized the characters are as follows:
“When I managed to get in I could see that Manny had left his mortal coil and wouldn’t be needing any more injections. I have to say the wife beater was very useful and I have developed a philosophy rather like the Ying and Yang that even dead losses have their uses on occasion.” This extract is from Aldgate’s Angel by Jean Wilson which tells the story of a queen’s nurse in 1950s London. In those days the nurses used to make house visits to attend to certain chronic patients. The conditions in which many of these patients lived were eye opening for me and the wry humour pulled at my heartstrings even as I chuckled.
“Mr Lawson, an ex-banker had been caught stealing some cigars from the newsagent along the road. The fool hadn’t remembered that they had security cameras and his antics were well and truly viewed, although a little mistily, and he was arrested without ceremony and taken to the local police station. Angie Roberts had given a hyena-type short laugh. It was typical of bank managers to help themselves to whatever they wanted. She held them responsible for the state the country was in.” This extract is from Death By Design by Jean Wilson in which the residents of a retirement home decide to take the righting of certain wrongs into their own hands.
“Kosher his mother’s home was not. He smiled as she flitted across his consciousness. Having decided while he was still in the womb that he should be a lawyer, she was disappointed when he became a detective, calling him a “Klutz!” adding “You could be killed!”
However, the fact that his younger brother, -“My son, Joseph, the doctor!” – fulfilled a birth wish, left her happy.” from Freeze by Joy Lennick, a murder investigation into the death of a small time crook and drug addict. The investigation grows legs and leads to some interesting findings.
“Adam was fortunate in the fact he had a head for figures and was ambitious. Very! The fact that he worked out and possessed a certain, while to some, oily, charm; had an enviable head of dark head, and expressive eyes the shade of malt whisky, helped his cause – social climbing. But, the years had thinned his hair somewhat and peppered it with several grey strands which persisted in battling against the dyes he tried.” from The Menu/Shopping List by Joy Lennick. When Piers, formerly Adam, Smythe finds a shoping list/menu in a second hand book, he decides the imagined available, attractive, likely well-heeled author of the letter is perfect for someone like him. He is in for his comeuppance.
One of the recent reviews for Apprenticed to My Mother
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.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Marian Beaman did a fantastic job on this difficult story. I do have a lot of admiration and respect for the Mennonite culture. On the flip side of the coin I realize nothing and no one is perfect. The author has a very good writing style and respectfully peeled back the layers. Honestly, I will never see the Mennonites the same again.
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
One of the recent reviews for Where Irises Never Grow
A story that takes us to the darkest places of Nazi-occupied France and the torture chambers of the Hotel Terminus where Klaus Barbie reigns supreme. I felt empathy for the Resistants struggling to walk a fine line between living a normal life and being caught in a web of horror. The story centers on Charlotte and Victor Legrand, and a temperamental young Jewish girl whose actions put their lives at risk. As the story unfolds, their lives are threatened. A harrowing story in places, but one told with empathy. It will grab you until the very last page. Highly recommended.
One of the recent reviews Bloodstone
This magical young adult story is brimming with fresh imaginative ideas avoiding tropes often associated with fantasy. I was impressed with the unique vivid visual descriptions which brought both the settings and characters to life and the wonderful standard of writing throughout the story. A magical mystery unfolds for the main character Amelina, who makes discoveries during the plot, so we can enjoy seeing her grow in confidence and skill.
The story involves complex content which was difficult to follow initially but becomes more understandable as the story develops. The introduction of the antagonist, Ryder, really helps us to root for Amenlina. He is well written, and I enjoyed that he wasn’t given the typical look of a baddie but rather slowly and disconcertingly reveals his darker side, inserting himself between Amelina and her friends. I can see this being the start of a fabulous young adult series and hope there are more books to come!
One of the recent reviews for Secrets of the Galapagos
I read this book during lockdown, over the winter and it was honestly such a beautiful adventure. It served as a bit of an escape which I thoroughly appreciated. The book is full of action, intrigue and romance. Romance has never really been a selling point for me when it comes to novels, movies or really any storytelling medium, but Sharon does it well. I highly recommend this book, if you are going on vacation to anywhere but the Galapagos. I also highly recommend this book if its a dark and dreary winter, and you need to envision yourself somewhere else. The book is set somewhere wonderful and the mystery keeps you engaged for the long-haul.
My review for Apple Blossom 25th February 2021
Receiving the diagnosis of cancer is everyone’s fear. Jaye Marie shares her journey through this frightening experience from the first examination and her treatments at Queen Alexander hospital in Portsmouth with honesty and courage. A journal such as this is so important, not just as a way to document the experiences of those living through this devastating illness, but for those who might be at the start of that journey. Half the battle is the fear associated with the diagnosis, and at times the lack of information available as the medical professionals are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a definitive prognosis. Whilst it is frightening, being informed is a key factor in getting through the treatment and remaining positive about the future. Jaye Marie does an excellent job and whilst the book is a short read it is filled with heartfelt inspiration.
One of the recent reviews for Wake-Robin Ridge
Wake-Robin Ridge is the first book in Marcia Meara’s series. The story revolves around two women, decades apart. Sarah Carter is looking for a major life change and decides to get a cabin in rural Colorado and write the novel that she has always wanted to write. She meets MacKenzie Cole, a handsome but mysterious man who has had more than his share of tragedy. MacKenzie has a secret that prevents him from getting close, but his love for Sarah is at odds with his previous plans to live isolated.
Sarah is connected unknowingly to Ruth Carter, a woman who saw an opportunity to flee from her abusive husband, Lloyd Carter, fifty years earlier. While Lloyd is in prison, Ruth runs away to rural North Carolina and lives in the same cabin that Sarah later inhabits. Lloyd hires a guy to track down Ruth so that he (Lloyd) can come back and murder her.
This was an engaging read that involves plenty of suspense with a paranormal angle. I enjoyed this story, and I plan to read the next book in the series.
A recent review for Minus One
“Minus One” is a wonderful collection of poems that took me on an emotional journey. There was a mixture of Haikus and free verse that offered an insight into the highs and lows of life. Plus, there was the bonus of lovely pictures. Here are a few of my favorite passages: Seascapes, “Damp knees in the damp sand. Uneasy in the stillness, /watching for the yellow hair of fairies, /hidden in the tide, their voices from another world,” Haikus, “Blessed, healing rain/soaks my parched skin and/flushes out all grief,” and more Haikus, “Broken by the storm/branches bent as if with grief/hold their beauty yet.” A beautiful read that any poetry lover would enjoy.
One of the recent reviews for Inside Out
Inside Out appears to mark a change in genre from Thorne Moore’s existing body of work but in fact it has far more in common with her previous novels than it has differences. It shares with them a high quality of writing, acutely observed settings, intriguing characters, twisting plot, varying time periods and dry wit. The only real difference is that is not on the same planet. Or indeed, for most of the novel, on any planet.
Thorne Moore has said herself that whatever the setting, she is always writing about what people might do when pushed to their limits, and Inside Out is certainly no exception to that. A group of disparate travellers are aboard a spaceship, ostensibly the space-age equivalent of a cruise liner, on their way to Triton. None of them is particularly sympathetic, they all have mysterious pasts and fairly obscure presents, but by the end of the story we know them and their motivations so well we are rooting for them all. The sense of hope and redemption at the end of the novel is hugely satisfying, and the exciting last few chapters worthy of any blockbuster sci-fi movie. Highly recommended.
One of the recent reviews for Ever Rest