Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday March 2nd 2020- #Book Recommendations from D.L. Finn, Annika Perry and Cathy Ryan


To start the week off, some posts with book recommendations, which is always a great way to find new reads…

And a reminder – if you are an author and are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoying regular author updates then please check out this link: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – FREE author promotion

The first post is from author DL Finn with her reads in March that she recommends and I am delighted to be on the list along with five other authors, C.S. Boyack who is in the Cafe and Bookstore, and four new authors to me Lynda Filler, PTL Perrin, Kathryn Chastain Treat and Raymond Hall.

March Book Reviews! @sgc58 @LyndaMFiller @PTLPerrin @rayhall47 @Virgilante

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Head over to read the reviews for the six books and add them to your TBR: DL Finn March Book Reviews

Find out more about D. L. Finn: D.L. Finn Author

And now from two more book recommendations from Annika Perry for a modern romance by Jill Weatherholt and the 1920s guide to Flapper Speak by Teagan Geneviene.

Head over to read Annika’s reviews for these two books and add them to your now groaning TBR!: From Modern Romance to the Jazz Age review by Annika Perry

Annika Perry, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Annika: Goodreads – blog: Annika Perry

And the final post today is from Cathy Ryan of Between the Lines, a blog where you are guaranteed to find terrific books to read. This week Cathy reviews The Light by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore..

The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge #4) by @MarciaMeara #Mystery with a touch of the #Paranormal #BookReview

I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this series very much. Eleven year old Rabbit is a remarkable little boy who has inherited an exceptional gift from his grandmother — what mountain people called ‘the Sight’, giving him the ability to sense and see things others cannot. He was brought up by his grandparents in the mountains of North Carolina and lived in isolation until they both passed away. After an arduous journey he found ‘the good people’ his grandmother had told him about and was adopted by Sarah and Mac.

Head over to read the rest of Cathy’s review and add the book to your TBR: The Light – reviewed by Cathy Ryan.

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Find out more about Cathy Ryan: Between the Lines Book Blog

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 18th October – Annika Perry #bookreview, Bienvenue Press #Flash with Sharon Marchisello and Joelle LeGendre #Insomnia Humour


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from author Annika Perry with her book review for Sea Prayer by the author of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini.

On 2nd September 2015 an image flashed around the world that saddened and horrified us all. A young boy, later identified as Alan Kurdi, lay motionless on a pristine beach in Turkey, the dawn sun glowing around him. He was dead. During his three young years he knew only war in Syria; a war his parents fled to find safety. The photo of Alan touched everyone and inspired, nay, I would say, drove one famous writer to pen a short book, Sea Prayer.

Within Khaled Hosseini’s Sea Prayer the words and illustrations are intrinsically linked, creating a wondrous work of art.

The first page starts as a letter (quasi-eulogy) to the narrator’s son, Marwan, and it recalls the beauty of life in Homs. The father describes his childhood when he had woken “to the stirrings of olive trees in the breeze/to the bleating of your grandmother’s goat”.

Head over to read Annika’s review for this wonderful book: https://annikaperry.com/2019/10/17/sea-prayer-a-book-review/

Annika Perry, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/
Blog    https://annikaperry.com –  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

The next post is from Bienvenue Press Blog  with the announcement of third place in their flash fiction competition to Sharon Marchisello for Halloween Justice.

Halloween Masquerade Ball (1)

Bienvenue Press is pleased to announce the third place winner in our annual Halloween Flash Fiction contest. This story is by Sharon Marchisello and is titled “Halloween Justice”.

“Halloween Justice”

by Sharon Marchisello

No one in the neighborhood put on a better Halloween display than Diana Hunter. Every year, she added new decorations to scare young children and delight older trick-or-treaters. Last year, she hung a two-foot black velveteen spider from a wispy net between the birch trees; the net’s threads were so fine, trespassers who cut across her grass became entangled in the creature’s web. The mechanical skeleton who cackled maniacally when he popped up from the lawn’s tombstone at irregular intervals was a long-time favorite. A steam machine and haunting music pierced with an occasional scream enhanced the atmosphere.

This year, Diana had purchased a full-size brass coffin, a model being discontinued by the local funeral home. She was still trying to decide where to place it for maximum effect. 

Head over and read all of Sharon’s story: https://bienvenuepressblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/halloween-justice/

Sharon Marchisello, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/ Blog  https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello

Now for all of those who might have trouble getting off to sleep at night… Joelle LeGendre of Two on a Rant will have you in stitches..

Insomnia came for a visit and refuses to leave, so I’m laughing in its face.

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Head over and see the rest, you should see the last one.. priceless: https://rantingalong.blog/2019/10/18/find-something-to-laugh-at/

Joelle LeGendre buy: https://www.amazon.com/Joelle-LeGendre/e/B00JBQDHWMBlog: https://rantingalong.blog/about/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7809192.Joelle_LeGendre

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jan Sikes, Balroop Singh, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Annika Perry


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

And the first author today is Jan Sikes,  with a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

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

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read. This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next book with a recent review is Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh.

51hws7e9y-l-_uy250_About the book

Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self?

Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention.

Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike.

This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.

One of the recent reviews for Allow Yourself to be a Better person

As a follower of a blog written by Balroop Singh, I decided to purchase one of her non-fiction books this month: Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person. In this self-help and advice collection, Singh provides readers with ~100 pages of her thoughts and research on how to live a better life. By sharing personal stories of her own life and those of people she’s met, Singh offers ways for readers to consider changing behaviors so that they are happier and stronger individuals.

Every once in a while, it’s good to pick up a book like this; much of the content are things we know or have been taught over the years, but that we also forget. Singh adds context and value behind the words, ensuring we have example and clearer understanding of different interpretations. We know not to take our anger out on others, but we do it still… sometimes unwittingly, and at others, on purpose. Singh reminds us why, shares alternative approaches, and provides a way of reacting to our own emotions with a twist.

I enjoyed reading this extension of her blog so that I could be reminded of a few things that are always a benefit to our lives. It’s obvious that she took a lot of time to craft the structure and advice, and she should be commended. I’m glad I took a chance on reading her book and recommend it to others who are struggling to find a bit of light or think differently about some problems and painful situations in their life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MR1WGC3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allow-Yourself-Be-Better-Person-ebook/dp/B01MR1WGC3

Also by Balroop Singh.

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with her latest release – a short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.

The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.

It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MLYP5XP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Mad-Woman-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-ebook/dp/B07MLYP5XP

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

Read more reviews and follow Vashti on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Connect to Vashti via her website/Blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

The final author with a recent review is Annika Perry for her collection of stories – The Storyteller Speaks.

About The Storyteller Speaks
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Jun 20, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Four Stars

Sometimes it is good to sit down and read some short stories. So much can be said in a few carefully chosen words. Which is the case in this delightful collection of stories and poems. Stories about a first and forever love, stolen flowers, forgotten chillies, frozen landscapes and a miscarriage of justice evoke a wide range of emotions. My favourite story is the Loss of A Patriarch, depicting a family saying goodbye to a much-loved family member told in such a heartwarming manner it is sure to produce tears. For a first time author, this is a wonderful collection showing a range of writing skills.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

Connect to Annika via her blog  https://annikaperry.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm… Sally…