Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – October 22nd 2019 – Audrey Driscoll #Peeves – Janice Spina #Children – D.G. Kaye #MovieReview


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 Audrey Driscoll, who probably speaks for most of us when it comes to the little niggles in life that drive us crazy… I am sure Audrey would love to hear what niggles peeve you the most!

gargoyle grumpy

Ten Little Things That Bug Me

A while ago, I wrote a post complaining about parking lot design. It was going to be the first of a series of grumbles. Since then I’ve realized that writing a string of posts whining about “first world problems” isn’t the best use of my blogging time. So I’ve bundled all the small things that bug me into one post.

This one.

These are low-level annoyances that regularly make me say “Why…?” They’re things — poorly-designed physical objects, not human behaviour. Many aspects of human behaviour (individual and collective) bug me, and many more sadden and enrage. Maybe I’ll get into some of them in future posts. For now, I’m sweating the small stuff.
Such as…

  • Noisy yard machines. Sometimes my corner of suburbia sounds like a war zone with competing roars from lawn mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers.
  • Scented dryer sheets and laundry soaps. Nose-twisting synthetic “perfumes” with names like “April Fresh” and “Mountain Breeze” wafting from dryer vents in the neighbourhood. And I’m not even allergic!

Head over and read and enjoy the rest of the list and add your own notes: https://audreydriscoll.com/2019/10/20/things-that-bug-me-the-complete-list/

Audrey Driscoll, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC
Blog: http://audreydriscoll.com   Goodreads: Audrey on Goodreads

To view all of Audrey’s books please visit her Amazon page.

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The next post is from children’s and thriller writer Janice Spina on the subject of getting children to read. She asks Are Books Better than Tablets for Children? In my view, anything that gets a child to read is great, but that a print book for a child is a treasure that they will keep and look at frequently..

Are Books Better than Tablets for Children?

This is an excellent question as today’s technology is so important to all of us. I read an interesting and informative post, Study: Books May Foster Bonding Better Than Tablets by Linda Carroll that was published in New Hampshire Union Leader on October 1, 2019.

Here are some excerpts from this excellent post: Parents and children both appear more engaged when stories are read from a book, researchers say.

Toddlers appear to be much more engaged with their parents when stories are read to them from books rather than digital tablets, a new study finds.

It may be that when parents and toddlers engage over a tablet, it might be harder for them to have moments of connection, said Dr. Tiffany Munzer, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who led the study.

Head over and find out more about the study and add your views in the comments: https://jemsbooks.blog/2019/10/07/are-books-better-than-tablets-for-children

Janice Spina, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG
Blog: http://jemsbooks.wordpress.comGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Please visit Amazon or Janice’s blog to view all her books for adults and children.

And finally a five star film review from D.G.Kaye (Debby Gies) for Ladies in Black, set in an Australian department store in the late 1950s. I watched the film some time ago and loved it and can add my recommendation to Debby’s.

Available on Amazon

Sunday Movie Review with D.G. Kaye – Ladies in Black

It’s Sunday Book Review time, and once again, I’m sneaking in a movie I recently watched – Ladies in Black, written by Madeline St. John. This movie is a story that takes place in the 1959 era, where women’s jobs consisted mostly of being a secretary or working in retail sales. The movie depicts the lives of 4 women who work in Goode’s Department store in Sydney, Australia at a time where European migration changes the landscape of Australia with cultural changes, a mixing of class structure, and the rise of Women’s Liberation.

Head over to find out more about the movie and Debby’s review: https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-movie-review-with-d-g-kaye-ladies-in-black

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know author Audrey Driscoll


This week my guest is Canadian author Audrey Driscoll who shares the contents of her purse, her phobia, love of Tofino and how she would love to be invisible for a day….

First a little bit about Audrey Driscoll

I grew up reading books, and became interested in making stories myself. I worked out scenes and bits of dialogue, and made my friends act out little dramas based on my favourite book at the time – Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

With that background, it was inevitable I would become a writer. It just took a while. After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – I had a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West.

Strangely fascinated by HPL’s corpse-reanimating physician and his friend the nameless narrator, I built a set of stories around them. In 2000, I was compelled to write them down. The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which constitute the Herbert West Series. Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue me from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.

Reluctant to abandon the characters I had spent so much time with, I wrote and recently published several short stories as supplements to the Herbert West Series. I am currently at work on a sequel to the series.

My other interest is gardening a patch of earth on southern Vancouver Island. I post about that at least as often as I do about books and writing — with pictures! To me, writing and gardening are forms of alchemy — a mysterious process of creating excellence from the chaos of the world.

Time to find out what questions Audrey has selected to respond to…..

Welcome Audrey and perhaps you could begin by telling us what are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?

Well, let’s have a look… Aside from the obvious, such as wallet, keys, and phone, I always have the following:

One. My Laguiole knife.  It’s an elegant folding knife made in France. You never know when you might need to slice an apple, cut a string, or… deal with an awkward situation.

Image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laguiole_knife

Two. A bright red shopping bag that, rolled up, is no bigger than a hot cross bun. Now that plastic bags are banned where I live (a move I agree with), it’s come in handy on many a sudden shopping occasion.

Three. A tiny flashlight. Everyone knows you need a light in dark places.

Four. A piece of string. Well, actually it’s a boot lace, but it can do anything a string can. This is another of those “You never know” items.

Five. A notebook and pen, for writing down brilliant ideas. Of course, they’re never as brilliant as the ones that get away.

What was the one thing you could never learn to do no matter how hard you tried?

I’ve never managed to learn to swim properly, despite taking lessons several times. I can float, tread water, and execute a half-decent back stroke and breast stroke. I can’t for the life of me do the crawl. Sticking my face into the water to exhale just feels wrong. I end up holding my breath, which kind of limits endurance. For the most part this hasn’t been a problem. We live a short walk from a nice beach, but the water is almost always too cold for swimming, and I have to admit I’m not keen on swimming pools. You just never know what’s in that water.

Sally: Perhaps these guys might persuade you to change your mind about swimming pools Audrey

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?

For relaxation-type holidays (as distinct from challenging ones), my number one choice is Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a half-day’s drive from Victoria, where I live, but getting there feels like a journey rather than a mere trip. You travel from the built-up, suburbanized east coast of the island, over its rocky spine, into what’s left of the temperate rainforest with clear, fast-running rivers and streams, and finally to the long beaches on the fringe of the world. The town has all the amenities you need, but the feeling of having reached the end of the road pervades the place. Many people have come for a visit and stayed forever. Whether you like surfing, kayaking, or just walking the beaches and watching the endless waves, it’s a wonderful, spiritually renewing place. Many WordPress bloggers get to enjoy photos of its birds, wildlife and scenery through Wayne’s blog, Welcome to Tofino

Sally: I have long been a fan of Wayne Barnes and his stunning photography and Tofino is on our list of ‘Must See’ places… here is a short promotional film by Tracker Productions

Do you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?

I’m not sure this is an actual phobia, but I have an irrational and uncontrollable fear of being in a sailboat that’s heeling over. This is a natural and expected behaviour of sailboats when sailing close to the wind. You really can’t sail without experiencing it. Most people think it’s great fun when the boat tilts at 20 or 30 degrees, water washes over the bow, the rigging clangs, and the wind screams. Me? I’m clinging to handholds and praying to get back to shore. This was a real disappointment, because after reading Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books I thought sailing would be wonderful. My terror definitely put a crimp in several sailing expeditions, until I gave up and declared myself a landlubber by nature.

If you were to become invisible for a day, what is the one thing you would do?

Spy on people, what else? I’d mingle with crowds, people-watching and eavesdropping, without being suspected of creepiness. In my trusty notebook (which would, I hope, share my invisibility), I would record impressions and snippets of conversations for future writing projects. I’m thinking outdoor venues would be best, to avoid awkward collisions. And unless I could be certain the invisibility would last for the entire day, I’d have to be ready to look uninterested in case I suddenly popped into view. In fact, this scenario in itself might make a good story!

Books by Audrey Driscoll

About She Who Comes Forth

The novel is a standalone sequel to the Herbert West Series. Readers who enjoy a combination of realistic adventure and supernatural elements in an exotic setting — Luxor, Egypt and the Theban Necropolis — may wish to have a look.

October 1962. The developing nuclear missile crisis in Cuba is of no concern to Francesca “France” Leighton. Recently turned 21, France travels from her home in Providence to a job at an archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. She takes with her two legacies—an emerald ring from the grandfather she never knew, and an antique cello from his friend, a man she loved like a grandfather.

The dig disappoints. France is relegated to sorting chunks of stone, the dig’s director makes unwanted advances; rivalries and mistrust are everywhere. And it’s too darn hot! Tasked with playing her cello at a gathering of archaeologists, France meets the enigmatic and fascinating nuclear physicist Adam Dexter. She’s smitten, especially when he promises to show her the secrets of Egypt, including a hitherto undiscovered tomb.

After a risky balloon cruise ends in a crash landing, France is forced to leave the dig. Despite warnings against solo explorations on the west bank, she finds herself with Adam Dexter in an eerie house near the Theban Necropolis. Adam’s promises are alluring, but he is both more and less than he seems and his motivations are disturbing. Fleeing his house, France makes a horrifying discovery.

Through an image of Osiris, France discovers the true reason for her presence in the Theban Necropolis. As the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, she must call upon resources both within and beyond herself to meet the perils that await her in the world of the dead beneath the Western Peak.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I absolutely loved the Herbert West series, and ‘She Who Comes Forth’ kind of picks up where the 4th book ends.

The protagonist is related to Herbert West and shares some of his occult ability. It is this ability, and a mysterious ring, that cause young France Leighton to become involved in a supernatural tussle of wills…in Egypt.

Along the way she meets an intriguing stranger who is not at all what he seems.

But before you think this will be a standard romance set in an exotic location, think again. There’s that twist, right?

I found She Who Comes Forth to be a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H6CKB4M

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/She-Who-Comes-Forth-novel-ebook/dp/B07H6CKB4M

SMASHWORDS

A selection of other books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.ca:  https://www.amazon.ca/Audrey-Driscoll-Books/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

Connect to Audrey

Website: www.audreydriscoll.com
Bookpage: https://audreydriscoll.com/the-herbert-west-series/
Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/audrey-driscoll/id380553438?mt=11
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/”Audrey%20Driscoll
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/audreydriscoll

Thank you for dropping in today and I know Audrey would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally

If you would like to participate in the Sunday Interview Series and share your blog and books, then please check out this post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2019/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update #Reviews #News – Audrey Driscoll, Brigid P. Gallagher, Christoph Fischer and Shehanne Moore


Welcome to the first of the week’s author updates and we begin with fantasy author Audrey Driscoll and her  latest release She Who Comes Forth.

About She Who Comes Forth

The novel is a standalone sequel to the Herbert West Series. Readers who enjoy a combination of realistic adventure and supernatural elements in an exotic setting — Luxor, Egypt and the Theban Necropolis — may wish to have a look.

October 1962. The developing nuclear missile crisis in Cuba is of no concern to Francesca “France” Leighton. Recently turned 21, France travels from her home in Providence to a job at an archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. She takes with her two legacies—an emerald ring from the grandfather she never knew, and an antique cello from his friend, a man she loved like a grandfather.

The dig disappoints. France is relegated to sorting chunks of stone, the dig’s director makes unwanted advances; rivalries and mistrust are everywhere. And it’s too darn hot! Tasked with playing her cello at a gathering of archaeologists, France meets the enigmatic and fascinating nuclear physicist Adam Dexter. She’s smitten, especially when he promises to show her the secrets of Egypt, including a hitherto undiscovered tomb.

After a risky balloon cruise ends in a crash landing, France is forced to leave the dig. Despite warnings against solo explorations on the west bank, she finds herself with Adam Dexter in an eerie house near the Theban Necropolis. Adam’s promises are alluring, but he is both more and less than he seems and his motivations are disturbing. Fleeing his house, France makes a horrifying discovery.

Through an image of Osiris, France discovers the true reason for her presence in the Theban Necropolis. As the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, she must call upon resources both within and beyond herself to meet the perils that await her in the world of the dead beneath the Western Peak.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book has everything: Exotic setting? Check. Fem lit? Check. Horror, ancient Egyptian mysteries, three dimensional characters? Yes, yes, yes!

The story takes place in Egypt in the mid 20th Century. This is one of the few novels I’ve read with a foreign location that I appreciated. It didn’t feel like a story taken from Anywhere, USA, and plopped into an exotic locale just to appeal to readers with wanderlust. The setting Driscoll creates is textural, full of sounds, full of colors . . . a treat!

Driscoll also created realistic characters you’ll fear, loathe, or love. Adam is so eerie he’ll make you stop reading just to check the dark corners in the room. The professor is a creep, ew. France Leighton, the protagonist, is smart, adorably imperfect, brave, and lovable. There’s even a cello character named Eudora. (Yes, a CELLO. And be careful or you’ll develop a crush on Eudora. She’s charming!)

Readers who enjoy more literary-type stories will get a kick out of all the symbolism in the book. Driscoll especially uses colors and music, and these symbols tie in well with the ancient Egyptians’ reverence for the meaning of colors and the music of their ceremonies.

Pros: Everything I’ve mentioned already plus breath-holding, suspenseful, scenes filled with ancient spirits.

Cons: For SOME readers, the action may drag. I like a slow burn because I think it builds up the suspense and makes the climax even that much scarier, so I won’t take a star off for this. The only other con I can think of is the title is not compelling. It ties in with the storyline, but if I saw a list of titles without any taglines or blurbs or book covers, I’d pass over this title. But really, what I think of as an imperfect title doesn’t take away from the genius of the book, so I can’t take a star away for this, either.

Overall, an enthusiastic five stars!

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H6CKB4M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/She-Who-Comes-Forth-novel-ebook/dp/B07H6CKB4M

A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

Connect to Audrey via her website: www.audreydriscoll.com

The next review is for the memoir by  Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

It’s very rare nowadays that I can pick up a book and I know without doubt that I’m going to enjoy reading before the end of the first page. I really enjoyed this book, it had everything that I enjoy reading about. Positivity, spirituality, hope and common sense.

Following Bridget’s inspiring life, written with frankness and honesty. I just wanted to curl up and read it in one go but time restraints did not permit. However it is a book that can be picked up and put down and by doing that I prolonged the pleasure of reading it.

It follows the life of Bridget and the triumphs and obstacles placed on her journey and how she pushed through the challenges of ill health with determination. I felt like I had been alongside side her when she described her travels enjoying each experience that came with each holiday. I felt the heat, I could smell the smells, I was there.!

I read this book whilst going through a difficult time myself and it really did help me. So thank you Bridget, I’m no gardener but I can appreciate yours and I can’t wait for your next book.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

and at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

Now time for the second book in a murder mystery series from Christoph Fischer – Over my Dead Body: Murder at Eurovision – A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery.

About the book

On her return from a cruise ship gig Bebe Bollinger learns that fellow Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler has decided to enter a European Song comptition for the UK. While Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for ‘Eurovision’ in Malmö, a string of ‘odd accidents’ endangers several participants of the competition. This stirs her desire for playing detective again but also a curiosity to check out the suitability of Eurovision for her own career.
Follow Bebe’s continued search for fame and a comeback before it’s too late, step into the weird world that is Eurovision fandom and see how Bebe gets on with her naughty daughter and deals with those evil TV presenters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I really enjoyed the first Bebe Bollinger mystery and was excited to see that Christoph Fischer had a second one penned.

Bollinger is an old school singing star who has experienced a new flash of popularity, and is trying to find her way to a new Big Comeback.

She ends up at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmao, Sweden, after a few suspect events, and ends up singing, solving mysteries and getting involved in all sorts of craziness!

A great light hearted read and if you are a Eurovision fan, I am sure you will love it even more!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Over-Dead-Body-Eurovision-Bollinger-ebook/dp/B07CGNL2HJ/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Over-Dead-Body-Eurovision-Bollinger-ebook/dp/B07CGNL2HJ/

A  small selection of other books by Christoph Fischer.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Connect to Christoph via his Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Now time for more historical romance from Shehanne Moore who has retrieved her books from her previous publisher and has now reissued the books with new covers. Because of the move to publishing her own books, Shehanne has lost all her reviews on Amazon for the books but you can find them all on her Goodreads Page The latest book to be re-released is The Unraveling of Lady Fury – on Pre-Order for February 14th at 99c/99p

About the book

Genoa 1820  Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times…

Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position. And her secrets. But when the callously irresistible Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore sails back into her life, Lady Fury panics. She must find a way to protect herself—and her future—from the man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed. If she must bed him to keep her secrets, so be it. But she doesn’t have to like it. A set of firm rules for the bedroom will ensure that nothing goes awry. Because above all else, she must stop herself from wanting the one thing that Flint can never give her. His heart.

Ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore has never been good at following the rules. Now, once again embroiled in a situation with the aptly named Lady Fury, he has no idea why he doesn’t simply do the wise thing and walk away. He knows he’s playing with fire, and that getting involved with her again is more dangerous than anything on the high seas. But he can’t understand why she’s so determined to hate him. He isn’t sure if the secret she keeps will make things harder—or easier—for him, but as the battle in the bedroom heats up, he knows at least one thing. Those silly rules of hers will have to go…

One of the reviews for the previous edition

Do you ever read a book that you love so much that you talk about it to people and they just don’t understand why you’re getting so hyped up?

Well, this was one of those books for me.

It was a fantastic read. Right from page one I knew it was going to be a book I’d enjoy.

Fury (a great name for a character) was a great female leading character, she was strong but not annoyingly so. After finding herself in a difficult position, she makes a difficult decision, and I can believe her motivations and really got behind her character throughout the book.

As for Captain Flint, well, I can’t actually talk about this character without swooning into a girly heap on the floor. What a character! I have such intense views on this character I can barely even type. At the start he was the kind of guy that I’d hate, but I found myself falling for him through every word! I couldn’t stop myself. The author did an absolutely brilliant job at making me love this character.

The story was excellent, with a plot I found really unique and some twists and turns that I did not expect, which was really nice. Even after the author had left hints, it was still a surprise. Shehanne drew me into the writing and plot so deeply I found I couldn’t pull back to look at it from the big picture because I was too connected to the characters and what would come next!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves steamy romance with great characters and writing that drags you into the story.

Read the reviews and buy the book at the pre-order price of 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unraveling-Lady-Fury-Shehanne-Moore-ebook/dp/B07MYMVRVD

And Amazon US at 99c: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYMVRVD

Also by Shehanne Moore

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore

Connect to Shehanne via her blog: https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves – Pre-Order #Offer- She Who Comes Forth (The Herbert West Series Sequel) by Audrey Driscoll


The ebook version of the soon-to-be released novel She Who Comes Forth by Audrey Driscoll, is available at a special pre-order price of $2.99 from now until the release date, November 7th, 2018.

 

About She Who Comes Forth

The novel is a standalone sequel to the Herbert West Series. Readers who enjoy a combination of realistic adventure and supernatural elements in an exotic setting — Luxor, Egypt and the Theban Necropolis — may wish to have a look.

October 1962. The developing nuclear missile crisis in Cuba is of no concern to Francesca “France” Leighton. Recently turned 21, France travels from her home in Providence to a job at an archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. She takes with her two legacies—an emerald ring from the grandfather she never knew, and an antique cello from his friend, a man she loved like a grandfather.

The dig disappoints. France is relegated to sorting chunks of stone, the dig’s director makes unwanted advances; rivalries and mistrust are everywhere. And it’s too darn hot! Tasked with playing her cello at a gathering of archaeologists, France meets the enigmatic and fascinating nuclear physicist Adam Dexter. She’s smitten, especially when he promises to show her the secrets of Egypt, including a hitherto undiscovered tomb.

After a risky balloon cruise ends in a crash landing, France is forced to leave the dig. Despite warnings against solo explorations on the west bank, she finds herself with Adam Dexter in an eerie house near the Theban Necropolis. Adam’s promises are alluring, but he is both more and less than he seems and his motivations are disturbing. Fleeing his house, France makes a horrifying discovery.

Through an image of Osiris, France discovers the true reason for her presence in the Theban Necropolis. As the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, she must call upon resources both within and beyond herself to meet the perils that await her in the world of the dead beneath the Western Peak.

The book is available at the pre-order price of $2.99 : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H6CKB4M

And Amazon UK at £2.31: https://www.amazon.co.uk/She-Who-Comes-Forth-novel-ebook/dp/B07H6CKB4M

SMASHWORDS

A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll

One of the recent reviews for The Friendship of Mortals

I’m familiar with Lovecraft only by reputation, since I’m generally not into horror. And after looking at some of the other reviews, I think that’s an asset when you read The Friendship of Mortals. If you come with no preconceptions, you won’t be disappointed that the author has not written an imitation of Lovecraft. Instead, she’s extracted some concepts and made a whole new tale.

The book has a lot of things I like – libraries, universities, mysterious characters, Gothic atmosphere that is both seamy and elegant, plenty of dialogue (dialogue is how people communicate, after all), and outstanding descriptions. It’s a long book, but that’s not a problem for me. I had no trouble with the flow of the plot. It kept me riveted.

You can’t really like Herbert West, but you can be fascinated by him, even as the narrator, Charles Milburn, is. In fact, I found Milburn to be more interesting than West, because we can watch his complexity developing, even as West remains a mystery. There is always a paranormal element in the book, but this increases toward the end, as Milburn becomes more familiar with ancient alchemical writings. He begins to see ghosts and is visited by the apparition of John Hocks become a demon (the existence of Hocks haunts the entire book).

And then of course there is what happens to the Necromancer’s blood … And the unexplained mystery of the emerald ring …

The early 20th-century period in which the book is laid is perfect for this tale of pseudoscience. Medical knowledge was advancing rapidly, but it hadn’t reached the stage of forensic DNA testing – still primitive enough that experiments such as West’s might be plausible.

Some fine descriptions gem the book, just enough of them to enhance the atmosphere. Here is an example from the very first page:

“I will admit that certain of my memories are too heavy to carry around with me. I have entrusted them to a mental root cellar – dark, cold and difficult of access. The key to this place, unlike most keys, permits itself to be found only on nights such as this, when I have drunk deeply enough to set aside daytime scruples.”

One might say that the idea of cellars and darkness dominates the book, in contrast with certain passages of beauty and light, such as these:

“Her home resembled a ship’s cabin, afloat on a sea of leaves visible through the window.”

“The wind blew over the cliff top, stirring the grass tussocks that clung to the thin soil on the rock. On the far horizon was a bank of high-piled cumulus clouds, their battlements and crenellations like the gate of heaven.”

Great stuff!

This book is only the first of four parts, which I plan to read before too much time passes.

How can you not want to learn what happens next to Herbert West and his steadfast friend, Charles Milburn?;

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.ca:  https://www.amazon.ca/Audrey-Driscoll-Books/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

About Audrey Driscoll

I grew up reading books, and became interested in making stories myself. I worked out scenes and bits of dialogue, and made my friends act out little dramas based on my favourite book at the time – Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

With that background, it was inevitable I would become a writer. It just took a while. After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – I had a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West.

Strangely fascinated by HPL’s corpse-reanimating physician and his friend the nameless narrator, I built a set of stories around them. In 2000, I was compelled to write them down. The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which constitute the Herbert West Series. Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue me from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.

Reluctant to abandon the characters I had spent so much time with, I wrote and recently published several short stories as supplements to the Herbert West Series. I am currently at work on a sequel to the series.

My other interest is gardening a patch of earth on southern Vancouver Island. I post about that at least as often as I do about books and writing — with pictures! To me, writing and gardening are forms of alchemy — a mysterious process of creating excellence from the chaos of the world.

Connect to Audrey

Website: www.audreydriscoll.com
Bookpage: https://audreydriscoll.com/the-herbert-west-series/
Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/audrey-driscoll/id380553438?mt=11
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/”Audrey%20Driscoll
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/audreydriscoll
Google+: https://plus.google.com/112007806078190610820

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will take advantage of the special pre-order price for Audrey’s book.

If you have a book released on pre-order or available between now and Christmas then please let me know so that I can do a promotion (don’t forget it is FREE.. and just costs you a little time).

If you are already in the bookstore then just send me the link…

If you are not currently in the bookstore.. this is what I will need.

  1. Link to Amazon for the book (preferably your author page even if you only have one book this is an essential marketing tool and makes it a great deal easier for people like myself who are promoting your work) Also if you have a central book link site on your blog or website that is useful.
  2. If you do not have an Amazon author page yet, then I will need an author profile photo or image and your official author’s bio.  Please send any images attached to the email not inserted into it.
  3. You main social media links including website, blog, twitter, facebook, linkedin, goodreads and google+. Links in full please not short links, as they do not always work when inserted into WordPress.
  4. In my experience of promoting authors in the last 14 years, it is not as effective if you do not have some presence on social media and a central page on Amazon or Goodreads where readers can connect with you and see all your work together in one place.
  5. Please note that my blog has some young followers so I do not accept 18+ books.

Thanks for dropping by and look forward to hearing your news so that I can share on the blog and across social media. Sally

If you would like to browse my own books you can find them in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Open House Interview with author Audrey Driscoll


My guest today on the Open House is supernatural/paranormal author of The Herbert West Series, Audrey Driscoll.

About Audrey Driscoll

I grew up reading books, and became interested in making stories myself. I worked out scenes and bits of dialogue, and made my friends act out little dramas based on my favourite book at the time – Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

With that background, it was inevitable I would become a writer. It just took a while. After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – I had a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West.

Strangely fascinated by HPL’s corpse-reanimating physician and his friend the nameless narrator, I built a set of stories around them. In 2000, I was compelled to write them down. The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which constitute the Herbert West Series. Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue me from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.

Reluctant to abandon the characters I had spent so much time with, I wrote and recently published several short stories as supplements to the Herbert West Series. I am currently at work on a sequel to the series.

My other interest is gardening a patch of earth on southern Vancouver Island. I post about that at least as often as I do about books and writing — with pictures! To me, writing and gardening are forms of alchemy — a mysterious process of creating excellence from the chaos of the world.

Now time to meet Audrey in person and discover which questions she has selected to answer.

Tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

Well, I didn’t really choose a genre. You might say I was ambushed by a group of genres in collusion.

It began with a story by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, an early 20th century American writer of horror and weird fiction. This story, called “Herbert West, Reanimator,” is out and out gruesome horror involving reanimation of corpses, with unfortunate consequences. While I wasn’t too keen on the grisly stuff, I was quite interested in Herbert and his sidekick, the unnamed narrator of the story. I found myself expanding on the story to explain their reasons for doing what they did, and in 2000 I wrote down this expansion – a great big fanfic, you might say. That became my first novel, The Friendship of Mortals, which I published in 2010. Three others followed it, forming the Herbert West Series.

Now, while the first book has elements of horror, the other three don’t, really. Well, a bit here and there, but horror is not their primary focus. Those books are more adventure-supernatural-psychological with a bit of romance. The Great War keeps popping up as a plot element, but not enough to warrant a “historical fiction” label. That’s kind of a problem, if you think about it. People who expect Book 2 to focus on more experiments with corpses might be disappointed, unless they engage with the story and my way of telling it. I guess I find actual living humans, their desires and motivations, more interesting than zombies lurching around.

Which is your favourite leisure pastime?

Gardening. I came to it in two ways. My mother was a keen practical gardener, and had vegetable gardens and fruit trees wherever we lived. At an impressionable age, I read a book called Herbs and the Earth by Henry Beston. It was published in 1935. Mr. Beston wrote about his favourite herbs and their histories, and described his herb garden in Maine with such eloquence that I simply had to try growing these “noble” plants. Once I had my own plots of earth, first in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (where winters are very cold) and now in Victoria, British Columbia (where they are not), I came back to gardening full force. Not just herbs; I had a good vegetable garden in Saskatoon, but my present garden is inhabited by several large trees, rendering it inhospitable to plants that can’t compete with tree roots. Herbs do quite well there, along with an array of other tough plants. Must-have plants that can’t handle the local conditions, such as Himalayan blue poppies – or tomatoes, for that matter – are cossetted in containers.

Gardening complements writing really well. It gets me up and outside, away from the desk and computer. In the garden, I experience real things – soil and weather, birds and bugs, plants going from seed to flower to compost material. Anything I achieve there is in cooperation with the natural world. And while I’m weeding or edging or digging, the writer part of me is free to mull over the current project or dream up new ones.

On my blog, I write about my gardening experiences (with pictures) about as much as I do about writing. Aside from Henry Beston, my favourite garden writers are Eleanor Perenyi and Henry Mitchell. All three names should be preceded with “the late,” incidentally. Book friends, like face-to-face ones, leave the scene as you get older.

Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?

Agriculture, ironically enough. I think of it as the real Original Sin, that removed humans from within Nature and allowed us to become a destructive force. It wasn’t really an invention; I suspect it developed gradually, as hunter-gatherers started creating conditions to favour the plants and animals they found most useful. Eventually, though, it led to private ownership of land, empires, conquest and colonization, the market economy, the slave trade, haves and have nots, environmental degradation, an array of diseases, and other ills of “advanced” civilizations. Ultimately, we got present-day industrial agriculture, which has some really awful aspects.

I wonder how human culture would have developed if we had remained hunter-gatherers, and what kind of shape Earth would be in now. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be typing this on a computer keyboard for sharing on the internet! But I think we would still have art, music, and storytelling.

What is your favourite colour and why?

Purple! The colour of magic. The cover of my first book, The Friendship of Mortals, is a glowing purple. I love it in all its shades, especially blue-violet. In fact, blue is a close second favourite. Colours are important in my books, in part because of the underlying theme of alchemy, in which the different stages are marked by colour changes. Black, white, yellow, and red are the main alchemical colours, with red representing the achievement of perfection, the Philosopher’s Stone. When I commissioned cover images for the Herbert West Series books, I asked the designer to use these colours.

Alchemy is actually quite colourful – think of the Emerald Tablet and the Green Lion, and the “peacock’s tail,” a stage in which an array of colours appears. Then there’s the blue flower of Romanticism, which, being rare and elusive, is also related to a mystical quest

As a gardener, I’m always lusting after blue flowers – gentians, delphiniums, and of course the blue poppies. Many blue-flowering plants are quite tricky to grow, the Himalayan blue poppies being true prima donnas. Rainfall in my area is pretty much opposite to what they need – wet in winter and dry in summer. I supply water during the growing season, of course, but to avoid crown rot due to winter wet, I have resorted to placing little roofs over the plants’ wooden tubs from October to March. Sometimes I think that’s a bit much, but when the plants bloom, it’s worth it. And if there really were blue roses, I’d be growing them.

I see I’ve strayed a long way from purple. I actually do wear purple quite often, and have done for years. I didn’t wait until I was old. It’s a magical colour, in all shades from dark to light.

Can you tell us about your work  in progress and plans for your Blog

I have nearly finished writing the first draft of a novel provisionally titled She Who Comes Forth. It’s a distant sequel to the four books of my Herbert West series. It’s set in Luxor, Egypt, in the autumn of 1962, and could be called “women’s adventure.” I expect to be working on it throughout 2018. I don’t really have any plans for my blog; it has always been a seat-of-the-pants effort. I hope to write some reviews of indie books and post some garden photos, along with updates on the work in progress. A few reblogs, and possibly a rant or two, if I get sufficiently fired up about something.

Books by Audrey Driscoll

About the first book in the Herbert West series – The Friendship of Mortals.

Herbert West can revivify the dead – after a fashion. Miskatonic University Librarian Charles Milburn agrees to help him, compromising his principles and his romance with Alma Halsey, daughter of the Dean of Medicine. West’s experiments become increasingly risky, but when he prepares to cross the ultimate border, only Charles can save his life – if his conscience lets him.
More Details: Arkham, Massachusetts, 1910. Librarian Charles Milburn takes up a position as cataloguer in the Library of Miskatonic University. He becomes the keeper of the Necronomicon, an ancient book of secret lore kept in the Library’s vault.

Herbert West, a medical student with a dubious reputation, requests access to the fabled book, and Charles grants it despite his misgivings. So begins a friendship that takes Charles far from the rules of cataloguing and the conventions familiar to an honest young man from a good Boston family.

Herbert West can restore the dead to life, he says, and he persuades Charles to be his assistant. Their experiments, carried out in secret by night, in improvised laboratories and by stealth in the hospital attached to the university, achieve success – of a sort. Charles finds himself caught between the demands of his fascinating friend and his growing attraction to Alma Halsey, daughter of the Dean of Medicine.

In 1914, as war begins in Europe, Charles is both relieved and distressed to say goodbye to West as he sails away to France to serve as a medical officer. Over the next four years, West’s letters reveal a mixture of cynicism and black humour that hint at – what? Charles doesn’t know and would rather not guess. Engrossed in cataloguing the books of an eccentric professor, he develops an interest in alchemy as a way to transform the base into the excellent.

West returns from the War to a career as a surgeon utilizing techniques perfected on the maimed, dying …and dead? Lonely and self-doubting despite his professional success, Charles can’t bring himself to abandon West as his reputation grows and darkens. Rumours of illicit experiments overshadow West’s spectacular public successes, and he begins to crack under attacks from colleagues and threats from his gangster brothers. Beleaguered on all sides and under threat of investigation, West appeals to Charles for help. Charles is sympathetic until West reveals the perilous nature of his plan.

Vacillating between horror and hope and haunted by West’s misdeeds, Charles must draw on his knowledge of alchemy and his tottering faith in powers beyond himself if he is to save his friend’s life. Only his conscience stands in the way.

One of the recent reviews for the book

In this book, the writing is smooth; the sentences and paragraphs have a perfect balance; the characters are interesting, authentic and believable; dialogue flows naturally.

The plot is based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, an American horror fiction author from the early 20th century. It deals with a clever, enigmatic and devious medical student and physician, Herbert West, who concocts a potion and develops a method to re-animate the recently deceased – with varying degrees of success. Enigmatic he may be, but he exerts a strong influence over the narrator of the story, university librarian Charles Milburn, to such an extent that Milburn seems to prefer West’s bedside manner than that of his girlfriend, Alma Halsey. Milburn becomes West’s assistant in grave-robbing and laboratory experimentation.

Driscoll plays off the interplay between West and Milburn perfectly. “Don’t be an idiot, Charles, just do it,” says West – and Milburn does it, always, despite seeing ethical problems in West’s work. Later he describes himself as “a guilt-ridden being who had wrestled with the dilemma of friendship with a murderer.”

And then there are the re-animated corpses. How will they behave when brought back to life? How long will they survive for? Will they die (again) or have to be killed? The fact that Herbert West himself has no clear idea about the outcome of his experiments only adds to the suspense.

The book loses a bit of momentum around the two-thirds mark, when both West and Alma are out of the country and communicate with Milburn via mail. But when West returns, Milburn again falls under his spell, the experiments continue, the dead rise, and the final chapters lead to a gripping finale.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Friendship-Mortals-Herbert-West-Book-ebook/dp/B00IZUC5V4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Friendship-Mortals-Herbert-West-Book-ebook/dp/B00IZUC5V4

Also by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.ca:  https://www.amazon.ca/Audrey-Driscoll-Books/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Connect to Audrey

Website: www.audreydriscoll.com
Bookpage: https://audreydriscoll.com/the-herbert-west-series/
Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/audrey-driscoll/id380553438?mt=11
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/”Audrey%20Driscoll
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/audreydriscoll
Google+: https://plus.google.com/112007806078190610820

Audrey’s requested piece of music is Schubert: auf dem wasser zu singen- ian bostdrige (tenor) + julius drake (piano)

My thanks to Audrey for sharing her interests and books with us today and I am sure she would love to answer any questions you might have. Thanks Sally

If you would like to participate in the Open House Interviews, I am now scheduling for end of March. Once I receive your answers, I will put in the diary.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-return-of-smorgasbord-open-house-interviews-for-all-writers-and-other-creative-artists/