Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update -#Reviews – Victoria Zigler, Fiona Tarr and Barbara Silkstone.


Welcome to the second of the Cafe updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves.

The first author celebrating a new review is Victoria Zigler for her book The Witchlet: Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy.

About Witchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?

This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. The titles in the series are as follows:

1. Witchlet
2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
3. A Magical Storm

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 05, 2019 Robbie Cheadle rated it Four Stars

The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.

Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.

In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out

Read the reviews and buy the book in all formats including audio: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witchlet-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00AM54R3E

And on Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/Witchlet-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00AM54R3E

The other two books in the Trilogy and a selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

You can download all the other print and audio books from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5852247.Victoria_Zigler

Connect to Victoria via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

The next review is for Fiona Tarr  and her latest book released in early October Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)

About the Book

A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.

This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.

Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.

As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.

Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

In keeping with the first book in The Priestess Chronicles, Relic Seeker has Ariela thrown into a new time and place to uncover her mission. She left with friends, but arrives alone, something that bothers her friends just as much when they discover her absence. Ariela is a servant on the Senator’s estate while the other two find themselves suspected gods, or at least the answer to prayers, in a nearby Goth village. This separation allows our heroes to tackle the problem from both ends as they struggle to figure out who or what they were sent to stop.

This is another adventure where Ariela and her friends must adapt while seeking clues to show why the angel brought them to this place. The Romans and Goths have a tentative alliance built on the need for mercenary troops and a willingness to accept Roman coin. An insidious rumor, whether true or false, is enough to undermine the peace as magic and rational beliefs clash.

Toss in the emperor’s half-mad son, powerful relics from lost cultures, and a villain with a mission cutting a little too close to the heart of our heroes, and this book offers a more nuanced conflict. The view of the Romans, possibly a reflection of when they land, supports this additional complexity. Hints indicate it is the rule of Constantine who became a Christian rather than keeping to the Roman gods.

The separation of main characters allows us to discover the good in Romans and Goths alike, and learn something about both cultures. Our heroes make friends among the villagers and Roman staff who influence the course of their mission as well as expanding the characters we, as readers, come to care about.

The omniscient, rolling point of view (POV) had a few small hiccups where information is withheld to create what I consider false tension, but for the most part, the POV worked well and I never lost track of who held center stage. It allows the reader to follow both sides of a complex situation without a lot of explanation required as it would be if non-POV characters had to reveal what they’ve been doing off screen.

The spare, straightforward writing style, plus a lighter hand with the less appealing aspects of both Roman and Goth life, makes this novel a solid, fun read. It managed to draw my sympathies and endear me to characters new and old as they faced challenges to touch their hearts and minds. Relic Seeker raises interesting questions about the lines where cultures and people meet while exploring human struggles.

I enjoyed the story and spending time with familiar characters along with new ones. The series could easily have fallen into a pattern. Instead, it draws on the characters’ histories, along with changing times, to offer a brand new conflict and challenge our band of time-traveling heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how this is accomplished in the next book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKYF8QM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKYF8QM

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

Read more reviews and follow Fiona on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423164.Fiona_Tarr

Connect to Fiona via her website : http://atime2write.com.au

The final author with a recent review is Barbara Silkstone for the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series – Sun Scream.

About the book

A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jamie Toast, Loud Mouth of the South, wants to have a Murder Mystery Party for an open house where all their friends dress up in roaring twenties attire. Jamie isn’t really a likeable character, but Olive and Lizzy have befriended her. The week before her party, mysterious accidents start happening to Jamie, which could have all been life threatening. All evidence seems to point to her husband, Chip Toast.

In the meantime, Sophia Napoli, an Italian film star, is considering backing and endorsing Nonna’s Cold Cream. One of her conditions is that Olive and Lizzy have to stop their crime busting antics, they would have to leave that up to the local police. Their involvement wouldn’t reflect well on Sophia. Olive agrees, but is torn. Being a psychologist, one of the things she does for the police is profile the people Kal brings in for questioning. She won’t let that go and figures she could do it on the sly.

Grams, Lizzy’s grandmother, is a spunky old coot who assigns herself, with her large brass candlestick, as Jamie’s bodyguard. She is also convinced that Chip is guilty of setting up the traps to kill Jamie. The night of the Murder Mystery Party Lizzy and Olive are assigned their roles to play. Everyone is having a good time and the game goes as planned with Jamie and her death scene. Then one of the party goers falls from one of the balconies and dies. Another mystery needs to be solved. This woman could have been mistaken for Jamie from behind. Was this another attempt on Jamie’s life?

Kal, Olive, and Lizzy scramble to clear Chip Toast and find the real person behind Jamie’s life-threatening attacks. And solve the real murder at the party. Was the woman pushed or did she jump to her death? Nothing can be found to link her to any of the party attendees. Olive invited her and her guest to the party. All possible leads are dead ends. Join Kal, Olive and Lizzy as they try to solve an unsolvable mystery…

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ

Other books in the series.

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/576735.Barbara_Silkstone

Connect to Barbara via her website: https://secondactcafe.com/

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – Amy M. Reade, Tony Riches and Barbara Silkstone.


Welcome to the second of the author updates for the week, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author is Amy M. Reade with a recent review for her latest release Dead, White and Blue (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book Two)

About the book

Summer is getting hotter in Juniper Junction, Colorado.There’s a firebug on the loose, the townspeople are nervous, and Lilly Carlsen, single mom to two teenagers, has even more to worry about. She’s in charge of the Independence Day celebration, her mother’s mental health is declining, and her son is getting ready to leave for college.But things are about to get even hotter: when a bistro owner dies at the celebration and Lilly’s best friend is charged with murder, events start hitting close to home. It’s up to Lilly to help clear her friend’s name while at the same time dealing her mom’s worsening forgetfulness as well as a coming-of-age issue under her own roof.

A recent review for the book

Dead, White and Blue by Amy M. Reade is another winner. This Independence Day story comes with heat, an arsonist and a murder.

Lilly Carlsen has her hands full because she has a business, she’s in charge of the celebration and her mother appears to be having mental health issues. Her son has just graduated and he’s going to be heading for college. Oh, and her boyfriend is in town, along with his father.

Everything is weighing on Lilly, especially after her closest friend is charged with murder after a local bistro owner is murdered at the Independence Day celebration.

Could Lilly’s son or one of his friends be starting fires in vacant houses? Is her best friend a murderer? And what about her mother’s problems?

I have to say that Ms. Reade has handled all of the issues expertly. I especially like the way her character is handling the issues with her mother while trying to clear her friend’s name. Her son and daughter are at an age where things can be a bit dicey, and she’s on top of that, too.

I highly recommend this book for everyone who enjoys a good mystery. I’ve also recommended the book to a friend who’s going through a similar situation with her mother. Very entertaining, and the story gives the reader a lot to think about.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/White-Juniper-Junction-Holiday-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07SKW9B9D

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Juniper-Junction-Holiday-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07SKW9B9D

A selection of books by Amy Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2

Read more reviews and follow Amy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

Connect to Amy via her blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com

The next recent review is for Tony Riches and Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy.  I have read and reviewed the books and I can recommend them all.. including the first which I suggest you begin with.

About Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy.

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 29, 2019 Rebecca Hill rated it it was amazing

Owen Tudor fathered a new era in England. By marrying the widowed queen of England, he fathered children that would help to shape the future of England. His life was not one of ease, but it was one that took several surprising turns, ending with a bitter end at the end of an executioners axe.

While I am a Ricardian (I know…) I still enjoyed this book, which brought to life the grandfather of the future king of England. It was an engaging and fun read. I highly enjoyed it! Get this one your to-read list NOW!

Read some of the many reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Owen-Book-One-Tudor-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B011YBZU8U

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Owen-Book-One-Tudor-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B011YBZU8U

A selection of other books by Tony Riches

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOX

Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches

Connect to Tony via his blog: http://www.tonyriches.co.uk

The next author with a recent review is Barbara Silkstone for the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series – Sun Scream.

About the book

A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is a great series by Barbara Silkstone.
Olive and Lizzy are waiting for Sophia to come to the states and endorse their products.
Jaime aka Loud Mouth of the South and her husband Chip decide to have a Murder Mystery Party the craziness begins. Then it seems someone is trying to kill Jaime, making them seem like accidents. Can Olive and Lizzy get to the bottom of these incidents before Jaime ends up dead? Is her husband behind this?
These characters are so much fun, especially Lizzy ‘ s grandmother!!
Looking forward to more with these characters.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ

Other books in the series.

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/576735.Barbara_Silkstone

Connect to Barbara via her website: https://secondactcafe.com/

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