Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Andrew Joyce and Marina Osipova


The first author with a recent review is children’s author Bette A. Stevens for Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages with 87 reviews.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!
This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lisa Kradjian 5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely story! April 30, 2019

“Amazing Matilda” is a simple story about a caterpillar who wants to fly, but is told — and illustrated — so beautifully. Flowers, insects, animals and more are described in caring detail. We root for Matilda but cherish the advice her friends give her “Be patient and trust your instincts.” Advice for us all! Bravo.

Read some of the many reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Time to catch up with the recent reviews for the  latest release ….Mahoney by Andrew Joyce.

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Grady HarpTop Contributor: Children’s Books  HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER

Massachusetts author Andrew Joyce took a leaping chance on providing follow-ups to an American classic Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – and oddly enough he succeeded: REDEMPTION: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN AND TOM SAWYER was voted Best Western novel n 2013! Joyce is an inveterate hitchhiker and doubtless that lifestyle has supplied him with the rich imagination he so freely offered in his book YELLOW HAIR – another award winner for historical fiction. MAHONEY explores the history of immigrants from mid-19th century on.

Andrew transports us to Ireland and sets the tone in his beginning of the book – ‘In the second year of an Gorta Mhór – the Great Famine – MacMurragh stepped into Devin Mahoney’s cabin but stopped short, just inside the door. There was not a stick of furniture present; everything had been sold off, one piece at a time, as hunger grew. Devin had not eaten a meal for five days, and then it was only a meager bowl of cornmeal. Before that, he had gone three days with out a single morsel of food passing his lips. Devin Mahoney, the descendant of kings, lay on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin, waiting for Death to take him by the hand and lead him out of his misery.’ So Andrew remains passionate about American history – the struggles immigrants from Ireland and many other countries endured just to reach the golden shores of America. The subject of the book is history, but we are still living that history now: immigration is still elusive in our contemporary state of discord.

The book is appropriately lengthy, covering as many struggles as it does, and the provided synopsis gels the story well: ‘In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.’ The story takes us to 1963 and Martin Luther King’s dream.

The novel is rich in elegant prose and captures that elusive sense of hope at the end of a dark tunnel with finesse. The book is rich in engrossing history and written in a manner that makes it a very fine novel. Grady Harp.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RZPMVP5

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mahoney-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B07RZPMVP5

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242284.Andrew_Joyce

Connect to Andrew via his blog: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is Marina Osipova with her novel of love and war The Cruel Romance.

About The Cruel Romance

October 1941. A small village outside Moscow. Serafima bids farewell to Vitya, a Soviet officer going to the front. With only moments left together, she places a cross around her beloved’s neck and reluctantly releases him into a cruel world where nothing is certain, especially whether she will ever see him again. Days later Germans invade her village and take over her tiny house. Serafima and her mother must comply with orders, endure abuse, and stay put or their village will be annihilated.

As World War II intertwines Serafima’s and Vitya’s life with that of a young German violinist and a Russian intellectual, their destinies are irrevocably altered. Can they rise to the challenge of agonizing moral choices and learn to forgive and love again? Praise The Cruel Romance is a tale of love, violence, and acceptance as Serafima is forced to live with what the Germans left behind.

This compelling story makes for a thrilling read in a setting and time that comes to life, pulling the reader into the vividly drawn, rarely seen world. Elisabeth Amaral, author of When Any Kind of Love Will Do and Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 15, 2019 Billie Kowalewski rated it Five Stars

Fantastic!
I took my time with this one because it became clear to me early on that this the kind of book you can’t really read in one sitting. This story follows a young Russian girl and her mother during WW2 and the hardships that she dealt with during that time. This author has a gift for bringing such details into her story which really open up the image playing in your mind, providing a much more realistic feel and effect. I love reading stories set in different time periods and this author truly did this time in our history justice. I look forward to reading more from this very talented author

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

And Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457862-the-cruel-romance

Connect to Marina via her website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. .thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jack Eason, M. J. Mallon, Bette A. Stevens and Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the slightly delayed first author update of the week and I hope you all had a great Easter…The first author with a recent review is Jack Eason for Race Against Time.

About the book

In 2012, many otherwise rational people had convinced themselves that because the Mayan calendar stopped at December 21st of that year, that we were about to enter the biblical end of days. But it didn’t happen. Why are we still alive? Read the archaeological adventure Race Against Time for one possible explanation.

One of the recent review for the book

Beetleypete VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Old school adventure, brought bang up to date. 15 April 2019

Combining archaeology with adventure, then adding a touch of science fiction, this enjoyable roller-coaster of a story packs in a host of fascinating characters too. From eminent academics, to the Russian Mafia, Vatican cardinals, and even a beautiful female alien, everyone in this book is wonderfully described, until you can picture them all on their hazardous quest.

Using a theory of how Earth was once populated, and protected from natural disaster, we are taken on a world tour of interesting ancient archaeological sites. Each one holds part of the key that will save mankind from destruction, and our heroes must combat not only a secret organisation, but also the ancient demon it serves. This is not ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’, but it has equally exciting elements, and a tension that endures right to the last of its 158 pages.

The author undoubtedly knows his stuff, and compliments that knowledge with detailed research, convincing geographical detail, and a wide understanding of travel by sea and by road. And he also knows when to insert the required action, so that no chapter is ever dry, or feels dull to read. I finished it in just two sessions, keen to discover the fate of the characters that I had readily invested in.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LW4MBTF

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW4MBTF

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY

Follow Jack and read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason

Connect to Jack via his website: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is children’s author Bette A. Stevens for Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages. Only 99p/99c until April 26th.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!
This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Charlotte; pay attention PD  Eastman; Matilda has arrived April 13, 2019

Bette Stevens Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly (CreateSpace 2012) is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly. Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:

“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…”

Another friend suggests:

“I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”

She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:

“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”

As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.

As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!

This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!

Read some of the many reviews for the book 99c until 26th April: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK 99/p until 26th April: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

The next featured author is M. J. Mallon whose book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone, is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

And last but not least today.. a review for Book Four (including the prequel) in the Escaping Psychiatry Series: Deadly Quotes by Olga Nunez Miret

About Deadly Quotes

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.
Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note? Was it murder?
Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating but are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, prefer strong female protagonists, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you shouldn’t miss this novel.

One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes

This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.

We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.

I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio books http://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga via her blog: http://authortranslatorolga.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two under your arm.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family #Poetry – Thank you Mama by Bette A. Stevens.


Welcome the second of the posts from the archives of children’s author and poet Bette A. Stevens. Today she shares a poem in tribute to her mother…

Thank you Mama

Thank you dearest Mama
For the lane you’ve led me down
The light you shone before me
Still helps me traverse on
Climbing formidable summits
Or facing storming skies
I know that you’re still with me
Watching through the Father’s eyes
I can always feel the sunshine
As your smile lights the way
Love truly unconditional
I’m thankful every day

Mama left us, bound for her heavenly home, in April of 2008. Mama’s strength of character, poise and wit—and her unconditional love— live on within all those whose lives she touched.

Thank you, dearest Mama…

©Bette A. Stevens

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family #Poetry – Grandma’s Legacy by Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to a post from the archives of children’s/YA author Bette A Stevens who also rights wonderful poetry.

Grandma’s Legacy

grandmas-legacy-bas

©Bette A. Stevens

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – M.J. Mallon, Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Bette A. Stevens and Charles E. Yallowitz.


Welcome to the first of the author promotions this week, and the first author with a recent review is  M.J. Mallon whose book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone, is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads.

Feb 15, 2019 Heena Rathore P. rated it really liked it

The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon is an intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.

The writing is good, the characterization decent and the pacing and tension in sync with the plot. The plot-progression was good and the character development was something I really appreciated in this story. The simple use of language complimented the plot and made it an enjoyable read.

The only problem I had when I started reading this book was that there were a number of themes running through the book, which at times felt a little bit confusing to me. But as I progressed further in the story, everything started to fall into place, and eventually, everything started to make more sense. So, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, either way, it wasn’t a big issue as I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy and supernatural readers.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

Time for a recent review for Mister Fox and the Green Man by Sue Vincent and Stuart France.

About the book

“Foxes, Welch!”

When Special Agent Tommy Welch is called into Tee’s office, he has little idea of the perils of his latest assignment. Accompanied by the sensuous Miss Hunnyfludd, Welch believes he is to investigate an outbreak of mysterious Foxes. Instead Tommy finds himself flung far back in time, to the court of King Arthur, where a Green Knight is about to extend a deadly challenge…

Within the humorous spoof that frames the story, the reader is transported to Camelot to witness the confrontation of Gawain and the Green Knight. Based upon the story that lies deep at the heart of Arthurian lore, the threefold nature of the ancient myth unfolds…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle  4.0 out of 5 stars A mythological graphic novel January 31, 2019

This is a most unusual book which presents three concepts from English mythology in the form of a graphic novel. It was not what I originally expected but I did enjoy this unique idea. The book starts with a humorous spoof on the well know British spy, James Bond, and his secretary, fondly referred to in this book as Miss Hunnyfludd.

The spy travels back in time at the instance of the Green Man to the court of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. The Green Man challenges the knights to a duel and offers them the first strike. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge and decapitates the Green Man, who picks up his severed head and tells the knights that in one year’s time, Sir Gawain must entered into another duel with him. This time the Green Man will have the first strike which will end in certain death for Sir Gawain.

Sir Gawain sets off on a quest into the Enchanted Forest to try and find a way to save himself. He encounters an enchanted hind who tells him a riddle which he must solve within the year in order to avoid death. Sir Gawain meets adversity during his quest to find the answer to the riddle in the form of, among other things, a hag who wants to marry him and the wife of Lord Verdant.

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

The next author is Bette A. Stevens with Dog Bone Soup and a recent review.

About Dog Bone Soup

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

A recent review for the book

January 30, 2019

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S5RMUDK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DOG-BONE-SOUP-Historical-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00S5RMUDK

Also by Bette A. Stevens.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

And last but not least is a review for Book 1 in the Windemere Series, Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz.

About Beginning of a Hero

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

A recent review for the book

Just B Happy 5.0 out of 5 starsI Highly Recommend!!! January 18, 2019

I have never read so many books in one series back to back and been so thoroughly entertained. The characters are wonderful and I love the good and bad guys. Great stories, I only wish there were more. I highly recommend reading this whole series!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BL9GBU2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Hero-Legends-Windemere-Book-ebook/dp/B00BL9GBU2

A small selection of other books by Charles E. Yallowitz.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please take a look at this group on Facebook by clicking the image.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Fiona Tarr and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates and the first author with a recent review is Bette A. Stevens for her book Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 01, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Five Stars

A wonderful story written from the point of view of a child growing up in poverty. The author does an excellent job of depicting discrimination and how a child deals with living within a dysfunctional, poor family. Kids are kids no matter what the situation and can be very resourceful. In few words, the reader gets a clear picture of the life and times. Well worth a read.

Read reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/PURE-TRASH-Bette-A-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Now something for fantasy lovers from Fiona Tarr with a recent review for Call of the Druids ( The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 1)

About Call of the Druids

When an Angel answers your prayers, you had better be prepared!

All Ariela has ever wished for is to be treated like all the other Priestesses and be given a chance to use her powers to fight evil. Until now, her parents have held her back, treated her like a Princess and kept her from danger.

Now she is eighteen and believes she will finally be allowed to embark on her first quest. But when Ariela’s uncle the King sends word that he has promised her in marriage, Ariela’s hopes are shattered.

She prays for an escape. When the Angel Raziel offers her a divine quest, she must choose!

Stay, marry and never be the Priestess she longs to be or leave everything she has ever known, for a quest she knows nothing about—to a place and time she has never seen—for people she is yet to meet.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is the first book in a new series from Tarr, which for those who have read the Covenant of Grace series, will feel as though they’re right back on familiar track. This book follows the daughter of two very well-loved characters from the Covenant Series, however, this one is not set in ancient Israel but rather during Roman times! Now how this comes about I’ll not reveal but the epic ideas and the engaging characters are just as good as ever. This is a must read for any fans of historical/religious fiction, but if you are just looking for a bit of adventure with a touch of the supernatural, this will do you just as nicely!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JN8W5CG

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Druids-Priestess-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07JN8W5CG

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

A recent review for the short story collection Two Shorts and a Snort from award-winning author Jan Sikes.

About Two Shorts and a Snort

This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Obsessed:
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.

Maggie:
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.

Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Heather Kindt 5.0 out of 5 stars Messed Up But Marvelous January 10, 2019

Sikes has a way with words. This collection of two short stories and a poem keep you riveted. Charlie’s life is so messed up that you have to keep reading to see what’s going to happen to him. I really enjoyed Maggie’s story, too. Pick up these quick reads, you won’t be disappointed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL

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

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones, Sally Cronin


First an author with a book that continues to receive outstanding reviews is Bette A. Stevens and Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Poverty and Prejudice on December 2, 2018

Stevens takes us back into the 1950s, depicting the Daniels family – a poor and dysfunctional family. This very short story introduces us into the life of two brothers, Shawn and Willie, indicating a snippet of what their lives entail living in not the most idyllic of situations.

We get descriptive bits of background sprinkled through this story, indicating the poverty these boys live in and small insights into their parents’ lives. The father is an alcoholic and doesn’t leave an impression that family needs come first when we learn he has bought himself a television, while the home sounds like it could use some financial investment to bring it up to modern day living. I don’t think I had enough to read to get emotionally invested in the story, but I did feel for the boys who seemed so far, not to complain about their meager lives and looked forward to weekends where they could get away from chores and out bike riding and fishing.

In this particular story, the boys are riding when little Willie get’s into a biking accident and is hurt. Big brother Shawn runs to a close by home to seek help for his injured brother as he remembered a woman from his church lived nearby. Despite the woman showing some compassion and helping out Willie with his wounds, she didn’t hesitate to show her prejudice for poverty by letting us know with words she felt these children and their family were beneath her.

I haven’t read the full book version yet of Dog Bone Soup, so I really didn’t grasp the whole essence of the story, merely a short glimpse into the theme of the story – family dysfunction, poverty and prejudice, based on description of the boys’ home, their passions and the reaction of one towns woman when confronted with having to help the boys out. Based on the theme of the story, I’m sure I’d enjoy learning more about these boys and how they manage to get on with their lives despite their upbringing and the stigma of poverty that surrounds them.

Read reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/PURE-TRASH-Bette-A-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

The next authors with a recent review for their 60s, music and romance Only One Woman are Jane Risdon and Christina Jones.

About the book.

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for Only One Woman on Goodreads

Dec 29, 2018 Michele rated it Five Stars

What a great read for me, specially, as it brought back many memories being aged 14/15. Remembering the music and fashion mainly. The two authors really worked hard on this and made me feel as if I was back there amongst everyone, and have very cleverly put this book together. R enza and Stella are two fabulous girls, but im not going to spoil this for you, but can highly recommend you purchase, read and enjoy the book. Congratulations ladies, very well done with this book.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

And thrilled to receive another new review for my latest book is Tales from the Irish Garden – posted byOlga Nunez Miret on her blog.

About the book

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

Please meet Queen Filigree as created by Donata Zawadzka

One of the recent reviews for the book

I have followed the author’s blog Smorgasbord Invitation for quite a while. She is an expert on many topics, including health, media, publishing, and she is a great supporter of other writers and artists. She has also published a large number of books, non-fiction and fiction, and she has shared many of her short stories in her blog. I read and reviewed her book Tales from the Garden a while back (you can check my review here) and had been looking forward to this book since I heard about it.

While the original book contained pictures from the author and her relatives’ gardens, for this book she counts with the collaboration of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka, who provides a black and white ink illustration for each one of the stories/chapters of this enchanting book. The style of the illustrations suits this wonderful realm perfectly, and the images helped bring the stories to life more fully.

The book follows on from the stories of the fairy realm of Magia. Queen Filigree and her subjects have to leave their garden in Spain due to a new property development. Although some of her stone guardians cannot follow to the new location, in Ireland, we get to meet some fantastic new characters, like the Storyteller, a man with his own magic, who helps our friends in need. We have a prince charming for the queen, magical dressmakers; we also learn more about how the palace works, from the royal pigeons and their carer, to the magical spiders, Queen Bee and her subjects, and the frogs who also help with pest control and building work. Some of our old acquaintances are up to no good, and we also learn more about the queen’s daughters (pretty but not always wise).

The stories follow the seasons of the year, and we have many occasions to join in their celebrations, with new musicians and banquets, and we can enjoy stories set in particular times of the year, from local fairs to Halloween. I cannot choose a favourite because I enjoyed them all, from the piglet races to the touching story of the Storytellers’ daughter.

The style of writing is accessible, fluid and suitable to all ages. These fairy-tales contain gorgeous descriptions of places, costumes, foods, and also characters that go beyond the standard cardboard cut-outs we have come to expect. We have witches suffering from age-related aches and pains, princesses who care for each other but can get into serious trouble, fairy queens concerned about their age, foxes that refuse to kill other animals, jealous bulls… Only some human beings are allowed into the magical realm, and I felt privileged to be one of them.

Another magical book from this author, suitable for anybody who is a child at heart and needs a little inspiration to recover the sense of wonder. Queen Filigree has a magical fountain, and we have Sally Cronin’s books to ensure our imagination keeps us forever young. Highly recommended to everybody.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

A selection of my other books

You can read all the recent reviews for the books: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have found a book or two to your liking. Have a good weekend.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Children – Victoria Zigler, Jann Weeratunga, Janice Spina, Bette A. Stevens and Gigi Sedlmayer


I am going to start the Christmas book promotions with children’s books, as most are in print that are posted and therefore require a longer lead time.  There are many talented authors in the bookstore who write for both children and adults and if that is the case I will also include the covers and the Amazon author page for you to explore their books further.

About Ulrike’s Christmas – Paperback and audio

Ulrike knows all about the Winter Solstice celebrations of the giants, being one himself. But what he doesn’t know is why the humans cut down whole trees, only to take them home to decorate. Other giants tell him to forget about it, but Ulrike is curious; he needs to know why they do it. Finally, when he’s puzzled over it so much his head is sore from all the thinking, he decides that this is the year he’ll figure it out, and risks a return trip to the home of the last family he watched to look for clues, despite almost being spotted last time he was there. That’s how he meets Billy, a friendly little boy who loves stories, and is happy to tell Ulrike all about tree decorating, and Santa Claus, along with a couple of stories he knows about them. Stories which Ulrike loves, and which inspire him to add some of what Billy says are Christmas celebrations to his own this Winter, in the hopes that Santa Claus will visit him too.

Buy the book or audio: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/154125999

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1541259998

A very small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

A recent review for Rodent Rhymes and Pussycat Poems

Victoria Zigler writes the most delightful stories and poems for young children. This collection of poems is very appealing and teaches children about the lovely animals in Victoria’s household of pets including degus and chinchillas which, I think, are less well known pets. This book features the same little degus that characterise Victoria’s other children’s books about these interesting creatures and I enjoyed meeting them again and learning more about their funny little habits and relationships.

I listened to the audio book of Puppy Poems and Rodent Rhymes, narrated by Carol Weakland and I thought she did a great job. Her reading voice is lovely and clear which is important for young children.

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 author’s books feature a wonderful parrot who travels, has adventures and often shares an important social message and would delight any child this Christmas is Jann Weeratunga’s seasonal stories – Polly’s Hogmanay Holiday.

Polly’s Hogmany Holiday.

About the book

Polly the Parrot, Captain Hake and the crew of The Thistle take a short break in Scotland before they resume the search for Polly’s friends in Africa. The pirates get to meet the street children and their lives are changed forever. And who is Red?

A recent review for Polly’s Hogmany Holiday

Sep 07, 2018 Kailash Moore rated it Five Stars

Polly’s hogmany holiday is an awesome childrens book, it teaches you not to trust strangers or accept sweets from any one and not to steal. teaches you to be caring and help children on the street and stop them from drug abuse. i believe the lessons in this book will make children street wise about accepting sweets from strangers especially since they look like hard rock candy. i would recommend these book adults to read this to there children.polly’s hogmany holiday is an awesome childrens book, it teaches you not to trust strangers or accept sweets from any one and not to steal. teaches you to be caring and help children on the street and stop them from drug abuse. i believe the lessons in this book will make children street wise about accepting sweets from strangers especially since they look like hard rock candy. i would recommend these book adults to read this to their children 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Pollys-Hogmanay-Holiday-Sweetie-Piralympics/dp/1979869170

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pollys-Hogmanay-Holiday-Sweetie-Piralympics/dp/1979869170

A selection of books by Jann Weeratunga

Read the reviews and link to buy the books Amazon UK: Amazon UK

and Amazon US:Amazon US

and read more reviews and follow Jann on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15797624.Jann_Weeratunga

Connect to Jann via her website: https://kidsbookswithoutborders.com/home/

The next book which would make a great gift for children or grandchildren who love adventure stories and is from from award winning children’s author Janice Spina… It is the second book in her series Abby and Holly: Unfortunate Events.

About the book

Abby and Holly are cousins who are more like sisters. They enjoy doing everything together. Holly lives with Abby and her family in a haunted Victorian. Holly must deal with some difficult decisions in her family when unexpected and unfortunate events come to pass.

Abby is there to lend support to Holly along with two ghostly apparitions, Felicity and Minerva, who live in Abby’s house. These specters provide some magical and helpful advice along the way as they watch over Holly during this difficult time.

The girls’ friends, twins Davey and Derek Donato, from their own series, pop in to support Holly and bring some fun and comical relief to the story.

An early review for the book

I am so excited about the Abby and Holly Series for girls, but it could be equally enjoyed by boys. In Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events, Abby’s cousin, Holly, is faced with some difficult issues. While her parents are away on overseas jobs, Holly is living with Abby. Things go downhill when her parents return for a visit and her mother becomes ill. Throughout this trying time, Holly has a tremendous amount of support from Abby, her Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob, and two ghosts who live in Abby’s house, Felicity and Minerva. Of course, their friends Davey and Derek are there to help, too.

As with all of Spina’s children’s books, Unfortunate Events teaches life lessons such as respect, kindness toward others, and the importance of being polite. This book concentrates on handling the unexpected and overcoming life’s disappointments. The unexpected was Holly’s mother’s illness and hospital stay. With the love of her extended family, Holly was able to cope with her worry for her mother. Disappointment was addressed when her father announced that he was flying out to finish his work overseas. He explained to Holly the importance of fulling his obligations to his employer.

I highly recommend Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events to all middle-graders, both girls and boys. The storyline is one that will keep children interested with its elements of suspense and mystery. Though there are references to a childhood crush, they are not a major component of the story and certainly not enough to deter boys’ interest. And who doesn’t love a friendly little ghost or two! As with all the author’s children’s books, this one is true to her ideals of writing books that encourage children to read while incorporating those all-important life lessons. As a book I think every parent will want their daughters and sons to read, I give Unfortunate Events 5 stars!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JDRGYDK

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Abby-Holly-Book-Unfortunate-Events-ebook/dp/B07JDRGYDK

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives: The Case of the Missing Cell Phone is on offer until 18th November 99c/99p: AMAZON (sale begins 11/11/18 through 11/18/18)

Also as J.E. Spina for adults.

 

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy  https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: http://Jemsbooks.com

The first author is  Bette A. Stevens who created the magical world of Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages. I think it makes a wonderful gift for any child and introduces them to the amazing natural world that surrounds them.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale.

In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

I can’t think of a better title for this book because Matilda truly was amazing. This sweet story captured me from the start with one of my favorite lines, “I want to fly! I want to see the world!”

Matilda’s determination, along with her encouraging friends the sparrow, rabbit and frog, is a lesson in going after what you want in life and never giving up. A wonderful story for children and adults, too. The illustrations were precious. I’m hoping there will be more Matilda adventures in the future.

Read all the wonderful reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

The next children’s author, whose books of adventure in the Andes for a small girl and Condors, continues to receive fantastic reviews, and the series would make an amazing gift. Talon; Connected

About Connected

Matica meets with the village eldest and wisest man, Elcano, who tells her ‘we are all connected’ to each other, Matica’s family and the Condors’.

Elcano also shares with Matica that he predicts that the Condors will be protected by all because Matica, her family, the Indians and the Condors are all connected.

It’s a heart-warming and inspirational story, intended for readers of all ages.;

One of the recent reviews for the book

VINE VOICEon October 6, 2018

Talon Connected is the continuation of the story of a young girl named Matica and her beloved condor friend, Talon. The book recaps the problem of the poachers trying to find and kill Talon and the magical leaf that helped heal Matica’s father in the previous installment. The theme of this book is that everyone and everything is connected. Elcano, the oldest man of the Indian village, makes sure that Matica realizes this. There is not a lot of action in this book, but the message of friendship, loyalty, love, and respect is a beautiful one. This is a story that is appropriate for all ages.

The other books in the series

515tsm3dql-_uy250_Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

Connect to Gigi via her website: http://gigised.com/

I hope that you have enjoyed this selection of Children’s books and there will be more later in the week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A Christmas image and poem from Bette A. Stevens


Happy Christmas everyone and here is a festive image and poem from Bette A. Stevens to celebrate the day.

fresh-fallen-crystals-poem-bas-2016

Conifer branches adorned in winter’s white called out to this writer: “Capture a photo, we’re all spruced up in our new attire!” from near the barn’s entrance. I simply had to pen their remembrance in a poem—

Fresh Fallen Crystals.

Wishing you all a Season of Wonder!

~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

 

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale.
In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

Get your FREE Authorgraph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The most recent review for Amazing Matilda

What a delightful book for children. A tale of a caterpillar who wants to fly and her interaction will all the creatures around her who encourage and support her. Toad and Rabbit both tell Matilda their stories of how they achieved their goals through trying over and over again. Sensible Sparrow advises Matilda to be patient and wait to see what happens. There is also a lovely learning message a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly.

This book is packed full of beautiful hand drawn illustrations which will delight any child.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

My thank you to Bette and wishing you a most wonderful day — Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Christmas Story in Scripture and Song…by Bette A. Stevens


As we approach Christmas Day, Bette A. Stevens offers us a wonderful piece of music from Pentatonix.. Mary, Did you Know?

 The Christmas Story in Scripture and Song…by Bette A. Stevens

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (KJV)

Lyrics

Mary Did You Know?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Songwriters: Lamont Savory / Buddy Greene / Mark Lowry / Courick Clarke / William Barclay / Wayne Buchanan

Mary, Did You Know? lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

May the “Hope and joy found in The Christ Child” be yours at Christmas and always. ~ Bette A. Stevens

©Bette Stevens 2015

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

About Dog Bone Soup

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

A delightful story on October 1, 2017

In preparing to write this review, I read a couple of other reviews of this book on Amazon and Goodreads. I was interested to note one comment that likened this book to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I can see why this comparison has been drawn as Bette A. Stevens main character, Shawn Daniels, and Huckleberry Finn are both boys dogged by poverty and abusive and alcoholic fathers. Both boys are also fairly resourceful and have survival skills.

For me, however, that was where the comparison ended. Stevens depicts the Daniels family as being tight knit despite their unfortunate father. The children and their Mother work together to salvage their situation to the best extent they can. I really felt sad for the Mother as she was a victim of her own hormones and emotions and could not find the strength to break away from her selfish and abusive husband. She remained in a downward spiralling situation and ended up having a fourth child which was really unwise.

Shawn, the eldest child, does his best to be hard working, industrious and do well at school. He is a role model for his younger brother, Willie, and two younger sisters. Shawn tries to make the best of his situation and grasp opportunities that come his way.

I found this story to be very poignant and moving and Stevens’ writing is captivating. Despite some disturbing descriptions in the book I still found it to be a very uplifting book. Highly recommended.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

My thanks to Bette for sharing this beautiful song and her sentiments which I echo.. Merry Christmas..