Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Bette A. Stevens, Phillip T. Stephens, Julie Lawford, John Maberry and Annette Rochelle Aben


Welcome to the first of the Christmas Book Fairs and books that would make wonderful gifts for readers across the genres.. It is also my way of saying thank you to the authors in the bookstore who have been in and out of the blog and so supportive over the year.

The first author to showcase is children’s author Bette A. Stevens whose books received wonderful reviews. Here is Dog Bone Soup with one of its recent reviews.

About the book

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 the book.

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 book at this universal link : http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

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 author that I would like to feature and who provided us with some wonderful lifestyle posts during the summer is Julie Lawford with her book Singled Out.

About the Book

‘There’s something delicious about not being known, don’t you think?’

Brenda Bouverie has come on a singles holiday to Turkey to escape. Intent on indulgence, she’s looking for sun, sea and … distraction from a past she would give anything to change.

But on this singles holiday no one is quite who they seem. First impressions are unreliable and when the sun goes down, danger lies in wait. As someone targets the unwary group of strangers, one guest is alone in sensing the threat.

But who would get involved, when getting involved only ever leads to trouble?

Singled Out subverts the sunshine holiday romance, taking readers to a darker place where horrific exploits come to light, past mistakes must be accounted for and there are few happily-ever-afters.

A simmering psychological suspense laced with moral ambiguities, for fans of Louise Doughty, Sabine Durrant, Gillian Flynn, Elizabeth Haynes, S.J. Watson and Lucie Whitehouse.

One of the excellent reviews for Singled Out.

Wilma Lettings 5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 18 June 2017

A very well written thriller set during a holiday trip to Turkey, organised for singles. You might assume that this could be chick lit, but that would do the character depth and writing style grave injustice. While certainly appealing to female audiences this novel doesn’t limit itself to pure light-hearted romantic interests but visits darker sides of the dating game and crime.

Using alternate narrative strands and voices we get insight into the characters, but we’re shown enough to be drawn deep into these characters.
Things are not as they seem and while you have an incling what is about to happen, be assured that there are always surprises waiting for you.

Not the kind of book I had originally expected but in fact, a much better one. Very good!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Singled-Out-Julie-Lawford-ebook/dp/B00RO1GH28/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Singled-Out-Julie-Lawford-ebook/dp/B00RO1GH28/

Read more reviews and follow Julie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13411991.Julie_Lawford

Connect to Julie Lawford at her website: http://julielawford.com

Another author who is extremely supportive on Twitter is Phillip T. Stephens and here is his book Cigerets, Guns & Beer.

About the book

Dodd breaks up a convenience store robbery when his car breaks down in Sweet Water Falls, Texas. What’s the thanks he gets? The sheriff won’t let him leave, the car lot can’t find the parts and everybody wants him for something—sales pitch, church membership, and even stud pony.

But most of all, it seems a family named Dodd were shot down robbing the bank in 1949 and the half million they stole remains missing. Everyone thinks Dodd returned to dig up the loot and no one intends to let him leave until he finds it—along with (or so the legends go) a long lost flying saucer.

Here is one of the most recent reviews.

The cover of Cigerets, Guns & Beer by Phillip T. Stevens catches the eye immediately. Beer and cigarettes are present, necessary for any good breakfast. While a gun is not displayed, bullet holes are, perhaps from the night before. A reader might predict that this will be a “good ol’ boy” novel replete with rednecks. The reader would be correct.

This novel will make those who grew up in a small town nostalgic; a place where there might be only one law enforcement officer who also read water and electric meters, sold alcohol in defiance of Sunday “blue laws,” was a source of under-the-table porn, and served as a de facto judge deciding what town residents could and could not get away with.

This was the case with Sweet Water Falls, Texas. Joe Bob Meeker was the law. Brother Ralph Meeker was the mayor and JP (Justice of the Peace). Ralph also owned a general store, a car dealership, an insurance agency, and a hotel. Both men along with banker Mal Rafferty completely controlled the town. All served on the town council and exercised rezoning authority to force businesses to relocate or cease operations. The three would then buy the pieces left of the defunct property and open the businesses again under a new name and ownership.

The three men had gotten greedy, some of their business dealings were fraudulent. Up to now, geographic isolation had blocked an investigation. A series of robberies and shootings had never been thoroughly investigated by anyone other than Sheriff Joe Bob. An impartial investigation would have placed the sheriff in the category of a suspect. Any small business owners left in Sweet Water were under control of one of the three powerful men; they were forced to follow any rules formulated by the trio. There was resentment but no organized opposition had surfaced. That was about to change.

Dodd was just passing through town on the way to his new job as a partner in a law firm. The township that employed him as an intern lawyer didn’t want him to continue after his parole was up. The idea of a lawyer who obtained his education in prison was bad for publicity. Dodd was moving on to join a firm at the invitation of a former colleague. He hadn’t planned the gas leak that necessitated car repair and a stop in Sweet Water. It was just coincidence that more than decades previously Sweet Water was a town with history for a family named Dodd. Three brothers named Dodd had robbed a bank of USD 500 000. Two of the brothers were shot and killed and the third got away to hide the money before being shot and killed days later. Sheriff Joe Bob, possibly with the collusion of Ralph, had shot the first two Dodd brothers. The money was never found.

Dodd entered the town to repair his car. He entered Ralph’s store to buy supplies as he continued his trip. The store was being robbed by a nervous 17-year-old and Dodd, an ex-convict, decided to defuse the situation by recounting to the teenager the joys of prison life while attempting to convince him to surrender. Successful in foiling the robbery, Dodd was now stuck in the town until a statement could be prepared for Sheriff Joe Bob for adjudication by brother Ralph. This would take a few days. Meanwhile, town residents would speculate on the coincidence of a Dodd reappearing in the town. Was he there to find the money? Or was he there to find the UFO?

After the initial set-up for the story, all eyes are on Dodd. Especially female eyes. He either has sex with every female or is invited to but turns them down. It seems there is little else to do in a small town. They seem to be the frontline agents for finding out if he is related to the Dodd robber family, a claim Dodd will deny throughout the book. Dodd (first name) Dodd (last name) middle initial D. will apply home style wisdom combined with prison savvy in an attempt to right wrongs in this thoroughly corrupt community. He might even look for the missing money as he tries to find the UFO.

This book has laugh-out-loud understated humor in its description of small town insular life. There are several surprises to keep the reader from putting the book down. Although there seems to be a lot of sexual activity going on, offensive language is MOSTLY absent. Readers will only have to shield their sensibilities for approximately six pages of the 376-page novel.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cigerets-Guns-Beer-Phillip-Stephens-ebook/dp/B00QLI1Q3K

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cigerets-Guns-Beer-Phillip-Stephens-ebook/dp/B00QLI1Q3K

A selection of books also by Phillip T. Stephens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Phillip-Stephens/e/B0091XK7HS

Read more reviews and follow Phillip on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/583139.Phillip_T_Stephens

Connect with Phillip via his website: https://ptstephens.com/

The next author with news is John Maberry with his 10th Anniversary edition of his book Waiting for Westmoreland.

About the book

Surviving poverty and the deaths of loved ones, the author remains hopeful as he exits childhood. then comes the draft that sends him to Vietnam. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, he seeks answers. College courses are intriguing but offer no solutions. Eventually, hope returns in the form of a life philosophy that comes from a chance encounter at a party. It’s all about cause and effect. Events happen not by chance but as a result of karma. Unseen connections have surprising consequences. This knowledge comes in the nick of time, as he faces his most serious situation since the perils of Vietnam, the threat of death from a prospective father-in-law. He must take responsibility for the matter, despite being unaware of the underlying reason for it, reform himself and seek only her father’s happiness.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

One man’s journey from chaos to inner peace. on November 4, 2017

Here we have a book that is much more than memoir, and more life journey told (and written) exceedingly well and with great courage. If the writer’s mandate is to ‘open a vein’, Maberry has opened that vein and allowed whatever flowed to fill this work. From his background in hardscrabble Minnesota, enduring the loss of a parent, then for all intents and purposes the loss of the other, the author describes his various efforts to carve a niche for himself. Just as his efforts appear to be paying off, he’s found a companion, started school, navigated his way through the shoals of early adulthood, when the Selective Service System came calling and he was drafted.

Change scenes to Vietnam in 1967-68, and Maberry begins again to sort out the fictions of America’s involvement in South Asia Vs the realities of war: No clear purpose for being there; chauvinistic treatment of Vietnamese people, especially the abuse of women; and a lifer sergeant who embodied everything wrong with the American military. Maberry returns from Vietnam disillusioned, cynical and without real purpose. Indeed, it’s a mistake to refer to Waiting for Westmoreland as simply a war memoir. It’s much more one man’s journey from chaos and the vicissitudes of life, to finding inner peace through Buddhism, something that surprised even the author, until he saw how the practice worked in his own life.

The book does have a tendency to be dismissive of various U.S. institutions and traditions, certain presidents, and other public servants, and often with good reason. By way of disclosure, this reader too is a Vietnam Vet, and I, too, was astonished, as Maberry asserts, that the American people reelected Richard Nixon. Looking past this judgmental assessment, and reading this book with an open mind, and an open heart, reveals a path that perhaps many veterans of America’s ill advised war in Vietnam might take.

Five stars, and I don’t do that often. Byron Edgington, author of A Vietnam Anthem. A Vietnam Anthem: What The War Gave Me

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Westmoreland-John-Maberry-ebook/dp/B00VTYJE3U

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Waiting-Westmoreland-John-Maberry-ebook/dp/B00VTYJE3U

Also by John Maberry

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Follow John Maberry on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1210538.John_Maberry

Connect to John via his website: http://waitforwest.eaglepeakpress.com/

Annette Rochelle Aben has been very busy in the run up to Christmas with two new books on the shelves. Annette has been a part of this blog for almost four years and a more supportive and generous person you could not connect to.  Here is her newest book which is Angel Messages Two: Songs of the Heart

About Angel Messages Two

The songs of the hearts of Angels guide us, lift us and fill our lives with hope and love.

They harmonize with our heartbeats, ask us to trust and remind us that we are precious.

They call to us tenderly, helping us find comfort. Encouragement is but a request away.

How is this (and more) all possible? Because the songs of the heart are pure love. When our hearts are singing the songs of love, we connect with Angels. Open your heart to connection with Angels, with Angel Messages Two – songs of the heart.
Unlike a book that takes a story and divides it into chapters, Angel Messages Two – songs of the heart, is a book of messages (songs) that can be read one right after another or one at a time. From day to day, a different message may speak to you. Open this book to find what is perfect for you (or someone else) at that moment.

The pictures in this book, remind you that Angels appear in a variety of forms while the Tanka brings to life, the deeper message each of the photographs.

Angel Messages Two – songs of the heart, is perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to connect with Angels as much as it is perfect for anyone who already has a relationship with Angels.

The messages are presented in poetry that we call Tanka. Tanka is a form of traditional Japanese lyric poetry that uses 31 syllables spread out over 5 lines, to convey its message. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” The short songs of this book help us to be aware of our deep, abiding connection to energies we might not be able to see but can feel in our hearts.

To be in the presence of Angels is soothing, warm; reminiscent of being around the most supportive energy you can imagine. It can also be energizing, electric and indescribably emotional. When an Angel makes its presence known, it will be when you most need the confirmation that you are not alone. You always have a home in an Angel’s heart and they are excited to be at home in your heart.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Messages-Two-songs-heart-ebook/dp/B077ZCF2ZX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Messages-Two-songs-heart-ebook/dp/B077ZCF2ZX

And another perfect gift for poetry lovers for Christmas; the other new collection from Annette Rochelle AbenA Tanka Picture Book.

An early review for the collection

This beautiful little book will warm your heart and stir your soul. A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben is a treasure trove of inspiration, filled with picturesque images overlaid by touching verse. The author explains that Tanka means “short song.” I find this the perfect description, considering I felt my heart singing while I read. Compassion, encouragement, and gratitude create a texture and mood that will leave you feeling both peaceful and exhilarated. Whether your spirit needs fortifying or you’re simply looking for a splendid gift, this book is sure to deliver.

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews and follow Annette at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

 

Connect to Annette via her blog/website: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I am sure that you will find plenty here for gifts for yourself and for family and friends. Thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Paulette Mahurin, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Bette A. Stevens and Jena C. Henry


We have a full house today with four authors celebrating recent reviews for their work.. fantastic.

The first book to be updated today is set in one of the darkest times in our modern history. There are still people alive who remember this time in their lives all to well. But they are few and it is up to the storytellers to keep their memories alive. The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

51sem6psgll-_uy250_About the book

One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived.

This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship.

Written by the award-winning, best-selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut

One of the latest reviews for the book.

A Riveting Read on September 22, 2017

The story of the Seven Year Dress is told through Jewish holocaust victim and survivor, Helen, as she shares her story with her new tenant about the degradation, starvation and brutality she witnessed and suffered from the Nazis.

Mahurin does a riveting job of capturing the climate of Nazi Germany just before the war broke out, depicting Helen and her family, and her one non Jewish friend who risked his own life to save Helen and her family from being captured and taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. We’re taken right into the emotions of Helen’s plight. Humiliation, inhumanity, fear and uncertainty of living one more day became the new life for Helen, once a seemingly happy, middle-class girl becoming stripped of everything she had, knew and loved from her former life before that fateful night in November 1938.

This heart-wrenching tale of destruction and devastation and an unfaltering fight to survive will have you eager to keep reading, despite the unblemished truths of the violence and descriptions of what Helen witnessed and endured.

I applaud Mahurin for writing this telling of a demoralizing tale of the human spirit of those who fought to survive despite all odds against them – heroic efforts to remain alive despite having no reason left to live except the desire to live.

I couldn’t stop reading this book and eagerly awaited any opportunity I’d get to pick it up again to learn how Helen survived. It’s also a good reminder about how easily a country can become brainwashed by false propaganda. I’m am looking forward to reading more books by this author. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I highly recommend this book and author.

Read some of the 326 reviews for the Seven Year Dress and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Year-Dress-Novel/dp/0988846861/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Year-Dress-Novel/dp/0988846861/

Also by Paulette Mahurin

51i68gzmu9l-_uy250_51kctenodfl-_uy250_51q0487ggfl-_uy250_

Read all the reviews and BUY the books: https://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Connect to Paulette:https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

The next author to have received a great review recently is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with her latest release Murder at the Bijou.

About Murder at the Bijou

Long ago I developed a writing exercise. I would ask friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog, but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive every aspect of a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

An early review for the book

This is a very enjoyable murder story set in the 1920s. Pip, Granny Phanny and a whole bunch of alliterated characters populate the story of surprisingly strong suspense with equally surprising turns of events.
This is hugely enjoyable and definitely recommended to anyone with a sense of fun and humour.

I loved this book when it was published in parts on the blog and loved it even more re-reading it as a whole in one sitting. Yes, one sitting.

I only now realised just how much work had gone into the individual parts. I often forgot from one week to the next what certain references mean or what they allude to. The novel is hugely enjoyable and a fun read thanks to many quirky expressions, usage of words off the beaten track, fabulous character names and many more delicious ingredients.
The writing is very original and the story line is fun and always manages to surprise you.
That’s in part because of the randomness of the supplies ingredients, but also due to the author’s creative powers.

I’m so glad this was released as novel so I can enjoy the continuity and appreciate just how well composed this ‘fragmented’ story actually is.

Murder at the Bijou is available in paperback and eBook: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/

and: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

Read the reviews, buy the books and find out more about Teagan Geneviene: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Connect to Teagan via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

Next 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

Great!  on September 23, 2017

“The year is 1955. Nine-year-old Shawn Daniels is ready to head out on a Saturday adventure with his younger brother Willie. They’re off to search for trash to turn into treasure. It’s going to be a great day.”

What a great time it was…but not for everyone. These boys are from a very poor family. Their Dad is a big drinker.

When Willie has an accident on his bike, Shawn turns to one of the nice christian ladies from church. But, like most of the town, she looks down her nose at the boys because of their social status. Although she does help little Willie, she is anything but kind.

“No decent upbringing.” Mrs. Pendergast said, “Filth, pure filth,”

Pure Trash is well written and a great tease. I can’t wait to read the full book and see how the sweet little guys fare.

Read some of the 56 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/

To round off this packed post today, Jena C. Henry with a recent review for the second book in The Golden Age of Charlie: RSVP.

About The Golden Age of Charli: RSVP

Charlotte McAntic spent her thirties, forties, and even fifties in peace and harmony aligning her marriage, mortgage, careers, and children. As she stumbles into a new phase of life—also known as the Golden Years—Charli cannot help but wonder where the gold and her husband, Pud, are hiding.

Pud is happily cruising down the retirement path that, for him, leads straight to the golf course. While Charli spends her days at home cleaning out closets and the basement, she yearns to gaze deeply into Pud’s blue eyes and remember all the reasons why she fell in love with him thirty years ago. Unfortunately, the only thing Pud is eying is the next fairway. Knowing there is more to savor in retirement than silver-hair shampoos, senior discounts, and hernia surgery, Charli embarks on a quest to do whatever it takes to spend retirement in the embrace of the man she loves. But is it too late for happily ever after?

In this humorous novel, a high-energy wife and her solid guy must learn to adjust to a new chapter in their lives and find their way back into each other’s hearts after their retirement begins with a jolt.

The most recent review from Caroline Vincent of Bits about Books Blog:     https://www.bitsaboutbooks.net/golden-age-of-charli-rsvp-jena-c-henry/

I love the outset of this novel and the insights into the daily life of Charli and Pud. What an endearing couple! But then again .. Charli is the main protagonist and she has got everything her heart desires: two healthy children, a loving husband, no financial problems or health issues to worry about… When she sees a car she falls in love with, she just goes and buys it. When she finds a project to work on, the old photographs in the attic, she buys the equipment she needs to digitalise them. I wanted to shake Charli and tell her to wake up and realise that she has got so much – and that just like her husband, she should also have prepared for his retirement. Sometimes, I felt there was too much detail in the descriptions. Charli’s best trait is her perseverance and love for her family. I was touched by their adventure (Pud’s idea!) and the way they reach out to everyone in the family, young and old.

Read all the reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Age-Charli-RSVP-ebook/dp/B0157KR7RQ

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Age-Charli-RSVP/dp/1491769637

Also by Jena C. Henry

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jena-C.-Henry/e/B014PLDN12

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jena-C.-Henry/e/B014PLDN12

Read more reviews and follow Jena on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254103.Jena_C_Henry

Connect to Jena via her website/blog: http://www.jenabooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have news to share about a terrific new review then please let me know at sally.cronin@moyhill.com Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Stevie Turner and Andrew Joyce


The first author with a review is Bette A. Stevens whose book Dog Bone Soup continues to receive excellent feedback.

About the book

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.

The most recent review for the book on Amazon US.

Dog Bone Soup is a delightful read. First of all, the writing itself is mesmerizing. Author Stevens creates scenes with rare skill. Simple phrases and sentences, such as “The Buick was smokin’ and field grass was flyin’” and “The days we spent…flew off faster than a sweet dream…,” bring the reader into the world of the Daniels family.

The story is familiar, perhaps not the details, but the struggles of a family to stay together under notable duress, is a theme known to all. I couldn’t help but think of my own childhood as I followed the Daniels through the years. Poverty’s devastation reaches into the hearts of all those afflicted, and Bette Stevens captures its grip powerfully.

I highly recommend this book to all.

Read all the reviews and buy the book : http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/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 author with a recent review is Stevie Turner for her book An Rather Unusual Romance.

About the book

When Erin Mason gets a divorce, she’s left with two teenage sons to care for. Soon after, the doctor diagnoses her with cancer, and her world falls apart.

Not too far away, someone else – Alan Beaumont – is suffering a similar fate.

Their paths come together in this inspiring tale, partially based on actual events. A Rather Unusual Romance shows how love can flourish in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

The most recent review for the book

A slice of life presents itself in this novel. A straight forward read that deals with the aftermath of divorce, nearly grown children and a new romance under rather difficult premises. Cancer is a terrible disease under any circumstances. Stevie Turner provides us with great insight into papillary thyroid cancer. She brings us into the world of Erin and Alan who are thrown together while trying to cure their illness or at least bring their cancer under control. It’s a fast read and thoughtfully written. The story leaves the reader with hope.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Rather-Unusual-Romance-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B01M1GWZW2

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Connect to Stevie via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

The final author today with a recent review is Andrew Joyce with his historical novel Yellow Hair… I have read the book and can recommend.

About Yellow Hair

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.
This is American history.

The most recent review for the book

A Native Truth Unveiled on August 27, 2017

In this gripping historical novel, Andrew Joyce threads the fictitious tale of a White man’s life-changing events through the factual tapestry of the devastation suffered by the Plains Indians at the hands of the American government. The White man is Jacob Ariesen, who becomes known as Hin Zi or Yellow Hair.

It is Spring of 1850 in North America. Imagine you are a member of a wagon train of one hundred and forty-four White people going West in search of a better life. You encounter overwhelming hardship and are rescued by Indians. You are treated well and with respect.

Now imagine you are a Plains Indian. Soldiers invade your land at the behest of their government. They do not ask your permission. They do not treat you with respect. They look upon your people as savages and presume all you hold dear is theirs for the taking. They force you to sign their treaties, by which they trick you into selling acre after acre of your land in exchange for gold. You tell them you have no use of the yellow metal, but they deceive you into trusting you can use it to barter for horses, tools, food, and other necessities. They employ deception time and again when their Congress rewrites the treaties – without your knowledge or consent – and drastically cuts the agreed-to purchase price. They literally steal your land, upon which soldiers build forts and settlers build houses. The Wasichus (Whites) trap and hunt indigenous wildlife into near extinction, forcing you to become dependent on the American government for your very existence. You once were proud, fierce, and free. You now are demoralized, displaced, and angry.

In this sober and eye-opening tale, Joyce strips away the facade of righteousness brandished by White military and political figures, people whose names appear dominant in American history. He lays bare the greed and fear that fueled their ignorant beliefs and heinous deeds, not the least of which was the bloody slaughter and mutilation of women, children, and old ones.

Noted Native American figures, presented as one-dimensional savage people in White history books, become fully developed animated characters under the pen of Andrew Joyce. They jump off the page, grab and captivate the reader. Among these are Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, who pull us into their world and show us first-hand the effects of severe hardship coupled with dehumanization.

This was the perfect book to read while traveling across the United States by train and following the Colorado River for 230-plus miles. I imagined covered wagons caught in deadly currents that drowned all life forms as they carried them downriver. I imagined the battle at Wounded Knee Creek. I imagined the Battle of the Little Bighorn fought on the banks of the river that lent its name to this historical event. But most of all, as the train moved through mountain gorges and territories not traversed by automobile or person, I imagined a time when life was lived by the seasons, close to Mother Earth. My heart broke as distant memories of such a life played across my mind like a slide show.

This book is a page-turner that kept me glued from beginning to end. It is very well-written and chock-full of engaging characters, be they honorable or deplorable. I appreciated the humor Joyce attributed to the Indians, which he sprinkled throughout the novel. This added an inherent humanizing dimension to the indigenous peoples of whom Americans learn so little in school.

I also appreciated that the author intermittently but consistently focused on Native American spiritual beliefs. My favorite line was: “It is a good day to die.” In what way is that spiritual? you ask. Well… You’ll just have to read the book and figure it out for yourself. Hoka hey!

Read all the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Hair-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B01LXOXHBI

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

Also by Andrew Joyce

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BUY all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping by today.. and I hope you will head over and check these authors and their books out. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Shehanne Moore, Bette A. Stevens and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first of the review posts for the week and this is open to any author with a recent review and they do not need to be in the cafe and bookstore.. although that is something they may wish to do anyway.

The first featured author is Shehanne Moore with Splendor ( London Jewel Thieves Book Two) which was published in May this year.

About Splendor

The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

For Splendor, former servant to London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol before. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

A recent review of the book

I just love Ms. Moore’s cheeky heroines, and Splenour is no exception. How can you not like a woman whose name is Dora and she therefore decides to name herself Lady Splendora? She’s an honorary member in the London jewel thieves’ guild known as the Starkadder Sisterhood, but not a thief herself. In fact, she wants to help the poor, marry her sweetheart Gabriel and buy him a ministry.

Gabriel, as it turns out, is no sweetheart at all. But then neither is the Earl of Stillmore, a man who calls his servant an “overstuffed seal”. He reserves even better names for Splendor. Mostly he calls her names in his head, but sometimes he does so to her face… usually when she’s being a brat, which is quite often.

While Gabe shows his cowardly and whiny nature, the earl drives Splendor up the wall by “training” her to win a chess tournament even though she is obviously better than him at the game.

With shades of Shakesperean cross-dressing comedy and scenes that reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Confessions of a Shopaholic as Splendor by turns participates in a men’s chess tournament and then tries to pose as an aristocrat at high society balls, this novel had me laughing out loud throughout. It was also extremely touching when I realized how much these two have suffered for love (and their own stubbornness).

I would highly recommend Splendor as a fast-paced, funny and romantic read!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Splendor-London-Jewel-Thieves-Book-ebook/dp/B071S9W9WN

Also by Shehanne Moore

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

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

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

Next 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.

The most recent review

A pure delight  By D.E.Howard on 15 July 2017

This is an adorable short capturing a single day in the life of two young brothers. Life for Shawn and Willie is clearly never the easiest but on this lovely Saturday they get to spend time just having fun and enjoying themselves… well mostly.

The thing I think I liked mostly about this story was the “voice” in which it was told. This was not an author telling us about the boys day – this was a young boy describing his day with his brother – Bette A Stevens really captured that boys spirit perfectly.

A great little read and it has certainly made me want to read “Dog Bone Soup” some time soon

Read all the reviews and buy the book: 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

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 time to share the early reviews for the latest book by Lorinda J. Taylor and The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars: Part Two- Wounded Eagle

About the book

In this second part of the biography of Capt. Robbin Nikalishin, three threads remaining from “Eagle Ascendant” are followed to their conclusion. First, the question of cause and responsibility for the space disaster that formed the climax of Part One must be determined through a Government hearing and a trial. Second, the mystifying behavior of Prf. Karlis Eiginsh that resulted in the disaster must be explained. Third and most important, the Captain must recover from the devastating aftereffects of the disaster. The resolution is bittersweet – will the Captain ever become capable of coping fully with the damage that was done to him?

Early reviews for the book

In the second book of this series we re-join Robbie and his remaining crew for a journey into his mind rather than the stars. This is a long journey and it is a long book and, once again, I find myself astonished at the level of detail Ms Taylor records in her novels with pin-point accuracy. She is to be congratulated. Although, in truth, I am not fond of the flawed hero, I really enjoy all the characters around him and always finish a book by this author as I am never quite sure where it will take me. Ms Taylor has created another tour-de-force of insight, moments of profound depth (e.g. Robbie’s tribute speech) which move as well as inspire. I look forward to book three.

Part Two of the epic story of Robbie and his encounters with the stars, and his inner demons. Lorinda has once again delved into the life of our space captain and exposed a character full of human fraility with sympathy and depth. His thwarted ambitions, and his drive and passion to overcome these hurdles despite the pain and disappointment, keeps us turning the pages hungry for resolution.

A selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for popping in today and please share the news around the usual haunts.. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update -Tina Frisco, Bette A. Stevens and Sue Coletta


We open the proceedings with a fantastic offer from Tina Frisco who is putting her latest book Vampyrie FREE from today until August 1st.

About Vampyrie

What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future? Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility. Phoebe Angelina Delaney is a reluctant genius and compassionate hothead. She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell?

Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor? Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive. Two major characters from the author’s first novel, Plateau join forces with Phoebe to battle the demons in Vampyrie.

The most recent review for Vampyrie

Vampyrie contains all the classic vampire lore–the fangs, silent movement, brutal attacks, and human senses that are outmatched by their unearthly antagonists. In addition to this, it also holds some unique world-building, everything from the biochemical roots of vampires to their origins. As someone who’s written seven novels retelling fairy tales, I can appreciate this. A fresh blend of old and new can be an absorbing approach.

The book opens with Phoebe, the novel’s protagonist, being abducted, and unwittingly involved in the ongoing fight between the two branches of vampires. Fortunately for her, a league exists to fight the evil, degraded vampires, although she certainly wasn’t expecting her new knowledge to involve her own family history. Nor was she prepared to find her friends were also at risk.

If you’re a fan of paranormal reads with a scientific twist, Vampyrie is a read that should appeal to you.

Read the other great reviews and download Vampyrie FREE: https://www.amazon.com/Vampyrie-Origin-Vampire-Tina-Frisco/dp/154112720X

Also by Tina Frisco

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Read more reviews and follow Tina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6497599.Tina_Frisco

Connect to Tina via her blog and website: https://tinafrisco.com/

The next author with an update is Bette A. Stevens whose books consistently receive fantastic reviews. This particular review is for her wonderful children’s book Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale, introducing the wonder of nature to young readers.

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.

Two of the most recent reviews for the book

on July 16, 2017

Delightful! Matilda wants to fly and she must follow her instincts and be patient. Weren’t all of us once upon a time like tiny Matilda who wants to fly? An inspiring tale that benefits everyone, big and small. The illustrations complement the prose well. They are curiously simple and fresh, but a little too small in the Kindle version.

This is a lovely, gentle book about the birth of a butterfly, Matilda, who must be patient and trust her instincts. My almost-four-year-old grandson, Tornado Boy, was the perfect age to enjoy the story and started telling me all about Monarch Butterflies when we finished. The illustrations are as sweet as the words. I’m certain it’s going to be one of our must-read bedtime stories for months to come. 🙂

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

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/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 our last update for today is for Sue Coletta with her  new release Blessed Mayhem (Mayhem Series Book Two) on pre-order for August 9th.

About Blessed Mayhem

A chance encounter …a deadly predicament …a lethal decision.

The infamous Mr. Mayhem is not your average serial killer. Reminiscent of the beloved Hannibal Lecter, minus his thirst for flesh—because eating humans is just plain rude—Mr. Mayhem storms on the scene with style, grace, elegance, and a zest for life unlike any other. Impeccable manners also help. He may commit murder, but there’s no reason to be impolite about it.

Accompanied by his loyal crow companions, Poe, Allan, and Edgar, his crimes strike fear in the hearts and minds of folks across Massachusetts’ North Shore. When Shawnee Daniels—cat burglar extraordinaire and forensic hacker for the police—meets Mayhem in the dark, she piques his curiosity. Sadly for her, she leaves behind an item best left undiscovered. Or is it serendipity by design?

Color him curious, but he yearns to examine the psychology behind her life choices, tough girl routine, witty banter, and unique double-life. In a different time and place they may even become friends. But unfortunately, their predicament defines the risk.

The stakes are too high to stop now.

For reasons authorities cannot fathom, these seemingly unrelated murders will go down in history as the most impressive killing regime of all time. His coup de grace, if you will. Even if it means permanently erasing Ms. Daniels from the equation. All the pieces are there if the authorities look hard enough. The question is, will they? The only new wrinkle is Shawnee Daniels, and she may be his toughest opponent yet …if she’s clever enough to play the game.

Pre-order Blessed Mayhem at the special price: https://www.amazon.com/Blessed-Mayhem-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0749CJPYV

Also by Sue Coletta

The most recent review for Book One of the Series – Wings of Mayhem

What a read!  on July 23, 2017

WOW. This book is quite a ride! I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I loved it! The storyline is fast paced, suspense filled, twists and turns I never expected it to take! I have already read Hacked, the fantastic 2nd book in this series, so now just have to wait for the 3rd one!!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14078869.Sue_Coletta

Connect to Sue Coletta via her website/blog: www.suecoletta.com

Thank you for stopping by today and please feel free to share… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Colleen Chesebro, Bette A. Stevens and Luna Saint Claire


This twice weekly post is open to any author in the Cafe and Bookstore or not, who would like to share their most recent great review. Reviews are a form of word of mouth and are to be treasured.. but keeping them to yourself is not making the most of them. You know where to find me.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first author to receive another terrific review for her book The Swamp Fairy is Colleen Chesebro.

About the book

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

The most recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 24, 2017 Robbie Cheadle rated it 5 Stars

This book contained absolutely everything I could wish for in a book including an orphan girl, a trained guide dog, horses, wonderful friends, a kind and loving Aunt and, best of all, fairies. The main character is an fourteen year old orphan girl, Abby, who moves to Florida to live with her unmarried and childless Aunt after living her entire life in the city of Chicago.

Abby has an unusual gift in that she can hear and communicate with all forms of animals and insects and, as she discovers soon into her new life, the ability to see and talk to fairies. Abby relocates with very little to her name other than a calcite pendant that is given to her just before she leaves Chicago by her Mother’s best friend and the papers to a piece of land that has been in her Mother’s family for generations. Abby soon discovers that this piece of swamp land, while seeming to be of little financial value in its current state, is the home to a clan of nymphs who play a vital role in ensuring the continued ability of humanity of fight diseases with medicinal plants. The land is, however, very enticing to an unethical and greedy land developer who seems determined to get his hands on Abby’s swamp regardless of anything and anyone standing in his way.

Abby gradually comes to realise that her gifts come with a great responsibility and that it is her destiny to protect the fairy clan that live in the swamp from the current threat.

The book contains some beautiful haikus and descriptive passages. It is not very often in modern books that you get to enjoy language that brings into play all of the senses in such a delightful way. A few of the passages that particularly enchanted me are as follows:

“Her heart beat rapidly in her chest when she glimpsed the butterflies and the resplendent dragonflies. She was ready for the cacophony of sound that vibrated inside her head. These were the communications of those who shared the swamp with her. And, yet, the acoustics overwhelmed her.”

“The late afternoon was hot, and the air felt thick. The smell of ripe grasses filled her nose. She spotted blue and red dragonflies darting in the field. Their wings sparkled in the sunlight as they perched on the wire fence sunning themselves.

I would recommend this book for children, particularly girls, from the ages of 11 years to 111.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

Now for another amazing review for Dog Bone Soup – A Boomer’s Journey by children’s author Bette A .Stevens.

About the book

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.

Read all the reviews and buy the book : http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Here is the 5 star review by Balroop Singh on Goodreads on July 3rd 2017.

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens is not just the story of Shawn and his struggle to get a decent life, it is a family saga of adventures, sacrifices, togetherness and resilience. It is inspiring as well as poignant, a rare combination to create. Henrietta emerges to be a wonderful mother, giving all the care and attention to her kids though she had zero moral support from her self-centered and alcoholic husband, more interested in watching T.V. than looking after his own children.

The story is set in the 50’s when moccasins could be freely used to discipline children! Despite the challenges of poverty and meagre food, nobody has any complaints except Mr.Daniels. Life was hard and Shawn being the eldest in the family suffers the most yet he stands like a rock when he is old enough to handle his father’s violence.

A streak of thin light shimmers throughout the story, assuring the reader that struggles bring the best out of us. The hope never dies, as kind people keep trickling in to provide work and life-time lessons to Shawn and Willie. Characterisation has been handled very well and one person who stands out is Mrs Ashley, an old lady with the heart of gold, a book lover who fed the poor boys, read stories to them and even taught them how to use a typewriter when they accompanied their uncle to help in cutting the trees.

This book is relevant for the present generation for two reasons—one it acquaints them with history and the way people strived to wriggle out of domestic violence, lack of love and tough situations. Two, how comfortable life is today for children with no fear of moccasins! ~Balroop Singh, author

Read all the reviews and buy the book: http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Also by Bette A. Stevens

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

For the final review today author Luna Saint Claire and a review for her book The Sleeping Serpent

About the book

Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.

Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.

“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

For the first time I’m not sure I can provide an adequate review for this mind blowing book. The amount of details about Yoga, Native American culture and Spiritual healing was remarkable and provided the perfect backdrop to see how a narcissistic ego of our main character Nico would function in a society today. We tend to believe and trust people that have a perceived position of power which causes us to not think clearly and make bad decisions.

Throughout this book keeping track of all of the smart, talented and successful women Nico was with was difficult at best. I kept thinking how can you be so naïve to think he is only with you and loves you. The pattern of behavior had me scratching my head the entire time. Then I learned about cording (fascinating by the way) and what the impact is on an individual. The pull is extremely difficult to deny and hard to escape.

I will admit the topic is way over my head when it comes to healers and yoga but this book keeps me engaged anyway. The intensity of this book is like nothing I have experienced to date. I can only speculate that yoga has a dark seedy side that can persuade people to go against their better judgment with what I can describe as magic and potions. Luna was a main character throughout the book and I got a sense she was able to keep Nico calm most of the time. She was the only one who didn’t have a physical relationship with Nico and was able to keep the clearest head on her shoulders. Her saving grace also was she was married. I have my own theories on why but I won’t put that in my review.

Here is what I can say. Nico was able to find women he thought could further his dreams of fame and fortune. When they were slow or didn’t follow thru (his perception) then you got to see another side of him. The he got into a downhill spiral that he was not able to recover from. I can only imagine what it would be like to be with a person who can change on a dime and be soft, sweet, attentive and provide so much pleasure to only turn around and become uncontrollable.

If you are looking for psychological thriller, then this is for you. I will caution you if you are looking for HEA this is not going to fill that need.

Read some of the 115 reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Serpent-womans-struggle-obsessive-ebook/dp/B016LUUB1K

Find out more about Luna Saint Claire and her work: https://www.amazon.com/Luna-Saint-Claire/e/B017DN9Y4Y/

Connect to Luna Saint Claire via her website: http://www.compelledbooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today. Have you received a great review recently for one of your books… let me know….sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Kim Cox and Bette A. Stevens


The first update is for romantic suspense author Kim Cox whose latest release Before We Wed (Style and Profile Series Book 2)  is on pre-order from Amazon for July 27th.

About the book

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?

Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their

Pre-Order Before We Wed for delivery on July 27th: https://www.amazon.com/Before-We-Wed-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B072VSFRC1

All This Time (Book 1 in the Style and Profile Series)

One of the reviews for All This Time (Book 1 in the Style and Profile Series)

I first heard of Kim Cox when we both belonged to a group for designing book covers. Over time I saw different covers that she was working on, and when I saw All This Time advertised I decided to read it.

I was not disappointed with the book, and I loved the cover. That is one of the things that caught my eye!

All This Time is a very enjoyable read that I finished in one long evening—actually into the morning. Trevor Drake had developed the reputation of loving and leaving a long list of women. Jenny Morgan had married a cheater once, and after the divorce, she wasn’t going to give her heart to someone who would break it again. She doesn’t deny her attraction to Trevor, but she doesn’t trust him–and she has work to do.

Trevor had no idea how she felt about him, but he has been crazy about her all along. He just never had the courage to pursue her. He knew that she saw him as a friend who was lacking in ambition and a womanizer.

When her father became very ill he had one wish. He wanted a grandchild before he died. Jenny would do anything for her dad, but she had not created any romantic liaisons because she was intent on managing the business that he had started and then handed over to her. Trevor also has a strong affection for Joe Morgan and he jumps at the chance to marry Jenny and father her child. He is determined to show her how much he loves her and how responsible he actually is. Jenny finally agrees to the marriage, but she is determined that it will be temporary. Trevor is determined to make it last forever.

There is a traitor in the company; one that is intent on destroying Jenny, as well as Joe Morgan and the business. The author kept me guessing for a long time. She wrote some passages from the traitor’s point of view, but never revealed who she truly was until just after Jenny’s father revealed facts that she didn’t know. The woman sensed that things were different, and fled before the police could confront her and make an arrest.

This story is romantic, suspenseful and funny in places. I felt sorry for poor Trevor! He worked so darn hard to prove that he was a good guy, but between Jenny’s lack of trust and the shadows that the traitor cast, he was fighting an uphill battle. It seemed he might never win Jenny’s trust and her love.

Great job, Kim Cox. I recommend “All This Time.”

Also by Kim Cox

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Kim-Cox/e/B004WFKDAG

Read more reviews and follow Kim Cox on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1065068.Kim_Cox

Connect to Kim Cox via her website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com/

Now for a new review for Dog Bone Soup – A Boomer’s Journey by children’s author Bette A .Stevens.  The book is currently on offer at 99c until June 30th..

About the book

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.

The most recent review for the book

My Hero Shawn  on June 8, 2017

Like Uncle Ted said- planning is important. And I was planning not to be poor.”

This coming of age historical fiction will make you smile as you read, but you may also find your eyes getting misty too. Shawn Daniels is the main character and the hero of this book and certainly the hero for his family. This is the coming-of-age story of Shawn in the 1950s as he deals with the many obstacles that growing up in a poor family with a drunk for a Dad brings.

For every heartbreak, beating, soup made of bones for dogs and meager onion sandwich in his school lunch bag that Shawn endures, he also experiences the small pleasures of life. Fishing and fry ups, Mom’s apple pie, decorating an outdoors Christmas tree, collecting empty bottles, even working hard shoveling snow to make money to buy a ramshackle car give him joy and pride.

By the end of the story Shawn realizes that he is a determined person- something that we readers have already learned. While suffering plenty of abuse and deep poverty, he is boosted by the love of his mother, and the people who saw him as a real person- Hugo, Uncle Ted, and Mrs. Ashley who taught him the beauty of books and words, and gave him a shoebox to store his treasures and dreams.

Author Stevens gives us rich dialogue and well-developed characters and a genuine feel for the time and place. This is a readable and memorable book.

“Someday I’ll have a family of my own.”

Read all the reviews and buy the book at its offer price until June 30th: http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Also by Bette A. Stevens.

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

Thank you for dropping in today. Are you in my Cafe and Bookstore?  Then please let me know if you have a new book, great review or an offer.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Bette A. Stevens and Stevie Turner


Our first author update today is for Bette A. Stevens with two recent reviews for her book Dog Bone Soup.

About the book.

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.

The latest review for the book on Goodreads by  Brigid Gallagher  who rated it  5 stars on April 3rd 2017

 The poignant story of Shawn and his family opens as he leaves home to serve in the armed forces. Looking back over his childhood, he recounts his father’s struggle with alcohol addiction, and the poverty his family endured.

Shawn and his brother have daring adventures on their bicycles, collecting bottles along the roadside, exchanging them for cash, and buying pop, ice cream and other sweet delicacies.

As money becomes tighter, Shawn uses his ingenuity to put FREE food on the table, by milking their neighbours cows in early morning and taking windfall apples from a lady who refuses to give them these fruits, preferring them to rot…

The families money struggles force their mother to make soup out of bones that would otherwise have been given to dogs.

However, Bette’s book is never depressing. It is filled with the innocence of a childhood spent amongst the New England countryside, and a love of Nature.
I absolutely loved her writing style, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to others.

And on Amazon.co.uk

An enjoyable read By Annabelle on 13 April 2017

A triumphant tale, skilfully told, of a boy’s battle with – and ultimate escape from – poverty in 50s and 60s America. The story is told in the first person, in authentic conversational style, which made it easy to identify with the main character. I really enjoyed this book – though I was glad the soup turned out not to be made from the actual bones of a dog!

The universal link to read all the reviews and buy the book: http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Also by Bette A. Stevens

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

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her Website/blog: http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Time to revisit one of Stevie Turner’s previous books Repent at Leisure with a recent review on Goodreads.

About the book

Gripping psychological thriller from Stevie Turner, author of The Donor.

Paul wakes up to find a mysterious woman in his bed. With no memory of how she got there, Cat Taylor worms her way into his life and eventually moves into his flat. This arrangement suits Paul well — until he meets Anita Fairfax.

Soon after, they find Cat dead in Paul’s apartment. Despite little evidence, the police suspect him of murder. Anita stands by her new husband… but doubt soon creeps in as his behavior becomes increasingly erratic.
Reviewed By: Arlena DeanApr 01, 2017 Arlena rated it  four stars.

This read I must say left me on the edge of my seat with this psychological thriller read. There were so many of twist and turns the reader simply may not be able figure it out until the very end. I am simply not sure who I felt more sorrier for…Paul or Anita….definitely there was some help needed. What happens as someone comes up dead? What happens after Paul and Anita are married? Will she start regretting rushing into this marriage due to Paul’s strange behavior shifts? Will he seek help? What will happen after Paul gets in touch with his brother Terry who lived in Australia? What secrets will come out from that visit to Australia? After they return back home what will happen next between this couple.

This is where I will stop and say you will have to pick up “Repent at Leisure” to get all of these questions answered and so much more. I will say I was left shaking my head and saying I didn’t see that one coming. However, this author is noted for giving the reader surprises and that was one surprised ending for me.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Repent-at-Leisure-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B01DFTXW2A

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Connect to Stevie via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Thanks for dropping by today and if you have any news about your books such as a review, new release or an offer please drop me a line. The Cafe updates go out Monday and Friday and it helps me out if you let me know. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Mary C. Blowers, Bette A. Stevens and P.H. Solomon


Welcome to this week’s first cafe and bookstore update. And the first author with some news is Mary C. Blowers in collaboration with Leah Cutter, Blaze Ward, Douglas Smith and Prasenjeet Kumar with a box set for authors. Ultimate Guides to Indie Publishing – Make yourself a best seller. On pre-order for April 26th.

About the Ultimate guides To Indie Publishing Box Set

I remember sending photocopies of my manuscript out to children’s book publishers, only to be met by rejection.

Imagine my delight when I heard I could publish on my own very inexpensively.

Authors no longer have to wait for acceptance by the big Five–Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin Random House and Simon Schuster–or find an agent. Just write and upload. You’ll need a cover and some other features, but it’s really possible to do it yourself.

My children’s book? It’s now The Prophecy of Enchantria, available on Amazon along with 18 others.

Read how I did it, and how the others in this box set did it. We offer our recommendations for many facets of the writing career. Make 2017 the year you get published.

Table of Contents
1. “Create Your Book Start to Finish” by Mary C. Blowers
2. “Business for Breakfast, Volume 1” by Leah Cutter
3. “Business for Breakfast, Volume 3” by Blaze Ward
4. “Playing the Short Game” by Douglas Smith
5. “How to be an Author Entrepreneur Without Spending a Dime” by Prasenjeet Kumar
6. “How to Market Your Books Without Spending a Dime” by Prasenjeet Kumar

Buy the book at the pre-order price of $5.75 for delivery on April 26th: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guides-Indie-Publishing-Ebook-ebook/dp/B072B5DM39

About Hoarder’s Nightmare released on April 17th.

Beware of your stuff taking on a life of its own.

Do you think you might be a hoarder? Read about Mina, who buys something from a thrift store and has major trouble with it. Something gets lost in the clutter and could involve legal trouble! Read as she travels to distant places and finds treasures beyond her wildest dreams. But do they last?

A small selection of other books by Mary C. Blowers

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Blowers/e/B006X9C9CE

Connect to Mary via her blog: https://maryblowers.com/

Our next author, Bette A. Stevens is offering her book Amazing Matilda at 99c in celebration of Earth Day 2017. The monarch butterfly and milkweed (the caterpillar’s food source) are endangered.

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.

The latest reviews  for Amazing Matilda

on April 20, 2017

I love nature and animals. All animals. I love butterflies. When I saw Amazing Matilda, I had to buy and read it. Little Matilda is desperate to fly, but doesn’t know how. This is a wonderful and cute story about learning patience. It’s an encouraging book for children and adults alike. The story takes you from Matilda as a small caterpillar to her metamorphosis as a beautiful Monarch butterfly. A quick read, you’ll be done with it in no time at all.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of nature, animals and children of all ages from two to 100. It is beautifully yet simply illustrated.

I just read this little cutie… it is a great learning tool, especially for the extremely young… the sentence structure in some places could be shortened (for the extremely young), but otherwise it will help to teach kids to keep trying no matter what, that anything is possible… I will definitely be suggesting this to my cuz, to read to her new baby… thanks for putting this out in the world…

Read all the reviews and buy the book at 99c: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

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

Connect to Bette via her Website/blog: http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The next update is for fantasy author P.H. Soloman who continues to receive excellent reviews for The Bow of Destiny (The Bow of Hart Saga Book 1) published in September 2015.

About The Bow of Destiny

Fantasia Reviews 2016 Book of the Year, “in the vein of R. A. Salvatore and Piers Anthony.”

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but he isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

One of the latest reviews for The Bow of Destiny

I’ve never written a fantasy story, but I love to read the genre. There’s something about being transported to a different realm where various creatures live in unfamiliar habitats, food and currency are foreign to me, and (almost always) there’s an epic quest.

P. H. Solomon’s THE BOW OF DESTINY fulfills everything I look for in a fantasy and more.

This is the story of Athson, son of Ath, who was raised by elves when his parents were violently killed by trolls and an evil wizard. That sounds like a story in and of itself, but it’s only the backstory to this wonderful tale.

Athson is such a relatable character—which is saying something, because in the beginning of the novel, it’s not even clear that he’s sane. He’s having visions of dead people and dogs, and he needs medicine to keep his fits under control. But it’s this vulnerability—and the unreliability of his narration—that makes him such a compelling character. When he is given “the inheritance” and told to seek the bow destined for him, you can really feel his confusion and distress. Masterfully done.

Athson has two journeys in one—his personal journey regarding the bow and his group’s journey to find the Withing’s stolen book. What’s a Withing? Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but Hastra is powerful and revered and Athson doesn’t trust her. There are secrets kept on both sides, secrets that could have disastrous implications.

Of all the characters we meet on his journey, I’m particularly fond of the giant Ralda. He is brave, kind, fearless, and tortured by tragedy in his past. All of the characters were well-developed and easy to relate to, but I could read volumes of Ralda’s story.

If the novel wasn’t exciting enough, the epilogue blew me away. It was totally unexpected, and I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Solomon hit the ground running with the first novel in the series. I highly recommend it.

Read some of the 50 reviews for The Bow of Destiny and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Bow-Destiny-Hart-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B014AZ5DMU

Also by P.H. Solomon

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/P.-H.-Solomon/e/B00LU4XNQS

Connect to P.H. Solomon via his Website: http://phsolomon.com

Thank you for dropping in and if you are in the bookstore and have changed a book cover, got a great review, have an offer or have released a new book.. just let me know sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I do try to check every author myself over a period of two or three weeks but I will miss updates.. Any news goes in on of these posts that go out Mondays and Fridays… it is free so you have nothing to lose but the time it takes you to send me an email.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Bette A. Stevens


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to this week’s Book Reading at the Cafe and my guest is award winning children’s author Bette A Stevens. I am sure that after reading the interview with Bette you will have plenty of our own questions to ask and please put them in the comments section of the post.

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

Bette 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. There is currently an offer on Dog Bone Soup and here is one of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Dog Bone Soup is an engaging tale set in the 1950’s and 1960’s and though Stevens indicates that the book will speak to boomers, in particular, the family drama and the emotional world of the characters are timeless and relatable. The story follows the oldest brother in the family, Shawn Daniels, a boy whose young life is burdened by dire poverty and an abusive, alcoholic father. His proud mother does the best she can for her children, and Shawn becomes a man before his time, helping to support the family.

Though the story deals with a struggling child in a tough situation, the book has many moments of childhood humor and delight, especially between the brothers. Shawn not only survives his rough start but comes through as a strong individual with solid values and high personal integrity.

Stevens writing is captivating, raw and sweet, with well-drawn characters. I read the prequel “White Trash” prior to this book, however, I feel that Dog Bone Soup easily stands on its own. A compelling read about childhood resilience and growth into manhood.

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

ONLY 99c / 99p from March 22nd through March 27th

Now it is time to hand over to Bette for her interview and book reading.

Welcome Bette and can you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

Realistic fiction because, when told as a fictional account, both writer and readers have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons through the lives of a book’s characters— and to relate those lessons to their own lives in a personal way.

What genre do you read and who are your favourite authors?

My favorite genres are (1) Historical Fiction, through which I can travel back in time and rediscover the timeless themes that still make humans tick; and (2) Contemporary/Literary Fiction, because it allows me to travel the globe and see the world through the eyes of strangers, giving me the opportunity to walk in their shoes for a brief time.

Many favorite authors, but, I’ll list two of my favorites along with books I’ve read from each:

Harper Lee (To Kill a Mocking, Go Set a Watchman) Historical Fiction
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed) Contemporary/Literary Fiction

Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

As reader, a writer, and a concerned citizen of the world, I find that books continue to provide me both the luxury and learning that Twain attributes to such extensive travel without the cost.

What inspired you to write Amazing Matilda?

I was inspired by the plight of our glorious monarch butterflies. At the time (1999) monarchs were considered an indicator species, letting us know the health of our environment, which was rapidly in decline. I researched monarch butterflies and discovered that I had a story to tell, not only to my grandchildren, but to my fourth grade students in California as well. For me, the monarch remains a symbol of life and life’s growing and changing stages for all living creatures, including humans. I typed the story, read it to my students and sent copies to my grandchildren. By 2012, I was retired and my daughter encouraged me to illustrate Amazing Matilda self-publish it.

In Pure Trash you address bullying issues. This was based in the 1950s and 1960s—50 years later this is still a major issue. How do you feel we could address this better?

Literature and media coverage can certainly help raise awareness and encourage compassionate behaviours. However, the printed word and talk remain a poor substitute if the actions of adults are saying one thing and doing another. As parents, a teachers and neighbors, adults must take the lead in showing respect for and finding value in people of all ages, faiths, beliefs, social standings, race, customs…the list goes on.

As a teacher what are the key subjects that every child should be taught to help them succeed in the world today?

  • Academically
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Public Speaking

Socially
Teaching and following “The Golden Rule”

In fact, during my years in the classroom, one of the first things I would tell my students is that we have only one rule that must be followed in our classroom by everyone, including the teacher. Does anyone know what “The Golden Rule” says?

One brave young fourth grader raised his hand, stood and spoke:

“He who has the gold rules!”

Needless to say, a teacher’s work is never done. We talked about my school days and the sign that was posted in every classroom back in the day: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We were all in this together: day by day—and some days moment by moment—learning and relearning that respect for everyone and accepting our individual responsibilities summed up what “The Golden Rule” is really all about.

Now it is time for Bette’s Book Reading.

PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens
(Historical Fiction/Ages 10-adult)

SUMMARY: Experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough as you hop on a bike and ride into town with two delightful young boys who find adventure at every turn. Shawn and Willie Daniels live in the woods with no indoor water or plumbing. Dad spends most of his hard earned money on beer. Prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying are cleverly woven into this 1950s adventure short. PURE TRASH is the short story prequel to the author’s novel DOG BONE SOUP.

Excerpt from PURE TRASH

Willie was having a race with himself, thumping and thudding in his seat trying to get high enough to fly over that bar. Me, I was just enjoying some time to sit and swing and think. Didn’t have time for that during recess. I was always trying to figure out some way to make myself invisible. I sure didn’t want to be the target in a dodge ball game.

Sometimes I’d set up a game of marbles and practice on my own over near the building. One day Timmy Doyle asked me if he could play. I taught Timmy the rules and showed him how to shoot. The next week, Timmy gave me 10 puries in different colors, two aggies and two cat eyes―huge―a blue one and a gold one. Before that, most of my marbles were the old clay ones Grampa used when he was a kid. Last year for my birthday, Grampa gave me a soft cloth bag with a drawstring. It was filled with his painted clay marbles. He taught me how to play the game and told me that I was real good at it.

I liked Timmy, but no one else did. Timmy was what they called “a little slow.” I reckon that was likely about as bad as being called Eddie Daniels’s kid.

Willie was over on the jungle gym hanging from the tiptop. His knees hung over the metal bar and Willie was swinging his body for all it was worth, arms dangling and chubby tummy jiggling. Every now and then he’d lift up his back, grab the bar with his hands and flip himself upright and hoot like Tarzan. Willie sure did look like the king of the jungle perched up on that bar.

Read the reviews and buy Pure Trash: https://www.amazon.com/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Connect to Bette A. Stevens

WEBSITE/BLOG http://www.4writersandreaders.com
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My thanks to Bette for joining me today and she would be delighted to answer your questions if you could leave them in the comments section of the post.

Please feel free to share the interview on your own networks.. thanks Sally