Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Carmen Stefanescu and Tobias Wade


Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update and the first author with news is Carmen Stefanescu who has re-released Shadows of the Past this week. The book was previously with Carmen’s publisher, and its previous edition received over 75 excellent reviews.  Unfortunately they have not carried over to this edition on Amazon, so I will use one from Goodreads and give you the link to read more of them there.

About Shadows of the Past

Anne’s relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world–one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil’s vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve’s soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

One of the many reviews for the previous edition on Goodreads.

Paulette Mahurin rated it Five Stars.

Carmen Stefanescu’s Shadows of the Past was a great read that I enjoyed from the first page through the last sentence, that I was sorry to see end; I tried to savor this one, make it last, that’s how entertaining a read it is. The author writes a tightly worded, intelligent, story, a story within a story, then and now, from a past that needed resolution in a modern day couple.

The dreams and visions the protagonist, Anne, experienced set the stage for the unfolding of a story, brilliantly told, moving through her as a past life apparition, Genevieve. The character development of Anne and her partner Neil, and other story counterparts is really well done, but the star of he story is the tragic Genevieve, as if taken from the pages of Shakespeare, one can not imagine less unfortunate issues to befall a human being, and in counterpoint is the lusciously evil antagonist the Abbess, who you read page after page hoping she gets hers.

The pages invite the reader in with a wanting to know what is going to happen to Anne, to Genevieve, and page after page as the tension builds the reader is not disappointed. This is an excellently crafted work, by an author who clearly knows how to write, who understands literature, and knows how to tell a compellingly great story. I loved this one

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Past-Carmen-Stefanescu-ebook/dp/B0756KGNMP

Read the reviews for the previous edition on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16249401-shadows-of-the-past

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

The most recent review for Dracula’s Prodigy

An Engrossing Read  on August 6, 2017

A complex story that focus on a descendant of the infamous Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) that is intricately imagined and beautifully told. Linda Cartwright has no idea who the strange man in her dreams is, nor does she understand how the life she once imagined with her husband, Bill, has turned into a nightmare for her and her young daughter.

Fleeing a loveless marriage, Linda discovers courage she never realized she had, and an ancestral history rife with betrayals, revenge, and eternal devotion. Rich with details of both past and present, Carmen Stefanescu continues the story she began in Dracula’s Mistress, but offers a unique twist by placing her heroine in modern times.

I found myself caught up in the emotion of the central characters and a mystery that transcends centuries. The author’s writing flows beautifully, both visual and compelling, keeping the reader turning pages and racing to the conclusion. If you enjoy history and myth with a twinge of the paranormal, woven into a contemporary setting, this is a story you don’t want to miss.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Carmen’s Amazon Kindle Store

Find out more about Carmen’s books and other published work: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ie/p/works.html

Connect to Carmen via her blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

My next author today is Tobias Wade and his horror short story collection, 51 Sleepless Nights that was published in June 2017.

About 51 Sleepless Nights

A diverse collection of horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world, and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal – no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying stories.

One of the recent reviews

I don’t know which was worse, taking the Devil by surprise or letting him know I was coming.”
from The 32

You’re going to be surprised to hear how much I liked this one. First, it’s short stories – a genre I have long-standing issues with – and second, it’s horror – a genre I tend to avoid outside of a very few favorites because I do most of my reading at night these days and I have insane dreams without adding such fuel to their fire! When I was contacted by the author, Tobias Wade, I was initially inclined to decline the request out of hand. Then I looked the book up on Amazon – the cover art absolutely sold me on this one. Isn’t that a fabulously eerie cover?? While I am a firm believer that you can’t judge a book by its cover, sometimes I do find that a cover (or title) will pull me toward giving something a second look. If the cover (or title or whatever) speaks to me, it suggests that what’s inside will to. This isn’t a direct correlation – it doesn’t always hold true – but more often than not it does. Just so with this book…

51 Sleepless Nights is a collection of horror shorts. That much is obvious from the title alone. But what’s not so obvious is the delicate, scalpel-edged, psychological component to so much of this collection. To me, that is what the cover art embodied. The book as a whole is seriously creepy, in the best possible way. There is a lot of “traditional” horror (spiders, death, ghosts, evil), and those stories are very well crafted and original (and original in this genre is increasingly rare to find, particularly given that these are shorts and each and every one has to have its own unique concept or idea). But it was the stories with the psychological elements that I found fascinatingly eerie and thought-provoking (as well as goosebump-inducing)… Many of them are very short, and I would read them very fast. As I was reading, I was thoroughly entertained and a little creeped out. Then I’d finish and think for a second about what I’d just read. Or maybe I’d think about it hours later, when something resonated with my memory of the story(ies). And then I’d get VERY creeped out…

There is a surprisingly deep element to this “horror fiction” that I think catapults it beyond the traditional genre in ways that are both promising and rewarding. Tobias Wade is a talented spin-master, and I look forward to seeing where his twisty mind goes in future!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Horror-Stories-collection-paranormal-psychopaths-ebook/dp/B072WGRGDF

Also by Tobias Wade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tobias-Wade/e/B00KMNEVD2

Read more reviews and follow Tobias on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8327290.Tobias_Wade

Connect to Tobias via his website: http://tobiaswade.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and please feel free to share the news from Carmen and Tobias. Thanks Sally

 

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Smorgasbord End of Party Playlist -Requests from Pamela Wight, Jemima Pett, Noelle Granger, Judy Martin, John Howell, Carmen Stefanescu, Lucinda Clarke, Bette Stevens and Darlene Foster


I was so pleased with the response to the party and those who took part in the quiz and left their links. I did manage to feature some of the requests but there was simply not enough time to include everyone… So… I will be sharing those guests and their links and music choices in the Blogger Daily slot for the rest of the week.

Here was the Quiz…

  • Which is your favourite recording artist or band
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • Favourite Film
  • Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive

I will get to the music in a moment, but first some recipes for those of you who chose Pasta… courtesy of Silvia’s Cucina… I used to make this when I was in my 20s for dinner parties and it is so easy to make and delicous.

Image by Siliva’s Cucina.

Home-made pasta is the ultimate Sunday Lunch treat in Italy.

Forget about a roast beast with all the trimmings, we need our share of starchy goodness, home-made, of course.

From scratch, goes without saying!

Naturally you can use store-bough dried cannelloni, but the flavor and texture won’t be as luxurious.

And, after all, this is Sunday lunch we are talking about, it’s your declaration of love to your family and those lucky friends invited to your table. It’s well worth a bit of effort.

Just make them do the dishes…

Get the recipe for this delicious cannelloni dish which is one of the first that I learnt to cook in my 20s: https://silviascucina.net/2012/04/11/cannelloni-with-ricotta-and-spinach/

Now time to share some of the guests to the party with their favourite music.. Quite a few opted for the classic pop favourites including The Beatles,  ABBA and Queen…three of my favourites too. I will try and find a track from the most popular requests that I hope you enjoy and also post as many of the individual requests too.

I will add any book links and social media and if you are not already following then this is your chance.

Pamela S. Wight

Me? I’m a quiet stay-at-homer. Glass of wine while I listen to the Beatles – I suppose Yesterday is my favorite song of theirs – and sup on my spaghetti & meatballs. Then I watch (for the 14th time? 15th?) GONE WITH THE WIND. In my imagination, Gandhi is sitting with me, cross-legged, and chanting a mantra.

Read the reviews and buy Pamela’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
https://roughwighting.net/
http://facebook.com/roughwighting
http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelawight

Jemima Pett

It’s an age thing…used to be Beatles, then possibly Yes, occasionally Ralph McTell, these days, probably Bryn Terfel! One word… oh :blush:
Pizza or Pasta: Pasta. More variety (since I’m a veggie)
Favourite Film: Local Hero. 🙂
Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive: I thought for a long time about this and couldn’t think of anyone I’d really like to meet; I’d rather stick with my image of them. And I don’t want to meet anyone dead, because, you know – icky!

Discover all of Jemima’s books and read the reviews at: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/
Blog: http://jemimapett.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemima_pett

N.A. Granger

Noelle contributed the delicious Lobster Thermidor for the party and I did feature that but not her music choice which was also for The Beatles.

You can find Noelle’s books and read the reviews at: https://www.amazon.com/N.A.-Granger/e/B00DN6I8GQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhebrewster
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nagranger/
Blog: https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/

Here for the Beatles fans is Here Comes the Sun from the Abbey Road Album : https://www.amazon.com/Abbey-Road-Beatles/dp/B0041KVZ1I

Now time to feature some Queen with several guests voting as their favourite.  Mary Smith is a fan and I shared Don’t Stop Me Now in the last party post.

Judy E. Martin

Now here are my favourites: Band has to be Queen or Meatloaf, Pasta , canneloni, Fave film has got to be ‘Grease’ I have watched it so many times.
Person I would most like to meet would probably be Oscar Wilde, I LOVE his razor sharp wit as I do Stephen Fry’s too!

Buy Judy’s book at her author page and read the reviews. https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01CPOB0M0
Blog: https://www.edwinasepisodes.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judy.martin.edwinasepisodes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Edwinasepisodes

John W. Howell

Which is your favourite recording artist or band – Queen
Pizza or Pasta – Both
Favourite Film – Ghost
Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive. – Kurt Vonnegut

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: https://johnwhowell.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HowellWave
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Carmen Stefansecu

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Mistress-Carmen-Stefanescu-ebook/dp/B06XNW7RXD
Blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carmen_Books
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283

Lucinda E. Clarke

Discover all of Lucinda’s books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

Blog: http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com
Web page: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

Here is A Crazy Little Think Called Love by Queen and I recommend this Platinum set of three Albums of their greatest hits -https://www.amazon.com/Platinum-Collection-Greatest-Hits-III/dp/B00006JIA4

 

Now time for a little solo action and to kick this off is Bette A. Stevens who is fan like many of us of Josh Grobin

Bette A. Stevens

Favorite recording artist: Josh Groban
Pizza or Pasta? Shrimp Scampi & Linguini
Favorite Film: “Sound of Music”
Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive.: Emily Dickinson
Read the reviews and buy Bette’s Books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

Here is one of my favourite tracks from Josh Groban – To Where you Are – You can find this track in this album: https://www.amazon.com/Collection-Josh-Groban/dp/B001LGB4SY

And finally today a request from children’s author Darlene Foster for her favourite Artist Bryan Adams.

Darlene Foster

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

And for Darlene here is Everything I Do and you can find this on the album The Best of Me: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Me-Bryan-Adams/dp/B0000667RO

Thank you for dropping in today and I will be sharing other guests and their music choices over the next few days.  Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 11th August 2017 – Lucinda E. Clarke, Debby Gies (FREE Book) Steve Costello, Carmen Stefanescu and Christy Birmingham


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to Friday’s Blogger Daily with a small selection of terrific blog posts in the community today.  Starting with author Lucinda E. Clarke and her guest Lesley Hayes.

My guest this week lives in Oxford, England and is a psychotherapist by profession and a prolific writer. I enjoy her books which I would describe as deep, leaving lots of room for thought long after you read the last page. Again, Lesley is one of the earliest virtual friends I met on Facebook and we’re both in the Indie Authors Support and Discussion group. We re-tweet regularly and I do recommend her books they are truly inspiring.

My name is Lesley Hayes and I write… It feels like the opening to a confession at Writer’s Anonymous, and in a way that’s appropriate. Writing is a kind of addiction, a craving that can attack the soul with the sharp bite of a need demanding to be answered in the dead of night, at dawn, or at any unguarded point throughout the day. I began writing stories while I was at school, neglecting every other subject (apart from History, which intrigued me with its many lies and mysteries) and ducked university at the age of 17 to work on Honey magazine, where my first short story was published. It was the beginning of a long and fruitful love affair with writing for publication, which has weaved in and out of everything else I’ve done over the ensuing years.

Head over and find out more about Lesley and her books: https://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/meet-lesley-hayes/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Debby Gies posted today with a #FREE offer of her book Words We Carry until August 15th.

About the book

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

Head over and read some of the sample reviews and follow links to dowload: https://dgkayewriter.com/words-carry-relationships-self-esteem-free-promotion-amazon/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Steve Costello is offering some author promotion in the form of Synopsis Thursday.. here are the details.

What an odd title to apply to Thursday! Well, not really because this is a new opportunity for authors to tell the world about their books. Here’s how it works.

You send a synopsis and link to your current or forthcoming book in 500 words, or less if you prefer and I will present it on my blog. In addition, I will promote the first one I receive each week (for seven days) on my social media accounts which are steadily growing.

No catches, that’s it, send a synopsis today.

Head over to Steve’s blog and introduce yourself: https://authorstevecostello.com/2017/08/10/synopsis-thursday/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I was delighted to be interviewed by author Carmen Stefanescu this week and here is a snippet with a few more of my secrets with others in the rest of the post…

1 . What 3 words best describe you?

Inquisitive, Supportive, Joker

2. I’m sure we all have writing rituals, even if we’re not conscious of them! Do you have one, I mean do you need music playing in the background, have a certain snack at arm’s length, write with a certain type of pen/keyboard, drink coffee/tea/milk/juice while writing?

I am pretty easy going with my writing process, but once I get started I like to work through without interruption until I have finished a chapter, short story or post. I may come back to edit later, but I like to know that it is all there.

Find out more about my secrets! and check Carmen’s blog out: https://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ie/2017/08/author-interview-and-spotlight-sally-g.html

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And finally a post from Christy Birmingham on how we should be looking at care for the elderly. My philosophy is that “We will all be there one day”.. and on the premise that we should treat people the way we wish to be treated… we need as a society to get our act together.

Many people feel that the elderly are somewhat inconvenient. These people do not, or have not, experienced the wealth of getting to know an elderly relative or friend. Remember, the elderly do not exist in a static state. They weren’t ‘born old.’ They have lived a life of full experiences, lived through social situations and adventures you can only imagine, no matter how modest and humble they might seem at this stage in their life. Age brings with its dignity, and dignity brings with it independence. The elderly deserve respect, the utmost respect we can give.

What follows is a list of ways we can respect our elderly friends or family, to make them feel what they are, truly and completely vital to the fabric of a great society.

Read the rest of this important post: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2017/08/10/respecting-elderly-relative-latter-stages-life/

That is all folks for this bumper issue.. have a wonderful weekend and there will be a few posts going out including more stories from Geoff Cronin in Milestones.. Haiku and the weekly round up on Sunday.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Carmen Stefanescu and Patricia K. Salamone


Welcome to the first of the book review posts for the week and our first author celebrating is Carmen Stefanescu with Dracula’s Prodigy.

About Dracula’s Prodigy

Running from the hands of an abusive husband, on the verge of committing suicide, a series of strange events/apparitions make Linda reassess her life. She embarks on a thorough research regarding her unusual ancestor—Vlad, the Impaler, aka Dracula.

Can Linda discover the truth regarding Vlad among the countless malicious stories, exaggerated legends and whispered slander dating back to 15th century? Is he a hero, a brave protector of his hard tried people and country? Or a cruel monster feeding on the blood of those impaled at his order?

And is good-looking Jody really helping Linda regain her trust in men and love, or is he another evil envoy of a past that haunts her and threatens her life?

The most recent review for Dracula’s Prodigy

An Engrossing Read  on August 6, 2017

A complex story that focus on a descendant of the infamous Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) that is intricately imagined and beautifully told. Linda Cartwright has no idea who the strange man in her dreams is, nor does she understand how the life she once imagined with her husband, Bill, has turned into a nightmare for her and her young daughter.

Fleeing a loveless marriage, Linda discovers courage she never realized she had, and an ancestral history rife with betrayals, revenge, and eternal devotion. Rich with details of both past and present, Carmen Stefanescu continues the story she began in Dracula’s Mistress, but offers a unique twist by placing her heroine in modern times.

I found myself caught up in the emotion of the central characters and a mystery that transcends centuries. The author’s writing flows beautifully, both visual and compelling, keeping the reader turning pages and racing to the conclusion. If you enjoy history and myth with a twinge of the paranormal, woven into a contemporary setting, this is a story you don’t want to miss.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Prodigy-Mistress-Book-ebook/dp/B071KVQ48W

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

Find out more about Carmen’s books and other published work: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ie/p/works.html

Connect to Carmen via her blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

My next reviews are for Patricia K Salamone and her book The Italian Thing which shares the trip that she and her husband took to meet his Italian relatives.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip! *Includes 26 original photos!

The most recent reviews on Amazon

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.

Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.

However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.
“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.

I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Who were out of their depth, and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

Everything will be fine”, they all said, and of course it was. A light hearted and most amusing account of an Italian America couple’s holiday to Naro, Italy. Patricia and Mike travel from Florida in the USA to experience life with Mike’s relatives. They are Italian so it will be a doddle, they think. This book is a heart warming account of how very different life proves to be on the other side of the pond and how this couple come to realise that being an Italian in Italy is a little different from being an American of Italian extraction.

They are welcomed, in what I came to think of as “true Italian style”, by their extended family as they all gathered for one fantastic meal after another to celebrate their American relatives visit to the continent. Mike and Patricia learn how to take a hand shower in the bath and how to mop up the bathroom from top to bottom afterwards, are introduced to the delicious joys of homemade bread, still warm from the oven and Patricia gets an opportunity to show off her own cooking skills when she make a tomato based sauce for a family event. Patricia also learns to drive like a real Italian and only scrapes the car once during the entire holiday. In addition to the delightful people, Patricia and Mike are introduced to the delights of Italian pastries, delicious food served on plastic plates and a toilet facility with no door.

I read this book with my son, Michael, aged eleven, while my older son, Gregory, aged fourteen, listened. Michael was completely taken with the story and chose this book as the subject of his second term book review for school. He has been walking around ever since we read it telling me that everything, from not brushing his teeth to gobbling all the left overs is “the Italian thing!”. A truly worthwhile read for everyone and anyone who enjoys life and a jolly good laugh.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19295811-the-italian-thing

Connect to Patricia and enjoy her fiction series: https://the-italian-thing.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and please spread the news about these talented writers and their new reviews. Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Poetry – Self- Portrait by Carmen Stefanescu


I am delighted to share Self-Portrait by Carmen Stefanescu as part of the new poetry series. If you would like to share your poem here then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and we can talk about what I need to showcase you and your other work.

SELF- PORTRAIT

I am the seagull
whose wings have been broken.
I am the frail leaf
snatched by the gust.
I am the hour
that’s already wasted,
I am a dream
that belongs to the past.

I am the foreseer
that people mock at,
Or the guitar
that has no more strings,
I’m the dried well
that won’t quench the thirst,
I am the jester
scorned by the kings.

I’m not the bright rainbow
that shines after storms,
Or the swift eagle
high up in the sky.
I am not the oak tree
defying the time.
I am just a drifter
reluctant to die !

©Carmen Stefanescu 2017

Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Books by Carmen Stefanescu

Read the reviews so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Prodigy-Mistress-Book-ebook/dp/B071KVQ48W

Buy Dracula’s Mistress: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Mistress-Carmen-Stefanescu-ebook/dp/B06XNW7RXD

Connect to Carmen

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624397.Carmen_Stefanescu
Blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carmen_Books
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/carmens007/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283
Google: https://plus.google.com/117216040843648957646/posts

If you would like to share your poetry and also your other written work then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Carmen Stefanescu, Rick McBee and Malia Ann Haberman


Welcome to the Friday author update and good news for Carmen Stefanescu this week with a brand new release, Dracula’s Prodigy and another great review for her book Until Life us do Part that is already on the shelves of the bookstore.

About Dracula’s Prodigy

Running from the hands of an abusive husband, on the verge of committing suicide, a series of strange events/apparitions make Linda reassess her life. She embarks on a thorough research regarding her unusual ancestor—Vlad, the Impaler, aka Dracula.

Can Linda discover the truth regarding Vlad among the countless malicious stories, exaggerated legends and whispered slander dating back to 15th century? Is he a hero, a brave protector of his hard tried people and country? Or a cruel monster feeding on the blood of those impaled at his order?

And is good-looking Jody really helping Linda regain her trust in men and love, or is he another evil envoy of a past that haunts her and threatens her life?

Two of the early reviews for the book

This was a solid continuation of Dracula’s Mistress although it was a surprising twist that this book was based in modern times, I was expecting it to be his daughter’s story next but this was a fun and interesting story and I thoroughly enjoyed it perhaps even more than the first book. I will be interested in seeing what comes next.
If you enjoy a story with a bit of romance, despair and a historical twist than I believe you will enjoy this story.

Suspense, intrigue and blood seekers. The characters were wildly tasteful. It was a great weekend read. Chapters grew your interest as you hoped to see good things happen for those that needed it. Any Dracula’s fans needs to get this. I love vamps.

Read the reviews so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Prodigy-Mistress-Book-ebook/dp/B071KVQ48W

Buy Dracula’s Mistress: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Mistress-Carmen-Stefanescu-ebook/dp/B06XNW7RXD

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

The latest review for Till Life do us Part

A ghostly suspense that gives a sense of old world charm, but is set mostly in the contemporary era. Ms Stefanescu has a style all her own, rich with location descriptions, and full of quirky characters.

Barbara Heyer is a child when she realizes she can hear the voices of dead people. These ghostly whispers seek her assistance in easing the pain of their loved one’s whom death has forced them to leave behind. Along her journey, she gets mixed up with brutal murderers and their victims, including her brother. And, of course, she meets a gorgeous detective who makes her feel more than she ever has before. But their love story is not smooth, and Barbara is forced to explore her previous life where she met a violent death.

Ms Stefanescu weaves the past and present together seamlessly, and keeps the pace tight. I loved how she made Barbara’s communication with ghosts so natural, like it was something that was a normal occurrence in our lives. And I also loved the travel back in time, to when Barbara was sadly abused and victimized as a witch.

I must admit to being a tad impatient with our intrepid detective. He moved too slowly for my liking as it took him fourteen years to close the deal with our lovely Barbara.

But overall, I was hooked from the first page, and took very few breaks, as I was desperate to know how the story ended. I highly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a ghostly paranormal written in an old-world style. And I award it a fantastic 5 stars!

Read all the reviews and buy Till Life us do Part: https://www.amazon.com/Till-Life-Do-Us-Part-ebook/dp/B01GGKSQEY

Connect to Carmen via her blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

My second update is for Rick McBee and his book The Ghosts of Ukuthula set in South Africa.

About the book

By 1989 the majority of African nations have gained liberation from colonial rule. One by one, as these countries throw off the mantle of white European oppression, the pressure on others increases. In south Africa this only hardens the intransigence of the white rulers. The Republic of South Africa eventually remains as the last white minority dominated nation in Africa. A nation is about to explode.

In an attempt to lower the levels of violence, the moderate South African leaders begin negotiations to loosen the reins of apartheid. Allowing black Africans into the government is seen as a better option than having terrorism tear the nation apart. But, as with all periods of change, not everyone is happy with their new plans.

The hard liners of apartheid, within the secret police and ruling government, are out to maintain their power. They form an unholy alliance with the communist forces of the black liberation army under the control of Russia’s Colonel Petrov. Thus a ‘Third Force’ is formed within the country of South Africa, but controlled by outsiders.

The ‘Third Force” is bent on increasing tensions and violence between the black African tribes and white Africans ruling the country. The Fascist Afrikaners believe that black violence will provoke a backlash from the white community and allow apartheid to be reinstated in full force. The Communists believe that this same violence will result in a black African uprising. They want chaos so they can take complete control of the country and kick out the whites.

The most recent review on Amazon and Goodreads

Intervention on February 3, 2017

Jacob Nkwe, aka Zulu, was CIA and worked for Jim Collins, a director in the state department. Zulu’s mission was to collect intel on Colonel Petrov, a Russian who led a force trying to prevent a black coalition government in South Africa. Petrov was going to put his own people in power and steal the county’s resources. When Zulu’s office building in Pretoria was bombed, he went ghost and got a job at a game park in Namibia. He also got in a gang smuggling weapons for diamonds with half brother, Bakai. Debbie Kotzee, the park manager, had an affair with Zulu, but was linked to the South African Secret Police. At this point McBee ups the plot’s intensity as his characters escape danger and save South Africa’s future.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Ukuthula-Rick-McBee-ebook/dp/B01GNGCKHK

Also by Rick McBee

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Rick-McBee/e/B001K8HIXI

Connect to Richard via his blog: https://rickmcbee.me

The final update today is for author Malia Ann Haberman and the second book in The Chase Tinker Series, Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets.

About the book

After spending the summer at his grandfather’s gigantic, incredibly magical house, thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre, or that the secrets and lies couldn’t get any worse, but he was wrong.

As summer turns into Autumn, join Chase and his family for even more magical craziness. Craziness that will include: the sneezing of strange powers, the reappearance of the wicked Marlowe family, another frightening kidnapping, the discovery of a mysterious, magical Japanese-American girl, a dangerous rescue mission, and a secret so mind-boggling, it will lead to a shocking climatic finish that will turn Chase’s world completely upside down.

Fantastic Read! on April 24, 2017

This is the second book in The Chase Tinker series. I absolutely loved it!

Chase Tinker is a wonderful character and I really liked him from the first time I met him in the first book. I have enjoyed watching his development from a frustrated teen into someone who I would be proud to know.

In this second book, which is told mostly from Chase’s point of view though other characters also have their say, Chase finds himself having to deal with new magical powers that he struggles to control. Not only that, the Marlowe’s are still intent on finding the Relic hidden in the attic of the Tinker house. Shocking secrets are revealed and a new face is introduced. Nori is the same age as Chase and is a cousin to Chase, Andy and Janie.

This is a wonderful story full of adventure, danger and mystery, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as Chase, Andy, Nori and Persephone face danger once more. There are several twists and turns that keep a reader guessing. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end. There’s a huge fight scene full of action and danger, which was described in such detail that I could picture it in my mind with ease. This fight leads to a shocking accident that brought tears to my eyes. I reached the end of the book with a little bit of sadness, as I didn’t want the story to end. This book doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but it still left me looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny, as soon as possible.

Malia Ann Haberman has written a entertaining and exciting story for middle grade children. This is the sequel to her debut book. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and imaginative. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers aged 9 to 14. However, I also recommend this book (and series) to adults who love reading middle grade fantasy, or to those who are fans of books like Harry Potter.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chase-Tinker-House-Secrets-Book-ebook/dp/B01LWR2L2O/

Other books in the series and also by Malia Ann Haberman

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Find out more about Malia Ann Haberman and her books: https://www.amazon.com/Malia-Ann-Haberman/e/B009CJ0DNE

Connect to Malia Ann Haberman via her blog: https://maliaannhaberman.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great if you could share the news from these authors by hitting a couple of share buttons on your way out the door.. thank you Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Dracula’s Mistress by Carmen Stefanescu


Welcome to new author on the shelves Carmen Stefanescu, with her gothic paranormal Dracula’s Mistress. Only released on March 15th it is already receiving great reviews.

About Dracula’s Mistress

From the day that the powerful, brave and merciless Vlad III Basarab, a descendant of the Draculesti family—better known to most people as the infamous vampire Dracula—ascends the throne, he knows only battles, betrayal and intrigue.

Evil grips the town of Targoviste, capital residence of Walachia. The secrets behind the stone walls of the palace are as dark and violent as a winter’s night, as terrifying as the prince’s deeds. Dead bodies, drained of blood and missing their little finger keep appearing in the streets at night.

Lovely, smart, determined, Angela Oltenescu ignores all the aggressive rumors and her mother’s warning regarding Vlad. Will she suffer the consequences of falling in love with a man nicknamed Dracula by his enemies—an infamous creature of the night?

Rich, sly, treacherous, Marin Craioveanu, a powerful landlord, craves the same woman loved by Vlad. Marin’s hatred toward the prince will make him an ally to Handsome Radu, Vlad’s brother and Sultan’s friend, ready to sell the country to the Ottomans to get rid of his rival.

Dracula’s Mistress will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction.

Two of the recent reviews for Dracula’s Mistress

Enjoyable read on April 3, 2017

Dracula’s Mistress Kindle Edition by Carmen Stefanescu (Author) starts out in 1462 with the introduction of Angela who is at the palace with her father Gregore, a military man and confident to the Prince. Tension and action is instantly introduced to the story conflicting the thrown and wealthy noblemen with mention of the blood shed in building the castle by many not used to hard labor died. The walls of the palace are proverbially “haunted” with their blood. The tension of who will succeed or maintain the thrown adds to the tension.

The story progresses on and enters the love interest who ascends to the throne, a descendant of the Draculesti family—more widely known as Dracula, the vampire. And here is where the dark, secret story behind the palace’s walls comes alive. Angela, young and naïve and clearly enamored with the story’s love interest, Dracula, ignores the rumors.

As if that’s not conflict enough there is a love triangle involved to complicate matters further. The story progresses at a fast clip that holds interest. Interspersed on the action and story line are beautifully crafted clothing, manners, and appropriate historical factors. Without retelling this entire well-written story, suffice it to say it will hold interest and for me was very enjoyable. A must read for Gothic paranormal fans

on April 4, 2017

This book was an unusual deviation for me, but I occasionally get in the mood for historical fiction, and lately I’ve watched a ton of old Dracula movies, so I was drawn in by this title.

Lots of betrayal and secrets scattered throughout this gothic tale, kept my interest although I did have to stop reading sometimes to get the hairs on my neck to go down. We are dealing with Dracula’s descendant, so we expect dark eeriness and lifeless bodies, but author Stefanescu wove an unusual story together that keeps readers intrigued despite its gory details.

I appreciated the character, Angela, being a brave woman. Every novel needs one. But I almost jumped out of my skin during her exploits and going out into the dark evenings might become more rare for me.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Mistress-Carmen-Stefanescu-ebook/dp/B06XNW7RXD

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

One of the excellent reviews for Till Life us Do Part

A compelling novel that delves into the arena of past life regression and reincarnation. The author has put an original twist on the subject of souls crossing decades, even centuries. Barbara Heyer is gifted with the ability to communicate with spirits of the departed. But when her brother is suspected of murdering his girlfriend, Barbara’s life careens with others in ways she never expected—particularly when handsome detective Patrick Fisher is assigned to the case.

The author deftly juggles multiple storylines and plots throughout this engaging novel—Barbara and Patrick, a young girl named Catherine who knows far more than possible for her age, a doomed centuries-old love affair, and deceptive dealings in Patrick’s police department. Part murder mystery, part romance, and part supernatural journey, TILL LIFE DO US PART is a book filled with multiple twists, turns, and surprising revelations. The author’s take on reincarnation is uniquely presented and richly rewarding for the reader.

When the book shifts in time, you are transported to another age, as vividly realized as present day in the author’s capable hands. The historical setting is superb, a time when just whispers of witchcraft could send someone to the stake. Tie all of these elements together for an explosive finish in the present day, and you have a riveting story that stays with you long after you close the cover.

About Carmen Stefanescu

Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Connect to Carmen

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624397.Carmen_Stefanescu
Blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carmen_Books
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/carmens007/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283
Google: https://plus.google.com/117216040843648957646/posts

Thank you for dropping in today and if you would like to join Carmen on the shelves of the bookstore, please check this post. Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/