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/