Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Book on the Shelves – Warning Signs: A novel about Obsession by Carol Balawyder


Carol Balawyder has a brand new book out which I am delighted to showcase today – A psychological thriller – Warning Signs: A novel about Obsession.

About the book

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?

Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.

Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

Buy the book $2.38 as of today: Amazon US

and £2.27 as of today: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Carol Balawyder

One of the reviews for Missi’s Dating Adventures.

A story of the mishaps of dating in middle-age for a 45-year old divorced woman. Missi Morgan relates her comical and sometimes sad and disappointing adventures in finding the right man to date.

Men and women of all ages can learn a lot about dating by reading this entertaining book. The author shared the protagonist’s dismay after each unsuccessful date. Missi feels lost and alone since all her friends have significant others. She doesn’t give up but loses a little of herself in the process of trying to find out what each of her prospective dates expects from her.

This book displayed humor, sadness, disappointment in others and finally realization of self worth. Will Missi find the perfect man for her or will she settle for one that is not? Well, I guess you will have to read it to find out. An interesting and worthwhile read.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Carol on: Goodreads

About Carol Balawyder

Carol was born in Quebec but now lives in Montreal. After studying Early Childhood Education and spending time amongst the mayhem that is called ‘Kindergarten’, she then went on to obtain a B.A. in Education so that she could teach in High Schools. After the often challenging task of introducing poetry to teenagers Carol moved on to teaching English as a second language.

Fast forward through a trip in her early 20s (involved working passage on a Norwegian cargo ship) to Rotterdam and then to the British Library Museum to read the heavily guarded original Lewis Carroll manuscript of Alice in Wonderland. Then on to Concordia University in Montreal to study Applied Linguistics to M.A level and the publication of ESL books Open For Business and Windows on Sci-Tech under the name of Carol Ann Foumier.

Then came the desire to pen crime novels, and aware that it is expected that these be accurate and factual, Carol obtained a M.Sc. in Criminology. However writing crime stories was put on the back burner, as Carol put her degree to good use, teaching Police Technology and Corrections for 18 years in a college in Montreal. (We all know where to go when we have a crime story line that is not panning out!)

For some people the connection between crime and dating is all too apparent particularly when getting back on the dating scene after a divorce. After a long term relationship the prospect can be daunting and fraught with pitfalls, humour if you can find it and perhaps the need to kiss a lot of frogs.

Connect to Carol.

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/cbala
Website – http://carolbalawyder.com/
Blog- http://carolbalawyder.com/blog/

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Throwback Thursday – Carol Balawyder and Christine Campbell


A slightly different theme to the Thursday edition of Air Your Reviews as I shall be featuring earlier books of authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with one of their reviews. We tend to focus on the current books we have written but it does mean that others do not get the attention they still deserve.

My first author with a book that has not featured here before in its own right is one of the Getting to Mr. Right SeriesCafe Paradise by Carol Balawyder.

About the Cafe Paradise

Most of Suzy Paradise’s dreams died along with her son over twenty years ago.
One thing has re-ignited her passion for living – running her own café, which specializes in home-baked donuts. For Suzy, this is a long-cherished dream come true. Her business is starting to flounder when Donuts-A-Million, a giant chain, opens across the street from her. Her unexpected attraction to Coen Walsh, a regular customer at her café, creates more tension when she learns of his affiliation with her competitor.
Café Paradise is about Suzy’s fight to save her business in spite of the odds. Sometimes, she realizes, dreams have an expiration date and it takes just as much courage to let them go.
Along the way, she must re-define the meaning of work, family and romance so she can find her own formula for happiness.

One of the excellent reviews for the book

Do Not Read When Hungry  on December 10, 2015

Dreams are on the line in this women’s fiction novella by accomplished writer, Carol Balawyder.

Café owner, Susie Paradise realized her dream when she opened a bakery and coffee shop. But when a national donut chain opens across the street from her shop, business dives, which threatens to kill her dream and the livelihood of those on her payroll.

Month after month, her financial and business situation worsens, and she is forced to go to the bank to ask for additional capital. Denied, she has no choice but to shut down her dream. But before waving the white flag of surrender, a fairy godmother in the form of her best friend swoops in with 1) a business loan, 2) a new location in a lower rent district, 3) and loyal, appreciative customers. These actions are enough to save Susie’s dream.

One of the critical elements to saving the café was Susie’s willingness to be flexible; to see her dream in a different way. That’s one of the things I liked about this story—the dream was saved but only because the main character moved out of her own way. I know this is fiction but it’s a great life lesson for all.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/CAFE-PARADISE-Getting-Mr-Right-ebook/dp/B0148S3UTC

Read other reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26171577-cafe-paradise

Also by Carol Balawyder

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Balawyder/e/B00QYYX008

Read more reviews and follow Carol on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7704883.Carol_Balawyder

Connect to Carol via her website: https://carolbalawyder.com/

My next author with a book that was released in 2015 is Christine Campbell and the first of her books in The Reluctant Detective Series : Searching for Summer

About Searching for Summer

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

One of the reviews for the book

Excellent Read  on September 15, 2015

This book has been labeled as Women’s Literature and Cozy Mystery. It encompasses the elements of both. The story is about a woman searching for her daughter, Summer. In the process of this journey, our protagonist, Mirabelle examines her own life. She lost her father at an early age and never recovered from that. Now she must cross-examine her single parenting skills to understand where she went wrong with her own child.

Mirabelle’s self-examination is painful, heart wrenching, and at time seems self-defeating. But our heroine has an inner core of strength and willingness to accept her own shortcomings. What makes this narrative so compelling is the man in her life. He is a policeman who is willing to go above and beyond his job demands to help find Summer, because of his love for Mirabelle.

There are many books where the woman is strong, tough, and proves she can survive on her own. That is simply not realistic. We humans do not live in a vacuum and survival is so much more than just existing from day to day. We all need help at stressful times in our lives; be they family, friends, or even a stranger. That is why this story is so refreshing, with its message of goodness and love offered by our fellow humans.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:  https://www.amazon.com/Searching-Summer-Reluctant-Detective-Book-ebook/dp/B00TDYRLGK

Also by Christine Campbell

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her website: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

Would you like to give one of your earlier books a bit of love?  Perhaps the first book in a series? Let me know sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Dan Alatorre and Carol Balawyder


I have been checking on the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and their reviews particularly for previous books. It is very important to keep older books in the spotlight as there is a new and growing audience every day who need to be introduced to them.  It is also useful if you are bringing out a new book in the next few months to keep work in front of your previous readers.

That being the case take a look at some of your other work and let me have the link to its most recent great review and I will showcase here.

Here is a perfect example. Savvy Stories – Funny things I learned from my daughter by Dan Alatorre was published in paperback and has received over 50 great reviews.

About the book

A funny look at childhood’s lost, magical moments, viewed through the heart of a father Every kid does funny stuff, whether it’s asking innocent questions out loud to strangers (“Is that his butt?”) or a toddler attempting to play hopscotch on the paver stones of the mall sidewalk while you’re trying to rush to a store, a baby wanting to see how many toys will float in the dog’s water dish, or a kid constantly asking to play with the “pad” – until you realize you’ve been saying “We’ll play with my iPad later” translates as “We’ll play with my pad later” to a kid…

We’ve all been there. These are the many funny little moments that happen between me and my child – or between you and your child – that happen a thousand times a day, and we laugh and move on, too busy to really take note and too small to remember, but if we could only write them down what a funny little basket of memories we would have. My kid is probably no funnier than yours. It just all happens so fast that we wonder where the time went, so I tried my best to write some of it down. I hope you enjoy it, and that it brings back some sweet memories for you that you had forgotten about.

I loved this book! It is perfect for any parent out there! I found it easy to follow and interesting to read, although the little girl is my son’s best friend so this also makes it more exciting to read! I was hooked from the first page and was reading it every moment I got free! It’s always nice to know the things you think about or experience, other parents think about or experience as well. This is about a father’s view on his little girl’s birth and beyond. The troubles and experiences and the love for his daughter and wife. It is better then a chick flick movie, as it’s a real experience and real love! It brought smiles and some parts tears!

Don’t want to give away anything, but I found it addicting to read and could relate to things and others put me in WOW what a scary moment! Having six children myself, I love reading about other’s stories and things, but having a guy’s side of view was really cool. Also made me wish I had recorded more of my children then I did! Michele is a very blessed woman to have such a wonderful daughter and husband and to have everything recorded/journal of the moments you never want to forget!!

I found this book very addicting and very well written. I am in the process of reading more books by Dan Alatorre! Great author and Beyond Awesome book!!

Highly recommend this book to any parent or parent to be! Especially first time mom’s and dad’s would really enjoy this.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Savvy-Stories-Things-Learned-Daughter-ebook/dp/B00EUMARZM

A selection of books by Dan Alatorre

Find out about Dan Alattore, read the reviews and buy all his books: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU

Next is the book released by Carol Balawyder in January 2016 –  Not By Design: A Getting to Mr. Right Series

About the book

In a life turned upside down, Felicity finds joy is sometimes just around the corner.

Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes.
Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths.

Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in way

Not by Design Works on September 2, 2016

“Not by Design” is the latest offering from multi-published women’s fiction author Carol Balawyder. It is a sequel to “Getting to Mr. Right,” which you should read if you haven’t. “Getting to Mr. Right” is the story of four women who meet at a support group (the focus of which is women who have men/father issues) and form lasting, sincere friendships.

“Not by Design” is Felicity Starr’s story. She is one of the women in the support group, and she has it all—looks, youth, a rich father, talent, true-heart friends and the love of a handsome, successful man. She is living a fairy tale life in France, studying art and pursuing a career in art, while enjoying an active social/love life. But even fairy tales are wrought with obstacles and that’s exactly what our heroine encounters—one setback after another. There’s the death of her father, a dwindling bank account which brings on financial woes, an art career that has stalled, and the painful decision to end her relationship with her fiancé and call off the wedding. But that’s not all. The biggest blow of all—a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). With all this dumped on her, Felicity makes the hard decision to release her dream of being an artist and living in France. She returns home to Canada to try and piece a life together.

The move back home is met with more bitterness. She fights to recover her reputation in the work world. She has disagreements with her mother and step-mother. She gambles on several romantic interests and loses. And, she must make a slew of difficult choices in regard to her living arrangements and medical treatment, decisions made more difficult because of her limited funds. One wonders if Felicity will ever catch a break when…help arrives. At the strong suggestion of her doctor, she attends a MS support group meeting and finds the support and acceptance she so desperately needs. With the encouragement of the group, she shares her medical condition with her friends, who surround her with love, care and acceptance. The end of the story details the good life Felicity has finally secured. No, it’s not the one she would have designed for herself, but it works. She’s happy.

This is a story that will take you low on the scale of human emotions and then pick you up. You will feel despair, then happiness; fear, then joy. This emotional seesaw is achieved in part by the story’s conflict—dreams and desire versus medical and financial worries, a situation many readers may relate to. I certainly did. And then there’s the overall story question: are we willing to release our version of our dream or life in exchange for an uncertain version? This is the question Felicity struggles with throughout the story but I dare say it is one many readers struggle with as well.

There are many things to appreciate about this story. It is inspiring, well written and has relatable characters. But the one aspect I appreciated the most was the focus on MS. Reading about the symptoms, the various treatments, the expense, and how it requires life adjustments was a real education. Thank you Carol for that.

I finished reading the book and shut down my e-reader thinking, I can’t wait to read the remaining sequel. The other three—“Café Paradise,” “Missi’s Dating Adventures” and “Not by Design”—have been purely enjoyable. Check ‘em out and see for yourself.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Design-Getting-Mr-Right-ebook/product-reviews/B01BCUDDPK

Also by Carol Balawyder

Find about more about Carol Balawyder, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Balawyder/e/B00HVETKWM

You will find over 160 authors and their books in the Cafe and Bookstore.

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

Air your Reviews is open to authors and book reviewers in the bookstore or not.  But if you would like to be in the bookstore then take a look at the post above for details and I will do a full promotion for your first post.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Not by Design – Getting to Mr. Right Series by Carol Balawyder


new-on-the-shelves-update

Delighted to welcome Carol Balawyder to the Cafe and Bookstore with an introduction to her books. The main feature is the most recent in her series Getting to Mr. Right – Not by Design.

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About the Book

In a life turned upside down, Felicity finds joy is sometimes just around the corner.

Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes.

Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.

Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths.

Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in ways she never imagined – in a life that’s not by design.

Just two of the reviews for the book.

When I began reading Not By Design, I expected it to be a twist on a traditional romance novel but was delightfully surprised to find it was much more than just a variation of the conventional romance. Felicity left her father’s company in Montreal and moved to Rome to pursue her career in art causing a rift between Felicity and her father that could not be healed. While in Rome, she found love and a proposal of marriage, along with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. When Marco, her fiance, learned of her diagnosis, he said, “Arrivederci.” Frightened about what was in store for her in the future, Felicity decided to move back to Montreal where she could have health insurance and be near her life long friends Missi, Suzy, and Campbell. But what frightens her the most is whether or not with her diagnosis, will she ever be able to find true love.

The characters were true to life, and as much as I loved Felicity from the start, I equally disliked Marco. Felicity had a love-hate relationship with her mother Nicole in the beginning, but I was happy to see some of the walls between them torn down and a much better mother-daughter relationship take hold. I love characters that serve to lift up a friend or family member. Missi, Suzy, and Campbell convince her to get a puppy and a cane. Her friend Eduardo, who ran an art gallery, and her new found friend Jeff who walked his dog Clyde at the same dog park where Felicity walked her dog Bonnie, all figure into Felicity’s acceptance of her multiple sclerosis and her outlook on the future.

Third in Carol’s Getting to Mr. Right series, this continues the adventures of Felicity Starr as she continues her struggle to find contentment in a tumultuous world. Thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is caught up in a flurry of wedding plans to a man she subconsciously (and sometimes more) is unsure of when calamity strikes. Her father’s sudden death and her struggles with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis prove too much for her fiancee and he leaves her. Daunted but unbroken, Felicity finds strength in these unexpected changes and prepares to embrace a world of new truths.

This is a story so many young women will relate to. Told with the honesty we’ve become used to from Carol Balawyder, she gives us a template for surviving this type of life-changing events. If your life is in turmoil, or if it’s taken directions you didn’t expect, this is the book you should read.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Design-Getting-Mr-Right-ebook/dp/B01BCUDDPK

Also by Carol Balawyder

gettingtomrright_kindle_small15 51pqvjnxvxl-_uy250_ 41u05mj2lal-_uy250_ mourning-has-brokenRead all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Balawyder/e/B00HVETKWM

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About Carol Balawyder

Carol was born in Quebec but now lives in Montreal. After studying Early Childhood Education and spending time amongst the mayhem that is called ‘Kindergarten’, she then went on to obtain a B.A. in Education so that she could teach in High Schools. After the often challenging task of introducing poetry to teenagers Carol moved on to teaching English as a second language.

Fast forward through a trip in her early 20s (involved working passage on a Norwegian cargo ship) to Rotterdam and then to the British Library Museum to read the heavily guarded original Lewis Carroll manuscript of Alice in Wonderland. Then on to Concordia University in Montreal to study Applied Linguistics to M.A level and the publication of ESL books Open For Business and Windows on Sci-Tech under the name of Carol Ann Foumier.

Then came the desire to pen crime novels, and aware that it is expected that these be accurate and factual, Carol obtained a M.Sc. in Criminology. However writing crime stories was put on the back burner, as Carol put her degree to good use, teaching Police Technology and Corrections for 18 years in a college in Montreal. (We all know where to go when we have a crime story line that is not panning out!)

For some people the connection between crime and dating is all too apparent particularly when getting back on the dating scene after a divorce. After a long term relationship the prospect can be daunting and fraught with pitfalls, humour if you can find it and perhaps the need to kiss a lot of frogs.

Connect to Carol.

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7704883.Carol_Balawyder
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/cbala
Website – http://carolbalawyder.com/
Blog- http://carolbalawyder.com/blog/

Thanks for joining us today and it would be great if you could share with your own connections. And if you would like to be in the Cafe and Bookstore with a crowd of other talented writers then please take a look at how to do that.

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

If you are already in the bookstore and would like to share news of a recent release or a great review then give me a shout on sallygcronin@gmail.com  Thanks Sally