Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Memoir Geoff Le Pard, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

One of the recent reviews for Apprenticed to My Mother

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and heartwarming memoir  Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2021

I never thought of myself as a memoir reader, but when they’re this entertaining, I can’t help but fall in love with the genre. I’ve read a book of short stories by Geoff Le Pard and decided to give his memoir about his mother, Barbara, a try. What a touching book full of humor, compassion, and love. Lots of love.

The book starts with the funeral of Le Pard’s father, Desmond, an event that changed Geoff’s relationship with his mother, bringing it front and center. He became an unwitting “apprentice” for his father’s role, and got an education from his mother about her expectations. It made sense that his father’s death had created his opportunity and that the book would start at that point. But the book isn’t only about Barbara. Each chapter ends with a poem by Desmond, poems that highlighted this thoughtful and talented man and how much he loved his wife, family, and life in general.

As a person who takes care of her elderly parents, I could relate to many of the events that take place in the book from the baffling and frustrating to the downright hysterical. Though the book covers the last years of his mother’s life, there are plenty of look-backs to early times that give a well-rounded and colorful look into the Le Pard household. I laughed out loud at the Manure Years (something we had every spring at our house too), and the escaped guinea pig adventure. Another funny anecdote was after Barbara’s cataract surgery at the age of 82, when she took the author to task for not telling her that she had wrinkles. And there was the car that needed a half dozen clutch replacements… and Gran selling the garden vegetables when no one was looking…

I highly recommend this book to readers of memoirs who want to laugh, have their hearts warmed, and perhaps shed a tear.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreads: Geoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

Meet Toni Pike

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

Books by Toni Pike for children and adults

One of the recent reviews for Brody Cody and The Stepmother from Outer Space

Priscilla Bettis 5.0 out of 5 stars Cute and Exciting  Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2021

Brody Cody is seven years old. His widower dad marries a new woman, and Brody’s life turns upside down!

It’s a cute story. I smiled SO much while reading it, and the alien discovery and investigation are exciting. Pike chooses the best names, like Brody Cody, Peppermint, and Persimmon, and Brody’s house is on Flowerpetal Street.

Five fun stars!

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter: @piketoni1

Meet Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Marc Cameron, and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Books by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

One of the recent reviews for The Rise of Gadriel

 Karen Ingalls5.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner  Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2021

The final book of the trilogy is as good as the first two. The struggle between good and evil is wonderfully written with vivid descriptions. During some passages, the author leaves nothing to the imagination. And, there are passages that are not for the faint of heart.

An excellent book that is well worth reading.

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US and : Amazon UK – Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – New Book on the Shelves #Ghosts – Brody Cody and the Haunted Vacation House by Toni Pike.


Delighted to share the news of the second children’s book by Toni Pike released a few days ago..Brody Cody and the Haunted Vacation House (Brody Cody Series Book Two)

About the book

Brody Cody loves his new stepmother but is surprised to hear that she is expecting a baby. To celebrate, his parents take Brody and his friends away for a week to a very spooky house in the Blue Mountains, owned by the elderly and even spookier Mr Sludge.

Very strange things start to happen, and the friends soon become convinced that the house is haunted. They love scary stories and know all about ghosts, but will they be able to solve the mystery?

A hilarious adventure for children aged 6-9.

It would be best to read the series in order. Book 1 is BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE.

One of the early reviews for the book

Uma Iyer Van Roosenbeek 5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful children’s adventure!!!  Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2021

Brody suddenly discovers that he is going to be a brother and the idea doesn’t appeal to him as he has been an only child so far!

His parents plan a getaway and decide to take all of Brody’s friends to have some extra fun!

They get to stay in a real mansion and are enjoying their stay despite some misadventures!!! They also decide to tackle the ghost that they keep encountering !

What happens when they encounter the ghost and the aftermath is the content of this enchanting book. The characters are totally lovable!!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Toni Pike for children

Connect to Toni: Buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter: @piketoni1

About Toni Pike

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

 

Thanks for visiting today and it would be great if you could share the news of Toni’s newest children’s book..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Humour J. E. Pinto


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Books by Jacqui Murray

A recent review for Survival of the Fittest
Anneli 5.0 out of 5 stars  Very Engaging  Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2020
Verified Purchase
The story of five tribes of early man searching for living space is fiction, of course, but it is well researched and based on events that might have happened 850,000 years ago. These tribes traveled great distances looking for land that would provide their basic needs: food, water, shelter, and safety from other tribes who may want to drive them out, kill them, or even eat them.

Author Jacqui Murray expertly develops the main characters of each tribe, revealing their emotions and personality traits which are not so different from our own. But much more so than our modern man, these people, by necessity, had to be resourceful, fearless, and incredibly tough. Only the fittest would live to carry on.
The title of this fascinating novel is perfect. “Survival of the Fittest” is a book I did not want to put down. I was very happy to know there was more adventure to come in “The Quest for Home,” Book Two of this series.

Jacqui Murray, BuyAmazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter@WordDreams

Meet Toni Pike

Toni Pike’s main passions are writing, travelling and spending time with family and friends, and she believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day. After starting her career as a veterinary surgeon, she later taught high school and had a successful career in the public service. She now lives in Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

Pike is the author of Dead Dry Heart – a psychological thriller, and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: The Magus Covenant, The Rock of Magus, The Magus Epiphany and Holy Spear of Magus.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. The One Way Diet is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. Happy Travels 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

Books by Toni Pike

One of the recent reviews for Brody Cody

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious fun for kids  Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020

This book is a hilarious and fun read for young readers aged 7 to 13 years old. It is quite reminiscent, with its quirky and slightly dark humour, of Roald Dahl’s books, in particular, it reminded me a bit of James and the Giant Peach where James’ parents are eaten by a rampaging rhinoceros.

Cody, the young hero if this book, is raised by his relaxed and nonchalant father after his mother is mowed down unexpectedly by a runaway bus. Cody is spared because he flies out of his pram and across into the hands of the police constable who catches him like a baseball.

Cody is a happy boy who lives with no rules and little parental intervention. His father works from home in the afternoons, and is not given to checking on Cody’s homework or making sure it is done. They have an interesting diet too that comprises of sweet and sickly cereal in the morning and some fabulously unhealthy father created meals in the evenings.

Cody is happy and doesn’t believe he needs a mother like other children have. He has freedom and he is happy living with his father.

One day, Cody’s father needs to go away to an out-of-town conference. Cody cannot go with him and is sent to his friend’s home for this period. Cody’s friend has a mother and she sets about trying to mend Cody’s lackadaisical ways. Just before Cody is due to go home, he gets a quick call from his father telling him he has met and married a woman he met at the conference.

Cody is horrified and returns home quite determined to reject this new mother, but things don’t go quite according to plan. Cody discovers things about his new mother than lead him to believe she is an alien.

This really is a rollicking good story and young children will love it.

Toni Pike, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter: @piketoni1

Meet J. E. Pinto

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs. Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books.

A review for Daddy won’t let Mom Drive the Car

CuteAsADaisy  4.0 out of 5 stars Back Eyes  Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2020

As a mother of a daughter who is legally blind I absolutely loved listening to this book. It a group of short stories from a blind mother with a mix of life lessons, cute stories, frustrating moments from ignorant and some just plain rude people. She even included her solution to problems like using hot glue (brilliant and Thank you!) to baking recipes. I loved the stories about her “Back eyes” all mom’s have them! Whether you are blind or not this is a great book for parents in any stage. I liked the little stories format and would love to hear more from this author. The narrator did a great job and was easy to listen. This was a really fun and quick read.

J. E. Pinto, Buy:Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow J.E. Pinto : Goodreads –  Facebook: Author J. E. Pinto

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting more of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and discovering their books. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Familydrama James J. Cudney, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his family drama Father Figure.

About the book

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. Father Figure is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars Two women growing into their skins  Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2020

This family drama alternates chapters between two women who, 20 years apart, are transitioning from high school to college. Amalia lives in rural Mississippi under the abusive thumb of her mother. Brianna is from New York City, and though she has a loving mother, she is desperate to know her father’s identity. Her mother, Mollie, refuses to disclose any details of her past.

In a way, the book is a character study, chronicling the two young women’s journeys from adolescence to young adulthood primarily through their sexual experiences and relationships, both positive and negative. This part of the narrative, for me, explored how each woman finally grew into her own skin.

I felt a great deal of empathy for timid Amalia, more so than for Brianna who is so persistent about finding out who her father is that she causes endless problems for everyone around her. It’s Brianna’s search that leads to the climatic end where the mysteries in the book are resolved.

The pace for most of the book felt very slow to me until the last 15% when things started coming together. Otherwise, the writing, characterizations, descriptions, and dialog are all well done. I think this read might be too long and slow for a YA audience, but I recommend it for readers of women’s lit and family dramas.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow James: Goodreads

Connect to James via his blog: This is my Truth Now

The next review is for the second book in The Crossroads Trilogy – The Quest for Home by Jacqui Murray. 

About The Quest for Home

Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.

Bravo Jacqui! A fine read and meticulous research.” — Sue Harrison, author of the acclaimed Ivory Carver Trilogy,

Xhosa flees what she had hoped would be her new home after being attacked by invaders from the North. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands of what we now call Europe. As she struggles to overcome strangers around her and disruptions within her People, Xhosa faces the reality that her most dangerous enemy may not be the one she expected. It may be one she has trusted with her life.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man spreads across Eurasia. Xhosa must regularly does the impossible which is good because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

A recent review for the book

Anneli 5.0 out of 5 stars Power Struggles Handled Well  Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2020

The Quest for Home picks up where Survival of the Fittest left off. The overarching theme is to find a land that will support the tribes and provide the necessities of life for them. On this journey, several smaller tribes have banded together for safety and other benefits that a community can provide. However while dealing with the dangers the groups expect during a migration in search of a homeland, a power struggle develops between the leaders of the groups. The undermining of Xhosa, the main leader, makes her task of delivering her people to a new home all the more difficult. But Xhosa is no shrinking violet. She meets all the challenges meant to derail her – treachery thrown her way by traitors, cowards, and ambitious usurpers. Can she carry the weight of all her people’s problems and still fight the internal battles that threaten her leadership?

I was impressed by the author’s skill in developing the novel. The inner conflicts of the main characters are masterfully worked into the storyline to add tension to the major external conflicts. Each challenger for the leadership of the tribes has his own personality and reasons for wanting to lead. Each has a major flaw that becomes his own biggest problem. Add to the in-house intrigues and the natural dangers of weather and geography, the appearance of cannibals and other groups bent on killing them all, and you have the tension racheted up to the highest level. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui: goodreads

Connect to Jacqui via her Blog: Worddreams

The final author today is Toni Pike with a review for her children’s book Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space.

About the book

Brody Cody is almost eight years old and definitely, absolutely, positively does NOT want a mother. His mother died when he was a baby but life with his dad is just perfect.

Brody is horrified when his father goes away to a publishing conference and returns with a wife, Pandora Smith, who is a children’s author. His life spirals out of control as he is forced to eat healthy food, do his homework and help with some chores.

Even worse, he and his friends suspect that his new stepmother might be an alien from outer space.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious fun for kids  Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020

This book is a hilarious and fun read for young readers aged 7 to 13 years old. It is quite reminiscent, with its quirky and slightly dark humour, of Roald Dahl’s books, in particular, it reminded me a bit of James and the Giant Peach where James’ parents are eaten by a rampaging rhinoceros.

Cody, the young hero if this book, is raised by his relaxed and nonchalant father after his mother is mowed down unexpectedly by a runaway bus. Cody is spared because he flies out of his pram and across into the hands of the police constable who catches him like a baseball.

Cody is a happy boy who lives with no rules and little parental intervention. His father works from home in the afternoons, and is not given to checking on Cody’s homework or making sure it is done. They have an interesting diet too that comprises of sweet and sickly cereal in the morning and some fabulously unhealthy father created meals in the evenings.

Cody is happy and doesn’t believe he needs a mother like other children have. He has freedom and he is happy living with his father.

One day, Cody’s father needs to go away to an out-of-town conference. Cody cannot go with him and is sent to his friend’s home for this period. Cody’s friend has a mother and she sets about trying to mend Cody’s lackadaisical ways. Just before Cody is due to go home, he gets a quick call from his father telling him he has met and married a woman he met at the conference.

Cody is horrified and returns home quite determined to reject this new mother, but things don’t go quite according to plan. Cody discovers things about his new mother than lead him to believe she is an alien.

This really is a rollicking good story and young children will love it.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book:  USA  –  UK  –  Australia  –  Canada

A selection of other books by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Toni on: Goodreads

Connect to Toni via her website: Toni Pike

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Childrens Toni Pike, #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Mystery Judy Penz Sheluk


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week where I share recent reviews for the authors on the shelves.

The first author is Toni Pike for her children’s book Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space.

About the book

Brody Cody is almost eight years old and definitely, absolutely, positively does NOT want a mother. His mother died when he was a baby but life with his dad is just perfect.

Brody is horrified when his father goes away to a publishing conference and returns with a wife, Pandora Smith, who is a children’s author. His life spirals out of control as he is forced to eat healthy food, do his homework and help with some chores.

Even worse, he and his friends suspect that his new stepmother might be an alien from outer space.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

May 22, 2020 D.G. Kaye rated it Five Stars

This was a pleasant diversion in the children’s genre from this author whose books I’m used to reading in the mystery/thriller genre, but was delighted to read how the author crossed genres. Pike did a wonderful job with this story about a little boy growing up with his dad, just the two of them after Brody’s mom died in an accident when he was a baby, living like boys with no rules. That was until Brody’s dad falls in love with a new woman while out at a business conference and marries her, and Brody’s life of lounging, junk-food eating and lack of household rules are forever changed.

When Brody proceeds to tell his best friend Kyle about his new stepmother, he also mentioned that Pandora had two different colored eyes. The boys were convinced she was an alien from outer space, especially since Kyle is convinced he saw a UFO while star-gazing. Between her two different colored eyes, her healthy cooking and creating new house chores, the two boys are convinced Pandora is from outer space.

I found this book a delightful read. Reading a children’s book through adult eyes, we can see how cleverly the author has woven in the good changes Pandora has brought to Brody’s life, despite the fact that some of these changes were so foreign to Brody, and how he eventually learns to happily adapt and realize how wonderful it really is to have a new mom.
Head over to read the reviews and buy the book:  USA  –  UK  –  Australia  –  Canada

A selection of other books by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Toni on: Goodreads

Connect to Toni via her website: Toni Pike

The next author today with a recent review is Teri Polen for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop action  Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2020

Set in a dystopian future, Asher and his team live in a world where children with desirable traits (specific hair or eye color, physical strength, agility, etc), are captured and harvested for “gene stripping” so the wealthy can purchase coveted qualities like selecting from an a la carte menu. After seeing the destruction of his family, seventeen-year-old Asher has found a new family with his team, including, Brynn, who he has come to love and Noah, who is like a brother. But doing what they do comes with excessive risk and plenty of danger.From the start, there is barely time to catch your breath. The reader is given detailed insight into Asher’s character as well as multiple members of his team. Each are unique and fully fleshed out individuals, the good and the bad.

The Colony—which orchestrates gene stripping—is set on finding and capturing Subject A36, a genetically altered individual designed as the perfect killing machine.

This novel is packed with non-stop action, and shocking revelation piled upon revelation. The writing is smooth and snappy, scenes plunging like a roller coaster from one into the next. I devoured this book in two sittings and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction, great YA characters, and pulse-pounding action.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Teri Polen

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow TeriGoodreads

Connect to Teri via her website:  Teri Polen

And the final author today with a recent review is Judy Penz Sheluk for The Hanged Man’s Noose…

About the book

Freelance writer Emily Garland is cash-strapped, newly single, and tired of reporting on the same old condo stats. When she’s offered a lucrative assignment in the village of Lount’s Landing, she decides to take a chance. All she has to do is relocate and uncover the real story behind a proposed redevelopment plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, as it turns out. Not everyone is happy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of the list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of The Glass Dolphin antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.

But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter dies. A few days later, another body is discovered. Though both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s suspicions are aroused.

Putting her interview skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme—before the murderer strikes again.

A recent review for the book

Kim Templeton 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2020

I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was well crafted. The characters are relatable and likable. The plot was well developed and moves at a great pace with well place clues and red herrings. I look forward to the next in the series.

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator does a great job of bringing the story and characters to life. She brings each character’s personality off the page. I had no problems following which character was speaking.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Judy via her blog: Judy Penz Sheluk

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.