Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Christy Birmingham, Annika Perry and Jacquie Biggar


Welcome to the first of the updates this week with news of recent reviews from authors on the shelves of the bookstore. If you have a new release, please let me know and I will do an individual promotion once it is available on Amazon.

The first author with a recent review is Christy Birmingham for her collection of poetry Versions of the Self.

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the recent reviews for Versions of the Self

All my life I thought that my emotional reliance on someone was a foregone conclusion, and that my self had to connect with another’s to inject coherence into my life’s abstract manuscript. In several unique ways in Versions of the Self, Christy Birmingham informs that the self can last ‘brutally independent’ longer without such reliance or even when it’s relying on someone. In “Gliding Under Water,” she writes, “I am gliding under the waters and my vision is remarkably clear while my body washes with liquids that contain no mixture of you.”

Christy has succinctly touched on several emotions; that we don’t pause and ponder enough to rationalize. We sense myriad versions of several people, and the only way we could connect with their selves is if it’s a soul-led journey from us, without a destination in mind, in which case, no car had driven my expectations to them. Shake hands, therefore, seeking nothing but simplicity.

“And now it seems he takes the last space in my life, outside of my heart’s walls, and miles from my reality” – she says in “The Capital.” How fierce this self-representation is, so unyielding, that it draws its strength from the innate soul-gem.

Since I’m close to my mother – everyone is and must be – these lines from “As We Walk Together” aimed for my heartstrings: “I feel you take my hand as we walk forward, together, and we inhale the scents that disclose a recent rainfall has occurred.” It reminded me of my childhood and those precious moments I so wish to return to, over and again. But, this heartwarming book wants me to return to my self, even away from the self that gave me birth because my self is the primary cure for all my worries, like the primary network that doesn’t charge out of pocket. My soul is my self and, therefore, always covered.

This is a must-have book for anyone who wants to go beyond the mundane ‘identify yourself’ literature. Sans going beyond, we are nothing but a body without life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Read more reviews and follow Christy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham

Also by Christy Birmingham.

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

Connect to Christy via her website: https://poeticparfait.com/

The next author with news about her book is Annika Perry and The Storyteller Speaks, her debut collection of short stories.

About The Story Teller Speaks

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?

In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.

One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.

Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Writers may exaggerate the negative and write dystopian fiction. They may exaggerate the positive and write utopian fiction. In this fascinating collection of short stories, the positive being brought into greater relief is our ability to choose integrity and kindness rather than degenerative and uncaring mindsets and actions. Each story is a core sample of a human moral issue, a history of resiliency and loss, exposed to the light.

In most of the stories the characters are challenged by a tragic or potentially damaging event outside their control; in a moment, their lives are changed drastically, forever. Some of the characters have caused their own dilemma. They go on in a fog or struggle with painful memories and swings of emotion before they reach the tipping point: how will they respond? And it is to their credit they reach this tipping point, because it is done through conscious moral effort. But whether tragedy has come to them or they have made their own mistakes, they eventually recognize the situation through a severe exercise in honesty. This honesty springs from valuing the best sense of who they can be and become. They often draw on enriching relationships with other people and humanizing traditions. Then they go beyond: they make amends. By taking this action, they rise to a new level of moral and ethical consciousness. This is portrayed in clear-eyed fashion, showing how difficult it is to do, and yet liberating.

It is more than interesting for stories like these to be told; it may be necessary for our adaptability and survival, for our thriving as a species. The same could be said for the negative. In fact, these stories blend both in a new and perceptive way.

The flaws in her writing and story composition are small quibbles. For instance, just when I thought the stories would all be similar samples, there was a radical change. It is my hope Annika Perry will continue to hone her craft as a writer. She may yet give us an iconic work.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

Connect to Annika via her blog:   https://annikaperry.com

The final author today is Jacquie Biggar with a recent review for Maggie’s Revenge: Wounded Hearts Book 6.

About Maggie’s Revenge

DEA Special Agent Maggie Holt is fierce, smart, beautiful– and in over her head.

Maggie has been working undercover 15 months when she is taken by Chinese-Mexican cartel leader, Chenglei. She tries to escape with 8 other women and is captured and brutally punished.

Adam O’Connor is angry and frustrated. It’s his fault his partner, and one-time lover, is missing and no matter how many leads he chases, they don’t bring Maggie home.

An unexpected break in the case sends Adam south to Texas. His old SEAL Team Chief, Frank Stein, offers his home and his help in the search effort.

Will these two strong men find Maggie? And will their decades old friendship be destroyed by their love for the same woman?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Maggie’s Revenge is an electrifying, mystery/suspense where an undercover DEA agent named Maggie Holt is taken by a Chinese-Mexican cartel who deals in human trafficking, among other things. She repeatedly tries to escape without any luck and the punishments are ruthless. The cartel leader uses everything in his arsenal to break her spirit, but she refuses to submit. In her eyes, all that matters is freeing the other captured women. Time is running out as the cartel is about to sell Maggie and the others to the highest bidder. It’s now or never for Maggie and the other women. They must swallow their fears and escape then wait for help. Will Maggie succeed, or will she die fighting for her life and the lives of the other women?

I’ve read every book in the Wounded Hearts series and have loved each book. This one, however, chilled me to the bone. Jacquie Biggar takes the reader deep into the world of human trafficking. She doesn’t hold anything back and as a woman, I can’t imagine anything worse than being taken and sold to the highest bidder. My whole body trembled as I became one with Maggie.

Plenty of action and realistic conflict makes Maggie’s Revenge a thrill a minute adventure. It reads like an action film which was fun. While this is the sixth book in the Wounded Hearts series, it’s a standalone. After you finish this one, go back and read the other books in the series. Trust me, you’ll love them all.

If you’re looking for a strong heroine in an untenable situation where lives are traded like currency, pick up this book today! Highly recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

Favorite Character/Quote: Maggie. Never have a read such a strong-willed heroine thrust in a dangerous, fearful predicament where all she thinks about is saving others. An incredibly inspiring woman and a joy to read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Maggies-Revenge-Wounded-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B075S16F2Y

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggies-Revenge-Wounded-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B075S16F2Y

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I am sure there will be a book or two to tempt you.. thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Dolly Aizenman, Dan Alatorre, Paul Andruss, Richard Ankers, Carol Balawyder, Andrea Balsara, Judith Barrow, Linda Bethea, Ritu Bhathal, Jacquie Biggar, Christy Birmingham, Sacha Black and Steve Boseley


Welcome to spring….. and there might be a hint of colour in the garden, as daffodils push their way to the surface, but there is plenty of colour on the shelves of the bookstore that I thought I would share with you over the next week.

If you are looking for you next book to read then look no further than these talented authors and over 600 books currently on the shelves.

Instead of the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates on Friday and Monday.. I will be featuring a number of authors each day with their updated reviews.

I will give you their listing which also includes a link to buy the books but also discover others that they have written but are not listed. You will also find a link to their website or blog to find out more information, and as you can imagine… they write great posts too.

Here we go with the first authors of the series….

Dolly Aizenman, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W
Website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

One of the recent reviews for the book

They say that to properly review a cookbook you should try to make at least five of the recipes. I have to confess that I’ve not made any YET, because Kool Kosher Kitchen is no ordinary cookbook. It’s like sitting down at the table with a friend–wine coffee, whatever your poison–and having a long, warm chat about all kinds of everything. Did you know, for example that some of the French non military personnel stayed in Russia after 1812 and this led to the creation of Apple Charlotte? It’s one story at least. Dolly Aizenman doesn’t just share recipes, every page brims with the story, anecdote or family history, connected to the dish. A tall order but one she doesn’t fail to deliver. Soups, sides, main courses, desserts and bread. Indian, Italian, Jewish, whatever. There’s something for everyone here. Dolly’s gift is in making you believe you’re making the dish as you chat.

Dan Alatorre, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU
Website: www.DanAlatorre.com

Please visit Amazon or Dan’s website to view all his books.

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An Extract from one of the most recent reviews for An Angel on her shoulder

I really enjoyed the audio book version of this story and thought the narrator had a very good voice and reading style.

The style of this book reminded me a bit of Stephen King’s book It where he goes back in time to the children’s childhoods for pieces of the story which help to explain how the events in the book all fit together in the end.

Alatorre’s main character, Doug, is an ordinary man with a good job and a lovely family. He adores his wife and small daughter and enjoys spending time with them and going on family holidays.

The story starts with an unexpected and nearly tragic incident in the parking lot at a wine farm which appears initially to be frightening, but not completely out of the ordinary; accidents and tragedies do happen in life. When Doug starts to realise that this latest incident is another in a seeming series of similar events, he starts to wonder what is happening to his family. Is this normal or is there more to these near tragedies than meets the eye?

Paul Andruss, Buy:  https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Rhymer-Jack-Hughes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00EPQL7KC
Website: http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/

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The most recent review for the book.

Magic and mayhem… on February 2, 2018

A child is missing under very peculiar circumstances, there is nothing worse that can befall a family.The tale of magic and mayhem soon unfolds. There is not much time to find Dan or he will be gone forever. I was drawn into the story which soon progressed at some speed at times which left me quite breathless and wanting to read more. Would they find Dan in time? So many dark forces were working against Jack and Co as they raced against time to find Dan. I thought fairies were pretty little creatures who sparkled in the dark and did good deeds …was I wrong.

Author Paul Andruss has a very impressive knowledge of fairies and mythical creature as well as knowing his geography and history I was impressed.

The ending was as it should have been after all the adventures and magic … Dan was home!

Richard Ankers, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690
Website: https://richardankers.com/

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The most recent review for the third book in the trilogy Into Eternity.

The final book of Anker’s The Eternals series doesn’t disappoint. Gradually, the trilogy has shifted from a story about a vampire to a story about a man seeking the truth of his life and discovering what it is to be human. This is a trilogy that must be read in sequence as the action continues without backstory through the strange and epic landscapes of a dying world.

The search for Linka leads Jean, Merriweather, and Aurora from the Arctic ice to the Baltic sea. Secrets of the past are revealed and reconciled, and at the final confrontation with his enemies, Jean endures betrayal but also learns the truth of his destiny.

Anker’s writing is stylistically poetic, the pace of the book steady, and dialog natural as well as imbued with personality. The verbal repartee between Jean and Merriweather is characteristic of their relationship and a pleasure to read. Walter Merriweather takes on a greater role in this book. Reveals about his history, personality, and motives is perhaps the most interesting and startling part of the story. The ending is an emotional and exquisite read.

If you enjoy vampires, epic vistas, tales of redemption, and stylistic writing, this series is well worth picking up. 

Carol Balawyder, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Balawyder/e/B00HVETKWM
Websitehttp://carolbalawyder.com/

A recent review for The Longest Nine Months

on March 7, 2018

Pregnancy can seem interminable for many woman. In this instance, there’s an added reason that Campbell’s pregnancy seems long, convoluted, and stressful. Author Balawyder uses excellent description and dialogue to allow her readers to feel great empathy and fear and joy along with Campbell. The themes of love, marriage, getting through a relationship through good and bad, abortion, and disabilities intertwine throughout this well-written contemporary women’s fiction. I wasn’t sure if the ending would be sad or happy, but I did know that whether the relationship grew or dissolved, the main character’s strength would shine through her challenges.

Website: http://www.torreybalsara.com/

I found the book absolutely delightful. More importantly, the 4-yr old immediately said read it again! That response is the definitive sign he enjoyed the book. He particularly loved the song and thought the carrot being a sword was hilarious. The illustrations are inventive and make the fun story even more enjoyable. We look forward to many more adventures with the guinea pig turned pirate.

Judith Barrow – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6
Blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

Please visit Amazon or Judith Barrow’s blog to view all her books.

A recent review of A Hundred Tiny Threads

As a big fan of the Howarth family series, I was delighted to read ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’. It’s the fourth book and a prequel set the early 1900s. As always, Barrow paints a big picture and juxtaposes it with clever detail to create a work of intimacy. This book involves suffragettes, the 1919 influenza epidemic and the horror of WW1. Throughout though, the dark family secrets of the Howarth clan are liberally sprinkled and keep the page turning tempo to the max. This is no pretty sanitised version of the times. Expect violence and cruelty and a realistic depiction of the harshness of the era. But there’s love too, and unexpected kindness from the always engaging characters. A great and satisfying read.

Linda Bethea, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Swain-Bethea/e/B01N5HA5C1
Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

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A recent review for Just Women Getting By

Linda is a great storyteller and I will recommend this book, if you also like to read about strong women’s stories through centuries. I felt it difficult to lay down this book, I just wanted to read and read. I learned a lot of history by this book and while I compared these women’s life with our times, I got lots of respect for such strong women.

Ritu Bhathal, Buy:https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020
Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

Extract from the most recent review for Poetic Rituals

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic RITUals is a must read for wives and mothers of all ages who also wear many hats just to get through a normal day.January 17, 2018

The first thing that attracted me to this book of poetry was the clever play-on-words with the title, Poetic RITUals, and the author’s name. They always say to not judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you should. As clever and heartwarming as the title suggests, so is the poetry inside.

The book was filled with a delightful and eclectic mix of metered poems filled with patterned beats and rhymes, Haiku, and freestyle poetry. Another charming addition was the way the book was divided into four different sections of “RITUals,” family, life, of the heart, and to make you smile. I found the categorization to be a peek into the ingenious mind of the poet.

The themes of motherhood and family, her work as a teacher, and that of being a wife are shared with love and laughter. Many of the poems shared a realistic look at the author’s life that I found endearing. I remembered feeling much the same way when my kids were young.

One of my favorites in this collection was a piece called, “Poetic Confusion,” which I found in the last section of the book. The author laments the writing of poetry in its many forms; finally coming to the conclusion that she would rhyme and vent to her heart’s content, and write poetry in her own way. I love her poetic spirit and spunk.

Jacquie Biggar, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG
Website: http://jacqbiggar.com

Please visit Jacquie’s Amazon page of website to view all her books.

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One of the early reviews for – Valentine: A Hearts I Kisses Romance

If you are looking for an endearing light-hearted romance look no further and try “Valentine: A Hearts & Kisses” romance by Jacquie Biggar. Valentine Hodgins, our hero, is reluctantly taking care of the dog and home of his great aunt who has fallen ill with pneumonia. Val is busy with his successful architecture firm and really doesn’t have time for the dog, the home or checking up on the caretaker who is living in his great aunt’s home. Sierra Johnson is the caretaker and working as a baker at a catering company while trying to get her life back in order. Sierra had great plans to open her own catering business, but now that seems to be a long way off. These two both have past histories that will get in the way of romance – will they work things out? Great characters and witty dialog make this a fun and lovely read. I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to give an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)

An extract from the most recent review for Versions of the Self

Sheila rated it 5 stars on March 8th 2017 Goodreads.

These poems resonated with me when I read them, and they’re still resonating. There are so many feelings that can be found here, so many relationships, so many selves.

I loved the poems that celebrated freedom and could at times feel my soul soaring along with the words. Then different poems made me stop and think while bringing me back to Earth.

Sacha Black, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/13-Steps-Evil-Superbad-Villains-ebook/dp/B0722X7Y4P
Blog: http://sachablack.co.uk/about/

I just started this book but it’s already provided tremendous value. There have been three sentences that just jumped off the page and organized a very loose set of thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. You know the feeling, right? I’m working on a screenplay in which I’ve been stuck on writing both the antagonist’s and the villian’s role for the past 5 months. And I mean stuck. Having this book is a tremendous relief – at last a process by which I can think this through clearly!!! On top of this, Sacha is an EXCELLENT WRITER – and VERY FUNNY on top of it. In the first 15 pages I have laughed out loud hard four or five times. She’s a delight to read and so far the advice has more than paid back the cost of the Kindle version. If she keeps it up I’ll buy a hard copy, too. I don’t know Sacha, I wasn’t paid to review this. I’m just a guy from PA who is really impressed by this book because I am so very tired of having Villian writer’s block. Thanks, Sacha.

Steve Boseley, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steve-Boseley/e/B01DHXE01G
Websitehttp://www.authorsteveboseley.com

A recent review for Serial

Isabella Fulton 5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Surprise 9 December 2017

I enjoyed this book a lot, wasn’t sure what to expect because of the serial killer title, it’s creepy and a good read for a short story with a twist.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Cynthia Reyes, Christy Birmingham, Terry Tyler, Sue Coletta and Deborah Jay


Welcome to the first of the week’s Christmas Book Fairs with a very full house, and the first author with a book that would delight any child this Christmas is Cynthia Reyes with Myrtle the Purple Turtle. The book was beautifully illustrated by Jo Robinson.

About Myrtle the Purple Turtle

Myrtle is a lovely Turtle. Not an ordinary Turtle. She is Purple and different from other turtles. After being bullied by another turtle, Myrtle tries to become someone else. In the end, Myrtle and her friends help children learn to not be afraid of being different. Myrtle the Purple Turtle is a thoroughly engaging story that stresses the importance of self-acceptance and friendship.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Lessons on the importance of diversity and friendship abound in this beautifully written and illustrated children’s book written by author Cynthia Reyes. After being teased by a green turtle, “Myrtle the Purple Turtle” no longer wants to be purple. When Myrtle tries to turn herself green, she lands upside-down on her shell with no way to turn over until friends arrive to save the day. Not only do Myrtle’s friends get the purple turtle back on her feet, they show her and tell her how different and how beautiful they all are. Children will be inspired by Myrtle’s story to embrace the differences in themselves and others. ~Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA Amazing Matilda (Children’s Literature): The Tale of A Monarch Butterfly and other books for children and adults.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075ZGB235

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myrtle-Purple-Turtle-Cynthia-Reyes/dp/0620773421

Also by Cynthia Reyes

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Read the reviews for both books and BUY: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

Read more reviews and follow Cynthia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes

61etre3zbbl-_ux250_Connect to Cynthia Reyes via her blog: https://cynthiasreyes.com/

The next author who has two wonderful poetry collections which would make great gifts for family and friends is Christy Birmingham. 

About Versions of Self

About the collection

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

The latest review on Goodreads

Carolee Croft rated it Five Stars on 15th December 2017

Versions of the Self plays around with the concept of different selves, not trying to pin down or define the self, but dazzling the reader with the many colorful possibilities of human existence. These lines reveal the pensive and imaginative mind of a poet who is rooted in reality but gifted with the talent of describing everyday events with fantastic flair.

The poems speak of moments in life that we can all relate to: the love of a child for their parent, the sudden yearning for a crush, the heartbreak of rejection, the self-confidence that comes from releasing fear. Christy provides fitting and beautiful metaphors for all of these, making it appear like each one is not just different side of the self, but a whole other world.

Some of my favourite poems were ones where the ‘self’ tries to see beyond her current situation and imagine the possibilities, as in this excerpt from “The Field of Poppies”:

I bend down to pick the red flowers at
My feet, and I wonder at a day when
Tears do not stain my cheeks.
I wonder how the words will sound,
I wonder who will hold my hand then.

These poems give the impression of someone young, optimistic, hopeful. The different selves can be separated by seemingly insurmountable gulfs, but at the same time these poems speak of a strong connection, not only between people but also with nature and even the stars beyond our world.
Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Also by Christy Birmingham

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions: http://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/

Read more reviews for Christy’s work on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham

Connect to Christy via her blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/

I can personally recommend Tipping Point Book One of Project Renova by Terry Tyler which I read and reviewed a few weeks ago.. Lindisfarne, Book Two is on my reader and will be part of my leisure pleasures over the Christmas break.  If you are a secret ‘Prepper’ you will love this….

About the book

‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.

A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.

Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.

In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…

This is the first book in the Project Renova series; the second, Lindisfarne, is now available, with the follow-up, UK2, due around late spring/early summer, 2018. Patient Zero, a collection of stand-alone short stories featuring minor characters from the series, is also available.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Set in the year 2024 Tipping Point is reminiscent of the 1970’s TV series The Survivors. So just the population dying here and no zombies to contend with, which is so refreshing for a story to follow this path.

An infection has been let loose in the UK and the story starts in a fictitious Norfolk village of Shipden where Vicky and her daughter are trapped in the village being held under quarantine. Being from Norfolk myself this really appealed to me as did the whole book being set in the UK rather than the usual US storyline. As the book progresses we are taken back to events before the breakout and introduced to other characters, some of whom have their own storylines (for now) and some whose story is interwoven with that of Vicky of Lottie.

An easy and great read which I can’t recommend enough and I can’t wait to start the second book in the series to see how the characters cope with life in a post-apocalyptic world. 

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tipping-Point-Project-Renova-Book-ebook/dp/B074LSCX5M

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Project-Renova-Book-ebook/dp/B074LSCX5M

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

Connect to Terry via her blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

The final author today with books that would make great gifts for thriller and mystery readers are those by Sue Coletta..and here is her latest novella – Brotherhood Protectors: Fractured Lives.

About Fractured Lives

Three couples, the perfect Maine vacation, and a fateful night that lands one of the women in mortal danger.

Couples are going missing in Sunset Cove at Long Lake, and the authorities seem more concerned with not tarnishing the reputation of their popular tourist destination. Until … while out for a spin on her wave runner, Shawnee Daniels pulls alongside a deserted canoe.

Blood stains the seat.

When retired SEAL Brandon “Boomer” Rayne wakes to an empty bed—his bride-to-be Daphne nowhere inside their rented cabin—he enlists the help of the only people he’s met in the state: the couple next door, Shawnee Daniels and Revere, Massachusetts Detective Levaughn Samuels.

Uncertainty bonds the two neighbors, forced together by tragedy. Their predicament turns even deadlier when the half-nude body of a female washes ashore. No obvious signs of homicide exist. How did she die? Does her death relate to Daphne’s disappearance?

Time’s running out.

Can they piece together the mystery to find Boomer’s fiancé? Or will an elusive serial killer determine their fate?

One of the most recent reviews for the book.

Lovable Shawnee Daniels and Detective Levaughn Samuels are vacationing at Sunset Cove, Long Lake, enjoying a well- earned time to relax and recharge their batteries. A popular destination with a problem about missing women, something the local authorities have been keeping quiet about, not wanting to scare off the tourists.
Normally, Shawnee and Levaughn are up to the necks in mysteries and murders and I was a little disappointed that this book might not focus on them after all, but when the wife of one of their neighbours goes missing and a body turns up in the water, I relaxed. There was no way Shawnee would leave any of this alone.
Sue Coletta has excelled herself with this latest story in the Mayhem series. Full of intrigue, mystery and chillingly descriptive horrors, but there was no definite suspect, leaving me grasping for clues. The supporting cast revealed no suitable subject either, building my frustration at not being able to figure out who was guilty.
A mysterious, mist-shrouded island seems like a good place to start looking, but what they find when they get there will blow your socks off. A totally unexpected finale, one of the best I have ever read. Your blood will run cold!
I ended up reading this book twice, for such a lot seemed innocent the first time I read it. Remember how frustrated I was about the lack of clues? Well, they were there all the time in bucket loads!
Once you know the ending, you really must read it again to fully appreciate the subtle nuances. All those seemingly ordinary happenings take on a far more sinister theme when you know the truth. This is master storytelling at its finest!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Brotherhood-Protectors-Fractured-Kindle-Novella-ebook/dp/B075FFNWD9

A small selection of other books by Sue Coletta.

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

and Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

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

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

The next author with several books that would make great gifts is Deborah Jay with The Prince’s Man which Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series. The book is on offer between 20th and 27th of December…make a note in your diary.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Deborah Jay’s The Prince’s Man (Amazon Digital Services 2014) is a beautifully told epic of noble people, magic, elves, and vicious trolls. Rusty is a bon vivant male companion to wealthy women and undercover spy in the service of his king. To save the kingdom, he partners with a woman–something that just isn’t done in this fantastical world–and together they rescue a captured elf in the hope it will garner the assistance of his kinsmen. As they travel the long journey required to return him to his home, they face trolls, sprites, and elementals, each with their own goals and none of which help the pair succeed. When they finally reach their destination, they find this is only the beginning of a mission fraught with danger, unusual alliances, and death-defying consequences.

This elaborately constructed world of royalty and spies, intrigue and romance, is truly is a mix of fantasy and 007. In so many ways, it resembles the delightful conniving multilayered world of the French and British court life with its flirtatious characters, the one-upmanship of lords and ladies, and the subterfuge that can surface at any moment to threaten the ruler. But when you add an elixir that offers the fountain of youth, the price of victory or defeat skyrockets. This award-winning story, the first in the Five Kingdoms series, is intricately woven, dramatically told, and filled with twists and turns that will keep every reader guessing.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

Also by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Elderly Health Care: Keeping colds at bay by Sally Cronin


Last week I was the guest of Christy Birmingham on her eclectic blog – When Women Inspire. Christy invited me to write a post on the subject of elderly care and in particular in relation to keeping colds and flu at bay.

My thanks to Christy for inviting me to write a post on the health challenges that face the elderly as we move into the winter months.

In most of our countries there is some form of elderly care system in place, either in a person’s own home or care facility. However, wherever an elderly person might live, apart from a natural reduction in immune system efficiency, at this time of year, there are many more opportunities for pathogens to take advantage of a weakened host.

I looked after my mother full-time for four years until she died at age 95. She loved visitors and there would be a lot of hugging and kissing of cheeks with people sitting to chat and holding her hand. It was great for her morale and the subject of much discussion long after they left. But unfortunately, sometimes they left more than their kindness behind. That first winter, my mother had two colds and a respiratory infection that lingered for weeks.

Christmas was the biggest challenge as she wanted to go to the church gift fair, the pensioners’ lunch and the coffee mornings. Although there were many of her old friends there, she was also greeted by strangers wanting to shake her hand and spend time talking to her. As with any event where there are a great many people, some around her were coughing and spluttering; inevitably she would be under the weather within three days.

After that first year, I knew that we needed to put some safeguards in place. It is difficult to build an elderly person’s immune system back up when their appetites are not as great as they used to be. Some may also have certain food restrictions due to dentures or other dental issues that make eating difficult.

However, it is important to make sure that any food they do eat is nutrient rich and full of anti-oxidants.

It is better to provide six small meals a day rather than one or two larger ones that might go unfinished. It is also easier for an older person’s digestive system if they eat smaller but high nutritional density meals, and this is how I worked with my mother to improve her immune function.;

Find out about my adventures with my mother and keeping her immune system firing on all cylinders: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2017/11/09/elderly-health-care-colds-at-bay-sally-cronin

My thanks to Christy and I hope you will head over and read the rest of the post. thanks Sally

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 18th August, 2017 -Tony Riches/Wendy Janes, D.G. Kaye/ Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Dan Alatorre/ Heather Kindt, Christy Birmingham


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the last of the week’s blogger daily posts and perhaps you can enlighten me as to how Friday has come around so quickly!  Anyway I have been offline quite a bit today but I have a small selection of posts you might enjoy from around the community.

The first is from Wendy Janes who is not only an author but a professional proofreader too. This is part three of a series that she has been sharing and if you confuse your its and it’s and other transgressions, this is a post for you (and me). This is posted on Tony Riches blog.

The odd thing about grammar and punctuation rules is that they are a bit of a moveable feast. Some change depending on whether you’re using US or UK English and others are flexible depending on context, style and genre. Sounds like a can of worms, if you ask me. But let’s dive in and try and make some sense of it all.

First, I’d like to select the three rules that I see authors breaking most often. These ones are non-negotiable.

Use of it’s and its
it’s = it is (It’s raining)
its = belonging to (The creature protected its young)
The easy way to remember correct use of it’s and its is to say ‘it is’ whenever you come across either version. If the sentence makes sense when you say ‘it is’ then the correct term is it’s.

Get the rest of the three rules that are most commonly broken: http://tonyriches.blogspot.ie/2017/08/tips-for-new-writers-part-three-rules.html

We have had a post on the subject of writing and now we have one on the topic of reading and how important it is to keeping our brains engaged and active. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie is an authority on the brain and its functions and she was a guest of Debby Gies a couple of days ago.

Madelyn has written a fantastic article on the importance of reading books and explains in her post, just how far the information we retain from reading can help us relate to others, how reading benefits us as we age, the beneficial impact reading has on warding off Alzheimer’s disease, and much more!

Thanks to our ability to scroll through endless words on our computers, tablets and smart phones, more people are reading than ever before.

Still, while the act of reading itself has increased, there is a significant difference between reading anything and reading a book that pulls you into the mind of the author as you take a mental vacation.

Even hours of reading on FaceBook, or skipping from blog to blog reading multiple articles on various subjects, does not seem to have the same positive effect as reading a novel, a memoir or a carefully curated collection of short-stories.

And the more time we spend online, the less time we have for reading those wonderful books on our TBR lists (“To Be Read”).

That’s a real shame, too, because reading a good book is not only an enjoyable, affordable “vacation” that broadens our perspective, it turns out that science has discovered that it actually improves our brain functioning in ways that translate to improved thinking, mood, functional intelligence, more positive and productive connections in our lives, and so-much-MORE.

Read more about the benefits to the executive function of our brains of reading effectively: https://dgkayewriter.com/guest-feature-madelyn-griffith-haynie-power-reading/

Now that the winners for the Word Weaver competition that was created by Dan Alatorre have been announced, it is a great pleasure to share the beginning of the winning story by Heather Kindt.  As the first prize we are looking forward to working with Heather when she is ready to publish her book.

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips  by Heather Kindt

“It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings.”

July 1995

Quandary Pond was situated between my house and the tiny one-bedroom shack that sat five minutes down the road. The shack was a rental, and a poorly cared for one at that. Our neighbors didn’t stay there much longer than a barefoot on the pavement outside Price Chopper in July. The house appeared lopsided to me, shingles falling off, and the siding was worn with time. Grass grew as high as my thigh and Uncle Embry often stated his intention to go over there and give the yard the weed whacking it deserved. The last residents had left in the middle of the night. I overheard Aunt Henrietta say something about drug charges.

“I’m going down to the pond!” The screen door shut behind me. Uncle Embry was at work at the air-conditioned post office and Aunt Henrietta reclined in the oversized Lazy boy trying to stay cool in the heat of the Kansas afternoon. The fan that oscillated next to the chair made more of a racket than what it was worth.

I preferred cooling off by the pond. Dressed in cutoffs and a tank from the local thrift store, my braids bounced against my back as I skipped down to my favorite hangout.

Making my way down the path from the house to the pond, I glimpsed a red station wagon sitting in front of the shack. New renters. I never really took the time to get to know anyone who lived there, since they’d probably be gone in a couple of months. Removing my shoes, I dove into the pond, no longer worried about the leeches that some of my girlfriends squealed about. After a short swim, I trudged out, settling on a drip dry as I made my way to the tree where I hid my stash. The hollow in the tree contained a jar for bug catching (usually fireflies at night), a couple bottles of water, a net, a pail and my science journal (which I kept in a plastic bag in case it rained). I picked out the net and started to creep around the reeds looking for Old Bill, the bull frog that was as large as a grapefruit and had so far avoided capture. My goal was to sketch and categorize each frog in the pond, as well as many of the insects. Rounding the bend by a large tree, Bill sat on a rock sunning himself. This was going to be the day. A crop duster flew overhead masking any sounds my feet made in the grass. I lifted my net at the perfect angle for frog catching, ready to pounce.

This is really a terrific story and I am sure that the book will be a winner too: https://danalatorre.com/2017/08/16/dan-alatorres-word-weaver-writing-contest-first-place-ruby-slips-and-poker-chips-by-heather-hackett/

For many people who are recovering from operations or illnesses the thought of bed rest can be attractive initially but then boredom sets in. Christy Birmingham looks at the issue and comes up with some strategies to stay sane.

There are numerous reasons why you might find yourself confined to your bed for a period of time. The most obvious are those regarding health; an injury or illness that means you have to follow doctor’s orders until you’re back to your best.

The idea of being on bed rest sounds, to the average busy person, pretty ideal. Bed is the space we all love; that we have to reluctantly drag ourselves from every morning, and leave behind when we go to work with a forlorn last longing glance. How could bed rest – staying in bed because you’ve been told to! – ever be a bad thing?

What at first feels like a luxury has a tendency to soon feel stifling. Being confined to a single room becomes boring; you find yourself wanting to get up and about, just see something different. While there is an element of enjoyment to be found in a period of bed rest – especially if you are usually always on the go – it’s not quite so enjoyable when you have to be there.

So if you find yourself in a situation where your life is going to revolve around a bed and not much else for a period of time, here is a simple guide to ensuring you stay comfortable both mentally and physically for the duration.

Head over and get these strategies under your belt.. you never know when you might need them: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2017/08/14/bed-rest-survival-guide/

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the snippets and feel inclined to head over and read all the posts. There are a few posts over the weekend and the Blogger Daily will be back Monday.. Take care and 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 Blogger Daily – Wednesday August 2nd – Balroop Singh, Marcia Meara, Ali Isaac and Christy Birmingham


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the daily selection of posts that I have read today and enjoyed.. unfortunately space only allows for that selecetion to be brief but I hope you will visit and enjoy for yourselves.

Balroop Singh reminds us of the power of poetry to change our emotional state for the better. It can bring comfort, whisper words of love or simply lighten the load. As an example Balroop quotes one of  my favourite poems by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

If you are a poetry lover, you must be familiar with the positive power that a poem can provide us. I have quoted many inspiring lines from the famous poets in one of my earlier posts. ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling being my favorite.

Poetry soothes the writer as well as the reader.

Recently I stumbled across this gem, an outstanding poem written in 1932. It demonstrates an incredible power to assuage loss and anguish. Though the poet had written it for her friend who could not visit her mother’s grave due to disturbing times, its popular appeal can be judged from the fact that it was read by the father of a young soldier, who had been killed by a bomb in Northen Ireland.

Read this uplifting poem and the rest of the post: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/how-poetry-makes-us-positive-minded/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Marcia Meara is offering authors to share excerpts from their own work and others on her blog throughout the week. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote your latest work and you can post several times if you wish. Full details are in the post but if you have not participated previously in one of these promotions you will need to email Marcia at the links she provides.

It’s here again! Yep, starting Monday, 7/31 and running through Sunday, August 6, it will be #ExcerptWeek here on The Write Stuff. A lot of you know how this goes, but for those who don’t, this is your chance to share an excerpt from one of your published books or a work in progress, with your Book Blurb, Author Bio, Buy Links, and Social Media Links. It’s a great chance to tell everyone why they should buy your book, so don’t miss out!

If you are already a contributing author on this site, feel free to post at will, on any day that works for you. And you may post more than once during the week, though only once a day, please. If you are not already a contributing author, you will have to email me to find out how to take part. My contact info is in the Menu at the top of the page under About/Contact Me.

Find out all the details of how you can participate in this great opportunity: https://marciamearawrites.com/2017/07/28/excerptweek-is-coming-up-again/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The Irish have always known how to throw a party and in our family we also have a celebration of the long goodbye.  We start making for the door two hours before we actually leave and it can be as much fun as the do itself.  Anyway Ali Isaac who is the go to person for all things Irish Legend…. shares the history behind one of the four main Irish celebrations from ancient times… get ready to party.

A celebration of life

Today, the Irish are well known for their love of partying and enjoying the craic; whilst this may seem like stereotyping, it’s no exaggeration. Nor is it a new phenomenon… I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was one day discovered to be a trait handed down through the centuries in Irish DNA. 😀

Historically and mythologically, Lughnasadh was pretty much the biggest party of them all. One of the four ancient Irish pre-Christian festivals (the others being Imbolc, Bealtaine and Samhain), Lughnasadh was celebrated midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, around August 1st.

As Christianity spread across Ireland, the event was adapted as a festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, and moved to the nearest Sunday.

In a way, this feels very appropriate to me, for Lughnasadh originated way back in the era of the Tuatha de Danann, not so much in thanks for the harvest, but in thanks for a life… the life of a very special woman, or Goddess, named Tailtiu.

Life, whether in the form of crops which sustain us physically, or our loved ones who sustain us emotionally, is something worth celebrating. The fact that this particular festival grew out of a love so strong and so enduring makes it feel special to me, and yet nowadays, its significance pales in contrast with the more popular Samhain and Bealtaine.

Read the rest of this fabulous post and join the party: https://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2017/07/30/lughnasadh/

Sally’s Cafe and bookstore Author Update – Toni Pike, Jaye Marie and Christy Birmingham


Welcome to the Friday Cafe and Bookstore update where authors on the shelves can share new releases, fantastic reviews and offers on their books. Whilst I do make every effort to check all the authors in the bookstore every few weeks, it is very helpful if you drop me a line to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Just a reminder about some of the benefits of being in the bookstore.

You can enjoy regular updates that puts your work in front of my 26,000+ contacts here and on social media. Most of whom are authors themselves, but more importantly readers of books. You also belong to a growing community of supportive writers who are happy to share across their own networks.

For example. The average Cafe Update receives on average 40 to 50 retweets over the course of a week. Most authors that follow me have between 5,000 – 15,000+ followers of their own on Twitter. At the lower number your work is being promoted to over 200,000 potential readers.

I cannot promise that it will result in sales, but because I put the your name in the headline, it does mean that google picks the post up whenever someone searches your name. This boosts your own efforts to develop an online presence.

If you are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore then here is the post that tells you how:

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

Now for today’s featured authors and the first is Toni Pike with a departure from the Jotham Fletcher mystery thriller series which I will of course mention a little later. Today I am showcasing Toni’s latest book, published on March 26th, which is 100 Secrets to Love, Health and Wealth.

About the book

LEARN THE SECRETS TO FINDING A JOB AND CREATING A LIFE THAT YOU LOVE.

The author was once set upon by some wild ducks keen to defend their territory. Do you have ducks like that in your life, so out of control that you hardly know which way to turn? They are the ones that you need to approach and tame, then put into a line so that you can:

Increase your wealth, improve your health and achieve your dreams.

Here, Toni Pike shares her one hundred secrets to success. This guide can easily be read in just a couple of hours. In this short book, you will learn how to:
• reduce stress
• balance your budget
• make positive changes in your career
• guide your children
• declutter your home, and
• live life to the full.

If you are young, here are skills that will help equip you for the rest of your life.
If you are in the midst of your career, you will find ways to transform your journey.
If you are approaching retirement, you can learn how to make the most of that exciting time.

There are some people who might think that these ideas are so simple that everyone should know them. The truth is that many people never reach their full potential or even try to achieve their goals.

Open your mind, and see if you can use these methods to turn your life around. When you do that, you will find that your wealth will increase, your health is likely to improve and you will live the life that you have only been dreaming about for far too long.

There are ten chapters, each representing one of those ducks in your life that you need to tame:
Life – Making the most of every moment
Health – Looking after your body
Career – Finding a job you love
Money – Increasing your wealth and balancing your budget
Home – Simplifying your living space
Family – Finding harmony with your children and parents
Friends – Maintaining social contacts and searching for romance
Leisure – Choosing activities that enrich your life
Travel – Exploring the world
Technology – Using technology and maximising your productivity

Don’t miss this chance to transform your life!

Buy the book at its launch offer of 99p: https://www.amazon.com/100-Secrets-Love-Health-Wealth-ebook/dp/B06XW2V61J

One of the reviews for The Magus Covenant

A beautiful edge of the seat thriller based on Simon the Magician or Simon Magus mentioned in various places in the Bible. The way the story is woven, the characters developed, the twists and turns that the plot develops as it moves along makes the book alluring, fascinating and irresistible. The revelation at the end takes the reader by total surprise and makes this book a topnotch one! One gets enthralled as one goes through each page! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading Toni’s other book too!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Find out more about Toni and connect via her website: https://tonipike.com/

The next update is for Jaye Marie who has a FREE offer for her book The Last Life: Introducing Detective David Snow.

About the book

Kate Devereau wakes up in a hospital, unable to speak or move. Her brain has shut down, refusing to acknowledge her dark and disturbing past, concealing a web of painful secrets.
Michael Barratt brought her to the hospital, insisting that her ex-husband had tried to kill her. And from the state of him, had tried to kill him too. He had been searching for Kate for years, ever since their doomed love affair, only to discover someone else had been hunting her too.

With the help of the DI David Snow, Kate will gradually piece her life back together, only to discover the nightmare is far from over.

Her first instinct is to run, but David Snow convinces her to stay and help him put an end to the nightmare. A nightmare that will get progressively worse before it gets better.
Haunted by his own demons, will the Snowman manage to catch the twisted killer?
Evil lurks in this story and people die, but amidst the tears and heartache, a lost love struggles to survive…

Also by Jaye Marie

 A review for The Ninth Life.

If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then this would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.

Not once did I get bored reading it or find the story faltering at all – definitely one of those where ‘you need to know what happens next’ but I think the author’s gift when writing this is to keep the protagonist centre whilst keeping the reader constantly hooked. The antagonist is typically a nasty character, one whom the reader takes an instant dislike to and the edge he adds to the story is almost palpable.

Other characters are kept to a minimum but play pivotal roles in the story; the good thing here is you never know quite how they will turn out. Will your fears be unfounded? Or did you correctly guess the next step? The ending is not what you would expect (another good talent to have when writing) but you’ll have to read the book!

Find out more about Jaye Marie and buy her books: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

Connect to Jaye Marie via her website: https://jenanita01.com/

My next update is for poet Christy Birmingham who joined the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore in March. She recently received another excellent review for her collection Versions of the Self.

About the collection

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

The latest review on Amazon

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on.

If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

Also by Christy Birmingham

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions: http://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/

Read more reviews for Christy’s work on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham

Connect to Christy via her website: https://poeticparfait.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and if you would like to join the other authors enjoying regular updates then all it will cost you is time.  Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham


Welcome to the start of week of author promotions and looking forward to placing the Poetry books of  Canadian writer Christy Birmingham on the shelves.  Starting with Versions of the Self

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

We find ourselves   By sir henry on November 21, 2016

It would be a mistake for one to approach Christy Birmingham’s “Versions of the Self” as a mere collection of poems. It is beyond that. What shines throughout is what the title implies–a very personally recorded journal through heartache and joy, of struggle and redemption. Birmingham’s courage coats every page without the academic feel of stuffy poetic hallways and cobwebbed meter. Rather, in “Versions” we get what we expect–honesty.

As I read through Birmingham’s landscape of shared peaks and valleys, I found at times a rich blend of “Notes from the Underground” with the poetic bend of “The Bell Jar”, filled with the same kind of mystery.Still, Birmingham’s Psychology degree can be found punctuating itself inside a metaphoric Helping Hand. No serious reader of this collection can escape the nuances of survival, healing, and encouragement, as found in Flight Path, telling herself, and us, to…”Get ready to be extraordinary.” And even in Behind Puddles I found rich lines that carried Biblical undertones–“A dark sky that lifts its skirt to / Release the watershed, and I wonder / What you see under her skirt that / You do not see under my hem.”–smacking of King David and even Samson.Birmingham’s quiet and plain-spoken rebuttal to heartache seems almost clothed in sweetness when she writes–“Today, although I sit in the corner alone / I am warmer than I ever was with you.”

Here, in “Versions of the Self” we not only find Christy Birmingham, but we find ourselves. And wise is the reader who looks deeply into this well so unselfishly offered up.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

Also by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

One of the reviews from Goodreads

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Connect to Christy

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about Christy’s poetry collections. thanks Sally