Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Claire Fullerton, Darlene Foster and Angie Dokos


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week, for books with recent reviews. The first author is Claire Fullerton for her novel Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 18, 2019 Jaymi Couch rated it it was amazing

This book took my breath away with its beautiful and emotional story of a family living in Memphis, TN in the early 70s. Millie and her older brother Finley are inseparable and she adores him. 
On the second page we’re told something about the ending, so right away there’s tension as we watch the story unfold.


Millie has a kind of hero worship for her brother. He explains things to her, includes her, protects her and they have a close bond.


”In the dense woods surrounding our house, we built tree houses and horse corrals, just like the Cartwrights in Bonanza. We cleared the earthen floor with brooms made from twigs, and lined the boundaries with rocks we rolled heavily in to set the stage for cowboys and Indians because Finley liked creating imaginary worlds, and I never cared what we did as long as I was with him. “

The Crossan family matriarch is Posey and she is a southern girl through and through. She brings the children from Minnesota to her hometown Memphis after their dad’s drinking goes too far.


There’s no way to summarize succinctly everything that happens. We are observers as Millie and Finley grow up in the 70s in a town where image and reputation are everything. Alcoholism, mental health and religion also play a part.

The time period was captured perfectly, in all its hippie glory from the bell bottoms and drugs to the music scene. It’s southern fiction at its best – the genteel manners, the societal expectations of which schools to attend, the five o’clock mandatory cocktail hour, the “right” families, the “outsiders”, the polite denial in the face of something unpleasant – author Claire Fullerton brings the south to life in a way that reminds me of the late Pat Conroy. I was completely transported and engrossed and captivated.


”Your heart breaks only once in a lifetime. Every offense in its wake is only a variation of the original laceration.” 
This is my first 5 star book of 2019!

Read some of the other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

The next author is Darlene Foster with a recent review for Amanda In New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About the book

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster

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

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

The next author with with a recent review is Angie Dokos for her first novel  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when he career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

This book is not erotica, but does have sexual content. It includes some curse words, but not many. It doesn’t have any major violence.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Caroline 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent plot and engaging writing! January 25, 2019

I was super excited to read Angie Dokos’ debut novel, and it did not disappoint. There was a genuine authenticity in the characters’ dialogue and individual personalities. In the wake of tragedy and exposed secrets, Mackenzie finds love and personal growth while maintaining a close relationship with her family. I found Mackenzie herself to be incredibly down to earth and therefore, relatable. She maintained her sense of independence while opening herself up to love. I found the supporting characters to also be well-developed. There were many, which brought a community to life. I was sad when I approached the end of the book as I felt like I was losing some of my friends. The ending was very satisfying. The conclusion to Trevor and Mackenzie’s romance was exactly what I was hoping for. A truly sentimental, heart-warming, and exciting tale. Great job Angie, I cannot wait to read more from you!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s collection… Thanks Sally.

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Historical #Survival – Claire Fullerton, William Luvaas, Jacqui Murray and Terry Tyler


Time for more gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and today novels that I have read and reviewed this year, that I can highly recommend. The first author is Claire Fullerton, and her latest release Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mourning Dove is an epic mid-century recounting of a family, a lifestyle, a simpler but dignified time, providing a reminder that behind the gilded societal walls, hardships exist and life goes on. Claire Fullerton’s development of these dear to her heart characters, makes the reader consider them family members within the opening chapters. Set against the backdrop of a real life Gone With the Wind, Claire’s mother brings about images of Jackie O, Audrey, Bacall, complete with her own resident Warhol. But behind perfection, often hides dysfunction. Is it dysfunction, or is it what we all live through – our best efforts to make it through this often difficult life? In this sense, Millie and Finley take decidedly different paths of working through it all.

A masterful use of description, often providing a bouquet of the very scent being described, the subtle facial tells one can relate to, and the constant feeling of “what if”. This book flows like a gathering avalanche, and never ceases to disappoint. I dreaded the end, as I felt something ominous on the horizon. A must read for those with a deep sentimental side – I’m left with a sense of longing, wistfulness, yearning. Or is it all out melancholy? Yes, that’s it…melancholy.

My thanks to the author for having the strength to pen this novel and bare her soul.

Read some of the 100 other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

The next novel that I read earlier in the year is Welcome to Saint Angel by William Luvaas.

Following on from the book release William Luvaas and Lucinda Luvaas, won a prestigious award. The short film adapted from William’s novel Welcome to Saint Angel has just won the “Best Adapted Screenplay” award at the Golden State Film Festival in L.A.  It started out as a book trailer and evolved into a short film. You can watch the film on Vimeo – Welcome to Saint Angel

About Welcome to Saint Angel.

Iconoclastic inventor, Al Sharpe, loves his canyon home in Southern California’s Saint Angel Valley. He builds his teenage daughter a tree house in a giant oak and invents the Sharpe Smoke Scrubber to detoxify wood smoke. When wealthy developer Ches Noonan, a fellow member of the Desert Green Lawn Association, sets out to fill the valley with houses and appropriate its precious water supply to fill swimming pools during California’s worst drought, Al and his quixotic pals rebel. In the Realty Revenge, they halt development through madcap high jinks and the help of local Indians, ancient demon Tahquitz, and mother nature.

Welcome to Saint Angel is a dead-serious comedy about development gone mad and townsfolk’s attempts to protect their rural Arcadia from bulldozers and climate change deniers. Part environmental fiction, part social satire, it speaks to exurban sprawl and the heedless development of fragile natural areas and to the power of communal resistance in the face of calamity.

“A painful, redemptive belly laugh and well worth it.” —Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jul 03, 2018 Roger Aplon rated it Five Stars

Besides being one of our best storytellers, Bill Luvaas, with the writing of Welcome to Saint Angel, must also be acknowledged as one of our most enlightened, if somewhat excentric, radicals.

From the outset, Welcome . . . bristles with the rollicking, ribald wit reminiscent of Rabelais as well as the caustic social & personal satire of Voltaire. When the desolate little desert hamlet of Saint Angel comes under attack from uncompromising, money-grubbing developers & unprincipled water-snatchers, an uncommon & often mind-boggling array of cast-offs, misfits, ornery & none-too-subtle humanity rise up to attempt to save their terrible paradise: what’s one person’s hell is another’s heaven – I guess & so does Bill Luvaas who teases us with serious arguments against over-development & miss-use of nature’s bounty while at the same time interrupting the ‘lecture’ with quips & currents of lawless madness & random mayhem.

From the likes of the peculiarly complicated character Tinkerspoon, the sometime wacky genius, who can hack any & all computers from the U S Government to the local bank, to the town of Saint Angel itself that speaks the facts that keep the plot alive & moving ever forward, Luvaas packs his pages with nudies, gunfighters, street brawlers, trackers tracking humans over hot & unrelenting desert, a swamp that devours all & any in its proximity & just to keep the romantic reader engrossed, a saga of father-daughter-love lost & found & the nourishing spirit of Tahquitz, a Native Demon, who keeps tabs on the merciless marauders while cheering-on the downtrodden but relentless protectors of Saint Angel. Bill Luvass has done us a favor with the creation of this book – do yourself one & read it!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

Also by William Luvaas

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

Read more reviews and follow William on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/300702.William_Luvaas

Connect to William via his Website: http://www.williamluvaas.com

And another book that I read and enjoyed more recently is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. To walk in the footsteps of one of our earliest female ancestors is quite an experience and humbling.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

My recent review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.

Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.

This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.

I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

Connect to Jacqui via her blog: Worddreams,

And last but not least my latest review which was for Terry Tyler and Legacy: Book Four Project Renova Series... I have read and reviewed the previous books in the series and I can recommend that you read all of them

About Legacy

Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’

A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels backwards in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.

Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.

In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him…or so his mother tells him.

In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…

Book 4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear…but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future.

My recent review for the book..

A fitting end to an amazing series.

It is difficult not to give away spoilers when you are excited about a book you have just read. Particularly when it is the final book in a series, and all the loose ends have been gathered up into one satisfying bundle.

If you have already read the other books in the series, then you will be as eager as I was to catch up with the previous characters as they dispersed to Denmark or escaped the new outbreak in UK Central. You won’t be disappointed, as their continuing stories are action packed, heartwarming and sometimes downright scary.

The author takes us forward, beyond these characters, to 100 years after the Bat Fever. We discover that many of the residents of the new UK have reverted back to the days of small settlements. They are self-sustaining and make an effort to bring children into a better world, although interestingly the gains made by women for independence have taken more than a few steps backwards.

However, there are still women taking control of their lives and in some cases being responsible for settlements such as Lindisfarne.  However, being human there are still those that have a craving for power at any cost. In the main population hubs and in the North, 100 years after the epidemic the veneer of civilization is very thin with violence a part of everyday life.

What is clear, having read the entire series, is that following an apocalyptic event, the majority of the population are completely unprepared without the infrastructure that provides shelter, food and medicines. They have little or no knowledge of how to sustain themselves and only those with resolve and bravery will survive. Those that do bring a glimmer of hope that mankind will survive and thrive in the aftermath of a devastating event and that is a thread that runs through this final story.

A brilliant end to the series, and I do suggest that you begin with the previous three books Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2 so that you are fully primed before reading Legacy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

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/

I hope you have enjoyed this selection of just some of the books that I have read an enjoyed this year.. more to come later in the Christmas promotions. They would all make great gifts.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton


My review today is for Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton, a family saga set in Memphis in the 1970s and 1980s, with a coming of age for a brother and sister dropped into the opulence and charm of Southern culture.

About the book

“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

My review for the book.

I am not sure that anyone who is not born into the opulent, and long cultivated upper echelons of Southern culture, would be able to slip into its charming, but strictly adhered to rules of engagement easily. Especially when you are on the cusp of your teen years and  brought up in the very different environment. As are Millie aged ten and her brother Finlay, who is eighteen months older.

“We had Minnesota accents, we were white as the driven snow, and we both had a painfully difficult time deciphering the Southern accent, which operates at lightening speed, and doesn’t feel the need for enunciation. Instead, it trips along the lines of implication.”

Posey comes from an affluent Southern family and was brought up in a sprawling stucco French Chateau which she left having met a charismatic and rich Yankee. Her marriage is over, and the wealth that she is accustomed to is gone; and she has little choice but to return to her family home in Memphis. She slips right back into society where she left off, as she takes over the running of the house, and with four years until an income will be available from her inherited trust fund, other means must be found.

The intricacies of the society that the two children find themselves inserted into, has little relation to the outside world. Steeped in tradition, long forged alliances, eccentricities and acceptable behaviour, stretching back through many generations. Little has changed, and that is the way it is orchestrated to remain. Clearly defined roles for males and females are perpetuated in the schooling that prepares the young to continue the status quo into the future, and non-conformity is frowned upon.  You will fit in or face exclusion.

This novel is about the relationship between a brother and sister and is written from Millie’s perspective, now 36 years old, as she revisits their childhood and teenage years. She is looking for answers and clues as to where her relationship with Finlay, which had been so solid and close, began to disconnect. Without a doubt for me one of elements that is crucial to this, is their mother, and Claire Fullerton has done a masterful job in creating her self-absorbed but somehow vulnerable character.

My mother did not walk into a room, she sashayed, borne from the swivel of her twenty-four inch waist. Her name was Posey, and although there was a lot more to her that she ever let on, to all appearances, the name suited her perfectly.

The story is not fast paced, flowing smoothly as it meanders through the lives of Posey, Millie and Finlay. You are drawn into their experiences, and you find yourself mentally bookmarking certain events and revelations, that explain how such a close bond became disconnected. I found myself engaging with the main characters early on, and I became emotionally attached to them all. Those of us with brothers and sisters can find parallels in our own relationships, especially those that might not be as close as they were when growing up.

Mourning Dove is elegantly written with a brilliantly descriptive language that has you immersed in this very exclusive and opulent society. I dare you not to read, and not come away with a distinctive drawl of lightening speed, without the need of enunciation!

Head over and buy the book in Kindle, print and audio: https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Buy the books and audio editions: https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of contemporary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite. Claire is the author of “A Portal in Time,” a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both of Claire’s novels are published by Vinspire Publishing.

Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. She is one of four contributors to the book, Southern Seasons, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency.

Connect to Claire

Website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/
Blog: https://cffullerton.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claire.fullerton.79

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Viv Drewa, Jessica Duchen, Claire Fullerton and Tina Frisco


Today’s first featured book is Midnight Owl which is the first book in the Joe Leverette Mystery series by Viv Drewa..

About the Book

When the dismembered body of a young woman is found Detectives Joe Leverette and Philip Marsden are assigned the case. After investigating the Port Huron, Michigan area where the six body parts were found there’s a twist in the case: The murderer goes after each individual who found the parts, one by one.Leverette becomes interested in one of the women, Carole Sage, a sensitive, but because of the case he’s not able to take it any further. Everyone on the police force sees his infatuation, but Carole does not.

Each of the six witnesses has a dream about the murderer removing the particular body part they found the night. They are startled awake and hear an owl hoot three times. None of them want to reveal their dream to the detectives.Carole sees the actual murder and each murder as it happens to the witnesses. The police chief, Billingsley, understands her ‘gift’ and sets up a sting to catch him. It fails and they have to regroup to think of something else. Two witnesses are dead and they don’t want a third to die.

This book is for 18+ due to the violence.

The most recent review for the book

This book is the perfect mystery thriller. A serial killer is on the loose. He decapitates his victims and scatters their remains. He sends notes to the police, taunting them.

Carole is a sensitive, and she sees things foretelling the killer’s next move. However, neither she nor the police ever seem to get ahead. Will the sadistic murderer ever be caught, or will he continue claiming victims?

This book had a grip on me from the moment I started reading. As the story went along, I became more and more engrossed, and tried to predict what would happen next. However, I could never figure it out. The plot changes were perfect, keeping me on my toes and guessing throughout the story. This book ends with a giant cliffhanger. I can’t wait for Part Two!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Owl-Leverette-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B06XRWX8PW

Also by Viv Drewa

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20

Read more reviews and follow Viv on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7800701.Viv_Drew

51ilk4kfqsl-_ux250_Connect to Viv via her website: http://vivdrewa.com

The next author with a recent review is Jessica Duchen for Ghost Variations released in September 2016 and is the strangest detective story in the history of music – inspired by a true incident.

517rcilm0bl-_uy250_A world spiralling towards war. A composer descending into madness. And a devoted woman struggling to keep her faith in art and love against all the odds.

1933. Dabbling in the fashionable “Glass Game” – a Ouija board – the famous Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi, one-time muse to composers such as Bartók, Ravel and Elgar, encounters a startling dilemma. A message arrives ostensibly from the spirit of the composer Robert Schumann, begging her to find and perform his long-suppressed violin concerto.

She tries to ignore it, wanting to concentrate instead on charity concerts. But against the background of the 1930s depression in London and the rise of the Nazis in Germany, a struggle ensues as the “spirit messengers” do not want her to forget.

The concerto turns out to be real, embargoed by Schumann’s family for fear that it betrayed his mental disintegration: it was his last full-scale work, written just before he suffered a nervous breakdown after which he spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital. It shares a theme with his Geistervariationen (Ghost Variations) for piano, a melody he believed had been dictated to him by the spirits of composers beyond the grave.

As rumours of its existence spread from London to Berlin, where the manuscript is held, Jelly embarks on an increasingly complex quest to find the concerto. When the Third Reich’s administration decides to unearth the work for reasons of its own, a race to perform it begins.

Though aided and abetted by a team of larger-than-life personalities – including her sister Adila Fachiri, the pianist Myra Hess, and a young music publisher who falls in love with her – Jelly finds herself confronting forces that threaten her own state of mind. Saving the concerto comes to mean saving herself.

In the ensuing psychodrama, the heroine, the concerto and the pre-war world stand on the brink, reaching together for one more chance of glory.

A captivating and enticing read.

on 11 September 2017
A captivating and enticing read.

At the heart of this book is a poignant story of a great violinist, Jelly d’Aranyi, or “An Artist of the Floating World”( to borrow from Ishiguro) trying to come to terms with an ever alienating society and the world as it is rapidly approaching another Great War. Although the main plot is the search for a Schumann violin concerto, it seems almost secondary, an effect rather than a cause.

As Jelly is getting older she laments times past, with a brilliantly successful career surrounded by famous musicians and close friends who admire her. She is anxious about a decline in her career, bitterly remarking that were she a man she would be at the height of her power at this age; her close friends are scattered around the country, one battling old age and another taken by a horrible illness. Still grieving for the man she loved who died in the First World War, she thinks it’s inconceivable that another war should be coming so soon. Jelly is deeply unsettled by the anti-foreigner mood around her, despite living in this country for a long time she starts to feel like an unwelcome outsider.

Faced with the task of dealing with the rapid changes around her, Jelly finds herself ” losing the ground” as if being swept away by a wave of change. At last she is forced to re-evaluate her whole existence.

Her quest to find the Schumann Concerto becomes her only way out, a way to keep the spirits of all the people she loved as well as herself alive. The music becomes her salvation.

I consider it a sign of how far we have come as a society (although arguably we still have a lot further to go) when we take for granted the difficulties of having a career as a woman. The impossibility of having both a family as well as being a successful musician doesn’t cross our mind immediately nowadays, which is a stark contrast to 1930s. Deciding on being a concert musician meant Jelly and many other female artists including the legendary Myra Hess chose to not settle down.

Everywhere else in the novel the author devotes time on highlighting “the plight” of women, one such example being the inability of women to study at certain high institutions as they weren’t allowed. The subject of woman’s condition so well brought up in this book was an extra bonus to me. Elsewhere the undoubtedly realistic backdrop of the book is beautifully crafted; the general mood of anxiety and alarm as of the uncertainty of the near future is daunting, making one somewhat queasy.

This book will be of great interest not only to musicians but a general reader looking for a gripping read, because that is exactly what this is. Highly recommended.

Read more reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Variations-Strangest-Detective-Story-ebook/product-reviews/B01LW6HZV6

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Variations-Strangest-Detective-Story-ebook/dp/B01LW6HZV6

Also by Jessica Duchen

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Duchen/e/B001HCXXL

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Duchen/e/B001HCXXL8

Read more reviews and follow Jessica on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1034483.Jessica_Duchen

51txguyqvbl-_ux250_Connect to Jessica via her website: http://www.jessicaduchen.co.uk

The next author with a recent review is Claire Fullerton with the wonderfully titled Dancing to an Irish Reel set in Connemara.

51nljcd9dgl-_uy250_About the book.

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.

One of the recent reviews for the book

It is widely accepted that both the early written works and the oral tradition of storytellers, which began in ancient Ireland, are among the most original and earliest forms of communication in Europe. Writers have the uncanny ability to tap into the realm of spirit, the place where all inspiration emanates. It is a gift that enables them to transcend the mundane, and experience the world as they see and feel it, and know how it should be. They can be likened to magicians and have the uncanny ability to turn what to most people, are chaotic thoughts, emotions and feelings, and fashion them into beautiful and meaningful works of art. They are artists who paint the blank canvas with their words and are blessed with the grace that enables them to never stray far from their original nature, despite having to live and survive in the material world.
Writers pass on what they have learned through their words, which are the manifestation of a collective knowledge. It is a shamanistic quality which they possess.

A fine example of these very qualities can be found in a wonderfully written novel titled “Dancing to an Irish Reel” by author Claire Fullerton. Ms. Fullerton takes the reader on an inspiring journey of hope, love and music, through the beautiful Galway in the West of Ireland and the ancient province of Connaught. If you have never been to Ireland, reading “Dancing to an Irish Reel” will inspire you to dust off your passport.

Read some of the 58 reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Irish-Reel-Claire-Fullerton/dp/0990304256

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancing-Irish-Reel-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B00UCOZJXM

Also by Claire Fullerton

51xyrp8hy7l-_uy250_Buy both books and audio editions: https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

indexConnect to Claire via her website: http://www.clairefullerton.com

Last but certainly not least, is Tina Frisco with a recent review for her recently released new edition of Plateau: Beyond the Trees

About Plateau : Beyond the Trees

Is there any hope for humankind? Will love prevail over fear? A young tribal female is unaware she holds the answers to these questions. W’Hyani was born strong and willful and the Keeper of the Crystal Heart. Her mettle is tested by the cosmic forces that shaped her destiny. She comes face-to-face with fear in a battle that would shrink the will of the most daring warrior. The fate of all beings in the Universe depends on her defeating the bloodthirsty gondrah and unlocking the mystery of the Great Mosaic of Life.

Two reviews within a couple of days of each other so will share both.

At the first turn of page one in the Plateau: Beyond the Trees, the reader steps back into time, or possibly the future, to meet the E’Ghali tribe and the young, W’Hyani. The story is told through her experiences and life journey as W’Hyani embarks on a hero’s journey fraught with all the hardships and heartbreaks that life can bring. Yet, somehow the lessons she learns come across as fresh and new leading her on the path to illumination.

At the core of the story is the legend of the sacred cave of the E’Ghali where the Great Mosaic represents the Great One. W’hyani and her parents hold the key to this mystery as they grapple with their destinies. Each family member holds a special place in the fulfillment of W’Hyani’s destiny.

At times, travelers from “the city” ventured onto E’Ghali land and relationships were established. When this happened, I couldn’t quite tell if we were in the future or the past. It didn’t really matter because the tribal legends spoke of a time when humans would be able to exist in peace and love which left me with the feeling that this event would soon take place. When this event occurs is not the point. Instead, it is the fact that it will happen that captures your spirit.

Such is W’Hyani’s destiny as the Keeper of the Crystal Heart. She represents hope and the future of all mankind.
At the beginning of each chapter, the author shares a quote from Lynn V. Andrew’s, The Power Deck. Each of these quotes drove home a powerful message that was highlighted by W’Hyani’s particular journey in that chapter. I was deeply moved by many of these passages which were a great addition to the story.

Plateau was an emotional read for me. I took my time and tried to experience through my reading, the life lessons that W’Hyani and her friends undertook. Their experiences caused me to reflect upon my own life and spiritual journey. This is the kind of book that transports you to a higher plane of existence where what you thought was the ending is really only the beginning.

Tina Frisco wrote this book as an outreach of hope to the doomsday messages that swirled in the media around December 21, 2012. In reality, the book is timeless. The message of love, understanding, and compassion resonate today or any day. Respect for our mother Earth reverberates lovingly through each page.

I’ve added this book to my Me Time Category for Spirituality because of the emotional impact this book left on my heart. I’ve never read another story like it and found it to be a hidden gem in the literary world.
Spiritually Moving and Uplifting on September 14, 2017

FIRST I must say that I loved this gentle little book. I devoured it in a single evening, so entranced by the story that I didn’t want to stop to read the inspiring quotes from Lynn V. Andrew’s Power Deck that began each chapter. Once I reached the end of the book I had to go back for the quotes, skimming each following chapter a second time.

NOW I must say that I have struggled with how I could possibly write a review — I’ve never read another book quite like it.

Other reviewers here have given you as much as you need to become familiar with the book’s “environment” – if I can call it that, introducing you to a few of the characters – so I won’t repeat similar content. But they can’t convey the deeply spiritual, uplifting essence of the book that, to me, is what makes it remarkable. Plateau never pontificates, but rather seduces the reader to come to his or her own spiritual realizations as the story unfolds.

I suppose the most impactful thing I can say is that I was infused with a sense of well-being when I finally put down my Kindle and turned off the light. I was in such a calm and totally relaxed positive state of mind that I transitioned easily and almost immediately into a deep sleep – a rare experience in my life.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073W789GB

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plateau-Beyond-Trees-Tina-Frisco-ebook/dp/B073W789GB

Also by Tina Frisco

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Read more reviews and follow Tina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6497599.Tina_Frisco

Connect to Tina via her blog and website: https://tinafrisco.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will explore these authors and their work further.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord 2016 in Review – Open House – Meet author Claire Fullerton


Smorgasbord Open House

This was the top viewed Smorgasbord Open House in 2016 for the interview with author Claire Fullerton.

My guest today is Claire Fullerton author of Dancing to an Irish Reel which is set in Connemara, Ireland and A Portal in Time, a paranormal mystery across two time periods, set on California’s Monterey Peninsula in the famous village of Carmel-on-Sea, both published by Vinspire Publishing.

index

Claire is a three- time award winning essayist, a former newspaper columnist, a contributor to magazines including Celtic Life International and Southern Writers Magazine. She is a five-time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series and can be found on Goodreads as well as the website under her name. She is currently working on her third novel and you can find out more about that later in the post.

First a look at Claire’s books beginning with her latest release in 2015, the wonderfully titled Dancing to an Irish Reel set in Connemara.

51nljcd9dgl-_uy250_

About the book.

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.

Some of the many reviews for the book also now in audio.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is awesome!!!!! By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2016 Format: Audible Audio EditionVerified Purchase

A lovely, leisurely trip to Ireland from my couch By Sophie Quist on January 24, 2016 Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Distinctive and Convincing Writing By Gracelikestoread on December 13, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

 Direct Links to Purchase “Dancing to an Irish Reel”

Amazon Books and Kindle
Barnes and Noble Books and Nook

Google Play

Kobo Books

Now a look at A Portal in Time released in November 2013.

51xyrp8hy7l-_uy250_

When we are inexplicably drawn to love and a particular place, is it coincidence, or have we loved before?

Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green, cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California’s Carmel-By-The-Sea where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-By-The-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before. As Anna’s memory unravels the puzzle, she is drawn into a past that’s eerily familiar and a life she just may have lived before.

Claire has received some great reviews for this book.

A Wonderful Page-Turning Romance By Ellen Comeskey on December 11, 2013

I highly recommend this enchanting book. By virginia muller on December 19, 2013

Direct link on Amazon to buy A Portal in Time. Amazon

Claire’s Essays on her website.

If you click on the link to Claire’s website you will not only find out more information on her writing in general but some wonderful published essays. She feels a deep connection to Ireland and this is evident in her essay Irish Connections. Irish Connections

Whilst you browse all her essays I also recommend that you read Carmel. Claire has a personal connection to Carmel as she spent her honeymoon there and she returned on her first anniversary. This essay was published in the Carmel Living Magazine. Claire and her husband spent part of their time after this and the history and atmosphere of the town provided the inspiration for her first novel A Portal in Time. Having stayed their one weekend myself I can also recommend that you visit if you are on the west coast. Delightful place with a huge amount of places of historical interest and charm; perfect setting for a book.

Before we move onto Claire’s interview questions, here is how she describes herself and her Southern upbringing in a previous interview last year. Sunday Lunch

‘I grew up in the Deep South, that part of the US that many consider the last romantic place in America. And it is; the region has its own culture that is so steeped in tradition, it seems that time has stood still. At the heart of the ways and means of the South is an iron-clad code of manners handed down at birth. It is an imperative code of civility that is society’s glue, and there is no more egregious error one can commit than to display bad manners.

When people talk about Southern hospitality, what they’re talking about is how a Southerner will treat a guest, even if that guest is only someone a Southerner accidently brushes up against while walking down the street. The most salient characteristic of Southern hospitality is the ability to extend oneself, which means putting another first, to focus such a high beam of gregarious concern that anyone caught in the headlight will think they’re the most important soul on earth. But you have to be born into the South to know this, for the guidelines of Southern ways are taught through the power of example, wrought through simply observing the glittering Southern people that come before you, who never lower themselves to a gauche confession of their inner-workings, but prefer to walk the line of implication instead in a “show-don’t tell” manner. It is a way of being in the world that is confident enough in its own animal grace to know the unspoken influence of its own attraction’.

So welcome Claire and delighted that you could drop by this morning… Over to you.

What genre do you read and your favourite authors?

My idea of heaven is to immerse myself in the works of contemporary Southern writers, especially when they write in the first person.

Three authors stand out for me: Pat Conroy, Ann Rivers Siddons and Donna Tartt. I am in awe of these writers and could ace a blind test wherein I was given a sentence by each and asked to name who wrote it. All three are considered Southern writers by virtue of the fact that they were born in the American South, and I’ve been pondering this term of late because I am a writer who hails from Memphis, Tennessee.

Not to get off point by digression, but my first two novels have nothing to do with the South, yet my third is set in Memphis and thematically about the repercussions of the culture. This has led me to ponder what it truly means to be a Southern writer. One hears this categorization bantered about, and it does evoke classification that has to do with regional setting, but to me, it is so much more. When a writer hails from the South, they cannot help but carry a certain frame of reference from which they view and interact with the world. This frame of reference is unknown to outsiders and therefore often misunderstood. I say this because I am now a transplanted Southerner living in California. I am well aware that the accent I wield invites assumption.

People “out here,” as any Southerner would label a region north of the Mason Dixon line, think the South is more back woods than it actually is. They don’t know that the South maintains a soft gentility passed down in families, that there is an iron-clad code of civility, and that there is nothing more unforgivable than bad manners. I’ve heard it said that the South is the last romantic place in America, and I believe it to be so. The romance hangs in the air with Southern humidity and informs everything from the way people move to their speech. I have had the great largess of growing up with many a flamboyant Southerner in my immediate circumference.

I will generalize here for the sake of clear explanation by saying those that affected my childhood were proud Southerners intent on perpetuating the social mores of the South, whose heart maintains the love of story. Southerners are a long winded lot, intent on detail and incapable of making any point without offering fifteen minutes of background. But they are bright, upbeat creatures who exist in packs and feel a moral obligation to entertain both literally and figuratively. In the South, great importance is placed on connections, which includes familial lineage, ties to the land, and the jury of one’s peers. They are ever mindful of the value of relationships and measure themselves in relation to one another.

This constitutes a certain regional consciousness and gives rise to a tacit, cultural paradigm that eludes the casual observer. What outsiders don’t know about Southerners is that they are in love with the peculiarities of being Southern, and will defend their Southerness to the hilt. All three of the authors I have mentioned know well of these Southern eccentricities, and it flavours their writing. All three are masters of lyrical language and are sensitive to and sing praises of the nuances of the South.

Which book in your opinion is the best you have ever read and why?

Hands down, Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides.” It’s first two sentences read, “My wound is my geography. It is my anchorage, my port of call.” We’ve all read brilliant writers, but what gets me about Conroy is he takes a knife to the soul and can open up unhealed, dormant wounds that we all carry ( of this I am convinced) and explains them to us through the love of words and story. In the two sentences I have quoted above, he covers everything about what it means to be a product of a family born to a region that defines you and explains everything about who you are. “The Prince of Tides” is the ultimate “sins of the father” story, whose theme of cause and effect perpetrated within the family draws the lines of each character and shapes the course of each of their life.

But it is Conroy’s lyrical use of language throughout the book that sets the mood of the story. It is languid, sonorous, and fluid in a way that is commiserate with the tides of South Carolina’s low country, which is the setting of the book. Not content with economy of language, Pat Conroy takes the reader into the undertow of this family saga and invites them to fend for themselves through the story’s ebb and flow, until they are cast upon the shore panting for breath. This book blew my world wide open. It showed me what is possible with the written word.

What kind of music do you listen to and who are your favourite musicians?

Sally, you’re a woman after my own heart with this question! Here we go: being raised in Memphis, which is literally “The home of the Blues” and having had the good fortune of growing up with a brother named Haines, who was eighteen months older than me, and who picked up a guitar at the age of eight and never put it down, music was the only thing I ever cared about for the first twenty some-odd years of my life! I came into the world that The Beatles defined, and lived in the region that was the hot seat of the impetus of that definition! By this, I mean Elvis Presley. Elvis took the Delta Blues and created Rock-n-Roll, and The Beatles took Rock-n-Roll and revolutionized it. It all came from Memphis; The Beatles knew this, The Rolling Stones knew this, and to one degree or another, contemporary music has Memphis to thank.

I’m a fan of “Pop music” and could keep you here all day naming names. Instead, I’ll tell you I spent nine years as a music radio DJ in Memphis; that I worked in the music business in Los Angeles discovering bands that went on to “make it big” and will now mention that my brother, Haines, was instrumental in the formative years of The Dave Matthews Band.

Okay, let me give you the respect of answering your question and name a few names: The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Crowded House, Neil Finn solo, Toad the Wet Sprocket, anything Glen Phillips does, who could not see the merits in U2, Cold Play is not actually the U2 rip-off many proclaim them to be, Ed Sheeran thrills me; don’t judge me, but I’m a fan of Country Music; Keith Urban comes to mind; I’m in love with Mike Scott and love The Waterboys, as well as Karl Wallinger (you’re in the know if you know their connection.) Lastly, I applaud Irish traditional music; it speaks to my genetic lineage, and I’ll now say that if you don’t have a copy of “A Place among the Stones” by Davy Spillane, then you’re at a complete disadvantage.

Buy A Place Amongst the StonesA place amongst the stones

What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?

I’ll provide a list here in no order of importance.

  1. Move to a foreign country and stay. Submerge yourself in the culture until it makes you forget where you came from.
  2. Study dance and incorporate it into your way of being in the world.
  3. Share your life with a dog. Love it, tend to it, be responsible for it, let it love you, and you will know the nature of unconditional love.
  4. Arrive at a clear idea of how to be of service to others. Identify your peculiar, individual gifts that you came into the world carrying, and get about the business of using them to the benefit of others.
  5. Stay connected to God as you know Him, which means cultivate a daily spiritual practice that’ll lend itself to daily renewal, humility, hope, faith, and a healthy perspective.

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

I recently completed my third novel, which is a Southern family saga set in 1970’s and 1980’s Memphis. Its title is “Mourning Dove,” and it is written in the first person voice of Millie Crossan, as she tells about growing up with her brother, Finley, in their mother’s genteel world, where all that glitters is not gold.

I wanted to tell a family story set in post-civil- rights Memphis that depicts the opulent South, where the region is changing, yet a certain sect of society still clings to old world manner and form, even in the face of tragedy. The themes in “Mourning Dove” are a search for place, a search for identity, and ultimately a search for God. It was my aim to capture the era in which I grew up. Much has changed now, as has the world, but I was well aware of the uniqueness of the Memphis I was born into while I grew up; I found it beautiful and very specifically civilized, yet in a cloistered way.

And as life is life no matter where you set it, how people handle life’s vagaries is often dictated by social customs, and the adherence of those customs colors the experience. Currently, the book is under review.

My thanks to Claire for providing us with an insight into her life and what inspires her to right. Also a big thank you for suggesting we listen to the beautiful Celtic music of Davy Spillane.

Find details and buy links to Claire’s books via her website and of course the usual online bookstores including: Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Connect with Claire on her website and social media.
Website: http://www.clairefullerton.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/clairefullertonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
Dancing to an Irish Reel – Facebook page: Link
Dancing to an Irish Reel -Google+ page:Link
Claire on Pinterest:Lin

Thank you for dropping by and it would be wonderful if you could sign the visitors book… and also before you leave spread the word about Claire Fullerton across your own networks.

If you would like to be a guest on Open House it is very straightforward.. here is the link that tells you about the interview and also has the questions that you can choose from.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sunday-open-house-writers-artists-musicians-guest-spot/

Enjoy the day.. thanks Sally