Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Eleventh Day of Christmas with guests Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin.


Just two more parties to go before the big day and for this celebration I am delighted to welcome writers Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin, both of whom will be sharing their most precious Christmas memories.

I thought that we could not talk about Christmas without preparing something for the pets in the family. In the old days, and that was in fact only about 30 years ago, pets were fed on scraps as they had been for the thousands of years as our companions.  I appreciate that most of the animal foods available today may be rich in nutrients and full of vitality but I am afraid that I steer clear of dried food and prefer to go the natural route.

It is tempting to give pets the same treats that we enjoy but I am afraid that at Christmas treats like human chocolate are extremely dangerous. Chocolate is poison to dogs and can cause them to fit. Too many high fat, salty and sugary tit bits can also have a detrimental effect on a dog and cat’s digestion – and their first instinct is to vomit before producing rather evil smelling poop. It is important not to give you pets processed meats which contain a lot of salt or the turkey or chicken that you have prepared for your Christmas dinner because it too will have been spiced and seasoned.

Spread the food over a couple of days, as you can store cooked Turkey or chicken for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Give your pets a small amount on day one; say Christmas Eve, a little more on Christmas day and Boxing Day.

Sam our Collie established as soon as he came through the front door at 8 weeks old that the pellets that had been supplied by his breeder were inferior and he was now prepared for the good stuff. He never did take to dried food.  He finally settled on Basmati rice (anything that did not have that distinctive aroma was rejected) chopped cooked chicken and giblets, some carrots and green veg with a little salt free juice from the chicken.  I know some may say he was spoiled rotten but he was bright, intelligent and healthy his entire life and he always politely waited until we had started our meals before beginning his.  A perfect dinner guest.

Here are a couple of favourites that we prepared for Christmas – we fostered some cats in our time and had a small feral family in our garden in Ireland that also partook during the festivities as payment for the rats caught and left on my doorstep!  Sam loved Christmas and threw himself into the celebrations with great gusto…

Christmas Turkey or chicken Loaf for the Dog

Enough for 6 servings for a small dog and 4 servings for a large dog.

  • 2 lbs. of minced turkey.
  • 4 oz. of cooked and minced mixed vegetables (unseasoned)
  • 1 small crushed piece of garlic (anti- worms and fleas – and good for humans too)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. of oats
  • 3 oz. of cooked basmati rice

Let’s Cook

Mix the turkey or chicken, vegetables, garlic, egg, rice and oats together thoroughly. Put into a greased pan (use a little butter) and pat down the mixture until level. Stand in a roasting dish of water in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook for around 1 to 1½ hours and then cool. Cut into portions and serve with a little salt free gravy. You will probably be asked for second helpings and third with a small piece of cheese to finish off!

Turkey Surprise – For the Cat
(The cat is likely to be very surprised if it is not out of a tin!)

Should provide 4 servings if you can hide from the cat. If not it will probably disappear very quickly.

  • 1/2 fresh unseasoned turkey breast or one chicken breast cooked and finely chopped.
  • 3 oz. of cooked carrots finely diced.
  • 2 oz. of finely chopped cooked spinach
  • 3 oz. of finely chopped green beans
  • 6 oz. cooked basmati rice
  • Unsalted chicken broth.

Mix everything together with enough chicken broth to bind the ingredients. Serve when lukewarm and watch your fingers.

My feral cats in Ireland waiting for dinner to be served…

Here is Leona Lewis to take us into today’s festivities with Just One More Sleep Amazon and courtesy of leonalewis

Time to meet my first guest today… the lovely Colleen Chesebro is a regular visitor to most of our blogs and her Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 114, 115, 116 which is the last of the year offers you an opportunity to share your Haiku, Tanka or Etheree over the next couple of weeks. You will also find samples of Colleen’s own poetry on her blog and she is a respected book reviewer

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer and author of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.  Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Colleen shares her most special Christmas gift…

When I was a young child, I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my German/Russian grandparents after my mom died. I don’t remember receiving many gifts. Christmas was about baking and eating, more of a celebration of my Grandma’s culinary delights. She baked up a storm for five days before the holiday. The smell of fresh bread permeated every crevice in their tiny house. Grandma would bake Christmas Kuchen and myriads of cookies that we would decorate together. Those are my favorite memories of Christmas. I still miss my Grandma.

When my own three children came along, including two stepdaughters, that was the gift I gave them, my grandma’s gift to me. I taught them to bake and enjoy the time spent together living within the spirit of Christmas. The presents didn’t matter. The important thing was to celebrate family. ♥

Sounds like an amazing gift to be passed on to generations of family and although I have already shared a song from The Sound of Music…. I hope that Colleen will enjoy another of the songs from the movie that features the whole family together. Edelweiss one of my own favourites..

You can read the reviews and buy Colleen Chesebro’s bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Colleen-M-Chesebro/e/B01N9MV2RX
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

One of the recent reviews for Fairies, Myths & Magic – Nov 30, 2018 Miriam Hurdle rated it Five Stars.

Colleen in her book Fairies, Myths and Magic begins each section by an introduction. In the Fairies section, she describes the origins, the forms, and appearance of fairies. In the Myths section, she explained that myth is the oldest oral or written storytelling method to explain the strange natural or supernatural phenomena. In the Magic section, she points out that magic is defined as the supernatural power over the natural force and magic happens to us every day.

The short stories and poetry seamlessly weave into a pleasant dream that one wishes to stay in. The story of “Just What the Doctor Ordered” grabbed my attention because I have tinnitus. Roger’s tinnitus was cured after the fairs’ visit while he slipped into a dream over the Mojitos.

I love “The Pond” A Haibun/Tanka Poem with the line “As I gaze into the pond, I see the reflection of the woman I’ve become. Past and future meld as one.”

The short story “The Leaving” was engaging from the first line to the end. It’s eerie but not too scary.

I love poetry so it’s enjoyable to read Colleen’s many poems forms.

There are so many intriguing short stories and poems that one must read them to experience the delight of the book. Highly recommended to read for pleasure.

Day 11 (4th January): A very special woman St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), was the first American to be canonized by the Catholic Church in 1975. She had a tragic life in many ways but she established the first Catholic school in America in Maryland and it was also there that she founded the Sisters of Charity the first convent for religious sisters. She had a fascinating life and I have the link to her story on Wikipedia

Eleven Pipers Piping are believed to refer to the eleven Faithful Apostles following the betrayal of Judas. As I have previously mentioned this was according to the coded message within the original song that allowed Catholics to remember the tenets of their faith. And whilst largely discredited there is always a grain in truth in urban legends. However in modern times it has simply become eleven pipers piping…

Another beautiful carol O Holy Night from Kings College..The Carol (French: “Minuit, chretiens”, “Minuit, chretien” in original edition,or “Cantique de Noël”) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). In both the French original and the English version of the carol, as well as in many other languages, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and on humanity’s redemption.

Now it is time to meet my next guest, author and book reviewer Anne Goodwin, who loves fiction for the freedom to contradict herself and has been scribbling stories ever since she could hold a pencil. You can find articles and posts on her own writing and also her Recommended reading

During her career as an NHS clinical psychologist her focus was on helping other people tell their neglected stories to themselves. Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to match her shoe size. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill and shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in May 2017. Her most recent release is Becoming Someone.

Anne shares her most special Christmas memory…..

My best Christmas present came forty years ago when I won the Sunday Telegraph Student Travel Writing Competition. Those being pre-internet days, I’m relying on my dodgy memory for the details, but the remit was to pen a postcard message, my first ever flash. Later, itchy feet took me to Asia, Africa and South America but then I hadn’t been beyond northern Spain. Unable to depict exotic settings, I mined my emotions, as I travelled backwards, literally and metaphorically, home by train. The prize money bought me an inter-rail ticket; the kudos brought the confidence to pursue my writing dreams.

What an amazing achievement and so pleased that Anne found her way back to her own stories and perhaps she will find more inspiration with this virtual Christmas Gift…a trip on one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world.

You can read the reviews and buy the books by Anne Goodwin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-Goodwin/e/B0156O8PMO
Blog: https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal

An early review for Becoming Someone Dorothy Winsor 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended December 15, 2018

This collection of short stories caught and held my attention throughout. I enjoyed the stories themselves, and loved the way the author was willing to play around and try different techniques, including one story in second person. Highly recommended.

Time for desserts and today it is Christmas Pudding with Trifle tomorrow – save some sherry to put in that…..

Like the history of Stollen earlier in the posts, The Christmas pudding that is available today for those of us who do not have the skill to make our own is very different from the original. It actually began life in the 14th century as a porridge that was savoury and made with beef and mutton with dried fruit such as raisins and the addition of wine and spices. It was actually the ‘slim shake’ of the day and eaten before any festivities during the year presumably to leave room for all the goodies they had back then such as a whole deer poached or otherwise..Nothing new in history then!

By 1600 the pudding had evolved to more of a cake consistency with the addition of stale breadcrumbs and eggs. It still contained the spirits and also beer and began to be associated with Christmas. However, there are always spoilsports and in the mid 1600s it was banned by the puritans for being too delicious and sinful by half….

Thankfully it received Royal approval and in 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal and by Victorian times most who could afford it were enjoying the same kind of steamed pudding that we do today. .

Although eaten at Christmas the pudding itself, like the rich Christmas cake is made several weeks if not months in advance. With the liberal addition of brandy to the mix it would probably last for years! It is then steamed to reheat while the turkey cooks and served with thick custard, icecream or whipped cream…

Carol Taylor our food expert provided a recipe for Christmas Pudding earlier in the year which is when it is best to make the dessert to allow to mature… here is the link for both the traditional and gluten free recipes

One of the  final drinks is one that you will be familiar with if you have been frequenting any of the high street coffee chains in the last few weeks… Festive Coffees...

When I did my management training with Schooner Inns steak houses in the mid-70s one of my jobs was to man the bar during busy periods. It was the in thing to finish the meal with a liqueur coffee which could be a pain to make since you could only serve a perfect finished glassful.

Into the wine glass you placed a spoonful of brown sugar, followed by the liqueur of choice – Irish coffees – Irish whisky – French with brandy – West Indies – Rum etc. Then you three quarters filled the glass with hot black coffee and stirred to dissolve the sugar. As that settled you then turn a teaspoon upside down over the mixture and gently poured double cream over it so that it settled on the top of the coffee in a thick white band. You should be able to see the coffee still jet black with the creamy topping. The glass would then be placed on a saucer and taken gently to the table to the eagerly awaiting diner. On busy Friday and Saturday nights it was not unusual to make and serve over 100 of these popular beverages. I got quite fast at preparing them and could usually make a perfect coffee in around 45 seconds.

However, there were times when the cream would break the surface of the coffee and it would become cloudy and those could not be served. In the spirit of waste not, want not those coffees that did not pass muster were then consumed after closing whilst the process of cleaning glasses and the bar was underway… Dreadful job but someone had to do it.

If you are planning to get in to get into that little black dress for the festive season…. I think you should just bear in mind that a Peppermint Mocha Latte with whip comes in at over 500 calories….

Thank you for joining us today and I hope you have enjoyed.. Tomorrow the final party before Christmas with a slightly different format… please drop in…thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Poetry – #Haiku in response to this week’s Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge…


Colleen Chesebro persuaded me to enter her Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge and since I had some photographs from last week’s encounter with a stormy Welsh coastline… I am throwing my hat in the ring. Although it is a Tanka challenge – Haiku

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY!

I hope you will support the other poets with visits to blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

PLEASE NOTE: This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time). That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain links to the participants.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post.
You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A.

This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the Recap I publish on Monday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words. Choose synonyms from those words for your poetry. You, the poet, now have more control over the direction of your writing. Follow the rules carefully. Don’t use the prompt words.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Recap published each Monday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

If you would like to enter the challenge here is the link again: Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge

Here are the TWO prompt words for this week’s challenge: “Fall & Try,” #SynonymsOnly

And here is my haiku..

 

I hope you will head over and throw your hat into the ring… thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – #Summer Sale – D.G. Kaye, Stevie Turner, D.Wallace Peach and Colleen Chesebro


Welcome to the last in the Summer Sale posts with books in the Cafe and Bookstore that have been reduced on Amazon or Smashwords.

Some of the books from Monday 9th may still be on sale so worth checking: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-brigid-p-gallagher-hugh-w-roberts-jacquie-biggar-and-victoria-zigler/

And from Friday 13th (lucky for some): https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-99p-99c-children-ya-poetry-african-adventure-lucinda-e-clarke-darlene-foster-natalie-ducey-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

Some may still be on offer from Monday 16th: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-childrens-books-thrillers-fantasy-charles-e-yallowitz-john-w-howell-jemima-pett-m-j-mallon-and-diana-j-febry/

Now time to showcase the last of the books in the summer sale beginning with D.G. Kaye who has reduced her latest memoir – Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging. 99c/99p until July 31st

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Twenty Years: After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye highlights the fact that love can conquer all…only if you understand what is real love. Love is not just passion for each other, laughing or going out together. It is also listening intently, it is being emotionally present in those conversations, it is cleaning the mess of your partner who may get sick just after you marry her. Kaye has shared her personal story of marrying Gordon, who is twenty years older than her but age didn’t deter her from her decision of marrying a man whom she loved. Despite the challenges, love strengthened their relationship in the face of storms of life, taking care of each other in all situations.

This book may be based on the personal experiences of Kaye but it makes an in-depth analysis of marriage, which is not just a commitment that brings blissful joy in the lives of a couple while they are healthy and energetic but also demands care, unconditional love, respect and trust that the partner has to give spontaneously.
In a successful marriage, romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand that forbearance and patience are as essential as passion and sex. A spouse who can’t pick up your luggage from the carousel or who needs a wheel chair at the airport to board a flight just after 20 years of marriage just needs your smile and support.

Conflicts are natural in a marriage but Kaye illustrates with real situations how she copes with them, giving a message that one has to devise one’s own ways to resolve them. Any married person can feel the connect with the thoughts of D.G. but if you are at the threshold of this new phase of life, you could collect some pearls of wisdom from the experiences that she shares in this book. The last two chapters of the book are heart-wrenching and left me wondering how could mortality be discussed in so many words. Kudos to Kaye for her bravery!

Read the reviews and buy the book at 99c until July 31st: https://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Years-Reflections-Changes-Through-ebook/dp/B077V386TL/

And on Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-Years-Reflections-Changes-Through-ebook/dp/B077V386TL/

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby via her website/blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

The next author in the summer sale is Stevie Turner who has reduced her book A House Without Mirrors to 99p/99c until July 26th.

About A House Without Windows

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lies awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

One of the recent reviews for the book

A House without Windows is a psychological thriller that will shock readers. I couldn’t put this book down. This would make an exceptional movie on the big screen.

The author tells the story through the mind of the main protagonist, Beth Nichols, a caring and well-liked doctor. On her way home one day she stops to assist a patient of hers and doesn’t remember anything. Afterward she finds herself locked in a basement room. Edwin Evans is a disturbed individual and has kidnapped Beth and locked her up in his basement to have for himself. A good part of the story takes place in this dark basement that has only one light overhead that is on all the time.

Beth is engaged to the love of her life, Liam, who has no idea what has happened to her. She is kept hidden for nearly ten years. During this time she gives birth to a child which the kidnapper thinks is his. Beth knows better but does not share this fact. The author then continues the story through the eyes of the child, Amy, which only makes this more horrendous for the reader to comprehend.

I don’t want to say what happens next for it would spoil the story for readers. It is an unforgettable read and makes the reader question how a person could endure such incomprehensible treatment and survive with her mind intact. How would a young child adjust to the outside world after being subjected to this life in her early years. Would Beth ever be able to escape with her daughter and if she does will she ever be able to live a normal life again?

This is an exceptional read that you will not be able to erase from your mind. It is no wonder that this excellent read has already won two book awards. Kudos to the author!

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99p until 26th of July: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

And on Amazon US for 99c until 26th July :https://www.amazon.com/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

A selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Connect to Stevie via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

The next author offering her latest release on a Kindle countdown deal is D.Wallace Peach for Soul Swallowers ( The Shattered Sea Book 1) starting at 99c/99p today so grab quickly while it is at that price as it will increase shortly.

About Soul Swallowers

When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness.

Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul.

When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head.

Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.

***

In this completed series, epic fantasy blends with the wisdom of old souls to create a unique coming of age story of courage and honor in the midst of evil. Slavery is pitted against freedom, anger against forgiveness, and a desire to live peacefully against the necessity to take up the sword.

It’s a story of bitter estrangement and broken hearts, of deception and unfettered ambition. For Raze Anvrell it’s a journey of violence, redemption, and his soul’s growth as he transforms from a reckless youth into a man with a rich legacy of souls.

Magic, politics, love, and madness collide in this fantasy adventure. For lovers of beauty and battle, and complex characters willing to risk everything in the fight for their souls.

One of the early reviews for the book

D. Wallace Peach has the rare distinction of becoming my favorite fantasy author based on the quality of her storytelling methods. I haven’t read a single book by this author that I haven’t loved.

Imagine my glee, when I found out she had begun a new series, called, The Shattered Sea. Book One, The Soul Swallowers, is everything I knew it would be—brilliant, creative, and unforgettable.

When Raze Anvrell leaves the wealth and the safety of his home after his young wife is brutally murdered, he suspects that his family was to blame for her demise. Determined to strike out on his own, he flees to Ravenwood, where the souls of the unbound dwell.

Everyone wears an empty soulstone which is given to all of the people at the Temple of Souls. When people die their soul transfers into the pendant. To die without their soulstone allows a soul to drift forever in the ether. The individual’s skills, aptitudes, and the very essence of their personality would then be lost to future generations.

Raze meets Briyon, the owner of his own freehold, who invites the young man to join him in making a new life. Briyon becomes the father figure in Raze’s life and when he dies, Raze swallows his first soul.

Imagine being whom you are and accepting the soul essence of someone else into your existence. New skills and knowledge must integrate, for better or worse. If you swallow too many souls, disaster prevails as the personalities clash for dominion, madness being the end result.

It is in this world where Raze follows the whispers of his soul into unknown territory where only the brave survive.

I felt the magic breathe through the pages of this book with an ancient wisdom that touched my own soul. At the book’s ending, I found myself reluctantly thrust back into my world hating to let the fantasy go.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars 

Head over and buy the book at 99c before it increases soon: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

And on Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website/blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

And the last author today with her latest release on offer is Colleen Chesebro with Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration. Currently on offer for 99c/99p for the next few days.

About the book

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colleen celebrates summer with fairies, nymphs and those magical creatures that have constantly enchanted mankind. Her spiritual encounter with “a tiny creature, with transparent wings and lavender fragrance” mesmerized her and gave her an amazing power to become a fairy whisperer. Her poetry and stories, which exude magic, are inspired from the swamp fairy she had met. She could sense her presence even after she had vanished into the fog, as it fired her imagination, impelling her to write about their realm.

Colleen transports you to the magical world of fairies, slowly opening each door to reveal the wonders of fairy kingdom where spells are cast to win love or heal, where fairies get tipsy and stop whispering into the ears of Roger, where the thrill of spiritual bliss could be felt. When Regin plans to trick Aerwyna into the words of spell to win her love for a few hours, all he gets is the love of an old woman Mrs Hawkins, the most aged woman in the country while Aerwyna laughs at the spectacle! This book is a superb combination of stories and poetry, which has a mystical connection with spirits and myths.

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99c for the next few days: https://www.amazon.com/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

And Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01N9MV2RX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com

Thank you for joining us today and tomorrow there are a few more books that are currently FREE to download.. I hope you will pop in to check them out.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Fairies, Myths and Magic: A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro


Delighted to feature the new book by Colleen M. Chesebro, Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration. And great news…the collection isthe No. 1 NEW release in poetry anthologies on Amazon.

About the book

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

One of the early reviews for the book

Colleen Cheseboro takes us into the magical world of fairies and magical folklore in her charming book, Fairies, Myths & Magic. This author has a gift for bringing our imaginations into her stories with her words and imagery as she opens us up to the world of fantasy and myths.

In this book, Chesebro introduces us to fairies, pixies, and various other mythical creatures who come alive in her stories. There is an assortment of short stories, haibuns, haikus and touching stories, all sprinkled with magic. Read about this author’s real life encounter with a Swamp Fairy, which became the inspiration for her first book, The Swamp Fairy, in Book 1 of The Heartstone Chronicles. Read about Roger’s Ringing Ears, an introduction to the magical beginnings of The Sisters of the Fey, stories with lovespells and how they can backfire, Dragons and Karma, impaired pixies, and many more!

Heartwarming, humorous and entertaining are just some of the emotions and reactions I felt while reading this book. If you enjoy magical stories, you’ll love this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01N9MV2RX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

 

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer and author of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called, “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Connect to Colleen.

Website: https://colleenchesebro.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColleenChesebro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colleen.chesebro.3

One of the recent reviews for The Swamp Fairy

Connect to Colleen.

Website: https://colleenchesebro.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColleenChesebro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colleen.chesebro.3

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Colleen’s news on your social media. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Colleen Chesebro, Lucinda E. Clarke and Sue Coletta


The first author with a recent review is Colleen Chesebro for her book The Swamp Fairy: The Heartstone Chronicles Volume One.

About the Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations. Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy.

The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors. But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world. Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

The most recent review for the book

Abigail ,The fairy whisperer and orphaned girl sent to live with an aunt that she didn’t know and an aunt who had no children and was just as nervous as Abigail at the thought of having a young girl coming to live with her.Tragically orphaned Abby discovers a lot about herself and her destiny, a fiesty little soul who is passionate about preserving her birthright and equally passionate about what she knows to be injustice and greed.

This story draws the reader into Abby’s world , the world of buterflies, fairies and magic, but also a world of greed in the shape of Rafe Cobb who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. A book which will leave you wanting to turn the page and if you know a girl who loves fairies and butterflies she will love this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MX

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The next author with a recent review is Lucinda E. Clarke for her latest book Amie: Cut for Life

About the book

They told Amie it was a simple look, listen and report back mission, but from the beginning everything went wrong. She is stalked across borders, the aid workers act suspiciously, she’s assaulted, and abandoned in a rural African hut miles from anywhere. What has happened to her partner Simon and can she trust the charismatic Frenchman who befriends her? The discovery of an ancient tribal tradition and a group of young children to rescue, test her skills to the limit. For the first time, she is prepared to kill to protect the innocent caught up in an international sex trade with an extra horrifying twist.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A Must Read! on 7 October 2017

Few books leave you frazzled, the suspense constant throughout the reading. But this one certainly did. Every time it seemed as if the main character, Aime was going to be safe at last, another challenge awaited her! I was exhausted by the time I finished reading the book but in awe of the powerful and engaging writing from Lucinda Clarke.

Her main character has much to be admired about her and her inner thoughts are well revealed. She is endearing and the reader can’t help but care about her. You feel like you are right there with her in Africa, a setting which enhances the story: the sign of a good writer and a good book. I honestly found it hard to put this book down. I won’t give away any of the plot. Suffice it to say, read this book. You will not be disappointed.;

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amie-LIFE-Lucinda-E-Clarke-ebook/dp/B07545M9DB

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amie-CUT-LIFE-Lucinda-Clarke-ebook/dp/B07545M9DB

Also by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

Read more reviews and follow Lucinda on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke

Connect to Lucinda via her website: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

The last author with a recent review is Sue Coletta with 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.

This book is a hauntingly gripping read with a disturbing twist that will shock you. You can feel the deep seated emotions flowing through the pages of this intriguing tale. In this story the author combines the characters from both the worlds of Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors series and Sue’s own Mayhem series allowing us an additional look into the lives of couples Shawnee Daniels and Detective Levaughn Samuels along with Brandon (Boomer) Rayne, his fiancé, Daphne and their baby daughter, Maya.

Both pairs of couples are retreating to a lake in Maine for some rest and relaxation, hoping to let the world fade away, reconnect and enjoy their time together. However when they arrive at the lake, they find out that the seemingly quiet community is being plagued by couples disappearing and bodies being found in the water. The disappearances hit even closer to home when Boomer awakes early one morning to find Daphne gone. Beyond frantic he confides in and enlists the help of the couple they had met a few days prior staying next door. Shawnee and Levaughn join him in search, retracing steps and putting together clues that will hopefully bring Daphne home safely. Though, when they discover 2 more bodies of women resembling his fiancé in the lake they know they are running out of time. Can they unravel the mystery in time to find her or will Boomer be forced to raise his baby girl alone?

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

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news of these recent reviews for these talented authors. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Ritu Bhathal, Colleen Chesebro, Mae Clair


Welcome to the book review post where I share the most recent reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first featured writer today is Ritu Bhathal who has received an excellent review for her debut poetry collection Poetic Rituals.

About Poetic Rituals

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

The most recent review for Poetic Rituals

This is a delightful book of poetry with a lot of variety in the tone and content of the poems. They are all written from a very human perspective and cover the day-to-day life of a Mother of two, wife and employee with a lovely twist of humour. As all of these things myself, I found the verses to be very relatable. The book is divided into four sections which each deal with different aspects of life, namely, Family RITUals, Life rituals, Rituals of the heart and Rituals to make you smile.

Who could not enjoy such words as the following:

“Snuggled close while you feed.
Little blessing, sent from God
My heart is filled with joy”

This took me right back to those first days as a Mother and the closeness of cuddling your new-born and breastfeeding.

“A cough or sniffle, fever, rash
You wish you could
make them well
but other than love, and Calpol
It’s a parent’s
Form of Hell”

As a Mother of a child with a chronic illness, this verse had me nodding my head in agreement and feeling Ritu’s anguish.

I would recommend this book which is a keeper. A book to delve into for a smile when life gets heavy going.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

The next author with a recent review is Colleen Chesebro for her book The Swamp Fairy: The Heartstone Chronicles Volume One.

About the Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations. Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy.

The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors. But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world. Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
The most recent review for the book

A beautifully written story of a foster child with a mystical ancestry. The line of fairy whisperers continues through the ages and ends in Abigale Forester’s hand to protect a parcel of swamp land in Florida. A difficult task to assimilate in a new home with her aunt, a new school and the dawning what her true calling as protector of the swamp land entails.

Colleen M Chesebro makes the connection between humans and mystical creatures weaving them together to ensure nature in its splendor will continue for the benefit and protection of all. This fast-paced novel takes the reader through the trials a tributes of Abigale, a 14 year old girl with the powers to understand and communicate with the animal world. She has a strong will and has to make difficult decisions. Her character and her friends are believable and likable. This is one of the best books I read in this age group and I look forward to the next installment in this series.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The final author today is  member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair with her latest release published in July, A Desolate Hour, Book Three of the Point Pleasant Series.

About A Desolate Hour

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing the chief—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

The most recent review

Well – I hated to see this series wrap up – but what a satisfying ending. I’m a devoted fan of all things supernatural, which is what initially drew me to these books, but even if the supernatural elements were nonexistent, I’d continue to return for the characters. They’re believable, compelling, charming, loathsome, mysterious – for the most part, people you’d meet on the street (maybe not the aliens – but you never know) and enjoy having as friends.

If you thought there were no shocking secrets left to be revealed, guess again. Just another thing I enjoyed about this series – layers upon layers of intrigue coaxing me into reading just a little longer before turning out the light.

Combining elements of mystery, suspense, folklore, the supernatural, and a bit of romance, this eerie, atmospheric series would appeal to readers across the board. Highly recommend!

Read all the review so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Desolate-Hour-Point-Pleasant-ebook/dp/B01MDPY2A5

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0

Read more reviews and follow Mae on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

Connect to Mae via her website: https://maeclair.net/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of great books.. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Colleen Chesebro, Bette A. Stevens and Luna Saint Claire


This twice weekly post is open to any author in the Cafe and Bookstore or not, who would like to share their most recent great review. Reviews are a form of word of mouth and are to be treasured.. but keeping them to yourself is not making the most of them. You know where to find me.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first author to receive another terrific review for her book The Swamp Fairy is Colleen Chesebro.

About the book

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

The most recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 24, 2017 Robbie Cheadle rated it 5 Stars

This book contained absolutely everything I could wish for in a book including an orphan girl, a trained guide dog, horses, wonderful friends, a kind and loving Aunt and, best of all, fairies. The main character is an fourteen year old orphan girl, Abby, who moves to Florida to live with her unmarried and childless Aunt after living her entire life in the city of Chicago.

Abby has an unusual gift in that she can hear and communicate with all forms of animals and insects and, as she discovers soon into her new life, the ability to see and talk to fairies. Abby relocates with very little to her name other than a calcite pendant that is given to her just before she leaves Chicago by her Mother’s best friend and the papers to a piece of land that has been in her Mother’s family for generations. Abby soon discovers that this piece of swamp land, while seeming to be of little financial value in its current state, is the home to a clan of nymphs who play a vital role in ensuring the continued ability of humanity of fight diseases with medicinal plants. The land is, however, very enticing to an unethical and greedy land developer who seems determined to get his hands on Abby’s swamp regardless of anything and anyone standing in his way.

Abby gradually comes to realise that her gifts come with a great responsibility and that it is her destiny to protect the fairy clan that live in the swamp from the current threat.

The book contains some beautiful haikus and descriptive passages. It is not very often in modern books that you get to enjoy language that brings into play all of the senses in such a delightful way. A few of the passages that particularly enchanted me are as follows:

“Her heart beat rapidly in her chest when she glimpsed the butterflies and the resplendent dragonflies. She was ready for the cacophony of sound that vibrated inside her head. These were the communications of those who shared the swamp with her. And, yet, the acoustics overwhelmed her.”

“The late afternoon was hot, and the air felt thick. The smell of ripe grasses filled her nose. She spotted blue and red dragonflies darting in the field. Their wings sparkled in the sunlight as they perched on the wire fence sunning themselves.

I would recommend this book for children, particularly girls, from the ages of 11 years to 111.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

Now for another amazing review for Dog Bone Soup – A Boomer’s Journey by children’s author Bette A .Stevens.

About the book

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

Read all the reviews and buy the book : http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Here is the 5 star review by Balroop Singh on Goodreads on July 3rd 2017.

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens is not just the story of Shawn and his struggle to get a decent life, it is a family saga of adventures, sacrifices, togetherness and resilience. It is inspiring as well as poignant, a rare combination to create. Henrietta emerges to be a wonderful mother, giving all the care and attention to her kids though she had zero moral support from her self-centered and alcoholic husband, more interested in watching T.V. than looking after his own children.

The story is set in the 50’s when moccasins could be freely used to discipline children! Despite the challenges of poverty and meagre food, nobody has any complaints except Mr.Daniels. Life was hard and Shawn being the eldest in the family suffers the most yet he stands like a rock when he is old enough to handle his father’s violence.

A streak of thin light shimmers throughout the story, assuring the reader that struggles bring the best out of us. The hope never dies, as kind people keep trickling in to provide work and life-time lessons to Shawn and Willie. Characterisation has been handled very well and one person who stands out is Mrs Ashley, an old lady with the heart of gold, a book lover who fed the poor boys, read stories to them and even taught them how to use a typewriter when they accompanied their uncle to help in cutting the trees.

This book is relevant for the present generation for two reasons—one it acquaints them with history and the way people strived to wriggle out of domestic violence, lack of love and tough situations. Two, how comfortable life is today for children with no fear of moccasins! ~Balroop Singh, author

Read all the reviews and buy the book: http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

For the final review today author Luna Saint Claire and a review for her book The Sleeping Serpent

About the book

Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.

Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.

“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

For the first time I’m not sure I can provide an adequate review for this mind blowing book. The amount of details about Yoga, Native American culture and Spiritual healing was remarkable and provided the perfect backdrop to see how a narcissistic ego of our main character Nico would function in a society today. We tend to believe and trust people that have a perceived position of power which causes us to not think clearly and make bad decisions.

Throughout this book keeping track of all of the smart, talented and successful women Nico was with was difficult at best. I kept thinking how can you be so naïve to think he is only with you and loves you. The pattern of behavior had me scratching my head the entire time. Then I learned about cording (fascinating by the way) and what the impact is on an individual. The pull is extremely difficult to deny and hard to escape.

I will admit the topic is way over my head when it comes to healers and yoga but this book keeps me engaged anyway. The intensity of this book is like nothing I have experienced to date. I can only speculate that yoga has a dark seedy side that can persuade people to go against their better judgment with what I can describe as magic and potions. Luna was a main character throughout the book and I got a sense she was able to keep Nico calm most of the time. She was the only one who didn’t have a physical relationship with Nico and was able to keep the clearest head on her shoulders. Her saving grace also was she was married. I have my own theories on why but I won’t put that in my review.

Here is what I can say. Nico was able to find women he thought could further his dreams of fame and fortune. When they were slow or didn’t follow thru (his perception) then you got to see another side of him. The he got into a downhill spiral that he was not able to recover from. I can only imagine what it would be like to be with a person who can change on a dime and be soft, sweet, attentive and provide so much pleasure to only turn around and become uncontrollable.

If you are looking for psychological thriller, then this is for you. I will caution you if you are looking for HEA this is not going to fill that need.

Read some of the 115 reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Serpent-womans-struggle-obsessive-ebook/dp/B016LUUB1K

Find out more about Luna Saint Claire and her work: https://www.amazon.com/Luna-Saint-Claire/e/B017DN9Y4Y/

Connect to Luna Saint Claire via her website: http://www.compelledbooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today. Have you received a great review recently for one of your books… let me know….sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Colleen Chesebro, Natalie Ducey and Malia Ann Haberman


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore update and lots of news today.  First is a FREE offer from Colleen Chesebro for her book The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy 23rd – 24th June.

Here is the latest review for the book

This is not my usual cup of tea, but I knew Colleen Chesebro’s excellent work as a blogger for a couple years and was curious about her debut novel. I am glad I decided to read it!

This was a wonderful fairy tale, and in terms of the protagonist’s social relations, it was also a sweet, utterly believable YA novel that really tugged at my heartstrings. I loved Abigale’s relationship with her aunt in particular – it was terribly moving in places and the author’s vivid descriptions and excellent prose made it so lifelike for me, as if it all took place before my eyes. It was all very human, very easy to relate to, what they had to go through as they got to know and trust each other, and I loved this in the story more than anything else. Abigale’s relations with the local youngsters and the horse racing were a delight to explore and, of course, I found the fairies enchanting! I expect young teenage girls will most certainly lap up the whimsical fantasy elements in this story.

The antagonist is a scary villain that I believe bordered on madness. His malice balances out perfectly the sweetness and innocence that surrounds Abigale in her world, other than that. I am really surprised this is a debut novel! It’s very well-structured and told beautifully, a real feat for an emerging author. I am already looking forward to the next installment in this delightful tale! (I received a free copy and chose voluntarily to review it.)

Read all the reviews and download the book FREE today and tomorrow: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The next author with an update is Natalie Ducey who is celebrating the publication of her second book.

About the book

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain.

Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes.

In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart.

And in the end, we must never forget … Love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

Buy your copy of Natalie’s new book: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Lullaby-Natalie-Ducey-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

Also by Natalie Ducey.

One of the recent reviews for this poetry collection.

on May 9, 2017

Natalie Ducey’s intensely emotional debut book of poetry is a collection of 23 poems reflecting upon her views during both her fifteen years counselling others, as well as her own personal journey. Both have given her ample fodder for writing of the many diverse facets of human emotion. Author Ducey says, “I try to capture the essence of the fragility and resiliency of our hearts—the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.” Her words are an apt description of her lovely and deeply moving poems.

This powerfully written book of poetry touches upon all of the emotions of humanity, sometimes with a gentle loving touch, other times with the raging agony of love lost. Her words speak in the brutally honest language of the soul, connecting with readers following journeys similar to her own . . . and to those whose emotional trials are yet to come.
Unlike poets who make their readers study and search for meaning, this poet writes directly to her readers, as the songlike meter of her joys and travails draw them into her journey; feeling with her.

As a published poet myself, I tend to judge poetry on how it affects me. If the meter is slightly off, but the words draw me in to them, I am content. I loved every single one of these poems and could not pick a favorite as each one reached out to me on so many levels. I laughed, loved and cried with these poems which drew out anew memories of my own. Most importantly, I stopped to read some of them yet again, drawn to words that felt like heartbeats, comforting me as I traverse my own journey.

By the books end I was left satiated by a warm sense of peace and an overall warm and fuzzy good feeling. That, to me, is the sign of a true poet.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13534715.Natalie_Ducey

Connect to Natalie via her blog: https://natalieducey.com/

The last update today is from Malia Ann Haberman and her latest release this week. Letters from an American Soldier: A True Love Story told through real Love Letters. The letters were written by Malia Ann’s father who was fighting in the Korean War to her mother..

About the book

Sometimes real life is so much better than fiction.

These real and amazing love letters written by a soldier during training and then while fighting overseas in Korea will make you believe that true love really does exist. They’re filled with the raw emotions of a soldier who wants nothing more than to be with the love of his life. So put on some mood music, pour yourself a tall drink, and then slip into the mind, heart, and soul of an American soldier.

Buy Malia Ann Haberman’s new book: https://www.amazon.com/Letters-American-Soldier-Story-Through-ebook/dp/B072WM24Q3

Also by Malia Ann Haberman

One of the most recent reviews on Amazon for Book One.. Chase Tinker and the House of Magic.

Malia Ann Haberman exhibits her amazing talent through her story Chase Tinker and the House of Magic. I read it all in one day and refused to put it down— Er, close my Kindle app on my computer, to be precise. Her character, Chase Tinker, develops throughout the story in such a “magical” way. I cannot wait for the next to watch Chase develop, and, hopefully, to see where he is going with Persephone.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is about a young boy named Chase and his younger brother Andy who have to deal with coming into strange new powers without the support of their magical father. He’s gone missing. So when the boys finally share their lack of knowledge of their powers with each other, they were surprised to find the grandfather, who was supposed to be dead, at their door. They go with him back to the magical home that belongs to the Tinker family, and wondrous things happen as they gain knowledge about their family heritage, powers, and things they weren’t supposed to hear.

Everything quickly starts to go downhill after their arrival, forcing the boys and their cousin, Janie, and the housekeeper’s daughter, Persephone, to have to find their way through the mess of things.

Not only was her book amazing to read, it was amazing to see. I don’t mean that there were pictures or videos, nor that the structure was beautiful to look at (though it was structurally flawless); just that she used a great deal of imagery and description that I felt like I was there with Chase and Andy and Janie and Persephone as they roamed the magical home filled with rooms of bizarre powers.

Find out more about Malia Ann Haberman and buy her books: https://www.amazon.com/Malia-Ann-Haberman/e/B009CJ0DNE

Read more reviews and follow Malia Ann Haberman on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5769159.Malia_Ann_Haberman

Connect to Malia Ann Haberman via her blog: https://maliaannhaberman.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping by today and if you have news to share about a new book or an offer please let me know. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Lucy Brazier, Colleen Chesebro and Christoph Fischer.


The first update is for Lucy Brazier with the second PorterGirl novel, The Vanishing Lord which was released on June 10th 2017.

About the book

There’s nothing quite so annoying as having the police arrive when you are trying to cover up a crime that may or may not have happened.

Lord Bernard has died unexpectedly. Is Deputy Head Porter being framed? Head Porter just wants to be kept out of the picture.

In this fast-paced whimsical British romp, a priceless work of art – the portrait of Old College founding father Lord Arthur Layton – has gone missing and with the death of Lord Bernard, the Master of arch rivals Hawkins College, there is nothing for it but for our heroine to don her trusty bowler hat and embark upon another eccentric investigation.

In this sequel to the debut PorterGirl novel, First Lady of The Keys, Old College’s first and only female Porter must find the portrait or it will be her that is flat on the canvas and framed like a kipper.
Tenacious detectives, ill-advised disguises, saucy medieval literature and Russian spies conspire to confuse matters further in this entertaining escapade.

An early review

In ‘The Vanishing Lord’ the second of the PorterGirl novels Deputy Head Porter has found her feet – even when disguised as a flighty girl in killer heels! So many scenes Lucy has brought to life in her inimitable way, framed and hung around a missing painting … with a touch of medieval spice … don’t ask just read!
Deputy Head Porter, bowler hat and waistcoat her usual attire, the ‘First Lady of the Keys’ at Old College, a world of doors and gates, dark passages , tea and whisky, secrets and mischievous ways … a world in which everyone knows and known by their place. Such characters, from The Master to the Bedders … all slightly to the downright quirky!
None more so than The Dean, a triumph of imagination, he steals every scene he’s in. And then there are the outsiders – the police, so inconveniently tenacious, and an excitable young man with thighs … no spoilers … I’ll let Lucy tell you … this novel, as the first one, such a joy to read.
Also by Lucy Brazier
 

The latest review for the book on Goodreads

 May 19, 2017 Marje Mallon rated it 4 stars.

Really enjoyed this so much!

I’ve had PorterGirl on my must read radar for some time. For three reasons, one it’s set in Cambridge, (and I live in Cambridge too,) and two I have enjoyed reading Lucy’s blog Porter Girl and following her.

Also, my youngest daughter works part-time as a waitress in one of the colleges in Cambridge so I hear all about college life from her, and all about the sumptuous food….

So my impressions of PorterGirl… I really enjoyed PG. It’s one of those books that lifts your spirits up and puts you in a fantastic mood. It prompts you to put the kettle on and eat lots of forbidden biscuits! Lol… Porter G’s experience as the first female porter of a prestigious Cambridge University college is a lively riot from start to finish, full of humour, tea, and jokes about eating fabulous food when and wherever PorterGirl can… Being a foodie, this constant ambition to raid the fridges and steal food from under her colleagues’ hungry noses had me in stitches, as did crazy but ever so serious tasks such as PorterGirl rescuing a most important College cat via a precarious punting escapade. There’s never a dull moment, but a dollop of rising fear ensues as PorterGirl discovers murders are being committed in Old College. She begins to fear for her life, but PorterGirl is no coward, (a former copper,) she manages to keep herself safe, until…. it gets a bit hot under the bowler hat. Even so, her bowler hat remains proudly on top of her head, never to be removed not even in the most dire, calamitous of circumstance!

My recommendation: 4 stars. A favourite read that will make you smile a lot – and smiling is one of my favourite pastimes. Lucy has a pleasing writing style that makes you feel as if you know her personally. But, this novel should come with a health warning: This will make you laugh so much that you will splutter out your tea and biscuits! I reckon our friends across the water will find the copious amount of tea drinking that is a signature style of PorterGirl exceedingly amusing!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/PorterGirl-First-Lady-Lucy-Brazier-ebook/dp/B01JT0F9QQ

Read other reviews and find out more about Lucy Brazier by following her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14129066.Lucy_Brazier

Connect to Lucy via her website: https://portergirl.com/

Now for an update for Colleen Chesebro whose book The Swamp Fairy was reviewed by Robbie Cheadle on her blog.

About the book

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Robbie Cheadle’s Review: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/my-review-of-the-heart-stone-chronicles/

This book contained absolutely everything I could wish for in a book including an orphan girl, a trained guide dog, horses, wonderful friends, a kind and loving Aunt and, best of all, fairies. The main character is an fourteen year old orphan girl, Abby, who moves to Florida to live with her unmarried and childless Aunt after living her entire life in the city of Chicago.

Abby has an unusual gift in that she can hear and communicate with all forms of animals and insects and, as she discovers soon into her new life, the ability to see and talk to fairies. Abby relocates with very little to her name other than a calcite pendant that is given to her just before she leaves Chicago by her Mother’s best friend and the papers to a piece of land that has been in her Mother’s family for generations. Abby soon discovers that this piece of swamp land, while seeming to be of little financial value in its current state, is the home to a clan of nymphs who play a vital role in ensuring the continued ability of humanity of fight diseases with medicinal plants. The land is, however, very enticing to an unethical and greedy land developer who seems determined to get his hands on Abby’s swamp regardless of anything and anyone standing in his way.

Abby gradually comes to realise that her gifts come with a great responsibility and that it is her destiny to protect the fairy clan that live in the swamp from the current threat.

The book contains some beautiful haikus and descriptive passages. It is not very often in modern books that you get to enjoy language that brings into play all of the senses in such a delightful way. A few of the passages that particularly enchanted me are as follows:

“Her heart beat rapidly in her chest when she glimpsed the butterflies and the resplendent dragonflies. She was ready for the cacophony of sound that vibrated inside her head. These were the communications of those who shared the swamp with her. And, yet, the acoustics overwhelmed her.”

“The late afternoon was hot, and the air felt thick. The smell of ripe grasses filled her nose. She spotted blue and red dragonflies darting in the field. Their wings sparkled in the sunlight as they perched on the wire fence sunning themselves.

I would recommend this book for children, particularly girls, from the ages of 11 years to 111.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The next author for an update is Christoph Fischer with his murder/mystery The Body in the Snow.

About the book

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens. Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback? All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

The two latest reviews on Amazon

I have to admit that I’d never actually read a who-done-it, but having read most of Christoph Fischer’s earlier books, I just had to take the plunge. And though I’ve nothing in the genre to compare it with, I was not disappointed. I especially like the setting; the description of the Welsh countryside–where the author now resides–made me feel I a was there. As a permanently transplanted Floridian, I haven’t seen (nor wanted to see) snow in 15 years, but Fischer’s depiction brought me back to the specter of a New England winter with a shudder. There is quite a bit of backstory surrounding the characters, so by the time you learn the truth you know them very well. Or think you know them…

I’ve read few cozy mysteries so I won’t address if or how well “The Body In The Snow” fits that category. And due to personal time constraints, the time it took me to read the book reflects only on my circumstances, not the book.

I will say I always looked forward to reading the next snippet of story I sneaked in at bed before no longer pretending I could still see the print well enough to read (smiles). The leisurely style of the story plus the relatively short chapters did make it easier to pace myself reading. My only regret was that the story finished; I hope the author does create a series (as indicated by the title).

I enjoy shifting points of view and each chapter rotated through an increasingly more interesting cast of characters. Pacing as I mentioned was steady yet with moments of acceleration. Descriptions were crisp and clean adding punch and clarity.

This was a fun read. My solid 4.5 for this story easily rounded to a five.

My short and minor wish list includes a desire for a few well placed metaphors or similes. Like a spritz of lemon or sprinkle of herbs on fresh cooked vegetables, short emotional extensions of a description or the garnishing of a stream of consciousness, would have I think widened my imagination.

Beyong that, I thought the third person deep povs worked really well. It made relating to – and suspecting – nearly every character in the book easy (smiles). Surprisingly, the mystery of identifying the opening scene’s murder victim mid-book layered the mystery-level as a whole to an even more tangled level.

And finally, not meeting Beth, the protagonist, till well past the beginning of the book, created such a sense of relief and footing, I don’t know how else this potentially first in a series could have been written. In other words, the story unfolded naturally and unforced. An easy to read yet complex tale. Highly recommend.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Snow-Bollinger-Murder-Mystery/dp/1537329766

A selection of books also by Christoph Fischer.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Connect to Christoph via his website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you are in the bookstore and would like to share news about a recent release, review or offer, then please get in touch at sally.cronin@moyhill.com..

If you are not in the bookstore then please take a look at how you can join over 200 other authors enjoying regular updates of their books.

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

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Seumas Gallacher and John W. Howell


Welcome to the series where you can air your reviews.. As an author you can send me the link to your latest great review and I will post here, or if you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I can also post there.  This is series is also for those who review books on their blog and you can submit the link to your post and I will share.. my email is at the end of the post.

Today the featured authors are both in the Cafe and Bookstore.  Seumas Gallacher with his book Savage Payback – A Jack Calder Novel, reviewed by Colleen Chesebro.

Colleen Chesebro posts excellently presented and written reviews and I suggest that you head over and introduce yourself. https://colleenchesebro.com/category/book-reviews/

This is followed by John W. Howell with my review for the third John Cannon outing.. Our Justice. As I have already reviewed the first two books I will also be giving my overall views on the series.

About Savage Payback

A series of coordinated lethal bomb attacks on a dozen jewelry stores in London’s West End drag former SAS officer, Jack Calder and his specialist security firm, International Security Partners, into a deadly mesh of murder and international drug running.

A black ops explosives expert, an ex-colleague turned renegade mercenary with a twisted lust for revenge, emerges from the past to join forces with a powerful and dangerous drug baron from Eastern Europe.

A major cocaine trafficker from South America compounds the threats as competitive turf issues straddle international territories.

Attacks close to home heighten the urgency for Calder and his team to find and deal with each of the three sinister adversaries in a final savage payback.

The review by Colleen Chesebro for Savage Payback: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/21/colleens-book-reviews-savage-payback-book-3-in-the-jack-calder-crime-series-by-author-seumas-gallacher/

I have been a fan of British crime novels since the late 1970’s when I was stationed in England. One day I found a treasure trove of cheap paperbacks at the local outside market, and that was all it took. I was hooked! There is just something about the word usage and the pacing which is always different than American crime novels.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I finally reached the middle of my To Be Read pile of books, and Savage Payback stared back at me. I was apprehensive because it was the third book in the series and I worried if I would be able to pick up enough background information on the characters to understand the plot.

I had nothing to worry about. Savage Payback passed with flying colors as its own stand alone novel. It swept me into a world filled with the violence of drug cartels and the callousness of Drug Enforcement Officers, Special Forces, and the kind of people that kill for money. Beware, the novel is violent, and the descriptions are not for the faint of heart.

The plot is quick, and from the beginning, the reader is thrust into the action when an attack on multiple jewelry stores explodes from the pages. The mystery of who was behind the attack develops at a steady pace. I was pleasantly surprised by many of the twists and turns which helped to move the story forward.

I love characters, and Gallacher’s Jack Calder is one of the best. Jack and his crew from the ISP (an international security firm manned by ex-SAS and other police/special forces personnel) are called in to solve the theft of the jewels and the murders involved in the attack. It doesn’t take long for the reader to find out that the ISP is also targeted.

When an attack is successful against Jack’s wife, Mae Ling, the story pivots and the reader is taken on a rollercoaster of events culminating in a climax of an ending. The suspense was superb!

Now, I need to start from the beginning of the series and learn all there is to know about Jack Calder.
Read some of the 50 reviews for Savage Payback and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/SAVAGE-PAYBACK-Jack-Calder-Crime-ebook/dp/B00G00GZEO/

Also by Seumas Gallacher

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/seumas-gallacher/e/B005DVJY8U

Connect to Seumas via his website: http://seumasgallacher.com/

Now it is my time to share my review for the final book in the John Cannon series, Our Justice by John W. Howell. I have reviewed the previous two books individually but this time apart from giving my views on Our Justice… I will be looking at the series as a whole.

About Our Justice

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs figured out a plan to eliminate the President.

He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan. The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

My review for Our Justice and the John Cannon Series.

John Cannon as a character is everything that a hero should be. Handsome, fearless and patriotic. As the final chapter of this series unfolds it would seem that there is little time to take a breath following his last encounter with the secretive and driven Matt Jacobs.  From the start of this third book bullets fly, bombs go off and escape routes are compromised.

John Cannon is a marked man and his nemesis is going to literally move heaven and earth to bring him to heel. It is almost a love hate relationship. Matt Jacobs has buried his roots and his beliefs beneath a veneer of civilisation that is enabled by his vast wealth and his army of followers, who are not all that they seem!  The relationship that these two very committed and determined men have is about to come to a head. If John does not get his act together it will not only he his neck on the line but people he loves and admires.

To spice up the action there of course needs to be some beautiful women and I like the way that John Howell does not go down the traditional route of blonde bombshells who are purely decorative. Both Stephanie and Sarah are bright intelligent women who find themselves embroiled in the lives of these two adversaries and their characters are well portrayed. They are women who are prepared to fight for their survival and the ones they love.

This is a fast-paced action thriller and finishes the series well. Which brings me to my overall view of the life and times of John Cannon.

I suggest you read the three books back to back as I have, because the time span the series covers is only six months and there is barely time to catch your breath.  With so much action it is easy to miss some of the quieter moments that reveal more about the characters and plot, and these are well worth lingering over. The characters are well developed, and if I was to comment on this element, it would be to say that I felt that Ned, who takes John under his wing, not only deserved a medal, but could have perhaps been fleshed out a little more.

Overall I have rated the series a definite 4+ stars and would recommend the series as one to download and read in a ‘John Cannon Fest‘… I do recommend that you buckle up before getting into the action!

Read all the reviews for Our Justice and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Justice-John-W-Howell/dp/0996911529

Buy all of the John Cannon Series and find our more about John W. Howell: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Connect to John via his website: http://www.johnhowell.com

Thank you for dropping by today and please do not hesitate to let me know if you have received a great review or have written one for another author.  sally.cronin@moyhill.com