Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday, 17th August 2017. Cook and Enjoy Recipes/ Jennie Fitzkee, Lisa Burton/ Vashti-Quiroz-Vega, Colleen Chesebro/ Richard Ankers and Teri Polen


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

If you are a regular visitor you will have seen some of Jennie Fitzkee’s posts either reblogged or here in the blogger. Jennie teaches pre-school and has done for thirty years. Generations of children have grown up loving books and words thanks to her passion. This time Jennie is a guest herself and talks about her early years as a teacher and how very quickly she discovered how her children absorbed the stories from books and simple storytelling.

Thank you, Esmé, for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog. First, let me introduce myself. I am Jennie, a long time preschool teacher, 30+ years is definitely a long time, and… well, that’s what I want to talk about.

My first day of teaching was filled with fear (of course). My co-teacher had a plan, I was to read books to the children every day. I had not been read to as a child, except for The Five Chinese Brothers from my grandmother. This was the one and only book, and to this day I remember it vividly. That first day my co-teacher handed me Swimmy by Leo Lionni. It was magical for me, and for the children. It was a taste of something I knew I had to have. And, I couldn’t get enough.

Read the rest of this wonderul look at a lifetime of inspiring children to love books: https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/%ef%bb%bfaugust-guest-7-children-teaching-reading-storytelling-and-more/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The rare ones amongst you who have as yet not met the acquaintance of Ms. Lisa Burton, radio presenter extraordinaire.. have an opportunity today. She is interviewing the angel Lilith of the book The Fall of Lilith penned by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.. Things get a little heated as it does when talking about celibacy and obedience..oh and Craig Boyack snuck in there too…

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. Today my very special guest is an honest to God angel, or former angel, I don’t know how that all works, but we’re going to find out. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome to the show, Lilith.”

“Greetings.”

“Lilith, my bio says you have a problem. There are rules in place that an angel must follow in order to stay in heaven. You disagree with those rules. Can you explain to our listeners what those rules are?”

“I reside in the lowest level of Heaven called Floraison. There are many laws for my kind but the two greatest pledges an angel makes are obedience and celibacy, which make for a boring existence.”

Head over and be prepared to be shocked and thrilled at the same time..fallen angels are so tempting:https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/the-fall-of-lilith-on-lisaburtonradio/

 

You now get to enjoy a magical story from Richard Ankers who is a guest of Colleen Chesebro today.  Colleen is spotlight fairies and magic in her guest posts and today certainly fits perfectly into that theme.  A story not to be missed.

The Charcoal Nomads by Richard Mark Ankers

Our parents called them the Charcoal Nomads, as had theirs, and theirs before that. A bustling caravan of mysterious folk, they’d slide into our small town at midnight, always midnight, stay awhile, then slide away.

Like all things containing an element of the unknown, shade and shadow, their presence held a certain allure. Forewarnings heralded forth like divine covenants from our parent’s mouths, but they did nothing to assuage our curiosity only fuel it. I would lie in bed and picture the steepled caravans with their minarets and towers, more gigantic tents than mobile homes. I’d imagine the horses – jet-black stallions clad in each nomad’s colours marching beneath the storms that signalled their arrival. And, of course, I imagined the young ones, those mysterious, concealed children. Did they dream as I? Did they wish for more as they travelled a world I’d only imagined? The Charcoal Nomads, those who had revealed themselves to just one man, became my obsession.

A Judge Roberts, lawman and sole landowner of Shadowmoor was the sole citizen brave enough to have challenged the night tribe. He’d clashed with the nomads over road tolls, although others wished him not. One tar-pit midnight, he’d headed out beyond the woods on his favourite jet-black mare intent on confrontation; neither came back. In such ways are legends made.

Read the rest of this magical story that will entrance you: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/17/fairies-myths-magic-author-spotlight-guest-posts-the-charcoal-nomads-by-richard-ankers/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We move onto #Horror and #Thriller now with Teri Polen.. Teri is featuring her Bad Moon Rising month of horror and thriller books and authors from October 1st -31st and needs to hear from you now.. Spaces are filling up fast. So if you want to showcase your book head over and get in touch with Teri directly.

For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising, 31 days of horror/thriller writers! If you’re an indie author of horror/thriller books, and would like to be featured, send me your info. This is an opportunity not only for free publicity and book sales (hopefully), but also to crawl out from under your colossal TBR piles and buy more books!

Head over and get your name down if you are a horror or thriller author: https://teripolen.com/2017/08/16/calling-indie-horrorthriller-authors-indieauthors-horror-thriller-2/

Some not to be missed posts and I hope you enjoy your visit to their bloggers. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 8th August 2017 – Lucinda E.Clarke, Steve Tanham, Don Massenzio and Colleen Chesebro

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to some of the excellent blog posts I have read over the last day or so and we begin with a post by Lucinda E. Clarke who wonders why after many years of writing professionally, her manuscripts are being returned with lots of red hieroglyphics.  The structure of the way we speak and write is changing and what was once acceptable is now considered out of fashion.

I am feeling quite depressed at the moment. Why? Once upon a time, I thought I could write. Not as well as Tolstoy, or Shakespeare, but the average, everyday stuff. This is a good thing, I thought I’m not particularly good at anything else. Don’t ask me to draw a smiley face, or cook gourmet meals, I plant, nurture and watch the green leafy things die, I’m best in the back row of the chorus (or off stage altogether) and … I could go on and on about my lack of accomplishments, but I’ll spare you.

At least I can write, pop words onto paper in reasonable order, tell stories and the extra bonus is I can do that as long as I have wiggly fingers and the mental capacity – unlike those super sporty people whose career is on the downward slope by the time they’re 25.

My belief in my one and only ability- I won’t go so far as to call it a talent – was reinforced by all the people who paid me to write: important people who ran banks, government departments, magazines and newspapers, radio and television, corporations and educational institutions. And I mean pay, yes real money not the pennies Amazon dribble into my bank account at the end of each month. This big money paid the rent, bought food, clothed us and put petrol in the tank. It even paid for the odd cruise and trips abroad. It continued for almost 40 years until I retired and began to write books.

Read the rest of the post and share your thoughts on the subject: https://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/i-cant-write-proper/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We take technical advances in our stride these days with our phones having a built-in obsolescence that demands we upgrade as soon as a new model hits the market. Millions are now connected by an invisible thread that records their every move and key stroke with tailor made adverts popping up as you browse your Facebook feed daily. I clearly have been identified as needing dentures (probably true) a stair-lift and leak proof drawers (not quite). What was even more disquieting the other day was following my review for Dunkirk, the book called the Snow Goose that I viewed on Amazon and the DVD then appeared in my Facebook timeline.. Spooky.

Steve Tanham looks at the dark side of our technology advances and shares the programme he watched that used Uber in India as an interesting example of technology vs. our approach to humans.  Definitely worth heading over and reading and also leaving your point of view.

The Open University (OU) is a wonderful institution. I have watched its progress for decades, and it’s a fine example of the power of education and broadcasting, combined. Last night we happened to watch a BBC Two documentary produced as part of the OU series: ‘Secrets of Silicon Valley‘ by Jonathan Bartlett.

Its premise was that Silicon Valley (referred to as the Tech world) has a dark side; dark in the sense that it is changing society at such a fast rate that our social, political and legal structures are failing to keep up. The Tech companies view this as a good thing, and there is the collective vision – incredibly well-funded in its PR – that this is productive for us all and that the inevitable result, like the industrial revolution before it, will be that we’ll all have richer and better lives. TheTech define their own role in this vision as that of ‘The Disruptor’.

Read the rest of this thought provoking post and share your views: https://stevetanham.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/what-value-the-human/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Don Massenzio with a post on writing prompts. Where do we find inspiration for our stories.. is it our memories, images or headlines.. Find out more about what Stephen King had to say on the subject and where Don finds ideas for his own stories.

1. Use News Headlines

I’ve written many short stories and a couple of books by perusing the news headlines. My first published short story, Heal Thyself, came from a headline that I read and then embellished into a ‘what if’ scenario.

I used this piece as a way to overcome getting stuck while writing the novel. I remember traveling to Chicago for work for a period of time when I wrote this story. It was written completely by hand in a notebook while sitting in airports and on airplanes waiting to get somewhere.

Find out where else Don finds his inspiration and add yours too: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/what-is-your-book-going-to-be-about/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Finally some expert advice on the various forms of poetry that are prompted each week by Colleen Chesebro.  This week, for those of us who are dabblers rather than experts in the art of Haiku, Tanka and Haibun, Colleen provides a masterclass…

HOW TO CREATE THE HAIKU in ENGLISH POETRY FORM

Are you new to writing the Haiku in English poetry form? Please read my page, How to Write a Haiku in English.
HOW TO CREATE THE TANKA POETRY FORM

Tanka poems are based on syllable structure much the same way a Haiku is written in the 5/7/5 format.

The Tanka form is easy to create: 5/7/5/7/7 and is a Haiku with two extra lines, of 7 syllables each consisting of five separate lines.

What makes a Tanka different from a Haiku is that the first three lines (5/7/5) are the upper phase. This upper stage is where you create an image in your reader’s mind.

The last two lines (7/7) of a Tanka poem are called the lower phase. Now here is where it gets interesting. The lower stage, the final two lines, should express the poet’s ideas about the image that was created in the three lines above.

Head over to acquaint yourself with the various formats available to express yourself in verse and then why not accept Colleen’s Challenge: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/08/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-45-haiku-haibun-or-tanka-hate-pride/

Thank you for popping in today and please head over to these blogs and enjoy the full posts. 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

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Toni Pike and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first of the review specific posts this week.

I am putting together a separate post on how to encourage more readers to leave book reviews later today, but I do want to reiterate my intention in the coming months to focus on reviews of books as part of book promotions. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool that we have and we need to make it easier for our readers to leave their opinions good or bad about our work.  More about that in the specific post later.

In the meantime I am delighted to share new reviews for these featured authors the first being Toni Pike and The Rock of Magus: Code Red in the Vatican (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 2) with a review by Terri Webster Schrandt

About the book

A CRISIS IS BREWING IN THE VATICAN – AND ONLY ONE MAN CAN PREVENT DISASTER…

Jotham Fletcher is back in a race against time to stop a sinister cardinal, a libertine sect and a homicidal priest.

Jotham Fletcher returns in another non-stop adventure that takes him deep inside the Vatican. Cardinal Alpheus has ambitions far more sinister and explosive than anyone could imagine and the death of Pope Linus is only the beginning.

Jotham is now a billionaire, dedicated to finding the Simonian Sect that wants to destroy the Christian Church and he employs Madena, a former army officer, to help him. They rescue a televangelist in Seattle but find the photograph of a cardinal who is soon elected as the new Pope, with Alpheus as his chief advisor.

The deadly Brotherhood re-emerges with homicidal Father Dominic at the helm and the body count begins to rise.

Jotham becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an archbishop in Spain and the unwitting hero after a devastating event in Rome. He has a secret that he dare not reveal and is on the run from the police once again. But nothing prepares him for the final confrontation at the Pope’s summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

The five star review from Terri Webster Schrandt: https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/04/13/book-review-of-toni-pikes-the-rock-of-magus/

If you enjoy religious conspiracy thrillers, you will love Pike’s exciting, fast-paced adventure that takes readers to Rome and into the Vatican.

Similar to Dan Brown’s main character, Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code, Pike’s central character, Jotham Fletcher, also possesses unequaled expertise in a particular subject, in this case, the shadowy, religious figure Simon Magus.

I find it fascinating that Pike built her series around this little-known historical figure, a magician and cult leader at the time of the Apostles. Magus is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8:9-24 as he tries to “buy” the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but was rebuked by the Apostles as a sorcerer and wicked charlatan.

The heart of Pike’s adventure lies in this fictional, 21st-century Simonian Sect, whose cult followers are nothing short of fanatical, according to her series.

Pike sets the scene for suspense, thrills and twists that lead readers to believe that Fletcher may not solve this mystery, as insurmountable odds stack against him and his female partner. I found the book to be a nail-biter and a page-turner!

The characters are believable, with Fletcher expressing doubt at one point, but using his shaky confidence to navigate the labyrinthine Vatican grounds as he and Madena attempt to solve the mystery.

Pike’s research is extensive and written from the perspective of having visited Rome. I personally love it when authors write from their intimate knowledge of a subject and from the locations they have been.

I highly recommend this adventure series and am looking forward to book #3, The Magus Epiphany.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magus-Jotham-Fletcher-Mystery-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

Also by Toni Pike

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

Connect to Toni via her blog: https://tonipike.com/

The next review is for the science fiction The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part One: Eagle Ascendant: A Biographical Fiction by Lorinda J. Taylor with a review from Colleen Chesebro.

About the book

Robbin Haysus Nikalishin was born on 31 October of the year 2729 and ultimately became the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials. This fictionalized biography, composed 50 years after Nikalishin’s death, recounts the first 31 years of the life of a man who is hailed as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. During this portion of his life he enjoyed many triumphs, joys, and loves, but he was not immune to failure and tragedy. In 2761 a major space disaster completely changes the course of his life. Whether it will be for better or worse is left for the reader to decide.

All heroes are human beings and all human beings are flawed, and the man the Earth came to know as “Capt. Robbie” was a very human man.

The review by Colleen Chesebro: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/14/colleens-book-reviews-the-man-who-found-birds-among-the-stars-part-one-eagle-ascendant-a-biographical-fiction-by-author-termitewriter/

The date is October 31, 2729, and Robbie Nikalishin comes roaring into a not so perfect world. As a young boy, his father instills a love of space and flying into his young psyche. Robbie’s most prized possession is a tiny metal airplane, a gift from his father, that accompanies him through his life journey. That aircraft stands for his aspiration to become the captain of his own starship. Gifted with the ability to solve elaborate string theory mathematics, Robbie pursues his dream with a determination that propels him to the head of his college classes.

With expert detail and descriptions, the author immerses the reader into Nikalishin’s futuristic world. This first book covers his childhood and his teen years, eventually bringing you to the peak of his flying career.

What I loved most about Robbie’s character was how utterly human he was. From Robbie’s youth onward, I followed his experiences and saw first hand who Robbie the man became. It was a rare opportunity to witness the events that shaped a character’s personality.

Robbie’s personality is multifaceted, and at times, he comes across as self-sabotaging and selfish. Yet, I couldn’t help but like the guy. For all of his brilliance, he possessed an innocence that tugged at my heart. Sometimes he made his life choices so difficult that I couldn’t help remembering myself at a younger age and how I didn’t make all the best decisions either. However, all of that drama only adds to the allure of Captain Robbie Nikalishin.

I won’t kid you… this book ended with a cliffhanger of phenomenal proportions! Robbie’s story left me hungering for more and turning pages at an abnormally fast pace. I stayed up into the wee hours reading to find out happened next. My only hope is that the author, Lorinda Taylor, writes as quickly as I read. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the next book in the series. I loved this novel and have added it to my “Me Time,” category for science fiction.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Found-Birds-among-Stars-Part-ebook/dp/B01N0YBDYF

A small selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Find out more about Lorinda J. Taylor, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping by today and please let me know about your new review that you would like to share or a review you have written for an author that you would like to give a boost to… sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Teri Polen, Colleen Chesebro and Sally Cronin


author-update-jpg

Welcome to the first update of the week.. and as an author on the bookshelves I get to share my news too today.  But first a catch up with two other authors.  I am taking a look at some of the authors who have entered the bookstore since the begining of December over the next week. Unless of course any of you reading this who are in the bookstore have news of a recent release or great review.  Get in touch sallygcronin@gmail.com

The first author update is for Teri Polen who released her debut novel Sarah at the beginning of December 2016. Since then she has received 26 reviews and here is one that is right up to date.

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About Sarah

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

 A Spine-Tingling Tale You Won’t Want to Miss on February 5, 2017

Teri Polen’s SARAH is the stuff that will keep you up at night. It’s the perfect blend of lighthearted teenage banter and blood-curdling horror elements. Shades of the television show Supernatural will keep fans of theWinchester brothers engrossed from the beginning through the last spine-tingling word of the epilogue.

Cain starts out as an affable teenage boy who too soon has become the man of the house because of the untimely death of his father. The addition of his best friend Finn creates a dynamic duo—the two clearly are as thick as biological brothers and their interactions are so enjoyable. Cain has typical teenage problems—love, academics, sports—until his life changes for the worse.

There is a ghost in his house.

The ghost, Sarah, has a dramatic character arc, something that infatuated me. Her change from beginning to end was something I couldn’t tear my attention from. Cain, Finn, and Lindsey are a trio that rivals Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The barbs they exchange are funny and believable, but these kids are loyal to each other to a fault. Watching those relationships solidify was a true pleasure.

I love a good ghost story, and SARAH is one of the best ones I’ve read in a while. I blew through it—it was such an easy and exciting read that I finished it in one afternoon. But I’m left fervently wishing for a sequel, because I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

If you like horror, you’ll love SARAH. It’s a must read.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V

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Connect to Teri via her Website:  https://teripolen.com/

author-update-jpg

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We head over to Marjorie Mallon’s wonderfully eclectic blog about books, writing, photography, magic haiku and inspiration. Not only has Marjorie posted a terrific view for the recently released The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy by Colleen M. Chesebro, but she has also availed herself of the exclusively designed pendant.

the-heart-stone-chroniclesAbout The Heart Stone Chronicles – 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?

Marjorie Mallon’s Review for the book.

What’s not to love? I knew I would love The Swamp Fairy and I did. For me, it has two magical ingredients: a crystal pendant, ( I just love crystals!!!) and fairies! My only regret is that when I turned the last page of The Swamp Fairy I was left feeling bereft. I wanted more!!! Thank goodness Colleen will satisfy this sense of loss with the second book in this series…

I’d recommend The Swamp Fairy to young ‘tween’ girls who love the magical realm of fairies, and the power and mystery of crystals exemplified in Abigale’s pendant , a precious piece of the sacred calcite heart stone.

Gutsy young heroine Abigale Forester will do anything to save the swamp fairies and the Pink Sundew plants. Right from the start, it’s obvious that she’s no pushover, even though she has had to deal with more pain and loss than the average fourteen-year-old. After her mother Kathryn’s death and her drug addict father’s disappearance she is sent away to stay with her distant aunt Magnolia. It’s not just the weather that changes. Chicago girl Abigale’s new destination is Blackberry Ridge, Florida. She has to get to know her aunt, acquaint herself with a new school, meet new friends, Savanna Brook, Blake Barrett, and Cash Book, (Savanna’s brother.) But all that’s nothing compared with having to cope with the nasty jibes of the mean Kramer brothers, and it doesn’t end there. A greedy, ruthless land developer, Rafe Cobb is determined to get hold of the swamp land bequeathed to her by her deceased mother.

Abigale refuses to buckle under Rafe Cobb’s threats even when she realises that he will go to the most desperate and deadly ends to get what he wants.

Abigale has a special relationship with the fairies, (the Naiad Nymph Clan,) a unique bond with horses, (especially Sand Dollar,) and the many other animals in the story. She can hear what they are saying, and can speak to them too!

This is such an enthralling, sweet story, with excitement a-plenty. There are beautiful descriptions of the swamp fairies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. Plus the added bonus of beautifully crafted haiku poems at the start of each chapter. 

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-heart-stone-chronicles-book-1-the-swamp-fairy-by-colleen-chesebro/

Read the other recent reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967

colleen-author-picConnect to Colleen Chesebro via her Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

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Now I get to do a little self-promotion since I am on the shelves of the bookstore!  I released my latest short story collection, What’s in a Name, last Friday and was delighted that Linda Bethea dived in and gave the book its first review over the weekend.. Absolutely thrilled as you can imagine.

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About What’s in a Name

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

I rushed to buy this as soon as I saw it was released. I have read and loved Sally’s books before and this one did not disappoint. Read it through in one sitting. I loved the crooks and twists. The characterizations are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and grab this one, but I doubt you’ll get much done once you start!

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

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Connect with me here and on social media: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/connect-with-me-on-social-media/

If you would like to be in the bookstore then here are the promotions that might interest you.

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

Thank you for dropping by and as always your feedback is appreciated.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy by Colleen M. Chesebro


New on the shelvesWelcome to the first of the 2017 Book Promotions here on Smorgasbord.. New on the Shelves is for authors who are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore offering an opportunity to get to know the author and their work in more detail.

Delighted to showcase the debut YA Fantasy novel – The Heart Stone Chronicles –  The Swamp Fairy by Colleen M. Chesebro.  As you will see Colleen has come up with a wonderful way to add sparkle to the launch of her book with a specially commissioned piece of jewellery by Irene Design.

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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?

Buy The Swamp Fairy in print and Kindle versions: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967

Something to accompany the book.

To accompany the book it would make a lovely gift to also buy the specially designed necklaces.

And, if you or that special “tween” in your life would like to experience a bit of their own fairy magic, The calcite fairy stone necklaces, made by https://irenedesign2011.com/ are available to order. One look at these magical pendants and you too will want a fairy  stone like Abby wears in the novel.

Where to buy the necklaces.

The small calcite heart stone pendant is in the photo below. Here is the link to Irene’s Etsy site where you can buy your own jewelry:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852170/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

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The large calcite heart stone pendant is shown below. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852682/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

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About Colleen M. Chesebro

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Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series is called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy.” The novel reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.

A retired bookkeeper, she has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her love for all things creative.

When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking, and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of art. She lives in the United States with her husband, Ron and her two Pomeranians, Sugar and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website

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 and it would be great if you could share the news about Colleen’s debut novel.

If you have a recent book and have not yet featured in the Cafe and Bookstore… then here is the link.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/new-series-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves/

See you again soon I hope.. Thanks Sally