Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Reviews #Dystopian Alex Craigie, #YA Angie Dokos, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be sharing authors with their recent reviews or new releases. Books make great gifts for Christmas and I hope you enjoy today’s selection.

The first author today is Alex Craigie with my own review for the thought provoking Acts of Convenience a dystopian thriller

About the book

Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.

Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation. I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.

However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself. It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.  It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger.

My review for the book on November 3rd 2020

I am now of an age when I do feel concerned when I read headlines about the future burden of the elderly and questions about where is the money to come from to fund their care. Added to that the stories of neglect in some care homes and the impact of the pandemic on those living in isolation from family and friends, it does make you wonder where you will find yourself in ten or twenty years time.

Not everyone can be self-sufficient and having worked all their lives until retirement, laying the corner stones of modern society, surely that is a time of reward not censure.

Alex Craigie’s book is an eye-opener and also a disturbing glimpse of one of the possible outcomes of today’s whispers and mutterings at higher levels in Government, and in the think tanks as they discuss options for twenty and thirty years ahead.

It is a thriller with an unlikely protagonist in the form of a hard-working nurse as she becomes a mother, then grandmother whilst still walking the corridors of the local hospital. She is in the shadows as far as those in charge are concerned and as such she hears and sees things over the years that are troubling.

During those years successive ministers, including Prime Ministers, begin to put progressively more inhumane policies in place that initially seem benign, but have long term consequences on the population as they reach retirement. Personal agendas, ambition and greed are their motivations and not the good of certain sectors of society. A wedge is being driven between the young and the elderly as governmental spin doctors market to one at the expense of the other.

The author lays the groundwork to the outcome of twenty plus years of governmental manipulation in the first third of the book when the pace of the story picks up.

Can individuals or small groups of dissenters have an impact on an entrenched attitude towards the vulnerable in our society? In this novel they certainly do their best, despite at times violent opposition and corruption at the heart of the NHS. There are some heart stopping moments, and times when it seems that reaching a satisfactory ending to the story is unlikely.

The author has created some strong characters and also scenarios that are thought provoking. Despite the slower first third of the book, it did serve to remind us of the insidiousness of the drip feed of discriminatory policies that might go largely unnoticed over twenty or thirty years, it also introduced us to the characters who come together in a fight for justice. The author did a great job of making me consider my old age in a more constructive way.

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

Also by Alex Craigie

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Alex: Goodreads – Alex Craigie via: Facebook

The next author is Angie Dokos with a recent review for her YA novel Roadside

About the book

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Wendy Landsiedel5.0 out of 5 stars Friends and Family  Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2020

Great YA story that includes strong family relationships and great friends. A fabulous storyline without all of the harsh language. Romance not unbridled lust. Well done Angie.

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

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  follow Angie : Goodreads –  website: Angie Dokos WordPress –  Twitter: @AngieDokos

The next author is M.C.V Egan with a review for her novel Defined by Others.

About the book

A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse, Frank, leaves her at the age of forty-seven, coming out of the closet literally in a closet.

She finds herself back in her hometown of Skvallerby, Connecticut among her high school friends which she had left in her past.

An inheritance from a frenemy leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances.

In an attempt to run from her reality Anne becomes engrossed in a game of fun and flirtation with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie.

Their fun games turn into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game. Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader) VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Games played with people’s lives……  Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2020

Anne a 47 year-old woman’s husband has just left her for a man. After learning that a long lost friend of hers from her hometown in Florida has died and left her an inheritance Anne takes off to Florida to receive her inheritance and you know just go home for a little while, while she deals with a divorce.

Anne’s inheritance is not quite what she was expecting. No the inheritance was just a laptop and a video explaining about the inheritance. Anne’s friend Amanda has invited her to continue playing her little online game messing with other people’s lives.

The way I saw it was that after learning about Anne’s husband leaving her for a man played a big role in Amanda’s decision to invite Anne to play her game. I think that Amanda thought that playing this little online game would be sort of like a coping mechanism or some sort of therapy for Anne. Not that I agree with it but I do get the why behind it well sort of.

Anne reunites with another of her friends from high school, Connie who is herself dealing with divorce. Anne invites Connie to stay with her in her mother’s home. Anne invites Connie to play the game with her. Connie accepts.

I did make one connection with Anne and that is her connection with a word. I don’t have the same connection with a word as Anne does but I do love words. I love to read so therefore I love words. I remember telling a friend once that if I see a word I will read it. (There is a longer version of this story but I won’t bore you will the details now.)

What drew me to read Defined by Others was the author M.C.V. Egan and her writing. I am always up for reading one of her books actually I believe I have read all of her books now well with the exception of the revised edition of The Bridge of Deaths. I would recommend all of her books even if you don’t read that genre. So if you have not read one of M.C.V. Egan’s books what are you waiting for? Head on over to your favorite place to purchase books and start clicking.

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

Also by M.C.V. Egan

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow M.C.V. Egan: Goodreads –  Website: The Bridge of Deaths – Twitter: @M.C.V_Egan

The next author today is Claire Fullerton with a review for her novel Little Tea, which I can also highly recommend

About the book.

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 26, 2020 D.G. Kaye rated it Five Stars

A tale that encompasses several topics of life – family, friendship, racism, mental health, and tragedy. Southern fiction at its best. We’re introduced to the triangular friendship between Celia, Renny and Ava, friends from childhood, in a reunion visit up to Renny’s lakehouse where the girls recant stories, memories, and unresolved issues from their pasts, introducing the many characters who played parts in their lives.

Celia managed to leave the deep south and is happily married now living in California, but the girlfriend reunion brings up some painful memories that Celia Wakefield finds herself now having to put closure on, including her ex-fiance Tate whose deep south family wasn’t too accepting of Celia’s close friendship with ‘black people’, – mainly her oldest best friend Little Tea and her family. And once tragedy struck within the plantation, a silent slithering away of Tate occurred.

The story goes back and forth through time – current day at Renny’s lake house in Arkansas where the reunion takes place and back in the 1980s when they were younger girls where we’re taken into Celia’s younger life with her family living in Mississippi on their cotton plantation and the black hired help living on that land in a cottage, becoming closer than most with their white bosses in the still divided south. Thelonius and Elvita and their daughter Little Tea who becomes Celia’s best friend, and ultimately, the love interest of Celia’s brother Hayward – still in a dangerous time for mixed races to show themselves publicly, but accepted within the family – except for Celia’s eldest brother John who comes off racist.

In this story, the past comes back to haunt as it does in real life. Celia must find closure, Ava must choose her happiness between two men, and Renny is the host where everyone meets up at her place to mull over their pasts and solidfy their futures. Renny is the group organizer. And nobody knows the deep dark secrets better than the three girls.

Some wonderful prose to quote from this book. Here are just two:

Little Tea and Celia discussing Tea’s plans after graduating high school: “I know times have changed for people of color, but there’s a residue that’ll stick around forever.”

Celia talking to her brother Hayward about their grandmother’s racism, trying to figure why as someone who came from poverty and now riches, why she didn’t have compassion: “People attack what they fear.” “People always have to have something to look down on.”

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

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Twitter: @Cfullerton3

The final review today is for The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger, a book I can also highly recommend.

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

Sue Bavey4.0 out of 5 stars An detailed account of the life of Mary Allerton Cushman, a child passenger on the Mayflower  Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2020

Since 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, MA, I was interested in reading this account of the life of Mary Allerton Cushman. Mary was only four years old during the arduous journey made by the separatists, who later became known as pilgrims. Their story is well known in Massachusetts and taught from an early age. I was keen to read this account written for an adult audience and was rewarded by a narrative filled with a great deal of well-researched historical detail. Some of the events were relayed in a slightly unemotional manner, there could have been more excitement during the description of John Howland having fallen overboard and his rescue, and also an episode in which one of the cross beams of the Mayflower cracks during a heavy storm. These events, the illness and death below decks must have been terrifying.

The beginning of the book introduces us to Mary in 1699, as an elderly woman, looking back on her life. We then switch to her father, Isaac Allerton, in whose voice most of the early chapters are written, switching to Mary occasionally, as she gets a little older. When Mary reaches the age of 8 she is put out to live with another family, that of the Governor of the Plymouth colony. Mary’s behaviour is unruly and her father has struggled to tame her since the death of his wife on the Mayflower. This event is useful since the narrator is now a party to the majority of conversations held within the Governor’s house and through these we learn of relations with the local natives, the problems relating to debt which follow the settlers and the subsequent trade deals set up by Mary’s father, which have detrimental effects on his relationship with the governor and eventually lead to his leaving the colony.

It was interesting to hear in detail the processes which Mary must learn in order to become a goodwife: soap making, cooking, spinning flax into cloth and how to catch leeches in a bottle from a river, to name but a few. The author clearly spent plenty of time researching every possible aspect of life in the colony and describes it in an engaging manner. 4.5 stars

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

Also by N.A. Granger

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog:Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter:@NAGrangerAuthor

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some gifts to share…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #ScienceFiction A.C. Flory


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves…

The first review is for Lorinda J. Taylor for her recently released The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World

About the book

What would it really be like to be immortal? And how important is the power of friendship and the need for communion with one’s fellow humans? On Ziraf’s World, a planet in a universe far away from ours, an old priest named Gilzara decides to ask the Dreamers for the gift of immortality, and Krozem the Creator of Humankind grants his request, including giving him the power to make others immortal. However, things go tragically wrong; Gilzara’s dying wife refuses the gift, and Gilzara is left to live his immortal life alone.

The Troil, incorporeal spirit beings who also inhabit this world, take it upon themselves to save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality, but he continues to see himself as a freak and an outcast, unable to relate to any mortal. The Troil teach him the power of venwara – wizardry – and thus fortified, he returns to the human world, desperately searching for a connection. He finds it in Halrab, a young novice priest, and together they set out to climb the Starbell, the highest mountain in Ziraf’s World, the symbol of an unattainable goal.

An early review for the book

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be immortal? Would immortality be a gift or a curse? Speculative fiction author, Lorinda J. Taylor explores those questions in her recent release, “The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World.”

On Ziraf’s World, a distant planet in the universe, the world is illuminated in various shades of the color blue. The planet has its own cosmology (the sun and moon rise in the west and set in the east, and the year is shorter than on Earth.

The author’s notes share:

“The culture is late Neolithic; metallurgy is unknown except for some gold-working. Obviously, the culture is on the cusp of technological development, but the path to that level will be different from Earth’s – based on spiritual and mental arts that can be called magic, for want of a better term. The gods (Ziraf’s Dreamers, the Seven Zem’l, whom Ziraf the High Dreamer appointed to engineer creation) are palpable in this world, as are a different kind of beings called Troil, who are pure spirit and are immortal.”

“Naturally, such a world will have its own languages, but in this tale, we are concerned with only one race of humans, called the Kairam (the Slate People); there are in fact other races who would have languages of their own, but they figure only tangentially here.”

(Taylor, Lorinda J. The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World (p. 231). Kindle Edition.
The tale sets in motion when a man and his wife ask the old priest Gilzara a simple question. Why do the Troil live forever while humans are mortal?)

Both elderly now, Gilzara and his wife, Javon, ponder the question. More than anything, Gilzara fears he already knows what the answer will be from Krozem, the Creator. But he can’t help wondering… what if Gilzara and Javon could live forever, healed, and once again whole?

Krozem grants Gilzara’s request, including the additional power to make others immortal. The old priest hurries back to Javon to share this significant news. Javon refuses his gift of immortality and dies in his arms. Devastated, the priest realizes that he must live his immortal life alone. The ramifications of such an existence are staggering.

Gilzara is heartbroken over the loss of his wife, and he feels the weight from the gift of immortality like a noose hanging around his neck. Without Javon, life no longer holds any joy. He hides from other humans and even starves himself to near death, wishing for the sweet release death would bring to him.

When Thav, a cave Troi, stumbles across Gilzara’s almost frozen body, she knows the Troil must save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality. Thav and the other Troil eventually teach Gilzara the power of venwara, a type of wizardry.

I’ve noticed “wounded male characters,” is Taylor’s specialty. She excels in her portrayal of the old priest as a deeply wounded soul finding redemption through a journey of love and acceptance. The prophetic magic of her words come together when Gilzara finally learns to live with his immortality.

Look for spectacular world-building, rich characters and descriptions, and bits of spiritual wisdom that will resonate with your own belief systems. The personas of the Troil captivated me. These Yoda-like creatures remind me of benevolent nature spirits, always looking out for the good of the planet and the people who inhabit this strange land. In fact, some of Taylor’s descriptions of venwara magic are so breathtaking, I found them to be poetic.

“The Blessing of Krozem – A Tale of Ziraf’s World,” is a standalone novel. For your reading convenience, Taylor adds a detailed list of characters, a list of geographical names, and a Glossary of Terms at the end of the book.

I’m a tremendous fan of this author, and this recent addition to her repertoire has become an instant favorite of mine! Something tells me you will love this novel, as well. Enjoy!

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on : Goodreads

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: Termite Writer Blogspot

The next author is M.C.V Egan with a recent review for her novel Defined by Others.

About the book

A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse, Frank, leaves her at the age of forty-seven, coming out of the closet literally in a closet.

She finds herself back in her hometown of Skvallerby, Connecticut among her high school friends which she had left in her past.

An inheritance from a frenemy leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances.

In an attempt to run from her reality Anne becomes engrossed in a game of fun and flirtation with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie.

Their fun games turn into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game. Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michael Thal 5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Will Destroy You  Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020

Do you have a secret? Most of us do. In the words of author MCV Egan, “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.” To keep your secrets safe, keep them to yourself, for they give you power. And if you share your secret, “…it will destroy you!” Keep this in mind as you read Egan’s superbly written novel, Defined by Others.”

Written in the first person narrative, Anne Geyer tells her tale of betrayal and lies. At age 47, her husband Frank pulls a “Grace and Frankie” by coming out of the closet, from a closet, to let Anne know he’s leaving her for a man. Who turns out to be her high school friend, Connie’s husband, Mike.

Like on the Netflix blockbuster show, “Grace and Frankie,” Anne and Connie pull together to fight their depression and lost lives.

Meanwhile, a frenemy, Amanda, from Skvallerby High School, dies. She leaves Anne an organized social media game to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances. Anne and Connie embrace the game in an attempt to escape their own reality, and the consequences could prove deadly.

Defined by Others is a 170-page novel exploring the darker side of relationships causing readers to pause and think of their own friendships and loves and how our treatment of others affects each of us in different ways.

The author’s characterization is authentic, the plot is excellent, and the dramatic climax unexpected and dramatic.

Defined by Others is an excellent read and provides an opportunity to wonder, “What would I have done if placed in Anne’s position?”

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by M.C.V. Egan

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US 

And: Amazon UK 

Follow M.C.V. Egan: Goodreads

Connect to Catalina via her website: The Bridge of Deaths

The final author today is A.C. Flory for her Innerscape Omnibus

About the Omnibus

Innerscape: a virtual paradise where the terminally ill live out their lives in young, pain free bodies.
But Miira Tahn discovers paradise is an illusion.
An assassin stalks the Burning Man.
Lies masquerade as truth.
Together with her friends, Miira plunges into a deadly game of cat and mouse.
If she loses, she loses everything.
Her life – Those she loves – All of Innerscape.

A recent review for the omnibus

Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and difficult to put down  Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020

I have been following the author of Innerscape Omnibus for a while via her blog and have grown to appreciate the amount of research she includes for her books. This is the first of her works I’ve read. It is spectacular. She weaves a story so well that I felt as if I were right there. She must be a fan of video games as this aspect is also included. Suspenseful and thought provoking.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by A.C. Flory

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow A.C. Flory: Goodreads

Connect to A.C. Flory (Meeks) via her blog: A.C. Flory WordPress

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Childrens Victoria Zigler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan


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

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

Meet Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England, with my husband, Kelly, a chinchilla named Mollie, a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, and a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I haven’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of becoming a published author. Though it’s been said many times by many authors, I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing the first of my books as an eBook via Smashwords. Several more titles have been published since, with paperbacks and audio books also being made available. So now I’m a published author of several poetry collections, as well as a long list of children’s stories.

I love everything to do with animals and nature. Though I’d rather not get too close to spiders and other creepy crawly things. That love of animals was a huge factor in my choice to become first a vegetarian, and then a vegan, though there were other things that influenced my decision too.

Please visit Amazon or Victoria’s website to view all her books.

One of the reviews for Witchlet on Goodreads

Robbie Cheadle rated it Four Stars

The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.

Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.

In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out

Victoria Zigler, Buy: Amazon UK – and : Amazon US – Follow Victoria on: Goodreads – Website: Victoria Zigler – Twitter: @VictoriaZigler

Meet D.Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

Please visit Amazon or Diana’s website to view all her books.

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A recent review for Legacy of Souls

Anneli 5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, great action  Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2020

Legacy of Souls, Book Two of the Soul Swallowers Series, works well as a stand alone or as a sequel to the first book. It has been a while since I read the first book, and I wondered how well I could get back “into the zone.” No problem. I was pulled in immediately, getting to know and love the good characters, worrying about their safety when the bad characters came along.

The premise that one could swallow the soul of a deceased person and feel their influence, good or bad, plays a substantial role in the story. In some cases, having wisdom passed on through the soul stone can change the outcome in a dangerous situation. In other cases, swallowing a soul with more active skills, such and swordsmanship and discipline is even better. The important thing is to choose wisely and sparingly, lest madness take over.

The plot to save a kingdom and a loved one is believable, allowing that we are in a fantasy world, a world built beautifully by author Diana W. Peach. Her choice of language helps to set the scenes effortlessly as the action keeps us turning pages. As I read this novel, my one fear was that my e-reader would need its battery recharged before I could finish the book. I recommend this book to anyone who won’t mind losing a night’s sleep when they can’t put the book down.

D. Wallace Peach, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

Meet Fiona Tarr

My fantasy novels are fast paced, character driven historical stories with strong mystical, spiritual and theological themes mixed with elements of the classic heroic/epic fantasy genre. My writing was first inspired by the heroic fantasy style of David Gemmell, but I have most recently been compared to Traci Harding.

I plan on releasing a new fantasy novel every year for as long as I possibly can and I always appreciate legitimate feedback so please don’t forget to review my work when you have read it.

It turns out writing is in the blood. My Great Uncle was George Johnston (My Brother Jack) and although I don’t claim to have his renowned literary style, I do write a mean fantasy novel.

I find culture, faith, philosophy and sociology intriguing and these topics are at the heart of my fantasy.

I live in Noosa, Australia with my husband and two sons and I run a small business involving tourism and watersports. Occasionally I dabble in advocacy, mentoring and spend time on my personal entrepreneurial pursuits. When I am not writing I am either kitesurfing, stand up paddle surfing, travelling or volunteering in some capacity. I love cheese, chocolate and living a creative life.

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One of the reviews for Reign of Retribution

Sherrie Hansen VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacrifices Made for True Love  Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed Fiona Tarr’s latest book, propelled by the theme of love and the sacrifices we are sometimes asked to make for true love. As Princess Sheba struggles to find her way in the brutal world of Old Testament times, warring kingdoms and religious conflicts, she is thrown into a battle of good and evil, zealots, idolators, opposing dieties, arch angels and believers of the one true God. Many facets of love are explored – love of family and the loyalty that comes with it, love of carnal pleasures and selfish pursuits, love of God, misguided love, and the romantic pull of true love. The characters are either noble, endearing and admirable, or cruel, twisted and hateful, and both will hold your attention to the end. The goal is to preserve the line of David, from which the Redeemer will come to save mankind. With the stakes so high, yet seemingly impossible, you will read with tears in your eyes, even for believers who know the final outcome firsthand. Thought-provoking and highly recommended.

Fiona Tarr, Buy: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write –  Twitter: @FionaTarr

Meet M.C. V. Egan

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. She is a multilingual multicultural author of Literary Fiction. Originally from a very large family, her passion for writing was fueled by the childhood need to make her voice heard.

M.C.V. Egan has lived Mexico, France, Sweden and the U.S.A. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina is married and has one son. Her hobbies include astrology and other divination tools used in some of her writings. She loves to cook and create fabulous meals for family and friends, dabbles in variety of crafts.

http://www.TheBridgeofDeaths.com

Books by M.C.V. Egan

One of the recent reviews for Defined by Others

Michael Thal 5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Will Destroy You  Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020

Do you have a secret? Most of us do. In the words of author MCV Egan, “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.” To keep your secrets safe, keep them to yourself, for they give you power. And if you share your secret, “…it will destroy you!” Keep this in mind as you read Egan’s superbly written novel, Defined by Others.”

Written in the first person narrative, Anne Geyer tells her tale of betrayal and lies. At age 47, her husband Frank pulls a “Grace and Frankie” by coming out of the closet, from a closet, to let Anne know he’s leaving her for a man. Who turns out to be her high school friend, Connie’s husband, Mike.

Like on the Netflix blockbuster show, “Grace and Frankie,” Anne and Connie pull together to fight their depression and lost lives.

Meanwhile, a frenemy, Amanda, from Skvallerby High School, dies. She leaves Anne an organized social media game to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances. Anne and Connie embrace the game in an attempt to escape their own reality, and the consequences could prove deadly.

Defined by Others is a 170-page novel exploring the darker side of relationships causing readers to pause and think of their own friendships and loves and how our treatment of others affects each of us in different ways.

The author’s characterization is authentic, the plot is excellent, and the dramatic climax unexpected and dramatic.

Defined by Others is an excellent read and provides an opportunity to wonder, “What would I have done if placed in Anne’s position?”

M.C. V. Egan, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow M.C.V. Egan: Goodreads –  Website: The Bridge of Deaths – Twitter: @M_C_V_Egan

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