Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Romance – #Western Sandra Cox, #Crime Jacquie Biggar, #Paranormal Marcia Meara, #Contemporary Lisette Brodey

Welcome to another Christmas Book Fair and today I am featuring some of the wonderful romance writers in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first romance is set in the time of longhorns and rugged cowboys and is by Sandra Cox – Silverhills

About the book

In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O’Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment’s notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn’t expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

A recent review for the book

Anne Simone 5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic details and setting  Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2021

I never like rehashing the story in a book review. Why bother to retell the narrative and ruin it for a prospective reader? Instead, I’ll point out some strong points which I enjoyed very much. The author’s research on the cattle drive along the Chisolm Trail fit quite seamlessly into the tale. I liked the respect for the animals which were front and center. And I liked reading about the specific features of breeding the Texas Long Horns and the Herefords—although this was done way before the setting in the book takes place—the author used poetic license to allow for the suspension of disbelief. I enjoyed reading the apparent authenticity with which the characters are portrayed along with their relationships and backstories. I relished some of the intimate and smaller details that made the book come alive and kept my focus interested. This novel was a most gratifying Western read and I recommend it for those with a particular interest in Texas and Westerns.  

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK – And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter: @Sandra_Cox

The next romance is set in the dangerous world of law enforcement  USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar – Secrets, Lies & Alibis (Wounded Hearts Book 8)

About the book

An elusive danger brings two obstinate lovers together for the sake of their unborn child

SAC Agent Amanda Rhinehold is driven to succeed, so it’s a bitter pill to swallow when she is forced to accept a demotion in order to distance herself from an error in judgment– one that leaves her pregnant.

Adam O’Connor uses his playboy image to keep anyone from getting too close. History has shown the people he cares about tends to get hurt, he’s like the proverbial bad luck charm. When an affair with his supervisor goes sideways and she leaves town, he figures it’s for the best, though his heart isn’t so sure.

When trouble comes calling, these two will have to sort their differences in order to protect their baby- and try not to fall in love in the process

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2021

I have finally caught up on the Wounded Heart Series. Book eight starts with what happened to Adam and Amanda. They are split up. Amanda has a new job and Adam a new partner, but what Adam doesn’t know is she is pregnant. When something happens that puts others in danger, Amanda must face Adam again. Amanda’s part has a lot of tension and second-guessing, while Adam attempts to break through that while investigating a person from his past. I like the introduction of Brianne, Adam’s attractive partner, and how she added to the mix. Cameron, Frank’s brother, started to open up about what happened to him years ago. While one door seems to shut by the end of the story, there are new possibilities that have opened where past and present situations spiral around the characters. This was a fast read, and I can’t wait for book nine to come out. Wounded Hearts is a series I highly recommend.  

A small selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

Now for a romance that has a chilling paranormal element by Marcia Meara with the first in the Wake-Robin Ridge series that I can highly recommend..

About the book

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news . . . Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.

A story of evil trumped by the power of love and redemption, Wake-Robin Ridge will transport you to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and introduce you to characters you won’t soon forget

One of the recent reviews for the book

Oct 03, 2021 Debra rated it four stars

Although I’ve seen different labels for this book, I would call it a paranormal romance. There’s certainly a mystery and ghost story as well, but romance is the dominate component. Much of the book unfolds in two different time periods. One begins in 1962 and the other in 2011. In the latter time period, library researcher Sarah Gray finds herself dissatisfied with her job and her life. She quits her job and buys a cabin in Wake-Robin Ridge in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s the peace and quiet Sarah needs to start writing her first novel, but her aloof and handsome neighbor, MacKenzie (Mac) Cole, becomes a distraction.

Although neither she nor Mac are ready for a relationship, they build a friendship which inevitably becomes more. But a violent, terrifying incidents makes it clear that her home isn’t the peaceful refuge Sarah thought. To resolve the problem, she and Mac need to solve the mystery behind the violence. Mac also needs to deal with demons from his past.

Told from both Mac and Sarah’s point of view, plus that of Lloyd and Ruth Carter in the 60’s, it took a while for the story to get going and the tension to build. Once it did, the book became riveting. The more I read, the quicker I turned the pages, especially toward the last third of the book. The descriptions are beautiful and Ruth’s story is heartbreaking. Despite the story being a little long for my taste, it’s still a good read that romance lovers will enjoy.

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

The next review that would make a lovely gift is by Lisette Brodey for Love, Look Away

About the book

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry some day disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel. Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles.

And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Sue L. Janson 5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. . Brodey has done it again. Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2021

I always enjoy Lisette Brodey’s books, especially the ones with a comedic flare. I loved her book, MOLLY HACKER IS TOO PICKY, so was delighted to see that LOVE LOOK AWAY, is set in the same town of Swansea, NY and that Molly was back even as a minor character in this book. Sage, owner of Sage Earth Gifts, a metaphysical shop, is through with men since being recently jilted by her finance’, Caleb, when he ran off with her best friend. But, Ms. Brodey artfully reminds us that one should never say NEVER. Not only does she bring Caleb back, but also introduces two other men into Sage’s “no more men for me” life. Godiva, the hired on the spot, partner in Sage Earth’s Gifts is a godsend for the shop and a perfect fit and voice of reason into Sage’s upheaveled life. The animal lover in me, appreciates that Sage’s constant companion is of the canine variety. I am not compelled to give away more of the story in this review, as I want readers to experience it first hand.

This delightful story has just the right touch of snarky people, intertwined with twists, turns and a surprise ending, that I was not expecting. It is also filled with many humorous and poignant moments. Ms. Brodey is a wonderful storyteller and I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a refreshing relief from the crazy world in which we seem to be living.

A selection of books by Lisette Brodey

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Lisette: Goodreads – Website/blog: Lisette Brodey – Twitter: @LisetteBrodey – Facebook: Lisette.Brodey


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – #Crime Jacquie Biggar, #FlashFiction Sarah Brentyn, #Contemporary #Humour Lizzie Chantree

The first review today is for USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar and her recent release Virtually Gone: A Mended Souls Novel (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6)

About the book

From USA Today Bestselling Author, Jacquie Biggar, comes a gripping techno-thriller, part of a multi-author series tied together by an interlocking cast of characters, all centered around the fantastic new promise of high technology and the endless possibilities for crime that technology offers, in a world where getting away with murder can be not only plausible, but easy…if you just know how.

Investigative reporter Julie Crenshaw stumbles upon the case of a lifetime–one that could cost her everything.

When Julie is called on to investigate a string of sexual abuse cases, she doesn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial rapist. Soon she’s in a race to find the facts before a killer makes her the headline.

Detective Matthew Roy is frustrated with his inability to track a rapist terrorizing his city. Added to that, his partner’s reporter girlfriend is dogging his every step and won’t heed his warnings. Time is ticking with the perpetrator escalating his crime to murder. Matt needs to find the killer soon, or chance losing someone he cares for- the question is, how?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tytanmom19 5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced Techno Thriller!  Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2020

Virtually Gone (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6) by Jacquie Biggar. I loved the previous books in the series so I had high hopes for this one and I was not disappointed. It can be read as a standalone but I’ve enjoyed reading them all. Its the story of Julie Crenshaw who is an investigative reporter and Matthew Roy who is a detective. Julie has come upon a case that may make or break her career. There is a string of Sexual abuse cases but what Julie doesn’t know its going to throw her right in the rapists path. Matt is ticked off because he can’t solve this case. He is ticked at Connor his partner whose reporter girlfriend seems to always be one step ahead of him. If it weren’t for Connor, Matt would have probably killed or at least locked up Julie. When the rapist resorts to murder the stakes are even higher. Will Matt, Connor and Julie use technology to solve this crime before some else gets hurt or worse murdered. Will Matt and Connor still be partners/friends at the end of this investigation? Read Virtually Gone to find out!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar, Buy:  Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

The next author celebrating a recent review is Sarah Brentyn for her flash fiction collection On the Edge of a Raindrop.

About the collection

When You’re on the Edge, It’s Easy to Fall

These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

GraemeCumming 5.0 out of 5 stars Savour each morsel… Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 July 2020

It’s fair to say that I like my fiction with a bit of depth. I don’t mean War and Peace kind of depth, but I like a good yarn with layers, ideally a few twists, and characters that feel real, even when they’re a little larger than life. And yet I like short stories, and I always admire a writer who can produce an effective one.

I’m even more impressed, then, when I read flash fiction. At least, I am when it’s well written. As I understand it – and I’m no expert in these matters – flash fiction can be anything from a few words to a few hundred, so it can be very difficult to convey much in the way of a story with so little to play with. Very often, flashes will be suggestive rather than explicit.

Sometimes, they get across a state of mind or being rather than a whole story. Whichever route is taken, for that writing to stir something in the reader – for example, senses of loss, fear or exhilaration – means the author has done their job.

Probably the most famous flash fiction reads: ‘For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.’ Attributed to Hemmingway, though there are some doubters, this conveys so much and is a masterpiece of the genre.

Frankly, Sarah Brentyn’s work easily stands alongside this. Her ability to capture the essence of an emotion or a moment in so few words is staggering. In a single line, she can encapsulate something that many authors would struggle to do in several pages.

Like her first book, Hinting at Shadows, this is a book to savour and not rush. When you’re confronted with stories or essays that cover only a page or even a few lines, the temptation is to read one then leap on to the next. Don’t. Read one and reflect on it. The whole book is only 48 pages long, but what it contains is volumes and it should be read as if that’s the case.
Take your time. Savour each morsel as it’s fed to you. It’ll be more satisfying than you can imagine.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn, Buy: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – Follow Sarah: Goodreads – Sarah: Blog – Twitter: @SarahBrentyn

The final book today is If You Love Me I’m Yours by award winning inventor and author Lizzie Chantree.

About the book

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

One of the recent reviews for the book

MADEUPgroup 4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that’s easy to read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 July 2020

If you’re looking for a story that’s relatively short, yet full of memorable characters and twisty changes to the scenes while remaining lighthearted, then this is the perfect book for you.

The two main characters are brilliantly individual, and yet they just work so wonderfully together. I often find in books like this that the Characters become almost the same personality by the end of the book, and i find it quite frustrating. In this case, the personalities remain very distinctly individual from start to very end, with their own attitudes and quirks.

Seeing Dot and Maud work together and encourage one another to reach their goals and realise how amazing they are as individuals was wonderful. They were inspiring without being corny, and the friendship was a delight to read about. Everyone needs a friendship like this in their life!

I love the fact that although this looks like a romance novel (and that cover is gorgeous!) it’s so much more than that. This isn’t just a story about a typical romance, boy and girl meet, fall out, live happily ever after. Instead, we see Dot, Maud and Nate all learning to handle a variety of very realistic and believable problems. The book touches on some sad moments, and they’re handled well, you feel the sadness to your core and yet it doesn’t overpower the wonderful connections being made.

All of the characters are flawed in some ways, and they’re so much more lovable for it because it makes them feel real.

With Humour, realism, romance and life in general, this is an easy to read book that delights from start to end!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by Lizzie Chantree

Lizzie Chantree, Buy: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Lizzie: Goodreads – website:Lizzie Chantree – Twitter:@Lizzie_Chantree


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to take away with you.. thanks Sally.