Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #ComingofAge Bette A. Stevens, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello, #Crime Sue Coletta


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Bette A. Stevens

Award winning Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens is a retired teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species.  She has written two books for children including Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale, two novels and a poetry collection. Amazing Matilda won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List TOP 10for Self-published Children’s Picture Books

Books by Bette A. Stevens for children and adults

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One of the recent reviews for Pure Trash: The Story

RoxB5.0 out of 5 stars Fall in Love With America  Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021

Author Bette A. Stevens brings small-town America to life with delightful home-spun words and visuals. Readers can see, feel, hear, and taste every morsel of this prequel. I find it amazing that relating a poor boy’s adventure is rich with activity, imagination, and learning.

This historical fiction is a delightful rendition of life and times in the 1950s. Kids rode their bicycles, played outdoors, had few modern conveniences, and yet they survived and thrived.

I like the brotherly interaction between Shawn and Willie immediately. Their closeness shows in all their activities. You can easily imagine the other fun these two boys enjoy.

“Hey, Willie,” I finally asked, “did ya bring the slingshot?”
“Sure did, Shawn. Whatcha wanna shoot today?”
Willie’s brown eyes looked as big as Mum’s pan-fried donuts, and his smile pretty nearly filled his round face as he jumped up from his leafy bed and hovered over me like a bear.
I helped Willie make that slingshot out of rubber bands I’d sliced from one of the old inner tubes piled out by Dad’s rusty Ford Roadster. That Ford had headlights on top of the fenders and the “old jalopy,” as Mum called it, was just rottin’ away out back of the two-holer. We broke a crotched limb out of the choke cherry bush to use for the handle. I tied the rubber band and the handle together with string from one of the flowered chicken feed sacks that Mum used to make her house dresses. That string was real strong and I was good at tying knots. Willie was proud as a peacock when it came to showing off that slingshot.

I recommend this story to those who like historical fiction based on small rural communities. The story is a fun short read that you’ll likely want your children to read when they complain the internet is down. I love this author and her way with words. Check out all her stories.  

Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog: 4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

Meet Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.

Also by Sharon Marchisello

One of the recent reviews for Secrets of the Galapagos

Steven Williams4.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Read – Better Winter Read Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2021

I read this book during lockdown, over the winter and it was honestly such a beautiful adventure. It served as a bit of an escape which I thoroughly appreciated. The book is full of action, intrigue and romance. Romance has never really been a selling point for me when it comes to novels, movies or really any storytelling medium, but Sharon does it well. I highly recommend this book, if you are going on vacation to anywhere but the Galapagos. I also highly recommend this book if its a dark and dreary winter, and you need to envision yourself somewhere else. The book is set somewhere wonderful and the mystery keeps you engaged for the long-haul.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

Meet Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as one of the “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5). Sue also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog.

Sue lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two serial killer thriller series published by Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes true crime for Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield Group.Coletta is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday.

Sue’s a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter. You can find out more about her Murder Blog and the Crime Lover’s Lounge at Sue Coletta Website

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

A recent review for I Am Mayhem

Sherry Fundin5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love love it….. Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2021

“Prepare Cautious Cat, for I am the storm you”ve feared. I am Mayhem.”

“There’s only one way to learn the truth. The question is, how far will you go to find the answers you seek?”

I waited…looking at the cover every time I opened my Kindle…to let the anticipation build. Mr Mayhem is a fascinating villain and I am enamored by him. He is definitely one of my favorite villains.The murder of crows, spotlighting Poe, Edgar and Allen dog her footsteps, giving her ‘gifts’ that are clues from Mr Mayhem. It is up to her to decipher their meaning. Each of the crows have a distinct personality, at times seeming almost human. Does Poe have his own agenda? He really, really hates her.

Sue wasted no time getting to it, in a gruesome way. A crow. A GPS destination. A bloody nose in a giveaway box. Surprise…

At 6% I am already tied in knots, breathing a sigh of relief when…well…I can’t tell you. But that is only a respite, because there is so much more to come. My biggest problem writing this review, is giving away no secrets, especially if you want to go back to the beginning and read the entire series. The suspense, the addition of Indian mythicism and culture, the crows, and Shawnee operating on her own, make for a thrilling read.

Sue puts a lot of research into her work and it shows in her writing. I am fascinated. At one point, Sue Coletta brought to mind my love of rising early, and with a cup of coffee, sitting on the patio, listening to the world come alive. The birds sing, flitting through the tree branches. Listen closely and you can spot them…And Shawnee will need all her powers of observation to survive.

What do a cop, a serial killer and a Shaman have in common? The need to defeat a common foe.

Brace yourself before reading, because the depth and detail that Sue Coletta takes to show us Mayhem’s game and why he does what he does, may surprise you. He sure did me, but now I understand why he is so interested in her and why he doesn’t just kill her outright. Shawnee will be taken to a place she never could have seen coming and the results will be life or death. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter: @SueColetta1

 

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Crime Sue Coletta, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger, #Collie Sally Cronin


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is for bestselling crime author Sue Coletta and  Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs

About the book

For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.

Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.

A recent review for the book

Bookworm 92 5.0 out of 5 stars Cold and Calculating Killers  Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2020

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. No matter how interested I might be in the subject, I usually grow weary after a few chapters and leave the book unfinished.

Not so with “Pretty Evil New England.” I was intrigued from the moment I learned Sue Coletta was writing this book. And once I began reading, it was hard to put down.

Pretty Evil New England is the story of five nineteenth-century female serial killers, Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson. The author’s research into each of these killers is phenomenal. After finishing the book, I’ve concluded female serial killers are colder and more calculating than their male counterparts.

The book reads more like thriller fiction instead of a boring account of the crimes. Ms. Coletta writes about the victims, gives details of the crime, provides stories from witnesses, and covers the trials of each woman.

I hope the author will write more true crime stories. If she does, you can bet I’ll be reading them.

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

A selection of books by Sue  Coletta

Sue Coletta, Buy: Amazon US –  And:  Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter:  @SueColetta1 

The next 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

Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2020

The Last Pilgrim is an amazingly researched historical novel detailing the life of Mary Allerton Cushman, the last survivor from the Mayflower. Mary was four years old when she arrived at the Plymouth Colony. She lived to be 88, dying in 1699. During her lengthy life she experienced the hardships, upheaval, and struggle to survive in a new land. Her growth from curious, wayward child to strong, intelligent woman takes the reader on a remarkable journey populated by historical figures and events. The author delves into multiple issues ranging from political disputes, relations with neighboring tribes, even religious disagreements. Everyday life is presented in such engrossing detail it’s easy to lose track of time as Granger immerses her readers in a world all but unfathomable today. Her passion for those she has undertaken to write about, along her meticulous research shines through in every passage. I found myself reluctant to stop reading each night when sleep called.

There is nothing dry or tedious about this book. Rather it is populated by vibrant people, familial struggles, loves, losses, friendships, danger, and triumphs. As someone who was only marginally familiar with this time period, I found it not only a compelling story, but also an education that has left me with an increased admiration for the women and men who populated our earliest colonies. Highly recommend!

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

Also by N.A. Granger

Noelle A. Granger Buy:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog:Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter:@NAGrangerAuthor

 

And finally today I am sharing a recent review for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story which was ghost written by me of behalf of my rough collie.

About the book

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member.

Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.
From the first moment that I met Sam, when he was just three weeks old, his personality and charm shone from his button eyes. Like many pet owners, we were convinced he understood every word we spoke and he actually could say one or two himself. Rather than tell his story from our perspective I have given him a voice and let him tell his own.
I can only imagine what he really thought about his two and four-legged friends but I do hope he loved us as much as we adored him and the time he spent with us shining brightly in our lives.

If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

A recent review for the book

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must-read for all pet lovers!  Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020

I was drawn in by Sam’s picture on the cover, having had a collie as a young girl, so this called me to read. The story’s told from Sam’s perspective, which was interesting, amusing, and sometimes sad. I loved his journey, meeting his loving family, and living in Ireland and Spain. Henry, the stray cat, who became part of his pack, quickly won my heart. We can only imagine what our pets are thinking, but I believe Ms. Cronin really captured Sam’s spirit in this book. I came out feeling like I’d been part of his pack. This was a feel-good read with some of life’s realities mixed in with just the right touch. When I finished, I was left thinking about all my pets over the years and wondered what they might have to say about their journey. This is a must-read for all pet lovers!

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow Sally :Goodreads – Blog: Smorgasbord Invitation – Twitter: @sgc58

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore #NewReleases -#Dieselpunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Crime Sue Coletta


Delighted to showcase two new releases for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore today and the first is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with Hullaba Lulu: a Dieselpunk Adventure

 

About the book

Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story. Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose. My Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water. She snores and burps and says whatever she wants. Lulu is a snarky but good-hearted flapper. The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.Travel with Lulu and her friends on a magical, dieselpunk train that belongs to the smolderingly handsome and enigmatic man known only as Valentino. They get into all sorts of trouble, usually due to Lulu’s clumsiness. It’s an intense ride through a number of pos-i-lutely creepy settings, including “sideways” versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club. At every stop and in between, Lulu ends up creating chaos. There’s no telling where they’ll end up. No, Lulu! Don’t touch that!Lulu’s the kind of smarty, breaks up every party,Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu,I’ll bring her myself!;

Head over to buy the book for only 99c: Amazon US –  And for 77p: Amazon UK- Rest of the World: Universal Link

A selection of other books by Teagan

A recent review for Ghost in the Kitchen

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A whimsica,l magical jaunt  Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2020

I’ve read a number of Geneviene books, and what I love about them is how light-hearted and whimsical they are, full of great characters, fantastical creatures, and quirky adventure. This one is no different. Pip and her grandmother have the ability to see ghosts and several show up in Granny’s kitchen, including a rather colorful Maestro who enjoys cooking. The story has mermen, cursed cowboy ghosts, and Daisy, Pip’s friend who died under mysterious circumstances. Pip and her friend Andy are determined to discover the truth.

This is a lively story with great characters and a lickety-split pace. Pip is a 1920’s flapper with an engaging personality, and the story is full of fun lingo. I haven’t read the first book in the series and though there are references to what occurred, this book worked fine as a stand-alone. A lighthearted, magical read

Teagan Geneviene – Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s Books Goodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

The next author with a new release is for bestselling crime author Sue Coletta and  Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs on Pre-Order until November 1st.

About the book

For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.

Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.

Head over to pre-order the book for November 1st: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Sue  Coletta

A recent review for Hacked

Sherry Fundin 4.0 out of 5 stars Could this happen in real life?  Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020

Shawnee Daniels is an unforgettable character that lives by her own set of rules…so I wouldn’t recommend getting on her bad side. She is a forensic hacker extraordinaire, working for the police. She makes me think of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. She is also a cat burglar, but we’re keeping that on the down low. I love a unique character and Shawnee fits the bill. Her BFF, Nadine, is quite the character in her own right. She is bubbly, effervescent and adds a lighter touch to the inherent danger that follows Shawnee around. I have wondered about this scenario in the real world and to see it play out in fiction is all too frightening. A quick reading novella that only whets my appetite for more.

Sue Coletta, Buy: Amazon US –  And:  Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter@SueColetta1

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Crime Sue Coletta, #Humour Geoff Le Pard


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 Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

One of the recent reviews for the memoir.

This well written memoir by someone with whom I went to high school turned into a page turner as I learned what Mennonite life was like from her perspective. I knew the people and the places but I didn’t know what her internal life was like as a “minority” in a college preparatory program during the Sputnik era. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that there is more than one meaning to the term “minority” and those experiences are important in formulating character.

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

Meet Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday. Sue’s a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

2019, 2018 & 2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 100 Crime Blogs on the Net (Murder Blog sits at #5) and 2019 Award-winner of Expertido’s Best Crime Blog, Sue shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, true crime stories, and anything and everything in between at https://www.suecoletta.com. If you search her archives, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts… crime, crime, and more crime.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where members will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes, when available. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door.

BONUS: When you join Sue’s community you’ll receive two killer reads!

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, who deals with a crazy crime writer feeding circus peanuts to crows named Poe and Edgar, a squirrel named Shawnee (the Marilyn Monroe of squirrels, with her silky strawberry-blonde tail), and a chipmunk dubbed “Hippy” for his enthusiasm and excited leaps each time he scores a peanut in “Hip, hip, hooray!” fashion.

A selection of books by Sue  Coletta

A recent review for Hacked

Sherry Fundin 4.0 out of 5 stars Could this happen in real life?  Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020

Shawnee Daniels is an unforgettable character that lives by her own set of rules…so I wouldn’t recommend getting on her bad side. She is a forensic hacker extraordinaire, working for the police. She makes me think of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. She is also a cat burglar, but we’re keeping that on the down low. I love a unique character and Shawnee fits the bill. Her BFF, Nadine, is quite the character in her own right. She is bubbly, effervescent and adds a lighter touch to the inherent danger that follows Shawnee around. I have wondered about this scenario in the real world and to see it play out in fiction is all too frightening. A quick reading novella that only whets my appetite for more.

Sue Coletta, Buy: Amazon US –  AndAmazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter@SueColetta1

Meet Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

One of the recent reviews for Booms and Busts

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Tickled me!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2020

Oh, I was glad to get back to the adventures of Harry Spittle in his lawyer days!

What a fantastically farcical tale of the mishaps and misadventures that Harry finds himself in, narrowly escaping prison, mixing with the wrong sorts, and with reappearing ghouls from the past.

I really enjoyed it, and Le Pard’s way with words, his dry sense of humour, makes the book for me!

Hooray for Harry, the hapless hero!

Geoff Le Pard, Buy:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreadsGeoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews #Fantasy Julia Benally, #Crime Sue Coletta, #Memoir Brigid P. Gallagher


Welcome to Wednesday’s edition of the author update with recent reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore

The first author with a recent review is Julia Benally for the fantasy novel Pariahs (Ilinga Book I)

About Pariahs (Ilings Book 1)

In a land of monsters and soulless creatures, there is a secluded compound terrorized by a fallen demon-killer, the Grand Apwor. He’s claimed its youngest occupant Vijeren as his son. The Grand Apwor can’t be killed, he can’t be escaped, and his punishments are severe and horrific. Somehow, he knows where Vijeren is at all times. When a law enforcer named Zhin appears like a living flame, a family war that’s been sizzling for decades finally ignites. It drags Vijeren in, revealing secrets of a long-forgotten past and a family torn asunder in recesses of lost memories. Only Zhin knows how to kill the Grand Apwor, but the answer rests on the love between a father and son–something that Vijeren doesn’t have…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Christine Marshall 5.0 out of 5 stars An action-filled monster adventure focused on family  Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020

This book is great, just don’t read it as a bedtime story for your kids! I would have read it sooner if the summary on the back had specified that it was a high-action adventure rather than a horror story that spent lots of time in a compound with a wasteland of monsters everywhere else (no offense, but that’s how I interpreted the summary). The new vocabulary takes some getting used to but is well worth it!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read the reviews and follow Julia : Goodreads

Connect to Julia via her blog: Sparrow Incarnate

The next author today is Sue Coletta with her very useful guide 60 Ways to Murder your Characters.

About the book

Looking for inspiration on how to murder your characters?

With this handy research guide, no longer will you need to search for ways to murder your characters, or stare at a blank screen while you mull over the character development of your antagonist. Many of the murder methods listed in 60 Ways to Murder Your Characters come with ways you can use them in your novel, short story, or flash fiction.

From the basics, like a shotgun blast to the head to the more creative ways to commit murder on the page, this research guide will help bring your crime scenes alive.

Let’s face it. Being an author isn’t an easy endeavor. Crime writing is even harder, because we need to ensure our stories ring true. That’s why I’ve given you the exact measurements for how to dissolve a body in lye or acid, for instance. If I can help your stories ring true, then I consider it a win. Don’t let the preview fool you. There’s all kinds of information in this guide.

If you check out my blog, you’ll find endless posts on research, forensics, and police procedures. Let my passion for crime help you. One element of my psychological thriller/mystery, Marred, that readers found the most chilling were the crime scene details and forensics.

Don’t take my word for it.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 28, 2020 L.S. rated it Five Stars.

At 12% in, I’d already picked the method for my next victiom. But, by the end of the book – it’s quite short – I had a handful of other options too. The author also adds links to websites for more info.

Well worth the money (99c) and it will be a resource I refer back to frequently.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

AndAmazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Sue : Goodreads

Connect to Sue via her website/blog: Sue Coletta

And the final book to receive a recent review is the memoir by Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Eileen Moynihan 5.0 out of 5 stars This is an unusual memoir Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 April 2020

This is an unusual memoir in that it is not only a journey through life, but covers the authors actual physical journeys alongside her spiritual and knowledge journeys. Brigid Gallagher is a seeker who seeks healing for her bodily ailments, sense and guidance for her spiritual and emotional ailments, and knowledge for her intellectual needs. She is open to all knowledge and all people. She has a natural curiosity for all that life offers and draws the reader into her interesting life.

As of someone around the same age I can identify with the different singers and events she mentions.

The suggestions at the end of each chapter are helpful and thought provoking.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and atAmazon US

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on : Goodreads

Connect to Brigid via her blog: Watching the Daisies

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books to add to your reading list.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair -#Saga Judith Barrow, #Poetry Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath, #Crime Sue Coletta, #YARomance Angie Dokos


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

My first book today is one from an author that I can personally recommend, having read all of her family saga series featuring the Howarth family… A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow is the fourth book and the prequel to the series.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I loved it… A page-turner that keeps you hooked. The story line has lots of twists and turns and you feel yourself moved on so many different levels. As the book unfolds it gives you moments of tenderness and love, hatred and spite all blended together with conflict, prejudice, guilt, grief and a desperate longing for change. Judith describes the period so well, with some very graphic, cruel and harrowing episodes, enabling you to empathise with each character in turn. I particularly like the fact that the story held together to the last page. 

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Judith: Goodreads

Connect to Judith via her blog: Judith Barrow

Another wonderful gift for poetry lovers is the collection  Roads: A Journey With Verses – Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath

About Roads

“Roads” is a poetic rendezvous that takes the reader on a panoramic journey, making one pause, ponder and celebrate life.

The book is a light, alluring read that instantly strikes a chord and elevates one’s spirits. A trove of 60 poems, it is quilled with beads of nine virtues: Courage, Wisdom, Serenity, Love, Hope, Strength, Joy, Compassion and Gratitude. The verses encapsulate life’s ebbs and flows while prompting the reader to enjoy its simple pleasures.

“Roads” is a book that you would want to keep on your bedside, for a quiet read before retiring for the night or for the morning wisdom to seize the day. With poems revolving around emotions that each of us experiences, “Roads” very easily develops a personal connect with the reader that is defiantly refreshing.

“Roads” is a journey with verses. Take it on yours.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

HarvestingHecate  5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging journey in verse 19 October 2019

This book of poems by two talented poets promises to take the reader on a journey and delivers and epic trip. The journey in question is that of life, and the book is split into sections that cover many of the big themes we all face on that journey: courage, wisdom, love, strength, joy. Both women contribute to each theme, offering a delightful contrast of views, imagery and tone. Smitha’s poems are intimate, emotional, drawing on a strength from within, while Vandana’s poems are open, assertive and sometimes confrontational.

The journey begins with ‘courage’ and it proves to be a positive and uplifting start. Smitha writes about daring to learn, fly, fail, even if the journey to success is not smooth. Vandana rails against rules and victimisation and demands that we drop the masks we wear. There is a nice rhythm to the collection. It moves inwards towards ‘wisdom’, ‘serenity’, ‘love’ and ‘joy’, then looks outwards to the world with ‘strength’, ‘compassion’ and ‘hope’. There are quiet moments and demands to be heard. There is sadness and joy, despair and self-assurance. And each poem is accompanied by a personal piece giving context to the verse.

Some of my favourite poems by Smitha are: ‘The Night is my Refuge’, a soothing poem about the restorative power of the night; ‘Treasure the Little Pleasures’, an evocative poem about the importance of small things; ‘Hush Daddy! Don’t Fear’, a moving poem about caring for an ageing parent; ‘Tender Moments’, a quiet loving poem in which a mother watches her children sleep; and ‘The Little Corner Room’ about a haven in her grandmother’s house.

Favourites by Vandana include: ‘Today’, an encouragement not to put things off to a vague tomorrow; ‘It’s all in the state of mind’ captures that dissatisfaction of wanting something other than what we have; and ‘Wings of Freedom’, a soaring poem about hopes and dreams.

The book ends, appropriately, with ‘gratitude’. Smitha’s ‘Promise of a new day’ is a beautiful meditation on things to be thankful for, while Vandana’s ‘Moments of Gratitude’ has the rhythm of a prayer. This book is an uplifting, enjoyable and emotional journey with two very engaging guides.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Connect to Vandana via her blog: My Feelings My Freedom

Smitha V

Connect to Smitha via her Blog: Life a Teacher

For all crime thriller fans there is plenty of gifts to select from bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer Sue Coletta and the featured book today with a recent review is Racked...

About Racked

It starts with an innocent stuffed animal. It ends in mind-numbing terror.

Five missing boys and an adult corpse found in the town’s water shed was only the beginning for Sage and Niko Quintano. After a hooded-stranger gives their son, Noah, a stuffed animal—the exact Christmas moose given to all the missing boys days before their abductions—their lives spiral downward into uncertainty.

Could Noah be the next boy to go missing?

As they piece together each cryptic clue, the future looks more and more grim. But what they soon discover blows everyone’s mind, the truth teetering on the unfathomable.

What does it all mean, and where do they go from here?

One of the recent reviews

Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Sue Coletta’s Racked October 13, 2019

A stuffed Christmas moose might be cute but also DEADLY!!!

Captivating, gripping, riveting…..Racked is a plot within a subplot. This emotional and psychological thriller is full of mystery, horror, suspense and fast paced.

Who is kidnapping young boys? Why are they being kidnapped? What is the relationship between the kidnapping and the stuffed Christmas moose.

Sheriff Niko Quintana and his wife, Sage, live in the isolated, wooded area of New Hampshire. Their young son, Noah and two fur babies, Rugger and Colt make up their small knit family.

A dead body, kidnapped young boys, dysfunctional families, abused families…. all blend together for an intense, scary, intimidating read.

The author gets inside the well written characters heads, presenting their inner workings to the readers to be able to understand the characters.

Supernatural elements abound. A Highly Recommended Read!!

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And:  Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Sue : Goodreads

Connect to Sue via her website/blog: Sue Coletta

The next book is a New Adult Romance by Angie Dokos with a recent review for  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 27, 2019 Melanie Bennett rated it five stars

I loved it!
Mackenzie’s Distraction had it all!
Rivoting plot, awesome characters, family secrets, struggles, and romance. Very enjoyable, a great read.

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos: Goodreads

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: Angie Dokos WordPress

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