Smorgasbord Reblog – Sally goes out and about with Jane Risdon with a new short story – Miss Lloyd’s Robin.

Yesterday I was the guest of author Jane Risdon who gave a boost to Life is Like a Mosaic but also let me share one of the short stories from my next collection due out later this year.

Sally Cronin: Author, Poet, and Blogger, is my Guest Author with her latest, Life is Like a Mosaic

I’m so happy to be able to present Sally Cronin to you today on what is her second visit here.

Instead of my usual interview with Q&A, Sally thought it would be fun to share a short story with you: Miss Lloyd’s Robin.

We hope you enjoy it.

Miss Lloyd’s Robin

Robin by Oldiefan – Pixabay 

It is fair to say Miss Lavinia Lloyd was not the most popular teacher in the girl’s grammar school she had taught in for over thirty years.

Those who had the dubious pleasure of being taught by this strict and unyielding educator came away with the distinct impression medieval torture apparatus would have been Miss Lloyd’s punishment of choice for infractions of her personal code of conduct, which were frequent. Her attire never varied and consisted of a mid-calf grey skirt, white buttoned up blouse, charcoal cardigan, thick black stockings and lace-up leather shoes that squeaked as she walked up and down between the desks. 

Head over to read the rest of the story and my thanks to Jane for being such a gracious host: Jane Risdon and Sally Cronin — Miss Lloyd’s Robin


Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy the story…Sally.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Scifi Richard Dee, #Crimeshorts Jane Risdon, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Afghanistan #Dogs Patricia Furstenberg

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.

The first author today is D.G. Kaye who as you know is a regular contributor to the blog with  The Travel Column and the Laughter Lines. With a wonderful selection of non-fiction books and her memoirs of significant events in her life, there is something for everyone. The featured book today with a recent review, is Twenty Years After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging..

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

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

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

A recent review for the book

The author married a man who is twenty years her senior. At the time of their marriage, she did reflect on what could or would happen in the future as the relentless march of time took its toll, but she loved Gordon so much that she decided to grab the happiness and job life was offering her.

I found this book particularly interesting because my mother is ten years older than my father. My mother has always been “young” for her age and my father a bit “older” for his. They are now 80 and 70, respectively, and it has been interesting to watch the changes to their relationship and lifestyle. Ten years is half of twenty years, so such a big age gap does seem rather overwhelming to me and I was curious as to how the couple managed their life together now that they were both older. It turns out that they manage very well indeed, and I found this memoir uplifting and even inspiring.

The author addresses all sorts of aspects of married life, many of which are relevant in any marriage, regardless of the age of the spouses. I learned a lot from her thoughts and ideas, in particular, the idea of counting to ten before speaking in rage and never saying anything deliberately spiteful or hurtful. I have heard this message before, but never understood it quite like this. I am going to take this lesson learned forward in my life especially in my relationship with my one son, who is so like me we often fight like cat and dog.

The information covered in this book about living with a senior and travelling with a senior is useful to anyone who spends time and travels with parents so it is all very relevant and useful. I is also interesting to note how the author manages medications and illness with her senior husband.

This is a great book with numerous important messages that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people of all age groups looking to gain the best from life and relationships.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby via her blog: D.G. Writes

The next author with a wonderful collection of of Sci-fi books, some in series that would make a great gift this Christmas is Richard Dee. The featured book today is Andorra Pett and her Sister which has received a recent review.

About the book

“When a sister hates you, that really is the end of the world.”

Andorra Pett is back for another adventure, and this time it’s personal!

Trouble seems to follow Andorra Pett, wherever she is in the Solar System.

Andorra Pett hasn’t seen her sister for a while, they never really got on; there was a falling out and they drifted apart.

Out of the blue, Andorra gets a call while on a business trip to London. As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with, it turns out that her sister’s in trouble, big trouble.

There are allegations of drug-smuggling and money laundering, it’s so unlike the staid, respectable life that she remembers her sister leading.

How can she be involved in things like that? And why isn’t her husband, Simon, sorting it all out for her? Could he be part of the problem?

The police have decided that she’s guilty, Andorra is her only hope of avoiding prison.

Against her better judgement and without her friend Cy to help her; Andorra starts to investigate.

All she has to do is work out what’s really going on. At the end of the day; family comes first.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nov 12, 2019 Steven rated it it was amazing

Andorra Pett – space station café owner, scooper pilot and sometimes super sleuth – returns for another adventure. Andorra finds herself on Earth to sort out her ex, Trevor’s affairs following his grisly murder at the hands of a mobster on Mars.

Intending this to only be a brief stay to finalise affairs before returning to the space station orbiting Saturn and the comfort of partner Derek. Unfortunately, as ever, trouble manages to find her in the form of her estranged sister Tia. When she is arrested for smuggling through importers and money laundering she calls the only person she can for help – younger sister Andorra.

Suspecting from the start that something is amiss, not least Tia lacking the sense to pull off such a crime, Andorra cannot help but be drawn in to solve the mystery and see that justice is served. Smugglers, corrupt police and a chance run in with Clive – an old face from her first ever mystery – make for high jinks aplenty. He is found running what he claims to be an official Oort Cloud Café tribute bar complete with sleazy Andorra lookalike waitresses and slanderous tales of fictitious romances assuming Andorra will never hear of it way back in space.

Once again Richard Dee has delivered a wonderfully funny murder mystery with a cast of characters new and old to entertain readers. The mystery becomes farcical as it twists and turns to a conclusion. Andorra sees herself in her share of trouble and tight spots all in the pursuit of clearing Tia’s name. This third instalment of the Andorra Pett series is a wonderful addition and only makes me long for book four in 2020 that much more.

A small selection of other books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Richard: Goodreads

Connect to Richard via his website: Richard Dee’s Scifi

And if you are into some crime themed short stories then this collection by Jane Risdon is for you… Undercover: Crime Shorts with a recent review.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of short stories by Jane Risdon who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Each story twist and turns and just when you think you have figured it out it twists again . The stories are so well written the only problem I have is that once started I cannot put the book down ! . Looking forward to the Ms Birdsong book ,the taster at the end of the book had me hooked . Jane is such a versatile author wether it’s Crime, Murder Mystery or a Love Story ( Only One Woman) the reader is captivated from page 1.

Also by Jane RisdonRead the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jane:Goodreads


Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Risdon WordPress

Another author with a wide selection of books to delight fantasy lovers is C.S Boyack and his latest book Serang has received a recent review.

About Serang

Monastic life is all about duty, service, and harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval brings chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of it’s predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Readers were first introduced to Serang in Boyack’s VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH. I was immediately taken with her obvious strength and her hidden vulnerabilities. It was clear to me that she’d suffered in her past.

SERANG puts an end to my questions and reveals her backstory.

Readers who are looking for the light-hearted banter and hilarious antics of Lanternfish’s root monsters will not find it here. This is a serious tale covering serious topics. But Boyack handled them brilliantly. I felt her pain, her despair. I reveled in her determination and her strength. I feared for her life and celebrated her triumphs.

You can’t ask for more than that.

This is an excellent companion piece to the Lanternfish franchise. One I highly recommend.

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow C.S. BoyackGoodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog: Cold Hand Boyack

And the final author today who has a wide range of books for younger and more mature members of the family, especially dog lovers, is Patricia Furstenberg with a recent review for her latest release  Silent Heroesreviewed the book a few weeks ago and can highly recommend.

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

Silent Heroes will prompt you to pause and think several times. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing, long-term struggles these people have endured under the Taliban and how lucky many of us are to live our lives as we want. You will feel both pride and sadness as you read about the Marines and the experiences of their teams. But you will also feel joy and hope about the sacrifices that are made for us each day. Silent Heroes is an incredible novel that I highly recommend. Regardless of your usual preferred genre, this is an excellent read that is realistic, full of well-developed characters, and will stay in your heart and mind long after finishing.

A small selection of books by Patricia Furstenberg

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

Connect to Patricia via her blog: Alluring Creations

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm…thanks Sally.