Smorgasbord Review 2017 – Most Viewed Posts from Your Archives – Artists and Old Age by D.Wallace Peach


This post was the most viewed of the archive post series up to and including the Christmas posts. There were nearly 300 views and as you can see there was a great deal of response in the comments. It was also retweeted very many times over the following days as it was across social media.

It is a perfect example of how terrific posts that are sitting idle in the archives can find a new lease of life, audience and response by being shared on another blog.

I have left the comments for you to read and to add your response to.

Time to enjoy another post from the archives of D.Wallace Peach where Diana explores the loss of things as we get older, including our identity.. unless of course you are an artist.. in which case……..

Artists and Old Age by D.Wallace Peach

pixabay image

My brother and I just spent a few days touring our parents through senior housing. At one point, he leaned in, and whispered, “Growing old is tough.” I agreed, though “tough” is probably too mild a word, the reality deserving something more visceral, definitely more chilling. As my parent’s generation enters what I would generalize as “old age,” they’re struggling with what seems an endless list of losses—family, friends, careers, driver’s licenses, vision, independence, stamina, health, dreams, and the myths about who they are.

I mention myths because so much of who we are is perception, our firmly-gripped beliefs about ourselves. One of the more painful losses, from my observations, is the loss of a sense of identity. Who are we when we’re no longer recognizable to ourselves, when the myths of our lives no longer apply?

Even on the upward arc of life, there are losses, many painful, some liberating, and most irreversible. Through loss, we gain maturity, a broader perspective, and deeper wisdom about life. If we are blessed, we parse the enduring from the ephemeral, the meaningful from the inconsequential, and end our days as a sojourner with an appreciation for the profound gift of this one delicate life.

As more losses loom in the nearing future of my life, I take stock of the person I am and peer into the future for a vision of the person I will become. Will loss peel away my identity? Will I mourn the fading myth of myself?

Not a chance. In that future, I will revel in my art … my writing.

I remember the day I realized that writing could sustain me beyond the exuberance of youth into the foreign frontier of old age. It was a marvelously glorious day when I understood my myth wouldn’t go flat or seize up on the highway of life. I can write until I’m old and silver-haired, wrinkled and whiskered, complaining of warts and aching bones. I can write until I’m shrunken and bent, sagging and frizzy, home-bound and bed-bound. A lovely image, isn’t it?

Yes, I declare.

True beauty dwells in the soul. Imagination isn’t bound by age. The creative spirit that breathes life into art never grows old. As long as I can write, I will be me.

Pixabay

©D.Wallace Peach 2015

Thanks to Diana for this piece of wisdom.. I re-trained in my mid-40s as a nutritional therapist and began writing books, as like Diana I knew I could do this until they haul me off to the next big adventure. And another thing that we can gain rather than lose as we mature, is gravitas…. do love that word and its meaning….

About 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.

D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

A recent review for the book

Paradise is boring to Grumpy Ana. She climbs into a spaceship and finds her soulmates on a ‘sodden planet with a boggy seaside town.’ She thinks the monsters are as grumpy as she is, but when she scares them off with her attitude, she has an epiphany. Maybe she’s the one with a problem and life back home wasn’t so bad after all. What a delightful book with beautiful illustrations and rhymes that children and their adult readers will love.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 

Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

 

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Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach


A fabulous story by D.Wallace Peach to bring some romance and mystical magic to Christmas. I know you will love it.

The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach

Pixabay image composition.

The Snow Globe

Delores perches at the scuffed counter of Dee’s Diner on Christmas Eve, keeping one bespectacled eye on Angie as the waitress mops the linoleum floor. The sign on the front door has already flipped from “Open” to “Closed,” and the crimson Panhandle sky fades to a duller shade of rose, a single bright star glimmering on the eastern horizon.

“Thanks for closing early, Dee,” the teenager says.

“No problem, honey. I got plans too.”

Angie looks up and smiles, clearly skeptical, but too kind-hearted to ask. It’s no secret Delores lives alone, unmarried, and childless—except for Buster the cat, who’s not particularly festive when it comes to the holidays.

At closing time, sole proprietor, boss lady, and down-home cook, Delores has slipped off her God-ugly orthopedic lace-ups and donned her purple slippers. She’s been on her feet since a quarter to dawn, and the dogs are hurting puppies. While Angie dumps the dingy water and tucks in the chairs, Delores cleans the kitchen grease from her fingernails with a tarnished nail file. She squints at an old yellowed newspaper, occasionally popping wilted pea pods between her dentures, too soft to serve up and too wasteful to toss out with the trash.

“Are you going to the carnival this year?” Angie asks.

“No need.” Delores looks through the front windows, ignoring the old rain streaks. Across the paved lot, just to the other side of the train tracks, this year’s carnival sets up at the parish fairgrounds. Through the thick lenses of her bifocals, the colorful lights trimming the booths and spanning the spokes of the Ferris wheel blur into a kaleidoscope of stars. A white-suited man on stilts, graceful as a heron, hangs gold garland decked with chrysanthemum blossoms along the arch over the entrance.

“Have you ever gone?” Angie asks, her tasks done, a denim purse hanging from the crook of her elbow.

“Not since I was sixteen, the first year they came.” Delores looks at the young waitress over her glasses as a lock of white hair slips from its bun, brushing her cheek. “Honey, it’s the same carnival every year.”

“For a hundred years?” Angie asks straight-faced and then giggles.

“Not quite but close enough,” Delores replies.

“How come you don’t retire, Miss Dee?”

“And miss out on working Christmas Eve?” Delores shoos her off with a huff. “Get going and have a Merry Christmas now. I’ll see you Monday.”

Angie gives her an awkward kiss on the cheek and echoes a “Merry Christmas” before letting herself out.

As Angie’s taillights turn the corner, Delores picks up the paper and shuffles back to her closet-sized office. She rummages in the bottom drawer of her old metal desk, unearthing the small box she stashed there a year ago and leaving the paper behind. From the box, she gently lifts a snow globe the size of a plum.

Back at the counter, she places the magic ball before her, adjusting her glasses to better see the tiny carnival inside, its eternal snow blanketing the painted fairgrounds. With a sigh, she waits, tapping cracked fingernails on the counter, clicking her false teeth, and peering into the night.

The light post at the corner flickers on, attracting swirling bugs like gold dust, and an armadillo in search of insects scurries from the palmetto and arrowroot at the lot’s edge. That’s the sign she’s been waiting for, and her memory draws near.

Reverently, she shakes the globe, the tiny Ferris wheel and colorful tents caught in a swirling underwater blizzard. In the corner of her eye, Christmas lights trimming the window sparkle on. The diner shines like new, red booths without a single burn or duct-taped patch, floors pristine, the counter gleaming like a sheet of ice. A garland bearing real pinecones drapes the kitchen door. Dainty jelly-jars with sprigs of native mistletoe and sand pine adorn every table. And a Christmas stocking hangs from the counter by the register, filled with gingerbread stars she baked that morning, on sale for a nickel.

In the diner’s corner, The Dean Martin Christmas Album spins on the record player, the needle hitting the vinyl with a soft crackle and hiss. White Christmas fills the warm Gulf air.

She hears it before she sees it. A brand spanking new 1966 Mustang convertible cruises into the lot. The car with its long hood is the color of ripe cherries with a red and white pony interior and Rally wheels that shine like polished silver. The man at the wheel parks by the orange trees that border the diner and glances toward the door, looking disappointed until she hurries over and flips the sign from “Closed” to “Open.”

He smiles and steps from his car, tossing the keys and snatching them from the air like a man with a silver dollar to spend. He’s a few years older than she, maybe twenty, dark-eyed with a halo of black gypsy curls and a black leather jacket. The bells over the door jingle. “Are you open?”

“A little while. It’s Christmas Eve,” she explains, brushing back a blonde lock and fighting a blush. “I was closing, but I can get you some pie or something.”

“Coffee,” he says. “Twenty of them…in a box, if you have one.”

“Twenty?”

“For the carnival.” He gestures over his shoulder.

“I’ll have to brew a pot.” She walks behind the counter. “It’ll take a while.”

“I don’t mind waiting if you don’t,” he says.

He sits at the counter while she scoops coffee into the big percolator and Dean croons I’ll Be Home for Christmas. “Is it fun traveling so much?” she asks, turning to face him, elbows on the counter between them. “Do you ever wish you were home for Christmas?”

From his pocket, he pulls a snow globe and swirls the snow. The tiny carnival inside comes to life as the storm spins. He holds it up between their eyes. “My home,” he replies.

“The carnival,” she whispers, caught in the whirling snow. “How long you been with the carnival?”

“A hundred years,” he replies softly, his words drifting into the air like magic.

She smiles as the snow falls. “Will you stay with the carnival forever?”

“Forever if I could.” His eyes catch hers over the globe. “You sure are pretty. Are you alone?”

“Yes. I was closing.”

“Would you like to dance?”

“Dance?” She laughs. “Where? Here?”

He nods and reaches across the counter, taking her hand and guiding her to the end and into his arms. Silver Bells sings from the record player as they dance in the center of the diner floor, hand in hand, like a pair of old lovers. He plucks a sprig of mistletoe from a jar, and holding it over her head, kisses her, a first kiss that lays open her heart and seals it like the carnival in a swirling globe of snow.

“I should get back,” he says, finally letting her go.

“Oh, the coffee!” She laughs and hurries behind the counter. In minutes, the steaming coffee cups are nestled in a sturdy box. “That’ll be three dollars, please.”

“Leave the globe on the counter next Christmas Eve,” he says as he hands her four singles and cants his head toward the snow-laced carnival. “I’ll come home for Christmas.”

“For a hundred years?” she asks.

“I’ve loved you a long time already.” He kisses her sweetly and picks up the box. She holds the door open to the balmy night and watches as the red mustang crosses the track and glides under the carnival gate.

“I’ll wait for you,” she whispers and flips the sign to closed. Silent Night ends with heavenly peace, and the record player’s arm lifts.

Delores drags her feet to the office and tucks the snow globe in its box in the desk drawer. She pulls out the paper and rereads the old article about a young carnival worker killed in a Ferris wheel accident back in ‘66. David Williams. She’d never asked his name that night.

The paper slides into a plastic bag and joins the small box. Back in the front room, she switches off the old diner’s lights and steps outside to lock the door.

Across the tracks, the carnival is a radiant haze of color and light. “Merry Christmas, David. See you next year.”

Happy Holidays ❤

©D.Wallace Peach 2014

My thanks to Diana for this amazing story and I am sure that you will enjoy her books too.

About 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.

D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

A recent review for the book

November 18, 2017

Paradise is boring to Grumpy Ana. She climbs into a spaceship and finds her soulmates on a ‘sodden planet with a boggy seaside town.’ She thinks the monsters are as grumpy as she is, but when she scares them off with her attitude, she has an epiphany. Maybe she’s the one with a problem and life back home wasn’t so bad after all. What a delightful book with beautiful illustrations and rhymes that children and their adult readers will love.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 

Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Strength of Character by D. Wallace Peach


Author Diana Wallace Peach shares some posts from her archives on Myths of the Mirror. This week a post about what defines the characters that we write about, and the stereotyping that is applied to emotional character,  according to the gender of your protagonist.

Strength of Character by D. Wallace Peach

image from Flickr.com Bread and Roses

I spent a recent evening chatting with a group of writers about the public’s desire for strong female characters. The simpering, helpless, man-dependent archetype of the past is no longer the paragon it used to be. If any of our female protagonists swoon into the arms of their brawny rescuers, they better be seriously ill or recently wounded in battle. Encountering a spider no longer qualifies as trauma.

Then our conversation took an interesting turn. Someone shared an opinion that the presence of kindness and compassion in a female protagonist might make her appear “weak.” The unspoken implication was that a female character is “strong” when she is more like the stereotypical caricature of a man – as emotionally sensitive as a block of wood.

Yes, I’m talking stereotypes here and the wind blows both ways. Some believe that gentleness “weakens” a man as much as the lack of it “strengthens” a woman. It’s an antiquated mindset that persists on many levels and is slow to evolve.

Pixabay image

Of course, the souls who populate our books must be true to their natures. Both male and female characters (like the rest of humanity) fit into a broad spectrum when it comes to emotional intelligence. Expression can be passionate, volatile, ambivalent, or completely shut down. On top of that, consider that feelings are fluid and slide all over the place along the love-fear continuum.

Emotional texture is one element that puzzles together a character, no different than physical appearance, skills, aptitudes, and social competencies. An emotional undercurrent is one way to enhance complexity, but it’s not necessarily indicative of a character’s strength.

Mother Theresa, Time.com

I’d argue that what makes characters “strong,” regardless of gender, is their determination to act upon the world rather than react to it. Kind and compassionate people fall as easily into this definition as ruthless overlords and heroic champions. Strength is demonstrated by conviction, how actively they pursue their goals, overcome their flaws, and engage both the internal and external obstacles that block their paths.

Happy Writing

©D.Wallace Peach 2015

About 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.

D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

An early review for the book

Lovely, colorful illustrations accompany this book of a spoiled girl with a frown. She’s bored, so bored with the friendly people of her town that she builds a space ship and travels. But her plans turn out different from what she expected. Ana discovers that attitude is everything. Sour will beget sour, a smile will beget smiles. The story is written in four line verses. The viewpoint that the monsters have of the dreaded, spoiled human girl made me laugh.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 

Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Write and Change the World by D. Wallace Peach


A new contributor joins us today for the next few weeks. Author Diana Wallace Peach shares some posts from her archives on Myths of the Mirror.

Today Diana shares her thoughts on random acts of kindness and explores if they can make a difference in this world that is struggling with so many disenfranchised and poverty stricken people. Is there a ripple effect of our efforts closer to home?  Read on…..

Write and Change the World by D. Wallace Peach

Most of us have days filled with small acts of kindness. We smile, kiss hurt elbows, throw tennis balls for our dogs. We pay for a coworker’s coffee and leave a big tip. We call a friend in need, chauffeur teenagers, cook a favorite meal, or pick up ice cream on the way home. These small invisible acts often go unacknowledged, but they travel around in overlapping circles, keep our lives balanced and relationships healthy. We see the results in strengthened bonds, deeper commitment, and abiding love.

But what about those times when we don’t see the ripples? When we toss acts of kindness and compassion into a seemingly bottomless well of suffering and despair? When we perceive no reward for our efforts? When we don’t know if we’re making any lasting difference in our world at all? Some strangers we’ll meet face to face, but most we’ll never know. The poignant tales of their lives will play out in other neighborhoods, other cities, and other lands, unseen and unheard.

In our political landscape, acts of kindness and compassion are often labeled as weak, a waste of time and money, conciliatory, poor investments, and unpatriotic. In a culture that values money over lives, the manipulations are intense.

Yet, I would argue that when we ordinary folk commit small everyday deeds of kindness and compassion, the ripples are there even though invisible to our eyes and silent to our ears. Those random acts are cups of water that we pour down that deep, collective well. They blend and build, until over time, the bottomless well holds a limitless reservoir from which a garden grows. I have faith that no act of kindness or compassion is wasted, ever.

I’m not really surprised that Gandalf sits up there with some of the greats when it comes to quotes regarding kindness. Does it matter that he’s a fictional character? Not really. Through Gandalf, Tolkien’s wisdom reached millions. Such is the power of the written word. Books can and do have the power to change the world…

Thanks to Diana for sharing her post on the importance of our words, spoken and written and the power that they can have to influence the world.

©D.Wallace Peach 2015

About 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.

D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

An early review for the book

Lovely, colorful illustrations accompany this book of a spoiled girl with a frown. She’s bored, so bored with the friendly people of her town that she builds a space ship and travels. But her plans turn out different from what she expected. Ana discovers that attitude is everything. Sour will beget sour, a smile will beget smiles. The story is written in four line verses. The viewpoint that the monsters have of the dreaded, spoiled human girl made me laugh.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Ana-Grouchy-Monsters-Childrens/dp/1975723945

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

 

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 

Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/d-wallace-peach+0_2F1UmSg–qRIqYJlk2W1Q_?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_yourupdates
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101899993447765818692/posts

If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D.Wallace Peach, Mary Smith and Victoria Zigler


Welcome to the first Cafe and Bookstore Update of the week and two new releases and news of an audio book.  The first author with exciting news is D.Wallace Peach with the release of her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

Available in print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1975723945

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1975723945

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

One of the most recent reviews for Farlander’s Law, Book Three in the Rose Shield Series.

I truly believe this series will become one of the classics of Fantasy. It’s that good. Reading the book description for this book, Farlanders Law, seems confusing, but only if you haven’t read the two books before it. There is no confusion for the reader in these books – they grab you and don’t let go. Amazingly, this is done not in just a thriller sort of fashion (although there is a lot of that) but also in so many other ways – these books hit all the high points of wonderful fantasy reading and make them ring like a bell with high clear notes, over and over again. And the momentum continues on without a break into Kari’s Reckoning. Thank you D Wallace Peach for this wonderful Tetralogy.

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website: http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Another new release is the short story collection, Donkey Boy & Other Stories by Mary Smith. 

About the collection

Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse.

Buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075VC1XNX

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VC1XNX/

Also by Mary Smith

A recent review for No More Mulberries

I have to be honest; this has been on my TBR pile for ages and I’m sorry but it was the cover that put me off; I wasn’t sure I liked it. And I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even read the blurb; the book was recommended to me by a friend so I just bought it.

I should have listened to her; this is a brilliant read. Different from my usual preference but the writing style of Mary Smith is wonderfully paced; flows so well, and she tells a great story. Not only that, the reader (me!) learned a lot about Afghanistan some twenty years ago, about the culture, the society, the politics and the people. Because the author has first hand knowledge of all these; she lived and worked in the country.

It’s fictional but comes alive through the portrayal of the characters and the way they behave: the Western doctors, the people who live in the rural villages, the children. But none more so than Miriam and her husband. Miriam is in a strange country and place, in a second marriage (having been widowed) and her poignant memories of her first husband mingle with the loyalty to her present husband, Iqbal.

This is such an emotional read: of love, allegiances, losses, secrets and, I think, emancipation.

The dialogue, both internal and spoken is excellent, fits the characters well. I could feel great frustration for Miriam though her words and thoughts.
And the descriptions of the setting of the book; the larger picture of Afghanistan and the smaller, more intimate scenes of everyday existence bring the whole book to life.

For me No More Mulberries is an unusual and interesting story and I have no hesitation in recommending Mary Smith’s evocative book to any reader.

Oh, and by the way, I decided I really do like the cover!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Connect to Mary via her website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

Next an announcement by Victoria Zigler about the availability of all her books in audio. Victoria is blind and for the millions of readers around the world who are sight impaired, audio books are vitally important..Previously only available as eBooks and paperbacks, all five books in Victoria Zigler’s “Toby’s Tales” series are now available in audio, read by the very talented Joseph A. Batzel.

Regardless of the format you’d prefer, if you’d like to grab copies so you can learn about the fears and frustrations Toby struggles with as a blind person.,

One of the reviews for Toby’s New World

Aug 09, 2015 Gita Reddy rated it Five Stars

Toby’s old world, the one in which he could see, is gone. He has glaucoma, the kind which cannot be treated, and will remain blind. His mother tells him he will be okay, his father tells him he will be okay but Toby is upset and angry. How can things be okay when he is not able to eat without covering himself and his stuffed bear with food? How can things be okay when he cannot find his clothes or his toothbrush? How can things be okay when his brother and sister laugh at him blundering about?

Toby’s New World is a very short book but gets to the root of a difficult subject: how do parents and children handle a situation wherein illness changes a child’s world. Do they smother him with love? Protect him? Challenge him? The answer is amazingly simple.

This story touched my heart. I recommend it to parents and children alike.

You can find Toby’s New World in audio with links to Victoria’s other books at Audible: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-New-World-Audiobook/B074P7FV1M/

You can also download all the audio books from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

If you have an Epub reader: Victoria Zigler Kobo

A small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5852247.Victoria_Zigler

Connect to Victoria via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have news to share about your books in the Cafe and Bookstore, please drop me a note. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Paul Andruss, D. Wallace Peach and Christina Steiner.


To kick this post off I am featuring our Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss and a new review for his fantasy novel Thomas the Rhymer.

I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year,  here is the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Paul also has a pdf file available and, you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options such as Kindle on Amazon at this link.

http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

About Thomas the Rhymer

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.

But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

The most recent review for Thomas the Rhymer by Brigid Gallagher‘s Five Star  Sep 12, 2017 On Goodreads.

Jack Hughes witnesses the abduction of his brother Dan by the wicked fairy Sylvie. Nightmares and visions of a mysterious tramp take over his reality and he becomes torn about sharing the truth behind his brothers disappearance.
Catherine, Ken and Ken’s mystical mother Rosie become his confidantes and join Jack in searching for clues on breaking the wicked faeries hold over his brother.
The tramp’s true identity soon unfolds when the team offer him food and shelter; he is Thomas the Rhymer, Prince of Elphane, who speaks in rhyme:

“Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish that man would GO AWAY!”
The author takes the reader on a series of adventures, travelling along ancient ley lines, bathed in milky blue light that cross a fairy hill, churches and open countryside.

We meet the mysterious Horatio Grin and Agnes Day, whose sister Poppy was also abducted by the faeries. But can they be trusted? And can Jack and his friends find his brother and bring him safely back home?

This book is both clever and well written, and will appeal to both young and old.

Buy the Kindle Thomas the Rhymer at all online bookstores including your local Amazon: http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

Now would be a good time to read and there are two more books to be released in the series.

Also by Paul Andruss

Finn Mac CoolFind out more about Paul Andruss and his books: http://www.paul-andruss.com/about/

The next author with wonderful reviews to share is D.Wallace Peach for the fourth and final book in The Rose Shield series, Kari’s Reckoning, by D. Wallace Peach published in April this year.

About Kari’s Reckoning

The epic adventure concludes as the Shiplord vies for what he desires—the throne of Ellegeance. Their power in jeopardy, influencers surrender their oaths, their loyalties fractured. Rose, a child of untrained and reckless talent, once again becomes a pawn in the quest for control.

As the Cull Tarr solidify their rule, Guardian plots rebellion. Catling and Whitt, each gifted with singular skills, seek to sway the course of the conflict. Oathbreakers, traitors, and those desperate to save Rose collide in a final battle for the realm.

Yet, a third player emerges in the deadly game. The kari, spirits of a sentient planet, command the air, water, and land. They manipulate events to satisfy their sovereign designs and care not who survives the human war.

One of the recent reviews

I just finished reading the entire Rose Shield Tetralogy, and I am both very satisfied and more than impressed. The author mentions ‘balance’ often in the books, and I believe she truly achieves this herself with this series. Love, intrigue, nostalgia, tenderness, death, war, spirituality, brutality, humor, intensely varied and interesting characters you can’t help but get wrapped around, and plot twists that are surprising again and again and never disappoint.

And that’s the thing – if you do a lot of fiction reading like I do, its unavoidable to be on your guard for turns of direction in the works you are reading that seem contrived or false, disappointing or just plain dumb. None of this happens in Peach series – there are no disappointments.

That is not to say that there wasn’t more than once that I had to stop reading and let the book go for the night, because something happened that I wasn’t sure I could deal with right then. But I kept it up, and I’m glad I did. Writing this at the end of the last book, I am filled with this complex mix of emotions, one like she deftly describes, and it is not bad – it is welcome. She describes herself as a ‘fledgling’ writer and I say NO, she is not. There is too, too much here, far beyond fledgling. The books are not flawless, but I found myself forgiving the small errors immediately to keep on with the story. In my opinion, these books, just like the world she created, are imbued with luminescence.

Read the reviews and buy Kari’s Reckoning: https://www.amazon.com/Karis-Reckoning-Rose-Shield-Book-ebook/dp/B06XJY77CF

The other three books in the Rose Shield Series

A small selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website: http://mythsofthemirror.com.

The next book is for children and is The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly by Christina Steiner.

About the book

The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly, Christina Steiner’s newest children book with illustrations from Mary Manning, focuses on the incredible life of the fourth generation, eastern Monarch butterfly.

Steiner’s chapter book, a fantasy story, offers a look into the lives of Monarch butterflies through the eyes of William. When William captures a butterfly for a show-and-tell at his school, he has no idea how special his trophy will become. Much to his surprise, the captive girl butterfly, Anka, is able to speak. With a sad, trembling voice, Anka, pleads for freedom so she may fulfill her life destiny. Worried to show up at school empty handed, William resists her pleas. But clever Anka bargains for her freedom by enticing William to accompany her as a passenger on a fantastic journey. There is one catch, though: William has to shrink in size and become a miniature boy in order to ride on Anka’s back.

William faces a dilemma. Should he set Anka free and show up at school empty handed? Or should he join this girl butterfly on an adventure to an unknown destination?
Intrigued, he agrees to join Anka on her special trip. Whisked away on the wings of a butterfly, a whole new world unfolds for William. Together, he and Anka soar south-southwest from North Dakota to the Oyamel fir forests in central Mexico. A strong friendship develops as they depend on each other for survival.

They stay for five month at their destination high up in the mountains of central Mexico – the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. There, William learns much about Monarch butterflies, about survival, and about himself. But most notably, it is during their return travels in the spring that the true purpose for Anka’s urgency for freedom reveals itself. It is then that William personally witnesses nearly the full life-cycle of Monarch butterflies – from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to stunning Monarch butterfly, the ultimate tale of the circle of life.

The most recent review for the book

A Lovely Tale  on September 8, 2017

Christina Steiner has written a lovely tale that weaves real life science with fantasy. It not only explains the life of Monarch butterflies it also teaches children to respect, appreciate, and enjoy nature. William and his butterfly friend Anka develop a trusting and sweet friendship that takes them on a great adventure. A wonderful book to help children understand the sequence of life and the joy that happens along the way.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Travels-William-Monarch-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00W88EDL4/

Also by Christina Steiner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Steiner/e/B00IUZNJXC

Read more reviews and follow Christina Steiner on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4516146.Christina_Steiner

Connect to Christina via her website:  www.christinasteinerwriter.com

Thank you for dropping by and it would be great if you could spread the news of these authors and their books. thanks Sally

If you have a new release or a fantastic review please let me know and I will find the most effective promotion to feature you in. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Odd Jobs and Characters – The Cosmetic Department hosted by D. Wallace Peach


My thanks to my host Diana Wallace Peach of Myths of the Mirror for inviting me to share the next episode in my misadventures at work. This week I have moved from the shoe department to the cosmetic department where I was privileged to meet an extraordinary customer who taught me a valuable lesson about tolerance.

I hope you will enjoy this short excerpt and then head over to Diana’s blog where she has kindly enhanced my post with some delightful touches of her own.

Today, I’m welcoming author and blogger Sally Cronin to the Mirror to share one of her wonderful characters and tell you about her new book, What’s in a Name?: Vol. 2. Needless to say, I think she’s a superb writer, and this is one of my favorite chapters in her book, Just an Odd Job Girl. Take it away, Sally…

The Cosmetic Department.

I had been working in one of our large local department stores as I waited to begin my training in the Royal Alexandra Nursing Service.

Following on from my six weeks over Christmas and New Year in the shoe department of the store, I moved downstairs to the cosmetic department.

I was nineteen, and into make-up, as most of my generation was at the time. This offered me the opportunity to sample anything that I wanted, within reason, as I was appointed ‘roving consultant’. This meant that I would be trained by the different cosmetic houses in their individual products, and on their regular consultant’s day off, I would take her place.

For example, one of the cosmetic firms offered a powder blending service to its customers. This involved checking the skin tones of the client and then mixing a specific blend of powders for their complexion. There was a base powder and about twelve different shades that could be added. We used a giant spatula to whisk the powder over the tissue paper with little pinches of the different shades added until the perfect blend had been achieved.

The combination was noted on the client card, and would then be made up to that formula each time the customer needed it. The variety in my new position made my life much more interesting and I loved working with cosmetics and perfume.

I had been in the position about four weeks, and was practising my powder blending technique, when a rather large, reddened hand stretched across the counter towards me.

Please head over to Diana’s to read the full story: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2017/08/22/sallys-odd-jobs-and-characters-the-cosmetic-department/

You can find the previous episodes of the Odd Jobs and Characters in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-odd-jobs-and-characters/

About D. Wallace Peach

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach

Read all the reviews and buy Diana’s books: Amazon author page

Connect to Diana

Book website: https://dwallacepeachbooks.com/
Blog and writing: http://mythsofthemirror.com.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diana.peach.33

Thanks very much for dropping in and hope you enjoy the rest of the story on Diana’s blog.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 21st August 2017 -Robbie Cheadle, Yvonne Payne, Teri Polen/D.Wallace Peach and Norah Colvin


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the first of the week’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed over the weekend. There were many and it is always difficult to pick just a handful but I hope you too will enjoy these when you head over.

Robbie Cheadle and her family are touring England at the moment and are taking in some of the historical monuments, including the home of Charles Darwin.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Who hasn’t seen this graphic depiction of the theory of evolution?

According to Wikipedia, the essence of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory is that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged the established religious dogma of creationism.

Who wouldn’t want to learn more about this fascinating man and see his famous home? Of course we wanted to and that is exactly what we did. We went to visit Down House in Kent; the home of this very controversial and amazing scientist.

Darwin’s house is incredible. A truly beautiful English manor house with an outstanding and interesting garden and hot house.

Head over and discover more about the home of Charles Darwin and his life and family: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/down-house-the-home-of-charles-darwin/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Yvonne Payne​ meets up with a blogging pal and author Krystina Kalapothakos in Crete whilst on holiday and talks about Krystina’s cookbook.

One of my first blogging pals was Krystina Kalapothakos, who has a great foodie blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.

Krystina is currently on holiday in Crete from her home in California. Here, to my delight, is a photo of Krystina in my Kritsa kitchen gifting me a copy of her Greek recipe book, Back to my Roots.

We had a fabulous day together along with her friend and my husband…more of that in my next post. Today it’s all about the cookbook.

Check out some of the recipes and the cookbook which is available in Kindle: https://kritsayvonne.com/2017/08/20/bloggers-meet-in-crete/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviewed Diana Wallace Peach in her regular Friday spot and talked about the first in her Rose Shield Series – Catling’s Bane.

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

Head over and find out more about Catling’s Bane and enjoy Diana’s interview with Teri: https://teripolen.com/2017/08/11/indie-author-friday-d-wallace-peach-indieauthor-scifi-fantasy/

And last but not least Norah Colvin interviews children’s author Aleesah Darlison about her wonderfully illustrated book Stripes in the Forest.

This month, it is my pleasure to introduce you to award-winning Australian author Aleesah Darlison. Aleesah writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, teamwork and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction) for her picture book, Our Class Tiger. She has won numerous other awards for her writing.

Aleesah has written over thirty-five books for children and in 2016, she set up Greenleaf Press, a business designed to provide critical support services to authors and illustrators. The company also acts as a booking agency for school and preschool visits.

Today, Aleesah and I are talking about her picture book Stripes in the Forest. With National Threatened Species Day just a couple of weeks away on 7 September, it is a timely interview. Stripes in the Forest is the story of an iconic species lost.

Head over and find out more about Stripes in the Forest and enjoy the interview with Aleesah: http://www.readilearn.com.au/meet-australian-picture-book-author-aleesah-darlinson/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – D. Wallace Peach, Sue Coletta and Christoph Fischer


Welcome to the first author update of the week and we begin with the fourth and final book in The Rose Shield series, Kari’s Reckoning, by D. Wallace Peach published on April 20th.

About Kari’s Reckoning

The epic adventure concludes as the Shiplord vies for what he desires—the throne of Ellegeance. Their power in jeopardy, influencers surrender their oaths, their loyalties fractured. Rose, a child of untrained and reckless talent, once again becomes a pawn in the quest for control.

As the Cull Tarr solidify their rule, Guardian plots rebellion. Catling and Whitt, each gifted with singular skills, seek to sway the course of the conflict. Oathbreakers, traitors, and those desperate to save Rose collide in a final battle for the realm.

Yet, a third player emerges in the deadly game. The kari, spirits of a sentient planet, command the air, water, and land. They manipulate events to satisfy their sovereign designs and care not who survives the human war.

Buy Kari’s Reckoning: https://www.amazon.com/Karis-Reckoning-Rose-Shield-Book-ebook/dp/B06XJY77CF

The other three books in the Rose Shield Series

One of the latest reviews for Catling’s Bane

In D. Wallace Peach’s Catling’s Bane, the first installment in the Rose Shield trilogy, the young Catlin lives in a world of poverty, repression, and inhumanity. When still a toddler, her mother sells her for whatever she can get, which is where Catling’s life looks up. Her new family is loving, caring, humane, with a family pig business that requires working children to run. They sell their piglets at a weekly market which coincides with hanging days–when the overflow residents of the prison are hanged to make room for others. To make this acceptable to the population, the ruling class uses ‘influencers’ to throw a web of happiness and contentment out over everyone in the crowd. People–even family members–gleefully watch their friends and neighbors killed. But Catling has the power to break that web, penetrate it, and allow others to see the horror of murder lurking below the pleasant emotions. When stakeholders on both sides of this system find out she has this ability, her life changes forever.

What an excellent start to this trilogy. The characters are strong. The passion obvious. The plot addicting. Peach’s ability to weave words into glorious pictures of events and places is perfectly matched to the fantasy world she has created. The details of this environment are exquisite and believable:

“Riverfolk moored up at the docks with skiffs bearing buckets of silver eels and glass bottles dense with luminescence. Ferries plied their way up from Ava-Grea delivering merchants and travelers from distant tiers. Pulled by waterdragons, the vessels bucked the swift current. The creatures’ green-scaled heads reared through the surface, tapered snouts sprayed clouds of mist, and fins stroked the water like wings. The voyage complete, tall rivermasters with white hair flowing like waterfalls beckoned the creatures in. They slipped off tethering ropes, and the waterdragons dove.”

Highly recommended to anyone who loves fantasy adventure and big dreams.

A small selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website: http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Sue Coletta’s much awaited new release, Cleaved- Book 2 of The Grafton County Series, will be available from this Wednesday so still time to buy at the pre-order price.

About Cleaved

Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bonds their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole–ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. Why he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.

Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

One of early reviews from Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34676415-cleaved

Apr 08, 2017 Joe Broadmeadow rated it Five Stars

The title alone is the stuff of nightmares. Cleaved by Sue Coletta is the latest from the writing magic of this author.

Her characters, storyline, and imagination all meld into the perfect blend of suspense, tension, action, and emotion. Her prose sings more than tells the story. The words are crafted and woven into both subtle and shocking passages.

The intricacies of the plot will keep you guessing, and catching your breath, with each twist and turn. While the nature of the story contains some gruesome aspects, Coletta handles them with aplomb. She makes her point without gratuitous descriptions so common is less skillfully written thrillers.

This is an author rising to new levels in her craft. All of her books are good, this one is exceptional.

She takes you inside the mind of her main recurring character, Sage Quintano. You experience the story as she does. (Minor spoiler alert coming up.) As part of her research for the book, Coletta actually got inside an oil drum. I’ll leave it to your imagination why. But it should give you an indication of the commitment to excellence this author brings to her work.

Read this book. Read all this author’s work. You will not be disappointed. Terrified, scared, suffering elevated blood pressure, yes. Disappointed, no.

Buy Cleaved at the Pre-Order price: https://www.amazon.com/Cleaved-Grafton-County-book-2-ebook/dp/B06XS3HTGS/

Also by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

Connect to Sue via her website: www.suecoletta.com

Another new release, this time for Christoph Fischer who released the travel adventure African August on April 13th. The official book launch and reading was April 29th at this last weekend’s LLandeilo Lit Fest.

A note from the author: https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/released-as-paperback-african-august-by-christoph-fischer/

I never planned to release this book, which breaks into a new genre for me: travel adventure. Then I was approached by Wanda Hartzenberg about her charity anthology for a dog rescue centre in California. I said I had nothing to offer her apart from this one book. Wanda was interested in the book, not least because she was born and lives in Africa. So the book underwent a long editing process to be included in the anthology.
In the US the e-book will be part of a charity, multi-author  box set in aid of  Santa Paula No Kill Animal Rescue Center in California http://www.santapaulaarc.org/

My travels took me to many places in Africa. I was never moved as much as when I visited an orphanage in Kampala. I hesitated to go because I imagined it to be depressing. Far from it: The children were so happy for our visits. I realised that while I couldn’t change the politics and problems in Africa, I could make a huge difference with nothing but just being there for them for a day.

So all proceeds of the paperback will go to M-Lisada Org. Kampala a charity supporting former street children in Kamapla, Uganda.

About African August

When Timothy, a budding author, puts his lucrative banking career on hold for the chance to go on the adventure of a lifetime in Africa, he gets far more than even he had bargained for. He teams up with a host of intriguing characters, from gay air stewards to beautiful, adventure-seeking women on his journey to self-fulfilment and self-discovery. Risking his life negotiating white-water rapids and encountering some unanticipated jungle dangers, Timothy has his eyes opened to harsh realities, worlds away from the cossetted life he’d been living back in London. Soon, he and his companions find themselves caught up in deadly civil unrest.

This is a tale of love, loss and growing up on a continent where the political situation is even more volatile than the weather, and where adventure and tragedy are only a heartbeat away. The wind can change very quickly in an African August…

For those of you who could not attend the launch and book reading buy the book and support a great cause: https://www.amazon.com/African-August-Christoph-Fischer/dp/1544677278

A small selection of other books by Christoph Fischer

Discover and buy all Christoph’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

Find out more about news from this weekend’s LLandeilo Lit Fest and Christoph: https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of these outstanding authors’ work.  Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D.Wallace Peach, Alyssa Drake and Stevie Turner


Welcome to the Cafe update and the first author today is in fact my guest tomorrow for the Book Reading and Interview, D. Wallace Peach. Diana is releasing three books almost back to back and following close on the heels of Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1) is Oathbreaker’s Guild – Book 2, released on March 31st.  I am sure that you will enjoy asking your own questions tomorrow and over the weekend about this new series and Diana’s other work.

About Oathbreaker’s Guild – The Rose Shield Book II

Catling, an aspirant of the Influencers’ Guild, learns to wield the power of the garden carved into her skin. Friends are fewer than enemies, and those who wished her dead now plot her failure. Sworn to the young queen, she enters the world of Elan-Sia where the powerful maneuver for control of the throne.

Amidst rising unrest in the south and increasing pressure from the seafaring Cull Tarr, the high wards of the tiers plot rebellion. Gannon stirs the warrens, and Whitt marches with the warriors of Guardian. Propelled by revenge, Catling journeys to Mur-Vallis. Her mission—to assassinate the man who stole her past, a task that will define her future.

Buy Oathbreaker’s Guild: https://www.amazon.com/Oathbreakers-Guild-Rose-Shield-Book-ebook/dp/B06XNK5HMH

One of the early reviews for Catling’s Bane – The Rose Shield Book 1

D. Wallace Peach creates an utterly original, lush and cohesive world inhabited by well-developed and multi-dimensional characters we instantly care about (even the minor ones), all the more so as the plot unfolds. And what a plot it is — no copycat fiction or cliche devices here. The concept of “influence” as an accepted part of life is not only entertaining but thought provoking; and the author’s attention to detail on how influence works grabs hold and will thrill true high fantasy readers who value intelligent rationale for magic. All I can say is … prepare to lose some sleep over this one. And the final chapter leads to a cliffhanger that will leave readers desperate for Book II.

I am a lifelong reader of fantasy, and out of what I’d guess to be nearly 1,000 books read to date, this book series is in my top five. Catling’s Bane is easily on par with the likes of Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle series), Karen Miller (the “Mage” series) and Glenda Larke (Stormlord series). I’m confident that many readers will, like me, add this one to their top shelf.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach.

 Read more about D. Wallace Peach, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Connect to Diana via her website: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Drop in and meet Diana in person over the weekend and she will be looking forward to your questions in the comments section of the interview.

The next featured author is Alyssa Drake whose debut novel A Perfect Plan –(Wiltshire Chronicles Book 1) was published last year and has already received over 50 reviews.

About the book

Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.

Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.

However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.

One of the most recent reviews for the book.

on March 20, 2017

I’m usually not one for the Historical Romance genre. Mostly due to my own misconceptions regarding the flowery language, which makes me laugh uncontrollably, and book covers slathered with Fabio, who is NOT my idea of a handsome man.

This book on the other hand was amazing! No “touching bosoms” or Fabio to be found here, just a saucy romance between Benjamin and Samantha with a classic who-dun-it thrown in. I always love a good mystery and this one did not disappoint.

After the death of her brother Samantha is called back from the family estate to assist her sister-in-law with handling her brother’s finances. Samantha is a no nonsense woman who doesn’t need a man or high society to feel complete. Little does she know that both are going to come beckoning quicker than she thinks.

Benjamin is a notorious rake who has finally decided to settle down. There’s just one thing he has to do before he can pursue his own happy ending. As Samantha’s new guardian Benjamin is responsible for choosing her husband. One look at her though and all thoughts of anyone else but him filling her marriage bed leave him with a sour taste in his mouth.

I absolutely loved this book. As a debut novel goes, Ms. Drake has smashed it out of the park. As a matter of fact I didn’t even know this was a debut novel until I went on Amazon and read it in another review. The writing is excellent and witty with engaging characters and great dialog.

As with any genre there are hits and misses, this book is definitely a hit. I would gladly recommend this to all my bookish friends. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment.

Contains graphic sex and language. Not for young readers***    ***Cassandra Delorie #NerdGirlLola’s Review***

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Plan-Wiltshire-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CMK5ZPU

Connect to Alyssa via her websitehttp://www.alyssadrakenovels.com

 And now for Stevie Turner and her latest book, the memoir Waiting in the Wings that was released at the end of last year.

About the memoir.

At the grand old age of 92, my mother Dot suddenly starts telling me that she loves me. I am quite dumbstruck at these outbursts of emotion, as she has never mentioned the fact before in all of my 58 years. Over the entire course of my lifetime we have often argued bitterly, and have never really seen eye-to-eye over anything. I squirm with the inner knowledge that she wants me to reply in a similar vein, but try as I might, I cannot.

The guilt I feel at being unable to grant Dot her wish is overwhelming. As Dot’s health deteriorates more towards the final chapters of her life, I take on the role of carer. I find the only way to bring her out of her perpetual misery is to reminisce on past events by showing her old family photographs, and by helping her to remember holidays and happier times. We look back without anger and sometimes with a lot of laughter, getting to know each other better, raking over the past, and talking more than we have ever done. The process helps me, a middle-aged woman, understand the perils of ageing that I might one day face, and also the struggles that elderly people suffer on a day-to-day basis while stoically attempting to maintain their independence.

This is a true story, told in flashbacks and in modern-day often humorous conversations with my mother.

Turner’s memoir is an insightful story about a mother and daughter relationship that has moved to a new dimension. Throughout the author’s life she struggled with her relationship with her mother. Dot was set in her ways and always seemed to be trying to conform Stevie to what she wanted her to be. The angst Stevie felt growing up with Dot is documented through this touching and heartfelt memoir as Dot is now old and being an only child, Stevie has taken on the roll to care for her aging invalid mother.

Dot struggles to maintain her independence, making Stevie’s job somewhat more difficult to tend to Dot with her whims and antics, but it seems that the two find a common bond while exchanging stories from the past where Dot can be happy reliving her younger days, and where Turner establishes a common ground with memories they can bond over.

Many stories are shared from Turner’s childhood, about living under the eagle eye of Dot. We learn to understand that as much as Dot loved her daughter, she didn’t know how to show her love, which became a difficult burden for Turner to give her mother love in return.

As a child, Turner was tired of Dot’s OCD ways of life, and as a result, rebelled as many a child will do, with vowing not to be like her mother. Through this story, Dot’s anal ways could drive a sane person mad at times. Dot didn’t know how to show love and emotion and her methods of thinking she was doing so as a good mother were to nag at and not encourage her daughter for the attributes she possessed, but rather harped on how she thought her daughter should dress, and live her life, driving Turner batty, resulting in her wanting to keep in her own comfort zone, much as a loner.

As a memoirist myself, I know the angst of feeling sorry for an aging mother who never fulfilled me emotionally, and similar to Turner’s life, I understand the position she was in, finding it difficult to be able to tell her own mother that she loved her when the words were foreign to her all of her life. It brings a heart-crushing feeling when you can’t bring yourself to respond with those words, ‘I love you’, as I sensed the pathetic non-verbal pleading in my own mother too, wanting to hear me say those difficult words.

I highly recommend this book, not only for the manner in which it was written with entertainment value, but for anyone who has or is struggling with an aging parent, finding it difficult to forgive the past and to learn that there is always a way to make amends.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Wings-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B01M3MOEPV

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Connect to Stevie via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have a new release, review or offer you would like to share then please let me know. If you are not in the bookstore you can join the oher 160 authors and here is how:

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

There is also an opportunity for any author to share their reviews even if they are not in the bookstore. Air your Reviews features the most recent reviews or perhaps a favourite review that sums up your book.

This is the most recent post that shows you the format.  All I need from you is the link to your most recent or best review from either Amazon or Goodreads.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-colleen-chesebro-m-c-v-egan-and-d-g-kaye/

Please feel free to reblog and share this post on your social media as it does help promote fellow indie authors. Thanks Sally