Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up – Josh Groban, Legendary Irises, Lucious Lamb and Shark Diving!


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed. Another week of beautiful weather here and apart from taking time out to sit and read in the sunshine…David has been removing the stumps left after the tree felling last summer, so that we can lay a lawn. It will change the whole aspect of the front garden. We then have wall repairs and new fencing and another major job off the list. We have been in the house two years next week and it has certainly been an amazing time. The biggest problem with renovating a property here in Ireland is the weather, especially for the outside work. Hats off to the tradespeople who have to contend with all the time.

Newsflash

Delighted to welcome author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) as the latest regular contributor to the blog. I am sure many of you will have enjoyed Debby’s travel archive posts, and like me read and reviewed her book Have Bags Will Travel. Now she will be sharing her expertise with a monthly Travel Column. To get the column off to a flying start (or should I say sailing!)…

Debby will post three articles on cruising the high seas beginning 18th June with parts 2 and 3 going out every fortnight.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-coming-soon-the-travel-column-by-debby-gies-and-happy-birthday/

As always my thanks to the other contributors who provide wonderful content and bring such variety to the blog.

On with the rest of the posts.

The Music Column with William Price King.

William  shares the hits of the early to mid 2000s of the phenomenon that is Josh Groban.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-josh-groban-part-three/

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

This week Paul brings us the beauty and legend of the Iris.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-taste-the-rainbow-irises/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

More fabulous recipes from Carol Taylor and this week her focus was on lucious lamb.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-lucious-lamb/

The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with author D.Wallace Peach

Diana Peach is my guest today on Getting to Know You.. She shares her fashion sense, encounters with sharks (the ones with fins not legs!) Waterskiing, and her love of country life… head over and discover more about her.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-with-author-d-wallace-peach/

Personal Stuff – Letters from America

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-hawaiian-luau-and-trash-can-punch/

Odd Jobs and Characters – Some of my quirky employment opportunities – This week I cook 3000 meals a week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-posts-from-my-archives-odd-jobs-and-characters-boarding-school-housekeeping-and-caterer/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-carly-simon-and-david-bowie/

Smorgasbord Nature Reserve – When Starlings hit the swimming pool.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/smorgasbord-nature-reserve-when-starlings-hit-the-swimming-pool/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-death-in-a-mudflat-rhe-brewster-mystery-by-n-a-granger/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelvesthe-gemini-connection-by-teri-polen-ya-sc-fi/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sir-chocolate-and-the-sugar-crystal-cave-story-and-cookbook-by-robbie-and-michael-cheadle/

Meet the #Reviewers

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-meet-the-book-reviewers-chuck-jackson-for-paul-kalanithi-olga-nunez-miret-for-guillermo-stitch-and-robbie-cheadle-for-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-linda-g-hill-lyn-horner-and-chuck-jackson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-vashti-quiroz-vega-marcia-meara-and-paul-cude/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Sewing Circle Part three and four – Flights of Fancy

Part Three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-the-sewing-circle-part-three-by-sally-cronin/

Part Four

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-the-sewing-circle-part-four-by-sally-cronin/

Albert the Perfect Candidate

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-albert-the-perfect-candidate-by-sally-cronin/

The Psychic Parrot

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-the-psychic-parrot-by-sally-cronin/

Health Column – The Alexander Technique – #Posture, #Backpain #Ergonomics

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/smorgasbord-health-column-alternative-healing-the-alexander-technique-part-two-posture-backpain-ergonomics/

Candida Albicans Series

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-part-one-the-opportunistic-pathogen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-part-two-sugars-and-yeast-free-bread/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-pass-the-mushrooms-and-cheese/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-milk-allergy-lactose-intolerance-leaky-gut/

Humour and Afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-dogs-and-cars/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-more-one-liners-and-some-snippets/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-dogs-and-cars-two/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-more-one-liners-and-snippets-jokes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-dogs-and-cars-three/

 

 

 

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You with author D.Wallace Peach


My guest this morning is author Diana Wallace Peach who enchants and enthralls young readers with her fantasy and science fiction series. Apart from YA novels, Diana has recently written and illustrated her first children’s book. More about her work later.

The official biography.

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.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

Now it is time to find out which of the questions Diana had chosen to answer….including phobias, dress sense, town or country and water skiing!

Welcome Diana and perhaps you could start by telling us if you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?

In 1975, the movie Jaws hit the theaters. I was 16 and loved going to the beach with my friends to roast in the sun and swim in the swells. That movie scared the heck out of me, and for the next 15 years, I didn’t go in the ocean deeper than my kneecaps.

Zoom ahead to 1990, I found my self divorced, a single mom, and all my friends had been his friends. I needed to get a life! The local community pool offered a free “Discover Scuba” event, and I figured why not? Three months later, I waded into the deep, dark, shark-infested ocean for my open-waters in order to get my certificate. Somehow, I escaped a sure death as shark snack food.

A year later, as a certified deep diver, rescue diver, and dive master, I went swimming with sharks. About 2 miles from shore, the crew of the dive boat threw chum (fish guts) into the water to attract about 20 wild sharks. I jumped into their midst and kept my fingers tucked… except for the times I reached out to pat one as it swam by.

Sally here: the best I could do Diana….. very brave of you…..thanks to Wise Wanderer

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Abysmal. I dislike shopping and am perfectly happy with a pair of jeans and a big flannel shirt. It’s all I really need up here in the woods anyway. And that assumes I even bother to get dressed. I’ve cut wood, worked in the garden, and gone to the post office in my pajamas and slippers. I still wear the same clothes I wore as a teenager, and by the same clothes, I mean the exact SAME clothes. I wear them until they fray or disintegrate! About 3 years ago, I bought a shirt. My friends all noticed immediately, and my daughter was shocked. Her jaw dropped, and she declared, “You got a new shirt!” You’d have thought I won the lottery.

What is something you look forward to when you retire?

I’m going to attribute the answer to this question to blogging. As a younger person, I never had an interest in traveling. I hadn’t done much since I was a child, so I didn’t know what I was missing and the bug hadn’t found a chance to bite. And I’m an introvert and homebody who gets anxious and shy when out of my element.

Blogging has expanded my view of the world. I’ve “met” great people, seen amazing sites, learned that the world is wondrous and beautiful and friendly. There are so many places now that I want to visit, people I want to meet for lunch or drinks, cultures I want to explore. Retirement is just a few years away. I’m going to put on my wings and fly.

What was the one thing you could never learn how to do no matter how hard you tried?

How to water-ski. Ugh. I tried, I swear I tried, over and over and over again. When I was a kid, my uncle had a boat on the New Jersey shore where he rented a summer house. My family would drive down visit for a week, and one year, he decided the kids were going to learn to waterski. So, he dumped me in the ocean with all these giant motorboats and cabin cruisers practically running us over. Already terrified, he had me hold the handle of the towrope and lift my skis. Then he’d take off. Every single time, I’d flip right over, land face first, and get dragged through the water until I let go. He made me do that about a dozen times, refusing to acknowledge that someone simply could not waterski, EVER. I made him a believer.

Sally here:  Oops Diana, looks like there was someone with a video camera watching all your attempts (or someone with your talent)….thanks to NeverMindYourOwn

 Do you prefer the big city or country life?

I’m a country girl through and through. Cities make me nervous. I’m afraid I’m going to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, run over a pedestrian, hold up traffic while I try to park, get lost, end up in a bad area, get mugged, get lost, drive in circles, panic, get lost, have a traffic accident, take the wrong bus or subway or train… Did I mention getting lost? But, if I’m not driving and I’m with someone who knows their way around, I’m a kid in a candy shop. I love it! And then I get to go home.

My thanks to Diana for sharing some of the little things we might not have known about her… and looking forward to seeing her here in Ireland when she is on her grand tour.

The first book in the Dragon Soul Series – Myths of the Mirror

About the book

In the distant mountains of the Mirror, exiled skyriders fly dragons in the old Way, merged in flesh, blood, and bone. Twenty years past, they fought for the freedom of the valley’s dragons … and lost.

Imprisoned in the stone lair, the captive dragons beat their webbed wings and thrash serpentine tails. They tear their flesh and batter their bodies against the black bars of their cells, iron grating against iron. The once peaceful creatures howl, tormented by spine and spur, their fury matched only by their despair.

Treasa, the daughter of exiles, seeks the secrets of a hidden past and a father she never knew. Gifted with visions, she glimpses pieces of years long lost and a veiled future that only raises more questions. The dragons visit her dreams, laden with contradictions that tear at her heart—for one day she sails in unfettered flight, her arms thrown wide, and the next she writhes in tortured darkness, desperate to be free.

The lair’s black-garbed riders sense the dragons’ growing savagery. Yet Conall longs to grasp their power, to subdue them and soar. He will endure the reek, filth, and terror of the lair to earn his right to fly. With a heart encased in steel, he masters the weapons of compliance to see his will done. At the cost of the woman he loves.

Then, a curved talon rends flesh and dragon scale, rattling against white ribs. Blood falls like rain and the world shifts. Treasa and Conall must decide who they are and what they stand for. Thus the battle for the dragon soul begins again. Alliances form, old myths are revealed, and new myths are born.

One of the recent reviews of the book

After I finished reading D. Wallace Peach’s The Rose Shield Series, I found myself bereft, desiring more of her storying. A visit to her Amazon Author page gave me everything I needed. I was thrilled to find her first series, Dragon Soul Quartet and couldn’t wait to dive right in.

The Myths of the Mirror, Book One, is a haunting tale of resplendent dragons, exhilarating magic, and how the myths of the people from Taran Leigh and the Mirror intertwine and intersect. Their myths become the allegory from where ancient enlightenment springs.

Far from the village of Taran Leigh is a spot in the wilderness where a bowl-shaped lake, called the Mirror, hosts a civilization of people who ride the bejeweled dragons in the Old Way communicating with their souls as they become one with the dragon’s spirit. This merging of man and dragon comes by invitation from the dragon, signifying a magical union like no other.

In comparison, the dragons of Taran Leigh are imprisoned, forced to live in a stone lair, and brutalized by their captors, all the while compelled to perform for “coin.” Years ago, the greedy governors tricked the skyriders into believing their lies, looking only for ways to line their own pockets. The people of Taran Leigh have lost their connection to the old ways.

It takes a calamity greater than Terasa and Conall have ever known to teach them the myths of their people. Conall faces his demons while Terasa learns the myths of her father and those of the magical dragons who teach the lessons of “the tie” and of “the belonging.”

I know I’ve written before how I feel like a silly fan gushing over Diana Peach’s work. But, I must share with you that this book touched me in ways I have never experienced before. It was as if I had my own epiphany, at one with the divine truths the author penned in this tome. I can only say that my reading was akin to a spiritual encounter. The entire reason I read is for that magical connection, and The Myths of the Mirror delivers that and more.

I loved this first book so much, I’ve bought the entire series! ❤ Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet Book 1)

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5  Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Myths-Mirror-Dragon-Soul-Quartet-ebook/dp/B01KQ317Y8/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myths-Mirror-Dragon-Soul-Quartet-ebook/dp/B01KQ317Y8/

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 participate in the Getting to Know You series… here is how, with the questions to select your five from: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

Thank you very much for popping in today and I know that Diana would love to answer any questions you might have. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Book #Reviewers – Colleen Chesebro with D.Wallace Peach, Olga Nunez Miret with Mallory James, Richard Blake with Joan O’Hagan and D.G. Kaye with Michael Wolff


This series is aimed at promoting and celebrating those that review books regularly. Especially those who do so via their blogs, as it would be great to create more traffic to their sites. I am happy to also showcase those that are put directly on Amazon. The details are here in this first post with an example.. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/smorgasbord-new-series-starting-this-saturday-meet-the-book-reviewers/

And here is last week’s post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-meet-the-bookreviewers-d-g-kaye-for-kathy-steinemann-barb-taub-for-terry-tyler-robbie-cheadle-for-ben-woodard-m-j-mallon-for-sacha-de-black-and-jan-sikes-for-nonnie-jul/

The series is already evolving as predicted and we will just see where it goes.

  • If you click the images of the books you will be taken directly to Amazon.
  • Where an author or reviewer is in the Cafe and Bookstore I will include their entry.
  • If a review has been posted to Amazon directly without a blog post, I will share the entire review with a link to the reviewers blog.

The first reviewer today is Colleen Chesebro with the review for Eye of Fire: Dragon Soul Book 2 by D.Wallace Peach – click on the image to be taken directly to Amazon.

Here is an extract from the review and a link to read the rest on Colleen’s blog.

Eye of Fire is the second book in the Dragon Soul Quartet Series, following book one, The Myths of the Mirror, which I reviewed HERE.

The story begins as the ancient Droom, the seer of the stones, she who guides the myths and the people of the Tie retrieves a stone from the embers of a fire. Partially blind, the seer’s prophecies come from deep within her soul expressed as messages etched upon her Runestones. The directive she receives is clear. Change is in the air and new beginnings have merged into the people’s current reality.

As the mountain dragons who fly freely in the skies over the Mirror arrive in Taran Leigh, Conall and Torin are merged with the belonging, sitting astride their own dragons. The people waiting to attend the yearly dragon expedition are filled with awe. They feel the songs of the dragons pulling at their hearts. Soon, the community will experience what it feels like to touch the resplendent dragons and to feel the belonging surge into their hearts for themselves.

Finally, the time had come for the dragons of Taran Leigh to be freed from the confines of the lair. Once Earlin’s plan was set into motion there was no turning back. Meanwhile, in the dragon’s lair, Haral waits for the signal to swing open the doors so he can release the magnificent creatures and set them free.

Instead, the plan goes awry, and Earlin finds Haral’s crumpled body; the victim of a horrible murder. His death is the catalyst that forces the people of the Tie to grapple with the knowledge that they’re connected through the belonging to every living being. They must establish a balance within the world. However, this responsibility comes at a cost.

Head over and read the rest of post and the review:Colleen Chesebro review of Eye of Fire

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

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D. Wallace Peach, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

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

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The next book is reviewed by Olga Nunez Miret on her blog – Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James. A fascinating look into the past and a great source for writers and social history researchers

Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James. Book reviewAnd extract from Olga’s review

Thanks to Alex and the rest of the team at Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I am a big fan of Pen & Sword books and I have learned a lot on a variety of subjects thanks to their great selection, but I must admit to having a soft spot for social history. Although I love history books and have recently become keen on historical fiction, I think that social history helps us get a better sense of what life was like in the past, not only for the kings, aristocrats, and powerful people but also for the rest of the population. The everyday life of going around one’s usual business, talking to people, working, rarely makes it into the big books, but it is what life is truly about. And those are the details that bring the past to life. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, these books are also great to provide background to writers, filmmakers, and, in general, artists looking to create works set in a particular time in history, as it helps them gain a better understanding of what it would have been like to live then.

This particular volume is a delight. I have read a number of novels set in the era and watched uncountable movies and television series that take place in the XIX century as well, and although I thought I was familiar with the customs, social rules and mores of the time, I was surprised by how truly complicated following proper etiquette was. As the author often explains, rules were not set in stone and they changed throughout the century. What was a must at the beginning of the XIX century would have been out of fashion by the end, and rules were open to interpretation, as sometimes different sources offered completely different advice. Should you eat fish with a fork and bread, two forks, or a fork and a fish knife (the answer depends on at what point of the XIX century we were eating it)? Would it have been proper for you to introduce people you knew, or even greet people you met in the streets even if you had been introduced? What was the best time to go for a walk or to visit your acquaintances? What did it truly mean if somebody was ‘not at home’?

Head over and find out more about Mallory James and her book: Olga Nunez Miret – Author and Translator

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009UC58G0
Blog: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Please visit Amazon or Olga’s blog to view all her books.

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The next review is for Jerome & his Women by Joan O’Hagan posted by Richard Blake on his website.

An extract from the review for Jerome & his Women by Richard Blake

This novel explores the background to one of the most important events in history. When Constantine established Christianity as the preferred state religion in 313, he was saving Western civilisation. Until then, the religious settlement in the Roman Empire was divided both vertically and horizontally. The vertical division marked off the educated elite. For those at the top, the pagan cults were approaches to the concept of a Supreme Being and a universal moral law. Those at the bottom took these cults at face value, with their alarming or simply scandalous mythologies, and their frequent lack of mutual sympathy.

Christianity was a universal religion. For all its sectarian tendencies, it crossed every boundary of language and race and class. It was a way of life, and it had philosophical content. Once spread beyond the frontiers, it did much to humanise the barbarians, who would otherwise have invaded as pure savages. It also provided a check to misgovernment. The Jews aside, it is hard to think of any religious group that had been able to face down a determined pagan emperor. Once Constantine himself was dead, the clergy could rally the faithful as they pleased – usually for the Empire that they now dominated, but also against any emperor who in their opinion went too far.

The Christians did nothing to bring on the fall of the Western Empire. That was an effect of climate change and military blunders. But their wholesale conversion of the barbarian invaders, and their establishment of schools and libraries, led Europe seamlessly into the decentralised and highly creative civilisation of the middle ages.

Head over and read the comprehensive review in full: Richard Blake reviews Jerome and his women

Joan O’Hagan, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Joan-OHagan/e/B001KDEZXE
Website: https://www.joanohagan.com/

The final author today is D.G. Kaye who read and reviewed the controversial but eye-opening Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.

Here is an extract from Debby’s post on Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff.

Today’s review is on Michael Wolff’s politically intriguing and informative book – Fire and Fury. This is a personal accounting of what he witnessed while having ease of access and being privy to the shenanigans that is currently ongoing in the Whitehouse.

Since the day Trump ran for president I’ve been fascinated with US politics. I follow journalists in the media, have acquired a lengthy reading list of political books, and my heart aches for the all that is going on in the US now from broken policies to the potential dangers of the world at Trump’s fingertips.

If you think you’ve seen or heard it all by watching the news, you couldn’t have because in this presidency there has been ongoing breaking news daily since Trump’s inauguration. In this book, Wolff shares his findings from when he had a ringside seat as to what on earth is going on in the Whitehouse. A play by play accounting is shared on the inside chaos that continues under Trump’s regime and the shameful and clueless shenanigans that continue to go on – a good who’s who in the zoo starring a plethora of unsavory characters.

Please head over and read the post and review in full: D.G. Kaye reviews Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Please visit Amazon or Debby’s blog to view all her books.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will check out both the books showcased today and their reviewers.

I will be also sharing other recent reviewers for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore this week in the updates on Monday and Friday. I do check regularly but it helps if you email me with a link to any reviews on Amazon or Goodreads that you would like me to share.

Smorgasbord – Posts from My Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – The Department Store – Part Two – The Cosmetic Department.


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over that fifty years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  Over the years I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories. If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next twelve weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

This post in the series was kindly hosted by author  D.Wallace Peach  and you can find out more about her books at the end of the post…

The Department Store – Part Two – 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.

‘Have you something that might tone this down a little please?’ said a rather deep voice.

I looked up, a little startled by the depth of this female voice, to be confronted with rather an arresting sight. She was very tall with broad shoulders that were draped with long blonde hair. She also sported a five o’clock shadow. I was rather taken aback, as this anomaly was something I had not previously encountered. My training and upbringing took over and I stopped staring directly at her face and concentrated on the hand still being proffered to me.

‘I think that we might have a foundation that would tone down the redness,’ I offered.

‘I can then blend you a powder to ensure that it lasts all day if that would help?’

She smiled at me and perched on the little round stool the other side of the counter. The following half-hour was both informative and enjoyable. My new customer was funny and totally unconcerned by her strange appearance. She introduced herself as Dolly and regaled me with her recent escapades on her path to becoming the woman she wished to be. One of these being the removal of hair on the backs of her hands and lower arms. Hence the reddened skin on show.

As I came to the end of her particular powder blend, she leant across the counter and motioned for me to come closer.

Slightly reluctantly, I edged forward until I was staring into large blue eyes, below rather bushy eyebrows that were considerably darker than the cascade of blonde hair.

‘My real name is Arthur’ she whispered quietly. ‘I have to dress and live like this for a year before  I undergo more treatment.’

This encounter was to lead to a rise in takings for the cosmetic department, as we became the best place to go for advice and products to enhance feminine beauty, for anyone who needed it.

Dolly became our unofficial PR agent, and I was invited to a party in a pub one night, where I was delighted to see all our advice and products being used to their full advantage.

What a lovely bunch of ladies and they taught a young woman much with their bravery and support for one another.

Dolly went on to star in my book Just an Odd Job Girl with some creative embellishments.

©Sally Cronin – 2017

Next week the Steak House originally hosted by John W. Howell.

Short story anthologies.

You can find all my books at these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My thanks to Diana Peach for hosting me last year and whilst I am sure you are familiar with her fantastic books here is a reminder.

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.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach

A recent review for Myths of the Mirror.

on April 4, 2018

After I finished reading D. Wallace Peach’s The Rose Shield Series, I found myself bereft, desiring more of her storying. A visit to her Amazon Author page gave me everything I needed. I was thrilled to find her first series, Dragon Soul Quartet and couldn’t wait to dive right in.

The Myths of the Mirror, Book One, is a haunting tale of resplendent dragons, exhilarating magic, and how the myths of the people from Taran Leigh and the Mirror intertwine and intersect. Their myths become the allegory from where ancient enlightenment springs.

Far from the village of Taran Leigh is a spot in the wilderness where a bowl-shaped lake, called the Mirror, hosts a civilization of people who ride the bejeweled dragons in the Old Way communicating with their souls as they become one with the dragon’s spirit. This merging of man and dragon comes by invitation from the dragon, signifying a magical union like no other.

In comparison, the dragons of Taran Leigh are imprisoned, forced to live in a stone lair, and brutalized by their captors, all the while compelled to perform for “coin.” Years ago, the greedy governors tricked the skyriders into believing their lies, looking only for ways to line their own pockets. The people of Taran Leigh have lost their connection to the old ways.

It takes a calamity greater than Terasa and Conall have ever known to teach them the myths of their people. Conall faces his demons while Terasa learns the myths of her father and those of the magical dragons who teach the lessons of “the tie” and of “the belonging.”

I know I’ve written before how I feel like a silly fan gushing over Diana Peach’s work. But, I must share with you that this book touched me in ways I have never experienced before. It was as if I had my own epiphany, at one with the divine truths the author penned in this tome. I can only say that my reading was akin to a spiritual encounter. The entire reason I read is for that magical connection, and The Myths of the Mirror delivers that and more.

I loved this first book so much, I’ve bought the entire series! ❤ Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet Book 1)

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5  Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5  Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

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

Thank you for dropping in and look forward to seeing you again soon. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle, Dolly Aizenman and D.Wallace Peach


Welcome to the first of the week’s Cafe and Bookstore Updates and the first authors with a recent review are Robbie and Michael Cheadle for Sir Chocolate and the Baby Cookie Monster – Story and Cookbook

About the book

Book 2 of the Sir Chocolate series: Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Book 2 of Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate series features Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet in a hunt to find a lost baby cookie monster. As well as the story, we learn how to make a selection of delicious recipes, including Easy Sausage Rolls and Chocolate Butter Icing.

I bought the paperback version of this charming children’s book mainly because the Kindle format of picture books rarely reproduce the images satisfactorily (though to be fair I didn’t look at the ebook version, so can’t say for sure). The story is in rhyme and tells of the search for the missing Baby Cookie Monster, including a trip in a chocolate cake car and characters such as the Vanilla Fudge Bird.

The pictures of all the edible characters show up well and compliment the story. The recipes too, are delightful and are laid out in a way that makes them easy to understand for young kids.

Robbie Cheadle started writing these books when her son Michael came up with ideas for the characters. Robbie’s website is a great resource for cooks and kids, as it includes videos of some of her other recipes as well as tutorials on fondant art and mouth-watering images of the World of Sir Chocolate. Too yummy indeed!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Cookie-Monster-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B01N2T89RS/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Cookie-Monster-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B01N2T89RS

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael Cheadle: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

The next author is Dolly Aizenman with her cookbook – Kool Kosher Kitchen.

About the cookbook

From the four corners of the world – international fusion cuisine the kosher way! Cook Indian, cook Italian, cook Chinese and Japanese, or cook traditional Jewish; make it vegetarian, pescatarean, or vegan, make it festive and nutritious, always easy to make and delicious, for holiday and every day, but above all, have fun in your kitchen and make your kitchen a fun place to be!

One of the recent reviews for the book

The recipes in this collection are as delicious as they are nutritious, and easy to follow. They are very creative and have an artistic presentation. Most of the ingredients are in my cupboard, and there are variations, so they’re practical as well. The anecdotal introduction to each recipe makes the book a pleasure to read, and is an education in world history! Although there is a table of contents which lists the category of recipes, there is no recipe index, so that would be my suggestion.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Dolly-Aizenman/e/B0789FDS7W

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-Kosher-Kitchen-Collection-Recipes-ebook/dp/B0787F3N35

Connect to Dolly via her website: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

The next author with a review is D.Wallace Peach for Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Book 1)

About the book

In the distant mountains of the Mirror, exiled skyriders fly dragons in the old Way, merged in flesh, blood, and bone. Twenty years past, they fought for the freedom of the valley’s dragons … and lost.

Imprisoned in the stone lair, the captive dragons beat their webbed wings and thrash serpentine tails. They tear their flesh and batter their bodies against the black bars of their cells, iron grating against iron. The once peaceful creatures howl, tormented by spine and spur, their fury matched only by their despair.

Treasa, the daughter of exiles, seeks the secrets of a hidden past and a father she never knew. Gifted with visions, she glimpses pieces of years long lost and a veiled future that only raises more questions. The dragons visit her dreams, laden with contradictions that tear at her heart—for one day she sails in unfettered flight, her arms thrown wide, and the next she writhes in tortured darkness, desperate to be free.

The lair’s black-garbed riders sense the dragons’ growing savagery. Yet Conall longs to grasp their power, to subdue them and soar. He will endure the reek, filth, and terror of the lair to earn his right to fly. With a heart encased in steel, he masters the weapons of compliance to see his will done. At the cost of the woman he loves.

Then, a curved talon rends flesh and dragon scale, rattling against white ribs. Blood falls like rain and the world shifts. Treasa and Conall must decide who they are and what they stand for. Thus the battle for the dragon soul begins again. Alliances form, old myths are revealed, and new myths are born.

One of the recent reviews for the book

After I finished reading D. Wallace Peach’s The Rose Shield Series, I found myself bereft, desiring more of her storying. A visit to her Amazon Author page gave me everything I needed. I was thrilled to find her first series, Dragon Soul Quartet and couldn’t wait to dive right in.

The Myths of the Mirror, Book One, is a haunting tale of resplendent dragons, exhilarating magic, and how the myths of the people from Taran Leigh and the Mirror intertwine and intersect. Their myths become the allegory from where ancient enlightenment springs.

Far from the village of Taran Leigh is a spot in the wilderness where a bowl-shaped lake, called the Mirror, hosts a civilization of people who ride the bejeweled dragons in the Old Way communicating with their souls as they become one with the dragon’s spirit. This merging of man and dragon comes by invitation from the dragon, signifying a magical union like no other.

In comparison, the dragons of Taran Leigh are imprisoned, forced to live in a stone lair, and brutalized by their captors, all the while compelled to perform for “coin.” Years ago, the greedy governors tricked the skyriders into believing their lies, looking only for ways to line their own pockets. The people of Taran Leigh have lost their connection to the old ways.

It takes a calamity greater than Terasa and Conall have ever known to teach them the myths of their people. Conall faces his demons while Terasa learns the myths of her father and those of the magical dragons who teach the lessons of “the tie” and of “the belonging.”

I know I’ve written before how I feel like a silly fan gushing over Diana Peach’s work. But, I must share with you that this book touched me in ways I have never experienced before. It was as if I had my own epiphany, at one with the divine truths the author penned in this tome. I can only say that my reading was akin to a spiritual encounter. The entire reason I read is for that magical connection, and The Myths of the Mirror delivers that and more.

I loved this first book so much, I’ve bought the entire series! ❤ Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet Book 1)

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 – Flow and Pace: 5 – Reader Engagement: 5 – Reader Enrichment: 5 – Reader Enjoyment: 5 – Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Myths-Mirror-Dragon-Soul-Quartet-ebook/dp/B01KQ317Y8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myths-Mirror-Dragon-Soul-Quartet-ebook/dp/B01KQ317Y8

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found a book or two to add to your TBRs.. Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Fiona Tarr, Leslie Tate, Barb Taub, Susan Toy, Stevie Turner, Terry Tyler, Sue Vincent and D. Wallace Peach


Welcome to spring….. and there might be a hint of colour in the garden, as daffodils push their way to the surface, but there is plenty of colour on the shelves of the bookstore that I thought I would share with you over the next week or so.

If you are looking for you next book to read then look no further than these talented authors and over 600 books currently on the shelves.

Instead of the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates on Friday and Monday.. I will be featuring a number of authors each day with their updated reviews.

I will give you their listing which also includes a link to buy the books but also discover others that they have written but are not listed. You will also find a link to their website or blog to find out more information, and as you can imagine… they write great posts too.

Here is the next eight featured authors from the Cafe and Bookstore with their recent reviews and the final showcase is tomorrow.

Fiona Tarr, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2
Website/blog: http://atime2write.com.au

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A recent review for the series

Must readon March 16, 2017

This whole series is worth a 5 star rating.
A phenomenal 3rd in this series it blends fiction with Biblical fact & leads you on a journey of epic proportions! But I advise you start at the beginning of this series in order to know the main characters and the basis for the physical & spiritual journey they are on. I certainly hope there will be more of this ilk from this author.

Leslie Tate, buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leslie-Tate/e/B07BL5L23B
Website: https://leslietate.com/

An extract from a recent review for Violet

Violet is a beautifully written study of life: its trials and tribulations as well as its joys and delights. It tackles many of the most important questions of humanity – the dichotomy of religion and faith, duty and free-spiritedness, imprisonment and freedom, sickness and health, battle and surrender and, of course, love in its many manifestations.

The ‘love in later life’ story centres around Beth and James, both of whom have a failed marriage behind them but both of whom are willing to take the ultimate risk of starting again, seizing the day and opening themselves to the happiness as well as the heartache that love can bring. The plot is revealed through a variety of techniques: narratives, conversations, phone calls, letters, poetry, dreams and imaginative descriptions of photographs and a garden map. It is poignant, happy, sad and sensitively-written with many references to art, poetry, architecture, music, faith and nature which are all important to the protagonists.

Barb Taub, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Taub/e/B00EZP9BS8/
Website: https://barbtaub.com

A recent review for Life Begins when the Kids Leave Home.

Barb Taub has a remarkable talent for seeing humour that is deep and rich in the most unexpected places. She is able to focus on something almost everyone experiences as a matter of routine in life, and transform it into something that either has you chuckle knowingly or laughing uproariously. Sharing details of growing up in her own large family, she offers a glimpse of how her finely honed sense of humour developed. Combined with her journalistic experience and innate storytelling ability, Taub’s writing offers an escape from the often harsh realities of the world today and reminds us of the importance of laughter. A gift!

Susan Toy, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Toy/e/B008WXIJ46
Blog: http://islandeditions.wordpress.com/

A recent review for One Woman’s Island

An enjoyable read on February 15, 2018

This was a most enjoyable read. The descriptions of the island and the folks who reside there drew me in immediately. Mariana, a Canadian woman who needs a fresh start, returns to the island of Bequia where she had once visited with her now deceased husband. But living somewhere is quite different from vacationing there, as she soon learns. The story is sprinkled with captivating characters that show their true colours soon enough. As an expat Canadian, I found myself nodding my head often as I recognized familiar traits and conversations. This book, with plenty of action and mystery, depicts what can happen when more than one culture becomes a community. As an added bonus, the author has included some great Caribbean recipes. Key Lime Pie, anyone? I only hope there is a sequel as I’d like to see more of the characters and a place I came to care about.

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

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

An extract from a recent review for A House Without Windows

This book has an unusual storyline with each chapter taking us into the minds and real life thoughts of each character, I could liken this story to the book/movie – Room, but the story isn’t only about ‘the room’ Beth is held captive in, but life after she is freed and the perspectives of every day life after being a victim.

A House Without Windows is the story of Beth Nichols whose compassion as a doctor leads to a scary nightmare in real life when Edwin Evans forms a ploy to kidnap her and keep her locked up all for himself. The story begins as a psychological thriller where Beth’s captivity in a tiny room with no windows becomes her life and the only home she will know for almost ten years,

Turner does a great job of giving us readers a ringside seat into what life is like for Beth, leaving us feeling uncomfortable, anxious, taking us in, almost as though we were that hostage, and wondering how on earth she will ever get out of her hell. Beth is a strong-willed and an intelligent woman, which has much to do with how she manages to stay sane while enduring solitude and the daily abuse, all the while remembering her love for her dear fiancee Liam.

Terry Tyler, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM
Blog:https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

To view all of Terry’s books please head to Amazon.

A recent review for UK2 Book Three of Project Renova.

Terry Tyler has created a completely plausible world set a few years in the future and UK2 is an excellent conclusion to the trilogy. The vicissitudes of a post-apocalyptic lifestyle are very real and provide an increasingly challenging background to the story. It’s fascinating to find out how the characters from the earlier novels evolve and re-act to changing circumstances. The plot unfolds through the differing viewpoints of several leading characters. The author handles this structure really well and consequently the novel is another page-turner. The ending is very good and leaves a sense of hope and also that there may be more novels in the Project Renova pipeline. I do hope so!

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Blog: http://scvincent.com/

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

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A recent review for Laughter Lines…

A wonderful set of poems, showcasing the talent of Sue Vincent, and her four-legged pooch Ani!

Sue Vincent has a way with words, she can tell a tale in rhyme that hooks you and leaves you wanting more. Thoroughly enjoyed!
D. Wallace Peach, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

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

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A recent review for Farlander’s Law

After the birth of Rose, Catling struggles to balance her oath to the queen with the needs of her daughter. She hopes that if she fulfills her obligations without question, the queen will leave her and her daughter alone. But it’s not to be. Catling makes the decision to increase her power which places her in more peril than ever before.

Meanwhile, war is brewing, and the Cull Tarr will stop at nothing to take control of and govern Ellegeance. Catling and the Influencer’s Guild are tested past their limits. If they can survive the takeover they might be of use to the new rulers. When it’s discovered that the Cull Tarr are unaffected by the influencer’s magic, the Influencer’s Guild members now become pawns in the hands of their captors.

After the Cull Tarr attack on Ellegeance, the provinces are ripped apart. The people in the lower tiers become slaves. Looking to expand their control, the High Ward authorizes his guards to forcibly evict the Farlander’s from their homes and businesses.

As the High Wardens expand their territories, the Cull Tarr way of life becomes the law of the land. That leaves the native people of the planet, the Farlander’s, embroiled in a war they didn’t ask to be part of. The Farlanders are ready to sacrifice their lives for the land they love.

 

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the authors and their books on social media. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D.Wallace Peach, Frank Parker, Joy and Eric Lennick, Stevie Turner and Tony Riches


Welcome to the Friday Edition of the Cafe and Bookstore author update and five authors with news of recent releases and reviews.

The first author is D.Wallace Peach with a recent review for Kari’s Reckoning (The Rose Shield Book 4)

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 for Kari’s Reckoning (The Rose Shield Book 4)

SheSellsSeashells VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and unique January 11, 2018

This review applies to Books 2, 3, and 4.

D. Wallace Peach did an amazing job with her world-building. She contrasts the life of the people who live in the tiered cities with the people who live in the swamps and forests. Everything is unique, and vibrantly real. Not an orc to be seen, thank heavens.

She has given us a very young queen who is too reliant on her glasses of wine, and senior advisors whose ultimate loyalties are not to her, or even to the nation. We have heroic men and women trying to save their nation from malevolent outside forces. And we have a select few who are gifted with powers that sometimes even seem incomprehensible to the ones who own them. No one is perfect. Some flaws are worse than others. Other characters are truly noble.

We also have characters who change over time, some for the better, some not.

There is a great deal to admire with these books. Enjoy.

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

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/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

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 via her website: http://mythsofthemirror.com

The next author is historical novelist Frank Parker with a recent review for A Purgatory of Misery released last November.

About the book

A layman’s guide to the worst man made disaster to afflict Great Britain, it’s causes and lessons for the future.

Whilst the British elites were celebrating the achievements of Empire, a million people died from lack of food and housing elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Is it possible for humanity to achieve the Liberal ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number or are Malthus’s predictions about the relationship between population and food production about to come true?

A recent review for the book

This is a deeply researched and well-written book. I was expecting it to focus almost entirely on the famine years. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it covers much broader topics which help to put the famine into historical, political, social, economic and religious perspective. Indeed, a full eight chapters are devoted to “setting the scene”. There’s even a fascinating chapter on nutrition and mental development.

The actual famine is broken down into four chapters as the crisis begins, develops, peaks and then wanes. At the end is an interesting summary giving the author’s personal view on the disaster, and on the continuing presence of famine in the world today.

A Purgatory of Misery is worthy of attention for anyone interested in European history. It gives a broad sweep of history, from way before the famine up to and then beyond those famine years. And it presents what seems to me to be a well-balanced account that does not take sides or inappropriately point the finger of blame.

A full review including an interview with the author is on thebookowl.com

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Purgatory-Misery-Victorian-Liberalism-Disaster-ebook/dp/B077DGJT7G

Also by Frank Parker

Read the reviews and buy the books:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7834486.Frank_Parker

Connect to Frank via his website: https://franklparker.com/

Next a new release by Joy Lennick with her husband Eric Lennick. The Moon is Wearing a Tutu.

About the book

A little book, full of jokes, Limericks, poems, short stories and one-liners, from husband and wife team, Joy and Eric Lennick.

Both authors in their own “write”, they have collaborated to bring you this fun read.

One of the early reviews for the book.

on December 19, 2017 Five Stars

A light-hearted look at life and the characters we all know! It certainly made me smile.A little book to treasure and dip into when you just need to relax a while – there is something for everyone in this book and hopefully we can look forward to lots more “little gems” in the near future from Joy and Eric

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Moon-Wearing-Tutu-Joy-Lennick-ebook/dp/B0784TFVGH

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Wearing-Tutu-Joy-Lennick-ebook/dp/B0784TFVGH

A selection of books by Joy Lennick and in collaboration with Andrew Halsey

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy via her website: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/

The next author is Stevie Turner with a recent review of A House Without Windows.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/41cr21evdsl-_uy250_.jpg?w=276&h=409

About the book

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lays awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book has an unusual storyline with each chapter taking us into the minds and real life thoughts of each character, I could liken this story to the book/movie – Room, but the story isn’t only about ‘the room’ Beth is held captive in, but life after she is freed and the perspectives of every day life after being a victim.

A House Without Windows is the story of Beth Nichols whose compassion as a doctor leads to a scary nightmare in real life when Edwin Evans forms a ploy to kidnap her and keep her locked up all for himself. The story begins as a psychological thriller where Beth’s captivity in a tiny room with no windows becomes her life and the only home she will know for almost ten years,

Turner does a great job of giving us readers a ringside seat into what life is like for Beth, leaving us feeling uncomfortable, anxious, taking us in, almost as though we were that hostage, and wondering how on earth she will ever get out of her hell. Beth is a strong-willed and an intelligent woman, which has much to do with how she manages to stay sane while enduring solitude and the daily abuse, all the while remembering her love for her dear fiancee Liam.

I don’t want to reveal spoilers so it’s better I don’t talk about what happens in the second half of the book. Suffice it to say, I will plant some questions here that came to my mind as I read this captivating book:

Beth: How does one continue on back in the real world when it comes to love and sex and trust?

Beth: How does a mother keep love in her heart for a child who was born from rape?

Amy: How does a child born in captivity adapt to the real world after young childhood years in 4 walls?

Liam: Does true love ever die no matter the circumstance even after moving on and accepting the love of your life is dead?

Joss: Does being born of the spawn of a psychotic maniac carry through the genes?

These are just a few questions that came to mind and will no doubt come to any reader’s mind as they read this book, and as you continue to read those answers will be revealed. Turner has done a fantastic job of fleshing out characters, settings and mood. I would highly #recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

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

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

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

The final author today is Tony Riches with his latest book in the Tudor series published on February 1st. Mary: Tudor Princess.

About the book

From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.

Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?

Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Tudor-Princess-Tony-Riches-ebook/dp/B079K1DLRL

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Tudor-Princess-Tony-Riches-ebook/dp/B079K1DLRL

A selection of other books by Tony Riches

Here is one of the reviews for Warwick: The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses

I have read so much about the Great Kingmaker in other historical characters stories, but never just about him. I found this book interesting and easy to read. It retell his life from his birth to his tragic death. He came from what seemed to be a happy family, beloved parents and siblings. It all seemed to come apart when the jealousy of the council of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou became greedy and wanted all the power and refused to share any of it with the powerful York family. The friendships and love between the family were pulled apart. Then Edward IV made his own decisions about marriage and ruling the country to Warwick’s detriment.

Elizabeth Woodville married her huge family into all the aristocracy and never forgave Warwick for her father’s and brother’s death and was bent on revenge. Edward seemed quite happy to hand over all responsibilities to Elizabeth which annoyed and upset his family including Warwick. He seemed to just enjoy ‘wine, women and song’, once he was crowned King. He could have been a good king who reunited all the factions of his extended family, instead he opted out and died at a young age. Warwick obviously felt that he should have had some say in the running of the country whereas Elizabeth thought otherwise. A sad story that persisted into the next generation as well. Well done Mr. Riches for another good read.;

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOX

Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches

Connect to Tony Riches via his website: http://www.tonyriches.com

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the word about these authors and their books.. Thank you Sally

 

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.

 

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.