Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Paranormal Marcia Meara, #Fantasy A. J. Alexander, #MurderMystery Jessica Norrie


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

The first review is for Marcia Meara and her recent release The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

About the book

The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.

Azrael’s emissary program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills needed to do their jobs.

With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.

Sometimes even angels hate to be right.

Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red-and-white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?

To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Conclusion to a Wonderful Series!  Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2020

In The Emissary 3: Love Hurts, author Marcia Meara returns to the world of Jake, Dodger, and Azrael—two emissaries and an angel whose job is to keep humans from making poor life choices. Azrael is in charge (or “Boss” as Jake calls him, to the non-amusement of Azrael) with Jake and Dodger working as his emissaries. Jake and Dodger have physical bodies, but they have previously passed from this life—which becomes a problem when Dodger falls for Juliet, a girl he sees at the library.

Azrael is willing to give Dodger a chance to explore his feelings and develop a relationship with Juliet, but the complications far surpass those of a normal couple, especially given Dodger is unable to share with Juliet who he really is or what he does.

As in past Emissary novellas, the story abounds with warmth and humor. I never tire of Azrael suddenly appearing and giving Jake a jolt. There is plenty of banter between angel and emissaries, but also plenty of near-parental type guidance and sternness from Azrael. That big angel has a huge soft spot for his recruits!

The story is polished with spot-on dialogue and emotions that tug on heart strings but ultimately leave the reader with a feel-good finish. This is a beautiful story, and a beautiful wrap to an enchanting series!

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

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

The next author with a recent review is A.J.Alexander with Sundance: 2nd book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series

About the book

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jasmin 5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and fascinating sequel  Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020

Following ‘Soul Taker’, ‘Sundance’ is the second book in the Council of Twelve Series.
The book is less a simple sequel than a parallel story to the first part, which first surprised me, but then I was enthusiastic about that fact. I found it fascinating to read the story from a different point of view and to find the skillfully orchestrated connections to the first book.

One of the things I love about this book is to see Sundance grow up into a strong woman. Also interesting is her education. Even though the book shows many known characters and places, the book still allows the reader to re-explore the world, AJ Alexander created masterfully.

I look forward to read book number three in the series.

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

Also by A. J. Alexander

A.J. Alexander, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Aurora Jean Alexander – Twitter: @AuroraJean_A

The final author today is Jessica Norrie with a review for her first novel The Infinity Pool

Jessica Norrie

About the Book.

In this thoughtful novel set on a sun-baked island, Adrian Hartman, the charismatic director of the Serendipity holiday community, is responsible for ensuring the perfect mindful break, with personal growth and inner peace guaranteed. People return year after year to bare their souls. For some, Adrian IS Serendipity. But Adrian disappears, and with him goes the serenity of his staff and guests, who are bewildered without their leader. The hostility of the local villagers is beginning to boil over. Is their anger justified or are the visitors, each in a different way, just paranoid?

As romance turns sour and conflict threatens the stability of both communities, everyone has to find their own way to survive. This evocative story explores the decisions of adults who still need to come of age, the effect of well-intentioned tourism on a traditional community, and the real meaning of getting away from it all.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written  Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2020

I listened to the audio book of The Infinity Pool narrated by Jack Wynters. I enjoyed the readers voice interpretation of this novel and thought his tones suited the subject matter of the book very well.

The Infinity Pool is beautifully written and compelling and I found this book to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is about a vacation camp on a remote island where mainly British people go to recuperate from their stressful jobs and to take various courses aimed at developing them as people.

The camp leader is a charismatic man named Adrian, who is a bit of a womanizer but who is very good at helping other people rediscover the good in their lives and re-energize. As a result, Adrian is popular with the guests, many of whom come specifically to take his courses.

The book starts with Adrian feeling slightly disgruntled with his life and role at the camp and looking for a way to reignite his enthusiasm and vigor. He meets a young local girl and sets out to woo her as he finds her company gives him a new lease on youth.

His relationship with the girl ends and his very modern and cavalier attitude offends the locals who live in a nearby village. It is the last straw in an already strained relationship and a group of young men from the village set out to cause disruption at the camp and among the guests. At times, their actions are outright hostile and even criminal.

This is not a run of the mill mystery, it has a heavy focus on characterization and the development of selected characters in the book as they go through a period/s at the camp and undergo a healing process which allows them to move on from their pasts and change as people.

I enjoyed this story and was happy with the ending except for one small thread which wasn’t tied up for me. Other readers may not think that and it isn’t significant, just a small niggle for me.

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

Also by Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Website:Jessica Norrie on WordPressGoodreads: Jessica Norrie – Twitter: @Jessica_Norrie

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #YARomance Angie Dokos, #Mystery Diana J. Febry


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

The first review is for Demon Tracker: 3rd book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series by A.J. Alexander 

About the book

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.

She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?

One of the early reviews for the book

Allan Krummenacker 5.0 out of 5 stars This Universe Continues to Grow With Each Book… Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020

In this third installment of the Council of Twelve series, the author throws us a curveball of sorts as she introduces not only a new character, but a whole new angle on the mythology of this series. It’s interesting to watch how the author is taking the over-arcing story of the series a step further with each new character introduced.

This time we get to meet a demon tracker, one of the best ever. However, her appearance could easily be mistaken for someone demonic herself, which is of course not the case. Besides those great horns on her head, what else is making her a target of the master of Hell. What is his connection to her and why is he so interested in asking questions about her parentage?

All our old friends are here such as the Council of Twelve, along with Sundance and Kate from the previous installments of the series. As well as some familiar foes and new dangers.

A jolly good read, which I highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Also by A.J. Alexander

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK 

Connect to A.J. Alexander via her website: Aurora Jean Alexander

The next author is Angie Dokos with a recent review for Roadside

About the book

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Hopeful, Tender  Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2020

Roadside is a contemporary fiction / young adult / romance novel by author Angie Dokos. I’ve previously read another of her books, and when I saw she was doing some marketing for an upcoming tour of this one, I decided to move up the book in my reading queue.

Zayne, a ~20ish college student, finds the almost dead body of a young girl on the roadside with his dad. They take her to the hospital, and Zayne keeps returning to check on her. He feels a weird connection. When she wakes up, he learns her name is Serena. She was attacked and had been unconscious for days. She remembers a lot of details, and Zayne’s father does the investigating with the police to find her assailant. Clues remain in the forest by the roadside, but ultimately, this is a story about the aftermath, how to trust someone you’ve just met, and recovery.

Dokos creates memorable characters. This is a very simple, sweet, and touching story. There is complexity in the plot and relationships, but the writing is casual, easy to read, connective, and makes you feel warm and cozy, even in the scary parts. There’s a balance of light and darkness, given the subject matter, and in the end, you 100% root for Zayne and Serena to fall in love. But there’s a supporting cast you also find yourself keen to get to know. Best friends, siblings, parents, school administrators and staff… everyone plays a pivotal role. Just who did attack Serena and why?

We learn the truth midway through the book, and the remainder is about dealing with the recovery and results of trusting someone you shouldn’t. How can you assign blame and fix the problem when the problem occurred so long ago, you feel bad for the assailant too? Okay, just a little, as (s)he did try to rape and kill Serena. No matter the circumstances, the person needs to be punished.

I enjoy Dokos’ writing style, and she makes you flip the pages quickly to keep investing in the story. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos: Goodreads

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: Angie Dokos WordPress

The final author today is Diana J. Febry with a recent review for Trouble at Clenchers Mill

About the book

Somebody wants Richard Fielding dead.

Richard was looking forward to making a fresh start with his new wife, Alicia when they moved into Clenchers Mill. Then the attacks started.

Detained in the hospital after an unusual accident, he dismisses the claim his new wife is trying to harm him. He’s convinced the property attacks are the childish pranks of locals annoyed by his plans for Clenchers Mill. As a successful property developer, he’s seen it all before. Mindful of Alicia’s reluctance to involve the police he instructs Kate and Simon to make discreet inquiries.

Kate and Simon are keen to find the culprit, but are inexperienced and blissfully unaware they are dealing with a determined killer toying with their prey before they strike. Their first case may prove to be their last.

One of the recent reviews for Trouble at Clenchers Mill

Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020

When Richard Fielding is almost killed in a riding accident, his new wife is quick to blame the person who gave him the horse–his ex-wife, Cynthia. Convinced that the horse was drugged, Cynthia hires Kate Chapman to investigate. Kate asks her good friend and landlord, Simon Morris to assist her. When Kate confirms the horse was drugged, they must figure out who wants Richard dead and why. Their investigation reveals a slew of potential suspects from local pro-hunting advocates to those with more sinister intentions. But who is the culprit and will they succeed next time?

This is a very fun and enjoyable mystery. Kate is a blue collar girl while Simon is from a more privileged background and it provides some good conflict. The have’s and have not’s are clearly one of the themes. Though Simon makes his interest in Kate clear by the middle of the book, there wasn’t enough foreshadowing for me. The twists and turns are good and the reveal makes sense. Good job overall. I’m looking forward to picking up the next book in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Diana J. Febry

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on: Goodreads

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: Diana J. Febry

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Fantasy Demon Tracker: 3rd book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series by A.J. Alexander #Pre-order


Delighted to share the news of of the release of  Demon Tracker: 3rd book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series by A.J. Alexander which is on pre-order at $2.48/£1.98 until April 30th.

N.B – If you are a blogger and could help out Aurora Jean with her book blog tour between May 2nd – May 17th then please contact her directly: Blog Tour Support

About the book

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.

She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?

Head over to buy the book at the pre-order price of $2.48: Amazon US

And at £1.98: Amazon UK

Also by A.J. Alexander

One of the recent reviews for Sundance Book Two of the series

JannyC 5.0 out of 5 stars Renews your love of fantasy  Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2020

Sundance (The Council of Twelve Series Book 2) has renewed my love of fantasy/paranormal romance. I can honestly say no book has ever done that. In book 2 we encounter 7-year-old Cara. Her parents tell her she is literally a gift from God…on a loan so to speak. You see her parents prayed for a child and God granted their wish, but she has to be returned after 7 years. When Cara suddenly falls ill with a mysterious illness, she awakens to find herself in heaven? Well sort of. She actually is told she is in sort of an angel army school to make sure if she is the right fit for the angelic army of God. Cara passes with flying colors and gains the new name of Sundance as she officially becomes a warrior angel in training. She excels at her position showcasing skills that have not been seen in an angel in a long time. This captures the attention of the Council of Twelve. Under their supervision, Sundance is exposed to her maximum potential with extraordinary powers. When evil strikes will Sundance be powerful enough to win against them? Or has her growing closeness and love with a human warrior she has fought beside hinder her? Got to read to find out!

A. J. Alexander has created a wonderful world here. Her writing is soft and poetic fantasy personified. Sundance herself is written with wit, innocence and kickass skills. Alexander’s craft of writing action scenes is skilled. Alexander will have your attention on every page turn!
While this is book two in the series you really don’t have to of had to read book 1. Though it is recommended for there are cameo appearances from two of the leading characters from book 1. A delighted joy for me from having read book 1. You will be dying to know how this all connects and pans out in the series. Alexander has you hooked.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK 

About Aurora Jean Alexander

I’m a fantasy author working on a paranormal romance series. The first book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018.

I have written short stories and poetry in the past. Some of my poems can be read on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

Connect to Aurora Jean

Website: Aurora Jean Alexander
Facebook Author Page: Author A.J. Alexander
Twitter: @AuroraJean_A
LinkedInAurora Jean Alexander

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Aurora Jean’s new book.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #Family Judith Barrow, #Romance Ritu Bhathal


Welcome to the first of the Cafe update for the week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves..

The first author with a recent review is A.J.Alexander with Sundance: 2nd book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series

About the book

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.

One of the reviews for the book

JannyC 5.0 out of 5 stars Renews your love of fantasy  Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2020

Sundance (The Council of Twelve Series Book 2) has renewed my love of fantasy/paranormal romance. I can honestly say no book has ever done that. In book 2 we encounter 7-year-old Cara. Her parents tell her she is literally a gift from God…on a loan so to speak. You see her parents prayed for a child and God granted their wish, but she has to be returned after 7 years. When Cara suddenly falls ill with a mysterious illness, she awakens to find herself in heaven? Well sort of. She actually is told she is in sort of an angel army school to make sure if she is the right fit for the angelic army of God. Cara passes with flying colors and gains the new name of Sundance as she officially becomes a warrior angel in training. She excels at her position showcasing skills that have not been seen in an angel in a long time. This captures the attention of the Council of Twelve. Under their supervision, Sundance is exposed to her maximum potential with extraordinary powers. When evil strikes will Sundance be powerful enough to win against them? Or has her growing closeness and love with a human warrior she has fought beside hinder her? Got to read to find out!

A. J. Alexander has created a wonderful world here. Her writing is soft and poetic fantasy personified. Sundance herself is written with wit, innocence and kickass skills. Alexander’s craft of writing action scenes is skilled. Alexander will have your attention on every page turn!
While this is book two in the series you really don’t have to of had to read book 1. Though it is recommended for there are cameo appearances from two of the leading characters from book 1. A delighted joy for me from having read book 1. You will be dying to know how this all connects and pans out in the series. Alexander has you hooked.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by A. J. Alexander

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK 

Connect to A.J. Alexander via her website: Aurora Jean Alexander

The next author is Judith Barrow with a review for her recently released compelling family drama The Memory.

About the book

Mother and daughter tied together by shame and secrecy, love and hate.

I wait by the bed. I move into her line of vision and it’s as though we’re watching one another, my mother and me; two women – trapped.

Today has been a long time coming. Irene sits at her mother’s side waiting for the right moment, for the point at which she will know she is doing the right thing by Rose.

Rose was Irene’s little sister, an unwanted embarrassment to their mother Lilian but a treasure to Irene. Rose died thirty years ago, when she was eight, and nobody has talked about the circumstances of her death since. But Irene knows what she saw. Over the course of 24 hours their moving and tragic story is revealed – a story of love and duty, betrayal and loss – as Irene rediscovers the past and finds hope for the future.

“…A book that is both powerful and moving, exquisitely penetrating. I am drawn in, empathising so intensely with Irene that I feel every twinge of her frustration, resentment, utter weariness and abiding love.Thorne Moore

Judith Barrow’s greatest strength is her understanding of her characters and the times in which they live; The Memory is a poignant tale of love and hate in which you will feel every emotion experienced by Irene.” Terry Tyler

The new novel from the bestselling author of the Howarth family saga

One of the recent reviews

MacTrish 5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping. Moving. Powerful. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 March 2020

I read Judith Barrow’s Howarth saga and loved it. When I heard that she’d written something else, something different, I was afraid I might be disappointed. I needn’t have worried. The Memory is a powerful book that holds you in its grip until the final, perfect page.
It has two timelines. The current one exposes the physical and emotional exhaustion that often accompanies the care of a family member. Irene and her mother are locked in a claustrophobic battle that is vivid, real and frighteningly credible. The other timeline follows Irene’s life from just before the birth of her sister Rose who has Down’s Syndrome. The portrayal of Rose is beautiful and moving. Irene’s selfless care for her sister underpins so much of the novel.

There are hardships, hatred and poverty running parallel with selfless love and sacrifice. I loved Sam for his strength and support of Irene and there were times when I loathed her mother. These aren’t two-dimensional characters, though, and the author brings them to life with an understanding of what drives the decisions that they make.

The writing is what I’ve come to expect from Judith Barrow. The effortless prose brings a fresh quality to the mundane and familiar.

There’s also a building menace to the book and a sense of foreboding that drives you on right to the surprising end. This is a remarkable book and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon UK

And:  Amazon US

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Judith: Goodreads

Connect to Judith via her blog: Judith Barrow

And the final author today is Ritu Bhathal for her recently released romance Marriage Unarranged.

About the book

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

One of the recent reviews

Deb 5.0 out of 5 stars Love, friendship and honour  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 March 2020

This is the first book I’ve read by Ritu Bhathal and I have to say I really loved it! I learned some amazing facts about a different culture I knew nothing about.

The story begins with Aashi and Ravi looking forward to wedding plans. Not everything goes to plan and Aashi joins her brothers and best friend Kiran on a trip to India. Sunny (brother) has business to discuss in India. While they’re away Ravi has a lot to think about and Aashi’s good name is dirtied.

I love Aashi’s best friend Kiran and her love of chocolate and feistiness. I loved meeting Milan with all his love and grandeur. Arjun is also a delight, great sense of humour and kind.
I never knew how much food was loved in their culture and my days it sounded delicious. Their travels are so colourful and I felt almost there, also the different beliefs and customs, such as the ‘Evil eye.’

Un- arranged Marriage is a beautiful story about family, love and friendship. Beliefs and honour.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

andAmazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ritu: Goodreads

Connect to Ritu via her blog: But I smile anyway

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