Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #MentalHealth Anne Goodwin, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


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

The first author today with a review is C.S. Boyack for his fantasy The Yak Guy

About the book

Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

One of the recent reviews for the book

JanS 4.0 out of 5 stars What a journey!  Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2021

I have read several books by this author and each one is unique and entertaining. The Yak Guy Project had me hooked from page one. When Ted wakes up in a desert, in an alternate reality, he’s sure he’s done for. That is until a talking Yak rescues him. The journey this man embarks on is full of insane situations. It is obvious that Ted has been shot and most likely died in his other world.

And, the ultimate goal is for Ted to grow from a disgusting selfish parasitic person into a caring and more spiritual man. The Major Arcana from the Tarot cards comes into play with various situations and characters Ted encounters.

One of my favorite characters (besides the talking Yak) was Snark. I also love how throughout the story there is an admonition to always watch out for the lions. Somehow this translates into an ironic paradox that I could relate to. Sort of like watching out for the sharks (the human ones).

The author’s description of the land, the people, the animals, and most of all the interactions between them take the reader right into the story with them.
The need to survive is strong and Ted will do anything for a chance to live. I enjoyed this dystopian story with all its nuances. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to be entertained!  

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The next review is for Matilda Windsor is Coming Home a contemporary novel by Anne Goodwin.

About the book

“In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect.

A brother and sister separated for fifty years and the idealistic young social worker who tries to reunite them. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?

Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget. Published by Inspired Quill.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

MacTrish 5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 October 2021

Matty is an elderly woman who has spent the last fifty years in an asylum through no fault of her own. Her diagnosis was moral turpitude and once there, she was drugged like the other residents as a form of control to make the lives of the staff easier. This institutionalisation has left her living in a world that reconciles her reality with what she knows from the past. Janice, a young social worker, meets Matty in 1989 when she’s employed to be part of the team that prepares these damaged people for a new life in the community. The third main character is Henry, Matty’s brother, who has spent his life trying to find the girl who cared for him like a mother but who was taken from him when he was still a young boy.

This is a beautiful story filled with compassion, brutality, and lovely touches of humour. It’s one of my favourite reads this year.  

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

Also by Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin, Buy:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Anne : Goodreads – blog: Annecdotal – Twitter:@Annecdotist

The next review is for the latest book by Paulette Mahurin set in WW2 – Over the Hedge.

About the book

During one of the darkest times in history, at the height of the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1943, members of the Dutch resistance began a mission to rescue Jewish children from the deportation center in Amsterdam.

Heading the mission were Walter Süskind, a German Jew living in the Netherlands, Henriëtte Pimentel, a Sephardic Jew, and Johan van Hulst, principal of a Christian college. As Nazis rounded up Jewish families at gunpoint, the three discreetly moved children from the deportation center to the daycare across the street and over the backyard hedge to the college next door. From the college, the children were transported to live with Dutch families. Working against irate orders from Hitler to rid the Netherlands of all Jews and increasing Nazi hostilities on the Resistance, the trio worked tirelessly to overcome barriers.

Ingenious plans were implemented to remove children’s names from the registry of captured Jews. To sneak them out of the college undetected past guards patrolling the deportation center. To meld them in with their new families to avoid detection. Based on actual events, Over the Hedge is the story of how against escalating Nazi brutality when millions of Jews were disposed of in camps, Walter Süskind, Henriëtte Pimentel, and Johan van Hulst worked heroically with the Dutch resistance to save Jewish children. But it is not just a story of their courageous endeavors. It is a story of the resilience of the human spirit. Of friendship and selfless love. The love that continues on in the hearts of over six hundred Dutch Jewish children.

One of the recent reviews for the book

DGKaye 5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Heartbreak  Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2021

This is a story that will keep you gripped throughout the plight of three people who joined the Dutch Resistance and in 1943 began a rescue mission in Amsterdam to save however many Jewish children as they could from being sent to their deaths.

Walter, Henrietta and Johan’s mission at the deportation center was to move the young children who were deported from their homes to the daycare center next door, a ploy to keep the children calm while the adults were being accounted for, beaten and awaiting the trucks to take them to the trains that would ultimately land them at Auschwitz. What the SS and fellow nazis didn’t know was that the children were methodically moved from the daycare and passed ‘over the hedge’ to a college campus next door. From there, Henrietta would take care of the children and prepare them for transport by other resistance members to be taken to new homes by good Dutch people who adopted them. Humanity at its best during a dark time of history.

Walter worked in the deportation room where the rounded up Jews were first sent to ‘register’ for their ‘next journey’. Walter worked hard and secretly to remove the children’s names off the rosters, always fearing being found out. He would try and save as many children as he could by first approaching the parent(s) and offering them to save their children. Devastated parents with fear, starvation and broken hearts were elated to give Walter their children for a chance for them to live and survive, as they knew what was waiting for them ahead.

The three worked diligently, secretly and methodically to do their part in saving Jewish lives. Intrinsically timed plans were carried out to bypass guards to smuggle the children over to the daycare, and once cleaned and fed, transported by inconspicuous vans and bicycles by other helpers, often placing the children in a suitcase or the like, with a small dose of drug to make them sleep so they wouldn’t get scared and cry. The fact that these three earth angels worked tirelessly right under the noses of the German SS patrol killers and got away with saving the lives of those meant to be killed, is astounding in itself.

Sadly, this story was written on true events. Walter and his friends managed to save the lives of over 600 Dutch Jewish children at a time when helping Jews was a crime punishable by death by the nazis. And if you are wondering what happened to these three heroes after their selfless, heroic efforts, you’re going to have to read the book.

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

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Historical #Witchcraft Nancy Kilgore


The first review today is for The Hat by C.S. Boyack that I can also recommend.

About the book

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

A recent review for The Hat

Chris Graham 5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 October 2021

What a fun and easy read this was. The interaction between an ancient hat and a modern young woman is spot on, especially when trying to teach the hat the do’s and don’ts of modern thinking.

Read the reviews and buy The Hat: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The next author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Elizabeth Gauffreau 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended for the Poet in Everyone!  Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2021

I have Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge “Tanka Tuesday” to thank for inspiring me to try writing syllabic poetry for the first time. That initial inspiration resulted in a tanka, which was followed by another, then another, finally becoming my first poetry collection.

Chesebro’s poetry craft book works in a similar fashion. Word Craft first acknowledges and encourages the creative potential in each of us, which I would consider the book’s main premise. We all have the inspiration for poetry inside us; we just need to help that inspiration find its most appropriate form of expression.

Given this premise, it makes sense to begin with syllabic poetry–and so be able to choose a structured form well-suited to what we want to express. For example, have we been struck by the way the winter sky looks when a cold front is approaching? Haiku can capture and hold this observation. Are we bemused by a particular human foible? This observation would be better suited to senryu. And so on, through a wide range of nonrhyming syllabic forms.

The book is well-structured and organized. Each section defines a form of Japanese syllabic poetry and its American counterpart(s), including a brief history of how they evolved. (Credible sources have been consulted and cited for this information.) Next is an explanation of how to write the form, including general subject matter, syllable count, and number of lines. Finally, there are numerous examples of each form written by a range of poets, including Chesebro.

What I most appreciated about Word Craft is that it shines light on syllabic poetry from a number of different angles–any one of which could serve as the reader’s inspiration for a new poem!  

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

The final review today is for Nancy Kilgore for her most recent release, Bitter Magic: Inspired by the stgory of a confessed witch.

About the book

Bitter Magic, inspired by the true story of Isobel Gowdie and her witchcraft confession, reveals a little-known corner of history—the lives of both pagan and Protestant women in the Scottish Reformation of the 1600s as witch trials and executions threatened their lives, values, and beliefs.

The story is told by Isobel herself and also by Margaret Hay, a fictionalized seventeen-year-old noble woman. When Margaret stumbles across Isobel one day, it seems as though Isobel is commanding the dolphins in the ocean to dance. Margaret is enchanted. She becomes interested in Isobel’s magic, in fairies, and in herbal remedies; Isobel freely shares her knowledge. While Margaret worries that being around Isobel could be dangerous, she also respects Isobel’s medical successes and comes to believe that acknowledging the efficacy of herbal remedies or believing in fairies does not challenge her Christianity.

But Isobel believes in more than cheery fairies and herbal medicine. She has dark wishes as well, unknown to most people. Isobel seeks vengeance against the local lord who executed her mother for witchcraft. More important, Isobel’s trance experiences (or are they dreams?) lead her to confess to a wide range of sins, including consorting with the devil. Then, during her trial, Isobel names thirteen others, calling them all witches. To her great shock, Margaret hears her own name. Can her tutor, a Christian mystic named Katharine, save them?

One of the recent reviews for the book

GHC Knox 5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Magic Is Like a Good Movie  Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

Nancy Hayes Kilgore is one cunning storyteller. With her third novel Bitter Magic she serves up a fine cinematic feast set in the mid-17th century Scottish countryside. It brings to life an array of characters from all levels of society, and animates their beliefs and superstitions in miracles and witches, God and Satan, truth and dreams. The novel is set at the intersection of religion and psychology, and Hayes Kilgore – a Presbyterian pastoral minister and practicing psychologist living in Vermont – is eminently qualified to write about both. She is a wordsmith whose command of botany and geography give the reader a real sense of being present as the novel’s action unfolds.

One can taste the surf along this rugged coast, feel the snap of a whip, smell the sweat of laboring beasts, or take sides in the warfare among clans and with the occupying English troops. Holding the tale together is the history of Isobel Gowdie, brought to trial as a witch at a time when witches were burned at the stake. We are asked to discern between good magic and bad, religion and idolatry, and the frequent ignorance and hypocrisy of those given power over others. Dr. Hayes Kilgore pits spirituality against religion, and explores how both shape and are shaped by their political world. She is a feminist, and this is a story of the oppression of women and the strengths they develop to free themselves.

Bitter Magic is no philosophical screed; excitement and suspense are created by the author’s technique of letting us see each step of progress in the story through eyes of its characters. She is a masterful presenter of the facets of human character as they are revealed in the book’s protagonists, Isobel the witch and Lady Margaret Hay of Inshoch Castle. Margaret is herself at the crux of youth and adulthood, confronting the issues that growth inevitably produces.

You will love this book if you are a student of history or humanity. It gives a snapshot of ourselves as we come to terms with the emotional and physical world we inhabited in renaissance Scotland – or the world we inhabit now  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads

Also by Nancy Kilgore

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Nancy: GoodreadsWebsite/blog: Nancy Kilgore – Twitter: @NancyKilgoreBks – LinkedIn: Nancy Hayes Kilgore

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Crime Carol Balawyder, #History Mike Biles, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack


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

The first author with a recent review is Carol Balawyder – a coming of age crime thriller...Just Before Sunrise

About the book

A coming-of-age story with a domestic noir twist.

Nadine, tired of running her call-girl agency has upgraded to gold digger as she finds the perfect rich widower to marry. Discovering that her wealthy widower is an abuser she seduces his stepson, Charlie, to plot her husband’s murder.

But things don’t go as planned and soon she is turning to her experience hiring young call-girls to find the perfect girl to save her from going to prison…

Homeless Maya is drifting on the streets, grieving the recent loss of her mother.
When she is offered the opportunity to prepare a lake-side house to be used as a half-way home for delinquent girls, she doesn’t think twice.

She soon falls for Charlie, the attractive boy next door, who has a seriously dark side. She is drawn into his murderous schemes, doing anything he asks her to, risking her own safety for the promise of a future with him. When she finds herself party to murder, and she realises he is more concerned with his older female accomplice than with her, she must learn to trust her instincts and use all of her courage to get out of their trap alive.

As a subplot there is the rocky romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man who become involved in investigating the murder for which young Maya is accused of committing.

Just Before Sunrise is a story about loss and survival. About loneliness, betrayals and deadly desires.

A recent review for the book

Jill Weatherholt 5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of love story.  Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2021

Having read and enjoyed several of author Carol Balawyder’s previous books, I was excited when she announced the release of Just Before Sunrise on her blog. The author’s background in criminal psychology as well as working in drug rehab centers is evident. From the start, the story pulled me in with the well-developed characters and the beautiful setting of Quebec. Having a background in psychology myself, I highly recommend this not so ordinary love story.  

Also by Carol Balawyder

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder – Facebook: Carol Balawyder

The next author is Mike Biles for his first history compendium A Bit About Britain’s History: From a long time ago until quite recently, which I can highly recommend.

About the book

Could this short, elegant, volume be the only book on British history you’ll ever need?

A Bit About Britain’s History is for anyone who wants a light introduction to Britain’s amazing story. If you don’t know the basics, or would like a reminder, this book is for you. It is also perfect for those that didn’t enjoy history at school, but who have suddenly realised they’d like to understand it a bit better now. Organised clearly and chronologically, A Bit About Britain’s History covers every period from a long time ago until quite recently. It begins by briefly mentioning that the place was once inhabited by extremely large lizards, and ends up with a post-war 20th century consumer society. Short articles explain the essential aspects of Britain’s past, including how the ancestors of its current inhabitants arrived, how they fought each other, formed nations, fell out over religion, acquired a large empire, became gradually more democratic, helped win a couple of world wars and were left wondering what to do next. At the end of the book are detailed timelines for each period, which provide useful reference and make fascinating reading in their own right.

So – what did the Romans achieve? How did Christianity arrive? Who are the English and why did they fight the French so often? What is Henry VIII’s greatest legacy? When did democracy start and people get the vote? Why on earth did Britain get involved in WW1?

A Bit About Britain’s History might be the only book on British history you’ll ever need; or it might be your stepping stone to more in-depth academic reading.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jonty 5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr Biles  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2021

I cannot remember how I came across this book, but I am SO glad that I did. History was one of my worst subjects at school, which I think was mainly due to the teacher’s bland presentation. Mike Biles’ way of describing the multitude of happenings that formed our country kept me enthralled and I happily devoured the whole book in an amazingly (for me) short time. Thank you Mr Biles, for this rather late addition to my education (I am only 71).

Also by Mike Biles

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Mike on : Goodreads – Website: A Bit About Britain – Twitter@bitaboutbritain

The final author with a review is C.S. Boyack for Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4)

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

A recent review for the book

Karen Ingalls 5.0 out of 5 stars Creative and imaginative  Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2021

Lizzie and her magical and trustworthy hat are on a mission to find the serial killer. The murders happen during the full moon which leads them to believe the killer is a werewolf or someone who is impersonating one. The hat changes as occasions arise to help capture the monster. The communications between Lizzie and her hat are sometimes whimsical, serious, or argumentative. The dialogue is as if they were two humans having a conversation.

This is the second of The Hat series I have read. Mr. Boyack is creative and talented in weaving the imaginary into a most interesting read.  

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack, Buy: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Fantasy K.M. Allan, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro


Welcome to the weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is K.M. Allan with a recent review for Blackbirch: The Dark Half

About the book

Now that the origins of his power have been revealed, Josh Taylor’s search for answers continues with the arrival of Kallie-a girl he thought only existed in his dreams.

Running from her own secrets, she shows Josh how to use his gift in ways he didn’t know were possible. But, as they push the limits of their abilities, they discover there are consequences to messing with magick.

Security guard Kered knows the repercussions. Finding a power-filled crystal, he starts a chain reaction that brings a dangerous foe from Kallie’s past to Blackbirch and forces a devastating choice. Is Josh and Kallie’s bond strong enough to save them? And wi

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 08, 2021 Katya Dibb rated it Four Stars really liked it

After the cliff-hanger of book one, how could you not be hanging out for book two?

Excited to see all the gang again as their adventure deepens and more mystery abounds. A lot of my questions from book one were answered but new ones woven in through an exciting witchy adventure mean I’m now dying for book three – why do you keep doing this do us, K.M?!

Definitely worth picking up if you enjoyed book one and want to know more about the magic that binds Josh and Kallie together 

Also by K.M. Allan

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow K.M. Allan: Goodreads – Instagram: K.M. Allan Writer – Facebook: K.M. Allan Writer – Twitter: @KMAllan_writer

The next author with a review is  C.S. Boyack for Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4)

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

An recent review for the book

writester 4.0 out of 5 stars Things Just Got Real!  Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2021

In the latest installment of this must-read series, Boyack upped the stakes. The creature on the loose is a werewolf, which means Lizzie is hunting a mindless killing machine—who is human the rest of the month. That weighs on her conscience. Especially when she fears the monster might be a dear friend.

Boyack also adds a new character to the mix, a detective who talks to the spirit of his dead wife. This is a supernatural franchise, so I can see this becoming a storytelling device, and I’d love to see it develop further as the tales continue.

We get all the elements we’ve come to expect from hat stories: a great musical playlist, witty banter between the hat and Lizzie, Internet jokes, the return of some favorite recurring characters, and even the radio show continues to speculate about their alter ego. These callbacks make each installment of the hat series extra special and more fun to read.

But Lizzie is getting further steeped in the supernatural world, that that comes with dangers and horrors, which means the story gets a little darker. And while I don’t mind dark, readers should know the light-hearted tone they’ve come to expect won’t always be there this time.

Lunar Boogie didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely told me there was more to come. This world is growing and changing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack, Buy: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The final author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Andrea L. Stoeckel 5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing resource  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2021

“Syllabic verse is all about the brevity of words. For this reason, we’re forced to choose words pregnant with meaning to get our experiences across to our reader.”

Poetry is a very personal form of art (Yes, word craft is art) that blossoms from emotional stuff both positive and negative. From the 17th century haiku master Basho to today’s ad jingle we are in contact with it more than we may notice. Syllabic poetry is both easy and hard as Chesbro challenges the reader to look beyond haiku to other forms such as tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and others.

This is a very well written, easily accessible book that if I had the resources would sit on my shelf in paper form. Colleen Chesbro is a writer I have followed and communicated with through Tanka Tuesdays and other forums. I’ve even been prompted to restart my own poetry journey [ note I am an award winning poet on my own merits published in 2 anthogies in the 1980s and 90s]. I love the fact that this book being a non fiction contemporary look at a very old form of art as communication also reminds the reader to keep trying. one of the best non fiction books I have read this year and highly recommended. 5/5 

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Romance Lizzie Chantree


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

Meet Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

A small selection of books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for The Seal’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but start with Book One  Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2021

Another awesome action/romance mash-up from Jacquie Biggar, and this one ranks toward the top of my favorites. After a disastrous mission and rescue, the seal team is taking a breather at the peaceful cattle ranch of Chief Seal Frank Stein. Maggie is among them, still suffering from the trauma of her time undercover with the Mexican cartel. While the attraction between Frank and Maggie heats up, all is not well at the ranch as cattle disappear and calves are slaughtered. Drug smugglers and a couple of escaped convicts are causing trouble, and the team can’t help but get involved.

What I loved about the book was the depth of the characters, the whole team. This isn’t a light romance with the usual tropes. No drama queens or kings in this read. These people have serious lives and histories. They’ve risked their lives for each other, and friendships and loyalties run deep. The relationships are grounded in multi-layered emotions, in the maturity that comes from age and from facing hardships together. Personalities are well developed, and there’s a strong sense of history. Maybe part of that is because…

This is Book 7 in the series, which probably wasn’t the best place to start. There are 6 books that provide a lot of backstory and relationship building before this one. The book did read well as a stand-alone, but that said, it makes sense to start at the beginning of the series, to get to know the characters and learn their stories chronologically. It took me a bit to catch on, but then I was hooked.

To be honest, I skimmed the few sex scenes, but I did fall for the romance and action and characters. The pace moves along quickly, and I enjoyed the skilled and well-edited writing. I may have to skip back to book one and start at the beginning. Highly recommended to readers who love a mash-up of romance and action. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

Meet C.S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

My recent review for Mrs Molony June 21st 2021

I have been looking forward to the third book in The Hat series and I was not disappointed. Non-stop action from first to last page and although a short read, it is packed with great writing.
Lizzie, The Hat and the band play some interesting new venues for their gigs, and whilst money is key, finding a missing woman is Lizzie’s priority. They meet some pretty unsavoury characters along the way, and have to keep their eyes peeled for those who have more than a good music and a dance in mind.
Thankfully the versatile Hat uses his enhanced powers to assist the investigation, that is when you can get him away from his online shopping. Thankfully the crime fighting duo are not deterred by the challenges thrown at them, and the author creates some wonderful escapades along the way for them to get their teeth into…
Whilst this is about vampires and things that go bang in the night, it is not macabre and there is a wonderful wry humour running through the narrative.
Escapist fantasy at its best.. Try on The Hat and give it a whirl…recommended. 

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

Meet Lizzie Chantree

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a trending networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex

A selection of books by Lizzie Chantree

One of the recent reviews for Shh it’s our secret

Zoé 5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this was a real place!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2021

Oh, Lizzie!! You have done it again! I had such a lump in my throat by the end of the book it was unreal. I knew to expect something like that when I read this book as it is the way but I had to grab a glass of water this time!! This is such a lovely story of love, loss ad growth. Violet, crippling shy and completely downtrodden thanks to her idiot ex-boyfriend Liam. He took everything from her, he broke her. Then Kai, a meeting by chance, changes everything she knows and holds on to dearly.

I love stories where things can happen to people. A bit like Sliding Doors, the what-ifs, and this is a HUGE what if. If Kai had not been in the café that day when Violet was singing who knows where she would be now.

The supporting cast are a delight! I loved Esme and Doris, Cole, Danny and Trina, plus Violet’s best friends. All played a part in her journey. All testing her and supporting her in different ways. The proper little family. There a whole host of characters who will stay with you and can I have them as my friends? 

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Lizzie: Goodreads – website:Lizzie Chantree – Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Family Stevie Turner, #Supernatural John W. Howell, #Action #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack


Welcome to the weekly news and some recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Stevie Turner with a recent review for A Marriage of Convenience

About the book

Gerrie Hermann, aspiring rock star from a rich South African family, has an unusual proposal for Sophie Woods when he meets her for the first time in their university canteen. Strait-laced Sophie has never done anything out of the ordinary in the whole of her 19 years. When she decides to take Gerrie up on his offer she has no idea that her decision is going to affect the rest of her life in ways that she could never have foreseen, even in her wildest dreams.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Shhhh  5.0 out of 5 stars Sophie said ‘yes’ and got much more than she bargained for Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 February 2021

Where do I start? This is a fast-paced short-ish (150 pages) read from Stevie Turner.
This story starts over twenty years ago when Sophie is at university worrying about how she will pay her parents back for her tuition fees. Then she meets Gerrie, he’s gorgeous, South African… and offers Sophie £30,000 to marry him.

Sophie agrees and things move very quickly in the right direction. Not expecting to fall in love, they do and soon Sophie is pregnant. This impulsive, life-changing behaviour turns out to be just right for the plot because Gerrie and Sophie make a decision that will change their lives forever.

Blackmail and deception return twenty years later, when Gerrie and Sophie’s younger children secure a gig at a heavy metal festival (great setting). What would you do if you bumped into someone who betrayed you twenty years previously? I can’t say what this is about because it would spoil the twist, but I can say that Sophie’s middle-aged years have not calmed her impulsive behaviour.

After thinking, debating and wondering what ALL the family will do – readers are rewarded with a ‘moving on’ type resolution.

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6

The next author today is John W. Howell with a review for his paranormal thriller Eternal Road

About the book

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

A recent review for the book

C. S. Boyack 5.0 out of 5 stars A road trip like no other  Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2021

I really enjoyed Eternal Road. This is the kind of mashup that makes independent fiction shine. There are religious aspects, romantic moments, some thriller, a bit of time travel, and more. Books like this help our literary minds expand beyond the borders of distinct genres. Aside from that, it’s a darned good story. Give it a chance and you’ll see what I mentioned.

Other books by John Howell

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand :Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

The next author is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar. With an early review for The SEAL’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7 –

About the book

DEA agent Maggie Holt has been through hell and back.

After eighteen months undercover in a Mexican cartel, Maggie is broken. The kickass agent she once was, is gone, leaving her riddled with guilt and nightmares. Forced to take paid leave, Maggie accepts the offer of a vacation on the ranch of the man who’d rescued her from an almost certain death.

Frank Stein knows the signs of PTSD, he’d suffered the symptoms himself as Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Five. Honorably retired from duty, Frank has found peace at the family ranch and hopes it will do the same for Magdalena. Ever since he’d first met her when she was interrogating his buddy, Jared, Frank has been fascinated by the raven-haired beauty and wants the chance to see where their relationship could go.

Adam O’Connor is Maggie’s partner. He knows her. He loved her once and could again, if she’d let him in. But he’s also angry she took the chances she did by going undercover against orders. And now, things are different. She’s different.

When a right-wing militia group infiltrates the area, will DEA Agent Maggie Holt, her partner, Adam O’Connor, and ex-SEAL Chief Frank Stein be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies? And who will Maggie choose, the handsome cowboy, or her charismatic DEA partner?

One of the early reviews for the book

Serenity…HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER 5.0 out of 5 stars ~~Decisions and lots of Action~~  Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2021

Maggie Holt is a DEA agent who needs rest after a traumatic event, Frank Stein was a member of SEAL Team Five and a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy, Retired. There are several other fellow SEALs that are with them. Add into the mix a most interesting character, Amanda Rhinehold, SAC, with her unique style of leadership and this is off to a surprising beginning.

Toss in a group called the Renegade Resolvers, a fundamentalist right wing group hell bent on complete evil and the plot thickens. The setting for this novel takes place mostly at the ranch that Chief Frank Stein owns…

Agent Maggie has had terrible experiences as the result of being held captive and needs to have rest and relaxation to heal herself. It appears that the ranch Frank Stein owns will enable her to get rid of some demons. Loved the stallion, Orenda, and also think Frank, the Chief, is indeed a horse whisperer.

Lots more in this one and the author has managed to describe the brotherhood perfectly that exists between members of a SEAL team…HOOYAH for that.. The topic of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is handled well and the reader feels Maggie’s pain in healing.

The addition of romance offers the reader some respite from the action throughout the novel… When that love buy strikes, it strikes fast…oh, my goodness.. Perfect ending for this outstanding novel…

Excellent character development (including strong female characters), plot well written and the setting on the ranch will make the reader long for a ride on a horse.

Most highly recommended. h a smile. A pleasure to read by an author who is a master at her craft!

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

The final book with a recent review is Voyage of the Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 1) by C.S. Boyack.

About the book

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

A recent review for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous adventure on the high seas  Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful adventure of pirates on the high seas, along the lines of the famous Treasure Island, but filled with marvelous creatures and unusual beings and people, in the manner of The Hobbit, and incorporating a splash of the science fiction innovation found in the Harry Potter series of books (which I loved). I enjoyed Voyage of the Laternfish more than either Treasure Island or The Hobbit because it also contained some humour and there is nothing like a bit of well written humour for great reading pleasure.

My favourite character was … the root monsters. They were the most fascinating creatures ever reduced to the written word by an amazing imagination. Of them all, Trubba (Trouble) was my favourite and I enjoyed reading about their antics and the theatrical performances they put on to entertain the crew.

When Dan and James are kidnapped, along with Dan’s sister and James’ fiance, Bonnie, this tale of adventure begins. The kidnapper incarcerates Bonnie in his castle to ensure that Dan and James fulfill their promises to help him invoke a war with a rival country. The kidnapper, however, vastly underestimates the determination and abilities of the pair and they escape, hell bent on starting the war on their own terms in order to rescue Bonnie.

Dan and James head towards a sea port, collecting other desperate and outcast people along the way. Their kindness towards others turns out to be a great benefit to them when Mal, an elderly cannibal from a large island in the South Seas who has been forced into slavery, and Fala, a young woman with no home and no protectors, become part of their team. At the seaport, the group meets the captain of a band of pirates looking for adventure and they decide to all work together to become the outstanding pirate crew of a small ship. Before long, the pirates have acquired themselves a much larger and more impressive ship and are gadding about the oceans having lots of adventures.

I thought the ideas and themes in this book were very clever and that it was well written and entertaining fantasy read.

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog: Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Romance Lizzie Chantree, #Truecrime Sue Coletta


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

The first book with a recent review is Voyage of the Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 1) by C.S. Boyack.

About the book

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

A recent review for the book

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars The root monsters will “grow” on you in this pirate adventure.  Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2021

James Cuttler’s sweetheart, Bonnie, is bricked into a tower by the Earl of Grandelur and won’t be released until James and Dan (Bonnie’s brother) incite a war between two rival nations. This demand kicks off the adventure as James and Dan travel through the fantasy world—first by wagon and later by sea as pirates. They assemble allies and a ship’s crew and cause havoc everywhere they go.

The book is a jaunting quest with a focus on a unique collection of characters and worldbuilding detail. The pace is moderate, and the plot ambles in places, but there are also bouts of intense action, and readers who enjoy pirates will appreciate the sea battles.

As other readers have mentioned, the real stars of the book are the root monsters. They “grew” on me, and their scenes are hysterical from start to finish. Boyack has a wonderful way of creating magical characters and imbuing them with distinct—and frequently outrageous—personalities. The root monsters are impressive.

I recommend this fantasy read to anyone who enjoys rambling quests with fabulous characters, sea battles, and plenty of humor.

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

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog: Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The next review is for Lizzie Chantree for the holiday romance Babe Driven.

About the book

A sizzling romance read full of giggles, sunshine and searching for a soul mate in paradise, by international bestselling author, Lizzie Chantree. If you love bad boy romances with strong women, you’ll love Lizzie Chantree’s exciting and irresistible reads.

A millionaire, rock star romance.

Driving straight out of trouble and into paradise!

Harriet’s crazily successful business idea is under serious threat, and the danger seems to be coming from inside her own family. She whisks her sisterand her friends away to an exotic location to try and work out whose side they are on. It’s time to start damage limitation.

When the girls arrive at the glorious villa owned by Harriet’s maverick business partner Nikki, they find a gorgeous band and their sexy lead singer Max staying next door, out to entice their new neighbours into all kinds of trouble.

This isn’t a holiday for Harriet and she can’t afford to be distracted. She has to sell her business idea to the powerful resort owner, the elusive Mr Grant, while she is there, or she may not have a business to go back to. Harriet will have to choose between family and friends, business or pleasure. For someone who stays out of the limelight, even though her new company is the hottest ticket in town, she’s going to have to avoid the front pages of every newspaper if she wants to survive the ride!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Beneath the bubbles and froth lies a labyrinthine veiled mystery.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 January 2021

I have now read all of Lizzie Chantree’s books and loved every one of them. They all seem to have uncommon and fascinating plots leading the reader in so many direction whilst being captivated by the study in the personalities of the characters and their relationships. This book is no exception:

Harriet has built a successful business and it needs to expand but the offers of funding come with conditions, some obvious and some downright devious. Is Harriet a match for the front runner, Ben Grant? She thinks she is, but…

With the offer of a luxury villa in an exclusive sun drenched resort owned by the Ben Grant, she takes her sister and some of her friends for a week’s holiday. It is not as generous as it sounds as someone has been sabotaging Harriet’s business and she could narrow this down to this pool of friends or maybe their spurious associates, even her sister. And then there is her jealous step-brother, left back in London to create havoc.

In the next door villa is a famous pop group: cue lasciviousness, lust and love from both groups of the beau monde. In the meantime Harriet lays mantraps, red herrings, and a trail of bait, but she is not immune to the leader of the band, or indeed the Funder (everyone is gorgeous).

What follows is an Agatha Christie like mystery but with no bodies, unless you count the youthful easy on the eyes, ladies and hunks of men. There are veils and layers of subterfuge to satisfy anyone and it all leads to the final pages before we know how things will pan out, by which time you have sweated buckets and become thoroughly engaged.
Yes, it is frothy. Yes, it is sort of contrived, but it works on so many levels and I loved it. Highly recommended along with all of Chantree’s other books – 5 stars

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

Also by Lizzie Chantree

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Lizzie: Goodreads – website:Lizzie Chantree – Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree

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

About the book

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

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

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Feb 16, 2021 Rebecca Hill rated it four stars really liked it

Fascinating and interesting read! For those who are interested in serial killers, this book is for you!

Meticulously researched and well put together, this book is going to take you down the poisoned path of murder, and reveals the story in-depth along the way! This is one that you do NOT want to miss!

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

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

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

 

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books..thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, #Relationships Stevie Turner


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore that would make great gifts for family and friends.

The first author today is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar with her latest romance release Perfectly Imperfect.

About the book

What happens when Miss Perfection clashes with Mr. Casual?
Chaos!

Georgina’s in trouble. The startup money she borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund is long gone and her dream of owning the next big thing in market-to-table cuisine disappeared with it.
Her only choice? Merge her company into the corporate giant, CLO, and hope she isn’t making a huge mistake.

Rhys Turner is his father’s progeny, born and raised to take over the empire when his dad deems him ready. Rhys doesn’t mind the fast-paced lifestyle, though he detests the coldblooded mantra of the corporation- Buy from the weak and sell at a profit.
It’s made his family millions. But now, just when CLO’s reins are within reach, he’s run into the one woman who could change everything.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and New adult, Perfectly Imperfect has something for every reader.

One of the recent reviews for the book

BBSROO 5.0 out of 5 stars Good little read  Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2020

Perfectly Imperfect by Jacquie Biggar is what every reader needs right now – full of fun, full of love, full of honesty, and full of OH MY! This book would be a great break in the monotony of the latest bestsellers – full of drama, seriousness, and more drama – for a book club, or any group of friends in their mid-20s (and up) to read.

Anyone, male or female, who has been on the dating scene has been where Georgina and Rhys, Biggar’s main characters, are in their lives right now. She is uptight and tries to be a superwoman, and he, well, he is everything she is not. And thanks to Biggar’s seemingly effortless skill as a storyteller, they discover that being opposite might be just what the proverbial doctor ordered for them.

Georgina needs help. So, her business comes under the umbrella of Rhys’ dad’s company – a bigger corporation. She sees Rhys as reckless; he sees Georgina as uppity. Until… Isn’t there always an ‘until?’ And Biggar does the ‘until’ moment well and turns this into her own, unique tale with the use of the first-person narrative.

I noticed some – not a lot – but some resemblance to my favorite movie, ‘You’ve Got Mail.’ You know the story – Kathleen Kelly, played by Meg Ryan, and Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks, are total polar opposites, forced together thanks to business, and they end up happily ever after. Best story ever thanks to the comedic timing of the tale brought to life by Hanks and Ryan. Biggar does that with her two characters – expertly putting each piece of the tale in just the right order to make the reader love it, and want more.

Georgina and Rhys sitting in a tree … k-i-s-s-i-n-g … I am calling for a sequel!

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

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

Now something for fantasy lovers… The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat Book 3) by C.S. Boyack

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lizzie and the Hat are back in another high octane action-adventure! This time, the pair and their band have infiltrated the country-western music scene in search of a group of vampires who’ve captured a young woman to satisfy their thirst for blood.

The missing girl’s brother approaches Lizzie and the Hat asking for help because his sister is missing… there’s only one problem. He’s a vampire! To make matters worse; he has an uncontrollable lisp, pronouncing his name as Kuvun (Kevin). The Hat is ready to stake the poor guy because, well, you know, they kill vamps. But Lizzie is kindhearted. She wants to help save Kevin’s sister from the blood thirsty vamps.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… what’s wrong with being a vampire? Right?

Well, there’s a lot wrong with being a vampire. A quick trip back to the cabin leads the musical duo to Lizzie’s ancestors’ unique stash of “monster busting” equipment. The Hat explains the mystique behind Mrs. Molony and how to use it since silver bullets won’t kill a monster. To kill a monster, you either have to behead them, burn them, or stake them! Now, Lizzie and the Hat are ready for anything! Or are they?

Lizzie, the Hat, and their band jump into the county music scene hanging out with the cowboy crowd at the rodeo where the vampires that took Kevin’s sister were last seen. There’s plenty of hilarious banter between Lizzie and the Hat to keep you chuckling long into the night. The race is on to save Kevin’s sister before it’s too late.

Boyack’s strengths lay in his smooth storytelling and the dialogue between the characters. In the age of Marvel Comics, everyone loves a talented team, and Lizzie and the Hat are hilarious together. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

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

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

And for another Fantasy series here is author Charles E. Yallowitz with a recent review for Ravenous (War of Nytefall Book 5)

About the book

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims. With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready. Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades. Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires. As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery. Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

One of the recent reviews for the book

N. N. Light VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars If you love slasher films, you’ll love this!  Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020

The saga of the Dawn Fangs continues and this time, Clyde fears the end may be near. Rumors are spreading of vampire-like creatures biting mortals. The more Clyde investigates, the more he realizes there’s a new enemy to defeat but this enemy is crafty with a new utopia plan for the world. It becomes clear to Clyde his allies are siding with this new enemy and he’s running out of options. Is Clyde and the Dawn Fangs ready to be revealed to the mortal realm or is this finally the end for his kingdom?

War of Nytefall: Ravenous is a gritty vampire horror story. When I say gritty, I’m talking about both the plot and the action. Charles E. Yallowitz doesn’t just emote Clive Barker, he invokes his writing style as well. Rich in description with provocative plot twists I didn’t see coming, I found myself whipping through the pages. A slow unraveling of the plot had me wondering where the story was headed but that speaks to his Barker-like narration. The world-building is spot-on with a world I’m familiar with yet surprising with characters and vampire lore new to me. If you’re a slasher film fan, this is a must-read for you. If you’re a Clive Barker fan, this is a must-read for you

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of books by Charles Yallowitz

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  and:Amazon UK –  follow Charles : Goodreads –  Blog: Legends of Windemere BlogTwitter: @cyallowitz

The final author today is Stevie Turner with a novel that explores an often complex relationship, The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome

About the book

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome investigates the complicated relationship causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.

Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother.

Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride. Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive. After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…..

A recent review for The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

Shhhh  5.0 out of 5 stars In-law blues  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2020

The cover made me chuckle a bit… is this a self-help book for quarrelling in-laws? The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is a women’s fiction novel about Arla and her husband Ric. Sick of playing second-fiddle to Ric’s family Arla suggests marriage guidance counselling. The story unfolds with each appointment, I was invested in this because marriage guidance must be a very tricky job. The characters were brilliant. Ric is a people pleaser- but he has his reasons. Arla is spikey and disappointed in life but becomes less so as the book progresses. Arla herself becomes a mother-in-law and the same thing happens again! As for Grandmother Edna, blimey what we have here is a master manipulator. Actually, Arla had a bit of luck thrown in to provide a beautiful resolution to the story. Bravery was employed by the characters, proving there is nothing wrong with saying how you feel. Back to my original point, this is fiction, the cover is fitting and this book will probably make you feel better if you’ve got the in-law blues.

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

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads  blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Author Updates New #Release – Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Reviews – Poetry M.J. Mallon, Shortstories Elizabeth Merry


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

Delighted to be adding The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat Book 3) by C.S. Boyack to his other books on the shelves..

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair –5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Clever, Supernatural Adventure!  Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2020

C. S. Boyack’s unique crime fighting duo is back in a new Lizzie and The Hat adventure. Not familiar with these two? Lizzie is a twenty-something who wields a mean pistol and plays the upright bass in a cover band with the help of the hat. He may look like a fedora (or whatever hat style he chooses), but he’s actually a being from another world—capable of zinging some of the best snarky dialogue you’re likely to encounter. These two play off each other with witty banter and plenty of adventure as they go up against supernatural bad guys. This time, it’s a group of vampires haunting the rodeo circuit.

That makes for a lot of colorful happenings as Lizzie, the hat, and their band take on the country music scene, mingling with broncobusters and cowboys. Boyack treats us to plenty of rodeo experiences in addition to Lizzie and the hat working to track down the vamps. Some of the moments that stood out for me included Lizzie target-shooting ghouls in a cemetery, egged on by the hat’s snarky asides; a vampire with a speech impediment; the hat’s addiction to “my internet” and his ongoing insistence the band should have a fog machine. And then there’s Mrs. Molony—but you’ll need to read this supernatural romp yourself to find out just how she plays into the story. Clever, clever, clever!

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

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack, Buy: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter@Virgilante

The next author is M.J. Mallon with a recent review for her poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Ruch 5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful compilation of Prose and Poetry  Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020

I loved how the author could knit together the prose with the poetry. The story is heartwarming, and the poetry is so apt. It was a magical read. Never felt so light when I reached The End—a recommended read.

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

Also by M.J. Mallon

M.J.Mallon, Buy:   Amazon US – And  Amazon UK Website: M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

And the final author today is Elizabeth Merry with a review for her recently released collection of short stories – We All Die in the End: Scenes from a Small Town.

About the collection

This is a diverse collection of interlinked stories set in a small, seaside town in Ireland. Some of them verge on the macabre; others deal with abusive relationships and many of them are grim. But there is humour here too – although it is dark humour:

“SADIE said nothing. She trimmed the fat off the kidneys and the liver, her fingers curling away from the soft, red slither and she held her breath against the faint smell of blood.”

“So, I watched Lydia and waited for some bloody nuisance of a child to come screeching after her but no child came. Well, that didn’t make any sense but then Lydia stopped and I saw her speak to the doll. Oho, ARTHUR, I said to myself and I threw down the cigarette. Oho, I said, what’s this? What have we here?”

“ANDY felt the unhappiness grow in his chest again. It was heavy and he fought against it. No, he said to himself. No. He held his arms up and out in front of him and made soft, crooning, engine noises.”

“ROSEMARY always made Dominic wait outside the door until she was in the bed. He could feel the slackness in her thighs and arms; he didn’t have to look at it as well. ‘Come in,’ she called when she was ready. Dominic bounced into the room half-undressed and dropped his shoes. ‘Wait now,’ he said, and brought in a bottle of red wine and two glasses.”

This is just a flavour of the great characters who people this small town, where everyone knows their neighbours, and everyone else!

One of the recent reviews for the book:

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Polished Writing, mesmerizing stories  Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2020

This collection of loosely-connected vignettes offers glimpses into the lives of nineteen different residents in a small, seaside Irish town. For the most part, the stories are grim, the characters ranging from slightly off kilter to severely struggling. There are tidbits of humor and kindness here and there, but those are few and far between.

The writing is polished, and the characters are deeply rendered and distinct. My overall impression was that the characters are trapped in their lives, contributing to a sense of despair, sadness, madness, and violence. Despite the bleakness of the situations, the read is mesmerizing. Each story is unique. Highly recommended to short story readers and readers of literary fiction.

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

Connect to Elizabeth: Author Page: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Elizabeth: Goodreads Blog: Embookstuff WordPress – Twitter: @ElizabethMerry1

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Release #Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack,


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

Stevie Turner has a new release on pre-order for October 1st – Barren: Two Mothers but only One Baby.

About the Book

Esme Jones and husband Aron have completed their family and have twin sons Jared and James. Esme’s older sister Eden Reece is desperate for a child, but a hysterectomy has put paid to any chance of her becoming a parent. When Esme offers herself as a surrogate, Eden and husband Billy are delighted. However, when Esme notices the first fluttering of life inside her and a scan reveals that she is carrying a girl, both sisters are not prepared for the outcome which threatens to tear the fabric of the whole extended family apart.

Head over to buy at the pre-order price 99p: Amazon UK – And at $1.31: Amazon US

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

The first review is for This is Lockdown by M. J. Mallon with contributions  from writers around the world.

About the collection

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The full list of authors are can be found: Amazon UK

One of the recent reviews for the anthology on Goodreads

Sep 02, 2020 James rated it it was amazing

This is Lockdown is a new collection of short stories, journal entries, and poems that were prepared or collaborated by MJ Mallon. I’ve previously read one of Mallon’s books, The Curse of Time, and recommend her writing style and storytelling capabilities. This book was my first introduction to her poetry and journals, other than following her interesting and varied blog. In This is Lockdown, she explores the impact of COVID-19 on her UK town and home life.

Mallon kicks off the book with a handful of tributes and mentions to a dozen or so wonderful bloggers and writers, many of whom I’ve gotten to know in the last year. While I won’t name everyone, as there are a couple I haven’t had the privilege of meeting, you can see them all in the author link here in Goodreads or on Amazon. I can tell you this is a great way to get to know new writers, especially with the helpful author bios near the end.

Hearing the perspective of another person’s life during COVID-19 is inspirational and concerning… only because you feel for them and what they’re going through. To see the impacts on MJ’s family, in particular her parents, is hard to witness in writing. I can’t imagine what they felt outside of these journal entries. Between a plumbing flood, insect bites, and grocery store insanity, there was a ton of road blocks in the UK. I know we felt them here in the US too, but to see the differences, and to watch the rising counts of deaths and infections, is scary. I felt a few problems here in NYC, but we were lucky enough to get delivery on everything (except sanitizer and toilet paper!). I also had grocery store delivery each week, which meant I didn’t have to venture out.

MJ surprised me in some of her journal entries too. What a wonderful mention of my book and our interviews together – I am grateful. Hearing what she was doing day by day helps you feel like part of her life. Rather than judge true ‘writing’ here (while it’s good… and some of the poems and stories make you think critically)… I’d rather recommend this for the personal connection levels MJ offers… from her family’s way of dealing with hibernation to how difficult it was to hear bad news from others… or if you suddenly felt warm or had a cough, what did it mean? This is a relatively quick and easy read because it’s broken down in small pieces and allows you to read in sections without forgetting about past plot or specific characters. Wonderful insight into what it might be like to have lunch with her one day!

You’ll find some poetry and short fiction from a few amazing writers, links to helpful sites and informational places, notes on other blogger’s posts about COVID, and upcoming news about all these great authors. It’s a collection that allows you to decide which most interest you and to find bunches of more books to read. I look forward to visiting more blogs as a result of this collection. I hope you do too!

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

 Also by M. J. Mallon

M.J.Mallon, Buy:   Amazon US – And  Amazon UK Website: M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The next author is Don Massenzio with a recent review for Frankly, My Dear: A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel ( Book 4)

About the book

Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, has left his tragic past as a police officer behind for life as a private detective. Frank and his partner Clifford “Jonesy” Jones work with the local police to solve crimes that are virtually unsolvable.
In Frankly My Dear, the fourth in the Frank Rozzani Detective Series of novels, Frank and Jonesy are at it again and this time the case is one of the most bizarre that they have faced.

Their latest client, arrested for domestic abuse, swears that he is the victim of one of the most vengeful women on the face of the earth.

Frank and Jonesy must determine if their client is telling the truth. As they investigate the case, they again pay a personal price for their involvement. Is their client trying to get away with his crime or is his ex-girlfriend continually coming up with new ways to damage him and his reputation?

Follow them as they navigate the twists and turns in this exciting new installment in the series, Frankly My Dear.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Keith Jahans5.0 out of 5 stars A private detective novel which goes against the norm.  Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2020

I have a particular fondness for private detective novels, particularly those set in the USA and this one proved to be no exception. The detectives involved here are clearly a close knit family. All seemed to be involved in this story to some extent, including the detective’s dog, but the chief protagonists are the private detective, Frank Rozzani and his lawyer partner, Jonesy.

The plot is a twist on the normal narrative for this type of story, in that the detectives are asked to represent a man who has been accused of abusing his girlfriend. All the characters are believable, especially the villains. Rossani and Jonesey are accomplished jazz musicians and a little of the action revolves around their music and the club where they play. I am not familiar with the music titles or the work of the artists referred to in the novel but the author is clearly a Jazz aficionado.

The pace is fast moving with a number of twists and turns which is a prerequisite of the genre. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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

A selection of books by Don Massenzio

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand: Amazon UK Follow Don Massenzio: GoodreadsBlog: Don Massenzio – Twitter: @dmassenzio

The final author today is C.S. Boyack with a review for his recent release  H.M.S. Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 2)

About the book

The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.

Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.

HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars It’s hard to catch your breath when Lanternfish sets sail!  Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2020

C. S. Boyack delivers another colorful adventure with HMS Lanterfish. I loved the first novel, Voyage of the Lanternfish, which introduced us to James—pirate captain Bloodwater—and his crew. The gang is back again (including the scene stealing root monsters), along with new characters, imaginative creatures, and plenty of action. James is drawn from a peaceful retirement to act as privateer for the war effort.

As always, Boyack delivers a story that brims over with adventure and explosive action. There are exploding monks (and that’s only part of the “explosive” action, LOL), a possessed weapon, a shogun, con artists, terrifying creatures, a beautiful princess, and a crew of thoroughly unique characters. Some standouts for me are the relationship between James and his adopted son, Mule, and Serang, a fiercely loyal female warrior who can kick butt like no other and who gets her own ship this time around. It’s hard to catch your breath when Lanternfish sets sail.

If you enjoy fast-paced fiction, a good sea yarn and a fun time, you’ll love this book and this series. And if you have no clue what a root monster is, grab your copy of HMS Lanterfish and prepare to be enchanted, as these guys have plenty of tales to tell, and they are not shy about it as the crew can attest. When a root monster earns a name, it is really something special, just one more highlight in this wildly entertaining book!

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

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack, Buy: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter@Virgilante

 

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