Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates- Review #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, New Books #Design Valentina Cirasola, #Shortstories Leon Stevens


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore author updates, with a recent review and two new releases for authors on the shelves.

Celebrating early reviews is  Fiona Tarr  for Shiloh Rising – The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 3 On offer for 99c/77p during November

About the book

An ancient relic, an evil power, a magical priestess. As they collide, the fearless, no-holds-barred battle erupts.

Ariela is surprised when she arrives in Carthage in yet another unknown time reality. Her mission is guided by ancient divinity and no-one is expecting her—or so she thinks. Those who await her are members of her Mother’s ancient Priestess Order. But she quickly realises, all is not as innocent and welcoming as it seems.

Carthage is warring over religion and politics. The conflict reveals truths Ariela isn’t expecting. But when the Priestess discovers she is to assassinate the King and that her Mother’s ancient order has been dabbling in politics, she is enraged. Order must be restored.

When the Priestess’s friend Ophelia senses an evil relic of power, Ariela realises politics are the least of her worries. She must stop the evil spirit that inhabits the relic before she is forced to kill the man who wears it, whether she wants to or not.

An early review for the book

Sherrie HansenVINE VOICE  Magic and Mystery with a New Testament Backdrop  Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2020

Once again, I am amazed at the way Fiona Tarr weaves together elements of the Scriptures with magic, history and fantasy to craft a breathtaking story. This time, Priestess Ariela is transported forward in time to the New Testament era, to Carthage, where the Catholics are pitted against the Arians, and evil-spirit-possessed kings and a cast of merchants and Senators whose motivations are both unknown and questionable. A familiar entourage of characters paired with a set of new faces and issues round out the story – from the tormented king, his soft-hearted son, Priestesses uncertain of their powers, and a cruel guard. Complex plots and political manipulations are relevant to today’s world although the story is set eons ago. Another good read, highly recommended, as are all of Tarr’s books..

Read the reviews and buy the book at 99c during November: Amazon US – And for 77p: Amazon UK

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read the reviews and Buy: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: Goodreads Website :A Time 2 Write –  Twitter: @FionaTarr

Two new books to add to the shelves today and the first author celebrating a new release is Italian designer Valentina Cirasola – Design Nature For A Colorful Home

About the book

If you pick up a camera and take a picture of anything that strikes your eyes, it doesn’t have to be a real object, or something with a meaning, just study that picture you took and you will see the reason why you immortalized that “something”. One day, I took a photo of a succulent plant in my garden, not because it was particularly beautiful, but because I was attracted by the yellow decorative butterfly light inside the pot and by the yellow ceramic piece outside the pot. This told me I was craving “Yellow Vibrations”. Going to the grocery shop, taking pictures of the flower bouquets in the store, and forgetting to buy food is not a common thing people do, but I did. Later, all those pictures of flowers gave me the idea for this book. My goal was to entice the readers to look at flower bouquets, or any flower composition in nature with new eyes and lead them to create their own alluring color scheme for any room in the house or office that carries a new excitement.The book is full of beautiful photographs taken by me in various places in nature and in the stores. Nature is our best friend and companion, she always gives us the pleasure of beauty, harmony, and peace. This book focuses on how to take advantage of nature’s colors and turn them into doable solutions. The home has a spirit that will love you if you create an inspiring, healthy, vibrant home for the body, mind, and spirit. Everyone will feel comfortable in a home conceived with harmony and love will grow.Shall we start with the colors of flowers?

Head over to buy the book: Amazon USand: Amazon UK

Also by Valentina Cirasola

One of the recent reviews for The Road to the Top Of The World

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful trip, beautiful Lives  Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2020

The Road to the Top of the World is a travelogue written by Valentina Cirasola, a wonderful author, designer, and artist who hails from Italy. I’ve read a few of the writer’s books in the past, but this one is special because I received a signed copy from her in the mail. Of course, it was already on my reading list… and as Tropic Storm Fay descends upon NYC today, I decided to embrace the culture of Puglia, the heart of this book. Though I’m typically a fiction reader, this one appeals to me for many reasons. Not only is Valentina a brilliant creative mind, but she brings an inspirational outlook on life through her words and pictures. It’s unusual to have a witty and knowledgeable expert who’s lived in the area and visited it as a guest once moving to the USA. Through this perfect combination, we’re lucky to experience something few others get to in their lifetime.

Imagine a few weeks spent in Puglia, traveling through shops, gardens, homes, restaurants, museums, and so much more. Valentina takes us on a whirlwind tour of making our own foods, exploring the history of civilization in the area, and viewing art we might not see unless we went in person. I learned some wonderful tips or making my own pasta sauce differently than I already do! By incorporating her personal opinions, and those of her traveling group, we receive a well-rounded viewpoint of the trip. Sometimes I felt like I was there… others, I was marking down things I must see in a future trip. The best part of the book is the way in transports you into a new world… and while reading it, I remembered what it was like to be in Italy a few years ago.

Europeans, perhaps more specifically Italians, have grasped La Dolce Vita, and this author can bring you much closer to it. Valentina’s words and natural love for the area shines in her messages here. Life can be short. Experience it as best you can. Make your own foods. See how others live. Understand the limitations of the past and how it created the amazing gifts we have today. Someone had to discover all these things… pasta, sauce, pizza, limoncello… and here, you can come pretty close to it by sampling a few pages of her book. You’ll enjoy the author’s personality, an Americanized version of an Italian soul, one who knows exactly how to convey all that we are missing here! Part personal itinerary, part memorable journal, it will make you smile and grow hungry. Is it too early to visit Italy again?

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon USAndAmazon UK Website: Valentina DesignsGoodreads:Valentina Cirasola Goodreads – Twitter: @ValentinaDesign

And to finish today… a new release of a short story collection by Leon Stevens. The Knot At The End Of The Rope.

About the collection

A journey to the center of the universe …
Humanity’s final days …
A strange midnight visitor …
A faster than light test with unforeseen results …
Writings found in a desolate world …

These are some of the short stories in this collection, written in the style of the early science fiction writers when imagination trumped scientific knowledge. In addition, some short post-apocalyptic tales and poems are included in this new book by Leon Stevens.

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

Also by Leon Stevens

One of the recent reviews for Lines by Leon

Nia 4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of poems  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2020

This anthology is fantastically emotionally aware. Stevens provides a personal perception on various key aspects of living, especially the human condition and environment, both natural and urban, in a casual yet deep manner. There is a great variety in tone throughout and each poem’s rhythm is appropriate to the section it features in.

I find As I See It especially relatable and love the honesty of Stevens’ interpretations of sociability. How I See also prompts the reader to acknowledge individual’s differences because the alternative, us being all the same, would be tremendously dull. How Many’s A Crowd also expresses the importance of quality not quantity in social groups, implying that having few close friends is of more value to them and yourself than having a million acquaintances. I came away from this particular poem reminiscent of an analogy that it is better to have five-pound coins than five-hundred pennies.

People and Places is rich in urban imagery, appealing to the reader’s senses with its casually cosmopolitan descriptions. There is a certain charm to how the narrator explores the world around them, regardless of whether or not their surroundings are minimal or flashy.

I love how each individual poem throws (sometimes subtly, other times in full force) at the reader a question for them to answer about life and their own way of living. How the narrator approaches social conventions in Just Say Yes is particularly self-aware and its honesty is what pulls me in, essentially stating that in some cases it is far easier to say ‘Yes’ to people than ‘No’ to avoid any form of argument, conflict, or even just to politely hasten the conversation so that it is over soon.

In short, this anthology is an emotionally and spiritually refreshing read. It affords the reader a moment to pause, step back from the fast-paced modern world around us and appreciate the beauty in simplicity. To appreciate nature, loved ones and oneself is of utmost importance. The brevity of certain passages also leaves room for reflection, whilst appreciating the background’s minimalist aesthetic with simple stick-figure illustrations and shady charcoal doodles.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  follow Leon: GoodreadsWebsite: Lines by Leon Twitter: @linesbyleon

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Releases #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, Reviews -#Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega


This week the Cafe and Bookstore has slipped by a day due to the Halloween posts…with a new release and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to add a new book by Fiona Tarr to the shelves Shiloh Rising – The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 3 – On offer for 99c/77p during November

About the book

An ancient relic, an evil power, a magical priestess. As they collide, the fearless, no-holds-barred battle erupts.

Ariela is surprised when she arrives in Carthage in yet another unknown time reality. Her mission is guided by ancient divinity and no-one is expecting her—or so she thinks. Those who await her are members of her Mother’s ancient Priestess Order. But she quickly realises, all is not as innocent and welcoming as it seems.

Carthage is warring over religion and politics. The conflict reveals truths Ariela isn’t expecting. But when the Priestess discovers she is to assassinate the King and that her Mother’s ancient order has been dabbling in politics, she is enraged. Order must be restored.

When the Priestess’s friend Ophelia senses an evil relic of power, Ariela realises politics are the least of her worries. She must stop the evil spirit that inhabits the relic before she is forced to kill the man who wears it, whether she wants to or not.

Head over to buy the book at 99c during November: Amazon US – And for 77p: Amazon UK

Also by Fiona Tarr

One of the reviews for Reign of Retribution

Sherrie Hansen VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacrifices Made for True Love  Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed Fiona Tarr’s latest book, propelled by the theme of love and the sacrifices we are sometimes asked to make for true love. As Princess Sheba struggles to find her way in the brutal world of Old Testament times, warring kingdoms and religious conflicts, she is thrown into a battle of good and evil, zealots, idolators, opposing dieties, arch angels and believers of the one true God. Many facets of love are explored – love of family and the loyalty that comes with it, love of carnal pleasures and selfish pursuits, love of God, misguided love, and the romantic pull of true love. The characters are either noble, endearing and admirable, or cruel, twisted and hateful, and both will hold your attention to the end. The goal is to preserve the line of David, from which the Redeemer will come to save mankind. With the stakes so high, yet seemingly impossible, you will read with tears in your eyes, even for believers who know the final outcome firsthand. Thought-provoking and highly recommended.

Read the reviews and Buy: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write –  Twitter: @FionaTarr

And the first author today with a recent review is Audrey Driscoll for her latest book Tales from the Annexe: seven stories from the Herbert West Series and seven other tales

About the collection

Seven stories from the world of Audrey Driscoll’s Herbert West Series, followed by seven other tales of illusions, delusions, and mysteries on the edges of logic. Discover Herbert West’s connections to Egypt, and how a dead man can help solve a mystery. Share Charles Milburn’s ruminations as he explores another dimension of his friendship with Herbert. Sample the treats on offer from an ice cream truck from Hell. Ride along with a dad who abandoned his ten-year-old son in the woods where something howls. Find out why a woman paints her bedroom a very special colour. Watch fifteen-year-old Ann as she tries to prove she belongs to the glamorous family on the other side of town. These and seven other curious encounters may be found in this annexe to the ordinary.

A recent review for the collection

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars For Herbert West fans  Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2020

I jumped into this collection of stories despite never having read H.P. Lovecraft or Driscoll’s novels based on the HPL character Herbert West. That may have been a mistake since the first seven stories are “by products” of Driscoll’s Herbert West novels. Without knowledge of the original stories, I had a difficult time following the narratives.

Don’t get me wrong. Driscoll is talented, and these are beautifully written tales. The prose is polished, and the characters have distinct voices and believable sentiments. I’d characterize the style as literary fiction with a turn-of-the-century tone. I suspect that Herbert West fans will appreciate the connections.

The final five stories are stand-alone speculative fiction tales, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. My favorites were The Colour of Magic and A Howling in the Woods, though I recommend them all. Each tale is unique, and they range from creepy to bone-chilling!

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

Audrey Driscoll, Buy:Amazon US – And:  Amazon UK – follow Audrey: Goodreads – Website:Audrey Driscoll – LinkedIn: Audrey Driscoll

The final author today is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with a recent review for Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series)

About Son of the Serpent

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 27, 2020 Yvette Calleiro rated it five stars

I absolutely loved book one, but I honestly think I love this book even more. I felt sorry for Lilith in book one, and I completely loathed her in this book. The author does a phenomenal job of allowing you to see the evil that festers and flourishes within Lilith. She also brilliantly draws you in to feel compassion and empathy for Dracul on his journey to not only fit in but to also rid the world of his horrific mother. And then, there’s Gadreel (still my favorite character…lol!). The author’s use of this character to guide the story into each situation was fantastic.

I loved how the author pulled stories from the bible and effortlessly wove these characters into the major game-changing scenes of history. The seamless story-telling shows that the author did her research to make sure the story held true to its historical depiction while also allowing her characters the flexibility to shape those moments in time.

I cannot wait to read book three, Gadreel’s story. After reading this book, I’m even more excited to read it. I highly recommend this book (and series) to anyone who enjoys well-written stories with cleverly crafted characters whose struggles will make you fight for their survival and success. 🙂

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

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Buy:Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Childrens Victoria Zigler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England, with my husband, Kelly, a chinchilla named Mollie, a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, and a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I haven’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of becoming a published author. Though it’s been said many times by many authors, I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing the first of my books as an eBook via Smashwords. Several more titles have been published since, with paperbacks and audio books also being made available. So now I’m a published author of several poetry collections, as well as a long list of children’s stories.

I love everything to do with animals and nature. Though I’d rather not get too close to spiders and other creepy crawly things. That love of animals was a huge factor in my choice to become first a vegetarian, and then a vegan, though there were other things that influenced my decision too.

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

One of the reviews for Witchlet on Goodreads

Robbie Cheadle rated it Four Stars

The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.

Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.

In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out

Victoria Zigler, Buy: Amazon UK – and : Amazon US – Follow Victoria on: Goodreads – Website: Victoria Zigler – Twitter: @VictoriaZigler

Meet D.Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

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

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A recent review for Legacy of Souls

Anneli 5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, great action  Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2020

Legacy of Souls, Book Two of the Soul Swallowers Series, works well as a stand alone or as a sequel to the first book. It has been a while since I read the first book, and I wondered how well I could get back “into the zone.” No problem. I was pulled in immediately, getting to know and love the good characters, worrying about their safety when the bad characters came along.

The premise that one could swallow the soul of a deceased person and feel their influence, good or bad, plays a substantial role in the story. In some cases, having wisdom passed on through the soul stone can change the outcome in a dangerous situation. In other cases, swallowing a soul with more active skills, such and swordsmanship and discipline is even better. The important thing is to choose wisely and sparingly, lest madness take over.

The plot to save a kingdom and a loved one is believable, allowing that we are in a fantasy world, a world built beautifully by author Diana W. Peach. Her choice of language helps to set the scenes effortlessly as the action keeps us turning pages. As I read this novel, my one fear was that my e-reader would need its battery recharged before I could finish the book. I recommend this book to anyone who won’t mind losing a night’s sleep when they can’t put the book down.

D. Wallace Peach, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

Meet Fiona Tarr

My fantasy novels are fast paced, character driven historical stories with strong mystical, spiritual and theological themes mixed with elements of the classic heroic/epic fantasy genre. My writing was first inspired by the heroic fantasy style of David Gemmell, but I have most recently been compared to Traci Harding.

I plan on releasing a new fantasy novel every year for as long as I possibly can and I always appreciate legitimate feedback so please don’t forget to review my work when you have read it.

It turns out writing is in the blood. My Great Uncle was George Johnston (My Brother Jack) and although I don’t claim to have his renowned literary style, I do write a mean fantasy novel.

I find culture, faith, philosophy and sociology intriguing and these topics are at the heart of my fantasy.

I live in Noosa, Australia with my husband and two sons and I run a small business involving tourism and watersports. Occasionally I dabble in advocacy, mentoring and spend time on my personal entrepreneurial pursuits. When I am not writing I am either kitesurfing, stand up paddle surfing, travelling or volunteering in some capacity. I love cheese, chocolate and living a creative life.

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One of the reviews for Reign of Retribution

Sherrie Hansen VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacrifices Made for True Love  Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed Fiona Tarr’s latest book, propelled by the theme of love and the sacrifices we are sometimes asked to make for true love. As Princess Sheba struggles to find her way in the brutal world of Old Testament times, warring kingdoms and religious conflicts, she is thrown into a battle of good and evil, zealots, idolators, opposing dieties, arch angels and believers of the one true God. Many facets of love are explored – love of family and the loyalty that comes with it, love of carnal pleasures and selfish pursuits, love of God, misguided love, and the romantic pull of true love. The characters are either noble, endearing and admirable, or cruel, twisted and hateful, and both will hold your attention to the end. The goal is to preserve the line of David, from which the Redeemer will come to save mankind. With the stakes so high, yet seemingly impossible, you will read with tears in your eyes, even for believers who know the final outcome firsthand. Thought-provoking and highly recommended.

Fiona Tarr, Buy: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write –  Twitter: @FionaTarr

Meet M.C. V. Egan

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. She is a multilingual multicultural author of Literary Fiction. Originally from a very large family, her passion for writing was fueled by the childhood need to make her voice heard.

M.C.V. Egan has lived Mexico, France, Sweden and the U.S.A. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina is married and has one son. Her hobbies include astrology and other divination tools used in some of her writings. She loves to cook and create fabulous meals for family and friends, dabbles in variety of crafts.

http://www.TheBridgeofDeaths.com

Books by M.C.V. Egan

One of the recent reviews for Defined by Others

Michael Thal 5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Will Destroy You  Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020

Do you have a secret? Most of us do. In the words of author MCV Egan, “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.” To keep your secrets safe, keep them to yourself, for they give you power. And if you share your secret, “…it will destroy you!” Keep this in mind as you read Egan’s superbly written novel, Defined by Others.”

Written in the first person narrative, Anne Geyer tells her tale of betrayal and lies. At age 47, her husband Frank pulls a “Grace and Frankie” by coming out of the closet, from a closet, to let Anne know he’s leaving her for a man. Who turns out to be her high school friend, Connie’s husband, Mike.

Like on the Netflix blockbuster show, “Grace and Frankie,” Anne and Connie pull together to fight their depression and lost lives.

Meanwhile, a frenemy, Amanda, from Skvallerby High School, dies. She leaves Anne an organized social media game to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances. Anne and Connie embrace the game in an attempt to escape their own reality, and the consequences could prove deadly.

Defined by Others is a 170-page novel exploring the darker side of relationships causing readers to pause and think of their own friendships and loves and how our treatment of others affects each of us in different ways.

The author’s characterization is authentic, the plot is excellent, and the dramatic climax unexpected and dramatic.

Defined by Others is an excellent read and provides an opportunity to wonder, “What would I have done if placed in Anne’s position?”

M.C. V. Egan, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow M.C.V. Egan: Goodreads –  Website: The Bridge of Deaths – Twitter: @M_C_V_Egan

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting more of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and discovering their books. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Memoir Pete Springer, #Writing Jane Sturgeon, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr


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

The first review today is for the memoir of retired teacher Pete Springer. They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

Retired elementary school teacher, Pete Springer, uses his experience and knowledge to create a wonderful book that is as much memoir as it is a handy tool to have as a teacher about to embark upon the best job in the world (I’m a teacher, maybe I’m biased), and just as useful for a parent to read, so they can understand a little more about the role the teacher plays in their children’s lives.

Peppered with anecdotes from his teaching career, as well as the story detailing how he ended up becoming a teacher, the book gives a personal account of the life of a teacher, as well as many handy hints for setting up and running a successful classroom of your own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Connect to Pete via his website/blog: Pete Springer WordPress

My next author is Jane Sturgeon with a recent review for her non-fiction  Writing on Water: Self Awareness.

About the book

Each one of us holds stories about ourselves and these drive our lives. Thoughts are attached to emotions and actions spring from how we feel. Old stories can be re-written, new stories can be crafted and discoveries are made along the way. It is the tapestry of life and yes, you can weave with whatever threads you choose. Loving support, fresh perspectives and new life tools can make all the difference.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2020

A short book maybe, but certainly a thought provoking book. Certainly a book if I had read a week or so ago, I certainly would have had second thoughts about questions I asked. If I had of read it year and years ago, there would have been certainly more thoughts given to the question of where and what do I do now. A very interesting read and a little bit of an insight into someone else’s life and thought processes. A book that needs reading again.

Head over and buy the book: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jane: Goodreads

Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Sturgeon WordPress

The final author today with a recent review is Fiona TarrDelilah and the Dark God: The Eternal Realm Book 2

About the Book

Delilah is young, poor and inexperienced. Discovering Samson’s secret might not be as easy as she thinks!

When Delilah is compelled to discover the source of Samson’s divine strength, she becomes torn between her desire for wealth and growing feelings she cannot yet understand. She has no idea that the Eternal Realm is at war, but she quickly realises there is more at play than religion and politics.

The Goddess Asherah knows Delilah is the key to future peace in the heavens, yet she is forbidden from meddling with humanity….. But when the Dark God Dagon grows obsessed with Delilah, she must choose a side.

Will Asherah risk revealing herself to protect the ancient prophecy and secure peace for her brethren?

Delilah and the Dark God is the second book in The Eternal Realm series; a religious fantasy series that mixes mythology and intrigue in epic fantasy style. If you like strong characters, intricate plots and action, then you will love Fiona Tarr’s contemporary take on this old biblical classic.

Buy Delilah and the Dark God to today discover what really goes on within the eternal realm!

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 10, 2020 Sherrie Hansen rated it it was amazing

Delilah and the Dark God gives unique insights into an old Bible story. The fictional retelling includes elements of fantasy and mythology paired with the Biblical account of Nazarite Samson with his unparalleled strength and the woman who brought him down. It’s a heartbreaking story but an inspirational one as well and I loved getting to know Delilah in a more intimate way. To me, the story is one more example of how God takes our mistakes and weaknesses and failings and turns them around for good in spite of everything, to fulfill his prophecies. It was wonderful to be reminded that the people God used to bring the Prince of Peace, Jesus, into the world, were not perfect or unblemished but very real people. Thanks for another great story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Mystery Stevie Turner, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Memoir Pete Springer


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Stevie Turner with a recent review for her mystery Finding David.

About the book

When Karen and Mick Curtis attend a demonstration of clairvoyance for the first time, Karen is singled out by the medium, Rae Cordelle. Rae has a message from Karen’s son David, who passed over to the spirit world many years before. The message shocks Karen and sends her on a journey of discovery, rocking her previously happy relationship with second husband Mick, David’s stepfather.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars  Well written, but disturbing story…  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2020

Hoping for a message from her son David, who disappeared years ago, Karen attends a Spiritual meeting with her husband, Mick. Through the medium, Karen receives a message from her son. This message shocks her and sends her on a journey of discovery, rocking the foundations of her marriage.

Her husband Mick is not a believer in these things and aggressively refuses to believe that David blames him for his death. This was a classic misunderstanding, for Mick is David’s stepfather.

Right from the beginning, I hoped the child would be found alive. I found myself wondering what I would do in those circumstances. The message would have to be convincing, like something no one else would know, for there are many so called mediums out there who prey on the vulnerable. I don’t understand what drives people to these meetings, surely it must only bring more heartache?

It was particularly distressing to witness the destruction of Karen’s marriage, although the husband’s attitude didn’t help. The author has done a brilliant job of creating a devastating story and believable characters, sometimes a little too realistic!

The medium in this story and the story itself, are remarkable, very believable, especially the effect this discovery had on the parents of the missing child. Finding David isn’t very long, but it certainly packs a punch…

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

Connect to Stevie via her blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress

The next author is Fiona Tarr with a review for Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)

About the Book

A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.

This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.

Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.

As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.

Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Laurence St. John 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Story  Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2020

Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles) by Fiona Tarr is a great young adult and teen fantasy novel. The main characters, Ariela and Culaan, set off on a time travel adventure where the endure trials and tribulations to protect and ancient relic. What is the ancient relic Brísingamen and what powers does it possess? Can Ariela and her colleagues fulfil their quest before it’s too late? Find out…

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, teen, young adult, Myth and Legend, Fairy Tales, Historical and adventure stories.

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

The final review today is for the memoir of retired teacher Pete Springer. They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2020

They Call Me Mom is a delightful book detailing the teaching experiences of life-long teacher, Pete Springer, in a school in a government school in the USA. This memoir is an interesting, and sometimes poignant, peek into the teaching environment and provides some memorable insights into some of the practical and emotional difficulties a teacher experiences.

Pete depicts his initial decision not to go to college and study straight after finishing school, but rather to do some unskilled jobs. These jobs did not pan out well for Pete and after returning home and working as an assistant in a special needs school, he decided to go into teaching as a profession. This was the perfect choice for him and he evolved into a caring and dedicated teacher.

Pete was fortunate to have some wonderful role models to help him develop as a professional and, I am sure, he was also a fabulous role model to new teachers coming into the system. He inspired some of his students to consider teaching as a career and that is a great achievement.

The book is filled with endearing stories about Pete’s classroom experiences with the children and the reader quickly comes to realise that there is a lot more to being a good teacher than knowing the curriculum and preparing lessons. Their is also the social and emotional side where teachers must understand the issues and problems their students are experiencing and help guide them through these difficult times. Pete had exposure to a far greater range of family backgrounds than I ever have, either during my own school career or that of my two sons. He had students whose parents worked at night, some whose parents went to jail and others who were being raised by single parents or grandparents.

This book provides a lot of guidance to teachers about how to maximize the learning environment in the classroom and this information is useful to all carers of children including parents, grandparents and others.

A lovely book and one that focuses on the important role played by teachers in raising the next generation of parents, employees and business leaders.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Connect to Pete via his website/blog: Pete Springer WordPress

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews #Poetry Bette A. Stevens, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Author Update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

 JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Descriptive  Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2019

This book of Haiku puts the State of Maine in a whole new perspective. The author takes the reader through each of the four seasons and through well-written Haiku, shows the unique aspects of the Pine State. I also loved the fun facts about Maine at the end of the book. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Haiku, amazing photographs and has a fascination with Maine!

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

Time to catch up with Fiona Tarr and her latest book released in October 2019 Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)

About the Book

A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.

This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.

Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.

As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.

Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2020

I really enjoyed reading another of Fiona Tarr’s novels. Relic Seeker is well paced, with wonderful characters and a good balance of adventure, mystery, tender moments, and surprises. Trust is a central issue, with costly betrayals littering the battleground when the characters find out who they can trust, and who they cannot. The stage is so well set and the action so well drawn that I felt like I was right there beside Ariela and Culaan, experiencing their heartaches and adventures. Although it’s not my usual thing, I loved the elements of time travel, magic and history. Highly recommended.

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

The final author today is D.Wallace Peach for Sunwielder which is also now in audio version.

About Sunwielder

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.Now his story remakes itself, casting him backward in time to moments of decision and death. His old life gone, he no longer remembers the purpose of the medallion burning his chest. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Avid Reader 5.0 out of 5 stars  Highly recommended to lovers of time-travel  Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019

If you would be granted the ability to travel back in time and redo some of your life choices, would you take it?

What if strings were attached?

Without giving any spoilers away, I loved the way D. Wallace Peach handled the plot and the magic she instilled in the time-travel charm as well as the twists she put in the past being relieved. The worlds she created were fascinating and very well developed as well as full of political intrigue. It was amazing to discover how Gryff’s new life options affected those involved and the heartache he went through was gripping, well balanced by lyrical descriptions.

I found it hard to put it down, so many chores were put on hold until I finished the book…

Sunwielder is a page turner with a super clever plot, highly recommended.

A small selection of of other books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Diana: Goodreads

Connect to Diana via her blog: Myths of the Mirror

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