Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update #Reviews – #Fantasy Richard Dee, #History Patricia Furstenberg, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene


The first review is for the latest release by Richard Dee.. a Fantasy YA/Teen Sci-fi adventure – The Syk’m. – I have recently read and reviewed and can highly recommend.

About the book

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.
As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us. Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting.

Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.

Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.

It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be.

There were others in the universe.

One of the recent reviews for the book

kayleigh whittle 5.0 out of 5 stars YA Fantasy, nailed  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 October 2021

Not my first dip in to YA Fantasy, unlike the author, who has really impressed me with this debut into the genre. The great thing about fantasy as a genre is that nothing is off limits, anything that you can imagine is possible. Skander had always been brought up to fear those called The Syk’m, behave or they would come and take yiy away. Hors Lawis is on the cusp of manhood and after thousands of years peace on skander doesn’t have much to look forward to and life is well, pretty boring. That is until he unwittingly meets the beautiful and mysterious Enuna. Curious yet suspicious Hors allows Enuna took take him to her world, Syk’m and the city of Bokon. There all of what he was made to believe as a child is brought in to question and in fact the Syk’m simply aren’t what he was told.

Needing his help to save their world, Hors goes on a daring and exciting adventure of discovery and self growth. The world building in this book is effortless, it flows so well and the characters have been well thought out and executed. All fans of fantasy will enjoy this magical, delightful and exciting story of self worth, acceptance and friendship.

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1 Facebook:Richard Dee Author

The next review is for the recent release by Patricia Furstenberg – Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories

About the book

In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.

Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.

A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1

Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference

The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.

“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)

An recent review for the book

Jen Thomason 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful meeting of language and history  Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2021

This book is a bit unusual in that it is comprised of 100-word short stories providing a fictional story about a time and place in Transylvania, then followed up with a historical explanation of the story and a photograph of the area. Furstenburg’s writing and language are beautiful as always, but I particularly enjoyed the historical snippets and photographs following each story. Prepare to be amazed at the similarities between problems in historical Transylvania and our modern world today. This was a fabulous read and one that I highly recommend.  

A small selection of other books by Patricia Furstenberg (some in Afrikaans)

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK Blog: Alluring Creations Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @PatFurstenberg

The final review is for Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca  by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

About the book

“Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca” resumes outside the Lost Library, where Hallgeir was faced with a decision that could impact the entire world.
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Lucetius is gravely wounded when he attempts to deliver a message. Emlyn, Zasha, and Osabide are again separated from all their friends. The Three must continue their journey without assistance or protection from the other travelers. They must reach the faraway city of Pergesca. That is also the seat of power of the ancient Society of Deae Matres. Will the companions eventually be reunited?
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A vicious enemy returns, displaying unexpected strength.
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An important character dies in this novelette. The death of a character is a rare thing in stories written by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D.L. Finn5.0 out of 5 stars I love Emlyn’s growth, but who does she trust now?  Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2021

“Pergesca” continues the journey with Emlyn. She is growing into a powerful young woman that is finally learning to trust herself after being raised not to be heard. She runs into challenges to conquer, and sometimes help comes from unexpected places. A lot went on in this journey, and I don’t want to give anything away, but a certain character’s death was hard-hitting to not only read but for Emlyn. I felt it was necessary for the story, though. I love Zasha, Emlyn, and Osabide as the three and how they work with each other. The place, Pergesca, offers more questions to be answered after some things are resolved. I’m eager to see what happens to Emlyn and her friends, as things seem to come to a critical point. As the story stands now, it’s hard to tell who to trust. A fantastic read, but I recommend you read this journey from the beginning, so you don’t miss out on anything.  

A small selection of other books by Teagan

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #History #JewishFiction Eva Hnizdo, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Poetry Balroop Singh


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

The first review is for Eva Hnizdo and her new novel, released on 28th September. The historical Jewish fiction Why Didn’t They Leave?

About the book

You can’t ask for asylum in another country just because your mother drives you nuts, so when 19-year-old Zuzana flees from communist Czechoslovakia to England in 1972, she says she just wants freedom. Her relationship with her mother, Magda – a Holocaust survivor who lost most of her family in the concentration camps – is toxic and Zuzana finds happiness in London with a loving husband and beautiful son. But when her mother dies, Zuzana is crushed by guilt and feels an overwhelming urge to discover more about her family’s tragic history. So, she embarks on a life-changing journey, discovers some incredible stories and tries to answer the question which haunts her: Why didn’t they leave?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Peter Fink 5.0 out of 5 stars Why didn’t they leave? or Why did they stay?  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 October 2021

In the many books dealing with the dramatic canvas of twentieth-century European history, the Eva Hnizdo book: Why didn’t they leave? stands out.

By not following the format of other personal recollections of the horrors and inhumanity of the Holocaust, her perceptive writing focuses on a more universal question of how to capture the complexity of individual lives and how we become who we are by our decisions and actions. The book’s alternative title could have easily have been: Why did they stay?

What made this book stand out for me is how the writer seamlessly interweaves the enormity of the Holocaust and communism with the human desire of all the protagonists to be known and heard, in owning their unique story as a mother, daughter …. or being Jewish or Czech … The multi-layered narratives of Magda and her mother become an almost surgical step by step capturing of a shared burden of multigenerational trauma of encountering the values of another person formed in another time and of the ultimate redemption of allowing yourself to be  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – Follow Eva: GoodreadsWebsite: Eva Hnizdo Writer – Facebook: Eva Hnizdo – Twitter: @EvaHnizdo

The next review is for Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

About the book

In this ninth installment Emlyn, Osabide, and Fotia (in Zasha’s body) traveled to a third world, so little known that it is only called the Other Realm. They hope to restore Zasha. Will Fotia willingly relinquish her new life in a young body? There the trio meet unpredictable, but vastly powerful beings known as the Listeners. One of them is a new enemy. Another might be friend or foe. Either way, he is dangerous.
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Arawn has grown stronger. An army of the dead gathers near the Lost Library. Hallgeir faces one of the biggest decisions of his life.
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Journey with our travelers. Adventure awaits.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A ramble through portals into different realms.  Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2021

Journey 9 begins with Emlyn, Osabide, and Focia stuck in another dimension in the lost library. They’re trying to return Zasha to her body as well as find their way back to the rest of the Deae Matras group. This novella-length journey expands on Emlyn’s ability to pass between realms, and they learn more about the dire condition of the veil that separates the dead from the living.

As always, Geneviene’s episode is full of luscious details about the world including stairways that seem to lead nowhere, runes that turn cold, and magical staffs that hold the key to power. Some of these story elements feel random, but they do enhance the mystery and adventure, and there’s a chance that they’ll tie together at some point.

There are lots of mysterious characters, some helpful, some malevolent, and a few who could go either way. Little by little stakes are rising and the Deae Matras are in the thick of it. I look forward to continuing the fantasy adventure.

A small selection of other books by Teagan

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

The final review today is for Balroop Singh… and her poetry collection…Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

About the collection

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them.This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

A recent review for the collection

Sep 10, 2021 Trish Butler rated it five stars

My favourite Balroop Singh collection so far!

I’ve read and enjoyed several of Singh’s volumes, but this one is my favourite. She has taken on the discipline of haiku and tanka and excelled.

Grouping these short poems into subjects was a great inspiration too and I particularly loved the images with some of them as I am a very visual person.

Singh’s poetry is calming and beautiful and this book is no exception. Take your time and experience the calm her words can have over you.

I’d love to hear them read aloud.  

Other books by Balroop Singh

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop : Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter: @BalroopShado

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Historical Margaret Skea


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

The first author with a recent review is D.Wallace Peach..for her stand alone fantasy The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

About the book

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lauren Scott 5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Nautical Adventure!  Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2021

“The Ferryman and the Sea Witch” by D. Wallace Peach is a fast-moving, gripping nautical fantasy where the merrow rule the sea. Panmar, the Sea Witch, swims into the spotlight, luring the readers onto a choppy ride to the dark side with her hungry appetite for human sacrifices. Callum, the second main character, becomes the ferryman, finding himself trapped in a disturbing bargain with the Sea Witch. In addition to Panmar and Callum, Diana adds realistic nuances to other characters as well, where I felt genuine empathy for some and loathed others without question.

With each turn of the page, the reader becomes curious to learn what transpires between two warring nations: Brid Clarion luxuriating in wealth, and Haf Killick, a floating city of dilapidated ships. Diana’s descriptive writing and world-building is so vivid and real that I felt as though I stood on the Windwraith, balancing to the sea’s rhythm, with Callum an arm’s length away. I was swept into this fantasy with turbulent twists and turns but was surprised with the touch of romance. Another fantasy tale of beauty and excellent writing that I could not put down. Readers who revel in Diana’s creative storytelling, fantasy genre devotees, and those seeking something different from their usual choices will love this fantastic nautical adventure. Highly recommended!  

A selection of books by D.Wallace Peach

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

The next review is for Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

About Journey 7, Revernant Pass

Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass begins with the ancient watcher’s memory of the Library of the Society of Deae Matres — and its fall. We also get a look into the thought process of treacherous Arawn. Then the story picks up where we left Emlyn and company, trapped in the Realm of the Dead.
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This Journey is shorter than some, but adventure abounds. Some characters go missing. You’ll have to read to learn more.
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Come, be a part of the Journeys.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach5.0 out of 5 stars The Realm of the Dead and the Lost Library  Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2021

After seven installments I’m becoming used to the modest pace and omniscient feel of the narrative. The backstory repeats now and then, likely catching readers up who are exploring the epic world at a casual pace. As always, the level of detail in the world-building is meticulous.

Like many of the journeys in this story, this episode has two “parts.” Journey 7 begins with Emlyn and her party of Deae Matres stuck beyond the veil in the Realm of the Dead without a clue as to how to get back. The setting is creepy and the resolution full of danger. In the second half of the journey, they search for the Lost Library, which appears to be nothing but ruins… only it isn’t. As is the case with several of the episodes, it ends on a cliffhanger. Dead of Winter continues to be an engaging read for fans of epic fantasy.

A small selection of other books by Teagan

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

The final book today with a recent review is for Katharina: Deliverance by Margaret Skea

About the book

RUNNER-UP Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2018

At five Katharina is placed in a convent.
At twenty-three she escapes.
At twenty-five she marries the most controversial man in Europe.

This is her story – of courage, resilience in the face of adversity and a determination to choose her own life.

If you like your historical fiction to be absorbing, authentic, beautifully written and full of warmth and heart, this portrayal of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who married Martin Luther, is for you.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jun 14, 2021 Terri rated it five stars it was amazing

Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Katharina is a sprawling, immersive and meticulously researched account of the early years of Katharina Von Bora, the fascinating and little-known woman who became the wife of Martin Luther, the German priest who triggered the Protestant Reformation, in 1525.

Drawing heavily on the limited facts that are actually known of Katharina’s life, and told with compassion, historical clarity, and incredible insight, the author constructs a fictionalized world of Saxony (Germany) in the 1500’s that is impossible to step away from.

In a time and context that considers girls born to families without the capacity to post large dowries and thus obtain successful marriages as burdensome economic liabilities, the facts of Katharina’s childhood and subsequent upbringing , heartbreakingly difficult to read in parts, were sadly not that uncommon.

As a protagonist Katharina is intelligent, musical, thoughtful, and at the same time, deeply religious. She is also a girl, a person of her times, desperately insecure and struggling to find inner peace in a world in which very little of what she experiences is an act of choice or free will.

“Outwardly serene, inwardly I pray a final anguished prayer that one day I may prove worthy”

Without giving too much of the plot away (no spoilers here) before reading this book I knew nothing of the story behind Katharina’s rise to adulthood, occurring in parallel with the initial stirrings of the Reformation in Germany, (and subsequently around the world) and once I felt the first inescapable pull to enter her world, I absolutely could not put this book down.

Across the centuries, Katharina’s experiences of love and loss, life-altering decisions, dependance, fear, friendship and betrayal, – more dramatic, likely, than most of us experience – are none-the-less instantly relatable and totally engrossing.

“I find it hard to think of myself as a single person rather than as part of a community, and I struggle to choose in even the simplest of situations.”

Heart-breaking, inspiring and informative – this book belongs at the top of the list of any fan of historical fiction.

The first in the “Katharina: Luther” series, this book is followed by a recounting of the later years of Katharina’s life. I can’t wait to read more of this series!

A great big thank you to the author, Margaret Skea, for an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts presented are my own.

A selection of books by Margaret Skea

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Margaret: Goodreads – Website: Margaret Skea – LinkedIn: Margaret SkeaTwitter:@margaretskea1 – Facebook: Margaret Skea

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews #Wine Linda Sheehan, #Fantasy Barbara Spencer, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene


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

The first author with a recent review is Linda Sheehan for her novel Decanted.

About the book

From author Linda Sheehan, who’s part of a Napa wine dynasty, comes a story of grapes, wine, first crushes, and juicy redemption. Dreading the desk job that awaits her after high school, eighteen-year-old Vivian Goodyear takes off for pre-World War ll Paris, where she supports herself as an artist’s model.

Flash forward to modern day Manhattan where, inspired by Vivian’s courage, her grand-niece Samantha leaves her pressure cooker career to work the grape harvest in France. There, between picking grapes in the vineyard and crushing them in the cellar, she gets lessons in the art of making wine and in the art of making love. But when her world is turned upside down, a link from Aunt Vivian’s past could right it in a tale of being on top, sinking to the bottom, and coming up for glorious air.

One of the recent reviews 

And another book keeps me up late because I can’t stop reading—Decanted by Linda Sheehan. This was really entertaining.

Samantha loves wine. She loves learning about new varieties and she has an exceptional palate for nuances and flavors. She dreams of a career in the wine industry and hopes to get her accounting firm to consider branching out into that industry.

One day, inspired by the memory of her spirited great-aunt Vivian, she quits her high-pressure accounting job and goes to France, to help a renowned family harvest their grapes. It’s hard work in a gorgeous setting (the family’s handsome son doesn’t hurt) and she learns so much about the business—not to mention about love.

Julien takes her all over France to understand how different wines are made, and what differentiates exceptional wine from good wine. It’s an incredible, invaluable education. But when she leaves France suddenly she’s more determined than ever to make her own wine—and make it exceptional. She’ll need hard work, luck, confidence, and more inspiration from Aunt Vivian.

Meanwhile, snippets throughout the book show Vivian, a young woman who goes to pre-WWII Paris to escape the boring life her parents want for her. There she becomes an artist’s muse and finds herself in the midst of some extraordinary situations.

Decanted was a great story about following your dreams and believing in yourself against all odds. I learned so much about wine (the author is co-owner of a winery in Napa so she knows her stuff) and boy, this book made me hungry! It’s a hopeful, emotional, sexy, enjoyable book.  

Connect to Linda Sheehan: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Linda:Goodreads – Website:Linda Sheehan Author – Facebook:Linda Sheehan – Instagram::Linda Sheehan Author

Next a recent review for the latest release by Barbara Spencer..Sunset on Golden Wings (Swans Book 2)

About the book

Three years have passed since the tragic events of that summer, when swans first visited the city and Maidy is on the way to New York, where Ruth, now a famous film star, is to be married. Promising Pappy to toss her memories overboard, this proves impossible when a chance encounter with a passenger brings back thoughts of Zande and the realisation that she still loves him.

On her return a casual job offer from Hans, to work in his art shop in Flambeau in France, brings Justine into Maidy’s life. But all too soon Ruth and Zande step out from the wings and reassume their dominance of events. Ruth re-awakens Hans’ boyhood passion for her, placing his relationship with Justine in jeopardy, and Zande?

Once again, both happiness and tragedy will find their way to Maidy’s door but is the ending already written?

One of early reviews for Sunset on Golden Wings

May 12, 2021 Catherine Kullmann rated it five stars

Barbara Spencer brings her Carinatae Series to a triumphant, bittersweet close, deftly weaving together the threads from the Children of Zeus trilogy with those of The Year the Swans Came to create a vibrant tapestry of love, loss and redemption.

The narrator again is Maidy, heroine of The Year the Swans Came. Three years later, she is still struggling to come to terms with the events of that tragic summer. Ruth, now a famous film star, is again the catalyst for a startling series of events that lead inevitably to the final, satisfying denouement.

I cannot praise this series too highly. It will be at the top of my Books of 2021 List. Brava, Ms Spencer!  

A small selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Connect to Barbara Spencer: Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

The final author today is Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene with a recent review for Dead of Winter, Journey 6 — The Fluting Fell

About the book

Emlyn’s story continues in Journey 6, The Fluting Fell. She gains tragic insight into Boabhan… horrifying things that she is too young to know. This event also shows an unexpected softer side to another character.
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The travelers reach an abandoned estate, Wych Elm Manor, although it is not completely unoccupied. It yields answers as well as questions. Emlyn finds clues that lead them farther into their journey. She also meets the silvery-haired young man again.
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The travelers have put some distance between themselves and the Brethren of Un’Naf, but do even worse dangers await them? Danger deepens when they take refuge in a mysterious structure.
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Come, be a part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

D.L. Finn5.0 out of 5 stars I can’t wait to read Journey 7!  Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2021

I have loved the journey through “Dead of Winter.” Journey 6 offered some answers, but also added more questions. Emlyn is pulled into another’s dream and experienced a horrible time in the other dreamer’s life. That moment made it clear what evil the group was dealing with. After the reactions to the shared dream, they continue on their way. I love where they make camp for a while. I could easily imagine the old mansion through the vivid descriptions. Learning more about the household, and interacting with ghosts made this one another page-turner. They ended up in a strange place that didn’t appear to be safe, but it certainly set the stage for the upcoming Journey 7, which I can’t wait to read!  

A small selection of other books by Teagan

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Thriller Harmony Kent, #Fantasy Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Historical Margaret Skea


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 Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Indie Author Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved – The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015 – Elemental Earth (YA Fantasy Fiction) – Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015 – Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction) – Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry) – Interludes (Erotic Short Stories) – Moments (Short Stories and Poetry) – Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings) Backstage (Erotic Romance)- Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. Harmony lives in Cornwall, England. Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

A small selection of books by Harmony Kent

A recent review for The Vanished Boy

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A parent’s worst nightmare. Riveting.  Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2021

I read this book in two sittings. I even listened to it on my phone while working out to Jane Fonda. I couldn’t put it down. What parent hasn’t had those moments of panic when a child doesn’t call, or shows up late, or wanders off? For Carole, that scare becomes a nightmare as her son Jayden vanishes without a trace.

The first 75% of the book follows Carole as she desperately seeks clues. I was riveted to her every move, including the realistic struggle of tracking her son through social media, with all the unhelpful information and hurtful comments that come with it. The author did a great job with Carole’s navigation through the technical aspects. Her resourcefulness felt authentic as did her unraveling of the clues—even as she’s emotionally falling apart.

The story is told in Carole’s tight pov until the last quarter of the book when several other characters share their experiences in their own points of view and in varying formats: flashback-style narratives, diary entries, and an interview. This is where the details of the events surrounding Jayden’s disappearance come to life. I would have liked the story to continue with Carole, but the pov of the perpetrator was worth the diversion.

The pacing is desperate until the wrap up at the end. The plot holds together well, and there are some surprises that I didn’t see coming. A great read for fans of fast-paced thrillers.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

Meet Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris

A small selection of other books by Teagan

A recent review for Dead of Winter Journey 5 – Llyn Pistyll Falls

Anita Dawes5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Five… and the suspense is climbing!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2021

In this journey, we discover Lyn Pistyll, a beautiful waterfall, and in Emlyn’s dreams, Arawn, the king of the dead lives there.

Legend has it that when the Great Wall was healed, this waterfall was created, sealing the dead away from the living.

Dead of Winter is a story with ghosts, but not your average ghost story.
The veil that was meant to keep the realms apart has been ripped apart by the untimely and brutal arrival of Arawn and the spirits can now more between the worlds, where, of course, Emlyn can see them.
But these ghosts are not here to cause trouble, they just want to pick up where they were before they died.

Dead of Winter gets better with every journey, but some serious co-operation by all concerned will be needed to sort this mess out!  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

Meet Margaret Skea

 Award winning writer Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders.

Katharina: Fortitude was shortlisted for The 2020 BookBrunch Award Katharina :Deliverance was placed 2nd in the (international) Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2018. Judged ‘Assured, evocative, compelling, a fascinating read.’ by Lead judge Catharina Cho. Together they chronicle the life of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who married Martin Luther.

Previous Prizes: Awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014 and Historical Fiction Winner in the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition for her debut novel Turn of the Tide, the sequel A House Divided was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016. The third book in the series, By Sword and Storm, was published in July 2018.
Margaret is passionate about well-researched, authentic historical fiction and providing a ‘you are there’ experience for the reader.

An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – wins include, Neil Gunn, Chrysalis, and Winchester. Placings and listings include Rubery Short Story, Historical Novel Society Short Story, Mslexia, Fish – Short Story and One Page Prize and the Matthew Pritchard Award. She has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.

A collection of short stories – Dust Blowing and Other Stories – including some of those from competitions mentioned above, is also available.

Books by Margaret Skea

One of the recent reviews for Katharina Deliverance (Katharina Luther Series Book 1)

JJReader 5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Gripping  Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2021

This book was a welcome change from the business books and escape reading that I normally alternate. I don’t know what I expected, other than an elegance of language and better attention to clean writing in the sense of grammatical and mechanical correctness. I made the passing acquaintance of the author in a virtual conference we both attended, and unexpectedly became curious about the topic of this book.

What I didn’t expect was that it would be a page-turner. I read 25% of it on a lunch break yesterday and finished it in one sitting today. When the ‘leave a review’ prompt appeared in my Kindle, I was jolted from the world the author had evoked. I’m so happy that the second book of the duet is available, so I can find out what led up to the hints of Katharine’s decline that punctuated the story and learn – even if fictionalized – whether the marriage of convenience ever led to love.

What I enjoyed most was being transported to the 16th century (thank goodness without the smells and inconveniences) in such an absorbing way. Seeing how religion and faith permeated almost every aspect of life in those times and how young Katharine struggled to reconcile her upbringing with the new ideas of Martin Luther was enlightening. I can’t wait to start the next book!

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Margaret: Goodreads – Website: Margaret Skea – LinkedIn: Margaret SkeaTwitter: @margaretskea1 – Facebook: Margaret Skea

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Fantasy Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn by Teagan Riordain Geneviene


Time to celebrate another new release from Teagan Riordain Geneviene with the second book in a fantasy serial Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn

About the book

Journey 2, Penllyn picks up where the first installment, Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak stopped. The supernatural warning, “Winter is coming!” continues to haunt Emlyn. Her father has heard her utter those words, and he is displeased to say the least. In fact, her family situation in general is becoming more perilous.

As if visitations from ghosts weren’t enough, another entity has started coming to her. She isn’t sure whether he is a spirit or something else, but he gives her the same prophetic warning.

Now Emlyn’s father has begun to behave strangely.

Join Emlyn on this strange journey to the neighboring village of Penllyn. Try not to look over your shoulder…

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

A selection of other books by Teagan

One of the recent reviews for Dead of Winter Journey 1 Forlorn Peak

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars I can’t wait to see what happens next. Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2021

Dead of Winter is the first part of a monthly series. Emlyn is a young girl who lives in an oppressive society that has taken away women’s rights. She is gifted, being able to see ghosts, and her father has found a way to educate her, but she has learned to be careful who she trusts. I was immediately invested in her well-being and found myself upset with this fictional culture. Puritans came to mind, along with the dark ages with the drab colors, lack of education for most females, and swift punishments for any infractions. I loved her relationship with her teacher and instantly disliked her brother-in-law. This is a great beginning, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

 

About Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Releases – #Scifi Richard Dee, #Fantasy Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Review – #Humour Sue Vincent


Welcome to the first edition of the Cafe and Bookstore this week with two new releases and a review for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a new release is Richard Dee with another adventure for the intrepid Andorra Pett.. takes a break.

About the book

Just when she thought it was all over, there’s another adventure for space sleuth Andorra Pett.

Yearning for peace and quiet with her partner, Derek, Andorra heads home to the space mine off Saturn. It’s been a while since she left, she wants to be among her friends again.

Despite her good intentions, she soon gets dragged into station politics, so it’s a relief when the chance of a holiday comes up.

All she has to do is give a speech on the maiden voyage of the Solar Breeze, a new type of cruise ship. A voyage around the solar system will soon be the must-have vacation.

Andorra will be one of the first to try it, along with the great and the good.

But nothing is ever simple in Andorra’s life. Things get serious when the Solar Breeze is hijacked by eco-terrorists. They want an end to the dumping of rubbish on Mars.

Or else! Andorra’s trip on the Solar Breeze might just be the voyage of a lifetime.

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

A small selection of other books by Richard Dee

One of the reviews for first book in the series Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café:

Book Squirrel5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci-fi mystery!  Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020

Andorra and her best friend Cy are fabulous as the lead characters in this entertaining science fiction mystery story that takes place on a space station operating on the rings of Saturn. Dee writes with a natural and relaxed style, infused with humour and observant insight into human behaviour and responses.

The story itself is well-crafted, immersing the reader in the station’s community and keeping them guessing with well-executed twists and clever diversions woven seamlessly into the plot. The world building is original and complex, opening the reader’s imagination to the vast possibilities of life beyond our own world.

The cast of characters and their individual personalities, quirks and motivations remind the reader that people are the same wherever you go, which is why the premise and assumptions of the story work so well. This is a most enjoyable read that will appeal to lovers of sci-fi and murder mysteries alike.

The first three Andorra Pett Adventures are available in a box set: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UKWebsite: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1

The next author with a new release is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with the first book in a fantasy serial Dead of Winter- Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

About the book

Dead of Winter takes place in a fantasy world that resembles some countries in the past of our own world. In this monthly series we travel through many lands, each with a distinct culture. The adventure begins in the Flowing Lands at Forlorn Peak.The Brethren are fanatics who gradually took over the Flowing Lands. They say all beliefs but theirs are heresy. Women are little more than property. Emlyn is only twelve, but to the Brethren she is an abomination. Why? She can see ghosts and other things. That’s a secret she can admit only to her teacher, Osabide.The stronger Emlyn’s ability gets, the harder it is for her to hide it. Now she has also gotten a supernatural warning that she knows is not about the weather, “Winter is coming!”

One of the early reviews for the book

D. W. Peach5.0 out of 5 stars First serial journey sets the stage with teasers  Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2020

This story will unfold in monthly installments (Journeys), and in this first novelette, the author introduces the reader to the fantasy world, to the main protagonist, Emlyn, and to a few secondary characters who impact her life. I read this Journey in less than an hour.

Emlyn lives with her father and sister in a rural village where the culture is patriarchal and restrictive, with women bearing the brunt of the harsh control. This doesn’t bode well for Emlyn who has the ability to see ghosts. Osabide, Emlyn’s elderly teacher and a wise woman reminds her not to share knowledge of her gifts with anyone, because her strange skill could cost her everything, including her life.

The story is told from Emlyn’s point of view, and the reader gets glimpses of her encounters with ghosts as well as a mysterious white wolf. The novelette raises questions, and there are teasers galore, including an underlying sense of danger. An excellent start to an epic tale, recommended to readers who enjoy fantasies and want to try a different sort of reading experience. I’m looking forward to the next Journey.

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

A selection of other books by Teagan

 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

Now for a recent review for Sue Vincent and the small black dog Ani...and their Christmas themed observations, verse and anecdotes Pass the Turkey

About the book

It is almost Christmas and things are not looking good for the Small Dog. There are too many Santas, too few tennis balls and not enough snow. To make matters worse, her two-legs says there is no room for a Christmas Tree in their new home and there isn’t even a chimney!In a bid to save Christmas, the Small Dog decides to write to Santa. Every day. Join Ani as she tells Santa about her days, explores what Christmas means to her and asks him some very awkward questions…A seasonal collection of verse, humour and anecdotes from the inimitable Small Dog.

A recent review for the book

Sam Ellens 5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have holiday read!  Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2020

A delightful selection of musings, memories, poems, and letters to Santa from the author’s dog, Ani. You’ve never read a holiday story quite like this one as Sue Vincent gets inside Ani’s head and cuts loose! Numerous photos add much to the book’s charm and make you wish you had a dog like Ani for yourself, minus a few naughty quirks. A feel-good, laugh out loud look at Christmas you’ll never forget. Highly recommended!

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

A small selection of other books by Sue Vincent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UKand:Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent  – Twitter:@SCVincent
Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Book Reviews – #FamilySaga Claire Fullerton, #Fantasy Teagan Riordain Geneviene.


Welcome to the series where I will be sharing a selection of book reviews I have posted in the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to showcase books that I have enjoyed and their authors and if you have not read the books, I hope it will encourage you to check them out.

The first review for 2018 is for Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton, a family saga set in Memphis in the 1970s and 1980s, with a coming of age for a brother and sister dropped into the opulence and charm of Southern culture.

About the book

“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

My review for the book.

I am not sure that anyone who is not born into the opulent, and long cultivated upper echelons of Southern culture, would be able to slip into its charming, but strictly adhered to rules of engagement easily. Especially when you are on the cusp of your teen years and  brought up in the very different environment. As are Millie aged ten and her brother Finlay, who is eighteen months older.

“We had Minnesota accents, we were white as the driven snow, and we both had a painfully difficult time deciphering the Southern accent, which operates at lightening speed, and doesn’t feel the need for enunciation. Instead, it trips along the lines of implication.”

Posey comes from an affluent Southern family and was brought up in a sprawling stucco French Chateau which she left having met a charismatic and rich Yankee. Her marriage is over, and the wealth that she is accustomed to is gone; and she has little choice but to return to her family home in Memphis. She slips right back into society where she left off, as she takes over the running of the house, and with four years until an income will be available from her inherited trust fund, other means must be found.

The intricacies of the society that the two children find themselves inserted into, has little relation to the outside world. Steeped in tradition, long forged alliances, eccentricities and acceptable behaviour, stretching back through many generations. Little has changed, and that is the way it is orchestrated to remain. Clearly defined roles for males and females are perpetuated in the schooling that prepares the young to continue the status quo into the future, and non-conformity is frowned upon.  You will fit in or face exclusion.

This novel is about the relationship between a brother and sister and is written from Millie’s perspective, now 36 years old, as she revisits their childhood and teenage years. She is looking for answers and clues as to where her relationship with Finlay, which had been so solid and close, began to disconnect. Without a doubt for me one of elements that is crucial to this, is their mother, and Claire Fullerton has done a masterful job in creating her self-absorbed but somehow vulnerable character.

“My mother did not walk into a room, she sashayed, borne from the swivel of her twenty-four inch waist. Her name was Posey, and although there was a lot more to her that she ever let on, to all appearances, the name suited her perfectly.”

The story is not fast paced, flowing smoothly as it meanders through the lives of Posey, Millie and Finlay. You are drawn into their experiences, and you find yourself mentally bookmarking certain events and revelations, that explain how such a close bond became disconnected. I found myself engaging with the main characters early on, and I became emotionally attached to them all. Those of us with brothers and sisters can find parallels in our own relationships, especially those that might not be as close as they were when growing up.

Mourning Dove is elegantly written with a brilliantly descriptive language that has you immersed in this very exclusive and opulent society. I dare you not to read, and not come away with a distinctive drawl of lightening speed, without the need of enunciation!

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

Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the long list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.

Also by Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire on : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Twitter: @Cfullerton3

Now time for a little fantasy from Teagan Riordain Geneviene. A lovely story of about glowing pigs and a prequel to Atonement, Tennessee.

About The Glowing Pigs – Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee – A short book long on characters….

These snort stories are part of the “universe” of the urban fantasy town created by author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene ― Atonement, Tennessee. They continue the adventures of the otherworldly pigs and the residents of the quirky town.

Like some of the other Atonement characters, the otherworldly glowing pigs were loosely inspired by the ancient myth of Gwydion fab Don. The pig-tales snuffle alongside the novels

Atonement, Tennessee and Atonement in Bloom at various points in the time-line.

The first snort (“Robin’s Great Chase”) is a prequel to all the Atonement stories. The story-line comes into play in the next novel, Atonement in Bloom, where the glowing pigs snuffle, snort, and grunt into action.

The glowing pigs are one small part of the quirky, supernatural town of Atonement, TN. However, they are the most likely to steal your heart.

My review for The Glowing Pigs.

This book is a short but delightful appetizer and prequel to Atonement, Tennessee. We get to meet Deme and Honeybell, two of the glowing pigs who live in the woods around Atonement. Their mistress is the beautiful Goewin, whose very sight, had the younger version of Robin Warden smitten for life. These mischievous little pigs… and I hold Deme entirely responsible as the ring leader, are always up for adventure, and over six stories we get to enjoy their escapades.

We also get to meet some of the main characters from Atonement, and discover their reasons for coming to this special town. Including the much younger Marge Tipton who becomes the local diner owner in the novel.

As a bonus Teagan Geneviene shares a story from her sequel, Atonement in Bloom, out later this year. When Glowing Pigs Fly is in honour of National Pig Day, when the little glowing creatures get to play with humans officially, rather than the sneaky visitations by Deme and Honeybell the rest of the year.

Children and adults alike would enjoy this sweet collection of stories.

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

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no *extremes* in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. Teagan’s Books

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

A selection of other books by Teagan

Teagan Geneviene – Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to take away with you.. thanks Sally.