Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update. The first author who has been enjoying recent reviews is Frank Parker for the historical novel Strongbow’s Wife.
About the book
Do you have Irish ancestry? How much do you know about the act of treachery that gave rise to the centuries long conflict between Ireland and the English?
A century after the Norman conquest of England, the men entrusted with suppressing the Welsh were invited to bring peace to Ireland. The result was the opposite: the commencement of a tumultuous period in the relationship between England, Wales and Ireland that began 800 years of subjugation of the Irish by the English.
Little is recorded about the life of the woman who married Strongbow in return for the latter’s assistance in her father’s quest to regain the kingship of Leinster. The activities of Strongbow, and the other Cambro-Normans who took part in the occupation of Ireland in the twelfth century, have been written about extensively. Of Aoife we know only that she accompanied her father on his year long search for assistance, that, when Strongbow eventually arrived, the marriage took place days after a massacre in Waterford.
This account of those events is presented through her eyes. First as a teenager trying to understand the politics behind her father’s downfall. Then as a young wife caught up in the rivalry between her husband and the other leaders of the invading army. Finally, as a widowed mother worried about her children and the future of her native land.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Strongbow’s Wife by Frank Parker is a sprawling saga of 12th century Irish history as told through the eyes of Aoife MacMurrough, daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster. Though a work of fiction, it is evident that Parker used extensive research to bring to life the challenges of ancient feudal clans fighting for cultural preservation.
Parker’s story begins in 1152, when Aoife is a child watching her father struggle to maintain his kingdom. She travels for several years with her father and mother in search of the King of England who might be able to provide support for Leinster. The plan fails, and Dermot MacMurrough plots another strategy, offering Aoife in marriage to Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke. In return, de Clare would lead the Norman invasion to fend off feuding usurpers of Leinster. Aoife MacMurrough marries Richard de Clare, also known as Strongbow, in 1170. The union assures the sovereignty of Leinster and leads to greater stabilization of peace. The story ends in 1187, the year before Aoife, princess of Leinster and countess of Pembroke, died.
In addition to remaining true to historical events, Parker uses sensory descriptions of locations to provide context. His dialogue seems to fit the period, and his metaphors are rich and colorful. These are definite strengths. I thought it was good to have the story told by Strongbow’s wife, and Parker tried to present a woman’s perspective. At times, that fell short for me. For example, Aoife only “paled” when she received word that her husband died. Other times, such as when Aoife’s son died, Parker did an excellent job of presenting the grief of a mother.
Some sections are somewhat boring, without much detail to provide an understanding of this period of medieval Irish history. Characters are mentioned, but I didn’t know enough about them to comprehend their importance. For example, Thomas Becket was presented early in the story. I’m aware that he was Archbishop of Canterbury until murdered in 1170, but I’m not sure of his connection to MacMurrough or Strongbow.
Overall, I liked Strongbow’s Wife. It would not normally be my choice of reading with battles, and decapitations, and fighting for dominance or control. But such is the history of mankind. The story’s strengths outweigh my minor criticisms. Well done, Frank Parker.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strongbows-Wife-Frank-Parker/dp/1499601220
and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Strongbows-Wife-Frank-Parker/dp/1499601220
Books by Frank Parker
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I
And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I
Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7834486.Frank_Parker
Connect to Frank via his website and blog: https://franklparker.com/
Gigi Sedlmayer has received recent reviews for Come Fly with Me the first book in the Talon Series. She has also entered her fourth book in the series to the Authorsdb for the First lines and Cover competitions …you can find how to vote after the review.
Talon, come fly with me is a delightful middle grade story set in Peru with a family of condors and missionary Australians.
Is it possible for condors to understand humans?
Suspend your beliefs and watch how an under-size girl, Matica, finds friends with a family of condors, after being rejected by the Indians because of her size.
There are beautiful descriptions of the flight of the condors, and more so when Talon is cared for by Matica. The language suits this age group and does not talk down to the reader.
This is a great inspirational story for everyone. It will lift you up and make you believe in adventures, friendships, acceptance in a whole new light.
Come and take the journey that is called Matica’s life. It is filled with rejections, heartbreaks, growth and loneliness, but through it all, it will make you feel stronger.
Talon, Come Fly With Me is the first book in this series and you will be blown away!!!
In a world full of pain this story gives ones hope
One of the recent reviews for the book
In life there are so many things that can weigh us down. Some times it is our circumstances and other times it might be ourselves. What matters most, however, is that we realize that we can soar in life if we don’t give up.
That to me is one of the big messages of the book TALON: Come Fly with Me by Gigi Sedlmayer. It takes you into the journey of Matica and Talon, both of him are not expected to do or be much because of circumstances but together realize that they are powerful. I love how this story evolves in such a way that it is great for readers of all ages. It reminds me that there is nothing that is truly impossible if we choose to believe that you can accomplish a goal. Maybe Matica couldn’t change how others saw her, but she could change how she chose to see herself. That empowered her to help Talon do the same, allowing them to show everyone why you shouldn’t count a girl (or bird) down.
Inspiring and a great reminder for everyone who has been told who they are not. TALON: Come Fly with Me reminds us to see who we are.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG
Also by Gigi Sedlmayer
Gigi has entered Talon Connected – The Fourth book of the series in the Authorsdb First Lines Contest: https://authorsdb.com/2018-first-lines-contest/24853-first-lines-contest-2018-talon-connected
And also into the cover contest: https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25756-cover-contest-2018-talon-connected
She would be grateful if you could find the time to vote for the book.. Thanks
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC
Read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer
Connect to Gigi via her website: http://gigised.com/
And the next author is me… I have received a number of lovely reviews in the last month for What’s in a Name Volume 1… and am really delighted.
About the collection
There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.
There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.
Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.
Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?
One of the recent reviews for the collection.
What a delightful read! Despite reading good reviews, I really didn’t know what to expect when I began the first (name) short story in this collection. I was enthralled immediately. Sally Cronin has a way of writing that invites you in with a cozy cup of tea and a biscuit, and then she weaves her tales about each person so succinctly, yet so elaborately at the same time, that by the end of the story, you don’t want to let go of that name. Of that character. Clever idea – to write a story for a person with a name. Think about it – what’s in YOUR name? .
You can read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6Y8BK1/
A selection of my other books
All available in Ebook from: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
And you can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin
Pamela Wight is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore
Pamela S. Wight, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
The final author with today is Andrew Joyce with a recent review fo Ellis: One Man’s Remarkable Life
About the book
From a rich tradition—from a fearless and audacious heritage—came forth a man who would be the embodiment of the Gloucester fisherman.
Ellis Hodgkins caught his first bluefin tuna at the tender age of fourteen, using only a hand line. It weighed 750 pounds. He did it by himself, fishing out of a ten-foot skiff. That feat earned him the title of Boy Wonder in and around Gloucester.
For those who marvel at the deeds of the men of Wicked Tuna, Ellis did it all before those guys were born.
This is the true story of one man’s remarkable life—a life lived on its own terms.
“Ellis is my hero.”—Dave Carraro of Wicked Tuna
One of the recent reviews for the book
Andrew Joyce is an American historical fiction author who creates tales as large as the characters in his books, and Ellis Hodgkins is definitely one of those characters.
At fourteen, Ellis caught his first bluefin tuna by hand, which was no easy task considering the fish weighed over 750 pounds. That single feat of strength initiates the teen on a path to fame and fortune.
“Ellis,” is the character study of a man motivated by an inner determination to succeed which follows him throughout all the stages of his life. Descended from tough Gloucester fishermen, Ellis is constantly evolving and changing which I found to be part of his allure. This young man embraces change. He has the foresight to recognize the big picture in many of his adventures resulting in even more opportunities. Nobody could ever say Ellis was a slacker.
Andrew Joyce follows the path of Ellis’ life journey in three acts, incorporating a rich historical perspective which serves to set the scene for each new location. I loved the history of the Seminoles in South Florida. Those historical tidbits were woven into Ellis’ story bringing a sense of the past to the future.
I’m not much of a sailor, but if you love sailing, this book contains rich descriptions that will put you in the middle of the action. I also loved the ending which inferred that Ellis’ story isn’t yet finished.
The book is a quick read, more the size of a novella, which is perfect for bedtime reading. At $.99 for the Kindle version, it is well worth the price. Drop anchor and have a read!
MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ellis-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B079NSFK86
Also by Andrew Joyce
Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM
Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/
Colleen Chesebro is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.
Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of books on offer. Thanks Sally