Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Karen Ingalls, M.J. Mallon, Lyn Horner, Helen Jones and Andrew Joyce


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week. I have made a slight adjustment to the timescales for reviews as with so many authors now in the bookstore, it is likely that several weeks might lapse between featuring everyone. So I will be looking at reviews on Amazon UK and US and also Goodreads within the last six months that I have not shared before.

The first featured author is Karen Ingalls who has been inspiring us with posts from her archives over the last few weeks. She has received another wonderful review for her memoir Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Verwayne Greenhoe 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving January 16, 2018

I found myself incredibly moved as I read this story. It speaks to the power of courage and faith in God. The author relates her joys and her nightmares and the eventual hitting the peak of recovery. The story at the end of Chapter 21 where the husband that continued to care for his wife even after he knew she no longer recognized him left me with moist eyes. Some take their marriage vows seriously.

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer, but because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in an experimental treatment program. I went through virtually every mountain and valley of emotions of which the author writes. I also had used the power of positive thinking and the belief that I was not in the struggle alone.

If you find yourself or a loved one with a diagnosed with cancer, this may be a story for you. You may find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle and how another handled their battle.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

The next author with a review is M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the excellent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Oct 12, 2017 Adele Marie Marie rated it Five Stars

From the beginning, I was drawn into the main character, Amelina’s world. It is quickly established that Amelina’s world is not like other girls her age. I can’t say more than that as I don’t want to give spoilers away.

Amelina is written so well. There is a part of her that all of us will recognise and emphasise with. At that awkward age where nothing fits and at the same time you feel as if you can conquer the world.

Darkness creeps in slowly in the form of Ryder who at first seems the answer to all Amelina desires, or is he? The circle of friends she has are all different personalities but they fit together like a circle. The description of each girl is short but gives us an immediate picture of their personality.

Then there are Amelina’s parents, her growing power and the strange invitation.

I give Curse of Time Book One five stars.

I enjoyed reading this novel and the only consolation I had when finishing it was there will be a book two. Marjorie has written a magical tale and drawn for us a world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface. I loved this novel and Marjorie’s telling of it. Amelina has a strong voice and I could see everything crystal clear through her eyes.

A book to go back and read time and time again.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The next author that I would like to showcase is Lyn Horner with Darlin’ Irish – Texas Devlins Book Two.

About the book

Psychics in the Old West? Yes indeed! Say howdy to Lyn Horner’s Texas Devlins, a trio of extraordinary siblings. Darlin’ Irish, the first book in the author’s unique, award-winning trilogy, is a tale of epic adventure and steamy romance set ablaze by flashes of psychic power.

Jessie Devlin possesses second sight, a gift inherited from the “Old Ones,” her Irish Druid ancestors. A survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, she endures nightmares of the fire in which a gentle, loving stranger saves her life. She believes they are fated to love and a prophetic vision sends her west in search of him. But a second vision warns of a fiery-eyed madman who may also wait somewhere beyond the horizon. Will her quest lead her to happiness . . . or into a deadly trap?

Captain David Taylor is a Texan banished from home after fighting for the “wrong side” in the War Between the States. Now serving on the frontier, David meets Jessie on the way back to his post after a trip east. She stares at him as if seeing a ghost, for he looks like the hero in her dreams, but while he’s entranced by her beauty, he has no taste for her firecracker temper. She brings to mind someone from his past who he’d rather forget.

As the two journey west by rail their clashing personalities war with a fiery attraction to one another. Violence dogs their path and explodes in Mormon Utah. Whether love will win the day or be lost forever is a question that hangs in the balance until a shattering final battle between good and evil on the broad Texas plains.

One of the great reviews for the book

Darlin’ Irish is a historical Western romantic adventure featuring an Irish lass Jessie with a gift of precognition that arrived as “visions”, and her adventures across the West with her Tye, and a handsome army Captain David. The book is quite entertaining, with a lot of adventure for them to fall for each other, and an evil guy who was really out to get them… The book really has a bit of everything and packed a lot of plot in 300+ pages (and it felt like a bit more than that!)

To recap, Jessie Devlin, with the gift of second sight, had survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but later she had a vision of her being saved by a gentle loving stranger… out West. When her brother Tye was determined to head West to try for a stake in the silver mines, Jessie decided to go with him, against their father’s wishes. But another vision gave her doubt… a fiery-eyed madman with black hand reached out for her… But she chose to go, trusting her visions. On the train, they met Captain David Taylor. Originally from Texas, he was banished from his home for joining up with the “wrong side” (i.e. Union). Jessie was sure that David was the kind man from her dreams, but David’s personality was nothing like she expected, as David has no taste for her firecracker temper, that reminded him of someone he’d rather forget. However, their journey was interrupted by violence and came to a head in Utah. But the battle was not over, not until a final battle on the plains of Texas.

Both characters are flawed to a degree and their interactions are a delight to read. The “heavy” was not TOO evil, but evil “enough” to make a good opponent for Captain Taylor. Too bad the heavy was introduced really late, like almost mid-book. And yes, you’ll come to understand what do the visions mean. The supernatural bits are just light enough to not be creepy nor powerful, i.e. just adds some spice. Tye will find his own love in the next volume. The book is has a few scenes of violence. Several people will die, and many people got hurt. So this is not *that* kind of romance. But it is a fun read.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Darlin-Irish-Texas-Devlins-Book-ebook/dp/B004ASNDES

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlin-Irish-Texas-Devlins-Book-ebook/dp/B004ASNDES

A selection of other books by Lyn Horner

Read the many reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

Read more reviews and follow Lyn on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4639926.Lyn_Horner

Connect to Lyn via her website: http://lynhorner.com

Delighted to feature Helen Jones with her latest release, on December 21st, in her popular YA series, Under Stone (The Ambeth Chronicles Book 4).

About the book

Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth.

But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either…
Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Under-Stone-Ambeth-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B078K6X984

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Under-Stone-Ambeth-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B078K6X984

Other books by Helen Jones

One of the excellent reviews for Hills and Valley’s Book 3 of the Series

This book finds Alma – having turned her back on Ambeth.

With Hills and Valleys, Helen Jones continues the wonderful Ambeth Chronicles. It is an enjoyable and compelling read, focussing on the events after the Harvest Fair – in Ambeth as well as in Alma’s world. Thorion, Deryck, Ellery, Alma – their lives have changed. Alma and her family visit her grandmother; her parents consider it having a healing effect. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s and the other characters’ mind sets while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I love how some secrets are solved and new mysteries come up, it is fine balance. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The third book in The Ambeth Chronicles series; the last chapters let me expect a promising fourth book. A book I definitely need to read. Recommended!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Time to catch up with Andrew Joyce and his most recent release Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups

About Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.

His book Yellow Hair was awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews.

One of the recent reviews for the book

So… you pull up next to a car at a long traffic light and eye the other driver. Do you immediately picture an entire novel in which that driver has just committed a heinous crime and is impatiently waiting for the light to change in order to make his/her getaway? Before the light turns green, have you filled in the details of the crime, pictured what would happen if the (obvious) criminal notices you watching them, and wondered if it would be possible to duck before bullets (or IDK…laser beams if your imaginings tend toward graphic novel territory) fly? I always thought that meant you are blessed with a writer’s imagination. Unless your name is Andrew Joyce, of course.

You see, this kind of thing has actually happened to Andrew. Lots. Whether real or imagined, he shares the details of his remarkable adventures and even more remarkable imagination in this epic collection of close to ninety short stories. What I realized in reading the collection, is that they are actually the record of a writer teaching himself his craft. We see his experiments over the years, share the ones that get on base, the ones that strike out, and the ones that hit it out of the park.

Oddly, to me the ones that resonate with the most truth are the hilariously snarky observations contributed by everyone’s favorite pooch-scribe, Danny the Dog. Although I’m still working my way through this treasury of bedtime stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. For one thing, it’s the perfect book to get you through the holidays. Stuck in a long line? You could run for your life from a psychopath in The Swamp. Suffering through the tortures of mall music? Check in with Danny the Dog for how to score extra turkey slices in Danny Extorts Andrew. Need a reminder of the things that really matter? Shed a tear for Michael.

Inevitably, I liked some stories better than others. But overall, I’m fascinated by the process as Andrew Joyce invites us to join him in honing the writing skills that have already produced his bestsellers. We meet a young Andrew in the stories about Billy Doyle (his real name). We meet the writer trying out other genres for size in stories like Dead and Wise Guy. And we meet Andrew himself through the unsentimental loving eyes of Danny the Dog. Which is the real Andrew? Obviously, whichever one is writing at that moment.

If Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is an epic series of writing experiments, its readers are the lucky witnesses to the experiments’ success.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V8XNTC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bedtime-Stories-Grown-Ups-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B075V8XNTC

Also by Andrew Joyce

51jymdwgckl-_uy250_ 51wekgjv4l-_uy250_ 511xzy2h0cl-_uy250_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

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of books from these talented authors. Thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Jane Risdon and Christina Jones, Andrew Joyce, Helen Jones and John Fioravanti


Welcome to another Christmas Book Fair where authors in the Cafe and Bookstore can showcase their books and remind you of their work in time for Christmas. Books are great gifts for young and old… I am sure you will find something to buy for yourself or family and friends.

The first feature is for two writers, Jane Risdon who contributed some wonderful posts from her archives and Christina Jones who co-wrote Only One Woman released last month.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m a bit of a fan of the swinging sixties, not quite of an age to fully appreciate it but my sister who is a lot older certainly ‘lived’ it so I gained quite a lot of knowledge from her, clothes, perfumes, music etc

Only One Woman nearly turned me off before I begun when I spotted how long it is. Being a blogger entails reading a LOT of books and I don’t always have time or patience to spend on one specific story if it drags into a lengthy tome. However no such fear with this one, as soon as I read the first few pages I just knew I was going to love it.

You soon become absorbed in the era, transported back to a completely different time. Told in the style of diary entries by Renza and Stella we immediately see into the world of these teenagers, what better way to get a feel for the climate.

Scott the rock god is the central link, Renza falls hopelessly for him but the relationship becomes long distance when her family moves abroad. Scott then meets Stella .. my initial thoughts were typical man, can’t have one girl so leaps at another. But the depth of this story explores the feelings from the trio and as much as it pains me I could almost understand Scott’s actions.

Only One Woman is cleverly written to capture the essence of all characters involved and I really felt connected to them. One moment I was rooting for Stella but in the blink of an eye Renza would be my favourite. I think the fact Scott was a hot musician helped his cause in my eyes, if he was just a layabout slob perhaps I would have given him a slap or two! I particularly enjoyed singing a long with the music and reminiscing about various 60’s products. Plenty of research or very good memories have gone into the writing of this book.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read the reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

Andrew Joyce for his recently published Bedtime Stories for Adults and has been enjoying wonderful reviews. A perfect gift for adults… to read at bedtime or anytime.

About Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.

His book Yellow Hair was awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

on November 29, 2017

Enter the creative and factual world of Andrew Joyce where imagination and memories collide in a spectacular volume of short and long stories. This book is a collection of many genres and styles. There is something here for everyone. And, that is one of the author’s gifts – the ability to write stories that capture everyone’s imagination.

I have to share with you that the true adventures the author lived through left me with some jaw-dropping moments. Be prepared for a wild ride. In these hitching tales, the author uses his real name, Billy Doyle, Andrew Joyce being his pen name. I think that fact made the stories even more terrifying for me. I couldn’t help but wonder what motivated the author’s wanderlust and later penchant for falling into tough situations. Yet, somehow, he managed to survive with the will to jump into another wild adventure. I can only attribute his gumption to being young and his willingness to experience life to the fullest.

A segment of the novel was skillfully written by the author’s dog, Danny. These heartwarming tales describe life with Andrew expressed with humor, love, and the kind of patience only our furry companions could have for their humans. Danny is a gem, and his stories are liberally sprinkled throughout this collection. I found that Danny’s take on life took the sting out of some of the real happenings recorded in this tome.

My favorite stories are always the tales of the old west. I’ve read and reviewed most of the author’s westerns: Molly Lee, Resolution, and Yellow Hair. Each novel is outstanding and written with historical facts that leap off the page.

In this collection, Joyce weaves old-fashioned western yarns with the skill of Louis L’Amour. He draws the reader back into time with him and suddenly you realize you are in the wild and often lawless west. I swear I could taste the dust and feel the heat of the old west wrap around me. The stories in this anthology are fabulous with a few new tales that I hadn’t read before.

There are too many stories to mention as the book is a long read. Some tales were quick, and others took a couple nights to read through. The entire volume took me a month of bedtime reading which shows the value and depth written into each of the stories. Don’t let the length deter you; instead read at your leisure, as I did.

I had a couple of favorites where I thought the author’s writing was spectacular, to say the least. He seemed to stretch his wings and venture into new writing territory. “How I became a Detective,” is one (although there are a few more tales related to this genre), and the other story was called, “Conversation with a Friend,” which was my favorite because of the message.

Bedtime Stories reads like a labor of love and a cleansing of the author’s soul. I’ve never read a collection of stories that lets you into the heart of the writer in this way. By the time you have finished the novel, you’ve walked beside the author and experienced life through his eyes which is a rare gift, indeed.

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/dp/B075V8XNTC

and Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V8XNTC

Also by Andrew Joyce

51jymdwgckl-_uy250_ 51wekgjv4l-_uy250_ 511xzy2h0cl-_uy250_Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

and: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

The next author with several books that would make great gifts is Helen Jones and here is a recent review for her book A Thousand Rooms.

About A Thousand Rooms

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Laurie rated it Four Stars on September 5th 2017

Wow! Haven’t we all wondered what happens when our time on earth end?
Helen Jones took the plunge thru a character named Katie who dies suddenly and quite by accident. Obviously, Nobody was expecting her,which causes some problems for Katie as she attempts to find Heaven.

Heaven isn’t about one big cloud we all sit on, but finding peace and complete happiness and forgiveness in those we have left behind. Katie- after visiting so many rooms in Heaven that she does not belong in, finds her room and her complete love.

“Maybe I would have been able to show you a little, but you had to find it in yourself. You’re the only person who can help you, in the end.”  “I was blessed.”

An interesting read that would be an excellent book club discussion. I truly enjoyed it.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones/dp/1539010724

Read many more reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32721282-a-thousand-rooms

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Last for today but absolutely not least is John Fioravanti with an update on his book Reflections: Inspirational Quotes and Interpretations. A book to be dipped into over the holidays and every day afterwards.

About the book

What do YOU think?

Does this question engage you or take you out of your comfort zone? Does it put you on the spot? REFLECTIONS is award-winning author and former educator John Fioravanti’s answer.

Offering his interpretations of fifty quotes by contemporary and ancient thinkers alike, John dives deep below the surface of words and explores the deeper meanings that shape his view of the world.

Deeply personal and presented in a self-effacing manner, these self-aware reflections will encourage you to dig deep within yourself and to discover more about the underlying truths that guide you.

Without trumpets or fanfare of any kind, John Fioravanti aspires to inspire you!

One of the reviews for the book

on May 25, 2017

The author, John Fioravanti, has done a marvelous job is selecting each of the inspirational quotes he has chosen for inclusion in this book.

Starting off with a selected quote and who said it, the author then shifts his reader’s attention to how each quote has come to manifest itself in own existence as he reflects on his personal thoughts. As I read through each of the quotes I found myself experiencing my own contemplations as to how each of the quotes relates to life, with a variety of emotions, from sad to happy, coming up for. I read this book over a course of two days, because I wanted to write my review for it; but I feel, anyone who opts to get a copy of his endeavor by Mr. Fiorvanti, should take their time getting through the book by reading one quote a day, then reflecting on what it means to yourself and finally comparing your experience to that of the author’s. The results I had received on a handful of occasions had paralleled that of the author’s signifying how while we might feel our lives are unique to ourselves, they are in fact, shared by others. For having given me and that of other readers, an insightful reading experience by asking us in the beginning of the book’s description; “What do YOU think?”, how can I not give the author the 5 STARS I’ve given him.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/REFLECTIONS-Inspirational-Interpretations-John-Fioravanti-ebook/dp/B01MSJUPDI

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/REFLECTIONS-Inspirational-Interpretations-John-Fioravanti-ebook/dp/B01MSJUPDI

Also by John Fioravanti

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5246942.John_Fioravanti

Connect to John via his website:  http://fiorabooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure there will be more than one book here that will make it on to your wish list. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Linda G. Hill, Helen Jones, J.A. Owenby and Robbie and Michael Cheadle.


Welcome to Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore update and another full house today beginning with Linda G. Hill with the most recent review for her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

Until the end of October all proceeds from books sold by Linda G. Hill will be donated to the fund for hurrican relief for the Islands.


About the book

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

One of the most recent reviews for the book

A demon incubus passed from generation to generation and handed down from father to son is the creative genius of Canadian author, Linda G. Hill. In, The Magician’s Curse, those infected with the scourge have one sole purpose in life – to seduce women and create offspring. Stephen Dagmar inherits this bane of his existence which ties his family to their servants, the Currys’ involving some creepy relationships in the true gothic sense of the genre.

Yet, as the author states, “Things don’t always go as planned.” Enter, Herman Anderson, an almost eighteen-year-old ready to break free from the restraints of a broken family. Her mother is dysfunctional with some kind of strange malady, and her father is gone most of the time. Yet, determined to strike out on her own, Herman leaves behind her eleven-year-old brother to fend for himself with the promise that she will send for him when she is situated at the job she accepted at a far from home horse farm.

While on the train heading to the new job, Herman engages in a conversation with the captivating magician, Stephen Dagmar. There is an immediate attraction between the two, and the story takes off, sweeping the reader off your feet in much the same fashion. Before you know it, Herman is under Stephen’s spell and agrees to become his magician’s assistant.

I found this reaction hard to believe at first until I realized there was more at play here. Much in the same way that Dracula held power over the ladies, Stephen Dagmar commands the physical attraction of men and women alike. Herman is no exception, and for one so young and inexperienced in the ways of men, she falls for Stephen immediately. Stephen senses something special in Herman and is clearly smitten himself.

Immediately, Herman enters the fairy tale world of Dagmaru, the magician, where money is no object. Stephen spends lavishly on the teen, and as they get to know one another, their physical attraction grows. Finally, in desperation, Stephen explains that until Herman is eighteen, they will not consummate their relationship. There is a dark thread of sexual tension that runs through the book from beginning to end that at times gave me the shivers.

Deep down I suspected that I knew where the story was headed, but for the life of me I couldn’t predict the twists and turns the novel produced. The writing was crisp and clear as it propelled me on toward the explosive ending. In fact, the suspense kept me turning pages long into the night. Even so, by the end of book one, I was haunted by more questions than answers. I look forward to the second book in the series with the hope that these issues will be solved.

The Magician’s Curse is a deliciously eerie tale unlike any I’ve read so far. Be prepared to be seduced by the supernatural potential of the series. I loved it and can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

Read other reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Connect to Linda via her website: https://lindaghill.com

The next author with an update is Helen Jones with a recent review for her book A Thousand Rooms.

About A Thousand Rooms

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Laurie rated it Four Stars on September 5th 2017

Wow! Haven’t we all wondered what happens when our time on earth end?
Helen Jones took the plunge thru a character named Katie who dies suddenly and quite by accident. Obviously, Nobody was expecting her,which causes some problems for Katie as she attempts to find Heaven.

Heaven isn’t about one big cloud we all sit on, but finding peace and complete happiness and forgiveness in those we have left behind. Katie- after visiting so many rooms in Heaven that she does not belong in, finds her room and her complete love.

“Maybe I would have been able to show you a little, but you had to find it in yourself. You’re the only person who can help you, in the end.”  “I was blessed.”

An interesting read that would be an excellent book club discussion. I truly enjoyed it.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones/dp/1539010724

Read many more reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32721282-a-thousand-rooms

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

The next author with an update is J. A. Owenby with a recent release, the novella My Hurricane.

About the novella

Do you ever think you know things, but realize that you don’t know jack?

That was me. I thought I had the world in the palm of my hands.

Senior year was a breeze, complete with raging parties, a hot girlfriend, and a future all laid out for me. Life was perfect. Christ, was I wrong.

And when everything started crumbling down, there was not one damn thing I could do to make it stop. Life started spiraling out of control, one letdown and setback after the next. And now, suddenly, I’m trapped in a hurricane of hell that I can’t escape.

I’m Walker Farren, And this is only the beginning.

One of the recent reviews for the novella

Great read on September 5, 2017

Owenby does it again. This novella is told from Walker’s perspective. Having read the Truth trilogy, this short story took me back to the beginning of Walker’s teen years and brought the trilogy to a full circle. I was immediately drawn in on the very first page and couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want it to end.

If you haven’t read the Truth series, I highly recommend that you do. J.A. Owenby has a way of pulling you in and making you want more.

Read all the reviews and buy the novella: https://www.amazon.com/My-Hurricane-Truth-Book-0-ebook/dp/B0752XDK53

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Hurricane-Truth-Book-0-ebook/dp/B0752XDK53

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35706396-my-hurricane

Also by J. A. Owenby

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/J.A.-Owenby/e/B00J77KCFK

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/J.A.-Owenby/e/B00J77KCFK/

Read other reviews and follow J.A. Owenby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751226.J_A_Owenby

Connect to J.A. Owenby via her website: http://www.jaowenby.com/

And finally today great news for fans of Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s, story and cookbooks with the latest release of Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook.

About the book

The Condensed Milk River that flows through Chocolateville has narrowed to a slither. All the fish and other water creatures have lost their homes and the people of Chocolateville are at a loss as to what to do. Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on this new adventure to find out what is causing the problem. Learn to make some of their 5 fun recipes along the way, including mini quiches and marshmallow flowers. (A5 version)

An early review for the book

on 11 October 2017

I just love these rhyming stories about Sir Chocolate and his adventures. I could almost taste the “enormous milky jewel” condensed milk river! The recipes look delicious and so easy too.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Condensed-River-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070916

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Condensed-River-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070916

Also by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie and Michael on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and explore the books of these talented authors. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Helen Jones, Janice Spina and Judith Barrow


We have a wonderful bumper crop of great reviews for you today.. starting with the review for A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones

About the book

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with.

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

The latest review for the book

Keep a box of tissues at your elbow for this one! A Thousand Rooms had me red-eyed and snuffling. This is a character-driven book with a simple plot: Katie, newly dead and unfortunately overlooked in her transition from life, goes on a quest to find “her heaven” and travels through a series of manifestations (rooms) before she finds her own.

Jones draws on a variety of mystical traditions and beliefs to design the experience of being dead and the concepts of heaven, soul mates, and reincarnation. These were interesting, but what I loved, loved, loved about his book was the incredibly touching and heartfelt expressions of human emotions, particularly grief and sorrow and, ultimately, of pure love.

Jones writes beautifully. Descriptions are rich, and the characters, even those on the periphery, are wonderfully developed. As the main character, Katie is thoroughly relatable with a wide range of emotions including some delightful sarcasm. I found her personal evolution compelling as her earthly concerns slip away and she discovers the essence of who she is and the point of her journey. Katie’s realization of what it means to live a blessed life is uplifting and full of hope. Highly recommended for readers who love character-driven books and want to feel inspired.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen Jones on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

The next author is Janice Spina… her latest children’s book, Jeffrey The Jittery Giraffe is delighting her readers.

About the book

Jeffrey is a nervous giraffe due to a terrible storm on the day of his birth. He remembers that day and is frightened of any kind of noise or unexpected things happening to him. His mother tells him that he is stronger than he thinks. One day Jeffrey meets another giraffe who needs his help. Read this story in rhyme and find out what important lesson Jeffrey learns when he thinks of others before himself.

The latest review for the book

Ms. Janice Spina, a prolific writer of children’s books as well as books for young adults and adults, does it again. In “Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe”, she created a lovely character, through whom she imparts a wonderful message to young kids and teaches them how to overcome self-limiting jitters and reminds them of the reward inherent in being kind to others. Lovely illustrations by John Spina. Great husband and wife teamwork!

A small selection of other books by Janice Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy:https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Read more reviews and follow Janice Spina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com

The final review today is for the short story collection Secrets by Judith Barrow which was released last month.

About Secrets

Ashford, home of the Howarth family,is a gritty northern mill town, a community of no-nonsense Lancashire folk, who speak their minds and are quick to judge. But how many of them are hiding secrets that wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of others?
Judith Barrow’s Howarth Family trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows, along with the prequel, A Hundred Tiny Threads, published by Honno Press, is peopled with just such characters. Here are some of their secret stories – the girl who had to relinquish her baby, the boy who went to war too young, the wife who couldn’t take any more…

The latest review for the collection

A really enjoyable collection  By Terry Tyler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Jun. 2017

I read this whole collection this afternoon, and really enjoyed them. Each story deals with a character who has a secret; the first few are quite short, the longer, more involved ones nearer the end. I recognised some of the names from the series, but to be honest it’s a while since I read them and some of them were only just familiar. It didn’t matter, though; they’re all terrific stories. The best ones are, I think, Alun Thomas and Stan Green’s secrets, both of which are excellent and take place during the First World War; I imagine I will meet these two when I read the prequel to the trilogy, which is out this summer. I wished they’d all had the date at the start, but it becomes fairly clear approximately when they take place.

What the characters have in common is their social class, and the book is a great illustration of how some situations caused great trauma for the subject, yet wouldn’t matter at all today, or even occur; a boy of fourteen lies about his age and signs up to fight in the war, a girl survives a mother and baby home where the children are taken away for adoption, a battered wife has no choice but to stay with her husband.

Judith Barrow has done a great job of ending some stories with dangling threads, leaving you dying to know what happens next ~ thus, the outtake short story collection for a series. It certainly worked for me! But they stand up perfectly well on their own. I definitely recommend them for a great couple of hour’s reading.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-shadows-truth-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B072M7Q78V

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3295663.Judith_Barrow

Connect to Judith via her blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have a great new review you would like to share then just let me know. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

New Book in Series – The Ambeth Chronicles: Hills And Valleys by Helen Jones


New book in seriesToday’s featured author is Helen Jones with a new release in the YA fantasy series The Ambeth Chronicles: Hills And Valleys

First a brief look at the first two books in the series.

oak-and-mist-final-cover

Book one of The Ambeth Chronicles – Oak & Mist.

Alma Bevan didn’t mean to go on a quest. But when she disappears between two trees at her local park and reappears in Ambeth, she finds they’ve been expecting her.

And now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things become even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark expresses an interest in her.

One of the reviews for Oak & Mist.

For anyone who enjoys YA, this is a book you’ll love! By Nicholas C. Rossis on June 18, 2015  Format: Kindle Edition

YA is not my preferred genre, and yet I instantly recognized this as a fine example of the genre. The reasons that put me off YA are simple: Characters can come across as unlikely, angst-ridden or, simply, caricaturish. They sulk with no apparent reason, and shrug off experiences that would drive most of us straight to the nearest psych ward. I’m all for suspending disbelief, but when the hero(ine) picks up a sword and in a couple of hours can take on anything the new, fantastical world has to throw at them, I just move on to the next book.

Which is why I’m so grateful to Jones. As with fantasy, the main problem with this genre is keeping it fresh and believable. This depends mostly on proper characterization, and this is where Jones has excelled. She has given us characters who feel genuine, with the normal behavior one might expect (I, for one, applaud anyone’s instinct to hide when attacked by a monster, or to crawl into a bed and sleep when under stress).

The book reads as a straight-forward quest, with the heroine having to unearth three missing artifacts. The stakes are as high as one might expect, and the fate of the world hangs on the balance.

Complementary to this main plot, there is a romantic subplot, with the heroine drawn to the wrong man. This is also skillfully handled, and Jones offers us a convincing glimpse into everyone’s character.

For anyone who enjoys YA, this is a book you’ll love!

 

composite

Book Two of the Ambeth Chronicles No Quarter.

‘Alma, even I do not know what he is capable of…’

Things couldn’t be better for Alma. She’s returned the lost Sword to Ambeth and is finally with Deryck, Prince of the Dark. But what’s really going on? Deryck is struggling with his father, who wants to control Alma, while Alma is struggling with her best friend Caleb, who doesn’t trust Deryck one inch. Plus it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with her life in the human world. Falling in love shouldn’t be this difficult. But things are about to get much worse…

hills_and_valleys_cover_for_kindleAbout the latest book in the series – Hills And Valleys continues Alma’s story:

‘Sometimes things call to us until we can no longer ignore them. And Ambeth is calling you, Alma.’

After the events of the Harvest Fair, Alma is finished with Ambeth – they can find the missing Cup and Crown without her. But Ambeth is not finished with her. First the mystery of her dead father comes back to haunt her, then the Dark reach out, hoping to trap her once more.

And then there’s the strange power she seems to have…

Buy Helen’s Books and read her other reviews.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

About Helen Jones

author-photo

The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that I love; the idea that just stepping off the path could take you somewhere unexpected. It’s part of what inspires my writing. When I was a child I did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with me and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

I’ve lived around the world, Toronto, Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney, but started life in Coventry, England. A couple of years ago I moved back to my native England and, once settled, started to write about Ambeth. The name ‘Ambeth’ comes from the Welsh ‘am byth’, which means forever, a nod to my Welsh family background and the fact that for me, Wales is my heart home.

Ambeth is not the only world I plan to visit in my books, but it’s where I am now. When I’m not writing, I like to walk, paint and study karate (when housework and family life permit!) Life has been a journey to get me to this point but I can honestly say I’ve lived it and am grateful for every day.

Connect to Helen on her blog and social media.
Blog: www.journeytoambeth.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorHelenJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorhelenjones

Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to share Helen’s new release with your network. Sally