Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – Reviews – #Family Anne Goodwin, #Historical Noelle Granger, #Historical Andrew Joyce.


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

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

About the book

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michelle Ryles 4.0 out of 5 stars A truly immersive story  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 July 2021

Oh my goodness, Anne Goodwin’s new novel is completely heartbreaking. I felt so incredibly upset and angry at events fifty years in the past that altered the course of Matty and Henry’s lives. It’s so annoying to think of how differently their lives could have turned out if one selfish action hadn’t tore them apart.

Henry barely remembers his sister Matilda who left when he was a small child; all he has to remember her by is a conker that she gave him when she left. It’s almost as if Henry’s life has been put on hold waiting for Matilda to return home. Meanwhile, Matilda has been hidden away in a psychiatric hospital for over fifty years; her mind creating butlers and maids out of the staff to help her cope with her new life and to keep her safe from the evil prince who destroyed her life. With the hospital facing closure, Matty’s life is set to be changed once more.

The whole story is actually written very cleverly and this really makes Matty so unbelievably endearing to readers. I was sometimes a little confused and unable to differentiate between memories and actual events, which is exactly how Matty must be feeling. I felt as if I was not only stepping into her shoes but seeing right inside her head. It’s strange but I never really felt as if Matty’s memories were unreliable, however, Henry’s were a little more cloudy but this is most likely due to him being a child when they were separated.

I absolutely adored Matty; she may be a batty septuagenarian (Anne Goodwin’s words) but she’s really quite a character. I am delighted that Anne is writing a sequel so we can continue Matty’s journey as I’m missing her already and I really need to know what happens next.

Matilda Windsor is Coming Home is a truly immersive story that really gets under your skin and you can’t help but fall in love with Matty, a wonderfully quirky and charming main character of whom I felt incredibly protective.  

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

Also by Anne Goodwin

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

The next review is for The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger,

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

Bought this originally for my granddaughter as she descends from Pilgrim Susanna Jackson White. She is 14. Noelle warned me her book contained adult themes, so I thought would read it first. Mesmerizing. Every pilgrim descendant should read this and I went ahead and sent to my granddaughter.

I have known Plymouth Colony fared better than Jamestowne because of the four women who survived the first year and help build the community that created our great country. Noelle brings to life what they did in a very compelling narrative of the struggle they faced and how they overcame adversity. This is a story of family, religion, relationships, war, love, death, and with a perseverance like none I have read before. Huzzah to Mary Allerton Cushman and her ilk. We owe them — and we owe Noelle for telling us.

D. Michael Beard  Editor The Pilgrim William White Society Newsletter  

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

Also by N.A. Granger

Noelle A. Granger Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter: @NAGrangerAuthor

The final review today is for Mahoney by Andrew Joyce

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

A recent review for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars a must read  Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2021

This book was written with heart and soul. From the first page you are taken into the life on Mr Mahoney and through three generations you “live ‘ with him . The story line allows you to enter into the life of the lead character and by the end of the book you are left with a sense of gratification but also for me a sense of good bye and loss as the story has ended and i no longer am with “my friend” that I have grown to care for and root for
My first read of Mr Joyce BUT not my last
Ralph Deppisch  

A selection of other books by Andrew Joyce

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Andrew Joyce, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Andrew : Goodreads – blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPressTwitter: @Huckfinn76

 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 – #Scifi #Shortstories ACFlory, #Historical Noelle Granger, #Poetry Jude Itakali


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 ACFlory

acflory is a science fiction writer from Australia whose favourite questions are ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ Favourite novels include ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’, by Ursula K.LeGuin, ‘Dune’, by Frank Herbert, ‘Otherland’ by Tad Williams, ‘Cyteen’, by C.J.Cherryh, ‘Shift’, by Hugh Howey and ‘The Farseer’ series by Robin Hobb. When not reading or writing science fiction, acflory spends her time playing mmorpgs [such as Final Fantasy XIV online], listening to epic trailer music by artists such as Two Steps From Hell, landscaping her garden and cooking. She also loves dogs, cats, motorbikes, computers, biology, genetics and psychology, not necessarily in that order.

A selection of books by ACFlory

A recent review for The Vintage Egg

Chris Graham 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 April 2021

Several short stories, the first and last linked, all set in a world where climate change has changed the way humanity lives.

But there are glimmers of hope.

Humanities thinking and mindset might actually mature.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Follow A.C. Flory: Goodreads Blog : A.C Flory Twitter: @ACFlory

Meet N. A (Noelle) Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a rambling, 125-year-old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming. She was also one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation. Granger graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. The Rhe Brewster Mystery Series was born.

In addition to the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Granger has had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine, and has been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, The News & Observer, The Boothbay Register, and other local press. Granger lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

Books by N.A. Granger

A recent five star review for The Last Pilgrim

Jan 15, 2021 Sarah Hitchcock-DeGregori rated it five stars it was amazing
The Last Pilgrim is a fictional biography of the life of Mary Allerton who arrived as young child on The Mayflower in Plymouth in 1620. It’s an enjoyable read. Granger did a lot of research into the place and period and puts the reader in the scene, of what it was like to be a member of this small and growing colony, the houses they lived in, to learn about the food they ate, and their struggles for survival. It is timely not only because of the coincidence of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Plymouth Colony, but also because she gives a glimpse into some of customs accepted at the time (but not now), behavior and dynamics of the colonists to each other, their children, and the native people. It is readable and could be enjoyed by young readers as well as adults. The book includes beautiful drawings to illustrate different aspects of colonial life

Noelle A. Granger Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter: @NAGrangerAuthor

Meet Jude Itakali

Jude Itakali was born and lives in Kampala, Uganda. He is publishing his first collected works, “CROSSROADS (Winds of love)

When not being an athlete on the rugby field, or crunching down numbers on a computer for work, he delicately pens the epiphanies from life and its different relationships and encounters.

He writes about all sorts of topics, finding a way to relate them with each other, because no one theme exists in a vacuum. Empathy is sometimes considered a gift, and Jude has it in abundance.

Jude is a regular participant in the Colleen Chesebro weekly poetry challenge and contributed the recently released  Poetry Treasures

Jude’s debut poetry collection

A recent review for Crossroads.

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through love  Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2021

I enjoyed Jude Itakali’s debut poetry book. This is no ordinary collection of poems about love. Instead, Itakali’s poems tell a story about the journey of love, beginning with a prologue and progressing through three Parts. Part 1: Longing and searching. Part 2: Intimacy and Lust, and Heartbreak and its horrors, and Part 3: The other side of love, and New beginnings. The structure intrigued me as well as how he describes some of the poetry as short stories. The styles range from rhyming sonnets to free form verse to a number of syllabic forms including haiku, tanka, senryu, and nonet.

Personally, I agree that love is a journey with parts (or stages), and it was interesting to see the poems divided this way, as well as to follow the emotional journey with the author. A favorite from the section on longing, entitled Hope:

Sing me to sleep
Nightingale of sorrow
Soothe my lonely heart
Cool breeze of twilight
Let the robin trill in the dawn
And bring my soul hope
Let the first rays of sunrise
Beam upon the One
With whom I’ll spend, my last days  

Connect with Jude:Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Jude:GoodreadsBlog: WordPress – Tales Told Different – Facebook: Kirya Itakali Jude – Twitter: @jude_clutch

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#RomanticComedy Linda G. Hill, #PsychologicalThriller Anne Goodwin, #Historical Noelle Granger


Welcome to the first of the cafe and bookstore author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first review is for Linda G. Hill for Saddled: A Romantic Comedy (Once a Week at Woody’s Book 1)

About the book

Will an office no-dating policy stand in the way of love?

Since her breakup with her cheating ex, Sandra Weber has been just going through the motions as Sales Manager at Studletter Condom Company. But when Michael Thorne is hired as an assistant, sparks in the office begin to fly.

Though Michael, aka Saddle McFleshbomb, loves dancing at Woody O’Flanagan’s Pub, he’s looking to move up in the world. His schooling almost finished, he lands a plum job as the only man in an office filled with women: four so exasperatingly humorless that it’s funny, and one stunning beauty with a laugh that warms the cockles of his heart.

When Sandra shows up at Woody’s on a rare night that he’s dancing for men, she assumes he’s gay, and therefore the no-dating policy doesn’t apply. But he’s not. He’s intensely interested in her. And he’s afraid to tell her he’s straight.

If you like light romantic comedy, hot office flirtations, and a long slow burn, you’ll love Saddled, the first book in Linda G. Hill’s “Once a Week at Woody’s” series.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 02, 2020 Joanna E.Lopez rated it Five Stars

Michael Throne is hired to work at the Studletter Condom company. He is the only man working there. Michael is then approached by a gaggle of women who conspire to revolt against the boss’s ”rules” of the office. Sales manager Sandra Weber is aware of the rebellious woman and keeps her eyes open.lol. The women see Michael as an opportunity to convince Sandra into changing her office rules. Instead, Michael and Sandra unite to fight against the close-minded women. One night Sandra’s friends take her to a gay male strip club where Michael dances with the alias Saddle Mcfleshbomb. Soon enough the truth is exposed and Sandra thinks Michael is gay. How is he supposed to convince Sandra he isn’t when there is a “No dating in the office rule?”

I loved this book. It was so light, airy, and funny. It reminded me of a Saturday Night Live sketch. Lol. I saw it as a great satire of the “Office romance cliche’s you usually read. Lol. The slow burn was satisfying as well as the sex scene. It was tasteful and yet very, very sexy. I agree with another reviewer who said they loved the fact that Sandra and Michael become friends first before becoming lovers. I found that also refreshing. The characters were fun and the story kept my interest throughout the book. This is my first book by this author and will not be my last. I will definitely look for more books by this author.

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

Also by Linda G. Hill

Linda G. Hill, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Linda on: Goodreads – website: Linda G. HillTwitter: @thegreatdagmaru

The next author is Anne Goodwin with a review for her psychological thriller – Underneath.

About the book

He never intended to be a jailer …

After years of travelling, responsible to no-one but himself, Steve has resolved to settle down. He gets a job, buys a house and persuades Liesel to move in with him.

Life’s perfect, until Liesel delivers her ultimatum: if he won’t agree to start a family, she’ll have to leave. He can’t bear to lose her, but how can he face the prospect of fatherhood when he has no idea what being a father means? If he could somehow make her stay, he wouldn’t have to choose … and it would be a shame not to make use of the cellar.

Will this be the solution to his problems, or the catalyst for his own unravelling?

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 04, 2020 Dorothy Winsor rated it Four Stars

The book’s first person narrator makes it clear from the first page that he’s holding a woman in his basement. The rest of the book shows us how he got to that point, not only in his current actions but also in his disturbed and disturbing family history. I never came to like the narrator, but I did reluctantly come to understand him. A tense and creepy read.

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

Also by Anne Goodwin

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

The final author today is Noelle Granger for her historical novel The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

Silvia Villalobos 5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating historical read  Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2020

Historical reads about strong women and from the viewpoint of women are my favorite; so reading this book was a treat. We witness the story of one such strong woman and all about her difficult life, from childhood to her days as a pilgrim, from attire to being a midwife to making life in difficult conditions, to say the least, happen. Mary, one of the pillars of the Plymouth colony. We see what makes her, and others, strong and all the struggles associated with settling into a new colony.

The story has a combination of beauty, reality and a well researched background without falling into the over the top detail often seen in historical fiction. I very much enjoyed reading about this old world, the characters’ celebrations, and cried along with them in times of heartbreak. The writer doesn’t miss a beat. One gets the feeling she has done her homework, so all we have to do is enjoy the ride.

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

Also by Noelle Granger

Noelle A. Granger Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter: @NAGrangerAuthor

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Shortstories Cathy Cade, #Historical Noelle Granger, #SouthernSaga Claire Fullerton


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

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

Meet Cathy Cade

Cathy Cade

 

Cathy lives with her husband and dogs, mostly in the Cambridgeshire Fens and sometimes across the fence from London’s Epping Forest. Following a career in libraries where creative writing opportunities were limited to annual reports, she now produces a different kind of fiction.

Cathy’s short stories have been published in ‘Scribble’ magazine and Chris Fielden’s ‘To Hull and Back 2018, Short Stories’. Her stories and rhymes also appear in the anthologies ‘Where the Wild Winds Blow’ and ‘A Following Wind’, from the Whittlesey Wordsmiths’ creative writing group (both available from Amazon.)

Her verse owes more to Pam Ayres than G K Chesterton. Examples can be found at Commaful (see https://commaful.com/play/cathycade/) and on WordPress at cathy-cade.com.

Instead of budgets and report deadlines, her targets now involve wordcounts and competition deadlines, but she is having more fun.

Books by Cathy Cade

A recent review for Witch Way

Phil 5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant collection  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2020

Cathy is an excellent writer. The well written short stories and poetry in this book are varied and eclectic, the product of a wonderfully fertile imagination.

My favourite but only just, is probably Witch Way, I loved it from the moment of my first reading and have reread it several times.

Cathy Cade, buy : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Cathy: Goodreads  Website: Cathy CadeFacebook: Cathy Cade Wordsmith.

Meet Noelle Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a rambling, 125-year-old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming. She was also one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation. Granger graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. The Rhe Brewster Mystery Series was born.

In addition to the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Granger has had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine, and has been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, The News & Observer, The Boothbay Register, and other local press. Granger lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

Books by Noelle Granger

One of the recent reviews for The Last Pilgrim

What a fascinating read, especially with the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower this year. I had no idea about all the hardships the Pilgrims/Separatists had to endure, and if they had not made it then we wouldn’t be here today. Her book makes you feel present at that time right along with the new settlers to the Americas. This is an entertaining way to learn the history of our great country.

Noelle A. Granger Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter: @NAGrangerAuthor

Meet Claire Fullerton

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.

Books by Claire Fullerton

One of the recent reviews for Little Tea

Alice Bingham Gorman 5.0 out of 5 stars A Southern Saga Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2020

Barbara Kingsolver says. “Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life.” That is exactly what Claire Fullerton has done with LITTLE TEA. As a reader, you will live as a southerner in Como, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and Heber Springs, Arkansas. You will experience the physical surroundings, understand the needs and wants and prejudices of the multigenerational population, and most of all you will go to the heart of a privileged southern woman, her deep abiding friendships and her special awareness of the embedded issues of race. LITTLE TEA is a story for our time.

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

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Historical Noelle Granger, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Daniel Kemp


The first author today is Noelle Granger for her recently released historical novel The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

What a fascinating read, especially with the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower this year. I had no idea about all the hardships the Pilgrims/Separatists had to endure, and if they had not made it then we wouldn’t be here today. Her book makes you feel present at that time right along with the new settlers to the Americas. This is an entertaining way to learn the history of our great country.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by N.A. Granger

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Noelle: Goodreads

Connect to Noelle via her blog: Sayling Away

The next author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the collection

L D Tanner5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Social Issues Tied to Symbolism of Trees  Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020

What drew me to read “When I Rise” by Karen Ingalls are 12 modern-day tales of social issues and how they are symbolically tied to trees. Each of the tales is about a social issue that is told in a unique way. Some tales span several generations while others are told about a moment in time. Some of the tales are inspiring while others are sobering. The tales that most resonated with me are “The Cigar Box” and “The Machine Shop.” Others may find other short stories have special meaning for them.

“The Cigar Box” is about a hand-crafted box that is hand-crafted from cedar, but the carving on the top of the lid is an olive tree standing alone in a field and with branches stretching “as if trying to reach out and touch someone or something.” The tale spans several generations as the cigar box is handed off to each new generation. It is a poignant story of how family members tried to reach out to each other while working a winery beginning in 1833. The cigar box has a magical mist that whenever someone breathes in its aroma, the person’s well-being or sense of purpose improves in a mystical way. It as though the cigar box embraces the best of each person’s essence and emanates its sweet fragrance.

“The Machine Shop” is a sobering short story about the psychological impact on a family after the mother dies. It is a tragic tale that is associated with the Cypress Tree about the importance of talking with children about life and death, and helping them to deal with difficult times instead of succumbing to them.

Author Karen Ingalls masterfully reveals the truth about how we deal with issues in life by symbolically relating these to trees. I recommend reading the softcover book as it is beautifully formatted which adds to the reading experience.

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The final author today is Daniel Kemp with a recent review for A Covenant of Spies

About the book

In 2007, intelligence operative Nikita Kudashov attempts to escape his native Russia after a series of top-secret spying operations.

Years later, Patrick West of MI6 is assigned to investigate the operations Kudashov took part in, and discovers a shocking connection between the former Soviet Union and the Foreign And Commonwealth Office.

Can West unravel the ambiguous connection – and the final clue that disguises the information Blythe-Smith never passed on to the Secret Intelligence Service?

A recent review for A Covenant of Spies on Goodreads

Daniel Kemp’s A Covenant Of Spies deals with British Intelligence investigating Russian operative.

I enjoyed the clever, complex tale featuring a net of lies and political cover-ups that made me think twice about the daily news headlines.

An entertaining story of 21st century spies and tales of the Cold War sprinkled with clues till the end, it reminded me of “Bridge of Spies”.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel via his website: Author Danny Kemp

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