Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, Lorinda J. Taylor, #Shortstories J. E. Spina, #History #Communism Mark Lee Myers


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair with more great books to add to your gift list

The first author is Charles E. Yallowitz and I am featuring the first book in his series War of Nytefall.. as an introduction to the other six books.

About the book

In the wake of the Great Cataclysm, a new predator will emerge from within Windemere’s shadow.

For fifty years, Clyde has been trapped beneath the earth while the vampire kingdom has been gradually losing its war against the Sun God’s followers. Only Mab believes that her partner survived his holy execution and is determined to bring him back to the city of Nyte. Retrieving the vampiric thief is only the beginning as he comes out of the ground stronger, faster, and possessing abilities that their kind have never witnessed throughout their ancient history. Thrown into the war, Clyde must be careful to hide his true nature while fighting alongside his old friends. Too bad he is having so much fun being free that keeping his secret might be the furthest thing from his mind.

Will anyone be ready for the inevitable rise of the Dawn Fangs?

One of the reviews for the book

C. S. Boyack 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy from the undead point of view.  Reviewed in the United States

Nytefall is an interesting book. It’s set in the previously designed world of Windemere, but uses a different cast, and one that isn’t completely likeable. Clyde and his band are vampires. There is a certain amount of human destruction that’s given no more importance than a different character eating a jelly doughnut.

I understand why the author did this. I suppose a vampire would look at humans as nothing more than food, but among real humans some people feel remorse for farm animals.

After the Great Cataclysm, Clyde is changed into something new. He is much more powerful than others of his kind. He is stripped of any magic he had, but is given new powers that don’t rely upon incantations and such. It reminded me a bit of some games where a character earns a skin that gives them an edge. Only Clyde’s edge is much bigger than that.

He reunites his old group and tries to go on with his old life. I’ll stop here to avoid spoiling the story. Nytefall explores prejudice from a new angle, that of jealousy and fear over the rise of the Dawn Fangs. This is for you if you enjoy extensive fantasy worlds, don’t mind a bit of casual murder, and can cheer for the underdog even if he isn’t a hero.

A selection of other books by Charles E. Yallowitz

At time of scheduling War of Nytefall – Eulogy was just 99c with the same offer across the rest of the series. Please check Amazon for offers.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – follow Charles : Goodreads – Blog: Legends of Windemere BlogTwitter: @cyallowitz

The next fantasy is the  latest release by Lorinda J. Taylor, The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Eight: Rare Birds: A Biographical Fiction

About the book

First contact has taken place and the occupants of the alien ship are giant Birds. While nothing could make Capt. Robbin Nikalishin happier, the Ariana remains marooned on a moon in the Epsilon Eridani system and is running out of oxygen. The crew works furiously to learn how to communicate with the extraterrestrials (the most important element of a first contact), but not all the denizens of the Ariana are as pleased with the situation as Capt. Robbie is. Ian Glencrosse has failed in his attempt to sacrifice himself to save the mission and he remains convinced the death of everyone aboard is imminent. Meanwhile, another member of the mission devises a more ominous plan to “save” Earth from destruction by feathered monsters.

If the Phenix Mission is to make it back to Earth and set in motion that planet’s role in the wider universe, these avian extraterrestrials must be willing to come to the aid of the human aliens – or will they simply fly away and leave them to die?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars First Contact with an Alien Species! Unforgettable! Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2021

We left off in part seven, with the crew in dire straights. The tension cranked up to a fever pitch when a section of the engine failed. I couldn’t stop reading. These characters had become real to me, and I needed to know if they would survive their ordeal.

Now, in book eight, the crew is still alive, and we meet the extraterrestrials themselves. The intelligent birds are Captain Robbie’s only hope of returning to Earth. Learning how to communicate with this new species becomes the prime focus of the book.

The author is a constructed language enthusiast (conlanger, for short). Within these pages, she’s created an alien language, symbols and all, for this new bird species, which gives the book an entirely different feel from anything I’ve ever read. It makes sense, though. If you meet aliens, you have to figure out how to communicate with them. Most scenes revolve around communication between the species. The detail is astonishing!

There are plenty of humorous moments between the birds and humans as they learn to grasp each other’s languages. Taylor skillfully bridges the differences between the species by presenting the alien characters with almost human traits, which the reader comes to love as much as their human counterparts. There are several tense moments with the right amount of tension to move the plot forward.

I’m an enormous fan of this author and her books. She excels at first contact scenarios and I know this book in the series will not disappoint. I suspect there will be a book nine and that it comes out soon, but then, I was hooked on Captain Robbie’s story long ago

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

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Lorinda J. Taylor buy books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Lorinda on :Goodreads – Blog: Termite Writer Blog Spot – Twitter:@TermiteWriter

The next author today is J. E. Spinawith a multi-genre short story collection An Angel Among Us.

About the collection

A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story is specially created for her and is the inspiration for the title of this book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Another gem from J. E. Spina!

This delightful collection of 15 spirit-lifting short stories will warm your heart. It is reminiscent of the writings of O’Henry, filled with imagination, enchantment, and surprise endings.

You will be happy you read it and will re-read it over and over.

Other books for adults by J.E. Spina (her children’s books can be found in the Children’s Reading Room )

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Janice: Goodreads – blog:Jem’s BooksTwitter: @janice_spina

The final review today is for Mark Lee Myers and his book The Tomato Smuggler: How One Man Stood Up To Communism.

About the Tomato Smuggler

A son’s tribute.

His father waged war without bullets, triumphing over communist oppression during Dictator Ceauşescu’s final decade in rural Romania.

Communism robbed freedom, so Nicolae’s father led the family to subtle and overt resistance to retain their dignity. The Cismigiu family built a thriving tomato business and smuggled tomatoes to market to survive. Creatively defying tyranny brought harassment and intimidation directed at what was most valued: family, a prized workhorse, and their tomato farm.

Zeal to keep the spirit of freedom alive came at a cost many could not pay, even the death of a friend during one of their harrowing, midnight tomato smugglings. Joy and sorrow were interwoven into the fabric of the family’s life story, but they focused on happiness and contentment. Grandpa always believed the Americans would come and liberate Romania after WWII but never lived to see the day. Ironically, his dream did come true. It skipped a generation and impacted Nicolae.

One of the five star reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States

This book is timely, a necessary reminder of how much a significant portion of the world’s population was denied the basic freedom to chart their own course in life, to do their best work, and to pass on a legacy to their children. But the human spirit is often indomitable, as the book shows, and love, an ethic of hard work, and faith in unrelenting effort are beyond the reach of “the authorities,” and definitely passed down as the greatest inheritance, if one pays the price to possess it. This is all on display in this book. The author has a gift for telling a story. Give yourself or someone else the gift of reading it. PS – love is the thread to follow through this book, especially the very moving account of two people committing to each other, whose lives alone may not have amounted to much, but who together achieved great things.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Facebook:Mark Myers Books – More reviews: Goodreads – Website: Mark Myers Books

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Robbie Cheadle, #Historical #WW2 Paulette Mahurin, #History #Communism Mark Lee Myers


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

The first review is for the recent poetry collection, Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle.

About the collection

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

What thoughts are hidden
Behind her immobile face
Quite expressionless
Eyes cold and indifferent
Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

A recent review for the collection

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars A unique assortment of symbolic, free and rhyming verse! Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2021

“Behind Closed Doors” is a unique assortment of symbolic, free and rhyming verse that creatively show us what is hidden behind one of those closed doors. Plus, I loved seeing some of the beautiful fondant cake art. Some poems moved me while others had me thinking, but all touched on an emotion. The tankas may have been my favorites, but I enjoyed them all. Here are a few favorite lines. “as she danced, unfettered/in her own, glittering world/The stars gave her hope/allowed her to soar….” “Desperately, she peers through the dimness. An assorted array of items drift past her….” “Gratefully she sinks/Into sleep’s loving embrace/Thoughts gently unfurl/Reorganising themselves/Answer revealed in sweet dreams,” and “The crimson rose/Stands tall and alone/A stately queen….” A great glimpse into current events through a poetic eye. This is a poetry collection I recommend.  

A selection of books for adults and children by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

The next review is for the latest book by Paulette Mahurin set in WW2 – Over the Hedge.

About the book

During one of the darkest times in history, at the height of the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1943, members of the Dutch resistance began a mission to rescue Jewish children from the deportation center in Amsterdam.

Heading the mission were Walter Süskind, a German Jew living in the Netherlands, Henriëtte Pimentel, a Sephardic Jew, and Johan van Hulst, principal of a Christian college. As Nazis rounded up Jewish families at gunpoint, the three discreetly moved children from the deportation center to the daycare across the street and over the backyard hedge to the college next door. From the college, the children were transported to live with Dutch families. Working against irate orders from Hitler to rid the Netherlands of all Jews and increasing Nazi hostilities on the Resistance, the trio worked tirelessly to overcome barriers.

Ingenious plans were implemented to remove children’s names from the registry of captured Jews. To sneak them out of the college undetected past guards patrolling the deportation center. To meld them in with their new families to avoid detection. Based on actual events, Over the Hedge is the story of how against escalating Nazi brutality when millions of Jews were disposed of in camps, Walter Süskind, Henriëtte Pimentel, and Johan van Hulst worked heroically with the Dutch resistance to save Jewish children. But it is not just a story of their courageous endeavors. It is a story of the resilience of the human spirit. Of friendship and selfless love. The love that continues on in the hearts of over six hundred Dutch Jewish children.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Linda Jamsen 5.0 out of 5 stars The enduring human spirit shines through  Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2021

This is a heartwrenching, riveting story of three courageous members of the Resistance who risked their lives to save Jewish children during the Nazi Occupation of Holland. Although I am familiar with similar stories of Dutch citizens, most notably that of Miep Gies, who helped the Frank family in hiding, I wasn’t aware of the efforts of this heroic trio. (One of them later served as Senator from the Netherlands and was also a European Parliament member.) Without hesitation and under extreme duress, they secretly moved children at risk of deportation to Nazi concentration camps, first to a daycare center, then across a hedge to the neighboring college. From there, they were taken in by Dutch families, although tragically, never saw their parents again.

This is a difficult read due to the extreme and senseless violence and abuse inflicted on innocent Jews. It’s also painful to read how the Occupation turned family members and friends against one another in order to make 7,5 guilders, or the price on a Jewish head. The author does a good job of keeping each of the story threads open and intriguing. It’s a suspenseful read which you’ll want to continue to the end because you hope against all hope that all three—and the 600-plus children they saved—will survive. I won’t give away the ending but will admit I needed a tissue or two.

Kudos to the author for this engaging book on a tough subject. Her research was very thorough, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she has a personal connection to someone in the story, perhaps one of the children who survived.  

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

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

The final review today is for Mark Lee Myers and his book The Tomato Smuggler: How One Man Stood Up To Communism.

About the Tomato Smuggler

A son’s tribute.

His father waged war without bullets, triumphing over communist oppression during Dictator Ceauşescu’s final decade in rural Romania.

Communism robbed freedom, so Nicolae’s father led the family to subtle and overt resistance to retain their dignity. The Cismigiu family built a thriving tomato business and smuggled tomatoes to market to survive. Creatively defying tyranny brought harassment and intimidation directed at what was most valued: family, a prized workhorse, and their tomato farm.

Zeal to keep the spirit of freedom alive came at a cost many could not pay, even the death of a friend during one of their harrowing, midnight tomato smugglings. Joy and sorrow were interwoven into the fabric of the family’s life story, but they focused on happiness and contentment. Grandpa always believed the Americans would come and liberate Romania after WWII but never lived to see the day. Ironically, his dream did come true. It skipped a generation and impacted Nicolae.

One of the recent reviews for the book

vikram 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!  Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2021

This book is really good! I love the historical fiction aspect of the book. The book is based on Romanian life after and during WW2. Which isn’t something you see very often! It’s definitely a book where you need to like the genre to really get into it. Overall a very good and interesting book!  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Facebook: Mark Myers Books – More reviews: Goodreads – Website: Mark Myers Books

 

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