Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray


I have enjoyed reading the latest release from Jacqui Murray – Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy)

About the book

Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.

Chased by a ruthless enemy, Xhosa leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands following a path laid out decades before by her father, to be followed only as a last resort. She is joined by other fleeing tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant, all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, tragedy, secrets, and Nature itself, Xhosa is forced to face the reality that her enemy doesn’t want to ruin her People. It wants to ruin her.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where ‘survival of the fittest’ was not a slogan. It was a destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

My review for Survival of the Fittest – April 17th 2019.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jacqui Murray’s  Born in a Treacherous Time which introduced us to one of the earliest humans, Lucy.  In her latest book Survival of the Fittest, we fast forward to a mere 850,000 years ago, when the earth continues to be extremely unsettled as it goes through its own growing pains.

The dangers are frighteningly and ever present for humans, who are forced to flee, not just environmental perils, but the brutality of invading tribes who want to usurp rivals for the safest caves, and the lands needed to support life.

We meet a woman who is strong and unusually a leader of men. Xhosa has a massive responsibility on her shoulders to take her tribe to safety, as well as find a way to work side by side with other human species that they encounter. She is supported by a warrior who has to fight his own ingrained resistance to a female leader, and along the way she finds good counsel in Pan-do and his daughter who are also fleeing to safety with their tribe. However, at the end of the day, it is she who must decide which path to follow despite resistance from some of her followers.

There is adventure in abundance, since this is not a gentle environment, and one can only admire the strength, courage and intelligence required to navigate all the obstacles that stand between Xhosa, her people, and sanctuary.

The language is straightforward, descriptive and direct, which is appropriate, since at the time communication would have been reliant on body language, sign language and I would imagine a lot of guesswork. Especially as each tribe had different identifiers for the same animals, landscape or danger. But Murray has created a language and a world that we can become immersed and invested in, leaving us with a desire to find out what happens next to these people that have so many of the traits and flaws we understand and see in ourselves. 

The environment has been established and the various groups are poised for the next stage in their development, which 850,000 years into the future led to the humans we are today.

This is what adds an extra element of fascination to the story. These are our ancestors and as we see their struggles, invasions of land, and the thousands fleeing anywhere to call home, it is difficult not to draw parallels with our world today. I am looking forward to reading book II to find out what my ancestors faced next in this trilogy.

Read the other early reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NKM58GB

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Fittest-Crossroads-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B07NKM58GB

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing websiteJacquiMurray.net

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will enjoy discovering Jacqui’s book for yourselves.. thanks Sally.

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on Book on the Shelves – Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray


Delighted to showcase the latest release from Jacqui Murray – Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy)

About the book

Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.

Chased by a ruthless enemy, Xhosa leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands following a path laid out decades before by her father, to be followed only as a last resort. She is joined by other fleeing tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant, all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, tragedy, secrets, and Nature itself, Xhosa is forced to face the reality that her enemy doesn’t want to ruin her People. It wants to ruin her.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where ‘survival of the fittest’ was not a slogan. It was a destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

One of the early reviews for the book

Balroop Singh  5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant imaginative saga of early humans  March 22, 2019

Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray records the imaginative history of tribes of those times, (850,000 years ago) about which there is no conclusive evidence. So the arena is open for writers to explore and Jacqui has made a brilliant effort. While Born in Treacherous Times by her was my introduction to pre-historic times, this story is more intense, as it brings out the conflict between tribes trying to establish their supremacy.

Xhosa and her people seem no different than human beings of today. They were competitive, observant, strong and ferocious. They were eager to learn from each other, from friendly tribes, even from the strategies of an opponent. It is interesting to note that basic emotions of responsibility, co-operation, loyalty and jealousy stand out amongst all tribes. Though Jacqui has given them words but I wonder what was their language and how much of it they knew!

Murray’s characters are crafted so well that a reader could predict their behavior. Xhosa and Pan-do shine while Nightshade possesses some streaks of wickedness and jealousy. Lyta is sensitive, appreciated the sounds of nature, walking in rhythm with sounds soothed her and seems to possess a divine power, as she had the ability to smell evil and dishonesty, a subtle hint that human instincts were well-developed even in early man. Do they find a homeland? When did they find peace, which remains elusive even to modern man.

If you are fond of challenging adventures, this is the book for you.

Read the other early reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NKM58GB

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Fittest-Crossroads-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B07NKM58GB

Also by Jacqui Murray

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books  Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing websiteJacquiMurray.net

Thank you for dropping in today.. I am looking forward to reading Jacqui’s new book as I enjoyed Born in a Treacherous Time very much.. Please pass the word about her latest release.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – Deborah Jay, Andrew Joyce and Jacqui Murray


The first author with a recent review is Deborah Jay with The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

One of the recent reviews for the book

February 27, 2019

The Prince’s Man,” begins with an introduction to the young Risada, as she listens in on a conversation between her parents. There’s trouble between the different houses in the kingdom, and Risada’s mother believes there is a spy in their midst. An assassin hiding in the shadows of the room steps forth and murders both her mother and father. From that day forward, Risada vows revenge on whoever killed her parents.

Twenty years later, the game is revealed when Rustam Chalice, an undercover spy in service to Prince Halnashead delivers to him the elixir of eternity, which of course gives eternal life to anyone who drinks it.

The political stability of the Kingdom of Tyr-en is at stake, and the veracity of the elixir’s power is questioned. The potion requires elven magic to be effective, and after the wars which ravished the kingdom, all magic has been banned. Additionally, the prince fears that whoever is selling the concoction is using the proceeds to fund some type of military action against him.

To save the kingdom, Chalice partners with Risada and together they save Elwaes, the captured elf, abused by Lord Melcard Rees-Charlay and Doctor Hensar, the resident physician for their domain. The poor creature requires immediate medical attention which must be given by his Elven community. Chalice and Risada set off after Prince Halnashead agrees on the journey believing the Elves will align with his kingdom.

The journey is long and treacherous. Along the way, the threesome is tormented by trolls, sprites, disgusting worm-like creatures, and many other trials and tribulations. Their journey heats up with the character addition of a water elemental who takes a liking to Chalice, pleasuring him in ways no human woman possibly could. The seducer becomes the seduced, and I would say Chalice has finally met his match.

There’s also high sexual tension between Chalice and Risalda, who manages to stay out of reach. But that wasn’t really the story. For me, it was Chalice’s connection to Elwaes and how he discovers his own magical abilities which transform his entire belief system. Along the way, this Casanova learns humility and acceptance, qualities that are sure to come into play in subsequent novels.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. In epic-fantasy, there are always new names, locations, and cultural nuances to be learned because of the world building. I took my time and immersed myself in this unusual and fascinating land. Be ready for the ending, because now I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, “The Prince’s Son: The Five Kingdoms: Book Two.”

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 all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

A selection of other books by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/

The next author with a recent review is Andrew Joyce for Yellow Hair. It is a book that I can personally recommend.

About Yellow Hair

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.

Awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews. Awarded Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews. 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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars No Matter How Often February 19, 2019

We are horrified by accounts of the holocaust but a hundred years before we perpetrated the same against the natives in this country. Almost wiping them and their culture from existence. This books tells a very realistic account of that travesty.

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242284.Andrew_Joyce

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

And the final author today with a recent review is Jacqui Murray for her novel Born in a Treacherous Time.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

A recent review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Feb 22, 2019 C.W. Spooner rated it it was amazing

Jacqui Murray’s Born in a Treacherous Time will, no doubt, be compared with Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear. But Murray has her own distinct, confident voice, and she uses it here to great effect. Read this book and you will never forget Lucy, and it is likely you will feel a sincere debt to her, our ancient ancestor.

I was privileged to read many chapters of this work while it was in progress, and I know the extensive research and hard work that went into it. To see the finished product now is very gratifying. Murray is the consummate pro—just look at the long list of her accomplishments—and an outstanding mentor to working writers in her community. I feel lucky to know her, and even luckier to read her work.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

Connect to Jacqui via her blog: Worddreams,

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with a book or two, thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Historical #Survival – Claire Fullerton, William Luvaas, Jacqui Murray and Terry Tyler


Time for more gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and today novels that I have read and reviewed this year, that I can highly recommend. The first author is Claire Fullerton, and her latest release Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

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

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mourning Dove is an epic mid-century recounting of a family, a lifestyle, a simpler but dignified time, providing a reminder that behind the gilded societal walls, hardships exist and life goes on. Claire Fullerton’s development of these dear to her heart characters, makes the reader consider them family members within the opening chapters. Set against the backdrop of a real life Gone With the Wind, Claire’s mother brings about images of Jackie O, Audrey, Bacall, complete with her own resident Warhol. But behind perfection, often hides dysfunction. Is it dysfunction, or is it what we all live through – our best efforts to make it through this often difficult life? In this sense, Millie and Finley take decidedly different paths of working through it all.

A masterful use of description, often providing a bouquet of the very scent being described, the subtle facial tells one can relate to, and the constant feeling of “what if”. This book flows like a gathering avalanche, and never ceases to disappoint. I dreaded the end, as I felt something ominous on the horizon. A must read for those with a deep sentimental side – I’m left with a sense of longing, wistfulness, yearning. Or is it all out melancholy? Yes, that’s it…melancholy.

My thanks to the author for having the strength to pen this novel and bare her soul.

Read some of the 100 other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton-ebook/dp/B07CP93RTQ

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton

Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/

The next novel that I read earlier in the year is Welcome to Saint Angel by William Luvaas.

Following on from the book release William Luvaas and Lucinda Luvaas, won a prestigious award. The short film adapted from William’s novel Welcome to Saint Angel has just won the “Best Adapted Screenplay” award at the Golden State Film Festival in L.A.  It started out as a book trailer and evolved into a short film. You can watch the film on Vimeo – Welcome to Saint Angel

About Welcome to Saint Angel.

Iconoclastic inventor, Al Sharpe, loves his canyon home in Southern California’s Saint Angel Valley. He builds his teenage daughter a tree house in a giant oak and invents the Sharpe Smoke Scrubber to detoxify wood smoke. When wealthy developer Ches Noonan, a fellow member of the Desert Green Lawn Association, sets out to fill the valley with houses and appropriate its precious water supply to fill swimming pools during California’s worst drought, Al and his quixotic pals rebel. In the Realty Revenge, they halt development through madcap high jinks and the help of local Indians, ancient demon Tahquitz, and mother nature.

Welcome to Saint Angel is a dead-serious comedy about development gone mad and townsfolk’s attempts to protect their rural Arcadia from bulldozers and climate change deniers. Part environmental fiction, part social satire, it speaks to exurban sprawl and the heedless development of fragile natural areas and to the power of communal resistance in the face of calamity.

“A painful, redemptive belly laugh and well worth it.” —Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jul 03, 2018 Roger Aplon rated it Five Stars

Besides being one of our best storytellers, Bill Luvaas, with the writing of Welcome to Saint Angel, must also be acknowledged as one of our most enlightened, if somewhat excentric, radicals.

From the outset, Welcome . . . bristles with the rollicking, ribald wit reminiscent of Rabelais as well as the caustic social & personal satire of Voltaire. When the desolate little desert hamlet of Saint Angel comes under attack from uncompromising, money-grubbing developers & unprincipled water-snatchers, an uncommon & often mind-boggling array of cast-offs, misfits, ornery & none-too-subtle humanity rise up to attempt to save their terrible paradise: what’s one person’s hell is another’s heaven – I guess & so does Bill Luvaas who teases us with serious arguments against over-development & miss-use of nature’s bounty while at the same time interrupting the ‘lecture’ with quips & currents of lawless madness & random mayhem.

From the likes of the peculiarly complicated character Tinkerspoon, the sometime wacky genius, who can hack any & all computers from the U S Government to the local bank, to the town of Saint Angel itself that speaks the facts that keep the plot alive & moving ever forward, Luvaas packs his pages with nudies, gunfighters, street brawlers, trackers tracking humans over hot & unrelenting desert, a swamp that devours all & any in its proximity & just to keep the romantic reader engrossed, a saga of father-daughter-love lost & found & the nourishing spirit of Tahquitz, a Native Demon, who keeps tabs on the merciless marauders while cheering-on the downtrodden but relentless protectors of Saint Angel. Bill Luvass has done us a favor with the creation of this book – do yourself one & read it!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ

Also by William Luvaas

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892

Read more reviews and follow William on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/300702.William_Luvaas

Connect to William via his Website: http://www.williamluvaas.com

And another book that I read and enjoyed more recently is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. To walk in the footsteps of one of our earliest female ancestors is quite an experience and humbling.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

My recent review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.

Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.

This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.

I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

Connect to Jacqui via her blog: Worddreams,

And last but not least my latest review which was for Terry Tyler and Legacy: Book Four Project Renova Series... I have read and reviewed the previous books in the series and I can recommend that you read all of them

About Legacy

Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’

A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels backwards in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.

Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.

In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him…or so his mother tells him.

In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…

Book 4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear…but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future.

My recent review for the book..

A fitting end to an amazing series.

It is difficult not to give away spoilers when you are excited about a book you have just read. Particularly when it is the final book in a series, and all the loose ends have been gathered up into one satisfying bundle.

If you have already read the other books in the series, then you will be as eager as I was to catch up with the previous characters as they dispersed to Denmark or escaped the new outbreak in UK Central. You won’t be disappointed, as their continuing stories are action packed, heartwarming and sometimes downright scary.

The author takes us forward, beyond these characters, to 100 years after the Bat Fever. We discover that many of the residents of the new UK have reverted back to the days of small settlements. They are self-sustaining and make an effort to bring children into a better world, although interestingly the gains made by women for independence have taken more than a few steps backwards.

However, there are still women taking control of their lives and in some cases being responsible for settlements such as Lindisfarne.  However, being human there are still those that have a craving for power at any cost. In the main population hubs and in the North, 100 years after the epidemic the veneer of civilization is very thin with violence a part of everyday life.

What is clear, having read the entire series, is that following an apocalyptic event, the majority of the population are completely unprepared without the infrastructure that provides shelter, food and medicines. They have little or no knowledge of how to sustain themselves and only those with resolve and bravery will survive. Those that do bring a glimmer of hope that mankind will survive and thrive in the aftermath of a devastating event and that is a thread that runs through this final story.

A brilliant end to the series, and I do suggest that you begin with the previous three books Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2 so that you are fully primed before reading Legacy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

Connect to Terry via her blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

I hope you have enjoyed this selection of just some of the books that I have read an enjoyed this year.. more to come later in the Christmas promotions. They would all make great gifts.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on book on the shelves – Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray


Delighted to feature the new book by Jacqui Murray – Born in a Treacherous Time takes back to man’s very early days and the struggle to survive in a harsh environment.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

This is a spin-off of To Hunt a Sub’s Lucy (the ancient female who mentored the female protagonist).

Murray’s lean prose is steeped in the characters’ brutal worldview, which lends a delightful otherness to the narration …The book’s plot is similar in key ways to other works in the genre, particularly Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear. However, Murray weaves a taut, compelling narrative, building her story on timeless human concerns of survival, acceptance, and fear of the unknown. Even if readers have a general sense of where the plot is going, they’ll still find the specific twists and revelations to be highly entertaining throughout. A well-executed tale of early man.” –Kirkus Reviews

One of the early reviews for the book

Move over Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear) for Jacqui Murray. I went to bed right after dinner last night because I had to finish this book and would have stayed up all night to do it. What a fabulous read.

Born in a Treacherous Time takes place at the very start of mankind’s development – we are inventive, communal, thoughtful, emotional beings, but still deeply rooted in our animal origins, fully integrated into the harsh volcanic landscape and with the creatures who share our world. Survival is an ongoing challenge and hunger a constant companion. Overlaying the struggles of daily life is the threat of man-who-preys, the next generation of mankind.

The story follows Lucy (Woo-See) through a period of years. She’s a strong character, a healer, and a hunter who’s eager to learn new skills that make her an asset to her group as well as an outsider. There are a number of compelling characters, fully developed and distinct, with a wide range of personalities.

No doubt, Murray did her research, but so little is truly known about this time, that I’m certain she had to employ her imagination as well. The world-building is meticulous. Murray deftly presents a world as seen through the eyes of those who inhabit it. She created words (and hand-signals) to describe the landscape based on the characters’ observations: “Night Sun” instead of moon, “Fire Mountain” instead of volcano. Her attention to creating a logical and detailed reality is stunning. I was honestly enthralled.

The world-building extends to characters as well, and I loved that none of them had “modern” sensibilities that would have tainted the believability of the story. No one is squeamish about raw food or bodily functions, and death is viewed as a natural occurrence. The characters have many of the natural abilities and acute senses of the animals living around them, yet unlike their animal cousins, their understanding of the world grows with each experience.

Best of all, as a reader I became quite attached to these primitive humans, empathizing with their struggles, losses, and choices. There is a depth of emotion, spirit of community, and generous nobility that stretches through the hundreds of thousands of years to our current lives. A captivating book that I recommend to any reader who enjoys adventures, exquisite world-building, or works of historical fiction and prehistory.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing websiteJacquiMurray.net

Diana Wallace Peach is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

D. Wallace Peach, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Please visit Amazon or Diana’s website to view all her books.

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Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Jacqui’s books on your own social media. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Twenty-Four Days (Rowe-Delamagente Thriller Book 2) by J. Murray


Delighted to welcome J. Murray to the bookstore with her most recent book Twenty- Four Days (Rowe-Delamagente Thriller Book 2).

About Twenty-Four Days.

In the latest Rowe-Delamagente thriller, the two unlikely partners have less than a month to stop a North Korean missile strike after hijackers steal nuclear warhead-armed submarines. If they don’t, the USS Bunker Hill, on a peaceful mission to observe a North Korean missile launch, will be in grave danger. Piece by piece, Rowe and Delamagente uncover a bizarre nexus between a man Rowe thought dead, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is weaponized, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch. As the deadline looms, they call on the unusual skills of a quirky AI named Otto with the unique ability to track anything with a digital trail.

One of the reviews for the book

What do you get when you combine technology and espionage? Geek spies. This military/academia thriller novel has all the ingredients to keep readers invested in the characters’ plight to avert World War III.

J. Murray has written an amazing book. Twenty-four days finds Rowe and Delamagente racing against time to thwart the actions of jihadis. Having defeated Salah Mahud al-Zahrawi in To hunt a sub, Rowe and Delamagente find themselves involved in another act of terrorism.

The story starts with character, Eyad Obeid, who is a nuclear physics and becomes embroiled in a plot to destroy nuclear submarines. From there on, J. Murray takes you on a whirlwind story, introducing new jihadis commanded by al-Zahrawi, who supposedly was killed in book 1 or was he? [No spoilers here] I must say, it added to the suspense of the story. These jihadi recruits are certainly well-rounded characters as their convictions to destroy the ‘infidels’ comes across very realistic and frightening. In the meantime, Zeke Rowe, the ex-SEAL/professor is called upon to investigate at the expense of his and Kalian Delamagente’s tenuous relationship. Kalian despises the whole espionage fraternity following the events in book 1, and in spite of the FBI’s attempts to woe her and bring with her the incredible AI, Otto, she refuses. However, Delamagente finds herself a reluctant participant and the plot heats up when her son, now in college, gets entangled as well.

This was a great book, and I particularly enjoyed the suspense and fast-pace of the story. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy learning about navy protocols and espionage. I will be purchasing J. Murray’s spin off novel Born in a Treacherous Time, when it is published in 2018.

Read the Reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Twenty-four-Days-Rowe-Delamagente-Book-2-ebook

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-four-Days-Rowe-Delamagente-Book-2-ebook/dp/B072NZF8N8

Also by J. Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And:  Amazon Author Page US

Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing websiteJacquiMurray.net

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Jacqui’s books on your own social media. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Jacqui Murray on a subject we are all invested in – Blogging


A welcome to Jacqui Murray to the blog sitting series with her first post for Smorgasbord. Most of us are on a learning curve when it comes to blogging, however long we might have been at the task. Jacqui shares some very important elements that are important to remember when posting.

A big thank-you to Sally for hosting me this week. This is my first time as a guest on her blog, Smorgasbord: Variety is the Spice of Life, and I’m so darn excited. I feel like I’ve made the big time! She asked me to blog on anything I wanted–what could be easier? Well, honestly, that isn’t as easy as it sounds for me. I wanted to pick something I’m passionate about but also would appeal to readers and maybe offer something I’ve learned over time.

Blogging. It had to be that.

When I started blogging, I thought it was journaling–writing about my life and times. It can be, and for some it is, but that didn’t work for me. I’m pretty boring. My life has all the charm of a car alarm. There is no hyperbole in my life and the posts reflected that. I sought insight by reading the blogs of other writers and realized I don’t have to talk about myself (big big sigh of happiness). What works better for me is sometimes sharing my experiences but more often sharing those of virtual friends who are working through the tedious process of writing/editing/publishing/marketing.

Then the next epiphany hit me: I couldn’t simply show up online, spout off, and slink away. It’s complicated (I see you-all nodding). I could have quit–it was getting to be a lot like work–but I enjoyed the blogging and the like-minded souls I met online. I learned a lot about writing by doing it often (writing novels takes years. Blogging is weekly. What a difference). So I honed my skill.

Now, years later, there are a few items I wished I’d known early rather than late. Let me share them with you:

  • Only reblog 10% of someone else’s post. If you’re on WordPress and push the ‘reblog’ button, they take care of that for you. But if you copy someone’s post and give them attribution, you blew it. You have to get permission if you are reposting more than 10% of someone else’s work. I learned that the hard way.
  • Hot links are bad. What’s a ‘hot link’ you say? That’s when you use a picture on your blog that’s posted on some other server. I don’t do that–I don’t even know how to do it. Let me posit a scenario. You find an image (in the public domain–you’re careful and always legal) that you like. You drag it to your blog post and drop it. It looks great. What a wonderful shortcut to save-insert-find media you usually have to do. But that’s hotlinking. Your picture is hosted on someone else’s site, using their internet resources. At some point in the future, you’ll bring up that beautiful picture and it will have disappeared because the people hosting it deleted it from their servers. This, like ‘reblog 10%’, I learned the hard way (thank you, Jack Reacher, for that term).
  • It takes a long time to write a post. Most bloggers start out journaling–chatting about their life. When they get few readers, less comments, and realize they’re talking to an empty room, they give up blogging as another failed experiment on the pathway to success. Blogging is no longer journaling. These days, successful blogs (and I want the blog that promotes my books to be successful) focus on a theme, their popularity closely tied to the author’s voice and/or resources provided. Readers don’t want to see typos or grammar errors, or waste their time. When your brain starts throbbing like a hand slammed in a car door–that’s when you realize blogging is a lot like work.

  • Be myself. Let my voice take over. Like with any author you love, it’s not so much the plot they choose (there really are only so many plots) as how the author delivers it. That’s voice and that’s why readers keep coming back to your blog.
  • It’s easier than it sounds. So many of my fellow writers think blogging takes hours a day. It does, but only as you’re getting settled. Then, you get into a rhythm:
  1. Jot an idea down as a ‘draft post’
  2. Flesh it out when the muse hits. That’s the problem, you say. You don’t have       time to let ‘the muse hit’. I’m going to respectfully disagree, even though I don’t know you that well. You are a writer. The muse always lurks in your subconscious, ready with her opinions, attitudes, annoyances. You have trained yourself to ignore her, but now it’s time for a new habit. Write when you want–whatever comes out. In this case, flesh out the blog post.
  3. Review and schedule the post.
  • It’s harder than it sounds. You have to pay attention to proper writing skills, be careful to not plagiarize content, be a friend to ebuddies, be constantly and brilliantly inspired, and be a tech genius who can fix all those geeky things that make social media work. Yikes!

 

When I first posted this, readers shared their blogging experiences. Which ones resonate with you:

  1. I agonize over pushing the “publish” button.
  2. I needed more tools on how to blog. I wish I’d researched more.
  3. It’s a learning experience.
  4. Keep up a regular schedule of posts (at least one a week). This is the difference between 10 views and 100. Once a week minimally.
  5. I schedule my posts a week in advance, so it fits better with my life.
  6. The first time I blogged, I gave up because I did not know it took time to build a readership.This time, I’m ready.
  7. I like to think of blogging as using your non-dominant hand – it sharpens all facets of my writing brain.
  8. It is hard work, but anything worthwhile is.
  9. I wish I’d set up an email address just for my blog.
  10. Keep personal information private. It’s tempting to hang it all out there but don’t.
  11. Respond to comments. Read readers blogs. Engage with your community. I had no idea how much time I would spend connecting with other bloggers.
  12. Blogs cost money if done right. If you don’t use one of the all-in-one-free packages (like WordPress), you need hosting, a domain, problem-solving, maintenance help, not to mention SEO guidance.
  13. Your voice is your blog. Don’t be afraid to let it out.
  14. Give lots of credit to others in your posts–especially if you use their material. Linkbacks are easy. Trackbacks bring your blog to the attention of others who might come visit.
  15. Blogging is fun. Make time for it.
  16. Push your blog posts out to your social networks.
  17. Be careful with pictures. If they aren’t in the public domain, you can’t use them without permission. A linkback isn’t sufficient!
  18. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.
  19. You’ll want to quit a hundred times as you wait to build readers, gain traction, accomplish your goals. Remind yourself why you started. If that reason hasn’t changed, continue blogging.
  20. Don’t expect to make money blogging. It rarely happens. Do it for other reasons.
  21. Work smarter by using tools that are available: editorial calendars, Hootsuite, Twitterdeck, Google Analytics.
  22. I wish I would have done my homework upfront to research the different blogging platforms and educated myself on the pros and cons.
  23. I had no idea about the communities, linkups, sharing and connecting available to help new and experienced bloggers.
  24. Be proud of what you blog about. If you aren’t, change it.

What would you add to this list? 

©Jacqui Murray 2018

My thanks to Jacqui for this reminder to us all that we need to treat our blogs and those within our community with care and respect.

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

A selection of books by Jacqui Murray

About To Hunt a Sub – Rowe-Delamagnente Thrillers

The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen one hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza. That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system on the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky greys and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor off the coast of Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to retired Navy intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a cybervirus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems. What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet.

Kali Delamagente is a struggling over-the-hill grad student who entered a DARPA cybersecurity competition as a desperate last hope to fund a sophisticated artificial intelligence she called Otto. Though her presentation imploded, she caught the attention of two people: a terrorist intent on destroying America and a rapt Dr. Zeke Rowe. An anonymous blank check to finish her research is quickly followed by multiple break-ins to her lab, a hack of her computer, the disappearance of her three-legged dog, and finally the kidnapping of her only son.

By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided with the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A fast-paced thriller steeped in intrigue and palaeoanthropology. on December 13, 2017

To hunt a sub by J. Murray mixes military intrigue, the world of academia and a burgeoning romance between an ex-SEAL come professor and an upcoming academic who developed an AI to track the evolution of humans. Oh, and there is a terrorist plot as well.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book. From the cover of the book one would expect it would be solely based on the navy, but on reading the blurb, there was much more to this story. For me, I particularly enjoyed the scenes where the AI—Otto, a software program that was developed to locate and identify the evolution and migration of humans from Africa—I found interesting and captivating. The author has clearly done a lot of research into palaeoanthropology, which is evident in the story, as well as into the machinery and workings of US Defence.

The main plot was about a jihadi terrorist intent on destroying US submarines and in turn, the US Defence force. The intertwining sub-plots helped move the story at a brisk pace, there was always something happening, and I learnt a lot about submarines!

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am about to start book 2 of the Rowe and Delamagente series. Readers who have taste for intrigue and military style stories, will be sweetly surprised by this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon Author Page UK

And:  Amazon Author Page US

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
Goodreads: Jacqui Murray
Pinterest: Ask a Tech Teacher
Amazon author page: Jacqui Murray
My writing website: JacquiMurray.net

Thank you for dropping in and Jacqui would love your feedback. I will catch up with comments on my return in a couple of days.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Specials – The Menu and Contributors February 15th – 20th.


Here is the menu for posts while I am away for a few days in Portsmouth to visit my sisters for a girls long weekend. I will be offline but I am leaving you in the very capable hands of my blog sitters.

I am here as usual until Wednesday and then handing over the reins on Thursday 15th until Tuesday 20th.  I have scheduled some of my regular posts such as Letters from America, Laughter Lines, Cafe Updates, Sally’s Drive Time Playlist etc in their regular slots.

I will respond to comments on my return, but as always your likes, shares and comments will be much appreciated.

Thursday 15th February.

A warm welcome to a new contributor Cage Dunn, an Australian author who shares his thoughts on the life and commitment of a storyteller. 10.30 am.

Vicki Steward will be sharing her home town of Glastonbury where she has lived more or less permanently since 1993. Glastonbury is renowned for his music festival but it is a town that attracts not just musicians but those who wish to sample a life that is rich in diversity. 13.30

Friday 16th February

In the usual Friday Spot just after midnight.. writer in residence Paul Andruss explores some of the more complex and sometimes chemically enhanced writing styles of the rich and famous.

Very pleased to hand over the blog to the very capable hands of author Lillian Csernica who asks the question… Where will your writing take you? And what will learn about on the way? 13.30

Today a post from Rowena Newton of Beyond the Flow, who has faced some life threatening and changing challenges but clearly faces the long-term issues with positivity and a love of life. 15.30

Saturday 17th February.

Just after Midnight – Welcome to a treat straight from the Kosher Kitchen of Dolly Aizenman along with the history behind the recipe. As we anticipate a royal wedding in the UK in the spring perhaps I should forward this to the parties concerned. The wedding feast for the Tudor Court.

The entertaining John W. Howell is going to share what not to do if you suddenly come into a windfall.. such as the mega-millions from a lottery win… I am off to spend my fiver! 10.30am

Very pleased to hand you over to another blog sitter this afternoon. Author M.J. Mallon. (Marjorie). An adventure in Scotland when Marjorie and her mother visited the famous Kelpies on their trip to Edinburgh. 15.30

Sunday 18th February

Just after Midnight – Most of you will be familiar with Carol Taylor and her cooking and food posts and her new weekly food column. Today as part of the blog sitting series, Carol shares a life changing and emotive experience from a few years ago. This post might give you a different perspective about those who live on the streets.

This week my lovely friend Debby, D.G. Kaye is taking over the hot seat in the Open House Interview and will sharing the background to why she rights non-fiction and memoirs, her publishing adventures, favourite music and the one big adventure she would like to experience. 10.30am

I have another treat for you with the next blog sitting post. Jennie Fitzkee has a wonderful blog where she shares stories of her life as a pre-school teacher. But in this post Jennie shares a hidden talent… well hidden from us up to now! The Wedding Dancer. 15.30

Monday 19th February

Just after Midnight -Today in the blog-sitting special, you get two authors and two editors. Author and Freelance Editor, Judy Penz Sheluk interviews fellow editor and author Lourdes Venard. This is great, since editors are always busy, and it is useful to make new contacts. It is also helpful to find blogs, such as Judy’s, where you can be interviewed.

A welcome to Jacqui Murray to the blog sitting series with her first post for Smorgasbord. Most of us are on a learning curve when it comes to blogging, however long we might have been at the task. Jacqui shares some very important elements that are important to remember when posting. 10.30am

Time for one of the wonderfully amusing posts from author Linda Bethea about her fabulous mother Kathleen Holdaway Swain. Linda’s stories about her mother have always entertained and enlightened me and this story has changed by shopping trips for the better! 13.30

Tuesday 20th February

Just after Midnight – A welcome back to to Debby Gies with one of the posts from her archives to share with us today.  When this post appeared last year it was met with rave reviews and for weeks on Facebook we were all announcing to the world our new status.. A Perennial Woman..

Blog sitting today is children’s author Jemima Pett with a science fiction short story.  Xanadu is stranded on an alien planet having crash landed…10.30am

I hope you will stop by and I am sure that you will enjoy these posts from my blog sitting team.. they are amazing and I am sure would be delighted to help you out next time you are away too.. They come highly recommended.  Thanks Sally