Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Jacquie Biggar, Clifford Browder and Christine Campbell


Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and bookstore and the first author with a recent review is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar for Book 1 in the Wounded Souls series – Tidal Falls.

About the book

If you like Military Romance, Wounded Warrior Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Romantic Suspense, this is a sure to be a story you will love from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar.

Nick Kelley spent years working as a dog handler in the U.S. Marine Corps. His sole focus, to keep his team alive in the midst of chaos. When he fails to notice an IED in time and loses most of his teammates, Nick shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life’s worth living.

One of the recent reviews for the book

LA Bookworm 5.0 out of 5 stars NEW (TO ME) AUTHOR! January 23, 2019

What a terrific first book!!! It has all the good stuff….a heroine who is soft but kick butt, a studly former military hero, good friends for both and an ex-hubby/bad guy you love to hate. It’s not often that a first book from an author really is outstanding, but this one is. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series! (By the way, I found this author on Kindle Unlimited which has introduced me to authors I didn’t know and couldn’t afford to buy to try!)

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MS89MA6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tidal-Falls-Wounded-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00MS89MA6

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

Now a recent review for Fascinating New Yorkers: Power Freaks, Mobsters, Liberated Women, Creators, Queers and Crazies by Clifford Browder.

About Fascinating New Yorkers

A prostitute’s daughter who got to know two ex-kings and a future emperor; a cardinal archbishop known in certain circles as “Franny”; a serial killer who terrorized the city; a pioneer in female erotica who had two husbands and kept a “lie box” to keep her two lives straight – they’re all here in Clifford Browder’s collection of posts from his blog, people who, some remembered today and some forgotten, fulfilled themselves richly or horrendously in the wild and crazy city of New York. Some of these people Browder knew or encountered briefly, and some he got to know through their works. He relates surprising things about J.P. Morgan and his nose, Andy Warhol’s sex life, Nicky (Mr. Untouchable) Barnes, and Polly Adler, Queen of Tarts. Getting to know these New Yorkers, readers will be shocked or angered, puzzled or amused, but never bored.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book is my bed-time Bible, which is to say, I’m never without something fascinating to read, even when I’m between books. It’s studded with details. On every street-corner in NYC, at every intersection, numerous people lived, died, fired a gun, made love, led a march or quelled an angry mob. The buildings that do survive are silent witness. Clifford Browder brings it all home.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DQRDYPC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fascinating-New-Yorkers-Mobsters-Liberated-ebook/dp/B07DQRDYPC

A selection of other books by Clifford Browder

Read the reviews and discover all Clifford Browder’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Clifford-Browder/e/B001HOP166

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clifford-Browder/e/B001HOP166

Read more reviews and follow Clifford on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/296927.Clifford_Browder

Connect to Clifford via his blog: https://cbrowder.blogspot.com/

And the last author today with a recent review for Gold Plated is Christine Campbell

About Gold Plated

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul.

What could possibly go wrong?

When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were.

Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m not always the world’s greatest fan of writing in the first person, present tense – but for this story, where it’s particularly important to be able to identify with Rosanna and feel the impact of the events in her life, it was a perfect choice. I liked very much too the way the story was constructed – as the excitement and anticipation builds with the approach of the anniversary party, and we get to know Rosanna and her family, the story slips back to 1964 to explore their earlier lives and all the twists and turns of life that brought them to this point. The music of the time works well as a soundtrack for the optimism of youth, the attraction of the unattainable, the naive infatuation, the betrayal and reconciliation, and the sewing together of a web of secrets that has repercussions down the years.

I so don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, so I do need to be a little cagy about what happens at the party – but its impact and what follows was perhaps the part of the book I most enjoyed. The scenes on which the story turns are vividly drawn – with a cinematic quality and emotional impact that delivers a tremendous punch. And the story that follows is one that any older reader will absolutely identify with as I did, with an exceptional authenticity about the relationships, actions and depth of feeling. There were times when I found myself aching inside – but there were other points when I rejoiced over small victories and forward steps that really touched my heart.

And I really must mention one aspect that particularly struck me about the writing itself – the author’s exceptional powers of description, which transport you into the heart of the story. It creates that important difference between reading – and being at a distance from the story – and being able to feel it. Textures of fabric, the different nuances of colour, the varieties of brushstrokes, the small but significant details that bring a scene into being – this was very accomplished writing, and a joy to experience.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN/

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her blog: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

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

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Something to Think About – Keeping the Magic of Romance Alive Every Day by Sally Cronin


This post appeared on Jacquie Biggar’s website last year. I thought you might like to read again on this day of love and romance….

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day and I believe that romance is something that infuses every day of a relationship, but if receiving a card, or some roses, reminds someone of how much they are loved, then this is a good day.

My thanks to Jacquie for inviting me to share my views on romance. It is one of the elements of our lives which is universal, and much sort after. People often ask what the secret to a happy relationship is… darned if I know.  All I can offer you is some of the little things I have come to appreciate over the last 50 odd years of dating and relationships. Make that 55 as I had a crush on Peter Birch at primary school age ten which resulted in my first broken heart!

Because many of you who are reading this are writers, I thought you might be interested in a few statistics on the billion-dollar-a-year Romance book industry via Romance Writers

  • The annual total sales of romance novels per year is in excess of a billion dollars.
  • Romance novel share of the U.S. fiction market is 34%.
  • 82% of romance readers are women.
  • Average age is 35-39.

What interested me about these statistics is that romance is a hot ticket item. It is also evident that romantic stories are very much sought after by women, but clearly not as high on the list for men. Something that those who feel men are sometimes not as romantic as they might be, would find interesting!

Another statistic is that the average age of those seeking out romance stories is between the ages of 35-39… which begs the question… Do women in their 40s, 50s, 60s give up on romance, or they are simply not catered for by the romance writers?

Like most young girls of my generation, I was infused with the myths surrounding love and romance at an early age. Between fairy tales and my mother’s desire to make the goal of romance clear cut in my mind, I surmised that at some point a Prince Charming, on a white horse, would sweep into my life, whisk me off my feet, and we would ride off into a future of bliss, children and Happy Ever After.

I was encouraged to take the available wisdom to heart, and with hopes and dreams of my own, embarked on my own dating adventures. The trouble with ingrained expectations is that they are not always as revered by others, particularly the opposite sex.

However, after some false starts, at the age of 20, a more mature Prince Charming of 26 did arrive, in uniform and driving a classic American sports car. It seemed that expectations had been met and exceeded, and it was crowned with a spectacular wedding with matriarchal approval on both sides. We drove off into the sunset with clanging tin cans behind the steed… which proved to be tolling bells of doom!

Trouble is what you see is not always what you get! And when compounded with differing expectations of what a relationship is supposed to be, and a lack of commitment of one of the participants, things tend to fall apart. After four years, some interesting life lessons, and an expensive legal intervention which took three years, I finally managed to extricate myself with a vow to never marry again.

Then wouldn’t you know it, six months later, into my life walked a softly-spoken, unassuming guy who took me out on a date and asked me to marry him before the night was over. Five weeks later, without any ceremony, and with just our parents in attendance, we exchanged rings and our own vows.

The last 39 years have taught me that romance is not one-size fits all, is unique to two people who love each other, and is not always about red roses and chocolates.

Some of the elements that spell romance for me.

As Jeremy Taylor quoted ‘Love is Friendship set on Fire’. Of course there is that initial, and amazing firework display of hormonally induced physical attraction, which then evolves over the years into a familiarity that can still be breathtaking. However, without the essential elements of like-mindedness, shared moral code, sense of humour, and appreciation of another’s unique personality, the fire of romance slowly dies down to embers.

An analogy I often use for romance between two people, is that it is like an extended ballroom dance that flows and whirls with two partners in perfect sync. Always staying within the limits of the dance floor, allowing other styles come into play, with fiery tangos and playful sambas as the tempo of the music changes. Even when there is a momentary loss of connection, there is a coming together again, and the dance always finishes in a firm embrace.

Whilst there may be the occasional extravagant gesture when a special event warrants it, mostly it is the small things that keep romance alive and flourishing.

Red roses are wonderful, and we all love to receive a bouquet on Valentine’s Day or an anniversary. But it is the odd flower brought in from the garden and laid on a breakfast tray, a small tree planted in the garden that blossoms every spring, or the paper flower, misshapen and oddly coloured that appears by a bedside, that really help to keep romance alive.

Romance is waking up on every birthday to find cards hand-made from images of sea, sunflowers, cats and dogs, golden sunsets with handwritten verses inside that come from the heart. It is also those few minutes on your wedding anniversary when you sit silently, holding hands and remembering that special day and the people who are no longer there to share the memories with you.

True romance flourishes when you are unwell and scared and a strong hand holds yours and a voice close to your ear, tells you that it will be alright, that you are safe. It is when you suffer a loss and cry together and heal together. It is when you walk through the door and someone says, ‘hi love, how was your day?’

Romance is when the last words before you go to sleep are ‘I love you’

Romance does exist after 39 years old, whatever the statistics might say.

Romance and love go hand in hand, and as I watch very old people together, you can tell the ones who still adore and respect each other. It is easy to still see that spark and twinkle in the eyes, the small touches of a hand or brush of lint from a shoulder. That unity has been welded from years of life, laughter, sadness, joy, disappointment, excitement and love. Thousands of cups of tea, breakfasts in bed, dances in the kitchen, date nights, holding hands in the movies and vigils by a sickbed, have gone into the rich tapestry that is romance. There might be a faded red rose pressed between the pages of a diary, or a diamond ring that comes out on special occasions, but it is these small daily gestures that will have kept the romance alive and will continue to do so long after one or both of them dies.

Romance is also about the things we don’t do in a relationship.

We don’t belittle someone we love in public and then say ‘But you know I love you’.

We don’t bully them and then say we are doing it ‘Because you know I love you.’

We don’t marry who we believe is Prince Charming or the fairy princess, and then set about changing them by saying ‘You know it is because I love you.’

We don’t take the actions of those we love for granted, and saying ‘thank you’ for a meal, a wardrobe full of clean clothes or for being a great mum or dad, goes a long way to keep romance alive.

Romance is not about making someone happy or expecting them to make you happy. Your happiness is your responsibility and choice. Putting the onus for your happiness on someone else is a very quick way to lose them.

I will leave you with one of my favourite poems on romance from Elizabeth Barrett Browning courtesy of The Poem Hunter

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Most of my stories have an element of romance.. and with my latest book, I have even got a Prince Charming (the good kind).

About Tales from the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature. Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell. This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

All my books in Ebook are available: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

You can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: Goodreads

Thank you for dropping in today and even if you don’t celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, what is the most romantic gesture you have ever received?

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – The Beast Within (Mended Souls Book Two) by Jacquie Biggar


I requested several books for Christmas as I love having a full TBR locked and loader on my reader to start the year. I have been storing up some of my reviews to share over the next couple of weeks as I am going to be offline during the day-time with some offline projects and jaunts.

The first review is by USA Bestselling Romance Author Jacquie Biggar and her book The Beast Within (Mended Souls Book Two) a paranormal/suspense/thriller/romance.

Let me set the scene…. since this is the second book in the series the first being The Guardian which introduced Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson who had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

About The Beast Within.

When Julie Crenshaw is offered a news reporter’s job on beautiful Vancouver Island she didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.

Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his fourteen years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.

And threatening his key witness. As the stakes rise, can two people get a second chance at love? Or will a killer become the winner?

My review of The Beast Within.

I am open minded about the existence of other worldly beings, and would love to think that there were a couple of guardian angels looking out for me and mine.

Julie Crenshaw needs all the help she can get as she is at risk from the very serial killer she is investigating for her paper.  Still coming to terms with being widowed, Julie is fighting the temptation to be drawn into a new and complicated relationship with the good-looking lead detective, all the time being watched over by the husband she lost to a fatal car crash.

He in turn is at odds with the angel he has been partnered with, and who is responsible for the crash that killed him. They are supposed to be working together to get over their animosity, but there is a lot of work needed to achieve that.

Despite picking up the story in the second book, the author introduced the previous characters in a timely fashion which meant it was easy to get right into the plot as a stand alone thriller. From the middle of the book the story gathers pace, as Julie researches the possibility there is more to the killer than meets the eye, racing towards an exciting climax as the characters of this world and the next come together.

I will be reading more of this author’s books as there is certainly plenty to choose from across the romantic genre.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQEVI55

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Within-Gripping-Psychological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01MQEVI55

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site: http://jacqbiggar.com

Connect to Jacquie Biggar

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar
http://Facebook.com/jacquiebiggar
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051448161572521/
http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar
http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar
https://www.goodreads.com/JacquieBiggar
http://Pinterest.com/jacqbiggar
https://plus.google.com/+JacquieBiggar
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-biggar
Newsletter- https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6c2n8

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and explore other books by Jacquie Biggar. We all need a little romance in our lives….. thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Judith Barrow, Jacquie Biggar and Daniel Kemp


Welcome to the first Cafe and Bookstore Update for the week.

The first author with a recent review for the prequel to her successful Howarth Family Trilogy A Hundred Tiny Threads is Judith Barrow.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I expected this novel to be a typical historical romance but it was much more than that. It was gritty, it pulled no punches and this made the characterisation and events more real. The author enables you to connect with the story through knowledge of historical events and just the way life was…and still is in many ways. I also found it educational as it broadened my understanding of the suffragette movement and also the troubles in Ireland and the black and tans. Her description of place enables the reader to visualise the settings easily and the relationships between her characters are believable…no typical happy ending which I liked.

Head over read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/100-Tiny-Threads-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B073W1LTSR

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Tiny-Threads-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B073W1LTSR

Also by Judith Barrow

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

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

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

Connect to Judith via her blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

Despite being passed the festive season, it is always a good time for romance. USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar provides that in her pre-Christmas release, Mistletoe Inn 

About Mistletoe Inn

Fall in love this holiday season!

A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love in this heartwarming holiday romance.

Molly McCarty is in need of a new beginning after a disastrous divorce. When the opportunity to invest in a bed and breakfast appears online in Christmas, Michigan she’s intrigued.
A snow storm derails her travels and leaves her at the mercy of a grim stranger- who turns out to be her new partner!
Noah Kincaid loses his parents in a tragic fire that leaves him scarred inside and out. He’s raised by a great-aunt and is devastated when cancer takes her life. But vowing never to care about anyone again is hampered by his troublesome new partner and her son.
Will a Christmas miracle bring three lonely hearts the gift of love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Heartwarming love story! This the first time that I read a novella written by this new author Jacquie Biggar. She didn’t disappoint me with this short love story ‘Mistletoe Inn’. What a sweet story! It tells the sweet and romantic story of Molly, who needs a fresh new start after an awful divorce and Noah, a bruised man suffering of PTSD. During a snow storm, both their worlds collide with force and a build new friendship. Along with her son Leo, all three will embark on a Journey of hope, trust and romance.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HY69RPL

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistletoe-Inn-Jacquie-Biggar-ebook/dp/B07HY69RPL

Universal link: http://books2read.com/MistletoeInn

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

And finally a recent review for Daniel Kemp and his thriller,The Widow’s Son released just before Christmas.

About The Widow’s Son

Three months before the invasion of Iraq, a member of a Masonic fraternity known as the Rosicrucians escapes from a British Intelligence holding station.

Orchestrated by the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, this event is somehow linked to a the highly classified CIA file only known as Gladio B. Tasked to destroy an unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, the chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee plans to bring the criminals to justice.

But he is running low on both time and allies, as mass annihilation threatens the whole planet. Who are the mysterious eight families that seem to be behind the mysterious events, and what do they have to do with the ancient 33rd degree level of understanding, only known by the mysterious Rosicrucian brotherhood?

One of the early reviews for the book

Brian Kitchen 5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing spy thriller 30 December 2018

I’ve always enjoyed a good spy thriller and over the years have enjoyed reading John le Carré, Len Deighton and Graham Greene. Most spy thrillers focus on the work done by the agent in the field and few are centred around those who supervise and direct those agents. Daniel Kemp’s protagonist, however, is the new chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee responsible for directing intelligence operations, which made for a fascinating read. Given a seeming impossible task and not knowing who he can trust, time is running out for the action is set in 2002 not long before the Second Gulf War. I won’t spoil the plot for readers, but I was engrossed by the story and really enjoyed it. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07LCQX4DY

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LCQX4DY

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17257200.Daniel_Kemp

Connect to Daniel via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/booksbydaniel/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have found a book or two to add to your TBRs… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar and John W. Howell


Welcome to the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas party where guests will share their best ever Christmas presents ever…and there will be food, drink and of course music and to get you into the spirit of the season.. here are some choristers with particular appeal..

I tried to remember the first Christmas that I was aware of as a child. I must have got the general idea of the concept of presents quite young as at age seven when we moved to Malta I began the practice of putting a pillowcase on the end of my bed from around mid-October…. I think this ticked my mother off somewhat because she sat me down at the beginning of December and told me that Father Christmas did not exist and that from now on I would have my presents around the tree like my two sisters who were in their late teens….. My brother would only have been three years old at the time and so was not really interested one way or another.

It must have made quite an impression on me as I then related this story to my husband before our first Christmas when we were talking about how we would spend our first together. Since we had only known each other for six weeks when we married in mid-November it was not surprising that there were a few things that we had not had time to discuss, especially something as trivial as Father Christmas! However, imagine my delight when I woke early on Christmas morning to find a heavy weight across my legs (oy… Nothing like that this is a family show) I switched the light on to find a pillowcase packed to the rafters with carefully wrapped presents… Nothing too grand as we were pretty broke but I remember bursting into tears at the time at this act of love and kindness…

Every year since then for the last 38 Christmas mornings we have woken early and sneaked a stocking full of nonsense on to each other’s side of the bed and when we had Sam still, he had one too. There is a frenzy of unwrapping or ripping in the case of Sam, and much laughter and illicit consumption of chocolate oranges and cashew nuts. In the case of Sam it was the sniffing out to the bottom of the snack to find his customary pig’s ear… I always put a tatty duvet cover on for this occasion and it was necessary.

As to my favourite Christmas present of all time……that would probably be the year that my parents came up to London to stay with us and have Christmas dinner. My father loved big band music and at the time was still listening to a 1960s record player. We gave him a fairly flat package, and he unwrapped it to find four CDs of Glen Miller Big Band Music.. He tried so hard to look excited, but then looked at me and said ‘I don’t have anything to play these on’. David then handed over another large package to my mystified father, who tore of the wrapping to find a box containing a combined radio and CD player with detachable speakers. The look on his face is still very clear in my mind today. Priceless.

Just in case my father is listening in from somewhere over the rainbow.. here is Glenn Miller with In The Christmas Mood…..

Actually the 12 days do not begin today but from Christmas Day until the evening of the 5th January. These days are associated with religious calendars and rather than the fun approach in the song we sing, many are in tribute to someone who met a tragic end. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the Middle Ages and were a time of celebration of various events around the birth of Jesus or to celebrate the life of a saint or martyr. Each day had its own significance.

Day 1 (25th December): Christmas Day celebrating the birth of Jesus and the setting of the nativity.

Now time to meet our first guest who is someone who has accompanied during the last five years of blogging and whose books I have enjoyed. Author Mary Smith lives in Scotland but has her experiences of working in Afghanistan and Pakistan to draw upon when writing her novels and short stories. Mary has also written in collaboration a series of books on her home in Scotland.

This is Mary’s very best Christmas present ever….

As soon as I read your  post I remembered my best ever Christmas present – roller skates. It was a completely surprise gift from Santa (my four-years-younger sister was still a believer), something I hadn’t asked for. It took me a while to master them because I kept trying to walk rather than roll but once I got the knack I was off, skating up and down the pavements. Those skates gave me such freedom. In the summer the grounds of the High School became my giant skating playground. I didn’t mind if I was alone but often other kids joined me. A steep, ridged concrete path ran from the playground to the tennis courts, which was great for testing our nerves. We tied a rope onto a bike and took turns being pulled down the slope, faster and faster – the ridges on the concrete made my teeth rattle. I can still feel the exhilaration and sheer joy my skating days gave me. Very tempted now to put skates on my Christmas wish list!

My Christmas gift to Mary courtesy of the most entertaining virtual giftstore ‘Youtube’

It took some doing Mary but my Christmas gift to you, is annual membership of this international group of skaters…Moxi Girls… who are preparing a wardrobe for your debut performance…they were thinking Mary, Queen of Scots as your moniker……

Books by Mary Smith: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

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A recent review for No More Mulberries

Thru the eyes of a converted Scottish midwife and her 2 husbands. Miriam is an highly trained midwife who meets an handsome Afghani engineering student in Edinburgh University. They fall madly in love, she converts to the Muslim faith for him and they marry and have a child. Not too long after their son is born, tragedy strikes and she is widowed. She marries again and the story, “No More Mulberries”, is the intricate unwinding of these lives in the midst of a war torn country.

The writing is rich with descriptions and emotion. The characters are well fleshed out, complex and burdened. This is not a one sided political treatise but rather an inside look from the vantage point of a common village family and some slightly higher up; but only slightly. Life in early 1990’s for the Afghani people was akin to 1890’s America, extraordinarily so for the women.

Altho’ M. Smith portrays the realities in her book, this story is not without a feeling of love and hope. These are resilient people in tragic circumstances trying to maintain families and some semblance of normalcy. There are moments of humor to relieve the tension so deftly written about.

There is nothing offensive in this book. All the language, violence and sexual content are easily within a PG rating with nothing being gratuitous or overly descriptive. You will get the picture without being given a high-def, 4K, knockout punch. This book will effect you, I know it did me. The invasion of Afghanistan was almost 25 years ago and the battle still rages. “No More Mulberries” will give you a chance to see what it might be like on the inside, from the inside.

We assume that carols are of religious origin but in fact they are pagan songs that were sung to celebrate the four seasons. For thousands of years at the Winter Solstice for example people would dance around large stone circles and the word carol actually means to dance in praise and joy. Over time the practice of singing carols became synonymous with Christmas and was adopted by Christianity as a way of celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Over the years it has become a tradition for musicians to bring out their own compositions in honour of the season and over the coming days I will be sharing the carols and music that are sung all over the world by those who celebrate this particular festival.

And to start us off, where is a wonderful choir called Proclaim with Mary Did You Know……

My next guest is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar who writes across the fantasy and romance genres. Here is what she shared about her best Christmas gift ever.

Jacquie’s best Christmas gift ever.

My favorite Christmas gift arrived six years ago, not long after I moved to the island. Hubby was working in Alberta and only came home every three weeks, and my daughter and grandson had started school—I was lonely.

Knowing my love of animals, hubby brought me a Christmas surprise, a tiny calico kitten! I fell immediately in love with her furry body and sea-green eyes. And best of all, I wasn’t alone anymore. I’m attaching a pic of her above. Her name is Harley

My Christmas Gift for Jacquie is a hamper of all the top cat lover’s gifts… I hope you and Harley have a blast…….

Discover all of Jacquie’s books, read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG
Website: http://jacqbiggar.com

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Here is one of the recent reviews Mistletoe Inn

I love Christmas books and the perfect holiday book has to be full of heart and romance, healing, redemption, warm and cozy Christmas themes and maybe a hint of the magic of the season. Throw in a small child and a dog and you have me. Mistletoe Inn has all that and more. Noah is on his way to becoming a grumpy recluse. He bears the scars, inside and outside from the fire that killed both his parents when he was a small child. His aunt, who raised him and he loved, recently died too. I think that she was a wise woman because just before she died she sold part interest in her B&B called Mistletoe Inn to a young divorcee with a small child wanting to make a new start. Like it or not, Molly starts to thaw the ice that encases Noah’s heart. And, in a place like Christmas, Michigan, covered in snow and Christmas joy,and surrounded by young families and couples coming to the Inn for a romantic holiday who can resist romance? The novella has some depth and lots of heart too with themes of grieving and starting over. You will quickly feel like Christmas when you read this!

Traditionally mince pies were a bit of luxury and also a status symbol for those living in 17th century and very wealthy folk would show off at their Christmas gatherings by having their pies in all kinds of shapes and sizes and were more a reflection of their ability to employ a high end pastry cook more than anything.  In the early days they would have contained minced meat of lamb, beef, chicken etc rather than those we eat today made with dried fruit and spices.

Traditionally it is said that if you have one a day from Christmas Day through to Twelfth night you will enjoy much happiness for the next 12 months… If ever there was an excuse to eat something sweet and fattening then this is the best yet….

They are really straightforward to make and our own Foodie… Carol Taylor shares her recipe in her post including how to make your own sweet mincemeat: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-columncarol-taylor-cooks-sweet-mincemeat/

And my third guest today is thriller and paranormal mystery author John W. Howell who lives on the Texas coast, has three dogs who have him right where they want him.. Lucy, Bailey and Twiggy..for example when it came to the Christmas Decorations

John was very quick to share his most favourite Christmas gift every and you can tell it made quite the impression on him…

John’s most favourite gift ever

When I was about six years old, I wanted an electric train. I told my parents that a train was all I wanted. They said a train was not in the cards that year.

I went to bed accepting the fact that a train was not going to be under the tree. My older sister had told me there was no Santa Claus, so I had not sent a letter to the North Pole with my request. If there was a Santa, which I believed before my sister filled me in, I could make a wish even at this late date. So before finally falling asleep, I asked Santa to please leave a train.

The next morning the living room was a magic land filled with presents. The tree sparkled with colored bulbs, and I could see a Lionel engine with ten cars sitting on tracks that went all the way around the tree. I could not believe my eyes. As a consequence, I still believe in Santa Claus.

My Christmas gift to John is a re-creation of that magical Christmas morning… kindly provided by Karla Hemingway

 Read all the reviews and buy John Howell’s books: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

A recent reviews for Circumstances of Childhood Aug 24, 2018 Karen rated it it was amazing

This book provides you with a first look at Greg, whereas Keith introduces you to the story.

With Circumstances of Childhood, John W. Howell has created a unique story of friendship, loss, and much more. Greg and Keith are very likeable characters; as the story proceeded, I became their invisible friend. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with depth and interesting interactions until the last page. I had a great time reading Circumstances of Childhood – it is a very intriguing and intense read; it turned me into an invisible ally and/or friend of the believable protagonists. I was drawn into the story right away, eager to learn more. Some of the events may start a new train of thoughts, maybe even shine a new light on something familiar.

This is for you if you like thrillers with excellent twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of the paranormal, and – food for thought. A compelling and remarkable read by a master of story-telling.

And something for you to drink before you head off into the cold. – The Eggnog

There is some debate about the origins of Eggnog but it probably goes back to what was called Posset in medieval Europe -it was a sweetened dairy based drink made with milk, cream, sugar and eggs which would have been beaten together to form a frothy drink with some cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top. Over time of course some bright sparks began to add some alcohol to the mix depending on where they lived at the time… Today in various parts of the world you will find a version of Eggnog served with rum, brandy or whisky. It is very warming and sweet and if also combined with rum I understand it has an impact on short term memory…..

What is quite delicious is to make the concoction into an ice cream and that goes beautifully with mince pies or Christmas pudding.

There are a number of great recipes online and I can suggest that you check this one out: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/homemade-eggnog/

Thank you for joining us today…The Second Day of Christmas… tomorrow….with guests, Darlene Foster and Miriam Hurdle

What was your most memorable Christmas gift? it would be amazing if you would share.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves for Christmas – Special #Preorder Price 99c/99p- Mistletoe Inn by Jacquie Biggar


Welcome to the first of the New on the Shelves for Christmas promotions.. USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar is offering her latest release Mistletoe Inn at a special pre-order price 99c/99p before December 3rd.

About Mistletoe Inn

Fall in love this holiday season!

A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love in this heartwarming holiday romance.

Molly McCarty is in need of a new beginning after a disastrous divorce. When the opportunity to invest in a bed and breakfast appears online in Christmas, Michigan she’s intrigued.
A snow storm derails her travels and leaves her at the mercy of a grim stranger- who turns out to be her new partner!
Noah Kincaid loses his parents in a tragic fire that leaves him scarred inside and out. He’s raised by a great-aunt and is devastated when cancer takes her life. But vowing never to care about anyone again is hampered by his troublesome new partner and her son.
Will a Christmas miracle bring three lonely hearts the gift of love?

On Pre-order for December 3rd at 99c: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HY69RPL

And Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistletoe-Inn-Jacquie-Biggar-ebook/dp/B07HY69RPL

Universal link: http://books2read.com/MistletoeInn

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1)

As usual Jacquie Biggars has written a five-star book. Jacob hired a nanny sight unseen. His daughter was confined to a wheelchair as the result of an accident that took her mother’s life. Actually, Josie was a therapist, hired to help Jane any way possible. Jacob was determined to send Josie back as soon as possible. He decided she was too young and would be too much of a distraction for him. A delightful tale of love on a tropical island. There was a puppy involved and that always makes a better story especially when a child owns the doggy. I recommend highly. 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site: http://jacqbiggar.com

Connect to Jacquie Biggar

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar
http://Facebook.com/jacquiebiggar
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051448161572521/
http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar
http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar
https://www.goodreads.com/JacquieBiggar
http://Pinterest.com/jacqbiggar
https://plus.google.com/+JacquieBiggar
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-biggar
Newsletter- https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6c2n8

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over and check this new book for Christmas and Jacquie’s other books. Please feel free to share.. Thanks Sally

If you have a new book being released in the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas please let me know…If you are already in the bookstore… I just need the link to Amazon.

If you are new to the Cafe and Bookstore you will find details of what I need from you here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-author-and-blog-promotions-2018-its-party-time-again/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jacquie Biggar, Sacha Black and Charles E. Yallowitz


Welcome to Monday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore and a look at recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar for Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1).

About Sweetheart Cove

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and family saga, Sweetheart Cove has something for every reader.

One of the recent reviews for Sweetheart Cove

As usual Jacquie Biggars has written a five-star book. Jacob hired a nanny sight unseen. His daughter was confined to a wheelchair as the result of an accident that took her mother’s life. Actually, Josie was a therapist, hired to help Jane any way possible. Jacob was determined to send Josie back as soon as possible. He decided she was too young and would be too much of a distraction for him. A delightful tale of love on a tropical island. There was a puppy involved and that always makes a better story especially when a child owns the doggy. I recommend highly. 

Read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6YMGHQ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweetheart-Cove-Blue-Haven-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6YMGHQ/

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website:http://jacqbiggar.com

The next author today with great recent reviews is Sacha Black for Victor: The Eden East YA Fantasy Novels

About the book

When Eden East kills someone, she expects them to stay dead. It’s only polite, after all.

Exhausted from battle and finally bound to her soulmate, all Eden wants to do is attend university and spend time with Trey. When her demon-ex, Victor, suddenly returns from the afterlife, Eden’s convinced he’s out for revenge. The last thing she expects is for him to ask for help, especially when he’s being controlled by evil forces.

But when an enchanted lock and key go missing, she’s no longer sure who she can trust. If Eden can’t find them in time, not only will her life, and her heart, be torn apart, the very world she lives in could be destroyed – forever.

Victor will transport fans of The Red Queen, The Young Elites, and The Lunar Chronicles to a world unlike any other…

The Eden East Novels: Book 0 – Sirens (coming soon) Book 1 – Keepers Book 2 – Victor

One of the recent reviews for the book

Sacha Black has done it again! Another ten star read from me! If you haven’t checked out her introductory book to this series, or would like to read my review on the first book, check it out! And if you’re looking to read this book, I advise either begin with Keepers, or if you’ve read it before to reread it again. Just as a refresher. First things first, this cover is AWESOME!

Now on to my review:

The characters I grew to know and love from Keepers are back and better than ever! Their development is plotted perfectly in progress with the current plot line of this sequel. And, of course, connecting with characters is a big plus. Black made them seem human and real, and I must say that I do not come across many authors who can beat that feat.

Obviously my ultimate favorite characters are Eden and Trey. Talk about the most realistic and adorable couple ever! Their fights were genuine, and their love was realistic, it wasn’t mushy, but actually tangible. We live in a world were YA love is cliche and makes you want hurl. So, thank you for giving us these characters who aren’t freaking annoying and represent what a real relationship should be like.

While I’m talking about characters, I’d like to mention that Eden goes through some hefty emotions in this book, but it’s her personality that made her troubles seem so plausible. She didn’t shy away from who she was as a person. She’s strong and independent, but she also knows her weaknesses and takes the losses she gets with a grain of salt.

The side characters and couple, Bo and Kato, are just as adorable and feisty. I’d love to see more of them as this series progresses. Both of these characters are the epitome of the word “friend.” They would do anything and everything for Eden and Trey, despite all the hardships they’ve been through.

Besides the wonderfully built and developed characters, there’s the fabulous setting of Trutinor. Black is so attentive when it comes to describing her world. All the colors and the similarities to Earth that are slightly different and tweaked to make Trutinor its own unique place is breathtaking.

And the technology she’s created for the world is hilariously brilliant! For example, CogTrackers are the equivalent to phones.

The pace the author has set is absolutely perfect. There was never a dull moments. Any slow moments were meant to obviously be written that way, and didn’t make me want to stop reading at all. I couldn’t put the book down! Especially after that ending ….Not cool, Sacha, not cool.

So, Sacha, if you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you for first introducing me to Keepers earlier in the year. It’s been a wild ride since then waiting for this sequel to come out, and I know it’ll be an even wilder ride as I wait for the next installment to be published.

And for you reader? If you’re looking for a fantastic action packed and adventure filled fantasy/dystopian series, I highly recommend checking out this indie series! You will NOT be disappointed!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victor-Eden-Novels-Sacha-Black/dp/1999722523/

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C2LV7MV

Also by Sacha Black

Buy  the books separately or combined: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sacha-Black/e/B072BQ2MP7

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sacha-Black/e/B072BQ2MP7

And find more reviews and follow Sacha on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16173650.Sacha_Black

Connect to Sacha via her blog: http://sachablack.co.uk/about/

The final author today with a recent review for his latest release War of Nytefall Book 2: Lost is Charles E. Yallowitz

About Lost

As the Vampire Civil War of Windemere rages on in the shadows, a mysterious girl appears to deliver mayhem to both sides.

Rumors of old-world vampires disappearing and mortals being attacked by an army of humanoid monsters have reached Clyde’s ears. Still learning how to rule the city of Nytefall as a strong, but fair leader instead of a vicious warlord, the former thief assumes he has rogue agents on his hands. Instead, his people stumble upon Lost, a teenage Dawn Fang looking for her father and aided by a decrepit bunny that might be an animated corpse. Bounding from one side of the Vampire Civil War to another, this carefree girl will turn out to be more trouble than she looks as all of the demons of her past emerge to get what they have been promised. Yet, her chaotic actions are nothing compared to the secret of her creation, which will change the very fabric of the Dawn Fangs’ world.

It is time for the womb-born to be revealed.

A recent review for the book

N. N. Light  4.0 out of 5 stars Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world! October 5, 2018

As the vampire civil war intensifies, a new player emerges and like most in power, judging this teenage girl by her appearance is a deadly mistake. Her name is Lost and she’s a Dawn Fang. She looks innocent and keeps talking about her mission to find her father. Chaos follows in her wake, causing mass confusion between Clyde and the Dawn Fangs as well as Xavier, his wife and their subjects. There’s an army of followers looking for Lost, too. When she reveals she’s womb-born and not fang-born, the vampiric world erupts. Once reunited with her parents, will Lost obey vampiric law or will she destroy them all?

Lost continues where Loyalty left off and for the most part, the plot moves at a good pace. Lost is a deceptive character, appearing innocent yet she’s one powerful vampire. Lost reminds me of Darla from Buffy and Lamia Zacharius from Death Coach. Betrayal, especially in a vampire’s world, is a criminal offense and there’s plenty of it to go around. Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world with quite a few twists and turns. The ending, though, was a little let-down. It can be read as a standalone, but you’ll understand characters’ motivation if you read book one first. Perfect for this time of year!

Favorite Character/Quote: “Fine, but after we take naps. A grumpy Princess General is a sloppy Princess General.”

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H4X3P6C

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-War-Nytefall-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07H4X3P6C

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves – #Romance Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1) by Jacquie Biggar


Delighted to showcase the latest release of USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar. Hot off the press today here is Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1).

About Sweetheart Cove

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and family saga, Sweetheart Cove has something for every reader.

Head over and get your copy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6YMGHQ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweetheart-Cove-Blue-Haven-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6YMGHQ/

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for with this heart.

Jared Martin and Annie Campbell (The Rebel’s Redemption) are finally ready to tie the knot, but when doubts creep into Annie’s mind a few weeks before the wedding, will the wedding be cancelled? Annie has a been single parent to her son Chris for so long, as much as she loves Jared, it’s difficult letting him in.

Such a sweet heartwarming romance about second chance love between two people who are obviously meant to be together. You won’t want to put this story down until you’re finished reading.

This is a wonderful series. Those of you who love military romance, wounded warrior romance and romantic suspense will love the stories written by this super talented, fabulous author!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site: http://jacqbiggar.com

Connect to Jacquie Biggar

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar
http://Facebook.com/jacquiebiggar
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051448161572521/
http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar
http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar
https://www.goodreads.com/JacquieBiggar
http://Pinterest.com/jacqbiggar
https://plus.google.com/+JacquieBiggar
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-biggar
Newsletter- https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6c2n8

Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the news of her new release.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Book #Sale – Brigid P. Gallagher, Hugh W. Roberts, Jacquie Biggar and Victoria Zigler.


Welcome to the first of the Summer Sale posts with discounted books by authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. There are four sale posts scheduled, today, 13th, 16th and 20th of July, and if you have a book that is currently on offer at a discounted price, I still have two spaces left for the July 16th post.

Just let me have the link to the book on Amazon or Smashwords and the dates, the price the book is reduced to … I will have all your other details on file.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

On with today’s sale post.

The first author with her book on sale is Brigid P. Gallagher for Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow – on offer at .99p on UK – 99c (+tax) US.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I began following a blog entitled Watching the Daisies earlier this year shared by Brigid P. Gallagher and discovered she’d also written a book, Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow a few years ago. I purchased Ms. Gallagher’s holistic memoir last month and dropped it into my reading queue this week. It came at a great time and helped provide a few clear reminders we should all remember when things get too complex or tough.

Life can be difficult, especially when we encounter illness, pain, and death. It can also be wonderful when we meet new friends, fall in love, or share our days with family. Ms. Gallagher covers it all in this ~50 year memoir of many key events that occurred in her life. One of the biggest impacts I felt from reading her personal insights and history is an acute awareness of how lucky many of us are to have little to no physical pain or be raised by two loving parents who hadn’t died young. The author spent lots of time in hospitals, surgeries and doctors trying to diagnose symptoms that ultimately took a rather long time to discover. Along the path, Gallagher shares her home remedies for dealing with the pain, both mental and physical, as her career develops and she travels throughout the world studying and learning about different medicines, approaches and healing powers. I enjoyed reading about the path she took and felt sadness and happiness with each of her own ups and downs.

From losing family members she loved, to moving back and forth from Ireland and Scotland, to adopting and saying goodbye to many pets, Gallagher shares all the occasions in life that help craft who we are as people. We can face our obstacles with our head held high or sneak away letting no one help us. Gallagher teaches us about medicinal, herbal and other holistic healing options, teases us with trips we want to take in the future, and offers ideas to explore in our own lives on how to be happier and healthier. I next saw the bravery in this woman for not only living through many of the ordeals she’s experienced but in sharing them with readers like me who may have little or no knowledge about the difficulties of a disease or the unknown forces impacting our bodies.

The book is an easy-read with memoir moments, teaching opportunities, and whimsical thoughts. Some hit home for me, others were just a laugh or a nod of my head in acknowledgement of what the author’s been through. In the end, it’s the kind of book where you have a few hours to breathe the same air as someone else, learning how she would deal with all the curves and fun being thrown at her. Stepping out of my own shows is always a good thing as it helps provide perspective and alternative opinions and ideas. Kudos to Gallagher for sharing such a wonderful life journey with us… I can only hope she’ll share the second half of her life sometime in the future as it sounds like she’s got a lot more planned as accomplishments.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

and more reviews at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

The next author with his short story collection Glimpses on offer is Hugh W. Roberts, on offer at .99p on UK – 99c (+tax) US.

About the collection

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who is dyslexic, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a roller coaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you are in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

One of the reviews for the collection

I found Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts to be quite a unique book. It is a collection of short stories, mainly written along a supernatural theme. I am a great lover of supernatural and horror books and have been avidly reading Stephen King since I was ten years old, so this was right up my street. I had two absolute favourite stories/groupings of stories in this lovely book. My outright favourite was The Truth App which I read twice. It is a collection of a few short stories all in the same theme and it really “creeped” me out. Maybe I identified with it so much because it is all about blogging and bloggers which is a world in which I have recently become very immersed. I must say that I had to stop reading this tale in the evenings because it was giving me bad dreams. My advice to bloggers and other readers of this book, be careful what apps you choose to download!

My other outright winner was a short story about a woman who goes to India to have eye and dental treatment. This one stayed firmly in my mind because it made me reflect on the fact that, even if you read the completely incomprehensible list of ingredients on cosmetic and facial and other products, one rarely has any idea of what really goes into that cream that you are liberally apply all over your face. It also summoned up horrible thoughts of articles that I have read recently about testing medications and products on animals. A story that can make you think like that has got to be superb. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B01N757S3P

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

The next author with a book on offer for all of you who enjoy a psychological thriller, is Jacquie Biggar with The Beast Within: Mended Souls Book Two: on offer at .99p on UK – 99c (+tax) US.

About the book

It’s a psychological thriller with paranormal elements that continues the story of newly-minted angels Mike and Lucas.
N.N. Light

The twists and turns in this story are amazing. Just when you think you know where the adventure is going, it switches to the unexpected. Definitely kept me entertained and on my toes!
Jacqui Nelson

She didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.

When Julie Crenshaw is offered a news reporter’s job on beautiful Vancouver Island she didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his fourteen years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.
And threatening his key witness.
As the stakes rise, can two people get a second chance at love?
Or will a killer become the winner?

THE BEAST WITHIN by Jacquie Biggar did not disappoint! These books are a great blend of contemporary romance with added suspense and the paranormal element of guardian angels that have ties to the main characters.
Avonna

From USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar, Can two displaced angels save a woman from the clutches of a vicious psychopath?

A recent review for the book

This is the first of Ms. Biggar’s books that I have read. I can assure you it won’t be the last. Right away we get into the story where a TV news person (Julie Crenshaw) finds a severed foot still in a jogging shoe. While out walking. Instead of an annoying “let’s get to the bottom of this crime,” story we find ourselves involved in a story where we learn Julie’s husband and unborn daughter were victims in a fatal accident with a drunk film star. If that is not enough drama, we also learn that the Lord has dictated that Julie’s husband Mike and the drunk actor Lucas must become angels and form a bond to help get over the hatred they have for each other.

So, does the story get easier? Not at all. There is also a serial killer on the loose and has Julie lined up as his next victim. For you romantics, there is also a love story in the making. Julie has fallen for the police detective investigating the serial killer. His name is Connor O’Rourke, and he has fallen for her. Unfortunately for the two of them, Julie’s angel husband keeps watch and gives Connor some bad feelings at times.

So, to sum it up. If you like your thrillers with twists. Romance stories with pizazz. Paranormal stories with unusual characters and situations you’ll love this book. I know I did.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQEVI55/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Within-Gripping-Psychological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01MQEVI55

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

Now it is time for a great 50% promotion for all of Victoria Zigler’s children’s books on Smashwords. The discount should be applied automatically at the checkout but here is the code as a back up (SSW50)..That is over Fifty children’s and YA books at half price.

Here is the link on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

  I will repeat after I have shared some of Victoria’s books. Victoria is blind so her books are also available in audio via the Amazon links.

Here is one of Victoria’s  books for children – Home Squeak Home.

About the book

Moving to a new home can be a scary experience; especially if you’re very small. That’s how it is for Sooty and Scamp; a pair of gerbils chosen by a little boy named Matthew to be the ones to leave the pet shop and their other two brothers to go home with him.

Most people agree that getting a new pet is an exciting experience for any child; or adult, for that matter. But have you ever stopped to wonder how the pet feels during this time? This is the story of two little gerbils, and how they learned to adjust after a little boy took them home. The story is based on the behaviour of a pair of real gerbils, and events are shown from their point of view.

One of the reviews for the book from Goodreads

Jan 09, 2018 Robbie Cheadle Rated if Four Stars.

When Matthew’s mother takes him to the pet store to choose a pet he ends up leaving with two gerbils. The pet store assistance had told his mother that gerbils are very sociable animals and need company, so they had bought two. How wonderful.

Sooty and Scamp are a little sad to be leaving their two brothers, but they are excited to have a new, permanent home. What a home it turns out to be, so different from their old and very plain cage in the pet store.

Home Squeak Home is a lovely story for young children with a lovely subtle message about coping with change and a new environment

Head over and buy the book on Smashwords: ttp://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

A small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

Here is the link for the 50% discount on all of Victoria’s book on Smashwords (SSW50 Code): http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

You can download all the other audio books from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5852247.Victoria_Zigler

Connect to Victoria via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

I hope this has given you an opportunity to stock up on books at a fantastic price and it would be great if you could share the #Sale by clicking a few of the buttons below.

Thank you for dropping by and if you were planning to reduce your books this summer there are a couple of slots still left for 16th July.. if the demand is greater then I will put on another sale post.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist #Music to get your Weekend Started – Requests from Jacquie Biggar, John Rieber, Judy E. Martin and Janice Spina.


Since the beginning of this series, I have asked you to share your favourite music with links in the comments. I thought I would create a special playlist, sharing the track and link to the latest post of those requesting the song.

Next week I am back in the driving seat with more tracks that are on my personal playlist and some of the background behind them.

Jacquie Biggar is clearly a romantic musical fan and she has requested this track from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, which was watched many times when I was growing up. If you love romance, you will enjoy Jacquie’s blog and books…

Janice Spina has requested another classic musical favourite with Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly.. here is an excerpt from the film. Janice is an award winning children’s author and also writes as J.E. Spina for adults.

John Rieber – enjoys all music but mentioned E.L.O (Electric Light Orchestra) and since I  can tell that the Flash Mob videos are popular.. here is All Over the World with a tribute to the Mobbers and a not to John’s travels.

Judy E. Martin is a humourist and poet, who sees the irreverent side of life…head over and enjoy her gardening poetry… She is also clearly an optimist!  As she has chosen In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry…hahaha.

 

Hopefully by the time you read this the sun will be shining, especially as we have the Royal Wedding tomorrow.. Enjoy your weekend, and next week back to the regular Drive-Time Playlist, and another chance for you to add your requests to the comments. Thanks Sally