Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – K.M. Allan, Judith Barrow, Ritu Bhathal, Sandra Cox and James J. Cudney


Welcome to the new  Cafe and Bookstore Weekly News – where I will share recent reviews for authors in the Cafe.

The first author is K.M. Allan with a review for the first book in the Blackbirch series – The Beginning.

About the book

Welcome to Blackbirch. It’s a place no one forgets. Except for Josh Taylor.

The fatal car crash took more than 17-year-old Josh’s parents. It stole his memories and returned him to his birthplace, Blackbirch, a tourist town steeped in a history of witchcraft.

Amongst friends he’s forgotten and a life he doesn’t want, Josh is haunted by nightmares so believable he swears the girl in his dreams is real. Kallie is so captivating he ignores her blood-stained hands, but he can’t overlook the blue glow summoned to her skin.

Kallie says it’s an ancient magic they share and a secret worth hiding, because as Josh discovers, they aren’t the only gifted ones.

To restore his memories and find the true cause of the car accident, he must learn what’s real. And what secrets Blackbirch has buried in its woods.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jan 26, 2021 Tomas Grizzly rated it Five Stars

This is slightly out of my usual genre preferences. And I’ve read it in 3 days. I admit I’m not even sure what genre it is. Paranormal/thriller with fantasy elements, maybe? So, take the 5-star rating with a grain of salt because it’s mostly based on how it dragged me inside but I can’t comment on genre specifics.

Either way, I was easily gripped by the story. The dream sequences were quite livid and nailed their purpose, and the ending raises just the right questions to make me interested in how it may play out next – to the point I’ll likely return to the story sooner or later.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow K.M. Allan: Goodreads – Instagram: K.M. Allan Writer – Facebook: K.M. Allan Writer – Twitter: @KMAllan_writer

The next author is Judith Barrow with a review for her latest novel set in World War I which I can also highly recommend. The Heart Stone.

About the Book

1914. Everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her feelings for Arthur are far more than friendship. And just as they are travelling home, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan. Only Jessie can see how vicious he is. When he turns on her, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her, the two women drawn together by Jessie’s deepest secret.

Facing a desperate choice between love and safety, will Jessie trust the right people? Can she learn to trust herself?

One of the recent reviews for the book

The Word Bird 5.0 out of 5 stars Consummate storytelling  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2021

As with her previous books, what you get in this latest – The Heart Stone – from the pen of Judith Barrow, is consummate storytelling. Other reviewers have detailed the riveting story. I’m reviewing the writing, which in my view is exceptional.

Once again we are privy to the internal and external life of a brilliant central character. Jessie is as courageous as she is challenged. The rawness of her fears and struggles in the face of the horrors of war and its aftermath, are acutely observed. It is her resilience that shines, moving the story as well as Jessie herself, through the big-picture drama and the everyday, as the story unfolds. It’s perfectly paced, cleverly structured and an absolute joy.

What I particularly appreciate about Judith Barrow’s novels is her attention to detail. There is a breadth of history in this book. It’s almost panoramic in places; it’s also deeply personal: the horror of war encapsulated in the experience of one man. A man Jessie loves. But love, not least in a time of war, is never easy for women. And life on the home front during both world wars presented women with a myriad challenges, with choices which were sometimes no choice at all.

The Heart Stone is an unflinching, very real portrayal of people – families – at war. Above all it is a love story to the women who survived WW1. And those who didn’t. Highly recommended. Not enough stars.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Goodreads – blog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

The next author is Ritu Bhathal for her lovely romance Marriage Unarranged.

About Marriage Unarranged

It all started ended with that box… Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after. But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged. Old images erased, new beginnings to explore. And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

One of the recent reviews for the book

The Bee 5.0 out of 5 stars It made my heart sing in a difficult time  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 February 2021

I started reading ” Marriage Unarranged” at the beginning of my journey through cancer treatment and at first could not get into it. Ashi so got on my nerves in her breaking up and and going through the motions. It was so bad I had to stop reading it. I guess, her emotional state was too close to mine which I had probably totally ignored.

A couple of months later between chemotherapy and radiotherapy it crossed my path again and I gave it another go. This time, I simply could not put it down and spent a couple of nights reading it.

What I love about the book is it’s vibrant characters which are lovable with edges. They keep a brilliant balance of conflict and harmony. You can see that they were created with much love but in a realistic fashion. I also love that many difficult topics (not only for the Indian community) are touched with tenderness, clarity and a huge amount of kindness. Too often today this isn’t the case and taboos are rather judged and dismissed than looked upon from different angles and with an attitude of wanting to understand rather than judge. That really impressed me.

I believe, “Marriage Unarranged” gives you a deep insight into the life of today’s Indian Community and it left me wanting more.

Besides all that, it is simply a beautiful love story that you can let yourself immerse in and go travelling in your mind. I am so looking forward to more books from Ritu Bathal.

Thanks Ritu, for having given me a break in a very difficult time!  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – andAmazon US- Blog: Ritu Bhathal WordPress Follow Ritu: Goodreads – Twitter: @RituBhathal

The next author is Sandra Cox with her latest release Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.. another book that I can recommend.

About Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter

Bounty hunter Gwen Slade always gets her man. Until she meets charming outlaw Jordie Kidd.

After Jordie saves her family, she finds she can’t in good conscience turn him in, even if he is worth a thousand dollars dead or alive. Instead she sets her sights on the meanest, most-wanted gang in Kansas. Gwen always works alone until she goes after the gang then finds herself partnering with an unlikely source.

This time around, not only her life, but her heart is on the line.

A recent review for Gwen Slade

Joseph A Congel VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and terrific on so many levels!  Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2021

Author, Sandra Cox knows her craft. I have read several of her novels and all of them have been well-written and edited, and because of her attention to detail, all have been extremely engaging reading experiences. She is a highly talented writer who is in top form in this, her newest offering, Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.

Gwen Slade is smart. And she’s tough. She can fight, and she knows her way around the barrel of a shotgun. She also has the responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. So to put food on the table, and hopefully one day provide a better life for her family, she puts her skills to work as a bounty hunter. Not an easy task, to say the least, especially for a female living in the west in the late 1800’s. But her ability to take down the bad guy and collect the bounty has gained her the respect few have in her profession.

Gwen has always worked alone, and she prefers it that way. And then in walks Jordie Kidd. A charismatic outlaw with a twinkle in his eye who helps save her family from harm. And although his charms are not completely lost on Gwen, she has no time for that kind of thing. But she doesn’t turn him in, instead letting him go as a gesture for saving her family. And besides, she is gearing up to take down a ruthless gang with a huge bounty on their heads. A bounty large enough to let her and her family finally cash in on the life they’ve always dreamed of.

As Gwen sets out on what she hopes will be her final bounty hunt, she finds herself forced into a questionable partnership. A partnership that she doesn’t want to be in, but turns out to be one she can’t live without.

All I kept thinking throughout this story was what a great movie it would be. It’s a captivating storyline with richly developed characters whose interaction with one another helps draw you into their world. If you are a fan of Western-Romance stories that feature a strong female lead, then you are going to love this book. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, give this one a try. I guarantee you will be a fan by the time you get to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Truly a 5 STAR read.  

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK – And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter: @Sandra_Cox

The final author today is James J. Cudney with a recent review for the first book in his Braxton Campus mysteries – Academic Curveball.. this is an excellent introduction to the series that I much enjoyed.

About Academic Curveball

When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.

Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. And if that wasn’t enough already, his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In the debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Series, you’ll discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic and nosy residents.

A recent review for the book

Feb 10, 2021 Teri rated it five stars

I have to be honest – I haven’t read many cozy mysteries, but a small town college setting, the adorable cover, and great reviews drew me to this book.

I immediately liked Kellan. He’s a fairly recent widower with an adorable young daughter who’s trying to do the single dad thing, while also keeping the peace with his in-laws. When he travels to his hometown for his father’s retirement party, it’s clear there’s also friction in his own family. The reader doesn’t have to wait long for the action to begin. A body is discovered at the party and what looks to be an accident is soon revealed to be a murder. In several mysteries I’ve read, it’s pretty obvious who the murderer is early in the story, but that’s not the case in this novel. Several characters have a motive (even some within Kellan’s family), and I was kept guessing until almost the end.

While investigating on his own (and finding himself in some interesting situations), Kellan reconnects with some old friends and a girlfriend. Learning his backstory gave me more insight to his character, and I liked him even more. He also ponders making some life changes in the best interests of his family. Speaking of his family, shout-out to Nana D, who gave me several laugh out loud moments. She’s a feisty, intelligent lady who speaks her mind – and also makes repeated attempts to fix up her grandson with questionable choices in women.

I’m so glad I picked up this cozy mystery – the author has a new fan of the series. I have to comment on that cliffhanger at the end – it was a doozy and completely out of left field. And I absolutely need to know what happens next!

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US andAmazon UK  – Website/Blog: This is my truth nowGoodreads:James J. Cudney – Twitter: @Jamescudney4

 

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily- Wednesday 13th November 2019 – James J. Cudney, Anne Copeland and D.G. Kaye


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from author James J. Cudney with a new series on Tips and Advice. If you are confused by the new look Twitter then James will help you make the most of the Bookmark facility and the Lists.. also a reminder to have a Pinned Tweet.

Twitter is a powerful and useful social media tool for a variety of reasons. Today, I am focusing on how I use it for promoting my books, website, and blog. There are three (3) features I want to highlight because I often see they are being under-utilized, especially by authors or those looking to grow a larger following.
(a) Pinned Tweet

Every Twitter user has the ability to pin a primary tweet to his or her profile. While your profile shows every tweet or retweet you’ve shared, your content is lost in a sea of history once you begin tweeting regularly. If you want someone to see a specific tweet every time they view your profile, pin that tweet to your profile. This is useful for a few reasons. Tweeters often follow or retweet someone to get noticed. When they want to share your profile, they retweet the first tweet they see in your profile. If you don’t have a pinned tweet, this is usually the latest tweet you’ve tweeted–which might be about someone else and not you.

Read the rest of this helpful post and find out more about bookmarking and the lists: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/11/08/tips-advice-11-8-twitter

James J. Cudney, Buy: Amazon US Website/Blog: This is my truth nowGoodreads: James J. Cudney

The next post is from Anne Copeland and is a poignant and inspiring piece on her own childhood and motherhood, which tragically saw her being parted from her children, until a reunion with her daughter after 28 years. But, despite this Anne has given so much back to those who cannot read or who are challenged in other ways, including editing and publishing a book highlighting the work of disable fibre artist. More about that after this excerpt from the post.

For the Children

pexels-Source 1photo-556669

I absolutely love working with children and teaching them new things. Many years ago, likely in my 30’s, I served as a volunteer to teach illiterate adults how to read. It never had occurred to me that when people grow up not knowing how to read, many of them have also missed most of childhood’s best parts. They have missed not only the wonderful children’s books, generally because they had no one to read to them, but they have also missed out on a lot of wonderful childhood experiences, like being able to go trick or treating or making a costume for Halloween, or having someone help them to learn how to carve a pumpkin.

I know many of you wonder how this could happen. Think about the migrant workers, the homeless people (and yes they often have children living with them), and even my own parents never finished high school. So I went to school, but because I could not depend on my parents to be able to help me with my homework, I honestly struggled with understanding how to do my homework, and when a child cannot do well in school, they often also struggle to fit in socially.

Please head over to read more about this inspiring writer’s life and work: For the Children

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Alchemy-Physically-Challenged-Creating-ebook-dp-B074YFM51K/dp/B074YFM51K Blog: https://allinadaysbreath.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/for-the-childrenTwitter: https://twitter.com/anneappraiser1

And the final post today is D.G. Kaye’s Sunday Book Review for Damyanti Biswas for her book

Sunday Book Review – You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas

Welcome to the Sunday Book Review. I recently interviewed Damyanti Biswas in my Q and A Author Interview  Series and today I’m delighted to share my review of this intense crime thriller inspired by the criminal atrocities and corruption happening to women in New Delhi. You Beneath Your Skin is a powerful and emotionally gripping read.

Author Damyanti Biswas

About the Author

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine.

Head over and read Debby’s review of You Beneath Your Skin: https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-you-beneath-your-skin-by-damyanti-biswas/

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US
Blog: D.G. Writer Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy these posts in full.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – D.Wallace Peach, James J. Cudney and Balroop Singh


Welcome to the second of the author updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves.

The first author today is D.Wallace Peach for Sunwielder which is now in audio version.

About Sunwielder

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.Now his story remakes itself, casting him backward in time to moments of decision and death. His old life gone, he no longer remembers the purpose of the medallion burning his chest. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the recent reviews for the book

In Sunwielder (2016), D. Wallace Peach’s fantasy world is not unlike Earth’s medieval world of hardworking commoners, feudal lords, and warring kingdoms. The hero Gryff wants only to be a farmer and raise horses when his entire family is wiped out by a man who hates him for no apparent reason. When he has the opportunity to change his past with the time traveling Sunwielder, given to him by a timekeeper from a neighboring land, he takes it without questioning the cost. Even though it means he must leave the pastoral beauty of his farm, the loving warmth of his family, and spend the next years as a soldier, fighting a battle his farmer self barely cares about, he takes it. His one promise to his wife when he married her was that he’d keep her safe. He doesn’t intend to break that promise. From the moment he dons the Sunwielder, his life is controlled by a future he isn’t sure of. All he knows is when the present doesn’t work out ‘right’, he dies and gets to try again.

This is a fast-paced story of undying love, baseless hate, and how a family’s life becomes the pawn between those two. One of the most beautiful parts of this story is simply the way Peach links her words. Read this:

“Nearly three hundred men in the great hall dropped to one knee, right knuckles to the floor, heads bowed.”

“Black oaks, dark with summer leaves, swathed the trail in shifting shadow. Shafts of sunlight speared the forest floor, altered only by the sway of branches in the heated wind.”

Peach has a way of picking exactly the right word to evoke so much more than the meaning would promise. Few are better at world building. This is highly recommended not only for those who love fantasies but those who enjoy a good military thriller.

Read the reviews and buy the book also in audio: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1530872537/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1530872537

A selection of of other books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to Diana via her blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

The next author is James J. Cudney with a review for Book two in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Broken Heart Attack.. I can highly recommend the books in the series and just reading book four.

About Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

One of the recent reviews for the book

BROKEN HEART ATTACK by James J. Cudney is the second book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series. It’s the story of Kellan, his adjusting to moving back in Wharton County, Pennsylvania as a Professor at Baxter, with Emma, his 6 year old daughter, and how he is once again pulled into helping to solve a murder.

You can’t help but fall in love with Nana D., Kellan’s grandmother – known by others as Seraphina Danby. After the sudden death of her dear friend, Gwendolyn – of the renown Paddingtons and part of Braxton’s Septuagenarian Club, and at the request of Gwen’s sister-in-law Eustacia, Nana D. calls upon Kellan to get to the truth about what really happened. It seems there had been statements and actions by Gwendolyn to give credence that it wasn’t a heart attack, but rather that someone may have murdered her. When evident confirms it, Nana D. is more determined than ever to find out who murdered her dear friend. Nana D. is also determined to run for mayor even though she knows very little about the political structure and being of advanced years. She definitely needs Kellan’s help!

Kellan’s banter and quick comebacks with Sheriff April Montague keep things interesting and fun to read. They eventually find that they can work rather well together for a like cause – maybe even be friends.

During all of this, Kellan is dealing with major events in his own life like his dead wife, Francesca, showing up very much alive, dealing with his in-laws, the Castigliano and their mob connections, and most importantly thinking through things so as to make the right and best decision for his future while protecting his daughter at the forefront and not becoming a murder victim himself.

BROKEN HEART ATTACK ends with a murderer nabbed (that I for one hadn’t guessed), one surprise revealed and a cliff hanger that will have you looking for book #3 in this series.

BROKEN HEART ATTACK is well written and definitely keeps you turning the pages. Although part of a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone book. This was the first book in the series for me and although I had a bit of trouble at first keeping everyone straight in the Paddington family just because there are quite a few of them and I was trying to figure out whodunit from the beginning. It didn’t take me long to get the pecking order figured out and into the rhythm of the book. With the ending of this book, I will definitely be reading book #1 to see how it builds to this one and I’m excited to read the rest of the series as well.

Loved that the main sleuth was a man in this series and one that takes his family responsibilities seriously and with great heart. His quick wit added to his intelligence and made him more enduring. I would definitely recommend this book to those that love a great cozy mystery, a clean mystery, or one that will keep you guessing to the very end. I really enjoyed it and feel you would too.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The final review today is for Balroop Singh and her recently released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

With a book title such as Moments We Love by Balroop Singh, it is of little wonder that this enchanting book of heartfelt poetries is filled with romance, joy, happiness, and love. A beautiful book that will warm your heart during the Fall and Winter months. This well-written book of poetries will certainly be a delightful gift to receive during this upcoming Yuletide season. Loved it! Well done, Author Balroop Singh.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves -#Pre-order – Haunted House Ghost: Death At The Fall Festival (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 5) James J. Cudney


Prolific mystery author James J. Cudney has a new book out in time for Halloween – at a great pre-order price until October 1st at $2.49.  Haunted House Ghost: Death At The Fall Festival (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 5)

About the book

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival.

Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition.

Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing.

While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.

One of the advance reviews for the book

This season we are back with Kellan as he’s once again pulled in a million different directions what with parenting not only Emma but his cousin as well, along with teaching, other family obligations with Nana D, Violet, Eleanor, etc., and being co-chair of a Halloween/Fall Festival being held at Danby Landing, all while trying to complete fixing up his newold house so they can move in. But all is not smooth sailing for the Ayrwick family as strange things have been happening during the renovation process. Conveniently, Gabriel has been away so they’ve been able to stay in the cottage. And the possibility that these things are being caused by the supernatural causes Kellan (though he doesn’t believe) to agree that Eleanor can contact her psychic friend Madam Zenya to see if she can help.

The renovations for the Braxton Campus library also get underway in this book but those are put on hold when during the demolition a body is discovered in the foundation. So now Kellan feels compelled to investigate that situation as well.

I quite enjoyed reading this story, and it’s always good to catch up my friends in Braxton. I also often emulate Nana D, as I also bake pie the first weekend of October. And I think this story has just enough suspense and mystery and humour and just Fall fun to make it the perfect read to curl up with on a cool Autumn night, along with a blanket and a hot chocolate.

Read other reviews and pre-order the book at $2.49: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WGKGZ9J/

And on Amazon UK at £1.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGKGZ9J/

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will take advantage of the pre-order price of book 5 in the Braxton Campus Mysteries.. I have just reviewed book three and can highly recommend the series.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – September 4th, 2019 – Jennie Fitzkee, Sue Vincent, Robbie Cheadle, James J. Cudney


A return of the Blogger Daily at least once a week.

It is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is very timely as children and teachers return to school, and it is by Jennie Fitzkee, who shares the wisdom gained from over 30 years as a teacher of the youngest school children, preparing them for life and infusing their absorbent minds with a love of learning.

Finding Joy – A Letter to Teachers by Jennie Fitzkee

This is a re-post of a letter I wrote to teachers on Joy.
Joy is the magic word!

Dear Teachers,

As you start your new school year there is one word that will get you through the uncertainty and the worry. It’s the same word that is the heart of educating. That word is ‘joy’. No, it’s not the happiness that children bring. It’s the happiness that you bring because it inspires and ignites the mind and the heart of children. Yes, that’s how it works.

Children come to you with big eyes, looking at you to teach them. They don’t know what to think. They want to learn, yet what they really want is to be inspired to learn. That is where you can make a difference.

What do you like? Because whatever it is, from math to music, that ‘like’ will become your best buddy, your guiding star, and the foundation to teach all the things that you like. It will also become a portal to help you teach the things you may not enjoy. If you know that every day you have some window of time to teach what you love, then you become an educator. You go beyond teaching curriculum; you teach the child.

Do you like reading? Does Because of Winn-Dixie or Charlotte’s Web make your heart jump? Well, carry that book around and read it aloud on the playground, in the lunchroom, or at the bus stop. If this is your passion, children will know, and they will listen. They will learn.

Please head over and read the rest of this wonderful and inspiring post: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2019/09/02/finding-joy-a-letter-to-teachers/

Connect to Jennie – Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/ –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

The next blog post is from Robbie Cheadle as a guest on the blog of Sue Vincent who incidentally loves guests and if you would like a fantastic place to showcase your blog and books then head over and find out more…

Robbie has recently been on tour of England and Scotland with some wonderful tales to share on her return.. This post is about the legendary Highwayman Dick Turpin.. but was he really that legendary… A snippet to whet your appetite and then click on the link to find out the truth.

The myth of Dick Turpin by Robbie Cheadle

Fiction writer, Harrison Ainsworth, glamourised thief and highway man, Dick Turpin, in his 1834 novel, Rookwood. The novel is set in England in 1737 at a manor house called Rookwood Place and the plot revolves around the mysterious death of the owner, Piers Rookwood, and the subsequent rivalry for inheritance of the property between his two sons.

During the course of the story, Dick Turpin, a highway man, is introduced at the manor under the pseudonym Palmer. During his stay, Palmer makes a bet with one of the other house guests that he can capture Dick Turpin. He is eventually forced to escape upon his horse, Black Bess. The horse, although fast enough to stay ahead of all the other horses, eventually collapses and dies from the stress of the escape.

In the novel, Ainsworth describes Turpin as galloping north in the dark: “His blood spins through his veins; winds round his heart; mounts to his brain. Away! Away! He is wind with joy.” Ainsworth’s depiction of Turpin, together with the local narratives, poems and ballads that resulted from it, gave Turpin a notorious posthumous status.

Head over to read the truth about Dick Turpin and don’t forget to check out the opportunity to guest post with Sue Vincent: https://scvincent.com/2019/09/02/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-dick-turpin/

A small selection of books by RobbieCheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

A small selection of books by Sue Vincent, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W – Blog: http://scvincent.com/  – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Finally today author James J. Cudney with a post on the subject of authors reviewing each other’s work… and also a request for your views on the subject.  I have read two of James’s books and have the rest on my TBR.. he had reviewed several of mine and I appreciate the perspective that another author brings to a review. I can recommend that you take him up on his author for this reciprocal support.

AUTHORS: Have You Read and Reviewed One of My Books?, by James J. Cudney

I ask this question specifically to authors because I want to be sure I’ve acknowledged and thanked any author who has taken the time to read and review one or more of my books. As a writer, part of my job is to see what other people think of my books. I check Goodreads, Amazon, BookBub, blogs, and social media daily to see any new reviews from any type of reader. If I’ve received a positive review, I always “like” it on the tool where the review was published. I rarely comment unless it’s on a blog post, as that’s more interactive to me. If I’ve received a bad review, I will cry. Okay, that’s not true… but it will make my day a bit worse. And I won’t like it. I’d rather the negative reviewer have an open mind and message me to discuss what they didn’t like.

ACTION ITEM: If there is an author who has reviewed my work, I would like to return the kind gesture. I generally use Goodreads to find reviews from authors, then pick one of his or her books to read and review within the next month. I can’t search every site or tool, so that’s what I use as my starting point to check for them. As of August 31st, I believe I’ve located all the reviews (not just those with a rating) and reciprocated by reading some of that author’s books too. If you’re an author, and you’ve reviewed my book, and I haven’t acknowledged it or reviewed one of yours, please let me know by responding to this post or privately. It’s accidental, and I want to be sure we’re supporting one another. Let me know, and I’ll correct it.

Head over and chat to James about reviewing each other’s work and also if you have reviewed one of James’s books, he would like to return the favour.. so opportunites for everyone.: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/03/authors-reviewing-each-others-books-have-you-read-my-work-yet

A small selection of James’s books  Buy: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M Website/Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to read the posts in full – Until next time.. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Brigid P. Gallagher, James J. Cudney and Paulette Mahurin.


The first review is for the memoir by  Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

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

A fascinating read through all the naturopathic and alternative remedies Brigid has been involved in. Clearly a very active and intelligent person, she applied herself to learning, teaching and living the naturopathic principals. Many people will owe much to her knowledge and generosity in sharing her gifts.

Her own health problems dictated a new path and a need to slow down and take care of herself. Her new pace of life has resulted in this book on life lessons and the importance of slow. We are the happy beneficiaries. Thank you for your insights Brigid!

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

and 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 recent reviews for his latest release James J. Cudney for the third book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Flower Power Trip.

About the book

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A great addition to the ‘Braxton Campus ‘ mystery series by James Cudney! Definitely my favorite thus far and the author has improved so much from the first book!! Intriguing characters that you enjoy spending time with, great plots that keep you guessing and many twists that keep the story interesting from start to finish, with that little cliffhanger that has you eager to read the next book.

I have never been a big cozy reader, but this series has definitely pulled me right in! Kellen Ayrwick is a Dad of young girl,a nice guy to all and has a wife all believe is dead after a car accident..But she is Not..His family are an interesting bunch, with his Nana D the ‘grand marshal’ of all she surveys. A great friend is receiving death threats and asks Kellen to help her find out just what is going on!

Lots of action with laughs and tears as a certain ‘ stranger’ turns out to be closer to his prey than anyone could imagine!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NDK76WF

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Power-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07NDK76WF

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The final author today with a review is Paulette Mahurin – Irma’s Endgame…a crime thriller….

As with all Paulette’s books, profits from will go to rescue dogs from kill shelters.

About Irma’s Endgame.

When newspaper headlines screamed in large bold print that one of the world’s leading heart-transplant surgeons, Peter Dayton, was arrested for the death of one of his transplant patients, shock waves were felt around the world. Particularly impacted was an attorney, Irma Mullins, who found it inconceivable that the man she once loved could have committed the heinous act for which he had been arrested. Determined to find out what happened, she embarks on a course of action to uncover the truth. But when all paths lead to one dead-end after another, and Dayton continues to maintain his innocence, she detours.

Through desperation, frustration, fear, and determination she grasps at thin threads for anything that might uncover facts to help exonerate Dayton. What she ultimately discovers is both shocking and unbelievable. Written by the award-winning, international best-selling author, Paulette Mahurin, Irma’s Endgame is a story of friendship and loyalty, of betrayal and revenge, of mystery and discovery, of enmity and love. It is a narrative that shakes the very core of the scientific ground we all walk on and proves that what we think is real is not always solid terrain. This is a novel that will be remembered long after the last page is finished.

One of the recent reviews for the book

For anyone who has been skeptical about reading an indie author this is a great book to start with and proof that indie publishing can produce high quality content equal to if not better than traditionally published novels. The book is a fast paced medical mystery that separates itself from the norm with in depth character and plot development with riveting prose that include so many enticing one liners I just had to keep reading. At the end of every chapter I just had to continue reading, not wanting to put the book down as the story unfolded. My favorite one liner “If only thoughts created reality.” Excellent read and a job very well done.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QZM22W3

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Irmas-Endgame-Paulette-Mahurin-ebook/dp/B07QZM22W3

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and BUY the bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

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

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jacqui Murray, James J. Cudney, Teagan Riordain Geneviene and D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates for August…with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with recent reviews is Jacqui Murray for Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy), a book that I too can recommend.

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 recent reviews for the book

Terri A Webster Schrandt 5.0 out of 5 stars A Fearless Female Leader July 20, 2019

Xhosa is a heroine of her times as she leads her people and attempts to understand the world around her. Through meticulous research, author Jacqui Murray illuminates the gritty details of the lives and world of Homo Erectus as the People trek through Africa and beyond to search for more hospitable surroundings. With wisdom, courage and the ability to learn new ideas, Xhosa is a fierce and memorable character capable of leading the People to their new home. I am eagerly awaiting the second book of this three-book series!

Read the other 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

Connect to Jacqui via her websiteWorddreams

The next author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for Father Figure.

About the book

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. Father Figure is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Father Figure is an intriguing story of two women’s journeys, at two different points in time, towards self acceptance and redemption.

Amalia grew up in the small town of Brant, Mississippi, the abused daughter of a jealous and spiteful mother, who suffers from diabetes, and a weak and insipid father, who turns a blind eye to his wife’s physical and verbal abuse of his daughter. Despite her father’s faults, Amalia is devoted to her father. Her love for her father does not prevent her from seeking to create a better life for herself away from Brant and she accepts a sports scholarship to Woodlands College. Amalia’s sheltered and dysfunctional home life does not equip her for life at a university full of young men and women. She becomes romantically involved with Carter, her brother’s rather childish and selfish best friend, and simultaneously meet a middle aged, but attractive, professor who she develops a huge crush on. Amalia’s naivety set her up to make poor romantic choices and other decisions that change the course of her life.

Brianna is the lonely and slightly indulged teenage daughter of a single fairly successful career woman living in New York City. She has grown up without a father figure and has an obsession with finding out more about the mystery man who fathered her. Her mother refuses to engage with her on the subject, saying it is part of her painful past. Brianna knows virtually nothing about her mother’s family and this increases her frustration at her mother’s refusal to tell her about her roots. Brianna is also confused about her sexuality and is locked in an internal struggle to discover whether she is attracted to men or whether her attraction for her best friend, Shanelle, is the real thing. In order to give herself some space, away from her over-protective mother, Brianne decides to apply to Woodlands College, which is out of state and the same college Shanelle has decided to attend.

Brianna’s decision to attend Woodland’s sets in motion a sequence of events that unravel the mysteries of the past and cause the separate timelines of Amalia and her to cross with unforeseen consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BW77CWQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Figure-James-J-Cudney-ebook/dp/B07BW77CWQ

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

A new release receiving reviews is Brother Love (A Crossroad) by Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

About Brother Love

“Brother Love – a Crossroad” is a mysterious “Twilight Zone-ish” short novella. It was inspired by the combination of Neil Diamond’s song and the blues legends of Robert Johnson and the Devil at the Crossroads. As in the real world, things in this tale are not what they seem. The setting is rural Mississippi in the 1950s. A group of outcasts are in a small southern town. They don’t realize they are looking for something. Will they find it?

A recent review for Brother Love

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with Magic July 21, 2019

Geneviene started this novelette as a serial on her blog and for several reasons I was unable to follow along. I was pleased to see the story published so I could finish it to the end. It was well worth staying up past my bedtime.

The story takes place in rural Mississippi and reflects the sensibilities of the US South. It’s a place full of superstition and religion, talking magpies, charlatans and outcasts. The traveling revival-show is particularly well done. Characters are intriguing, and the main character Birdie is fully realized and believable. The reader figures out what’s going on only as Birdie does, and there is lots of magic and mystery wrapping up the end.

The author states at the beginning that the story includes word-prompts contributed by her blog audience, and it was fun to see how she wove them seamlessly into the story. Recommend for fantasy readers who love magic.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V25SXFR

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V25SXFR

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan Geneviene via her website: https://teagansbooks.com/

And last but certainly not least…it is D.G. Kaye with her memoir for Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt

About Conflicted Hearts

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

J. R. Lunsford 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend July 25, 2019

Author D. G. Kaye takes her readers on a journey down the memory lane of her fractured past riddled with painful recollections of her narcissistic mother and timid father.
Forced to grow up as a child substituting for her mother (including cooking, housework, and the care of her 3 younger siblings), the author learned to cope with the selfishness of her self-absorbed mother by tuning out her own needs, especially her need for a mother’s love and affection.

I was glad her Aunt Sherry was there for her, though she was really the only adult who seemed to care. All the other adults in her life were emotionally absent.
The author moves into the difficulties of adulthood confused and guilt-ridden but learns, even in the midst of illness and heartbreak how to love herself and to “climb life’s peaks and prevail”.

I highly recommend this book; especially for anyone struggling with the wounds of a fractured past.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Conflicted-Hearts-Daughters-Solace-Emotional-ebook/dp/B00HDTPPUQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conflicted-Hearts-Daughters-Solace-Emotional-ebook/dp/B00HDTPPUQ

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

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

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2) by James J. Cudney..


This is my review for Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2) by James J. Cudney.. and the second in the series that I have read.

I read and reviewed Academic Curveball the first book in the series earlier in the year which I enjoyed and I was looking forward to catching up with Kellan Ayrwick and his family and friends.

About Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

My review for Broken Heart Attack.

One of the good things about reading the second book in a series is that you are already up to speed with the main characters. This helps you slip into the story where the last one left off, with a bit of a cliffhanger for the lead character, Kellan Ayrwick, which continues to intrigue throughout this story. We get to know new players in the drama, including the leading family in the town, who have a finger in most pies, including the university and particularly the drama department. Nana D, Kellan’s grandmother has ambitions of her own, but when it comes to friendship, she will leave no stone unturned to find out the cause of her friend’s problems.

Rather she will get Kellan to leave no stone unturned, and in this case it is the suspicious death of the matriach of the Paddington family, who expires in an untimely fashion in the middle of a Shakespeare play. And what things he finds when he does lift some rocks and secrets and lies are abundant.

Add in a fiesty sheriff who likes to play hardball, his former mother-in-law making impossible demands, and a boss who would be delighted to see the back of him, and you have a fast paced mystery with plenty to keep the reader busy.

There were red herrings which is always a good thing in a mystery, nothing worse than identifying the killer in the first chapter… I had my suspicions about a few characters but only discovered my misconceptions in the last chapter of the book. Whilst the case is satisfactorily closed for most people concerned, the author has left some threads for us to follow up in the next book, Flower Power Trip, which I am looking forward to.

I do recommend that you begin with Academic Curveball so that you are up to speed with the cast members and you will then enjoy this next mystery to the full.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

I hope you have enjoyed my review for Broken Heart Attack and will consider buying and reviewing the book yourselves.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews…Brigid P. Gallagher, James J. Cudney, Diana J. Febry and Ted Halstead


Welcome to the first of the Cafe updates this week

The first review is for the memoir by  Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

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

Watching the Daisies is a memoir with a difference. It commences in the seventies then follows Brigid’s journey of discovery into alternative medicine and a philosophy of life she had developed. When reading this book, I felt the calm and soothing effect if the author’s voice and loved the wisdom she has learned throughout her life.

Before reading this book, I was unfamiliar with the range of therapies and now feel as if I have been introduced to a new wisdom of complementary medicine that enhances wellbeing. There is information about reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal healing. Colour healing radionics, spiritual healing, meditation, geopathic stress, space clearing, counselling, Feng Shui and more. I enjoyed learning how the author had used the therapies with patients and in her own life. New therapies and ancient wisdom are combined in the memoir.

The memoir examines how one can use the energy from the ebb and flow of life to move forwards and cope with life. Brigid is a natural medicine pioneer and demonstrates how we can use alternative and traditional medicine, but the key is to ask questions about one’s health and explore options for healing.

Serenity and kindness dominate the narrative voice thus making me feel as if I was in the safe hands of the author. This was a great book to soothe the soul at the end of the day. Brigid demonstrates ‘the healing journey may be slow, but there are nuggets of gold on every corner.’ The book did make me slow down and reflect and I now understand the title.

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

and 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 recent reviews for his latest release James J. Cudney for the third book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Flower Power Trip.

About the book

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

ShrykespeareTop Contributor: Action Figures 5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery series worthy of your time May 8, 2019

I can’t get over just how complex and multi-layered James Cudney makes his mysteries. There’s so much going on, with multiple subplots and a myriad of colorful characters filling the pages; and yet, I never had trouble following the progression of events.

Once again, Kellen Aywrick is called upon to solve a murder when a man is murdered at a costume party. It turns out the man was not who he claimed to be, and in order to keep one of his good friends from taking the fall, Kellen must use all his sleuth skills to suss out the guilty party.

The rich tapestry of the setting, populating by such rich characters as Kellen’s six-year-old daughter Emma and his irrepressible grandmother Nana D, are what breathe life into Cudney’s stories, and Flower Power Trip is no exception.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NDK76WF

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Power-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07NDK76WF

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

Time now to share the recent review for Diana J. Febry and her first book in her DCI Peter Hatherall Mysteries – The Skeletons of Birkbury

About the book

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in Birkbury, the villagers close ranks. Gossip turns to fear and suspicion as they realize the killer is one of them and is prepared to kill again.

DCI Peter Hatherall must fight his past and class divisions to find the killer.
All must decide which secrets are worth dying for.

One of the recent reviews for The Skeletons of Birkbury

Mar 23, 2019 Book Squirrel rated it Five Stars

A very good mystery read.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to believe that the events of the past will remain there.

There are plenty of people in this book who are dealing with the ghosts and skeletons of the past, some with powerful and tragic consequences.

The Skeletons of Birkbury is a very enjoyable and well-constructed mystery story, set in a seemingly normal English village populated by believable characters, most of whom seem quite likeable and all of whom seek to keep up appearances of respectability.

Whose ghostly chickens are about to come home to roost? And which members of the community will fail to get out of the way as they do?

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

The final author today is Ted Halstead with a recent review for The Second Korean War.

About the book

Two Russian agents discover a missing nuclear weapon was hidden in an American city by North Korea. Another nuclear weapon nears Seoul in a tunnel built by North Koreans. And North Korea’s new military dictator launches an all-out invasion. Will Seoul or Pyongyang be the new capital of a united Korea?

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 14, 2019 TOM BEIRNE rated it really liked it

If you enjoy reading Tom Clancy the this book is for you.
From Russia to North and South Korea, Korea Town in Loa Angeles and our nations capitol the action never stops.
Halsted makes all the action flow for one not spot to another with unique cast of characters in a plot that keeps you going all the way to the end

Read some of the reviews and buy the book including audio: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078T3YHGW

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Korean-War-Ted-Halstead-ebook/dp/B078T3YHGW

Also by Ted Halstead

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Halstead/e/B07BBVRLQX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ted-Halstead/e/B07BBVRLQX

Read more reviews and follow Ted on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/174507.Ted_Halstead

Connect to Ted Halstead via his blog: https://thesecondkoreanwar.wordpress.com/

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