Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Jane Risdon, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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

The first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his family drama Watching Glass Shatter.

About the book

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book was an interesting read from Cudney. I’d classify it as a family saga genre as the story evolves around the widow Olivia and her five grown children.

Although the blurb comes right out with the fact that Ben switched the baby, making it sound rather cruel and deceitful, I didn’t find that was the case, as the baby switch was done with consent from the birth mother – still a big no no for Ben not letting his wife know until after he died, but nothing shady.

The plot focuses on what happens after Ben’s death with the will, the baby secret, and then we are taken into the lives of each of their children. Each son has a cross to bear in their lives. We learn this through Olivia’s decision after Ben’s death to visit each of her children to spend quality time with them before the reading of the will. Through each visit, we learn about each of her son’s redeeming and not so redeeming features – their lives, their misgivings, and some very surprising secrets.

Throughout reading the story we learn what propelled each character to become ensconced into each of their dilemmas. Olivia learns a lot about her children she never knew previously. And not until almost the very end do we learn about the story of the baby switch, which somehow didn’t feel like the highlight of the story anymore as we got caught up in the drama of each of the character’s lives.

The story was well written with interesting characters – some of them drew in my sympathy, some left me questioning why they acted as they did. But with a nice and satisfactory ending, I enjoyed this book. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads:

Connect to James via his website/blog:

The next author with a recent review is Teagan Riordain Geneviene for her first book Atonement Tennessee...

About Atonement Tennessee

Esmeralda Lawton is sick of the big city. “Ralda” was betrayed until trust became a theoretical concept. So it’s a dream come true when she buys an old estate, complete with historic cemetery. Okay, she isn’t excited about the cemetery, but she’s strangely drawn to the estate. Atonement, Tennessee, a quaint town, seems like the perfect place for her. However, her new life isn’t quiet.

The house is full of antiques. Some have extraordinary properties — a brass bed causes strange dreams, and a mirror shows the truth of who you are.

A mysterious neighbor secretly watches over the graveyard. There’s more to him than meets the eye, but what? Then there’s Gwydion, owner of Fae’s Flowers. She stubbornly resists her feelings for him.

Ralda suspects that people are drawn to Atonement to, well — atone. She wonders what sins led her there. However, her ancestress made the mistakes.

Atonement is home to more than humans. Supernaturals go there too. Some have fallen far.

This urban fantasy, seasoned with Celtic mythology, comes with a side-order of mystery. Are you sad to see the “Sookie Stackhouse” stories end? Make a visit to Atonement, Tennessee!

A recent review for the book

Atonement Tennessee is an imaginative romp told through the eyes of the main protagonist, Esmeralda (Ralda), and her cat, Lilith. The author jumps back and forth between them as she takes the reader along on this magical fantasy.

The richly developed characters are fascinating and carry the story along in a creative way enabling the reader to become invested in their outcome. There is a large old house Esmeralda purchases that harbors a ghost from the past, a florist who has a magical way with flowers, a neighbor who is not just a man but also a bird with powers, and other characters who add color to this enjoyable story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the manner in which the author created the easy flowing prose as the story is told through Ralda and Lilith.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Teagan Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books :

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads:

Connect to Teagan Geneviene  via her blog:

The next review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her short story collection.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection via Karen’s Book Buzz

When I found out this author had written some crime shorts, I knew they would be good as I’d previously read some of her short stories. Jane Risdon has a magic pen. She knows how to write a tale that will intrigue and lure you in.

Seven ‘long’ short that were cleverly inspired by crime and murder.

Sweet Sable: The Red Siren is the first story and set in the thirties, it immediately created an atmaosphere of a times gone by. This crime noir tale was good start to the book.

Apartment 206c, couldn’t have been more different as it brings us bang up to date. We’ve all overheard people talking through walls, and China, the main character, hears her neighbours arguing. A fast past, heart thumping story with a twist.

Murder by Christmas – this was very clever. It’s started with the reading of a will, and certain people have to do certain things before they get their money. Very clever story.

The Watchers was a sad crime I felt. Two people who didn’t quite connect up again as we find out all it not what it seems.

The Honey Trap, and we have all heard of them and this one plays out as we meet the assassin.

The Look is similar to the previous one, and another cleverly written story. Although they were both good, I liked this one better because I love a strong female character.

The seventh story is called Undercover and is an extract from the author’s forthcoming book. I didn’t read this one, so you will have to make up your own mind about it.

I enjoy Jane Risdon’s writing and read her book Only One Women, which I absolutely loved. It takes the reader back to the rock n roll sixties. You can read my review here.

Jane also wrote a short story which I featured on the Magic of Stories site called Summer of Love, and is well worth a read.

Read the reviews and buy the collection:

And Amazon US:

Also by Jane Risdon
Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:

Connect to Jane via her blog:

The next review is for Walking by Inner Vision, a collection of Stories and Poems by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

About Walking by Inner Vision

In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.

She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.

All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Discover more about Lynda’s books:

And Amazon UK:

Connect to Lynda via her website:

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


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – The Auditions: Part One – Snore Poison So I’ll Know It by Jane Risdon

Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

This is the second post from author Jane Risdon, and last week she took us on a ‘Jolly’ to Hardwick Hall to meet its extraordinary owner Bess Hardwick who after Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most powerful women in England of that age.

For those of you who would like to read part two of Hardwick Hall as well… here is the link: Hardwick Hall Part Two.

This week you get to rock ‘n’ roll with Jane who enjoyed a successful career in the music industry… and accompany her to an audition in Hollywood… you will need nerves as steel….the music business is not for sissies…

The Auditions: Part One – Snore Poison So I’ll Know It by Jane Risdon

Aerial Hollywood Sign.jpg

Back in 1989 two musicians were invited to audition for a super group in Los Angeles, whose lead singer was known all over the world for his shocking live shows. Originally he requested a lead guitarist managed by the same team as well, but the guitarist had other ideas; he wanted to be a star in his own right, not part of a touring band supporting a super-star.

All this was very frustrating given the amount of hard work his management had put into getting them all noticed and considered – competition was global for this incredible opportunity and only the best were to be auditioned – not to mention the management’s financial outlay on their behalf. Typically, he kept his thoughts to himself until zero hour when Visa’s had been arranged and paid for, air-tickets had been purchased, hotels rooms booked, not to mention a whole new wardrobe. But let’s not dwell upon all that.

So he dropped out and they took the drummer and the bass player as originally planned.

Having learned every song ever released by the super-star over a very long career, the musicians were ready be put through their paces. It was hard work preparing but they were enthusiastic and excited at the prospect of world domination, tons of dosh and more women than they could imagine, so they gritted their teeth, checked their image constantly and took on the persona befitting soon to be super-stars.

One of the musicians, the bass player, had never been to America before and his head was obviously swimming with excitement and the awesomeness of it all. He wanted to drink it all in and experience everything and, believe it guys, when he got there he did his best to drink as much as he could at every watering hole he could find.

The drummer, an old hand at being in Hollywood, spent most of his time warning his fellow musician about the gun crime – snipers on every roof Downtown apparently – and the hookers on every street corner whom he seemed to befriend whenever he could. That’s as far as it ever went his managers were sure. The drummer was a very sensitive creature and was concerned for their welfare – seriously he was.

He was really more interested in visiting every clothing store he knew rock stars frequented, purchasing the latest fashions and showing off his own ‘British’ rock look which apparently had everyone thrilled and excited to behold. His management noticed the looks and overheard the comments. He, on the other hand, only saw and heard what he wanted to.

The bass player enjoyed being the object of curiosity around the hotel pool. He really looked the part of the cool British Rock Star. No end of bikini-clad ‘resting’ actresses asked him more than once if he was ‘anyone famous.’ He decided to keep them guessing. The management lips were sealed.

These sexy young hopefuls spent their day lounging beside the pool, make-up expertly applied and their very expensive boobs spilling from their designer tops, reading scripts or talking loudly about their next movie, television series or audition or where was the best place to see and be seen. The drummer could’ve given them the low-down.

They ventured into the water now and again, complete with all their jewellery on show, heads bobbing as they gently swam, desperately trying to keep their Beverly Hills hair creations above the waterline, all the time watching the comings and goings around the pool, mindful of those who might be ‘someone.’

The afternoon before ‘the’ audition it was suggested the musicians relax by the hotel pool, chilling with the would-be starlets posing hopefully, desperate to ‘connect’ with a movie director, famous rock star or rich husband whoever he might turn out to be.

The musicians were warned about ‘fortune hunters.’

But they were men of the world; they’d been there, done that and were wearing the tee shirts to prove it.

They’d rehearsed themselves silly and needed to chill and prepare themselves mentally for the task ahead. The pool was safer than letting them loose on the town and the bars.

Previous experience of them relaxing and fighting off a hooker’s irate pimp outside their suite wasn’t something the management planned on repeating the night before the auditions. Time is money after-all, even if a potential ‘client’ only wants to ask the girls what led them to the life they were leading…seriously.

Their management managed to blag time earlier in the day on a fabulous drum-kit and an expensive bass guitar in The Guitar Center, where anyone who’s anyone goes to tinker and show off to an audience of everyone else, tinkering and showing off their musical skills. It’s one of those places. Besides, the musicians were sizing up new gear which they’d be purchasing once they were part of the super-star singer’s touring band.

Back to the pool.

 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Out to impress, the Dublin born bass player decided to take a dip in the pool. He climbed the diving board in his sexiest swimming shorts and posed for the girls, before diving head first into the pool…at the shallow end.

Besides knocking himself out, he managed to break his nose and blacken both his eyes. Not quite the image needed to impress the super-star singer. The dark shades would be needed all right, and not for the usual posing.

Backing vocals – if required – might prove challenging.

Murder crossed his manager’s minds, but they were in America. Visions of electric chairs soon put paid to such thoughts – for now.

A trip to the local pharmacy managed to patch him up with wadding up his nose and plasters across it. He refused a trip to hospital – he was Irish after all, and could deal with the pain, so he insisted. Topped up with pain killers he returned to the rooms he shared with the drummer, insisting he wanted to have an early night. The drummer had his usual string of international phone calls to make; he had a harem waiting back in England, hanging on his every move and waiting to know the latest from Hollywood.

Instead of going to bed early, the draw of Hollywood night-life proved too much, and the Irish bassist decided to pay a visit to a well-known Irish pub, The Cat and Fiddle, to drown his sorrows even though he’d been banned from going out at night without telling his managers… he crept out, so they couldn’t say no.

The drummer, once his calls were made, decided upon an early night and was apparently fast asleep when the bass player returned worse for wear in the early hours. They shared a room in the same corridor as the management who thought they could keep a watchful eye on them both. Right.

Their managers were woken in the night by what they first thought was an earthquake. But it soon became clear it was the bass player’s loud snoring, his broken nose and alcohol obviously being the cause. He’d delighted everyone with his nocturnal rumblings before. No doubt everyone else on the floor could hear him as well.

Suddenly there was a loud crash and yelling.

Their managers dashed into their room to find the drummer smacking six bells out of the drummer with the telephone, screaming at the top of his voice, ‘If you’ve got to snore, snore ‘Poison,’ so I’ll remember it in the morning.’

He had to be dragged screaming and kicking from the room. The bass player sat up, looked around the room briefly, and fell back asleep. Soon he was snoring as loudly as ever.

All photos (c) Jane Risdon All Rights Reserved 2014

 I would have paid good money to have been a specatator to these shenanigans… thanks to Jane for sharing the pain and the glory…

Books by Jane Risdon

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colm Herron 5.0 out of 5 stars Two stunning authors 5 February 2019

The Sixties are still a bit of a blur for me. That means I was there. And I have a lot of broken hearts to prove it – all mine. I was shot down so many times in those ten or so years that it’s a wonder I’m still here. All of which means I know something of the problems and the heartache that Only One Woman’s main protagonists Renza and Stella went through. But it wasn’t Scott I was after. Definitely not, believe me. It was Patricia and Hazel and Marie and Ann and Sybil and Melanie and …. I can’t go on.

The two girls in Only One Woman tell of their crush on Scott in a way that can only mean that the authors of this wonderfully nostalgic and loving look at the Sixties were rapt witnesses to those amazing years. The people, the songs, the music, the styles – and most of all the attitudes. In one sense it didn’t matter too much to me which of these two girls ended up with Scott because far more important than that was the way that these two authors got right into the hearts of the lovestruck Renza and Stella.

Ah, the authors. First, Christina Jones. Apart from a scintillating career in writing which began when she was a mere child, she has done so many odd-jobs – as well as odd jobs – that her life experience cannot be doubted. (Possibly the only work she didn’t do was captaining a North Sea oil rig, although I’m open to correction on that). And her co-author in this labour of love they have written is the incomparable Jane Risdon. Jane has been closely involved in so many fascinating experiences that she needs a separate wardrobe for all the T-shirts she has to vouch for it. Rock, Thrash Metal, Pop, R&B, Chinese Opera as well as movies, television and radio worldwide. And now writing, which amazingly she only got into five years ago. Stunning. Both stunning people.

 Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:

And just available this week with a new book on the shelves promotion on Tuesday.

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction. Author and former detective Roger A Price says: Undercover: Crime Shorts is the ideal companion for the crime fiction fan’s daily commute. You’ll run out of journey before you run out of book with this cleverly crafted mix of crime fiction short stories. Beware as you might miss your stop! Reader Gloria Clulow says:

Head over and buy the collection:

And Amazon US:

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Accent Press:

Thanks again to Jane for sharing her archives.. please tune in next week for another adventure…Thanks Sally