Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a book for Christmas #Children – Andrea Balsara, Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Annabelle Franklin and Jemima Pett.


Another group of books that are suitable for children and would make great gifts this Christmas. I am sharing these books first as most are in print as well as eBook and will need to be posted.

The first author today is Andrea Torrey Balsara with Greenbeard the Pirate Pig… which Andrea wrote and illustrated. She is also the illustrator for other lovely children’s books that you can find on her Amazon author page and I have that link for you later.

About the story

Ahoy, my Piggywinkles!

Sail into adventure with GREENBEARD the guinea pig pirate, as Snug Rumkin, Greenbeard’s ratty first mate, tries to teach him how to be a “proper” pirate!…

One of the reviews for the story

A guinea pig takes to the high seas for treasure and adventure.. Greenbeard the Pirate Pig, written and illustrated by Andrea Torrey Balsara, is about a guinea pig who decides that a pirate pig he will be. With his lettuce beard (thus “Greenbeard”) and his carrot sword, he takes off for adventure. Greenbeard is hilarious. I read each entrant’s book out loud; this story required singing. A so-bad-it’s-so-good ditty about being a pirate. Even Greenbeard’s reluctant sidekick, a rat named Snug Rumkin (who looks suspiciously like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean) sticks his fingers in his ears to reduce the pain of the guinea pig’s rousing song. I read this story several times and cracked up laughing every time. Ms. Balsara’s page design is so well done. Greenbeard the Pirate Pig teaches children how some hard work and self-confidence can help them achieve their dreams — without ever saying those words. I love books that teach but don’t preach.

Read the reviews and buy the book print and ebook: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1460285018

And on Amazon UK in ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenbeard-Pirate-Andrea-Torrey-Balsara-ebook/dp/B01MTKZ3D2

Other children’s books illustrated by Andrea Balsara

Read the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Torrey-Balsara/e/B077TKWPBY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrea-Torrey-Balsara/e/B077TKWPBY

Also writing as A.T. Balsara for Teens and Young Adults.

A recent review for The Great & the Small

This book has great illustrations and it’s written in a way that reminds me of the tragic tale of Watership Downs. It’s a clean read and I already love domestic rats, so I very much enjoyed this book. It does cover diseases and I think the time frame is either fictional, from history, or dystopian in nature. It actually doesn’t matter, because the book is so good, who cares when it was, just that this is a fascinating read. I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Net Galley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and this review is left of my own free will.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/A.T.-Balsara/e/B077THW3QL

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Small-T-Balsara-ebook/dp/B07GBFHDKK

Read more reviews and follow Andrea on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5630985.Andrea_Torrey_Balsara

Connect to Andrea.. and for her illustrations: http://www.torreybalsara.com/

Now time to look at the children’s books of Robbie and Michael Cheadle, a mother and son writing team that combines wonderful stories in the Sir Chocolate series, with recipes that are suitable to be made in the family kitchen. Here is Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees story and Cookbook

About the story

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

One of the reviews for the book.

on January 11, 2018

This is the most creative children’s and bakers’ heavenly book I’ve ever experienced! This is definitely a one-of-a-kind treat! There are no illustrations, just incredible photographs of “… visions of sugarplums that dance in their heads …”; made of chocolate with vivid colors and totally edible. What an amazing collection of literature with uniqueness I’ve never encountered before, and I’m a collector of classic and unusual books as well as an avid reader and reviewer! This little book is a treasure of mixed art for all ages. This BOOK is for families and generations to come. An incredible, delectable keepsake.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XXR7JGY

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B06XXR7JGY

Other children’s books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle has also published books for adults and poetry

One of the recent reviews for While the Bombs Fell

Oct 27, 2018 Darlene Foster rated it really liked it

A lovely memoir written by a mother and daughter team about a young girl living in the UK during WWII. Elsie is very little during the war but can’t help feel the fear and anxiety of her parents, siblings and neighbours. What I found interesting is that in spite of the threat of invasion, bombs falling on homes, air raid shelters, and food shortages, everyday life carried on. The cows were still milked, children attended school, went swimming and to the movies, neighbours met for tea, Christmas cake was made and Christmas was still celebrated. Never having lived under these circumstances, it was a good insight into another time and place. An added bonus is the wartime recipes at the end of the book. Well done Elsie Hancy Eaton and Robbie Cheadle!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael Cheadle: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

The next book that would make a great adventure story gift for a pre-teen is The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin.

About The Slapstyx

The sea is dying, poisoned by greedy businessman Zachary Zigstack, who has enlisted the help of the Slapstyx goblins to make sure everyone buys his highly toxic detergent. These grubby goblins fill human homes with grime that can only be removed with Zigstack products. Psychic twins Georgie and Gem must use their magical skills to put an end to Zigstack’s unholy alliance with the Slapstyx.

Twin sisters Georgie and Gem care about the environment and are deeply ashamed of their stepfather Geoffrey, who sells detergents made of bad chemicals that fill the sea with toxic slime.

The twins try to convince Geoffrey to get another job, but he refuses. ‘ZOOM’ is the world’s best-selling cleaning product, and Geoffrey loves being a superstar salesman – even though his boss, Zachary Zigstack, only pays him peanuts.

Together with a tribe of grubby goblins called the Slapstyx, Zigstack has hatched an ingenious plan to make sure everyone buys his dastardly detergent. He has promised the Slapstyx a mountain of gold, which he has yet to deliver.

Georgie and Gem can leave their bodies at will and fly around in an astral vehicle they call their ‘dreambody’. This ‘dreamwalking’ enables them to travel to other dimensions and meet the creatures that live there. One night they dreamwalk to the goblin dimension and rumble Zigstack’s pact with the Slapstyx. The goblins threaten to kill them if they tell anyone about it.

The twins make friends with a mermaid called Eltra whose tribe – known as the Delphinae – look after the dolphins. The ZOOM overload in the sea has created toxic plankton-based monsters called Sloyds who are out to destroy all the other sea creatures. Eltra begs the twins for help.

Though they are terrified of the Slapstyx, Georgie and Gem promise Eltra they will try and stop them working for Zigstack. But can they do it before the world’s oceans are turned into toxic plankton soup?

More to the point, can they do it before the goblins put them out of action for good?

One of the reviews for the book

I have an eight year old step son who I think would absolutely adore this novel! It is a middle grade story about twin sisters who can leave their bodies and fly as spirits, and in Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin, the twins are on a mission to stop an evil magician and his goblin cohorts from selling their uncleanly and unsafe “cleaning” product to the world.

Zachary Zigstack wants to take over the world with his product ZOOM!!! which is apparently going to rid the world of dirt and grime. In reality, he wants to pollute the ocean, and make the entire planet as unsanitary as possible. the twins, Gem and Georgie use their magical projection powers to spy on Zachary and his evil goblins and try to find a way to stop them from polluting the planet.

This was a cute book for a pre-teen, I definitely think that my step son would enjoy it. It’s clear, concise, and has a message that all kids should learn about. The characters of Georgie and Gem were likable, though I felt that the girls weren’t strong in their differences, and they were kind of paper dolls (meaning that they didn’t have very distinct personalities that a pre-teen would look up to), I did think that they were fun and enjoyed their relationship with each other. I however did enjoy the character of Zachary much more, I could just seem him using his dark magic, and bent over himself rubbing his palms together.

One of my favorite things in movies, television, and even books, is when the title is odd, or doesn’t make sense, until you watch or read, and this is the perfect example of that! Slapstyx is an interesting title, but works great with this book! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars, a fun, charming adventure that any kid would love to go on, it’s a socially conscious one too.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQTX0

And  Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slapstyx-Annabelle-Franklin-ebook/dp/B00TQTX0UI

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0/

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle through her blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com

The next children’s author is Jemima Pett witha wonderful selection of children’s books and pre-teen/YA.. The Princelings of the North is book eight in the series featuring adventurous guinea pigs.

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 18, 2018 Ahdev rated it it was amazing  ·

A very nice read. Adventurous ride which adults can enjoy as well!

This is the book 8 in the series but one can even read it as a standalone, as the author has given character introductions in the beginning itself. It’s very easy to grasp the story and get engrossed with the Princelings Dylan & Dougall and exiled Prince Kevin’s journey!

The writing is simple and neat, engaging throughout. The chapter drawings and its one-two line details are great ideas! I loved the story and all the characters, a nice travel with fantasy and kingdoms and power games! And happy with the good ending too!! Recommended for all :

Buy the book on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

A small selection of other books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s selection of children’s books from authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and thank you for visiting. Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Sale – #Children’s Books, #Thrillers #Fantasy – Charles E. Yallowitz, John W. Howell, Jemima Pett, M. J. Mallon and Diana J. Febry


Welcome to the third of the Summer Sale posts with discounted books by authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. There is one more sale posts scheduled for the 20th of July.

Some of the books from Monday 9th may still be on sale so worth checking: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-brigid-p-gallagher-hugh-w-roberts-jacquie-biggar-and-victoria-zigler/

And from Friday 13th (lucky for some): https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-99p-99c-children-ya-poetry-african-adventure-lucinda-e-clarke-darlene-foster-natalie-ducey-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

All the spaces have now been filled but if you have any of your books that are FREE in July there is still some room on those posts.

Wednesday July 18th and Saturday July 21st – Spaces filling up quickly

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

The first author today with a discounted offer on his latest book is Charles Yallowitz – Quest of the Brokenhearted is on offer at 99c/99p throughout July.

About the Quest of the Brokenhearted

(From the pages of ‘Legends of Windemere’)

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

Head over and buy the book for 99c: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F5V3CT5/

And on Amazon UK at 99p : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Brokenhearted-Charles-Yallowitz-ebook/dp/B07F5V3CT5

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

One of the recent reviews for War of Nytefall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Charles via his website: http://www.legendsofwindemere.com/

The next author with a reduced offer for you is John W. Howell with the first of the John Cannon Trilogy – My GRL. It is on offer at 99c/99p just today until 11 PDT which is 7.00am tomorrow UK time.  Get it while you can..

About My GRL

John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. John is unaware his boat has been targeted by a terrorist group to be used to destroy a symbol of America’s greatness. John’s first inkling of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was found unconscious next to the body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now is the only one standing between the terrorists and the success of their mission. An excellent summer read

One of the many excellent reviews for the book

Full-Throttle Action on March 7, 2017

I often find work written in first person/present tense to be jarring. Overuse of “I” and “me” coupled with an awkward reveal of the POV character’s name and appearance usually work against an author’s intent and keep me from engaging in the story.

That’s not the case with John Howell’s MY GRL.

Mr. Howell penned a story that, while written in first person/present tense, actually sucked me into the story. I thought what main character John Cannon thought, I felt what he felt. Howell is to be commended for his ability to immerse the reader into his story world through his protagonist.

This thriller captured me not only for the reason listed above, but also because the author crafted a realistic hero. John Cannon isn’t the thirty-year-old alpha male, Navy Seal, superhero. He’s a regular guy, with realistic fears and logical fallacies. He’s so likable because he could be your uncle, your neighbor, your coworker. We all know John Cannons, and we all love them.

While I found this novel to be character-driven, there’s no shortage of action in the plot. This was a quick read because both the character was relatable and the pace was full-throttle.

This is book one of three in the series. I’ll be looking for the next installment and highly recommend this one.

Read some of the reviews and buy the book for 99c : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VY4V2FC/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-GRL-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B06VY4V2FC/

Also by John W.Howell

Read the reviews and buy all of the John Cannon Series : https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Connect to John via his website: http://www.johnhowell.com

Children’s author Jemima Pett has a three book box set for the Princelings of the East books on offer in July on Smashwords which is excellent value at $3.50 which is half-price until the end of the month.

About the series

A time tunnel, a pirate king, a lost city. In three separate adventures, Princelings Fred and George aim to solve trifling problems, but uncover dangerous and sometimes desperate foes, each with his or her own agenda, threatening the peace of the Realms. This first box set from the series comprises the Princelings of the East, the Princelings and the Pirates, and the Princelings and the Lost City.

A time tunnel, a pirate king, a lost city. In three separate adventures, Princelings Fred and George set out to solve trifling problems, and uncover dangerous and sometimes desperate foes, each with his or her own agenda, threatening the peace of the Realms.

The Princelings of the East: the saga starts with Fred and George leaving their cosy Castle in the Marsh. They encounter the mysterious cola vendor Hugo, the playboy Prince Lupin, and the over-worked innkeeper Victor, and have to use their own wits to decide who to trust, and how to prevent their ordered society descending into chaos.

The Princelings and the Pirates sees our heroes setting out to discover what has gone wrong at Castle Dimerie – a simple errand that ends in kidnap, shipwreck, and a battle in which no quarter is given.

The Princelings and the Lost City introduces George to the delights of flying, and Fred to the tortures of true love. Their inventions and experiments take a back seat as the puzzle of the Lost City and its all-female society lead to questions that may be too difficult to solve.

Buy the three book set at Smashwords for half- price : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678311

Jemima also has some of her books FREE on Smashwords in July and you can find out more in Saturdays Sale Post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-free-books-adventure-childrens-memoir-mary-smith-annabelle-franklin-jemima-pett-and-chuck-jackson/

A small selection of  books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

The next author with a reduced price is M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure. The book is on sale at £1.99 grab while you can.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the reviews for the book

This reviews is adapted from a post which originally appeared on my blog, This Northern Gal. I was sent a copy of the text in exchange for an honest review.

The Curse of Time is all about Amelina, a teenage girl who receives a mysterious invitation. Her already crazy life takes a turn for the weird and unusual. She becomes fixated with the idea that there is a curse on her family and that she has to find a way to break it. Along the way she finds herself in a world that revels in the strange and mysterious. This world building was where M.J Mallon excelled. It allowed her to be wonderfully creative, which in turn meant that I was sucked into the world of The Curse of Time. I particularly enjoyed the way the writer seemed to be inspired by fairy-tales, though in quite a twisted way. From strange reflections in the mirror to vanishing black cats, there was a familiarity in the characters that was really welcoming. They were all presented in new and creative ways however.

This is particularly apparent in the character of Amelina, who is creative and artistic. This meant that her art and poetry were brilliantly woven throughout The Curse of Time. It added a good extra layer to the novel itself.

I also really enjoyed the way crystals were used throughout the text to make the world that Amelina inhabited. It would be interesting to see how this is expanded and sustained in the rest of the M. J Mallon’s writing, particularly in the sequel to The Curse of Time

Read the other reviews and buy the book for the sale price of £1.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US at the reduced price: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The next author with a book reduced this month is Diana J. Febry with Bells on her Toes ( A DCI Peter Hatherall novel) at 99p/99c until July 21st.

About Bells on her Toes

Horse race trainer, Ben Halloway thought the murdered car mechanic found near his gallops was a minor annoyance that didn’t concern him.

That was his first mistake.

Turning his back on those he trusted was his final mistake.

All he wanted was to train a winner.

DCI Hatherall is led a merry dance around the starting gates. As potential witnesses disappear he is in a race against time to solve the case and protect the people he cares for.

One of the reviews for the book

I’ve been reading this series recently and have found all of the books real page-turners. This one, Bells on her Toes is particularly gritty and realistic. It starts off with an apparently straight forward drug-related execution murder, but what follows for DCI Peter Hatherall and his side kick Fiona embroils them in more twists and turns than a wriggling mamba.

There are red herrings galore and by the end, when the series of subsequent murders is eventually solved, the reader feels deeply sympathetic to Hatherall and Fiona for the frustrations and time wasting leads that somehow always distract them from the real clues. As in real life, protagonists die before they can explain their role, so in the end we still don’t know the reasons for all the incidents along the way, but that is real life. I found this an exceptionally compelling and unputdownable mystery. I just hope Diana Febry will write some more DCI Hatherall books so I can learn how the poor detective solves his personal problems, a running subplot in all the books that gives him a somewhat prickly character at times. It would be good to see Fiona happy too, so keep on writing Ms Febry!

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99p until 21st July: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bells-Toes-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07D5F91TF/

And on Amazon US at 99c: https://www.amazon.com/Bells-Toes-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07D5F91TF/

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

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of these reduced books on your own social media. There will be more free books on Wednesday including one of mine and more reduced books on Friday 20th. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Sale – #FREE Books #Adventure #Children’s #Memoir – Mary Smith, Annabelle Franklin, Jemima Pett and Chuck Jackson


Welcome to the Summer Sale in the Cafe and Bookstore and today it is the turn of the FREE books currently available either on Amazon or Smashwords.

Whilst there is no pressure to review books that you download especially when they are free, I hope that you will enjoy all the selection today and share that with others. Thanks Sally

The first author who would love you to download and read one of her books is Mary Smith with No More Mulberries… I loved this book and can highly recommend it.  There are an impressive number of excellent reviews for the book which continues to delight readers. It is FREE from 14th to 18th inclusive.

About the book

No More Mulberries is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

British-born Miriam’s marriage to her Afghan doctor husband is heading towards crisis. Despite his opposition, she goes to work as a translator at a medical teaching camp in a remote area of rural Afghanistan hoping time apart will help are see where their problems lie. She comes to realise how unresolved issues from when her first husband was killed by a mujahideen group are damaging her relationship with her husband and her son – but is it already too late to save her marriage?

One of the recent reviews for No More Mulberries.

No More Mulberries is more than just a love story but a tale of hardship, loss, survival against all odds, and the importance of family. It is a story about two people who are different as any two can be. Miriam, from Scotland meets Jawad, an Afghan, and fall in love. She moves to his country and begins a love affair with Afghanistan.

When Jawad suffers an untimely death Miriam must decide whether to go back to her own homeland of Scotland with her son or stay. She meets another Afghan man, Iqbal, and sees a way to stay in this country with her son.

The cultural differences are numerous and difficult for the couple to overcome. They must come to terms with complicated problems in her new husband’s past in order to continue with their life together. All couples, no matter what culture they come from, have similar setbacks to deal through.

The author takes the reader on a journey through this backward country and all its antiquated beliefs about medicine and education for girls. The reader is drawn to all the beauty that the author is detailing which shows the love she has for this country.

Although I have never traveled to this part of the world I felt an empathy for the people and their remarkable ability to survive. With the Taliban at their back door they are forced to escape or stand against evil.

This is an unforgettable story about the resilience of one woman to conquer what many could not fathom. An enjoyable book and a must read for all! Kudos to the author for an outstanding novel!

 Read more of the reviews and download the book for FREE 14th to 18th July: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith/dp/1849234205

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith-ebook/dp/B005RRDZ12

A selection of books by Mary Smith

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Connect to Mary via her website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

Now time for some children’s books beginning with The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin which is on Free on Smashwords for all of July.

About The Slapstyx

The sea is dying, poisoned by greedy businessman Zachary Zigstack, who has enlisted the help of the Slapstyx goblins to make sure everyone buys his highly toxic detergent. These grubby goblins fill human homes with grime that can only be removed with Zigstack products. Psychic twins Georgie and Gem must use their magical skills to put an end to Zigstack’s unholy alliance with the Slapstyx.

Twin sisters Georgie and Gem care about the environment and are deeply ashamed of their stepfather Geoffrey, who sells detergents made of bad chemicals that fill the sea with toxic slime.

The twins try to convince Geoffrey to get another job, but he refuses. ‘ZOOM’ is the world’s best-selling cleaning product, and Geoffrey loves being a superstar salesman – even though his boss, Zachary Zigstack, only pays him peanuts.

Together with a tribe of grubby goblins called the Slapstyx, Zigstack has hatched an ingenious plan to make sure everyone buys his dastardly detergent. He has promised the Slapstyx a mountain of gold, which he has yet to deliver.

Georgie and Gem can leave their bodies at will and fly around in an astral vehicle they call their ‘dreambody’. This ‘dreamwalking’ enables them to travel to other dimensions and meet the creatures that live there. One night they dreamwalk to the goblin dimension and rumble Zigstack’s pact with the Slapstyx. The goblins threaten to kill them if they tell anyone about it.

The twins make friends with a mermaid called Eltra whose tribe – known as the Delphinae – look after the dolphins. The ZOOM overload in the sea has created toxic plankton-based monsters called Sloyds who are out to destroy all the other sea creatures. Eltra begs the twins for help.

Though they are terrified of the Slapstyx, Georgie and Gem promise Eltra they will try and stop them working for Zigstack. But can they do it before the world’s oceans are turned into toxic plankton soup?

More to the point, can they do it before the goblins put them out of action for good?

One of the reviews for the book

I have an eight year old step son who I think would absolutely adore this novel! It is a middle grade story about twin sisters who can leave their bodies and fly as spirits, and in Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin, the twins are on a mission to stop an evil magician and his goblin cohorts from selling their uncleanly and unsafe “cleaning” product to the world.

Zachary Zigstack wants to take over the world with his product ZOOM!!! which is apparently going to rid the world of dirt and grime. In reality, he wants to pollute the ocean, and make the entire planet as unsanitary as possible. the twins, Gem and Georgie use their magical projection powers to spy on Zachary and his evil goblins and try to find a way to stop them from polluting the planet.

This was a cute book for a pre-teen, I definitely think that my step son would enjoy it. It’s clear, concise, and has a message that all kids should learn about. The characters of Georgie and Gem were likable, though I felt that the girls weren’t strong in their differences, and they were kind of paper dolls (meaning that they didn’t have very distinct personalities that a pre-teen would look up to), I did think that they were fun and enjoyed their relationship with each other. I however did enjoy the character of Zachary much more, I could just seem him using his dark magic, and bent over himself rubbing his palms together.

One of my favorite things in movies, television, and even books, is when the title is odd, or doesn’t make sense, until you watch or read, and this is the perfect example of that! Slapstyx is an interesting title, but works great with this book! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars, a fun, charming adventure that any kid would love to go on, it’s a socially conscious one too.

Head over and get your FREE copy at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546261

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0/

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle through her blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com

The next children’s author with her books free in July is Jemima Pett with four books to be snapped up. Starting with The Princelings of the North – ( Book 8 of the Princelings of the East)

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 18, 2018 Ahdev rated it it was amazing  ·

A very nice read. Adventurous ride which adults can enjoy as well!

This is the book 8 in the series but one can even read it as a standalone, as the author has given character introductions in the beginning itself. It’s very easy to grasp the story and get engrossed with the Princelings Dylan & Dougall and exiled Prince Kevin’s journey!

The writing is simple and neat, engaging throughout. The chapter drawings and its one-two line details are great ideas! I loved the story and all the characters, a nice travel with fantasy and kingdoms and power games! And happy with the good ending too!! Recommended for all :

Head over and download your FREE copy from Smashwords (the first 50 to apply): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/732380

Also FREE for July on Smashwords.

The Book Elves Anthologies Volumes 1 and 2: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493196

The Perihelix (book 1 of the Viridian series) FREE for the first 50 readers https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/607252

A small selection of other books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

The final author today with a FREE offer is Chuck Jackson for his new release Guilt – My CompanionA Journey to Healing. Chuck has asked for some feedback on the book should you download it, and has a couple of other requests if you would like to take advantage of this offer between now and the 17th of July. You will need to go to Chuck’s website to get the link which takes you to the free giveaway for US residents only I am afraid. Chuck Jackson’s Free Guilt – My Companion

About Guilt – My Companion

Guilt—My Companion is a story based on the author’s strength and recovery from a dysfunctional family. It begins in the ‘60s during a period filled with social and personal injustice. It tells the struggle of his conscience against societies’ ignorance and prejudice. It follows his journey to recoup from personal tragedy and grief. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live is a journey, not a destination.”.

But for this story, the journey is the destinations he took. It wasn’t where he intended, and he had little control of the paths he took. Along those paths were heartaches and defeat. He found deception, prejudice, and hate. Lay in waiting was his companion, guilt; the robber of personal pleasure. Follow his story and discover when he conquered guilt, there was nothing inhibiting his self-growth and happiness.

One of the reviews for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The epilogue best describes the outcome June 20, 2018

The book stayed true to the title. I found it gripping and, in many cases, difficult to comprehend the cruelty imposed upon the author. The epilogue best describes the outcome: (1) Healing involved a desire to change the habit of carrying baggage, and (2) professional help. The author, Denis Waitley, wrote that “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” I believe that the author’s journey possessed all of these.

Without grace, he would not have made the remarkable life he has lived. Without love, he couldn’t fight against the emotional abuse of hate. Without gratitude, he couldn’t have written his books.

This book is for all of us; for the times we’ve allowed ourselves to wallow in the darkness of resentment and anger, guilt, and subsequent depression. By sharing this journey, the author opened up his heart with love, grace, and gratitude and gave us this book.

To get your free download of the book in the US: Chuck Jackson’s Free Guilt – My Companion

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing/dp/1717393012

And buy Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing-ebook/dp/B07CPZJ4BQ

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Connect to Chuck via his website/blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will take advantage of these free offers and enjoy the books… If you have any of your books FREE in July then please let me know on sally.cronin@moyhill.com as soon as possible. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Originality and the Insects by Jemima Pett


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

Originality and the Insects by Jemima Pett

Originality and the Insects is the first flash fiction of 2018. It’s just under 1750 words. I was thinking of working with the title “The Wrong Glasses” but I went through the list of prompts I had collected last year, and noticed some other options.

Somewhere in the middle of the year, Chuck Wendig gave us generator of inspirational themes: http://inspirobot.me/. I used inspirobot for about ten minutes in order to get something worthwhile. They are mostly rubbish, but I saved two… including this one:

The difference between originality and an insect is that an insect doesn’t kill you.
Tree with quotation

Xanadu Xavier XtraL lay in her landing chair, aware of a clicking noise. Several clicking noises. She kept her eyes shut while she identified them. Heat base cooling down—that was the regular click-thunk of the compound as it contracted at microscopically different intervals. Three variants of a click-ping—those were gauges hitting rock-bottom (or off the scale and refusing to be beaten). An intermittent crackle in her helmet audio; that probably couldn’t be classed as a click. A clunk of an outside pipe doing its thing in whatever atmosphere existed outside the ship. Irregular taps on the tiny portholes, like someone trying to attract her attention.

Nobody should be out there.

Let alone trying to attract her attention.

She opened one eye.

A shaft of illumination highlighted her right knee, still in the brace position, the joystick, and her left boot against the open door of the third-left locker cover, taking the weight of the third-left locker contents in its box. What was in the third-left locker? She shut her eye again and let the hammering in her head take the place of the clicking for a while.

Next time she opened both eyes, the light caressed her stomach, and highlighted the waterpod at her left elbow. Good idea. She hoicked round, pressed the pump… nothing. Twisting towards it, she tapped the gauge. The needle dropped. Yeah, why would water survive the heat of uncontrolled landing? Well, it should be somewhere around. Ah. There were pools on the floor and gathered between her body and the rest of the curved seat.

Tap, tap, tap-tap.

According to the data on the fourth planet in the Febrius V system, it was an emerging world with a potentially breathable atmosphere and adequate dihydrogen monoxide for water-based life forms to rehydrate if necessary.

Somehow, Xanadu had felt it would be necessary, if she survived the uncontrolled landing she’d needed to make, due to the failure of secondary and tertiary control thrusters. In fact, she was lucky she’d been within entry range. With only her primary thrusters to work with, she’d made pulse after pulse until the ship grazed the atmosphere, followed by a drastically elliptical entry.

She stopped herself thinking of the scoundrel she’d left before she got into this mess. No past, only present. The present was… uncomfortable but tolerable. Except for that damn tapping.

How was she to get out of here?

Preferably alive.

By fixing the secondary and tertiary engines.

Probably the primaries needed work now too. And the main engine core.

Okay, first, get a sitrep on the engines and core.

That means, reboot the computer.

Okay, let’s see if we can deploy the solar gain accumulator….

Maybe it would help if she unstrapped herself.

And now, move to an upright position.

She hauled herself forward, watched the water pool underneath her, and vowed not to sit again in a hurry. Feet planted either side of the joystick, she grabbed the handholds above the control panel, and peered out of the porthole, the opposite side from the beam of light.

A moue of her lips suggested that she didn’t think much of the view.

She slumped uncomfortably against the sidewall, avoiding the projecting handles of the hatch. Perhaps if she soaked up that water she could suck the moisture out and sit down again.

If she sat down again she might never wake up again.

This wasn’t a bad dream was it?

It wasn’t.

An hour passed. Xanadu sucked water, found rations, and used the emergency tapes to read the air composition inside and out. The mini-airlock worked perfectly well, thanks to its manual controls.

Well, she thought, shaking her hair free of the helmet, and stretching. I’m ready to face this world. Let’s hope the engines are fixable.

She opened the small hatch and shimmied out.

Warm, sulphurous, but breathable, just as the tapes had read. The ground was squidgy with some sort of moss. The pH of the surface liquid was nothing to worry about, maybe weak carbolic acid, nothing corrosive. The ship was sitting at an angle, on its base plate, so the guidance and attitude controls had worked right up to the end. Why wasn’t it working now?

She climbed up onto the thorax, as she called the large central section, and sat astride the dorsal secondary thruster, pondering. Something flicked past her ear and she shooed it away. Something fly-like. Well, it could fly off.

A methodical approach to problem solving is the first step towards success spaceflight, she reminded herself. She used to hate Professor Methodical, as they all called him. They used to mouth it behind his back during lectures, but it was a mantra that had stayed with her. What would Professor Methodical do if he was stranded on a live planet on a dead ship? Use your ingenuity. Oh ye gods, it was like being in a simulator with him. Wait, was she in a simulator? How could she tell? What is reality? Is being tapped on the shoulder by a small — aggh!!

She brushed off the annoying leg and fell backwards.

Have you ever looked into a fly’s eyes? Millions of eyes, all black and sparkling.

As she picked herself off the ground, she thanked whatever god had brought her here for the soft landing.

“Go away!”

The fly remained on the side, irritatingly poised at an angle defying gravity. It seemed to look at her with a questioning tilt to its head. It was just keeping in balance, she told herself.

“Look, I need to get back up there and deploy the solar array. Stop irritating me. You aren’t poisonous are you?”

Maybe. It had wicked fangs.

“And I’m so dehydrated that you can leave me alone. I’m not juicy, even if I do look fat. I always look fat in this. Humans do.”

She walked alongside the fuselage about six metres and climbed to the solar array.

“Ah, you see? It’s jammed. Not surprising, really—not coming through your atmosphere like that. Should have burnt off. The flanges worked.”

She fiddled with the sturdy metal struts and hatches a little more, then “Yay!” as the arm unfolded, and the solar array started to unfurl itself.

“Now, we wait.”

The ground was not appealing as a place to sit: soft, but oozing. The fly returned to the secondary thruster and moved aft towards her. She shuffled further back, so she was in the shade of the array. The length of the shadow made her realise…

“Shit, how long are your days here, anyway? Huh?”

The fly tapped on the fuselage. Eight times.

“Eight of what? Hey! Don’t tell me you’re a telepath!”

The eyes blinked in a sort of rippling effect. Three more solar arrays unfurled from their various hatches. Good. The first had earned some juice. Now to get enough to at least get the computer up and retreat inside for the night.

“Okay,” she said, climbing down the fuselage. “When I get in, I’m going to say goodnight, and settle in for a rest and recovery session. And by that I mean I’m going to get myself the hell away from here. So don’t you and your friends stay too close. Because when we go, it’s like… whoosh!”

She got herself half in the module and turned to pull the hatch closed. The fly seemed to watch her.

She let herself down onto the floor.

The fly stood at the edge, its head half in the hole.

“No way, Jose — you stay right where you are!”

It pulled back enough to let her close the hatch. The eyes rippled a pattern, but she couldn’t say what or why.

The computer reboot light came on, and circuits started their oh-so-reassuring hum.

The storage units read fifty percent full when the sun went down. By that time, Xanadu had worked on a plan to utilise the carbolic acid in the fluid beneath the ship to provide the kickstart fuel the primaries needed to lift off. If she could fix the secondary coil coupling as soon as the sun came up, she’d be ready to roll. The tertiaries were using the same faulty coupling. Xanadu smiled grimly as she realised—she’d always said it was a weakness that should have been designed out.

As night went on, the grimness got worse. How long would this night last? The computer had no data on the planet’s rotation.

To save time, she got the computer to strain and load the carbolic acid and start processing. The warning light on the batteries came on after half an hour. There must be a way she could get more done before daylight returned…

The computer flashed a response back on the day length. It had obviously had enough time to measure rotation against the star background.

Four point six earth years.

When she decided there was no point sitting there in stunned silence, she screamed. Once her voice was so cracked it refused further abuse, she wept. Then she curled up and went to sleep.

Tapping woke her. It was still dark. She shut her eyes and told it to go away.

The light outside grew fast. Strange, sunset had been very slow. The tapping started again. Oh heck, what did they want now?

She opened the small hatch. The light came from the bodies of some insects the fly had brought with it. The fly tapped on her arm, then on the side of the hatch, then on the edge of the rim.

What?

Hatch… rim.

Close it again?

The fly took the lighted insects up to the solar arrays. The warning light went off. The processing continued. The batteries charged quickly; Xanadu couldn’t remember seeing anything like it before.

“Engines ready for departure,” the computer flashed.

“Okay” she said uncertainly. She tapped experimentally on the hatch cover. A return tapping suggested they’d heard her.

The light departed. Xanadu watched it float over the uneven bog, and hoped she’d really got enough carbo-fuel to make it off this godforsaken dump.

Well, if it worked, maybe it wasn’t godforsaken after all.

The primaries caught, the secondaries supported, and the tertiary thrusters made all the necessary adjustments for a perfect launch. She hoped she hadn’t boiled too many insects in her wake.

It certainly wasn’t the insects that would have killed her.

© J M Pett 2018

About Jemima Pett

When Jemima Pett discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ she realised she was an example of a new trend – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in her spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… Jemima loved words, loved to learn and to apply her learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so she went back to inventing her own, as she had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Her next project could be anything from a D&D fantasy type world, to a children’s picture book about the real adventures of her guinea pigs, who live with her in a small village in Norfolk, UK.

Jemima’s latest book The Princelings of the North

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Princelings-North-East-Book-ebook/dp/B0785RY891

A selection of other books by Jemima Pett

One of the excellent reviews for Book One in the series The Princelings of the East

We follow Fred and George, Fred who is the thinker or Philosopher and George who is the Engineer, but the totally unique and endearing thing about these two totally lovable characters is that they are in fact Guinea Pigs. But not just your average guinea pigs that eat lettuce and live in a cage, they are Princelings and they live in a castle, contribute to its fine tuning and banter with the humans.

Fred and George remind me of an English cartoon that is currently showing on Australian television called Country Mouse and City Mouse, which I recently realised is a retelling of Aesops Fable.
The two mice are intelligent adventurers who travel around, but they have different likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses which help them along in their adventures.

Similarly, Fred and George are brothers with very different talents and interests but they work together on their adventures, that’s until they get separated and have to work apart to solve the mystery of the Energy Drain.

I enjoyed this book very much and I was intrigued the whole way, itching to find out the answer to mysterious energy drain. I won’t spoil it but there may be some wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans ( sorry that is a Dr Who quote which I realise if you aren’t a super nerd like me, Yes I own a Tardis, you won’t have a clue what I am talking about lol.) I loved the reference to Wozna Cola which sounded an awful lot like a certain dark coloured liquid that has taken the world by storm for about 4 decades

This was a clean read, with no violence at all which I think is such a credit to the author as I feel quite passionate about this very topic when considering if a book is for a Middle Grade audience. I would recommend this to 10+ plus due to the intricacy of the plot and there is quite a cast of characters to follow. I also feel that this story would be more appealing to boys than girls.

I like the cover, but I do wish that it had pictures of Fred and George as I think that would totally appeal to kids to help them visualise these completely adorable guinea pigs.

I am looking forward to reading the further adventures of Fred and George.

Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima

Blog: http://jemimapett.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemima_pett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jemima.pett

My thanks to Jemima for this terrific short story and I know she would enjoy your feedback. I will check on comments when I return. Thanks Sally

 

 

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


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

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

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

Thursday 15th February.

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

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

Friday 16th February

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

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

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

Saturday 17th February.

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

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

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

Sunday 18th February

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

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

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

Monday 19th February

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

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

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

Tuesday 20th February

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Christmas Past by Jemima Pett


Welcome to another piece of Flash Fiction from children’s author Jemima Pett. She mentioned when she sent through the short story that it mirrored her life growing up… as you will see.. What it must be like for the fairy on top of the Christmas tree….

Christmas Past by Jemima Pett

The fairy clambered over the pine needles and came face to face with the globe of blue and white swirls on its golden surface. It was a grand reunion. She remembered when she’d first seen it, that Christmas in 1968 when everyone was watching the pictures from the spacecraft. She rested a while, contemplating Christmases past.

She’d been with this tree for years now, ever since she was a wee thing not long out of fairy-school. There had been another one. She’d played with that for two years and learned about the Outside from it, since that was where it spent the rest of the year. She would have liked to go outside with it and guard it properly, like a fairy should, but it said it was safe the rest of the year, and the fairy could rest in peace and quiet once her main task was done.

This tree lived in a box, like she did, once the season was over. They used to live at the top of a cupboard, but now they lived under the stairs. It wasn’t as quiet, but it was safe.

Each year when she came out of her box, she looked around to check where she was. For the first twenty years it had been a pleasant, east-facing room with a chimney and a coal fire. There was one long chair and two armchairs. The family sat and watched the picture box in the corner, or read books, or played games. She used to watch them do that, wondering if she could ever learn how to count money to buy Mayfair. Each year the children grew taller, then they disappeared. The girl always came back, and the middle son usually came for the day. She didn’t know where the others went, although the eldest came to see her now.

One Christmas she had a surprise. She was in a completely different place. This was a very light room, facing south, and it was always warm. The picture box was in a different corner, closer to her, and was much larger. The adults were, well, greyer than she remembered them, and the children were taller than ever. The same size as the adults in fact. About five years later there was a baby again, she came with the middle son and another woman the fairy hadn’t met before. It was nice having children around again. That continued for about five years, then they didn’t visit but her two old people went out, maybe to see them, she thought.

Another twenty years passed before anything else exceptional happened. She was taken aback when she found herself climbing the tree in a new place, in a bay window right next to a road. The room was low and dim, and quite small, although pleasant enough with pretty furniture. They were so close to the road she could watch the children going up and down the pavement, going to and from school, and then other people hurrying past, going up the hill in the morning, and down it again in the evening. The girl of the family was the only one in the house, and she went out in the morning and joined people going up the hill, too. The following year the room was even smaller. The tree was perched on a box in a corner by a bookshelf. All the furniture was squeezed into one room. She wondered what was happening, but the girl was there, and people visited, and they had a nice Christmas, so the fairy assumed all was well.

The following year the tree was in another new place, this one. Some years she was in the front window, and others she was in the corner of the living room. The tree didn’t have any comment to make, but then trees aren’t given to making comments. She would have liked a little conversation though. It could be lonely being a fairy.

She looked at the blue and white swirly globe. She could just make out her face in it. She was looking a little older, wings a bit tattered round the edges, but she was still as dainty as ever. I’m not as fit as I was, though, she muttered as she started her climb up to the top branch. There were no swans clipped on the branches now, but there were some pretty shiny birds who didn’t have much conversation. The big snowball had gone, and so had many of the old ornaments. The pretty purple bell was there, joined by more bells, small glass ones with ornaments making the clangers, and larger, wooden ones, beautifully decorated, who had introduced themselves very politely and explained they’d come from India. There was a reed-woven llama on a long string that spoke of a lake high in the mountains of Peru. There were matching gold and red globes with elegant decorations that told her of a much smaller tree they had decorated in the small room where the road was so close.

Christmas tree 2012She climbed past the icicles, only two of them now, but they were even older than her. Old. It was funny being a fairy on a Christmas tree. Work hard for a few weeks once a year, and count the years go by. She reckoned she must be the same age as the girl, now grey-haired, who sat and enjoyed her Christmas once again with her brother.

This was a nice house, she thought, as she did every year. She was lucky to have found a family that looked after her. She climbed past the little angel ornaments, one with a light, one with a lamb, another with a star and the last with a little tree. They were older than her too.

She reached the final ascent. She climbed over the end of the tinsel, shinned up the twig to the top light, and took up her place.

She always made sure her family had a merry Christmas.

©Jemima Pett

About Jemima Pett

When Jemima Pett discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ she realised she was an example of a new trend – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in her spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… Jemima loved words, loved to learn and to apply her learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so she went back to inventing her own, as she had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Her next project could be anything from a D&D fantasy type world, to a children’s picture book about the real adventures of her guinea pigs, who live with her in a small village in Norfolk, UK.

A selection of books by Jemima Pett

One of the reviews for Book 7 of the Princelings Series Willoughby the Narrator.

Jul 09, 2017 Victoria Zigler rated it Five Stars.

I loved hearing Willoughby’s whole story, and thought the addition of some of his tales when he’s telling them was a nice touch.

And as J.M Pett,   About White Water Landings.

White Water Landings – views of the Imperial Airways Africa service from the ground

The silver bird straightened up and sank lower, lower, until it met the sea with a sleek spray that rushed past the windows in its fuselage. M’beriali – the imperial mail bird, as it became known in Swahili – had arrived!

Imperial Airways’ man at Lindi, East Africa, was Geoffrey Pett, then just 22 years old. Selected as a Commercial Trainee aged eighteen, he was posted to the middle of Africa to look after the ground arrangements for the new ‘Empire’ Flying Boat Service between London and Cape Town/Durban. His Africa postings ranged between Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast, Juba, now in South Sudan, and Butiaba on Lake Albert, Uganda. His war years were as traffic superintendant at Cairo (and at RAF Wadi Saidna, Sudan), handling troop movements and other priority personnel on the civilian aircraft, as well as ensuring the ‘Horseshoe Route’ between South Africa and Australia operated at its turning point, Cairo. His career continued with the new British Overseas Airways Company, through BEA into British Airways, until ill-health retirement in 1968.

Geoffrey was often sought out for his memoirs of Imperial Airways in Africa. After his death in 2005, he left a box of memorabilia including his photograph album and a set of tapes dictated between 1995 and 2004. His daughter, J M Pett, has laboured over the contents, producing this book to place the information out in the wider world. More content and links to archive material are on the website http://whitewaterlandings.co.uk.

Praise for White Water Landings:

a remarkable and significant piece of aviation and colonial history… shining through his memoirs is a capacity to ‘make do’…, and the sense of the Imperial ‘family’ as a source of identity, support and obligation away from home. … he reveals anxiety and frustration,cynicism for arbitrary authority… Told fondly, plainly and modestly, with touches of humour, Geoffrey’s story reads easily and lingers long. The text is equally delightful as family history, autobiography, and colonial history.” — Professor Gordon Pirie, Deputy Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, and Editor of the Journal of Transport History

The romance of the Golden Age of flying meets the romance of two people torn apart by war.”

Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima

Blog: http://jemimapett.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemima_pett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jemima.pett

My thanks to Jemima for this lovely story in tribute to the fairy on the top of the tree.. Don’t forget to thank yours this year… Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas posts from Your Archives – Christmas Lights by Jemima Pett


Time for some Flash Fiction from children’s author Jemima Pett and that is more than appropriate as you will see when you read the story….. torches at the ready.

Christmas Lights by Jemima Pett

BANG!

We sat in darkness. No lights on the Christmas tree, no television.

“Oh dear!” Grandmother’s querulous voice said it all, really.

“I think we blew a fuse,” I said, getting to my feet, wondering what lay between me and the door, since I’d been too engrossed in the film to notice what baby Evie had been playing with. “Don’t worry, I’ll soon have it fixed. Just stay where you are, Gran.”

A howl showed Evie’s direction. I shuffled over, kicking building blocks, or something like them, out of the way, managing not to sprain my ankle. I picked her up, producing more howls.

“It’s just the electricity gone out, poppet. Let me put you in your pen, you’ll be safe there with Teddy.”

“Noooooo! Ma-ma, Ma-ma.”

“Mama will be back soon, pet. Here we are. Safe and sound. Here’s Teddy.”

The sound of something large and soft hitting the side of the playpen suggested that Teddy was getting the rough end of her temper. Wails and tears accompanied the sound, but being a hard-hearted aunt, I left her to it. Mama wasn’t going to be back for a good while yet. Light was the best remedy for this problem.

I felt my way to the wall, and negotiated the side of the room. Good thing I was in my own house. You couldn’t move for clutter in Gran’s, and you just couldn’t move in Evie’s, for fear of stepping on something.

I found the door and stepped out into the cool of the hallway. Somewhere I had a wind-up torch, ready for just such an occasion. I felt around, tangling myself in the tinsel that decorated the stairs, and found, not a torch, but my handbag. My phone was in my handbag. If the battery wasn’t flat, that had a flashlight. Success!

You would think you could walk around your own house in the dark with no trouble. You know it like the back of your hand, right? The trouble is, at Christmas you’ve moved things around so that you can get enough people in. And there are Evie’s things in the hallway – buggy, bags, toy bag for downstairs (and another in her bedroom).

I safely negotiated my way through to the utility room. I shone the light on the electricity fuse box. Sure enough, three of the switches were down. I put them back up. Lights came on. Relief.

I had just reached the living room door when – BANG!

Screams from the playpen and Gran’s seat as the lights went out again.

“These lights flickered,” called Gran.

“Which lights, Gran?”

“The ones on the tree.”

“Hmmm. Let me unplug them, then.” The phone flashlight did its stuff as I crept in front of Grandmother and squeezed between her walking frame and the tree. The socket for the lights was in the usual place – impossible to reach without knocking the tree over. I ignored Grandmother’s complaints as I reached for the plug and pulled it out. The lights couldn’t be affecting the mains circuits, they hardly raised 10 watts between them. Their plug was fused anyway. If it had been the lights, the fuse in the plug would have gone, not the mains.

“Ok, Gran,” I calmed her as she moaned at me. At her age anywhere you touched her hurt, so I tried hard not to touch her. Frankly, I’d tried not to touch her since I was about five, but that’s another story. I’d always been bewildered by these stories of loving grandmothers. Mine had ruled her sons with a rod of iron, and expected her grandchildren to toe the line too. Now she was under my roof, I reckoned she had to live by my rules. The only ones I had were Tolerance, Forgiveness and Don’t Eat Animals, but only the last was easy while she was here.

I managed to get away without upsetting her too much, and returned to the fuse box.

The circuit the tree lights were on must be this one, I thought, putting its switch back up. Nothing much happened, except Evie stopped howling. Whether the grizzling was related to time or to a change in her circumstances I didn’t know. I thought I’d better check.

The plug-in nightlight was working. She was staring at it, fascinated by something, but still grizzling.

“There you are, poppet,” I said. “Enough light to see you by now, at any rate. OK? I’ll check on the other lights now.”

I was on my way back to the fuse box when I stopped. The tree lights had been on the plug and socket downstairs circuit. So had Evie’s nightlight and the television. Why hadn’t the television come back on?

Evie started giggling. It was the sort of chortle she made when someone was entertaining her. Not the giggle when she watched something funny on television. She seemed well able to distinguish the difference between television people and real people. This was her real people giggle.

I sneaked back to the door and peered round it.

In the pink glow of the nightlight I could see Grandmother’s face. It was drawn into a travesty of a smile. Her eyes were wide, staring and perfectly dry, unlike their normal state. Her mouth was open, slack. Something inside me clenched into knots as I looked around towards the playpen.

A line of small people were balanced on the top rail of Evie’s playpen. She continued to giggle, one hand stuffed in her mouth, the other pointing at them, almost counting them as she moved from one to another. More people emerged from the nightlight, a stream of mini-humanoids, all glowing pale pink.

As I stood there I realised my mouth was open, jaw slack, just like Gran. I shut it firmly, and strode back to the fuse box. The flashlight gave me just enough time to turn the circuit fuse off and flip the others back on before it gave out.

The house lights came on. The television came on. How? I ran back to the living room. “Evie? Evie?”

She was sitting in her playpen, moving Teddy’s arms up and down. “Dance, Teddy,” she said, quite distinctly. She was safe. Had I imagined it?

I turned to Grandmother.

Her walking frame remained, but she had vanished.

©Jemima Pett 2013

About Jemima Pett

When Jemima Pett discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ she realised she was an example of a new trend – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in her spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… Jemima loved words, loved to learn and to apply her learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so she went back to inventing her own, as she had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Her next project could be anything from a D&D fantasy type world, to a children’s picture book about the real adventures of her guinea pigs, who live with her in a small village in Norfolk, UK.

A selection of books by Jemima Pett

One of the reviews for Book 7 of the Princelings Series Willoughby the Narrator.

Jul 09, 2017 Victoria Zigler rated it Five Stars.

I loved hearing Willoughby’s whole story, and thought the addition of some of his tales when he’s telling them was a nice touch.

And as J.M Pett,   About White Water Landings.

White Water Landings – views of the Imperial Airways Africa service from the ground

The silver bird straightened up and sank lower, lower, until it met the sea with a sleek spray that rushed past the windows in its fuselage. M’beriali – the imperial mail bird, as it became known in Swahili – had arrived!

Imperial Airways’ man at Lindi, East Africa, was Geoffrey Pett, then just 22 years old. Selected as a Commercial Trainee aged eighteen, he was posted to the middle of Africa to look after the ground arrangements for the new ‘Empire’ Flying Boat Service between London and Cape Town/Durban. His Africa postings ranged between Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast, Juba, now in South Sudan, and Butiaba on Lake Albert, Uganda. His war years were as traffic superintendant at Cairo (and at RAF Wadi Saidna, Sudan), handling troop movements and other priority personnel on the civilian aircraft, as well as ensuring the ‘Horseshoe Route’ between South Africa and Australia operated at its turning point, Cairo. His career continued with the new British Overseas Airways Company, through BEA into British Airways, until ill-health retirement in 1968.

Geoffrey was often sought out for his memoirs of Imperial Airways in Africa. After his death in 2005, he left a box of memorabilia including his photograph album and a set of tapes dictated between 1995 and 2004. His daughter, J M Pett, has laboured over the contents, producing this book to place the information out in the wider world. More content and links to archive material are on the website http://whitewaterlandings.co.uk.

Praise for White Water Landings:

a remarkable and significant piece of aviation and colonial history… shining through his memoirs is a capacity to ‘make do’…, and the sense of the Imperial ‘family’ as a source of identity, support and obligation away from home. … he reveals anxiety and frustration,cynicism for arbitrary authority… Told fondly, plainly and modestly, with touches of humour, Geoffrey’s story reads easily and lingers long. The text is equally delightful as family history, autobiography, and colonial history.” — Professor Gordon Pirie, Deputy Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, and Editor of the Journal of Transport History

The romance of the Golden Age of flying meets the romance of two people torn apart by war.”

Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima

Blog: http://jemimapett.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemima_pett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jemima.pett

My thanks to Jemima for this spooky Christmas tale and there will be more from Jemima nearer to Christmas..Please share if you can. thanks Sally