Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Book on the Shelves #Non-Fiction The Secret Life of Humans: Reflections on the Good, the Bad and the Painful by Jo Robinson


Delighted to share the news of the return of Jo Robinson with a new book just in time for Christmas. A  non-fiction look at what makes us human. The Secret Life of Humans: Reflections on the Good, the Bad and the Painful.

About the book

What makes us human? Sadly most people hide the most interesting and helpful of these things away. We walk around with facades in place of who we believe people will like, respect, and love. We pretend to be what we are not. In so doing we are losing touch with our own humanity, and progressively, individually and as societies, moving farther and farther away from who and what we really are. This book delves into the dangers of this.

It explores reality and the things that hurt and hinder humanity. The things that if we finally begin to consider could save ourselves and the world we live on if we would only take the time to ponder them.

No holds are barred in the examination of mental aberration, societal aberration, the things that people prefer to pretend not to see in the world and also inside themselves. Finally it suggests ways that logic and conscious acceptance of fact can change the things that we hide in the shadows.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Jo Robinson

One of the recent reviews for African Me and Satellite TV by Kevin Cooper

A truly remarkable and beautiful story. I was drawn to this book because my great aunt lived in Zimbabwe for may years. I had heard some tales form her in person. Reading this book really gave me some more insight as to the goings on in Zimbabwe around the same time. I don’t want to give away too much away. The story is really about suzette and how her gardener, Christopher see her for the great person the she really is. She is totally oblivious to Christopher’s modest interest in her until the Sherman’s arrive and disrupt life as she knows it.

The Sherman’s are hateful and deeply racist and are the kind of people that you don’t want to mess with. They are capable of anything. After beating their maid, a fragile old woman (who is treated more like a slave) they leave her for dead at the side of a road. Christopher finds her and brings her to the Hertzog’s. Suzette takes her in and makes her part of the family…it is then that she begins to get to know Christopher better. But the Sherman’s are not happy with Suzette caring for “their” maid and decide to exact revenge for the interference. Twisting things to make it look like suzette is in the wrong. Things turn from nasty to evil for suzette and her household and, if you will allow,the plot thickens.

Read the other  reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Jo on: Goodreads

About Jo Robinson

Jo Robinson currently resides in her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for many years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. Her stories are mostly about people, and the sometimes dark twists that life takes. She also writes science fiction/fantasy, humour, and horror, not being one to restrict herself.

Find out more about Jo’s author services: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/indie-author-services/

Connect to Jo

Blog: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J-C-Robinson-405248799532723
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jorobinson176

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to discover more about Jo’s new book.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Thriller John W. Howell – #Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts – #ParanormalRomance Linda G. Hill – #Poetry Ritu Bhathal


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

To make it easier for you to buy I will provide the US and UK Amazon Author Pages and Goodreads Page for the author where you will find the featured book and also the others by the author.

The first author is John W. Howell with a stand alone novel – Circumstances of Childhood.. I have read all of John’s book and enjoy his style of writing and this this novel was not exception. They would make great gifts to friends and family.

About Circumstances of Childhood.

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

A recent review for the book.

I truly enjoyed this novel and I hope John W. Howell keeps writing for a very long time. One thing that really impresses me is the care he takes in his writing…his dialogue skills and the way he creates believable but awesome characters (in this case – Greg and Keith Petros). This book hit all the marks for what I love a great story: fast-paced, surprising twists, characters I could root for, characters to hate/despise/feel pity/willing to save, and of course an ending that had me snapping my Kindle shut and thinking – noooo way, I’d like to read more..! If you want a good book that keeps you glued to the page, read this one or better all of the books by this author!

Three last words: exceptional, suspenseful and smart! Go, grab it!

Also by John W. Howell.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US author page

and on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow John: John Howell Goodreads

Connect to John: John W. Howell

The next author enjoying a recent review is Hugh W. Roberts for his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses I have read and can recommend as a great gift for someone who enjoys reading some edgy short stories.. expect the unexpected.

About More Glimpses

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or know the real truth about what lurks inside every mobile phone? Would you steal items from a blind person, or send your neighbours on a time travelling adventure fraught with danger and menace to save the human race from a bug? How about staying in a sleepy village where many murders have taken place or coming to the aid of royalty while out shopping?

‘More Glimpses’ gives the reader an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of normal, everyday people whose lives are all on a path full of twists, turns and unexpected endings. However, it’s not only about the humans; nothing escapes the extraordinary journeys Hugh has planned for you. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’ then you’re in for another exciting trip in this second collection from Hugh. Come and meet the characters who had no idea their lives were about to be turned upside-down. Enjoy the ride!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

After reading Glimpses, Hugh Roberts’ first anthology of short stories, I was enthused to see his second book out for sale. More Glimpses fulfils its title by giving the reader a snapshot view into the lives of the characters colouring the pages, sharing moments of conflict, grandeur and horror before the shutter closes and the next story begins. Some dwell in the macabre; others are downright delightful in their telling. Hugh weaves his storytelling web over these bite-size stories, bringing to life the colourful characters, warts and all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was lucky enough to receive my copy from the author himself. I look forward to his next anthology as I’m sure it will be just as thrilling as Glimpses and More Glimpses.

Also by Hugh W. Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Hugh :Hugh Roberts Goodreads

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog: Hugh’s Views and News

A now something for those who enjoy some romance/paranormal in their reading. Linda G. Hill with the most recent review for her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

About the book

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 starsAn intriguing read May 13, 2019

Herman has a most unusual name which has been a burden to her all her school life. Why on earth would her parents saddle her with a boy’s name? As this interesting book, filled with magic and mystery progresses, Herman finds out that it is not only her name that is unusual about her, or her parents choice that is unusual about them.

Herman’s mother has been very ill for a long time and her father is never there to offer any support to his family. Herman assumed the role of mother to her younger brother, Chad, when she was very young and now she is breaking free to establish a life for herself. She plans to bring her brother to live with her once she is settled and earning an income. On the train to her new job, Herman meets a riveting young man who introduces himself as Stephen. Much to Herman’s surprise, Stephen professes to be as taken with her as she is with him, so when he asks her to work for him as his assistant she doesn’t put up much of a fight. Fortunately for Herman, Stephen, who is a magician, is genuine in his offer for her to become his assistant and she quickly discovers that there is more to his magic than meets the eye. In fact, Herman soon comes to realise that the household staff and Stephen’s entire lifestyle is fairly unorthodox.

The attraction between Herman and Stephen is incredibly strong but Herman can sense there is something not quite right with their relationship and this causes her to hold back from committing herself completely to him. What is Stephen’s secret and will Herman be able to accept it when she eventually discovers what it is? I did like the fact that the character of Stephen illustrated respect for Herman and gave her the opportunity to make her own choice about his unusual situation.

This book is for adults and, although not graphic, it does contain descriptions of sex and suggestions of sexual freedoms. The romantic aspect of this book is the overriding genre with the supernatural element playing a lessor role.

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Linda on: Goodreads

Connect to Linda via her website: Linda G. Hill

And the final book today is the poetry collection from Ritu Bhathal which has received wonderful review and would make a lovely gift for poetry lovers- Poetry Rituals

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

 Read all the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

and other reviews: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Ritu: Goodreads

Connect to Ritu:But I smile anyway

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more Christmas Book recommendations over the weekend. Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Sally’s Book Reviews – Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes, Illustrated by Jo Robinson


My review today is for the beautifully written and illustrated children’s book Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes and illustrated by Jo Robinson.

About Myrtle the Purple Turtle

Myrtle is a lovely Turtle. Not an ordinary Turtle. She is Purple and different from other turtles. After being bullied by another turtle, Myrtle tries to become someone else. In the end, Myrtle and her friends help children learn to not be afraid of being different. Myrtle the Purple Turtle is a thoroughly engaging story that stresses the importance of self-acceptance and friendship.

My review for Myrtle the PurpleTurtle

Beautifully illustrated children’s book with a lesson for us all.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book, that gently encourages the young to accept that being different should be celebrated. Whether it is the colour of a person’s skin, accent, cultural background, religion or disability, they should never feel excluded and forced to change to fit in. Adapting is a different thing altogether and that comes when two people or groups respect each other’s differences, learn from them and adopt some elements in common. Cynthia Reyes expresses that effectively with the words in this book, complimented perfectly with wonderful illustrations of Myrtle and those she meets along the way by Jo Robinson. I also believe that parents or any adults reading this to a child, will also take on board how important it is for young children to grasp this concept as they enter this multi-cultural world we live in.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075ZGB235

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myrtle-Purple-Turtle-Cynthia-Reyes/dp/0620773421

Also by Cynthia Reyes

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Read the reviews for both books and BUY: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

Read more reviews and follow Cynthia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes

61etre3zbbl-_ux250_Connect to Cynthia Reyes via her blog: https://cynthiasreyes.com/

Illustrations by Jo Robinson

Jo Robinson currently resides in her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for many years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. Her stories are mostly about people, and the sometimes dark twists that life takes. She also writes science fiction/fantasy, humour, and horror, not being one to restrict herself.

Find out more about Jo’s author services: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/indie-author-services/

Book Review – Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight by Jo Robinson


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I don’t give people stars for their reviews for the books that I read. However, for me a book has to deliver three key elements to engage my interest in the first place and keep me reading to the end.  These three elements are Physical, Mental and Emotional connection to the story, characters and narrative.

jo-robinson-photo-1-21

Even if I was not familiar with Jo Robinson’s writing in other books, her blog and her social media posts, and was reading her work for the first time I would certainly be emotionally drawn in.

Donna is the main character of Echoes of Narcissus and from the first time you meet her you know and feel both her fear and her pain. This empathy is not drawn from a text book description of how the victim of a narcissistic personality feels, but from some experience and deep understanding of this form of corrosive relationship. Mentally I enjoy a story that is well researched and then crafted to ensure I understand it well.

After 30 years of living with the daily anticipation of dismissive disdain and rigid control, Donna now aged 55 reached a crossroads in her life. Having been isolated deliberately from outside influence for those years, it is almost as frightening being tantalised by freedom, as it is being incarcerated.

But life intrudes, as do people without an agenda, who reach out a hand expecting nothing in return.  People who share her passion for nature and who have themselves esperienced the harsh realities of life.

Marco, Donna’s husband is portrayed with chilling and menacing accuracy and his presence makes you physically want to intrude into the story to protect his fragile victim.

But, out of the darkness and with a courage that is nurtured by her new friends, Donna finally understands that she has to fight to survive and move on.

She is helped unexpectedly by unforseen events that for many people would seem to be the final straw, but for Donna offer an open door to pass through if she is only brave enough to take it.

If you have experienced the behaviour of narcisstic people in your life then you will immediately identify with the characters and the story.  If you have not had that pleasure then I suggest you read because it is an absorbing plot with real people and experiences woven into a tale of despair, rejuvenation, hope and the discovery of love in new places.

I would recommend that you read Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight as it certainly gave me great pleasure.

You can buy the book from these links and please do follow Jo’s blog if you do not already do so.

https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

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