Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Linda Bradley, John W. Howell and Gwen Plano and Deanie Humphrys-Dunne


Welcome to the second of the author updates this week with recent reviews from authors on the shelves.

The first author to have received recent reviews, is Linda Bradley for Maggie’s Way – Montana Bound Series Book 1

About Maggie’s Way

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

One of the reviews for the book

Lovely story of a women who after 26 years of marriage feels her life slipping away. The story tells her relationship with her pesky 7 year old neighbor and how Maggie finds herself, her own way in life and realizes she can find happiness. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Maybe a 7 year can make her see a happy life is there and nothing is always perfect. You can find it. Story is slow in some areas and often you find out what occurred to the characters after you learn the outcome of it all. Interesting way to lay out the story line.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZSOX4BA

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggies-Way-Montana-Bound-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZSOX4BA

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

Connect to Linda via her website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

The next authors with a recent review are John W. Howell and Gwen Plano for their co-written paranormal thriller.. The Contract.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

L.D. Tanner 5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Fast-Pace Thriller with Paranormal Reflections of Life’s Journey  July 22, 2019

“The Contract Between Heaven and Earth” by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano is a unique paranormal thriller with a strong element of romance. The story immediately hooked me in the first chapter when celestial soul mates are sent to earth to help prevent a catastrophic event on earth. Their souls are incarnated into their hosts: an abused wife who has been almost choked to death and a Navy Seal who has mortal wounds. Memories from their past lives are erased and replaced with memories of Brad and Sarah, who are both on the brink of death. Brad and Sarah recover from their wounds and begin a new life. Sarah leaves her husband, who has dubious connections to terrorists. Brad finds a new career in civilian life as a writer. Brad is approached by a CIA agent to gather information about Sarah and the activities with her former husband. However, when they meet, they inexplicably fall in love with each other. As their love grows, Brad is torn that he is withholding the truth about his connections with the CIA. Their lives are thrown into a whirlwind when an attempt in made on their lives. The action accelerates as the conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States is revealed, but they don’t know who to trust. The climax ends in a twist, tying back to the original mission of the celestial soul mates.

Authors Howell and Plano have taut writing styles that moves quickly from scene to scene, but the romance is heartfelt. The characters are engaging, and I cared about what happened to them. The authors are able to blend suspense, romance, and paranormal elements to make this a riveting thriller mixed with reflections about what each person learns on his/her life’s journey.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

 Read the reviews and buy the books: 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

You can connect to John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

My final author with a recent review for her memoir My Life at Sweetbriar : A Life Changed by Horses, is Deanie Humphrys-Dunne.

About My Life at Sweetbriar

What if you grew up on a horse farm and your single passion was to become a champion horseback rider? The problem is, you were born with a disability. Doctors tell your parents you’ll never walk, let alone ride. What will happen next? What does her dad do that changes her life? Will a failed racehorse and a handicapped girl become a winning team? This is the author’s true story of her journey. Even if Deanie prevails, will she find exactly the right horse to help her win?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jun 18, 2019 Debra Cox rated it Five Stars

Life is tough, sometimes. But, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne proves to readers in My Life at Sweetbrier, that if they persevere, anything is possible. The author encourages children to set goals and reach for their dreams, as one day they may even beat the odds, like she did. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, doctors were convinced that Deanie would never be able to walk. Deanie’s Daddy refused to accept their opinion and shortly after, made the decision that changed Deanie’s life, for good. He thought that learning to ride would help Deanie’s legs get stronger so she could walk. Her determined father helped Deanie not only to learn how to ride and to walk, but to also follow her dream of becoming a champion horseback rider. Ultimately, it’s Deanie’s fighter spirit that makes her a winner.

The writing style is a little repetitive, but from a child’s perspective the language is aimed accurately, and it flows well. The fact that the author is very honest and speaks to the reader like a friend, adds to the story’s charm. I actually appreciated all the equine terminology, since I know nothing about horse riding. The old black and white photos capturing moments of Deanie’s life, help the reader immerse into Sweetbrier, too.

I was moved by this inspirational true story. My motto is also, ‘Never give up,’ and now, I’m certain, it’s definitely the right attitude to have in life. Children will be motivated to try their best, definitely recommending it!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Sweetbrier-Changed-Horses-ebook/dp/B0711P67DM

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Life-Sweetbrier-Changed-Horses-ebook/dp/B0711P67DM

Also by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15S

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15

Follow Deanie Humphrys- Dunne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3309880.Deanie_Humphrys_Dunne

Connect to Deanie on her website: http://www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com

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

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – S.A. Harris, Geoff Le Pard, John W. Howell and Gwen Plano


Welcome to the second of the cafe updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.. the first author is Sally Harris who has recently joined the bookstore with her book Haverscroft.

About the Book

Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?

Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.

One of the early reviews for the book

I read this book at one sitting. It is beautifully constructed with what turns out to be a complex multi layered story. It is told through the eyes of the main protagonist Kate Keeling the mother of two young children and trapped in a difficult marriage. The family’s move to a haunted house is the catalyst for several fascinating marital and family developments. The, at times painful, relationship with her husband is etched with great insight into the minds of a couple whose troubles spill onto the pages often triggered by what may appear to be trivial incidents but are underpinned by a fear of communication that I suspect afflicts many of us. That aspect is one of the reasons why this ghost story has such a deep level of powerful realism.

Great care is taken with the drawing of the characters no matter how minor they are.
It is a vivid novel that moves at pace but never rushes. Very enjoyable and I look forward to the author’s second book.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/S.-A.-Harris/e/B07MYMTNWN

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/S.-A.-Harris/e/B07MYMTNWN

Follow S.A. Harris on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1375010.S_A_Harris

Connect to Sally Harris via her website:https://www.saharrisauthor.com

The next author with a recent review is Geoff Le Pard for his short story story collection Life in a Conversation

About Life in a Conversation

Following the success of Life In A Grain of Sand and Life In A Flash, here comes Life In A Conversation, an anthology of short and super short fiction. These pieces are mostly 500 words or less (with a few longer pieces thrown in, if you like to get your teeth into a story) and cover pretty much every major genre apart from YA, MA or children’s fiction. Dip in and enjoy them; better still let them inspire you to write your own.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

When life gives you lemons, go find Geoff Le Pard’s short stories and you’ll forget to suck on the lemons, but instead, cut them up and pop a slice into a G & T, sit back and enjoy the ride through Le Pard’s fantastical mind!
Small snippets of stories that range from emotional to hysterical to pure silliness.
Go read.  Enjoy!

Head over and buy the book : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MYMSDQS/

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MYMSDQS/

A selection of other books by Geoff Le Pard

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0

And Amazon US:https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0

Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9791177.Geoff_Le_Pard

Connect to Geoff via his blog: http://geofflepard.com/

The next authors with good news are John W. Howell and Gwen Plano for their co-written paranormal thriller.. The Contract.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Many of us have known that the first few paragraphs of the first chapter are what shed light upon the tone of a book and whether it will grab a reader’s interest to move forward reading. With that being said, this book, The Contract Between Heaven and Earth, has done a phenomenal job! I was drawn into it instantly.

It begins with a devastating horror event on Earth due to a natural catastrophe. Then, in the next few lines, the author(s) proficiently transforms the children’s grievous crying into a beautiful, angelic, divine scene in heaven. Without filibuster, the story flows to the heart and bone of the book: The Contract.

The writing style is adept and efficient. The plot is well thought out and tight. The intense actions interwoven with tender, loving scenes bring out endless suspense. There are a couple of hiccups in dialog; however, they did not affect the outstanding work of this manuscript.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who looks for a multi-genre read blending with inspirational and unimposing spirituality.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

 Read the reviews and buy the books: 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

You can connect to John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Collaborations – Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones


Time for more book gift ideas for family and friends this Christmas and I wanted to revisit some of the books that have been co-written including the recently published poetry collection Open a New Door, now in print, by Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle.

About the collection

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.

Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

One of the recent reviews for the book by Collen Chesebro Book Reviews

Poetry encourages a reader to get in touch with the emotions they feel when reading the written word. “Open a New Door,” does exactly that. The book is divided into four categories: God Bless Africa, God Bless of my Family & Friends, God Bless Me, and God Bless Corporates & Work, which are then sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly, of the continent they call home.

The book is liberally sprinkled with photos and even some image poetry, all sharing the thoughts and observations of the two authors. Their writing styles are different but they compliment each other perfectly allowing for smooth reading.

Africa is filled with extremes, ranging from the landscape to the temperatures, to the animals and the people, all impacting the culture of one of the largest continents on earth. The author’s poetry reflects the diversity of the people and how poverty has infiltrated and changed their societal views.

For someone who knows little about the life and culture of Africa, I found my own perceptions changed with each new poem.

One of my favorite poems written by Kim Blades was: “Lessons learned in a rural African village.” Her words tell the story of growing up with all the comforts: food, water, love, and plenty of sunshine. She compares her life to that of an aged beggar who lives at the edge of her village. The man has little food, and the people of the town always give him their leftover bread. He passes on the good deed by sharing his crumbs with the birds. The lesson is that we receive what we give. What a wonderful thought!

Robbie Cheadle shares a poem that also touched my heart but in a different way. It’s called “Disillusionment” and speaks of a world lacking in ethics while making decisions by using plastic integrity. I couldn’t help but draw similarities to what’s happening in my own government right now.

I enjoyed this collection of poems because it exposed me to a different culture and way of thinking. After each poem, the authors share their thoughts revealing what prompted them to write the particular piece, making their prose more intimate and intense.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Open-new-door-collection-poems-ebook/dp/B07K4RRC4W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Open-new-door-collection-poems-ebook/dp/B07K4RRC4W

You can connect to Kim at her blog and Website: https://kim153.wordpress.com/

Connect to Robbie via her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

A small selection of other books by Robbie Cheadle

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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

Now for the paranormal thriller The Contract: Between Heaven and Earth by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, which I read and reviewed earlier in the year.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires. A Great summer read.

My review for the book

The Contract is a fusion of fantasy, thriller and romance and is the debut novel of the new collaboration between John. W. Howell and Gwen Plano.

I have read all of John Howell’s books and enjoyed, so I was eager to find out how these two popular writers would rise to the challenge of collaborating.

The concept is intriguing, and the opening chapter sets out this well, with the introduction to two souls, who had little time on earth to enjoy their love of each other. They are tasked by the divine council with preventing a major catastrophe on earth that could threaten mankind, but it will mean that they will be separated and have no memory of their task. Their hosts are two people with the knowledge and skill set to overcome the threat, but they are thousands of miles apart and both in mortal danger.

The writers do a good job of bringing these two characters together; now infused with the souls who have been contracted to neutralise the upcoming disaster. Watched and abetted  by guardian angels, their relationship begins with subterfuge, but quickly becomes attraction, and then love strong enough to take them through to the end of their endeavour.

This love story runs parallel to the fast escalation of violence and intrigue that reveals hidden agendas and treason in high places. The story has a good pace and there is plenty of action to keep the thriller lovers engaged with a number of surprising twists and turns in the plot along the way.

The final confrontation is a fitting climax to the story, bringing together all the players and their roles in the conspiracy, in an action packed battle of good against evil.

I am sure that this writing duo will go from strength to strength following this creative and exciting debut.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

You can connect to John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Books by John Howell

 Read the reviews and buy the books: 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

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

The next authors with a successful collaboration are Jane Risdon and Christina Jones for their novel Only One Woman.

Two women, one love story.

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

An interesting read I wasn’t sure how it would work with two authors, but it is cleverly written like a diary of the two girls Renza and Stella who become involved with Scott the sexy guy from the band. Set in the late sixties there are lots of references to music and magazines and general things of these times. Renza can’t believe her luck when the band move in next door to her. Her life isn’t that exciting and she has to help her Mum a lot with the rest of her large family when all of a sudden she’s popular with the girls at school who want to hang out in her garden to see the boys. After falling for Scott Renza unfortunately has to move to Germany with her Dad as he is in the army. Stella comes into Scott’s life slightly older then Renza who will Scott choose. It was good reading the story through the eyes of both girls in their diary. I won’t give any spoilers to say who Scott ends up with. I wonder if there will be a second book following on so we can see if he made the right decision.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have found a few books to take away with you.. to read or to give as gifts. Thanks Sally