Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #History Mike Biles, #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Journal #Memoir Jaye Marie

Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Mike Biles

Mike Biles has lived in Britain all his life and generally loves the place, warts and all. He first learned history on his dad’s knee and went on to study medieval and modern British and European history at university. He was planning on teaching it, but then drifted into a career running his own business. Despite having worked with some of the UK’s most prestigious firms, he is often at his happiest with his nose in a history book, or exploring a historic site where the past is close. Several years ago, Mike began a blog – now an increasingly authoritative website – ‘A Bit About Britain’. He had to write a bit about Britain’s history for the website, and it seemed only sensible to put the material into his two books.

Books by Mike Biles

One of the recent reviews for A Bit About Britain’s High Days and Holidays

The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company 5.0 out of 5 stars Had me spitting out my coffee – and then cursing the author. Highly recommended.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 April 2021

As an englishman I see some of the traditions in this book as utterly sensible, laudable and to be encouraged – while dismissing entirely, of course, those from the “RoB” [The Rest of Britain}. All are described in this volume with the concomitant touch of puzzlement, derision, love, nationalism, outrage and amusement that they deserve. This book – and another by this author – ‘A Bit About Britain’s History’ – ought to be compulsory reading for all of those below the age of “me”. If there’s one thing we do well in England – and, grudgingly, in Britain too – it is to be …peculiar.

Why did I spit my coffee over my lap and my hitherto pristine copy of this book? Well, the author won’t mind a brief “spoiler” when I say that the august figure of Robert Burns is (accurately) referred to as a chap whose brain was generally used as merely a periscope for his willie. If you don’t know what a ‘willie’ is then please, don’t look it up. I could have finished reading the book there and then; the author had earned his meagre royalty.

What made me curse the author? Christmas. Specifically the author’s criminal disregard for the magnificent creature that is the Brussels Sprout. At that point I wanted my money back.

Aside from the Brussels Sprout issue, this is an accurate book, providing sufficient detail but not too much. Beautifully written, well edited and admirably printed by the company that runs this website. I commend this book to the nation. Also to the Commonwealth, the remains of the old Empire, the poor souls in the “rest of the world” and any aliens looking for a great read during their stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure in RAF Woodbridge (the equivalent to ‘Merica’s “Area 51” thingy).

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Mike on : Goodreads – Website: A Bit About Britain – Twitter@bitaboutbritain

Meet Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry.

Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, But I Smile Anyway, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

Books by Ritu Bhathal

One of the recent reviews for Marriage Unarranged

It was such an incredible new experience of a rainbow! I absolutely loved Aashi, Kiran, Bali, Sunny and Arjun’s journey from UK to India and back to UK. I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Bollywood since many years ago and thought I know a lot of Indian culture, traditions but what I didn’t know is that there were quite huge blank spots in my ‘knowledge’ that has been now filled with colours, smells, sounds, feels and taste of FOOD(!!!) of REAL India and Indians living both abroad and in India by talented author Ritu Bhathal and her first book Marriage Unarranged! Thank you, Ritu, for giving me this wonderful experience I so missed.

Clean romcom, amazing story, well developed and colourful characters, lots of humorous momments with giggles, history, culture and traditions. Loved how author merged modern tendencies with still strong traditional Indian culture both influencing younger generation.
I’m so glad knowing that there would be more books to enjoy! Okay, now go and get your copy of this amazing book!!!

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

Meet Jaye Marie

About Jaye Marie

Jaye Marie came to writing rather late but has always loved books.

She enjoys reading many different genres, so was surprised to discover a passion for writing detective thrillers. Four of them to date, with more to follow.

She also enjoys running a website/blog, and loves meeting all the wonderful people who drop in to say hello!

Books by Jaye Marie

My review for Apple Blossom 25th February 2021

Receiving the diagnosis of cancer is everyone’s fear. Jaye Marie shares her journey through this frightening experience from the first examination and her treatments at Queen Alexander hospital in Portsmouth with honesty and courage. A journal such as this is so important, not just as a way to document the experiences of those living through this devastating illness, but for those who might be at the start of that journey. Half the battle is the fear associated with the diagnosis, and at times the lack of information available as  the medical professionals are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a definitive prognosis. Whilst it is frightening, being informed is a key factor in getting through the treatment and remaining positive about the future. Jaye Marie does an excellent job and whilst the book is a short read it is filled with heartfelt inspiration.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Jaye Marie : Goodreads – Jaye Marie: WordPress Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2


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