Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Amy Hoff, J. Hope Suis, Lyn Horner, John W. Howell, Allan Hudson, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Karen Ingalls, Chuck Jackson, Sandra J. Jackson, Deborah Jay


Welcome to spring….. and there might be a hint of colour in the garden, as daffodils push their way to the surface, but there is plenty of colour on the shelves of the bookstore that I thought I would share with you over the next week.

If you are looking for you next book to read then look no further than these talented authors and over 600 books currently on the shelves.

Instead of the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates on Friday and Monday.. I will be featuring a number of authors each day with their updated reviews.

I will give you their listing which also includes a link to buy the books but also discover others that they have written but are not listed. You will also find a link to their website or blog to find out more information, and as you can imagine… they write great posts too.

Here is the next ten featured authors from the Cafe and Bookstore.

Amy Hoff, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-Hoff/e/B00U5ZN8EA
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/officialamyhoff

A recent review for The Connoisseur 

A unique book with an original story (finally!). The characters develop in depth in a great way and the plot thickens and gives you some “aha” points!

Adventure and fantasy elements are strong to the point that they make you want to visit these places (even though they are not real locations, unfortunately).

Another great thing is that it also includes LGBT characters so anyone can identify with at least one of the characters’ stories.

J. Hope Suis, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903
Website: www.hopeboulevard.com

A recent review for Mid-Life Joyride

I went to a public reading and book signing and bought an autographed copy of this book. I love the humor the author weaves throughout her book, the travel/joyride theme, and her transparency as she shares personal experiences. Lots of good tips in here. It’s important to live your life to its fullest ,no matter what your marital status is!

Lyn Horner, Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y
Website: https://lynhorner.com/

Please visit Amazon or Lyn’s website to view all her books.

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One of the recent  reviews for Tempting Adam

CR ChinAmazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars I always think the latest book is better then  the last and Tempting Adam is no different   March 17, 2018

Lyn Horner never fails to surprise with each new book in this Romancing the Guardians’s series. I always think the latest book is better then the last and Tempting Adam is no different. Adam is helping farmers in Africa learn new farming techniques when he spies Elie, a nurse he fell in love with in Peru and then abandoned for her own sake. He has special gift that if known could get her killed by those who seek to use it and gain access to the Guardian scroll he protects. But this time Ellie isn’t going to take no for answer and when Adam’s worst fear comes true, he has no choice but to run to safety with his true mate.

Lyn sets us in a new and exciting country with each of her books and her research is fascinating, not intrusive to the story. I can’t wait for book eight when all the Guardians and their mates go up against the Hell Hounds together.

John Howell, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: http://www.johnhowell.com

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One of the recent reviews for Circumstances of Childhood

“Circumstances of Childhood” is written in the unique style of Mr. Howell and was a book that kept me up late into the night reading! Greg and Keith are childhood friends and Greg ends up living with Keith’s family. They play football together creating new plays and plan out their future. Unfortunately, only one of them make it to live those dreams. When one of them is killed in an accident, the other one goes on to be successful–with a happily ever after. But, that happy ending is ripped away when money is stolen from Greg’s company and his life falls apart. Parts of the storyline are told from Greg’s prospective and the rest by Keith. I loved the bond created between the two, who were like brothers, that existed beyond death. Choices that are made can affect the characters for the rest of eternity. This is a perceptive and an exciting read with a whodunit mixed in. It’s a skillfully written story with well-rounded characters that I couldn’t help but care about. The storyline kept me engaged until the last page with some unexpected twists. Although, this is a different type of story than Mr. Howell’s John Canon series, it is worthy of your read if you enjoyed that series like I did. This has become my favorite book from this author. I highly recommend!

Allan Hudson, buy: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI
Website: http://www.southbranchscribbler.com

An extract from a recent review for Wall of War

The introductory chapter of Wall of War, “1953” had me so captivated from the beginning that I don’t think I exhaled until the last full stop. Mr. Hudson has done an admirable job of tightening up the script, omitting a lot of needless details about various types of boats, planes, communication systems and weapons that the casual reader might find bothersome. (However, if you are a globetrotting mercenary or imagine being one, then you’ll appreciate the details he does provide!)

That’s all I can tell you without getting into “spoilers”! What I can tell you that with Wall of War, you have an excellent story that doesn’t get bogged down at any point and keeps the reader turning page after page. The action takes place almost exclusively in Peru, so there’s no continent-jumping and forgetting who is where and so on. Wall of War is a taut, intriguing, action-filled adventure novel perfect for long winter nights (or summer beach reading). Mr. Hudson has set the bar high for himself if a third installment in the Drake Alexander series is planned. Four stars at Goodreads.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Buy : http://www.amazon.com/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15S
Website: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com.

Please visit Amazon or Deanie’s website to view all her books.

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A recent review for My Life at Sweetbriar 

My Life at Sweetbrier, is author, Deanie Dunne’s recounting of life at her childhood home–a horse farm in Connecticut. Deanie was born with cerebral palsy. For most people, that would be enough to deter them from ever riding a horse. But not for Deanie. Thanks to her father’s “can do” philosophy, Deanie became a skilled rider, winning many riding competitions. It wasn’t without challenges, though. Deanie shares the adversities she had to overcome and offers encouragement for others to do the same.

Written in a conversational style, readers can feel that Deanie is talking directly to them. Sprinkled throughout the book are photographs of Deanie as a young child andteenager with her horses. Young readers, ages 8-12, especially those who love horses, will enjoy this book. The message of perseverance even in the face of obstacles is an important one for everyone to learn. An inspiring book, highly recommended.

Karen Ingalls, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY
Website Two:  http://www.kareningallsbooks.com

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An Extract from one of the recent reviews for Outshine

I am often hesitant to read memoirs or autobiographies, especially those of a medical nature, because I worry that they will contain medical jargon that will cause the story to be more sterile and statistical than compelling. This was definitely NOT one of those books.

The author chose to go a different route and focus more on her emotional journey through ovarian cancer rather than the medical side of it. I very much appreciated that. Her words of wisdom, encouragement, and strength poured through every single page to the level that anyone who is going through any turmoil or tough situation can relate to. That’s powerful writing talent!

Chuck Jackson, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

A recent review for What Did I Do.

Wow! What a read … and what a story. This book is so well written, it reads more like a novel. It’s a pager turner alright. The story is hard to take only because of the abuse described. Mister Jackson has had one remarkable life. From the horrible home situation, to his resilience, to his trumpet playing, to his time in Vietnam (which I wish he had gone into more detail on), to his coming to grips with all the shit he had to take over the years.
Well played, Mister Jackson.

Sandra J. Jackson, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY
Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

A recent review for Playing in the Rain.

I knew this was a dystopian book before I bought it, but it is one of the strangest books I think I’ve read. Half of it is spent in an cleansed, stark white facility and the rest is spent in a dank and dirty wooden house.

The most compelling part is the relationship of the sisters who begin to remember bits and pieces of their childhood after being drugged with things to make them forget.

It is not my usual type of read, but this author does a very good job with descriptions to place you with the girls as they battle a nut job of a guy named Cecil. He wants something from unknown persons, presumably their parents, and is using them as a bargaining chip.

All this, after and attempt to control the world fails. I suppose more will be revealed in the next book.

Deborah Jay, Buyhttps://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY
Website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/

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One of the recent reviews for The Prince’s Man

Deborah Jay has taken the usual supernatural players of elves, trolls, were-animals, elementals, etc. thrown in the political shenanigans of monarchies in a feudal society reminiscent of the Tudor period, some swords, sorcery, a touch of Tolkien and now has lots of territory to explore into a series beyond the two books currently available. You go,girl!

Thank you for dropping in today and I will be back tomorrow with ten more talented authors from the Cafe and Bookstore.. Thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A fable about the way birds first got their wings by Karen Ingalls


Today Karen Ingalls shares a fable that carries a message to us all.. particularly at Easter and the beginning of Spring.. and a new cycle of life. A chance to perhaps change our perspective about the burdens we carry… Also two new reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir and Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

A fable about the way birds first got their wings by Karen Ingalls.

The story goes that initially they were created without them. Then God made the wings, set them down before the wingless birds, and said to them, “Take up these burdens and carry them.”

The birds had sweet voices for singing, and lovely feathers that glistened in the sunshine, but they could not soar in the air. When asked to pick up the burdens that lay at their feet, they hesitated at first. Yet soon they obeyed, picked up the wings with their beaks, and set them on their shoulders to carry them.

For some time, the load, this burden, seemed heavy and difficult to bear, but soon, as they continued to carry the burden and to fold the wings over their hearts, the wings grew attached to their little bodies. They quickly discovered how to use them and were lifted by the wings high into the air.

The burdens had become wings.

We each have burdens that we must carry until we learn how to carry them and tie them to our hearts. We must not run from them…where would we go? To be bitter or angry about them…only makes the burdens heavier. To try to have others carry our burden…what would we learn? To deny the existence of the burden…will keep us from growing.

Spring is a time of renewal. Trees get their leaves, flowers bloom, baby animals are born, and the weather warms up. The message of Easter is one of renewal, of giving our burdens to God thereby freeing ourselves to spread our wings and use them to soar like an eagle or fly from flower to flower like the hummingbird.

Wishing you the blessings of Easter today and everyday.

Fable of how birds got wings is from Streams in the Desert http://www.youdevotion.com/streams/july/08.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

I am often hesitant to read memoirs or autobiographies, especially those of a medical nature, because I worry that they will contain medical jargon that will cause the story to be more sterile and statistical than compelling. This was definitely NOT one of those books.

The author chose to go a different route and focus more on her emotional journey through ovarian cancer rather than the medical side of it. I very much appreciated that. Her words of wisdom, encouragement, and strength poured through every single page to the level that anyone who is going through any turmoil or tough situation can relate to. That’s powerful writing talent!

Here are a couple of my favorite lines from this book:

I have learned that any rain that falls in my life is just droplets, and it’s up to me whether I will let those droplets flood away my spirit. Sometimes we need to build levees through more prayer, erect dams for permanent changes so the soul can grow, do a dance to pray for more sun to heal any wounds, or just take an umbrella to give temporary protection as we build up our strength and will.

I love how the author wove in various moments of the impact she made on others through simple choices she made in how to deal with her cancer in the everyday world, as well as the impact made on her through the surprising kindness of others in reaction to her illness.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with a tough situation right now, no matter the cause. It’s inspiring and heartfelt.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Traveling to the U.S. in 1876 with her mother, Albertina (Davida), a young Swedish girl will become a beautiful woman and later model for talented and well-known American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The eventual union between artist and model, the author’s great-grandmother and Augustus Saint-Gaudens produced a son, Louis. Saint-Gaudens, however, is married. “Bastard” was a term used for someone who had no social standing or recognition. He and his mother could not go out together where they might be recognized by people who were familiar with Saint-Gaudens’ wife, who had also given Saint-Gaudens a son.

Ms. Ingalls tells a love story between a highly successful sculptor and a Swedish emigrant who is very beautiful and also very naïve. Their son is called Novy by his father but never allowed to enter society with his fathers’ last name. The stigma of being illegitimate follows the man all of his life. He becomes disaffected, reclusive, and never integrates well into society.

Albertina has a love of the outdoors and the spirits of the woods melds into the story with gentle recognition and the heart of a true romantic raised in strict Victorian standards. That a liaison with the sculptor would ever happen is remarkable as well as the relatives and friends who rally around the young lady as she raises the child on her own. She never loses her love for his father and the secret of illegitimacy is kept hidden throughout the son’s life. Mr. Saint-Gaudens takes very good care of his lover and their child. They are not wont for anything except the recognition of who they really are. License is taken with tales of longing, searching, and forest creatures that sometimes invade the conscious of people familiar with forest environs.

On the whole, a beautiful love story and whose to say it couldn’t have happened that way. They maintained a relationship for twenty-five years. I applaud the author for the humanity and loving understanding with which it was written. I was given a download of the book and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for anyone interested in early American arts, the Beaux-Arts, the American Renaissance, romance, and biographies. C. E. Williams

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in and my thanks again to Karen for sharing such a beautiful story. As always your feedback is much appreciated.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Seeds of Life by Karen Ingalls


The final post from Karen Ingalls post and it is about the seeds that we plant. Not those that will bloom and add colour to our homes and gardens but the seeds of kindness, compassion and love that bring colour and love to someone else’s life and our own.

Seeds of Life by Karen Ingalls

This morning I planted a croton in a large pot, sat it on the plant stand, and decided that this colorful plant would be a welcome sight at our front door. I then went to my various plants scattered around the front and back yards; pulled some weeds; dead-headed the marigolds; cut backed the impatients; and then fed them all some fertilizer and water.

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” I believe it also could be said, “Don’t judge your life by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” How am I living each day? Am I interacting with love in my heart? Have I been forgiving? Do I offer a helping hand?

Recently three of us were talking about our lives and the question came up, “What would you do over differently if you could?” One friend said, “There is not one thing in my life I would change,” while two of us said there were some things we would do differently. We cannot go back and change the past; we can only live in the present. However, we can learn from the past.

There are the three C’s of life: choices, chances, changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. (David Emerald from The Empowerment Dynamics) Click image to buy.

One important lesson I learned as a teenager was that I must plant the seeds of love, kindness, and generosity now. My favorite Bible verse then and now is: “I must work of Him while it is light, for the night cometh when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

Bad, tough, or tragic things can still happen. They are the weeds of our lives, but if we live in the Light, the flowers of goodness and love will grow. Those are the seeds we want to plant.

©Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing another inspirational post from her archives. Words to live by.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Verwayne Greenhoe 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving January 16, 2018

I found myself incredibly moved as I read this story. It speaks to the power of courage and faith in God. The author relates her joys and her nightmares and the eventual hitting the peak of recovery. The story at the end of Chapter 21 where the husband that continued to care for his wife even after he knew she no longer recognized him left me with moist eyes. Some take their marriage vows seriously.

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer, but because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in an experimental treatment program. I went through virtually every mountain and valley of emotions of which the author writes. I also had used the power of positive thinking and the belief that I was not in the struggle alone.

If you find yourself or a loved one with a diagnosed with cancer, this may be a story for you. You may find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle and how another handled their battle.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Lots of care to detail  on November 7, 2017

Davida is the story of a young girl coming to America from Sweden in the late 1800’s. She and her mother worked at an inn until Davida is offered the chance to model for the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Augustus and Davida fall in love and embark on a long relationship. They have an illegitimate son.

The story is told in a touching and romantic manner, albeit tragic. I really like history and appreciate the amount of work that goes into research and understanding the customs and nuances of another time period. This is well-done in this novel with lots of care to detail.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in and my thanks again to Karen for sharing such wonderful posts from her archives.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Karen Ingalls, M.J. Mallon, Lyn Horner, Helen Jones and Andrew Joyce


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week. I have made a slight adjustment to the timescales for reviews as with so many authors now in the bookstore, it is likely that several weeks might lapse between featuring everyone. So I will be looking at reviews on Amazon UK and US and also Goodreads within the last six months that I have not shared before.

The first featured author is Karen Ingalls who has been inspiring us with posts from her archives over the last few weeks. She has received another wonderful review for her memoir Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Verwayne Greenhoe 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving January 16, 2018

I found myself incredibly moved as I read this story. It speaks to the power of courage and faith in God. The author relates her joys and her nightmares and the eventual hitting the peak of recovery. The story at the end of Chapter 21 where the husband that continued to care for his wife even after he knew she no longer recognized him left me with moist eyes. Some take their marriage vows seriously.

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer, but because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in an experimental treatment program. I went through virtually every mountain and valley of emotions of which the author writes. I also had used the power of positive thinking and the belief that I was not in the struggle alone.

If you find yourself or a loved one with a diagnosed with cancer, this may be a story for you. You may find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle and how another handled their battle.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

The next author with a review is M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

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 excellent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Oct 12, 2017 Adele Marie Marie rated it Five Stars

From the beginning, I was drawn into the main character, Amelina’s world. It is quickly established that Amelina’s world is not like other girls her age. I can’t say more than that as I don’t want to give spoilers away.

Amelina is written so well. There is a part of her that all of us will recognise and emphasise with. At that awkward age where nothing fits and at the same time you feel as if you can conquer the world.

Darkness creeps in slowly in the form of Ryder who at first seems the answer to all Amelina desires, or is he? The circle of friends she has are all different personalities but they fit together like a circle. The description of each girl is short but gives us an immediate picture of their personality.

Then there are Amelina’s parents, her growing power and the strange invitation.

I give Curse of Time Book One five stars.

I enjoyed reading this novel and the only consolation I had when finishing it was there will be a book two. Marjorie has written a magical tale and drawn for us a world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface. I loved this novel and Marjorie’s telling of it. Amelina has a strong voice and I could see everything crystal clear through her eyes.

A book to go back and read time and time again.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: 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 that I would like to showcase is Lyn Horner with Darlin’ Irish – Texas Devlins Book Two.

About the book

Psychics in the Old West? Yes indeed! Say howdy to Lyn Horner’s Texas Devlins, a trio of extraordinary siblings. Darlin’ Irish, the first book in the author’s unique, award-winning trilogy, is a tale of epic adventure and steamy romance set ablaze by flashes of psychic power.

Jessie Devlin possesses second sight, a gift inherited from the “Old Ones,” her Irish Druid ancestors. A survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, she endures nightmares of the fire in which a gentle, loving stranger saves her life. She believes they are fated to love and a prophetic vision sends her west in search of him. But a second vision warns of a fiery-eyed madman who may also wait somewhere beyond the horizon. Will her quest lead her to happiness . . . or into a deadly trap?

Captain David Taylor is a Texan banished from home after fighting for the “wrong side” in the War Between the States. Now serving on the frontier, David meets Jessie on the way back to his post after a trip east. She stares at him as if seeing a ghost, for he looks like the hero in her dreams, but while he’s entranced by her beauty, he has no taste for her firecracker temper. She brings to mind someone from his past who he’d rather forget.

As the two journey west by rail their clashing personalities war with a fiery attraction to one another. Violence dogs their path and explodes in Mormon Utah. Whether love will win the day or be lost forever is a question that hangs in the balance until a shattering final battle between good and evil on the broad Texas plains.

One of the great reviews for the book

Darlin’ Irish is a historical Western romantic adventure featuring an Irish lass Jessie with a gift of precognition that arrived as “visions”, and her adventures across the West with her Tye, and a handsome army Captain David. The book is quite entertaining, with a lot of adventure for them to fall for each other, and an evil guy who was really out to get them… The book really has a bit of everything and packed a lot of plot in 300+ pages (and it felt like a bit more than that!)

To recap, Jessie Devlin, with the gift of second sight, had survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but later she had a vision of her being saved by a gentle loving stranger… out West. When her brother Tye was determined to head West to try for a stake in the silver mines, Jessie decided to go with him, against their father’s wishes. But another vision gave her doubt… a fiery-eyed madman with black hand reached out for her… But she chose to go, trusting her visions. On the train, they met Captain David Taylor. Originally from Texas, he was banished from his home for joining up with the “wrong side” (i.e. Union). Jessie was sure that David was the kind man from her dreams, but David’s personality was nothing like she expected, as David has no taste for her firecracker temper, that reminded him of someone he’d rather forget. However, their journey was interrupted by violence and came to a head in Utah. But the battle was not over, not until a final battle on the plains of Texas.

Both characters are flawed to a degree and their interactions are a delight to read. The “heavy” was not TOO evil, but evil “enough” to make a good opponent for Captain Taylor. Too bad the heavy was introduced really late, like almost mid-book. And yes, you’ll come to understand what do the visions mean. The supernatural bits are just light enough to not be creepy nor powerful, i.e. just adds some spice. Tye will find his own love in the next volume. The book is has a few scenes of violence. Several people will die, and many people got hurt. So this is not *that* kind of romance. But it is a fun read.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Darlin-Irish-Texas-Devlins-Book-ebook/dp/B004ASNDES

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlin-Irish-Texas-Devlins-Book-ebook/dp/B004ASNDES

A selection of other books by Lyn Horner

Read the many reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

Read more reviews and follow Lyn on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4639926.Lyn_Horner

Connect to Lyn via her website: http://lynhorner.com

Delighted to feature Helen Jones with her latest release, on December 21st, in her popular YA series, Under Stone (The Ambeth Chronicles Book 4).

About the book

Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth.

But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either…
Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Under-Stone-Ambeth-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B078K6X984

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Under-Stone-Ambeth-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B078K6X984

Other books by Helen Jones

One of the excellent reviews for Hills and Valley’s Book 3 of the Series

This book finds Alma – having turned her back on Ambeth.

With Hills and Valleys, Helen Jones continues the wonderful Ambeth Chronicles. It is an enjoyable and compelling read, focussing on the events after the Harvest Fair – in Ambeth as well as in Alma’s world. Thorion, Deryck, Ellery, Alma – their lives have changed. Alma and her family visit her grandmother; her parents consider it having a healing effect. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s and the other characters’ mind sets while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I love how some secrets are solved and new mysteries come up, it is fine balance. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The third book in The Ambeth Chronicles series; the last chapters let me expect a promising fourth book. A book I definitely need to read. Recommended!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Time to catch up with Andrew Joyce and his most recent release Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups

About Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.

His book Yellow Hair was awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews.

One of the recent reviews for the book

So… you pull up next to a car at a long traffic light and eye the other driver. Do you immediately picture an entire novel in which that driver has just committed a heinous crime and is impatiently waiting for the light to change in order to make his/her getaway? Before the light turns green, have you filled in the details of the crime, pictured what would happen if the (obvious) criminal notices you watching them, and wondered if it would be possible to duck before bullets (or IDK…laser beams if your imaginings tend toward graphic novel territory) fly? I always thought that meant you are blessed with a writer’s imagination. Unless your name is Andrew Joyce, of course.

You see, this kind of thing has actually happened to Andrew. Lots. Whether real or imagined, he shares the details of his remarkable adventures and even more remarkable imagination in this epic collection of close to ninety short stories. What I realized in reading the collection, is that they are actually the record of a writer teaching himself his craft. We see his experiments over the years, share the ones that get on base, the ones that strike out, and the ones that hit it out of the park.

Oddly, to me the ones that resonate with the most truth are the hilariously snarky observations contributed by everyone’s favorite pooch-scribe, Danny the Dog. Although I’m still working my way through this treasury of bedtime stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. For one thing, it’s the perfect book to get you through the holidays. Stuck in a long line? You could run for your life from a psychopath in The Swamp. Suffering through the tortures of mall music? Check in with Danny the Dog for how to score extra turkey slices in Danny Extorts Andrew. Need a reminder of the things that really matter? Shed a tear for Michael.

Inevitably, I liked some stories better than others. But overall, I’m fascinated by the process as Andrew Joyce invites us to join him in honing the writing skills that have already produced his bestsellers. We meet a young Andrew in the stories about Billy Doyle (his real name). We meet the writer trying out other genres for size in stories like Dead and Wise Guy. And we meet Andrew himself through the unsentimental loving eyes of Danny the Dog. Which is the real Andrew? Obviously, whichever one is writing at that moment.

If Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is an epic series of writing experiments, its readers are the lucky witnesses to the experiments’ success.

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V8XNTC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bedtime-Stories-Grown-Ups-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B075V8XNTC

Also by Andrew Joyce

51jymdwgckl-_uy250_ 51wekgjv4l-_uy250_ 511xzy2h0cl-_uy250_Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of books from these talented authors. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from your Archives – Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls


Welcome to the third post in the the series from Karen Ingalls. Are the photographs that represent your life dark negatives or bright life affirming colours?

Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls

I recently read the novel, Winter Garden, which was a very moving and emotional story about two adult sisters and their aging mother about whom they know so little. One of the daughters is a professional photographer and somewhere in the book something is said to the effect: life is like photography, you develop from negatives.

A favorite quote by Ansel Adams is life is your art. When you look at works of art, what do you see? The paintings of Picasso confuse me and appear to portray a disjointed life. Some of the modern art by artists such as Jackson Pollack where paint is literally thrown or splatters onto the canvas. Sometimes I see peace and tranquility depending on the colors. Other times I might see chaos, fear, or darkness.

When you are looking at your life, your personality, or your choices, what photos would you associate with them? Do you see beautiful photos of nature, or dark and fearful images of negative events such as storms or wars? Are there rainbows, sunshine, or smiling faces?

As an amateur photographer, I am well aware how a particular photograph can give a message. My interpretation might be different from someone else. The Rorschach Ink Blot test is designed to interpret one’s personality.

What do you see?

My photograph of life was rather dark and bleak when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I did not like those pictures. Needless worry, superficial goals, and foolishly taking life for granted are just three things that were influencing how I was living (or not living). When I found myself worrying about something, I meditated about it and let go, let God. Worries are only fears which were controlling me.

To truly live each day fully and lovingly continues to be a deep part of me. That seed was planted the day after my diagnosis, and like the saying goes, “I bloom where I am planted.” Or so I try. I do not take anything for granted, but know that I must nurture, water, and fertilize each day.

What negatives have you turned into beautiful photographs of yourself? Here are four photographs, which represent my life today as a cancer survivor.

@Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing another inspirational post that demonstrates how we can turn dark into light.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Verwayne Greenhoe 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving January 16, 2018

I found myself incredibly moved as I read this story. It speaks to the power of courage and faith in God. The author relates her joys and her nightmares and the eventual hitting the peak of recovery. The story at the end of Chapter 21 where the husband that continued to care for his wife even after he knew she no longer recognized him left me with moist eyes. Some take their marriage vows seriously.

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer, but because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in an experimental treatment program. I went through virtually every mountain and valley of emotions of which the author writes. I also had used the power of positive thinking and the belief that I was not in the struggle alone.

If you find yourself or a loved one with a diagnosed with cancer, this may be a story for you. You may find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle and how another handled their battle.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Lots of care to detail  on November 7, 2017

Davida is the story of a young girl coming to America from Sweden in the late 1800’s. She and her mother worked at an inn until Davida is offered the chance to model for the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Augustus and Davida fall in love and embark on a long relationship. They have an illegitimate son.

The story is told in a touching and romantic manner, albeit tragic. I really like history and appreciate the amount of work that goes into research and understanding the customs and nuances of another time period. This is well-done in this novel with lots of care to detail.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in today and Karen will be with us at the same time next  week.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Paying it Forward by Karen Ingalls.


Welcome to the second of archive posts from author Karen Ingalls. A young boy lost his fight with cancer but his legacy is a chain of events prompted by one random act of kindness.

PAYING IT FORWARD by Karen Ingalls.

“God needed me more” were the last words spoken by a boy of 9 years old, which he said to his father shortly before he passed away On November 27, 2012, he lost his 2-year battle with cancer. That young man was Jayden Lamb, whose short life has had a profound effect on people around the world. The parents found that reaching out to people helped them cope with their loss. So, they paid for the order given by the car behind them at the fast food restaurant. They wanted to “pay it forward.” Their kind gesture was repeated again and again by the cars in line; and like an uncontrolled wildfire, acts of kindness spread. These actions reflected the true nature of Jayden.

I direct you to the following links to learn more about this remarkable young man and his family:

https://www.facebook.com/KeepOnTruckinTeamJayden

http://www.wnem.com/story/25518909/jayden-lambs-pay-it-forward-legacy-lives-on

Perhaps God needed him more, but we humans need his legacy of love and kindness.

Last week I shared my new year’s resolution of “At least once each day I will be a bright spot by giving someone a compliment.”

In the Bible, it says “As we sow so shall we reap.” Let’s be generous, polite, helpful, and minister to all. Many people need to be hugged. Pay it forward with those in your home, your neighbors, and spread your kindness to strangers.

Even animals need for us to pay it forward.

©Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing another inspirational post that shows the power of random acts of kindness.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the many excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir on Goodreads

Sep 08, 2017 A.M. Manay rated it Five Stars.

This memoir focused on the author’s battle with cancer really touched me. I appreciated her honesty about the fear that accompanies a life-threatening health problem. Her work to balance both western medicine and alternative therapies was also a wonderful thing for her to share. Her words about the spiritual component of her battle were most encouraging. It was nice to read about someone who is strong in her faith as well as open-minded about eastern spiritual practices. I’ve had my own health scares, and I identified a lot with her story. The writing was also of excellent quality. Overall, I was quite impressed.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Lots of care to detail  on November 7, 2017

Davida is the story of a young girl coming to America from Sweden in the late 1800’s. She and her mother worked at an inn until Davida is offered the chance to model for the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Augustus and Davida fall in love and embark on a long relationship. They have an illegitimate son.

The story is told in a touching and romantic manner, albeit tragic. I really like history and appreciate the amount of work that goes into research and understanding the customs and nuances of another time period. This is well-done in this novel with lots of care to detail.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in today and Karen will be with us at the same time for the next two weeks.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Achives – Inspirational Couples by Karen Ingalls


Welcome to a new series of archive posts from inspirational author Karen Ingalls. Life and relationships can be very challenging and having role models is so important. In this post Karen shares two couples who have provided inspiration.

INSPIRATIONAL COUPLES by Karen Ingalls.

There are two couples who are truly inspirational couples to me. They are my neighbors, Harry and Annabelle, and long-time friends, Stan and Jayne. They are the perfect example of a complete marriage, which means that each person respects, honors, and loves the other.

Harry and Annabelle have encouraged and supported me from the very beginning of my new life as a cancer survivor. They sent cards, made telephone calls, and daily prayed for me. They attended my recent book launch, purchased a copy of Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, and after reading the book they said, “Karen, you are an inspiration.”

In the ten years I have known them, they have been an inspiration to me by the way they live and treat each other. For Harry and Annabelle who are 92 years young, God is the center of their lives; their love is unconditional; and they follow the Golden Rule. After 72 years of marriage they have heard and seen it all, yet they are not hardened, scornful, or unforgiving. Life has not always been easy for them yet they have been caregivers to each other, family and friends. Their sense of humor, positive outlook, and having looked at life through youthful eyes has helped them to be independent and productive.

Stan and Jayne amaze and inspire me with their complete love and devotion to one another. Their lives are also God-centered. Even during the difficult times of job losses, deaths of parents, and frequent moves they have stood together and faced each challenge with faith and love. I have known them for thirty years and I have not heard them complain nor feel sorry for themselves.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer they immediately were by our side. Their prayers, visits, and phone calls were filled with love and encouragement. Stan has a beautiful gift of creative design and word expressions. He remembers birthdays and anniversaries and sends out cards, some of which he has designed. Jane is always smiling and has a contagious and recognizable laugh. She is a good listener, loves to give hugs, and is there to give support wherever needed.

These two couples are inspirational because they are God-centered, loving, generous, kind, and giving. Is there a person or couple in your life who has influenced you in a positive way? Do you believe you are an inspirational person to others?

We all need positive role models especially in our growing-up years. In closing, this quote sums up the message of this blog: A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” (Charles Dickens)

©Karen Ingalls 2017

My thanks to Karen for sharing this inspirational post and if you have someone who has inspired you then please share in the comments.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the many excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir on Goodreads

Sep 08, 2017 A.M. Manay rated it Five Stars.

This memoir focused on the author’s battle with cancer really touched me. I appreciated her honesty about the fear that accompanies a life-threatening health problem. Her work to balance both western medicine and alternative therapies was also a wonderful thing for her to share. Her words about the spiritual component of her battle were most encouraging. It was nice to read about someone who is strong in her faith as well as open-minded about eastern spiritual practices. I’ve had my own health scares, and I identified a lot with her story. The writing was also of excellent quality. Overall, I was quite impressed.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Lots of care to detail  on November 7, 2017

Davida is the story of a young girl coming to America from Sweden in the late 1800’s. She and her mother worked at an inn until Davida is offered the chance to model for the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Augustus and Davida fall in love and embark on a long relationship. They have an illegitimate son.

The story is told in a touching and romantic manner, albeit tragic. I really like history and appreciate the amount of work that goes into research and understanding the customs and nuances of another time period. This is well-done in this novel with lots of care to detail.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in today and Karen will be with us at the same time for the next three weeks.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – She Passed By – Karen Ingalls


Welcome to the third and last post in the series of posts from Karen Ingalls’s archives. In this post Karen pays tribute to an elderly friend who passed away after a gracious life well-lived.

She Passed By – Karen Ingalls.

The more one lives, the easier it is to die.

A very special lady made her passage in the wee hours this morning. She took her last breath peacefully though physically alone, she was surrounded by angels and heavenly loved ones. She lived life to its fullest; her life was complete.

I did not know this fine lady very well though I met her for the first time about 20 years ago. She was gracious and kind to me, welcoming me into her life with a smile and pleasant word though the circumstances were difficult for both of us.

I saw her at family functions; had brief but loving conversations; and a smile never left her face nor mine. She was genuinely interested in learning about me.

If you could choose to come back for a period of time, what length would you choose? One year, ten years, a hundred years?

I knew her best through her daughter and grandchildren…she was a wonderful role model to them and they are each examples of her love and spirit.

Over the years her independence declined from independent living, to assisted, and then to a nursing home. When family came to visit she would say, “Please pray for me that I might die in my sleep.” With each morning she questioned why she was still here on earth. The answer often was, “Because God still needs you here.”

The more complete our life is, there is less anger or fear of death.

I believe she had these last weeks and months to teach us:

  • That there not be fear in dying.
  • That we each have a role to make the passage of the dying smooth and easy.
  • That love and forgiveness are the major lessons in life for each of us to learn.
  • And that dying is the natural part of living.

At 3:00 in the morning, my husband awoke with strong thoughts and memories of this gracious lady who had touched his life so deeply. This was just one hour after she died. He said, “Ardelle passed by.”

A young man dying of leukemia said, “I don’t think people are afraid of death. What they are afraid of is the incompleteness of life.”

This is a celebration and tribute to Ardelle and other people I knew who have passed on and passed by. Each of them have left their footprint on me. I have learned from them and hopefully when I pass on those left behind will feel my footprint.

So a little bit like in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” the bells are ringing…Ardelle earned her angel wings on earth.

If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do this, I will live forever.

My thanks to Ann Landers, Lisl Marburg Goodman, Linda Deutsch, Bill Newcott, and the family of Ardelle Bryntesen.

©Karen Ingalls.

My thanks to Karen for sharing this story of a woman who lived a wonderful life and clearly left behind wonderful memories of her life for those that she met.

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

The most recent review for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a long-time ovarian cancer survivor, I found this book, which I purchased from the author, to be well-written, an excellent guide to help others cope with the cancer roller coaster ride, and a heartfelt personal story. I highly recommend it to all those who have been touched by cancer. Marcia Mabee

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

I am now looking for festive posts for December from your Christamas’s Past… Please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Post from Your Archives – Who Packs Your Parachute by Karen Ingalls.


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Time for the next post from the archives of author Karen Ingalls. We all need someone who has our back, is by our side and who has our best interests at heart and can be relied on at any time.

Who Packs Your Parachute by Karen Ingalls.

I have never parachuted from a plane…nor do I want to. Sky jumping or diving is not on my bucket list. However, there is a deep message from the question,

“Who packs your parachute?”

Did you know that there is an exact and precise way to store the parachute? One step done incorrectly could mean the parachute will not open or will do incorrectly. This is a life or death matter. So who or what brings a sense of safety or peace into your life? Who or what protects you? Who or what do you rely on? There was a time in my life when I was a teenager, I relied on my dad for safety and protection. Though I did not live with him I knew he was only a phone call away.

And, one day at 17 years old I made the phone call and he got a traffic ticket when speeding to get to me. During my junior year of high school while living with my dad, two people began to pack my parachute. One was a classmate named Judie, who introduced me to God by inviting me to the youth group at her church. She was always with me talking about God and listening to my fears. I chose to be baptized one year later.

The second person was Arleigh Castle, a neighbor and my role model. I adopted her as my “aunt” which she still is today at the age of 92. She listened to me and carefully advised me helping me to pack my parachute correctly. God has never left my side nor have I left His. I completely put my trust in Him as He guides who I choose to be a part of my life.

Whose advice will I listen to? Who can I confide in? Who do I trust? If I keep God as the Master Packer of my parachute, then those helping Him will guarantee that my parachute will open and I will land on earth safely.

Here is a true story that you might have heard or read before. But it is a powerful one and well worth hearing/reading again.

Captain J. Charlie Plumb is a former prisoner of war and a sought after achievement speaker. His presentations deal with the importance of inner strength to overcome challenges. Charlie Plumb discusses how people can become imprisoned by fear of failure, blaming others and self-pity. Charlie Plumb is the author of two books, I’m No Hero and The Last Domino. Book Charles Plumb at Speakers.com.

Just as in my journey with cancer, I have trusted Dr. Matthew Boente and Dr. Robert Holloway to “pack my parachute” with the best medical care. Their nurses and staff have been phenomenal. My newer journey as an author has been guided by some very remarkable people: Amy Quale, Dara Beevas, Jay Monroe, Ruth Fisher, and those at Beaver’s Pond Press. All of them have put encouragement, support, and help in my parachute. I have landed on both feet safely with the publication of three books.

Image: Pinterest

©Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing this story of her own discovery of the importance of having a parachute packer who always has your best interests at heart. And for sharing the story of Captain Charles Plumb.

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

 

The most recent review for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a long-time ovarian cancer survivor, I found this book, which I purchased from the author, to be well-written, an excellent guide to help others cope with the cancer roller coaster ride, and a heartfelt personal story. I highly recommend it to all those who have been touched by cancer. Marcia Mabee

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here and I will feature your books and most recent review in the post. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

Thank you for stopping by today and we would love to hear your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your reviews – Janice Spina, Karen Ingalls and Gay Ingram


Welcome to the first of the review posts for the week and our first author with a new review is Janice Spina for her book The Case of The Brown Scraggly Dog

About the book

Davey and Derek Donato are at it again in this new book. In this case they come across a brown scraggly dog with blood on its paw but when the boys try to stop the dog, it runs away.

Aunt Gigi is here once again to assist the boys with their magic and provide some new spells.

Clues surface that suggest that someone may be injured and in need of help. The boys will have to use their skills and a little magic to solve this case.

One of the recent reviews for the book – Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-case-of-the-brown-scraggly-dog

Davey and Derek are twins. They do just about everything together, including solving mysteries and learning a little bit of magic from their Great-Aunt Gigi. On a recent visit to their great-aunt, the boys learned a new magic trick and discovered “a large brown scraggly dog with frightened eyes.” There was nothing to identify the dog, but it did have blood on its paws. So the mystery was definitely bigger than just finding the dog’s home. They conjectured whether there was a murder involved. Just as they were attempting to connect with the dog, it took off. And the mystery deepened.

Janice Spina has a knack for writing mysteries. Her recent addition to the Davey and Derek Junior Detectives Series, The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog, is another good twist on what might appear to be a simple mystery. Like the ever popular young boys’ mystery series, the Hardy Boys, Davey and Derek, the two protagonists, make a great team of amateur sleuths. The basic plot of a boy team working together solving the mystery develops simply, mixed in with a little bit of magic, a little bit of boyish fun and a little bit of humor. The reader can’t help but like and even relate to these active youngsters whose minds never stop working. The plot is developed primarily through dialogue, which makes this a good story for an early chapter book reader. There’s nothing better to encourage the reluctant young boy reader than a Hardy Boys-like series mixed with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of fun.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Brown-Scraggly-Davey-Junior-Detectives-ebook/dp/B01MZ5FL46

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brown-Scraggly-Davey-Junior-Detectives-ebook/dp/B01MZ5FL4

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and  https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com

Now time to update the reviews for Outshine – An Ovarian Cancer Memoir by Karen Ingalls.

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

Recent reviews for the book

Outshine is aptly named. It shines with inspiration, faith, hope, and resolve. In it, the author shares the challenges she faced after receiving a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Outshine isn’t heavy. Nor is it oppressive. It’s well-written and reads more like a story told by a strong woman who shares her trials with the reader. Karen Ingalls also shares the good times she allowed herself to experience in order to keep the balance her mind needed to survive. God gave Karen a strong support system led by her rock solid husband. This system helped her live more positively and gave her strength to acquire and apply all the knowledge she could. Throughout, Karen credits God, friends, family, and her doctors for helping her to survive. I intend to re-read Outshine, intermittently, to help me minister to friends and family who may be going through cancer. I’m also recommending it to anyone that I think it might help.

As a long-time ovarian cancer survivor, I found this book, which I purchased from the author, to be well-written, an excellent guide to help others cope with the cancer roller coaster ride, and a heartfelt personal story. I highly recommend it to all those who have been touched by cancer. Marcia Mabee

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

Gay Ingram released her latest historical novel for young adults and teens in August and time to share some recent reviews, George Washington: From Boy Surveyor to Soldier.

About the book

The death of his father when he was only eleven dashes George Washington’s hopes for a proper English education. Then, his mother refuses to allow him to fulfill his dream of a Naval career. It is only with the discovery of his father’s surveying tools that the young George finds an ‘open door’ to experiences that will prepare him for the greatest adventure of his life…our country’s first president.

A brief excerpt from Chapter One.

Virginia Colony, 1743

The two horses thundered across the meadow, neck-to-neck. Clods of torn-away dirt flew into the air to mark their passage. George tucked his head close to the animal’s neck to excape the stinging slap of a wind-blown mane. Monitor’s shoulder muscles bunched beneath the boy’s legs when the horse launched into the air to clear the ditch. Boy and animal landed with a jolt. George held his seat as the horse rushed on. He wondered if his cousin Lund’s hors would take the jump and looked back over his shoulder. Horse and rider folloed behind, completing the jump. He let out a whoop. The feel of Monitor’s surging energy beneath him, the rush of air sucking at his breath, skimming past a blurred landscape;every part fo the wild ride exhilarated George.

Ms. Ingram has created an interesting picture of our First President’s boyhood. Somehow it is hard to visualize our national leaders as children with their own goals, childhood escapades, and frustrations. It’s surprising the change in attitude toward England and the King that occured during George Washington’s life. These are tidbits of information that aren’t in the history books. It is information that makes President Washington a real person rather than an historical figure in a book. I can recommend it to youth and adults.

History Anew on September 1, 2017

Author Gay Ingram has a way with weaving details, dialog and description as expertly as a weaver might fashion a new rug.

This book was written for an audience much younger than myself. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot about Washington I did not know before, despite being a student of history. Ingram takes the reader by the hand and gently pulls you in, so that you feel as though you are a part of the story. In particular, I enjoyed the parts dealing with the “boy surveyor”. One of my ancestors — a man named Samuel Gann — did survey work in Virginia colony with a young George Washington. To read the story of this time in Washington’s life gave me an intense appreciation for what my own family went through in colonial Virginia.

This story is beautifully-written, rich with detail and emotion. I would encourage young and old alike to read this book and come to know one of our greatest Founding Fathers in a new and deeper way.

Head over to download the book: https://www.amazon.com/George-Washington-Boy-Surveyor-Soldier-ebook/dp/B0748JBX3D

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/George-Washington-Boy-Surveyor-Soldier-ebook/dp/B0748JBX3D

A small selection of the many other books by Gay Ingram

Discover all of Gay Ingram’s books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/author/gayingram

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gay-Ingram/e/B008VS6AJI

Read more reviews and follow Gay on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomgay_ingram

Connect to Gay via her Blog: http://gayingram.blogspot.com/