Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Lorinda J. Taylor, D. Wallace Peach and Hugh W. Roberts


The first author today is Lorinda J. Taylor with her most recent releaseThe Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction.

About the book

A rehabilitated Robbin Nikalishin is back in the Captain’s chair as the Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight gets underway. After finishing off the loose ends remaining from his unorthodox penalty, the Captain returns to Herinen Space Port, where the first tasks are to complete the construction of two starships, give them names, and select a crew to fly them, including certain participants from the previous interstellar program. The Captain is fully committed to supporting his old friends, even though not all of them have fully recovered from the Darter Disaster. Specifically, Ian Glencrosse remains deeply – and ominously – affected, while Banyat Thaksin, the Engineer who lost his foot in the disaster, embarks on a course that will influence the future history of Earth.Capt. Robbie never loses his sense of humor or his willingness to engage in romantic relationships, finding a comfortable liaison with a earlier acquaintance. However, his disastrous marriage has not been severed. Can it be that the High Feather will resurface, with a new agenda of her own?

One of the reviews for  Phenix Rises on Goodreads

Jun 25, 2019 Audrey Driscoll rated it it was amazing  ·

Returning to this fictional biography was like a reunion with old friends. For the first two-thirds of the book, a rehabilitated Captain Nikalishin prepares to take on his new role as commander of the first ship to visit the stars. He ties up loose ends, moves to a new home, and undertakes a round the world journey to discover which of his old comrades would like to join him in the renewed enterprise. This trip presents opportunities for fleshing out the history of different parts of the world in the centuries preceding the 28th, a dark and violent time in which humanity almost destroyed itself. Already fascinated by the renewed human civilization and its values, I found these background details interesting. The richness of the fictional world in which this story plays out is one of the strengths of this series of novels.

As those in charge of the Phenix Project build a crew for the enterprise and begin intensive training, a worrying issue emerges that casts a shadow I’m sure will play out as Robbie’s life story continues. The book ends with a jolt that absolutely demands resolution. I hope Part Six appears soon!

Note: anyone who hasn’t read Parts One through Four really ought to do that first. The life story of this 28th century hero is absorbing and entertaining, and should be read in chronological order.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1795285648

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1795285648

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

The next review is for More Glimpses the recent short story collection by Hugh W. Roberts.

About More Glimpses

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Flash fiction and short stories are some of my favorite late night reading. Having read the first book, “Glimpses,” I was thrilled to hear that Hugh Roberts had written a second collection.

What I found between these pages was a wealth of creative and imaginative stories. Roberts is known for his witty endings and his ability to take a mundane event and turn it into something totally unexpected. Some of his stories have a Twilight Zone quality to them that are sure to WOW! Just to be safe, don’t turn out the lights.

A few of my favorites were “The Whistle,” a frightening glance back into time and set in the trenches of WWI. This one tugged at my heart!

“Murder in Evershot,” reads like a Miss Marple suspense from the BBC. The author actually casts himself and family into the plot. Brilliant!

My favorite story was “Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden” (of course). This was the story of Roger, a homophobe who despised his brother in law simply because he was gay. However, the fairies at the bottom of the garden have a surprise in store for Roger. Just goes to show that you should never piss-off the fairies! Never!!

This collection of short stories is the perfect weekend read! Grab your copy today!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B07PG4RH89

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/More-Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B07PG4RH89

Also by Hugh W. Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

The next author with new review is D. Wallace Peach for Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea) Book One.

About the book

When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness. Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul. When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head. Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I was attracted to this book by its unusual title. Soul Swallowers, what could that mean? I was amazed and delighted to discover that its meaning is quite literal and one of the themes of this book is the ability of the people in the author’s beautifully constructed fantasy world to physically swallow the souls of others, friends or foes, and acquire their characteristics, skills and abilities. I enjoyed how the author explored this aspect of the book and illustrated through her characters how the swallowing of souls impacted on the swallower, changing their personality if the soul was a contradiction to their own nature and causing internal turmoil. If the soul was a good fit, the swallower would benefit hugely from this process and the two souls would eventually meld and become completely harmonious. I found this concept unique and compelling.

The author has created a world in conflict and explores the possibilities for good and evil when one culture is consumed by another. Ideas and cultural policies that work well with a conqueror in this case the Ezar, are often badly transposed and their implementation manipulated for personal gain by the representatives of the conquerors and by the leaders of the conquered, who want to retain their positions of power under the new regime. The concept of slavery depicted in the Soul Swallowers and how its initial implementation by the Ezar is twisted in the Vales to the advantage of ruthless and unruly slavers clearly demonstrates this abuse of power. The uncaring attitude of the Vale leadership highlights the distrustful and back stabbing environment that emerges in such situations. As with other brilliant works of fantasy that draw analogies with real life happenings, the influences of Tolkien’s experiences in World War 1 and their influence on his series Lord of the Rings come to mind, the author has done an excellent job of creating a world which shares interesting ideas and thoughts on problems and issue that we are currently facing with integrating cultures in our current global world.

The main character, Raze Anvrell, is the son of one of the Vale leaders who rails against his father’s wishes for him to marry the daughter of a neighbouring Vale leader and bring about an alliance of their two families. When Raze discloses that he is already married, which results in the murder of his young wife, he turns his back on his family and disappears, building himself a life on a rural farm in the Vales. The growth of Raze’s character is intriguing to experience as he goes from being a bereaved, but rather spoiled young man, to developing into a kind and compassionate man who cares for the welfare of others. Raze’s path leads him to discover that you cannot always walk away from a bad system and sometimes you have to take a stand against it.

A fascinating and well written book and one I would recommend to readers of fantasy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

A selection of  books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to Diana via her blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Recipe – Bishop’s Cake – Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the last post from the archives of fantasy author Lorinda J. Taylor and despite being a little early for a Thanksgiving menu.. I think this cake could be eaten any day of the year.

#Recipe – Bishop’s Cake – Lorinda J. Taylor

A recipe is the last thing you’d expect to find on one of my blogs, but something got me to thinking about eatables I used to make (I never cook or bake these days), and I remembered Bishop’s Cake, and I thought, gee, if I’m never going to make it again, I ought to share this on my blog so other people could enjoy it this holiday season and in the future.

It isn’t a recipe that comes from my grandmother or farther back in family history. In fact, I got it from somebody I worked with in the 1960’s. But then that’s ancient history for a lot of the people reading this! It’s a fruit cake, but don’t let that name put you off!

It’s not the type of fruitcake that you would ever take to the Manitou Springs Fruitcake Toss after Christmas and chuck down the field with a catapult! It’s scrumptious! It has none of the coarse, sour, bitter stuff like candied citrus peel or citron or even candied pineapple. And I don’t know why it’s called Bishop’s Cake — that’s just the name my friend gave it. It’s definitely fit for a bishop, or a king!

Bishop’s Cake

Mix together:

  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Add:

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup candied cherries (as I recall, I left them whole. You could use red and green mixed for extra color)
  • 1 cup chopped dates (add gradually for even mixing. I used the pre-chopped, sugared date bits because I’m lazy. They are a little drier than the whole dates.)

Combine and sift over this mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix well. Add a small amount of water if the batter is too dry to hold togther.
  2. Line a loaf pan (I forget the dimensions — 4×8? 5×9? — just the regular size) with wax paper and spoon the batter into it. I always decorated it with a row of walnut halves down the middle and rows of cherry halves on each side.)
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Cool in pan, then lift out with the waxed paper and peel it off the bottom. The cake is compact, so you don’t have to worry about having it fall apart.

Ooh, it’s delicious — my mouth is watering! I mean, what could go wrong with the combination of chocolate chips, cherries, nuts, and dates?

Image Pinterest Francais.

©Lorinda J. Taylor 2012

About Lorinda J. Taylor

A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.

A small selection of  books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the reviews for part five of the series – Phenix Rises

To ensure I don’t inadvertently add any ‘spoilers’, I have decided to write this review when I am only two thirds of the way through Ms Taylor’s latest ‘block-buster’. Once again, the author has produced a large and satisfying chunk of intergalactic travel, spiced with inter-related struggles between the friends and colleagues of Captain Robbie. I have read all of the series and this time the ‘atmosphere’ has mellowed, so (I hope and suspect) all will be nicely resolved by the end of the book. Such empathy from the writer with her characters, can only have been created by ‘living’ the story (in her imagination) through them. I am still not overly fond of ‘our hero’ but his friends are a wonderfully rich mixture of interesting and varied personalities which keep me coming back for more. The author must be a keen observer of human nature to have included so many different guises so seamlessly within the narrative. Another tour-de-‘force – which I hope will be with her’, for many more stories to come.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda

Blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/
Blog 2: http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com/
MeWe: Lorinda J. Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TermiteWriter

My thanks to Lorinda for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and enjoy exploring yourselves. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Reminiscences about Old Libraries from an Old Librarian, Part 1 by Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post from the archives of fantasy author Lorinda J. Taylor who has two blogs for me to choose from. In this post I share some of the libraries that Lorinda values…The original Coburn Library became the Tutt Library in 1962.

Reminiscences about Old Libraries from an Old Librarian, Part 1 by Lorinda J. Taylor

I have worked in really old libraries and in brand new libraries and in some of a middle age, and while the new ones were more roomy and convenient, it’s the old ones that I have the fondest memories of, and also some of the weirdest. All libraries have their eccentricities, but the old ones are like pixillated little old ladies and gentlemen. You never know what they will do next.

The first library I ever worked in (and the one where I studied as an undergraduate) was the one below. I attended Colorado College from 1957 through 1961 and during that time I worked as a student assistant for the summer after my sophomore year (the summer after my junior year I took beginning German and I never tried to work and go to school at the same time — I’ve never been a multitasker). Then I worked again as a circulation assistant the summer after I graduated, before I went to Cornell to study for my MA. In 1962 CC’s brand spanking new Charles Leaming Tutt Library opened and I worked there that same summer (starting only a few weeks after the building opened — they were still laying carpet) before I headed to UCLA for my library science degree. I was to return ito the new library in 1963 as Catalog Librarian, but that’s a whole different story.

Tutt Library, Colorado College, 1894-1962
A Postcard View
From https://libraryweb.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/Colorado/EarlyViews/F10.html

More information can be found: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/library/about/index.html

The building was constructed of “peachblow sandstone quarried near Aspen.” It’s a beautiful red stone and several of the early buildings on the campus were constructed of that material. “Coburn cost about $45,000 to build. The major donor was the Hon. N. P. Coburn of Newton Massachusetts, a childhood friend of CC President Slocum. In 1940, to make room for the growing collection, a four-story addition with room for 60,000 volumes was built for $20,000.”

Interior View of Tutt Library, ca. 1895

“The building, judged inadequate even after the addition, was razed in 1963. The statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace, seen here in an interior view ca. 1895, disappeared around that time. We hold out hope that it will come back home to roost one day.”

This interior view may be from 1895, but when I was in college, it looked exactly like this, except the addition at the back had done away with that half-moon window. Everything was decked out in beautiful warm-hued, polished woodwork. The rare book collection was housed in a locked closet in the upper left hand of the picture, reached by a metal circular staircase. Nike was still there in my time — when I was pondering my reading at a table, I used to look up at that statue in some fascination. The circulation desk was always over there at the left, and I presume the small card catalog seen at the left in the picture included all the books the library contained in 1895. By my time the library had maybe 100,000 books (I honestly have forgotten, so I don’t swear by this figure) crammed into that small space.
You see those balconies at the upper right? By my time bound periodicals were shelved there, and sometimes a little old lady would ask you so sweetly to get a volume down for her.

What can a student assistant do but comply? You had to climb up a really tall ladder while dangling halfway out over the edge of the balcony. Honestly, it was scary!

Not seen in this picture (which looks north) is the balcony at the southern end of the main room. It housed the materials in the historical ranges of the Dewey Decimal system and it seems like I was always stuck with shelving books there. Of course there were no elevators.

You had to load up a tray of books (you know how heavy books are) and carry them up a steep, cut-back staircase, and then keep going up and down a ladder with a few books each time. Maybe that’s why I have so much arthritis in my shoulders now! I’ve hauled books around all my life!

The 1940 addition was bare-bones — just metal stacks in about four levels — but at least the ceilings were low and it was supplied with carrels with slit windows, so you could look out over the quadrangle when you were studying.

Do any of you remember the smell of old libraries? New libraries smell like fresh paint and plaster and carpet chemicals, but old libraries smell like musty, unsunned storage caves — paper dust and old crumbling leather bindings and book glue and a touch of printing ink and furniture polish and maybe some disintegrated bookworms thrown in for good measure. A wonderful, nostalgic smell that I can still conjure up for myself!

Now, the spookiest and most aromatic part of Coburn Library was the basement. It contained storage for government documents. I presume you all know that many libraries are repositories for government documents; they automatically receive at least a selection of everything printed by the GPO. You know how much paper the government produces. Any academic library worth its salt has a librarian solely in charge of government documents, and those materials take up a heck of a lot of space. In Coburn it was the basement. It was lit only by drop lights and they didn’t stay on all the time. There were no centralized switches for the lighting, so in the evening when the library closed up, somebody had to sweep the building, turning off the lights. If somebody requested a document in the daytime, you would have to go down there and find it for them, turning the lights on as you went. Some of the aisles were piled with overflow from those sections of shelving.

There is a cartoon that I think came from the New Yorker, but I’m not sure. I’ve been trying to find it online but without any luck, alas, so I’ll describe it. It shows a female librarian between two stacks with a bunch of books piled on the floor just like I used to see in the Coburn basement. Sitting on top of the books (with a drop light overhead) is a skull draped with cobwebs and the woman is regarding it with the most horrified expression. I used to feel just like that when I had to go down there. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all to find a mummified body! Murder in the Library! I think that’s been done in more than one mystery novel!

It pained me that they demolished this quirky old building. I would have liked to see it preserved and put it on the Register of Historic Buildings. But the college needed the land for a new administration building and auditorium, so … Coburn is gone never to return.

And by the way, if anybody out there knows the location of that Winged Victory, please get in touch with me!
 

About Lorinda J. Taylor

A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.

A small selection of  books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the reviews for part five of the series – Phenix Rises

To ensure I don’t inadvertently add any ‘spoilers’, I have decided to write this review when I am only two thirds of the way through Ms Taylor’s latest ‘block-buster’. Once again, the author has produced a large and satisfying chunk of intergalactic travel, spiced with inter-related struggles between the friends and colleagues of Captain Robbie. I have read all of the series and this time the ‘atmosphere’ has mellowed, so (I hope and suspect) all will be nicely resolved by the end of the book. Such empathy from the writer with her characters, can only have been created by ‘living’ the story (in her imagination) through them. I am still not overly fond of ‘our hero’ but his friends are a wonderfully rich mixture of interesting and varied personalities which keep me coming back for more. The author must be a keen observer of human nature to have included so many different guises so seamlessly within the narrative. Another tour-de-‘force – which I hope will be with her’, for many more stories to come.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda

Blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/
Blog 2: http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com/
MeWe: Lorinda J. Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TermiteWriter

My thanks to Lorinda for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and enjoy exploring yourselves. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Ye Olde #Grammarian (No. 6): A Hodgepodge, Plus Some E-Book #Formatting Tips from Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second post from the archives of fantasy author Lorinda J. Taylor who has two blogs for me to choose from.

Ye Olde Grammarian (No. 6): A Hodgepodge, Plus Some E-Book Formatting Tips from Lorinda J. Taylor

Otherwise known as a potpourri, pastiche, melange, mishmash, or gallimaufry!

https://www.copyediting.com/

I recently read somewhere about certain conventions of print books that I realized I had been flagrantly violating. (I checked a bunch of books that I own and by golly, both these things are true.)

First, don’t use “by” on the cover and title page. Unfortunately, I have done that consistently, until the last two books in the Ki’shto’ba series, where I dropped the “by” on the cover. I did, however, retain it on the title page, again for the sake of consistency.

The other convention is that the first paragraph of a chapter or chapter section is not indented. Sometimes they even use a few letters in all caps. After I learned this, I tried not indenting, but it just didn’t look right to me, so again for the sake of consistency I persisted in indenting the first paragraph.

So I make my mea culpas. In my next publication, I may amend my ways. In the meantime, if it really bothers you that I use “by” on the cover and t.p. or that I indent the opening paragraphs, I guess you just can’t read my books, or you can read the e-books, where clarity is the only rule that really applies.

I am very much aware that a writer should italicize the names of ships. I didn’t do that in v. 5 and 6 of The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head. Somehow I thought it seemed artificial. I think the Shshi consider their ships as something more than inanimate objects, so, since one does not italicize the names of individuals, it seemed wrong not to treat ships the same way. You’ll notice that I did italicize the name of the human ship in v. 6. And that’s saying more than I should.

So I don’t want to hear any complaints that I don’t know that rule!

Now I want to talk about backward apostrophes. In Word, most people use curly apostrophes and when you type a single apostrophe, it comes out like this: He said, ‘I see you.’ An initial single apostrophe always opens to the right, which is correct for a quotation mark. But when the apostrophe signifies an omission, it shouldn’t open to the right — it should open to the left. Wrong: Eat ‘em up! It should be Eat ’em up! So how did I make it go the right way? I type this: Eat ‘’em up! and then go back and delete the first apostrophe. I get irked every time I read a book formatted by somebody who doesn’t know you can do this.

So what’s with the word or words “alright” and “all right”? Here is the Usage Note under “alright” in Dictionary.com:

“The form alright as a one-word spelling of the phrase all right in all of its senses probably arose by analogy with such words as already and altogether. Although alright is a common spelling in written dialogue and in other types of informal writing, all right is used in more formal, edited writing.”

It may be becoming common to spell it “alright,” but it still irks me when I encounter it in an otherwise well-edited book.

I have always had problems knowing whether to use “a while” or “awhile.” Read what Grammar Girl has to say about it — it’s basically what I finally came up with on my own.

“Awhile” is an adverb. “I stayed awhile.” “He stared at the girl awhile and then approached her.”

“A while” is simply an article plus a noun, and that construction is required when an object is involved, for example, in prepositional phrases: “I stayed for a while.” “He left after a while.” Grammar Girl gives this example, which may confuse some people. “It’s been a while since he visited.”

The reason you use the noun form here is that “to be” in a copular, or linking, verb and takes a predicate nominative or a predicate adjective rather than an adverb. (You wouldn’t say, “He’s been quietly for a while,’ would you? You would say, “He’s been quiet for a while.” “Quiet” is an adjective modifying “he.”) Esoteric, you say? You should have heard my mother expounding on linking verbs! Some other linking verbs are “to become,” “to feel ,” to smell,” etc. If you’re interested in pursuing this further, go here.

I’m going to reiterate what I said in an earlier post about using commas in terms of address.

It’s the old “Let’s eat, Grampa” vs. “Let’s eat Grampa” dichotomy. In my earlier post I said this: “The use of the vocative (i.e., an instance where you are addressing someone) is related to this. … Here is another [example] as to why you should set off the name of the person addressed with a comma:

What don’t you want to tell John?

What don’t you want to tell, John?

I recently read a book where the language got really confused because of the omission of commas. I was always having to stop and go back and figure out what the author meant. I think it’s a British tendency to omit commas in this sort of construction, but I do wish people would return to the old rule.

To read my other Olde Grammarian posts, go to
http://termitewriter.blogspot.com/search/label/Grammar

Summary of how to do ToC links on Smashwords

Now I’m going to add a bit on e-book formatting using Word — how to easily create a linked Table of Contents. Smashwords insists that you do this, but Kindle doesn’t care. I get irritated when an e-book doesn’t have a ToC linked to the chapters and also chapters linked back to the ToC, because it’s so easy to lose your place in an e-book and this way you can always skip through by chapter. I recommend that everybody do this on all their e-books. It takes a little time, but it’s not difficult and your readers (or at least I) will thank you.

Make your Table of Contents (remove all links based on style, e.g., Heading 1 or ToC1, etc.)
Select each chapter heading in the text and create Insert Bookmark (on Insert menu).

Remember, no spaces in bookmark names; abbreviate as much as you like as long as it’s clear (e.g., Ch1 for Chapter One or Note for Note to the Smashwords Edition).

Go to ToC list and select each Chapter designation. Then add a Hyperlink, using the Insert menu or the right-click menu. Click on “Place in this document.” Select the corresponding bookmark and then click on OK.

Then make a bookmark for the heading “Table of Contents.” Smashwords suggests using “ref_ToC”

Go one more time through the document text, selecting each chapter heading and making a hyperlink using “ref_ToC.” This will link each chapter back to the top of the Table of Contents.
Double check to make sure the ToC entries link to the correct chapters.

©Lorinda J. Taylor

My thanks to Lorinda for clearing up some common grammar issues and a tip on making sure your ebook has a Table of Contents.

About Lorinda J. Taylor

A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.

A small selection of  books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the reviews for part five of the series – Phenix Rises

To ensure I don’t inadvertently add any ‘spoilers’, I have decided to write this review when I am only two thirds of the way through Ms Taylor’s latest ‘block-buster’. Once again, the author has produced a large and satisfying chunk of intergalactic travel, spiced with inter-related struggles between the friends and colleagues of Captain Robbie. I have read all of the series and this time the ‘atmosphere’ has mellowed, so (I hope and suspect) all will be nicely resolved by the end of the book. Such empathy from the writer with her characters, can only have been created by ‘living’ the story (in her imagination) through them. I am still not overly fond of ‘our hero’ but his friends are a wonderfully rich mixture of interesting and varied personalities which keep me coming back for more. The author must be a keen observer of human nature to have included so many different guises so seamlessly within the narrative. Another tour-de-‘force – which I hope will be with her’, for many more stories to come.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda

Blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/
Blog 2: http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com/
MeWe: Lorinda J. Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TermiteWriter

My thanks to Lorinda for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and enjoy exploring yourselves. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Teaching in the Dust Bowl 1930s by Lorinda Taylor


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post from the archives of fantasy author Lorinda J. Taylor who has two blogs for me to choose from.. This post goes back to 2012 and even further to the Depression in America and Lorinda’s mother’s story of teaching in the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

Teaching in the Dust Bowl 1930s by Lorinda Taylor

I decided to talk about what is an archaic time for many of you denizens of cyberspace who are in your 20s or 30s or even 40s. And the time is the 1930s.

And no, I don’t go back quite that far, but my mother did. She was born in 1909 and graduated from high school in 1927, right before the Great Depression. Her father (my grandfather) was in some ways enlightened for his time. He vigorously condemned smoking, saying that putting all that tar and nicotine into your lungs would kill you, and he counseled my mother that she shouldn’t count on having a man to support her and and should develop some way to make a living on her own.

When she first graduated from high school, she worked in a shop as a salesperson (a totally different story that I may elaborate on someday), but after three years of this she decided she didn’t want to do that all her life, so she went to college — the same college that I attended many years later. It was here in Colorado Springs where I live now — the Colorado College, a small, private, liberal arts institution that is well respected throughout the United States. She started in 1930 and graduated in 1934 — right in the depths of the Depression. My grandfather, who was a real estate broker, gave the College a house that he owned to help pay her tuition.

My mother majored in Romance languages, taking four years of Spanish, three years of French, and two years of Italian, and became a secondary school teacher. But when she graduated, she couldn’t find a job and even resorted to taking a cosmetology course and working in a beauty shop for a while. Finally, however, she got a job — I think it was 1936 — in a tiny town in southeast Colorado called Hartman. I believe it still exists today. Anybody out there in Hartman reading this?

Remember, this was not only the Depression, it was the Dust Bowl, and southeast Colorado was right in the heart of the Dust Bowl. The town was losing people, but it did have a consolidated school — grade school and high school all in one building, I believe (I couldn’t swear to some of this). The superintendent was a woman and she proceeded to tell my mother that she would not only be teaching Spanish and English (obviously in a school of that size one had to teach more than first and second year Spanish) — she would also have to direct all the school plays, teach algebra, coach girls’ PE, and (because my mother could play the piano) direct the glee club (“choir” to you)! My mother always said that she needed the job so badly that she would have swept the floors if her superiors had asked her!

She was always good in math, fortunately, and could manage the algebra, but the text book that they were using had no answer book! So the first year she had to work out every problem herself before she could correct the students’ exercises! It wasn’t exactly easy!

The school was so small that everybody could know everybody else. If there was a play practice, students had to have a note from their parents saying they could stay late at night. After the practice, they would make hot cocoa and stand around and “chew the fat” (“talk,” to you). The glee club consisted of a lot of singing around the piano. There was radio, of course, but no other electronic gizmos. The girls played softball or exercised indoors for PE. The boys all thought my mother was beautiful, and I’m sure she was — people told her she looked like Greta Garbo.

Another thing a teacher had to do in those days (at least if they were the sponsor of the junior class) was manage the Junior-Senior Prom, which required picking a theme (I think my mother used a Dutch theme once, and once a Hawaiian theme, or maybe it was pirates).

Plans could be bought from companies that specialized in that sort of thing, but you still had to make lots of crepe-paper decorations. There was also a competition at Christmas for the best home-room decorations and I believe my mother won it consistently. You could even have a nativity scene in those days and nobody objected. Of course, I doubt if there were very many people in that area at that time that didn’t have a Christian background.

One thing you didn’t want to do was get caught in a dust storm. My mother said you could see them rolling in across the prairie. Things would get as black as night and the dust would sift in under the doors and on the windowsills. My mother bought her first car in 1937 — a little Ford that cost $600.00 (quite a sum when you’re making $100.00/month on a 9-month contract) — because without transportation she was really stuck in Hartman. One time she said she went to a nearby town and a dust storm rolled in and she didn’t think she would ever get home. But obviously she made it.

My mother stayed in that school for four years and went back later during World War II and taught there another two years. She always said it was one of the happiest times of her life. It was a different time, for sure. But it only goes to show that happiness does not depend on high technology or instant communication; it depends on human relationships and the sense of fulfillment one gains from a rewarding job. I wouldn’t want to go back to that time (because of medical advances, for one thing; even penicillin hadn’t been discovered yet), but there are positive aspects to that kind of lifestyle that perhaps we have lost today.

©Lorinda J. Taylor 2012.

What a wonderful story about Lorinda’s mother and how happiness is found in people rather than the material things we clutter out lives with…

About Lorinda J. Taylor

A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.

A small selection of  books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the reviews for part five of the series – Phenix Rises

To ensure I don’t inadvertently add any ‘spoilers’, I have decided to write this review when I am only two thirds of the way through Ms Taylor’s latest ‘block-buster’. Once again, the author has produced a large and satisfying chunk of intergalactic travel, spiced with inter-related struggles between the friends and colleagues of Captain Robbie. I have read all of the series and this time the ‘atmosphere’ has mellowed, so (I hope and suspect) all will be nicely resolved by the end of the book. Such empathy from the writer with her characters, can only have been created by ‘living’ the story (in her imagination) through them. I am still not overly fond of ‘our hero’ but his friends are a wonderfully rich mixture of interesting and varied personalities which keep me coming back for more. The author must be a keen observer of human nature to have included so many different guises so seamlessly within the narrative. Another tour-de-‘force – which I hope will be with her’, for many more stories to come.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda

Blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/
Blog 2: http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com/
MeWe: Lorinda J. Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TermiteWriter

My thanks to Lorinda for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and enjoy exploring yourselves. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction by Lorinda J. Taylor


A brand new release by Lorinda J. Taylor –The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction.

About the book

A rehabilitated Robbin Nikalishin is back in the Captain’s chair as the Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight gets underway. After finishing off the loose ends remaining from his unorthodox penalty, the Captain returns to Herinen Space Port, where the first tasks are to complete the construction of two starships, give them names, and select a crew to fly them, including certain participants from the previous interstellar program. The Captain is fully committed to supporting his old friends, even though not all of them have fully recovered from the Darter Disaster. Specifically, Ian Glencrosse remains deeply – and ominously – affected, while Banyat Thaksin, the Engineer who lost his foot in the disaster, embarks on a course that will influence the future history of Earth.Capt. Robbie never loses his sense of humor or his willingness to engage in romantic relationships, finding a comfortable liaison with a earlier acquaintance. However, his disastrous marriage has not been severed. Can it be that the High Feather will resurface, with a new agenda of her own?

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1795285648

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1795285648

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the reviews for part four of the series – Survivor

Captain Robbin Nikalishin’s world has imploded around him leaving him to deal with the consequences of his many bad decisions. He embarks upon the search for the meaning of life that will set him free.

Robbie’s relationship with his wife has deteriorated to the point of no return. Problems with women have always plagued him. Most of these feelings stem from his inability to understand his mother and the choices she made long ago when he was a boy. This shortcoming has stunted his emotional growth acting as the catalyst that throws him into a deep depression, coloring his decision-making capabilities.

In a downward spiral, Robbie plunges into the depths of self-loathing. He turns to alcohol, seeking sanctuary from the personal revelations that haunt his psyche. Reckless, he pushes his luck and almost ends his career.

Yet, behind the scenes, his friends are working to help him regain his confidence. It is through their guidance and love that Captain Nikalshin finds the man he once was.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. The author has created an in-depth character study of the protagonist, Captain Robbie with stunning results. Seldom in fiction do you get to know the deepest secrets of a man and why he makes the choices he does.

With that said, be prepared, because Survivor is long, maybe a bit too long. I have followed this series since its inception and always felt a motherly connection to the captain. Nevertheless, there were a few episodes where he devolved into a sniveling mess where I wanted to slap him or give him a firm talking to!

Somehow, I always find my way to back to falling for Robbie Nikalishin’s naivete and charm. You simply can’t be mad at the character for long, which demonstrates the writing talent of the author.

I’m looking forward to the fifth book. I hope the captain finds everything he’s been searching for.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 4 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 Stars

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

About Lorinda J. Taylor

A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.

Connect to Lorinda

Blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/
MeWe: Lorinda J. Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TermiteWriter

It would be great if you could share the news of Lorinda’s new book – Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Judith Barrow and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first author update of the week and some exciting news to kick this post off. A new release from the writing partnership of Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Lore Weavers: An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales released last week.

About the book

“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote.

In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow. Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures.

Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human. Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death. When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation.

‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick more than four times in any one day.’

‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators. The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia.

From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance. It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be

The books is available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

One of the reviews for Mister Fox: The Legends.

In almost every culture from the very earliest records we have, there are stories of the tricksters who use brains to triumph over larger, stronger, richer foes, frequently to aid people around them. Tricksters from ancient Prometheus—who tricked Zeus, stole fire, and gave it to mortals—to Loki, Anansi, Kokopelli, Lugh, Coyote, Crow, and so many more worked their clever, funny, and often helpful schemes.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France have added a page to that legend. But instead of simply retelling, they’ve pulled together the mystery and the dance, combined it with firelight and magic, and graphically presented an experience rather than a story. “I have seen them write in fire on the darkness…and heard the drums beaten with flaming brands.”

I can’t review this like a regular book, because my normal benchmarks—plot, pace, character development—are irrelevant. Oh, sure there are words—a new Trickster legend for Crow, and a tale-within-a-tale legend told appropriately by Punch, that most British of Tricksters. There are even inside jokes like the one in which the ancient Fox manuscript is lost when the original Sir Rufus Foxx has to flee the country after “disaster is visited on the family” by younger brother Guido Foxx (Guy Fawkes?).

But ultimately, all I can tell you is that this little book is more than the sum of its parts. The glowing artwork, with its puzzles and hints at so much more, is a much a part of the voice and the magic as the spare words. You can’t read this book as much as experience it. But if you do, you’ll know how art and fire and dance can combine to make magic. And just maybe a sky-full of stars too.

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

The next author with an update is Judith Barrow with a recent review for her book Secrets.

About the book

Ashford, home of the Howarth family,is a gritty northern mill town, a community of no-nonsense Lancashire folk, who speak their minds and are quick to judge. But how many of them are hiding secrets that wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of others?
Judith Barrow’s Howarth Family trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows, along with the prequel, A Hundred Tiny Threads, published by Honno Press, is peopled with just such characters. Here are some of their secret stories – the girl who had to relinquish her baby, the boy who went to war too young, the wife who couldn’t take any more…

“Judith Barrow has surpassed herself in writing this great family saga… There is such a wealth of fantastic characters to fall in love with and ones to hate! (Brook Cottage Books)

One of the most recent reviews for Secrets

This short but engrossing read introduces us to some of the characters in Barrow’s Pattern’s trilogy. These juicy tidbits reveal some of the secrets in backstory of some of the characters we’ll come to know in Barrow’s books. These secrets revolve around the family saga of the Howarth family in wartime England and continue into following decades. We get a sneak peak into what some of these characters endured, encompassing issues such as: An abused wife in Edith Jagger’s Secrets, Nelly Shuttleworth’s Secret about how she tried to save her baby from being taken at birth by fleeing a nun’s adoption home, Gwyneth’s Secret and about how she met the patriarch in Changing Patterns, a man we’ll love to hate.

All these stories leave us hanging and have us wanting to discover what happens next with a wonderfully written cast of characters who suffer tough times. If you love Family Saga stories you’ll love this series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-shadows-truth-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B072M7Q78V

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-shadows-truth-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B072M7Q78V

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3295663.Judith_Barrow

Connect to Judith via her blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

The final update today is for Lorinda J Taylor with the release of the third book in her series The Man Who Found Birds Amongst the Stars: Bird of Prey

About the book

Wounded physically and mentally by the disaster aboard the Darter, Capt. Nikalishin struggles in Part Two of this biography to overcome the aftereffects and find fulfillment in a life where his dream of flying to the stars has been lost. With the help of many friends, he achieves success as the Captain of a Mars ship, but still he remains lonely and dissatisfied, unable to cope with the secret phobias and misunderstandings that haunt his existence. When the woman of his dreams abruptly re-enters his life, he woos and weds her, in sequences that are filled with both comedy and pathos. The Captain was hoping to find a soul mate to assuage his loneliness. Will this radical alteration in his life really be the answer to his difficulties? Or will the marriage turn out to be a disastrous and even tragic mistake?

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Found-Birds-among-Stars-Three-ebook/dp/B076KV3P9Z

And from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Found-Birds-among-Stars-Three-ebook/dp/B076KV3P9Z

A selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

One of the most recent reviews for Book Two in the series: Wounded Eagle

At the beginning of the second book in the series, we find our hero, Captain Robbin Nikalishin regaining consciousness aboard the rescue ship Reliable. The untold horrors of the space disaster have left the captain suffering from PTSD, along with an all-encompassing guilt for the death of his best friend, Kolm MaGilligoody.

Psychologically, Robbie is in a bad place. Kolm’s death haunts him day and night. At times, the pain is so great he doesn’t feel he can go on. The physical damage of the crash has also taken its toll. The captain’s appearance has suffered from the effects of radiation poisoning, along with various bumps and bruises. These physical signs of trauma eventually abate, leaving behind the deep scars of emotional pain that Robbie must learn to embrace.

Captain Nikalishin discovers he has a long road ahead of him when it comes to healing from these psychological wounds. With the help of Dr. Souray, who becomes a surrogate mother to him, there is gradual improvement. The primary issue is that certain things set the captain off and he reverts back to relive the horror in a series of flashbacks. With the upcoming investigation into the crash, Robbie must be able to testify at a hearing and a trial.

While Robbie is undergoing extensive treatment, the issue of Prf. Karlis Eiginsh’s actions come to the forefront of the investigation. Why did he falsify equations to make the jump look safe when in reality it wasn’t? There is an interesting twist to this part of the story when the truth finally comes out that gives the reader a sneak peek into the man the captain is to become. I have to say, I thought it was great storytelling.

The book is long, but such is Robbie’s journey to reconcile who he is and who he has become. The mental trauma he suffered even caused him to question his desire to fly amongst the stars, and whether he could ever cope with the stressors of being a space captain again. Then, there are the unresolved issues Robbie has with his mother. The signs of that first mental damage from long ago always seem to resurface when he tries to have a relationship with a woman. Robbie’s wounds run deep, and to actually heal, he must come to grips with his demons.

I love this series. The writing is clear and concise and draws you into the character-driven plot. Yet, just like in the first book, I still find something poignant and raw about Robbie Nikalishin that makes me want to know more of his story. His character is imperfect, to say the least. I don’t know if he appeals to the mother in me or if I just want him to find peace and love.

Either way, the author has spun a tale filled with high drama and intrigue, healing and pain. I can’t wait to discover what happens next in book three coming soon! The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Two: Wounded Eagle: A Biographical Fiction

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news from these authors around the usual haunts. Thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Shehanne Moore, Bette A. Stevens and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first of the review posts for the week and this is open to any author with a recent review and they do not need to be in the cafe and bookstore.. although that is something they may wish to do anyway.

The first featured author is Shehanne Moore with Splendor ( London Jewel Thieves Book Two) which was published in May this year.

About Splendor

The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

For Splendor, former servant to London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol before. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

A recent review of the book

I just love Ms. Moore’s cheeky heroines, and Splenour is no exception. How can you not like a woman whose name is Dora and she therefore decides to name herself Lady Splendora? She’s an honorary member in the London jewel thieves’ guild known as the Starkadder Sisterhood, but not a thief herself. In fact, she wants to help the poor, marry her sweetheart Gabriel and buy him a ministry.

Gabriel, as it turns out, is no sweetheart at all. But then neither is the Earl of Stillmore, a man who calls his servant an “overstuffed seal”. He reserves even better names for Splendor. Mostly he calls her names in his head, but sometimes he does so to her face… usually when she’s being a brat, which is quite often.

While Gabe shows his cowardly and whiny nature, the earl drives Splendor up the wall by “training” her to win a chess tournament even though she is obviously better than him at the game.

With shades of Shakesperean cross-dressing comedy and scenes that reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Confessions of a Shopaholic as Splendor by turns participates in a men’s chess tournament and then tries to pose as an aristocrat at high society balls, this novel had me laughing out loud throughout. It was also extremely touching when I realized how much these two have suffered for love (and their own stubbornness).

I would highly recommend Splendor as a fast-paced, funny and romantic read!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Splendor-London-Jewel-Thieves-Book-ebook/dp/B071S9W9WN

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore

Connect to Shehanne via her blog: https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

Next author with a book that continues to receive outstanding reviews is Bette A. Stevens and Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

The most recent review

A pure delight  By D.E.Howard on 15 July 2017

This is an adorable short capturing a single day in the life of two young brothers. Life for Shawn and Willie is clearly never the easiest but on this lovely Saturday they get to spend time just having fun and enjoying themselves… well mostly.

The thing I think I liked mostly about this story was the “voice” in which it was told. This was not an author telling us about the boys day – this was a young boy describing his day with his brother – Bette A Stevens really captured that boys spirit perfectly.

A great little read and it has certainly made me want to read “Dog Bone Soup” some time soon

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Now time to share the early reviews for the latest book by Lorinda J. Taylor and The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars: Part Two- Wounded Eagle

About the book

In this second part of the biography of Capt. Robbin Nikalishin, three threads remaining from “Eagle Ascendant” are followed to their conclusion. First, the question of cause and responsibility for the space disaster that formed the climax of Part One must be determined through a Government hearing and a trial. Second, the mystifying behavior of Prf. Karlis Eiginsh that resulted in the disaster must be explained. Third and most important, the Captain must recover from the devastating aftereffects of the disaster. The resolution is bittersweet – will the Captain ever become capable of coping fully with the damage that was done to him?

Early reviews for the book

In the second book of this series we re-join Robbie and his remaining crew for a journey into his mind rather than the stars. This is a long journey and it is a long book and, once again, I find myself astonished at the level of detail Ms Taylor records in her novels with pin-point accuracy. She is to be congratulated. Although, in truth, I am not fond of the flawed hero, I really enjoy all the characters around him and always finish a book by this author as I am never quite sure where it will take me. Ms Taylor has created another tour-de-force of insight, moments of profound depth (e.g. Robbie’s tribute speech) which move as well as inspire. I look forward to book three.

Part Two of the epic story of Robbie and his encounters with the stars, and his inner demons. Lorinda has once again delved into the life of our space captain and exposed a character full of human fraility with sympathy and depth. His thwarted ambitions, and his drive and passion to overcome these hurdles despite the pain and disappointment, keeps us turning the pages hungry for resolution.

A selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for popping in today and please share the news around the usual haunts.. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Toni Pike and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first of the review specific posts this week.

I am putting together a separate post on how to encourage more readers to leave book reviews later today, but I do want to reiterate my intention in the coming months to focus on reviews of books as part of book promotions. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool that we have and we need to make it easier for our readers to leave their opinions good or bad about our work.  More about that in the specific post later.

In the meantime I am delighted to share new reviews for these featured authors the first being Toni Pike and The Rock of Magus: Code Red in the Vatican (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 2) with a review by Terri Webster Schrandt

About the book

A CRISIS IS BREWING IN THE VATICAN – AND ONLY ONE MAN CAN PREVENT DISASTER…

Jotham Fletcher is back in a race against time to stop a sinister cardinal, a libertine sect and a homicidal priest.

Jotham Fletcher returns in another non-stop adventure that takes him deep inside the Vatican. Cardinal Alpheus has ambitions far more sinister and explosive than anyone could imagine and the death of Pope Linus is only the beginning.

Jotham is now a billionaire, dedicated to finding the Simonian Sect that wants to destroy the Christian Church and he employs Madena, a former army officer, to help him. They rescue a televangelist in Seattle but find the photograph of a cardinal who is soon elected as the new Pope, with Alpheus as his chief advisor.

The deadly Brotherhood re-emerges with homicidal Father Dominic at the helm and the body count begins to rise.

Jotham becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an archbishop in Spain and the unwitting hero after a devastating event in Rome. He has a secret that he dare not reveal and is on the run from the police once again. But nothing prepares him for the final confrontation at the Pope’s summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

The five star review from Terri Webster Schrandt: https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/04/13/book-review-of-toni-pikes-the-rock-of-magus/

If you enjoy religious conspiracy thrillers, you will love Pike’s exciting, fast-paced adventure that takes readers to Rome and into the Vatican.

Similar to Dan Brown’s main character, Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code, Pike’s central character, Jotham Fletcher, also possesses unequaled expertise in a particular subject, in this case, the shadowy, religious figure Simon Magus.

I find it fascinating that Pike built her series around this little-known historical figure, a magician and cult leader at the time of the Apostles. Magus is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8:9-24 as he tries to “buy” the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but was rebuked by the Apostles as a sorcerer and wicked charlatan.

The heart of Pike’s adventure lies in this fictional, 21st-century Simonian Sect, whose cult followers are nothing short of fanatical, according to her series.

Pike sets the scene for suspense, thrills and twists that lead readers to believe that Fletcher may not solve this mystery, as insurmountable odds stack against him and his female partner. I found the book to be a nail-biter and a page-turner!

The characters are believable, with Fletcher expressing doubt at one point, but using his shaky confidence to navigate the labyrinthine Vatican grounds as he and Madena attempt to solve the mystery.

Pike’s research is extensive and written from the perspective of having visited Rome. I personally love it when authors write from their intimate knowledge of a subject and from the locations they have been.

I highly recommend this adventure series and am looking forward to book #3, The Magus Epiphany.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magus-Jotham-Fletcher-Mystery-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

Also by Toni Pike

Read about Toni Pike, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Connect to Toni via her blog: https://tonipike.com/

The next review is for the science fiction The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part One: Eagle Ascendant: A Biographical Fiction by Lorinda J. Taylor with a review from Colleen Chesebro.

About the book

Robbin Haysus Nikalishin was born on 31 October of the year 2729 and ultimately became the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials. This fictionalized biography, composed 50 years after Nikalishin’s death, recounts the first 31 years of the life of a man who is hailed as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. During this portion of his life he enjoyed many triumphs, joys, and loves, but he was not immune to failure and tragedy. In 2761 a major space disaster completely changes the course of his life. Whether it will be for better or worse is left for the reader to decide.

All heroes are human beings and all human beings are flawed, and the man the Earth came to know as “Capt. Robbie” was a very human man.

The review by Colleen Chesebro: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/14/colleens-book-reviews-the-man-who-found-birds-among-the-stars-part-one-eagle-ascendant-a-biographical-fiction-by-author-termitewriter/

The date is October 31, 2729, and Robbie Nikalishin comes roaring into a not so perfect world. As a young boy, his father instills a love of space and flying into his young psyche. Robbie’s most prized possession is a tiny metal airplane, a gift from his father, that accompanies him through his life journey. That aircraft stands for his aspiration to become the captain of his own starship. Gifted with the ability to solve elaborate string theory mathematics, Robbie pursues his dream with a determination that propels him to the head of his college classes.

With expert detail and descriptions, the author immerses the reader into Nikalishin’s futuristic world. This first book covers his childhood and his teen years, eventually bringing you to the peak of his flying career.

What I loved most about Robbie’s character was how utterly human he was. From Robbie’s youth onward, I followed his experiences and saw first hand who Robbie the man became. It was a rare opportunity to witness the events that shaped a character’s personality.

Robbie’s personality is multifaceted, and at times, he comes across as self-sabotaging and selfish. Yet, I couldn’t help but like the guy. For all of his brilliance, he possessed an innocence that tugged at my heart. Sometimes he made his life choices so difficult that I couldn’t help remembering myself at a younger age and how I didn’t make all the best decisions either. However, all of that drama only adds to the allure of Captain Robbie Nikalishin.

I won’t kid you… this book ended with a cliffhanger of phenomenal proportions! Robbie’s story left me hungering for more and turning pages at an abnormally fast pace. I stayed up into the wee hours reading to find out happened next. My only hope is that the author, Lorinda Taylor, writes as quickly as I read. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the next book in the series. I loved this novel and have added it to my “Me Time,” category for science fiction.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Found-Birds-among-Stars-Part-ebook/dp/B01N0YBDYF

A small selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Find out more about Lorinda J. Taylor, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping by today and please let me know about your new review that you would like to share or a review you have written for an author that you would like to give a boost to… sally.cronin@moyhill.com