Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Jane Risdon, Lynda McKinney Lambert.


Welcome to the Friday Edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his family drama Watching Glass Shatter.

About the book

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book was an interesting read from Cudney. I’d classify it as a family saga genre as the story evolves around the widow Olivia and her five grown children.

Although the blurb comes right out with the fact that Ben switched the baby, making it sound rather cruel and deceitful, I didn’t find that was the case, as the baby switch was done with consent from the birth mother – still a big no no for Ben not letting his wife know until after he died, but nothing shady.

The plot focuses on what happens after Ben’s death with the will, the baby secret, and then we are taken into the lives of each of their children. Each son has a cross to bear in their lives. We learn this through Olivia’s decision after Ben’s death to visit each of her children to spend quality time with them before the reading of the will. Through each visit, we learn about each of her son’s redeeming and not so redeeming features – their lives, their misgivings, and some very surprising secrets.

Throughout reading the story we learn what propelled each character to become ensconced into each of their dilemmas. Olivia learns a lot about her children she never knew previously. And not until almost the very end do we learn about the story of the baby switch, which somehow didn’t feel like the highlight of the story anymore as we got caught up in the drama of each of the character’s lives.

The story was well written with interesting characters – some of them drew in my sympathy, some left me questioning why they acted as they did. But with a nice and satisfactory ending, I enjoyed this book. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0769LB2N3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Glass-Shatter-James-Cudney-ebook/dp/B0769LB2N3

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The next author with a recent review is Teagan Riordain Geneviene for her first book Atonement Tennessee...

About Atonement Tennessee

Esmeralda Lawton is sick of the big city. “Ralda” was betrayed until trust became a theoretical concept. So it’s a dream come true when she buys an old estate, complete with historic cemetery. Okay, she isn’t excited about the cemetery, but she’s strangely drawn to the estate. Atonement, Tennessee, a quaint town, seems like the perfect place for her. However, her new life isn’t quiet.

The house is full of antiques. Some have extraordinary properties — a brass bed causes strange dreams, and a mirror shows the truth of who you are.

A mysterious neighbor secretly watches over the graveyard. There’s more to him than meets the eye, but what? Then there’s Gwydion, owner of Fae’s Flowers. She stubbornly resists her feelings for him.

Ralda suspects that people are drawn to Atonement to, well — atone. She wonders what sins led her there. However, her ancestress made the mistakes.

Atonement is home to more than humans. Supernaturals go there too. Some have fallen far.

This urban fantasy, seasoned with Celtic mythology, comes with a side-order of mystery. Are you sad to see the “Sookie Stackhouse” stories end? Make a visit to Atonement, Tennessee!

A recent review for the book

Atonement Tennessee is an imaginative romp told through the eyes of the main protagonist, Esmeralda (Ralda), and her cat, Lilith. The author jumps back and forth between them as she takes the reader along on this magical fantasy.

The richly developed characters are fascinating and carry the story along in a creative way enabling the reader to become invested in their outcome. There is a large old house Esmeralda purchases that harbors a ghost from the past, a florist who has a magical way with flowers, a neighbor who is not just a man but also a bird with powers, and other characters who add color to this enjoyable story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the manner in which the author created the easy flowing prose as the story is told through Ralda and Lilith.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HGSVA8A

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A

Also by Teagan Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan Geneviene  via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

The next review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her short story collection.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection via Karen’s Book Buzz

When I found out this author had written some crime shorts, I knew they would be good as I’d previously read some of her short stories. Jane Risdon has a magic pen. She knows how to write a tale that will intrigue and lure you in.

Seven ‘long’ short that were cleverly inspired by crime and murder.

Sweet Sable: The Red Siren is the first story and set in the thirties, it immediately created an atmaosphere of a times gone by. This crime noir tale was good start to the book.

Apartment 206c, couldn’t have been more different as it brings us bang up to date. We’ve all overheard people talking through walls, and China, the main character, hears her neighbours arguing. A fast past, heart thumping story with a twist.

Murder by Christmas – this was very clever. It’s started with the reading of a will, and certain people have to do certain things before they get their money. Very clever story.

The Watchers was a sad crime I felt. Two people who didn’t quite connect up again as we find out all it not what it seems.

The Honey Trap, and we have all heard of them and this one plays out as we meet the assassin.

The Look is similar to the previous one, and another cleverly written story. Although they were both good, I liked this one better because I love a strong female character.

The seventh story is called Undercover and is an extract from the author’s forthcoming book. I didn’t read this one, so you will have to make up your own mind about it.

I enjoy Jane Risdon’s writing and read her book Only One Women, which I absolutely loved. It takes the reader back to the rock n roll sixties. You can read my review here.

Jane also wrote a short story which I featured on the Magic of Stories site called Summer of Love, and is well worth a read.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane Risdon
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

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

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

The next review is for Walking by Inner Vision, a collection of Stories and Poems by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

About Walking by Inner Vision

In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.

She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.

All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Discover more about Lynda’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

Connect to Lynda via her website: http://www.lyndalambert.com/

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

 

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors Pamela Jessen, Lynda McKinney Lambert and Jaye Marie


Over the last two weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series: Contributors Part Four

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

More of the contributors.

The next contributor is Pamela Jessen who suffered excrutiating pain from from a badly damaged hip. She shares her experience of undergoing a hip replacement and the process of recovery which it is essential to follow if you want a good outcome.  Very informative and useful for anyone who is about to undergo the same surgery.

Pamela2

About Pamela Jessen

My name is Pamela Jessen and I live in Langford, BC Canada, just outside of Victoria. I am happily married to my amazing husband Ray and we are the proud parents of 2 grown kids and have three wonderful grandsons. I write about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Invisible Illness on my blog.

Additionally, I write for The Mighty, The UnChargeables, PainResource.com and various other independent publications. I’m always up for a Guest Post – if you’re interested in having me write for you, please contact me here.

Along with blogging and writing, I am an active volunteer with the Patient Voices Network in BC. Outside of PVN, I have also done volunteer work for Island Health as a Patient Partner, was a Patient Advisor on the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, and was a summer volunteer with the Downtown Victoria Business Association’s Busker Festival

You will find interviews that also very helpful for those who suffer from Chronic pain and its management such as this one: https://pamelajessen.com/2019/04/16/interview-april-amber-blackburn/

The next contributor is author and poet Lynda McKinney Lambert who has a very thought provoking article to share. It is multi-faceted as it covers her own sudden blindness, the diagnosis of her daughter with both Ovarian and Kidney cancer, and the life-threatening condition following her surgery than resulted in her being in an induced coma. Lynda explores her faith and shares the vision that she saw above her daughter’s bed, despite being blind. She also shares another experience that can only be explained as supernatural several years previously following a motor cycle accident.

About Lynda Lambert

Lynda Lambert (b.1943) was born in Ellwood City,PA Her academic training is in Fine Arts and Literature. She was a professor of Fine Arts and Humanities until 2007 when her teaching career was cut short suddenly due to sight loss. Her art has been exhibited world wide since 1976.

Her first book _Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage_ is a collection of essays, poems, and drawings she did over a 10 year period while teaching in Salzburg, Austria

Lynda McKinney Lambert lost much of her sight in the fall of 2007, cue to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. She retired from teaching full-time a year later.

She writes and makes mixed-media fiber art full-time. She uses adaptive technologies for the blind to do her award-winning work. Lynda was determined to return to a creative life-style after her sudden sight loss. She went to live in a residency program for the blind for 3 months of intensive training. She attended the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services program in Pittsburgh, PA. in the spring of 2008.

Lynda enjoys daily walks with her husband and their 2 rescued dogs. They also have 2 cats and the couple care for a variety of feral cats that find food and a safe haven at their home. The couple have 5 great grandchildren, and 2 of them live just across the creek from their home.

You can find out more by visiting Lynda’s website: http://www.lyndalambert.com/

Books by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 Lynda’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

The next contributor is author Jaye Marie who like many of us who were long term smokers, gave up with a process that sometimes was not as easy as we might have thought. Jaye shares her 50 years of smoking history, and the climatic event which resulted in her finally giving up the dreaded weed. For those who still continue to smoke.. this might just change your mind!

Most people may know me as one-half of the writing partnership, Anita & Jaye Dawes, and I have come to writing quite late in life. I always used to think I didn’t have an ambitious bone in my body, content to potter about with my many craft hobbies. Always preferring to be in the background and invisible if at all possible.

And for the last ten years since my retirement, that’s what my life has been like. I love books and have read my way through stacks of them, so when my sister-in-law Anita needed someone to edit and type up her manuscripts, I was happy to help and that’s when I discovered my vocation.

Then one day everyone was talking about “Indie” or self-publishing. Now, I knew only too well how hard it was to be published the traditional way, so I became very excited at the prospect of being able to do it ourselves.

At first, I concentrated on publishing Anita’s books. It wasn’t quite as easy as they made it sound, but with my usual stubbornness I kept at it, learning more and more as I went along, and somewhere along the way I starting thinking about a story that had been nibbling away in the corner of my mind for months.

I tried to ignore it, but before too long, The Ninth Life demanded to be written and turned out to be a Mystery/Thriller. I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, basically to be honest, because my characters took charge and practically wrote it for me! They had quite a say with the sequel too, and I am proud of our achievements!

I also enjoy running a website/blog and all the wonderful people I continue to meet from all around the world. I learn something new every single day and it is much appreciated.

A selection of books by Jaye Marie

Read the reviews and and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Thank you for dropping in today and I will continue with these special features next week.

 I hope you will purchase a copy and contribute to a great cause… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know Lynda McKinney Lambert


My guest today is American poet and author Lynda Lambert who shares what is in her briefcase and purse, her fashion sense, a book close to her heart and dreams.

About Lynda Lambert

Lynda Lambert (b.1943) was born in Ellwood City,PA Her academic training is in Fine Arts and Literature. She was a professor of Fine Arts and Humanities until 2007 when her teaching career was cut short suddenly due to sight loss. Her art has been exhibited world wide since 1976.

Her first book _Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage_ is a collection of essays, poems, and drawings she did over a 10 year period while teaching in Salzburg, Austria

Lynda McKinney Lambert lost much of her sight in the fall of 2007, cue to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. She retired from teaching full-time a year later.

She writes and makes mixed-media fiber art full-time. She uses adaptive technologies for the blind to do her award-winning work. Lynda was determined to return to a creative life-style after her sudden sight loss. She went to live in a residency program for the blind for 3 months of intensive training. She attended the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services program in Pittsburgh, PA. in the spring of 2008.

Lynda enjoys daily walks with her husband and their 2 rescued dogs. They also have 2 cats and the couple care for a variety of feral cats that find food and a safe haven at their home. The couple have 5 great grandchildren, and 2 of them live just across the creek from their home.

Lynda with her great granddaughter, Bella who was in a school musical last fall.

Welcome Lynda and the first question is…How would you describe your fashion sense?

I described my fashion sense in a poem that’s in my latest book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems.” The poem is “Adornment.” The poem was inspired by a friend who once told me, “I want to wear all of my jewelry at one time. I want to adorn myself with it all.” When I wrote the poem, it was a mixture of her sentiments, combined with my own passion for finely crafted accessories – hats, shoes, handbags, scarves, jewelry. I buy wearable artist-made works or high-end designer creations.

Here Lynda at the convention of the American Printing House for the Blind. Receiving an award by the president of American Printing House for the Blind for First Place in the exhibition InSights17.  And I think this perfectly reflects her fashion sense.

Knowing now, what you didn’t know then, what would you have done differently?

As a teenage girl in rural western Pennsylvania, I had a subscription to Harper’s Bazaar. I knew the name of every model and designer. This magazine was my dream world – I lived in it!

In my 40’s, I lived briefly in California where I worked evenings and weekends for Neiman Marcus. It is my single most memorable work experience. I was in heaven, for I loved high-end sales more than anything I ever did in my life. But, at that time, I was in the process of completing my 3rd degree and had to return to campus in PA to finish that. I had only 1 semester left to finish the MA in English, or, lose the 5-year period of work I completed for the degree. I’ve always wished I could have remained at NM for my entire career, but I was committed to completing my final academic goal.

What are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?

During my final year of intense work on the rigorous MFA degree in Painting at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV) I was a strange sight. Why? I knew I needed to start presenting a professional appearance in preparation for achieving my Plan A goal of becoming a professor. I quit carrying a back pack and purchased a handsome burgundy leather brief case.

After the MFA, I became Executive Director of a regional art. However, Plan A was to become a professor, so I was never satisfied

Plan A did become my reality when I accepted a tenure track position. I was professor of fine arts and humanities at a private college in Pennsylvania, until my retirement in 2008. This provided me with time to pursue my writing and art exhibitions world-wide.
Now, as a retired woman, I carry a variety of handbags that hold my wallet; lipstick which is a necessity; a little leather case I bought in Venice, that holds my house keys; my Betsy Johnson colorful sunglasses; 2 Visa cards.

Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

I am a dreamer of everything irrational. I barely close my eyes and I am deep into a netherworld. I do not have pleasant dreams, usually. The most pleasant dreams I have, though, are when I am flying – I am untethered and free in flight.

My dreams are full of danger, drama, and situations that are terrifying and with no way of escape. I seldom have a dream that I would want to return to. Sleeping has never been a pleasure for me. I have severe sleep apnea and even with a c-pap, I am up all during the night. I usually work during the night, from 3-5 am since I cannot sleep. I don’t nap very often, for I have the same sort of absurd dreams.

Here is a link to a poem I wrote about my dreams. You can hear me reading it on this recording: http://www.lyndalambert.com/dreams-who-needs-them/

What is your all-time favorite book that you have read? And why?

Available Amazon

My favorite book would be Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. (Link is included below) I also have a study guide for it – but I never taught this book in a classroom when I was teaching.

I read it for the first time in the early 1980s. I entered into a mythological world that enchanted me completely. The story consumed me. The book is a re-telling of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. This story is one of my favorites along with the story of Persephone; also, of Eurydice and Orpheus – Greek mythology and other early writings are influences in my own writing and often set the historical context of my poems and essays. I like to go back to primary sources and trace down the time and place where an idea begins. Historical context is very important to me – for the credibility and deep meaning of ideas. They all have roots somewhere, and I try to locate them. (Lynda McKinney Lambert)

Link to information on these myths:: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_and_Eurydice

Books by Lynda McKinney Lambert

About Walking by Inner Vision

In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.

She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.

All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.

One of the reviews for the book

Lynda fills this book with encouraging stories about things she loves including art, her beloved family, knitting, and poetry. Knowing she’s legally blind and accomplishing so much makes me really respect her as an author. She is living her life to the fullest no matter what! My favorite chapter is “The Living Room”, which focuses upon her sweet mother holding tightly onto family, memories, and Christmas traditions.

Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Discover more about Lynda’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

Connect to Lynda

Website and blog: http://www.lyndalambert.com/
Blog: www.llambert363.blog
Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamckinneylambert
Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/walkingbyinnervision

I will leave you with this lovely photograph of Lynda and her husband and a temporary house guest who know lives with their daughter. I now Lynda would love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by.  Sally