Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author update #Reviews – M.J. Mallon, Mary Adler, Jacquie Biggar and Deborah Jay.


Welcome to the first of the Cafe Updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

New Feature

At the end of the post I will share any offers that the authors on the shelves have on their books. If you can let me know a week in advance that would  be great so I can include in one of the updates.

On with the recent reviews…..

The first author with a review to share is Marjorie Mallon for The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Kevin Cooper 5.0 out of 5 stars   Magical 30 August 2019

This is a wonderful YA fantasy read. It’s very different from others I’ve read and I say this in the most positive manner. One way or is unique is through the use of original short poetry at the beginning of each chapter providing a clue to the chapter content. It is very well done. I do love originality.

The whole work has a magical feel about it which draws the reader in with a yearning to learn more about all of the characters and their plight.

My favourite characters are, Esme… The girl trapped in the mirror, and Shadow, the black cat. These two characters alone were enough to keep me rooted.

Meanwhile, on the serious side of things, there are so many issues going on in this work in addition to that of dealing with a dysfunctional family. One’s familiarity will be tested and emotions may arise. That aside, when you add magic, a black cat, and a

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

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The next author with a recent review is Mary Adler for her wartime mystery Shadowed by Death An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2. A young Polish freedom fighter is in danger and Oliver Wright must try to protect her..

About Shadowed by Death

San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.

Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.

When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.

Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 02, 2019 William Stuart rated it it was amazing

I’m trying to expand my reading preferences, and I found Shadowed by Death (An Oliver Wright World War II Mystery #2) by M. A. Adler. I’m usually not any kind of historical fiction reader, but I liked the blurb. Read on for my thoughts!

What I liked:
World War II novels are sometimes difficult reads, especially when the story deals with horrific events like the Warsaw ghetto. M. A. Adler did an excellent job of working the events into the story and using it to explain Sophia’s motivations. Sophia and Oliver are great characters, but my favorites are Harley and Blue! I also appreciated the research work into the blind eye turned by the world to Russia’s atrocities.

What I didn’t like:
There wasn’t much to dislike about the book. If I had to pick something, there were a couple of slow spots. Other than that, no complaints from me

Overall impression:
Shadowed by Death was an enjoyable read despite the background subject matter. Good characters, intriguing plot, plenty of twists and turns, and a satisfying conclusion kept me involved and interested. If you like historical mysteries, read this one!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F2V369K

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadowed-Death-Oliver-Wright-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07F2V369K

Also by Mary Adler

Buy both books from Mary’s author page US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Adler/e/B00JAM3VVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Adler/e/B00JAM3VVE/

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7829648.M_A_Adler

Connect to Mary via her website: https://maryadlerwrites.com/

The next author today with a recent review for Tempted by Mr. Wrong is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar.

About the book

How can something so wrong, feel so right?

Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give Jason whatever he wants.

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.
And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.

Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.
Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, women’s fiction.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tempted by Mr Wrong is another exciting book by Jacquie Biggar. Tammy Joe’s marriage to her father’s partner is in trouble and she ends up walking home from the local country club when he has her car towed away. Who should come to her rescue but her step brother, Jason, who broke off their relationship and disappeared ten years ago. Unbeknownst to TJ, Jason’s actions were at the instance of her over-protective father, against whom Jason has borne a grudge ever since.

Jason picks up TJ walking home in the rain and gives her a lift home from the country club. He happens to still be in the vicinity when she trips over her dead husband in the back yard.

Naturally, as the humiliated wife, TJ is the prime suspect in her husband’s murder and Jason becomes involved to help her out and keep her safe. The attraction that the two shared is still disturbingly real and it creates confusion for both of them, especially as Jason’s presence in Magnolia is not as innocent as he has made out to his mother and step sister. He is living a lie.

Jason soon starts to discover that things are not entirely as they seem with his step father, who he has hated consistently for years, and his mother, who is suffering from dementia.

There is a bit more sex in this book than in previous books by this author that I have read, but it works and is tastefully written. The book has a dual focus with one being the rediscovery by TJ and Jason of their strong feelings towards each other and the other being the murder of TJ’s husband and her father’s business involvement with him.

This book is a fast past murder mystery with an intense romantic sub-story which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072V2G8H2

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tempted-Mr-Wrong-Jacquie-Biggar-ebook/dp/B072V2G8H2

A selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series by Deborah Jay is on offer at 99p/99c from today until 16th of September.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

A recent review for The Prince’s Man on Goodreads

Apr 09, 2019 A.C. Flory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading ‘The Prince’s Man’, but the reality blew me away. The story is a grown up fantasy reminiscent of Robin Hobb’s Farseer series [which I also happen to love]. You’ll find Machiavellian politics, intrigue, loyalty, a hint of love, and a cast of characters you can relate to. Yes, they have their flaws, but don’t we all?

To my mind, watching the characters change and grow is at least half the fun. The other half is getting to know the world in which those characters live. In all types of speculative fiction, the world is as much of a ‘character’ as the characters themselves. Think how important the planet Arrakis is to the story of Dune.

As readers we want to step out of our everyday lives and get lost in another world. And the author does not disappoint. The otherness of The Prince’s Man is evident right from the start, but there are no boring info. dumps. We learn about the world in the same way we learn about the human characters, by watching the story unfold, a bit at a time.

And finally, I’d like to say something about the plot. It. Is. Not. Predictable. To me, that’s one of the book’s greatest strengths. I like to be surprised, and nothing puts me off more than ‘the same old same old’. In The Prince’s Man, the author kept me guessing right to the end.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book of the series, and I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes a story with real meat on its bones

Read all the reviews and buy the book 99c until 16th September: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

and Amazon UK 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

A selection of other books by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com

Thank you for dropping in today, please do not forget  to let me know if one of the books on in the Cafe and Bookstore is on offer, and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for one of her recent short story releases Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide.

About Voodoo or Destiny

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

One of the recent reviews

M. Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Short Story July 23, 2019

This was a fantastic short story! It made me want more after that last page, but it also left it open for the reader to create their own outcome. There was suspense and even a little humor. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by Voodoo, so I was excited to read this story, wondering how involved it would get. It was better than I imagined! A lot of research and time went into this story. The author even mentioned one of the well-known Voodoo Queens of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. This earned major brownie points because she was always one of the main reasons I wanted to visit NOLA.

Overall, the writing was flawless, and the story flowed as it should. I have other works by this author on my Kindle and can’t wait to dive into the next!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TMQJKSS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Destiny-Decide-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07TMQJKSS

A selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

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

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

For lovers of fantasy with supernatural characters, in surprising settings.

A fantastic encounter with a strong character, teenager Amelina, a character that draws you into the story. She is courageous and resourceful and proves herself able to see past the obvious to find answers and solutions to the problems those dear to her heart are suddenly facing. And does this in a supernatural way.

I enjoyed the poetry that opens each chapter.

Young adults who enjoy fantasy stories with supernatural characters, in surprising settings will love this book.

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

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The final author today with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing.

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

How Dare the Birds Sing – indeed, how dare they? The extent to which man can be cruel to his fellow man never ceases to amaze me, as does the distance people will go to survive in the face of unspeakable cruelty. As a teenager, Lyuba and her best friend Natasha meet two student pilots. Stepan is Russian while Günter is German, studying in the Soviet school. It’s 1933 and Germany and the Soviet Union are on good terms, after all. Long story short, Günter has to return to Germany and everyone who has known him is under a cloud of potential espionage. Stepan, by then a Hero of the Soviet Union, has a privileged status. Turning his back on Natasha, he forces Lyuba into marriage, in significant part to protect Lyuba and her mother.

Then Germany and the Soviet Union have a falling-out and war comes. Lyuba, her mother and adopted daughter are on their way to join Stepan when the Germans attack. Lyuba is spared by a fluke. From there, the war takes charge of her life. Brief instances of happiness punctuate major periods of horrible danger, misery and even virtual torture.

Still the birds sing.

When the war finally ends and Lyuba is free to return home, her first objective is to find Natasha. Suffice it to say that Natasha’s war wasn’t Lyuba’s, and when Lyuba leaves the town where Natasha had lived, she sets out with Natasha’s daughter. Arriving in her home town, she finds her home still untouched and with several years’ accumulation of mail. Stepan’s letters are a cruel punctuation to her own journey, but she has the little girl, who finally calls Lyuba ‘Mama.’

Fifteen years later … you’ll have to read it to find out what happens then and has happened in the interim. It’s a compelling read, although it’s emotionally difficult. A fabulous book, overall. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N2BDF9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dare-Birds-Sing-Book-Love-ebook/dp/B07N2BDF91

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457862-the-cruel-romance

Connect to Marina via her website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. .thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Travel Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park by M. J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of 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 final post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week a post from 2016 and a visit to Glasgow…

 Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park by M. J. Mallon

Image M.J. Mallon

I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days, with my hubby – for a short holiday. Like my dad he’s a keen golf fan. We’ve been to the Golf Open at Troon. We had a day there together – practice day – and the next day I had a day to myself in Glasgow to do whatever I fancied. Not being the type to fuss too much about shopping I decided to have a wander in Kelvingrove Park – which happened to be very close to our hotel, The Lorne Hotel. It was quite a sunny day so I stopped for a treat, my favourite: a chocolate wafer which is basically a tasty chocolate covered wafer filled with marshmallow sandwiched together with vanilla ice-cream. What a supreme feast!

I sat down in the park and watched these guys – aren’t they fabulous? It warms the heart seeing young people out enjoying themselves having fun. Really exhilarating!

20160714_143710_20160716110450878

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Isn’t it nice to see such a lively park area? With youngsters doing flips and star turns on their bikes and skate boards.

I also popped over to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery which is a must if you’re ever in Glasgow. Do not miss the opportunity to visit. I will be doing a photographic feature about this wonderful museum soon…

To round off the day I found a pathway of steps via the park that led to Glasgow University. No wonder people tend to think that this beautiful University resembles Hogwarts, (even though Harry Potter wasn’t filmed there.) The view is certainly magical. Not too far away from the University is Ashton Lane, a hidden alleyway lit with fairy lights which is packed with pubs and cafes, supposedly author J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. I happened to have an evening drink and meal there with my hubby and a couple of our friends. We started off our evening at a very quaint bar and restaurant called The Ubiquitous Chip. Only in Scotland can the humble chip be elevated to such a grandiose name!

http://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk/
ubiquitous
juːˈbɪkwɪtəs/
adjective

present, appearing, or found everywhere.
“his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family”
synonyms: omnipresent, ever-present, present everywhere, everywhere, all-over, all over the place,pervasive, all-pervasive, universal, worldwide, global;

Here are a couple of photos of the Ubiquitous Chip and its wee sister The Wee Pub at The Chip:

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Perhaps when my youngest is University age she might consider going to Glasgow University! What a magical place to study.. I wish I could have studied there.. I did study in Glasgow many years ago now… but I went to the then Polytechnic which is now known as Glasgow Caledonian University……

I felt such a fondness for Glasgow returning for this short holiday all these years later. Student days are truly one of the best moments in our lives. I just wish I could turn back the clock and relive them all over again. If only…

What about you, have you been to Glasgow? Or are perhaps studying at Glasgow University? Is it a magical place to study? 

©M.J. Mallon 2016

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck -#Book Review My Kyrosmagica Review of Nicholas Rossis’s Runaway Smile by M.J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of 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 author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected one of the over 100 book reviews in her archives from 2015. This book is by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore Nicholas Rossis.. for Runaway Smile.

My Kyrosmagica Review of Nicholas Rossis’s Runaway Smile by M.J. Mallon

Goodreads Synopsis:

“I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…”

A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones.

My review:

The title to this children’s book really intrigued me, Runaway Smile. How can a smile runaway? Nicholas did make this little boys smile runaway, but thankfully he returned it to him in the end!

It is a wonderful children’s book, an enthralling and heartwarming journey to search for one little boy’s lost smile. Nicholas introduces us to a whole host of eccentric characters. (What an imagination, Nicholas!!) The boy’s dog wears glasses, smokes a pipe, and drives a car but has lost his sense of smell, there’s a closet monster who eats all of the boy’s clothes, and even a bunch of surf boarding ants!

In his quest to find his smile the little boy talks to a bunch of characters who just can’t help him. There’s a workman walking his goldfish in a bowl on a small cart! Hey, I see this everyday too. Just regular workman kind of activity! A king with a wide smile. A salesman with an even wider one, and a clown with a painted on smile. I particularly liked the character of the salesman whose smile disappears, and ages, when he realises that he can’t sell the boy anything. “The salesman took a mirror from his pocket and stared at his image. All of a sudden he looked very old and tired, and the boy wondered how he could have missed the thinning hair, deep wrinkles, and expanding waistline.” That one’s for my husband he’s worked in Sales all his life and well let’s just say it’s tough. Being a Sales Manager, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

I’m digressing here a bit. In desperation, the boy turns to his teacher hoping that she will be able to help him. But she doesn’t think that a classroom is the right place to keep a smile! So, by the time he gets home to his mum he is in tears and has given up hope of finding his smile. But of course his mother is the only person that can help him, because the only true smile that exists is a genuine one straight from the heart. The final reflection that greets the boy is not a false one like the salesman’s reflection. “The boys eyes opened wide. He ran to the mirror to check his reflection. She was right! A wide smile had finally appeared on his face!”

The secret to keeping his smile is to share it with those he loved. Absolutely. That’s the secret.

“She tussled his hair. Anything you give with love, multiplies. No-one can take it from you then.”

So the boy promptly goes off to share his smile with his dog. Of course!

The book finishes with a lovely Ode to a runaway smile.

So, definitely recommended, a very sweet book and lovely illustrations too.

My rating:

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Nicolas C. Rossis From his About page on WordPress:

I was born in 1970 in Athens, Greece. I love books and write fantasy, children’s books and science fiction. Except for my books, I have had numerous science fiction short stories published in Greek magazines and in an anthology.

I hold a doctorate in digital architecture from the University of Edinburgh, where I lived for a number of years before returning to Athens, where I currently live with my wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is purring on my lap as I type these lines.

Runaway Smile is his first children’s book. Mad Water, the third book in his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, was published in July 2014. He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories.

Authors Website: http://nicholasrossis.me/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis
Free book for those following Nicholas’s Blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/12/07/my-first-childrens-book-runaway-smile/

Illustrator: Dimitris Fousekis

Dimitri Fouseki, is an artist of Greek origin who makes innovative illustrations. Since 2003 he has successfully focused on illustrating mainly children’s books. He already has numerous publications in Greece in this field (nine so far, with a number of further publications pending). Since 2010, Dimitri has been living on the beautiful island of Hydra, where he teaches art and works on his first major exhibition as a painter, when not illustrating.

Website: http://www.dimitrisfousekis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dimifous/

© M. J. Mallon 2015

Have you read Runaway Smile? Please comment below Marjorie would love to hear from you, it certainly would put a smile on her face…

 

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Shortstory: The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of 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 author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected a wonderful short story that Marjorie wrote in response to one of D.Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction prompts which I enjoy participating in too.

 The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon

Image Stefan Keller

Today, the moon is full and high in the sky and a group of nineteen men travel with brave hearts to the mouth of the Snow Snake Cave.

The wind is biting cold. Each man carries a pack of provisions on his back and thoughts of his loved ones in his heart. They know that this journey might be one to their deaths and yet they trudge on.

At last after many exhausted steps they arrive at the forbidding entrance of the cave. It is no ordinary grotto. This cave is fashioned out of layer upon layer of snow. The mouth of which is an ice sculpture of a snake’s jaw gaping, its eyes furious and wide. The old man above is exquisite, his hair and snow beard fall in intricate icicles. He is leaning to one side, his hand of snow pushing down on the snake as if it coax it to move.

The Old Man of Snow startles the men, he stirs, his snow encrusted eyes open wide as he bellows,

‘Dare you approach us? I think not little men. I will crush you like ants and feed you to my friend the Snow Snake.’

The men stop so suddenly that they almost fall over with exhaustion. Several of them stagger backwards frightened by the sheer size and forbidding nature of the Old Man of Snow. But, one amongst them stays still, resolute and strong.

He squares his shoulders, takes a deep breath and replies. ’I have come to meet with the Old Man of Snow and the legendary Snow Snake. I wish to discuss what you’ve done with the countless others who have ventured here. That is all that I and this brave group of men want – my old friends back. We are not greedy men. We don’t desire wealth, or gold, we only want happiness.’

‘Happiness?’ the Old Man lifts his hand and pulls at his beard. The Snow Snake begins to wind his tail back and forth causing a volley of tiny snowballs to fall.

‘They are lying Old Man,’ said the Snow Snake, hissing. ‘They mean to trick us. Don’t allow them passage. If you do, I will swish my furious tail even more and they will be crushed under an avalanche of snow.’

‘Silence, Snow Snake! I am sick of your reptilian attitude. Let them speak. I have never heard a human ask for so little before and I am curious if indeed they speak the truth.’

The humble man bowed before the Old Man of Snow and then kneeled on the cold earth. ‘I swear by the almighty that I tell the truth. I, and my men are simple farmers, we tend the earth, eat our crops, and milk our herd. We don’t need riches and fame.’

‘You are a wise man. Unfortunately, your friends who came before you were foolish and greedy. They tried to steal from the Snow Snake and he and I were very angry.’

‘They were wrong to do so and I apologise on their behalf. Please forgive me for asking but what happened to their foolish souls?’

‘Within the cave there are a multitude of tiny snow snakes who wriggle free when they smell greed. These tiny snakes are lethal, one bite of their venom stilled these greedy mens’ hearts and froze them for all eternity. Here, come. I grant you entry to see the power we possess so you will not dare to steal from us. The ice sculptures of your friends are very beautiful.’

The men muttered. Some made as if to turn back but the leader spoke again.

‘Men come with me, we must pay our respects to our old friends.’

One replied, ‘Are you mad? They may do the same to us. How can you trust the Old Man of Snow, the Snow Snake and his allies the tiny venomous snakes?’

‘I only know what is right and good,’ replied the humble man.

‘So will it be,’ said several of his followers, but many turned away, retracing their steps back from where they had come.

The few that remained were granted a passage into the mouth of the Snow Snake’s cave. But the snake hissed and rattled his snow tail in a show of extreme displeasure.

The Old Man of snow stamped his snowy boots, and the snake stopped.

Once inside the cave, the humble man and his band of followers saw nothing but ice and snow. They heard no sign of life, no trickle of water, but still they walked on.

As they turned a corner, the cave widened, and they entered a room which was ablaze with a colourful array of magical stones. For a moment even the humble man was tempted to pop one of these magnificent stones in his pocket but then he remembered the Old Man’s warning.

The men began to question their desires. ‘Surely one small stone for each of us wouldn’t be a wicked thing to do?’ they clamoured.

The humble man turned to them in turn and spoke. ‘We are here to save our friends, not to steal. We must save them, or bid them farewell. Follow me.’

With much grumbling and moaning the men finally did as they were told and were rewarded with the sight of the ice sculptures.

How beautiful they were. Each of the trapped men had been saved for all eternity in a moment of rugged, albeit, frozen handsomeness. None of these men would ever age, hunger, or cry, ever again.

The humble man touched each sculpture and openly wept, greeting each by name. His tears fell on the sculptures and caused them to melt, little by little. His followers did the same. Soon the tears flowed so freely that each and every sculpture broke apart to reveal their living friends within.

All were reunited in the most beautiful moment. Hugs and words of regret were shared. They were no longer as rugged, or as handsome as they had been whilst enclosed in ice, but they wept true tears of joy that they lived. They could now go home to their beloved family and friends.

The Old Man bellowed so loudly that he could be heard. ‘Humble man, you are blessed by a natural inclination to fortune and good sense. Your heart is kind. Take one stone – a magical Sphene – back to your village. You are worthy. It will make your harvest plentiful forever more.’

The humble man wept, glad that he had not succumbed to greed’s desire but had been rewarded for his earnestness. He paused for a moment unsure how to proceed. Which stone was a Sphene? His fingers trailed the masses of crystals and alighted on a single one. It was plain in comparison to the rest, a clump of layered plates and flattened wedge-shaped crystals. But when he placed it in his hands it glowed in a dazzling array of colours.

He cried, his friends cried too, and they hugged each other. They started to move back towards the mouth of the cave.

The snow snake hissed. ‘How dare you, Old Man? I thought you were joking! That Sphene is our treasure. My treasure! Stop this immediately, or I will kill them all.’

Inside the cave, there was a rustling noise as a billion tiny snow snakes appeared, hissing in fury they slithered menacingly towards the men. The men clutched their hearts in fear, their eyes wide with panic.

The Old Man didn’t reply. Not one word slipped from his lips. Instead, he blew from his mouth, and continued to blow. The tiny snakes were blown back, tumbling and rolling into snowballs whence they had come. The wind picked up as a flurry of snow began to trickle from the Snow Snake’s body. The men ran as the Snow Snake’s body started to break apart, as small pieces of the entrance of the cave were thrown to the wind.

‘Hurry!’ shouted the Old Man. ‘If you don’t run, you will be crushed under the Snow Snake’s broken cave body.’

The men ran as fast as they could. Just as they exited the mouth of the cave the roof of the snow snake cave began to crumble.

The Snow Snake’s mouth blew apart in a final raging hiss before it crushed back together, closing the entrance to the cave forever more.

The men collapsed to the ground, safe but breathing heavily.

Once the humble man had recovered his breath he spoke. ‘Why did you protect and save us, mere strangers to you, above your companion the snow snake?’

The Old Man of Snow lifted his hand and cupped the area around where his heart would have rested. ‘There is no room for a greedy heart. It is lonely to live alone but it better to live alone than to blight the gift of true magic with greed.’

©M J Mallon

I think you will agree that this a wonderful story and showcases Marjories writing stunningly.

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Health – My Gallbladder Operation by M.J. Mallon 2014


Welcome to the series of 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/

Delighted to welcome author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) to the series with her first post from the archives. I have chosen a health post this week from 2014 as I know that facing any operation is daunting, and if you are waiting for a gallbladder procedure.. this might reassure you. Especially as today the majority are carried out with key hole surgery.

doctor-161345_640

My Gallbladder Operation by Marjorie Mallon

I was a bit apprehensive when I received my appointment letter for my Gallbladder operation. The date was set as Monday 13th of October, being a bit superstitious the number 13 just didn’t do much to alleviate my fears. On the day of the operation my husband was driving me to Addenbrookes in the early hours of the morning when he suddenly said, “Oh No.” I thought his outburst was most probably due to an announcement about bad traffic ahead, but no of course it couldn’t be that, the NHS were on strike! So as we drove to the hospital I had no idea whether my operation would go ahead as planned. The superstitious no 13, lifted his ugly head and smirked.

I was admitted, given a bed, and everything seemed to be going as planned. The doctors and nurses checked me for everything under the sun, diabetes, high blood pressure, and my medical record was clarified and re-checked over and over again. One thing surprised me, the check for nail polish and makeup, whatever was that in aid of? This one might seem irrelevant but believe me it is not. Your nails and skin are a means to verify that enough oxygen is reaching you whilst you are under. So leave the make up and nail polish at home ladies, oh and any gents too who are so inclined! I met my anaesthetist and was somewhat perturbed when I saw that she was very heavily pregnant. She made a comment about coming in as a patient herself in the next two weeks. Please don’t have your baby today, I silently prayed.

I hadn’t eaten or had any fluid since the night before and my operation wasn’t scheduled until around 3 o’clock. A very chatty member of the hospital staff waited with me while I perspired anxiously. I told him all about my writing journey and my completed book. Then I was called in. No going back. I woke up around 4.20pm and just before I stirred I could have sworn that I was on my computer writing my latest blog post about my experience at the hospital! Trust me to think about writing whilst I was under the surgeon’s knife. Fortunately I didn’t embarrass myself too much, I was a quiet patient, but the guy in the bed next to me was a challenge to say the least. He just wouldn’t stay still when he awoke. The nurses had a difficult job restraining him. I suppose even the quietest of guys may react badly to a general anaesthetic.

I didn’t stay in recovery for long and was quickly transferred back to the original ward. It was a bit of a lonely night as I was all by myself on the ward. Mind you it wasn’t as if I was up to much socialising I had enough trouble going to the toilet! The next morning one of the nurses casually suggested that I might like to wash my face and freshen up a bit. I must have smelt pretty bad and this was her polite way of saying I needed to wash. I really wished that I’d packed some nicely smelling deodorant but all I had was a functional roll on. Still, I was so glad I had packed a dressing gown, a must if you are going in for an operation.

Then a new batch of patients arrived waiting for their operations. I was struck by their positivity and cheerfulness. I felt guilty eating and drinking as they were unable to indulge in either of these pursuits. The aroma of my food must have been distressing. Nevertheless, we were drawn together by this strange experience, it was a club of sorts but not one you would normally want to join. An elderly Italian lady made a big impression upon me. She had been for countless operations before but she just smiled, and talked endlessly. I have never heard anyone talk so much! Even though everything must have been a bit of a challenge for her, she had a walking stick, suffered from dizzy spells, yet she didn’t complain. Even after she returned from her operation she still had so much to say! She gave me a lovely wave and wished me well when she left to go home. I just hope she will be fine too, her arm was limp after the operation and I wonder whether it is fine now? She made light of it, joking that she didn’t think the alien arm belonged to her. I couldn’t believe she was released within a day, what a tough old cookie! Not like me, I stayed overnight, was hardly able to walk after the operation, and had a raised temperature for the first night. An eighty three year old with a walking stick, definitely put me to shame!

Overall surgery is not an experience I would like to repeat in a hurry, but the nurses and doctors did a sterling job. NHS staff shouldn’t need to strike to get a 1% pay rise, they deserve every single penny. I’m relieved that my short stay at Addenbrookes is all over. Hopefully now I’ll be able to eat normally again, a favourite pastime of mine. I can’t wait to tuck into a long awaited Chinese Buffet!

©Marjorie Mallon 2014

I hope that has given you some reassurance about this procedure…

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jack Eason, M. J. Mallon, Bette A. Stevens and Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the slightly delayed first author update of the week and I hope you all had a great Easter…The first author with a recent review is Jack Eason for Race Against Time.

About the book

In 2012, many otherwise rational people had convinced themselves that because the Mayan calendar stopped at December 21st of that year, that we were about to enter the biblical end of days. But it didn’t happen. Why are we still alive? Read the archaeological adventure Race Against Time for one possible explanation.

One of the recent review for the book

Beetleypete VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Old school adventure, brought bang up to date. 15 April 2019

Combining archaeology with adventure, then adding a touch of science fiction, this enjoyable roller-coaster of a story packs in a host of fascinating characters too. From eminent academics, to the Russian Mafia, Vatican cardinals, and even a beautiful female alien, everyone in this book is wonderfully described, until you can picture them all on their hazardous quest.

Using a theory of how Earth was once populated, and protected from natural disaster, we are taken on a world tour of interesting ancient archaeological sites. Each one holds part of the key that will save mankind from destruction, and our heroes must combat not only a secret organisation, but also the ancient demon it serves. This is not ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’, but it has equally exciting elements, and a tension that endures right to the last of its 158 pages.

The author undoubtedly knows his stuff, and compliments that knowledge with detailed research, convincing geographical detail, and a wide understanding of travel by sea and by road. And he also knows when to insert the required action, so that no chapter is ever dry, or feels dull to read. I finished it in just two sessions, keen to discover the fate of the characters that I had readily invested in.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LW4MBTF

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW4MBTF

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY

Follow Jack and read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason

Connect to Jack via his website: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is children’s author Bette A. Stevens for Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages. Only 99p/99c until April 26th.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!
This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Charlotte; pay attention PD  Eastman; Matilda has arrived April 13, 2019

Bette Stevens Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly (CreateSpace 2012) is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly. Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:

“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…”

Another friend suggests:

“I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”

She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:

“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”

As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.

As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!

This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!

Read some of the many reviews for the book 99c until 26th April: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK 99/p until 26th April: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

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

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/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/

The next featured author is M. J. Mallon whose book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone, is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

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

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

And last but not least today.. a review for Book Four (including the prequel) in the Escaping Psychiatry Series: Deadly Quotes by Olga Nunez Miret

About Deadly Quotes

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.
Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note? Was it murder?
Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating but are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, prefer strong female protagonists, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you shouldn’t miss this novel.

One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes

This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.

We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.

I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio books http://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga via her blog: http://authortranslatorolga.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two under your arm.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – M.J. Mallon, Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Bette A. Stevens and Charles E. Yallowitz.


Welcome to the first of the author promotions this week, and the first author with a recent review is  M.J. Mallon whose book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone, is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads.

Feb 15, 2019 Heena Rathore P. rated it really liked it

The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon is an intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.

The writing is good, the characterization decent and the pacing and tension in sync with the plot. The plot-progression was good and the character development was something I really appreciated in this story. The simple use of language complimented the plot and made it an enjoyable read.

The only problem I had when I started reading this book was that there were a number of themes running through the book, which at times felt a little bit confusing to me. But as I progressed further in the story, everything started to fall into place, and eventually, everything started to make more sense. So, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, either way, it wasn’t a big issue as I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy and supernatural readers.

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

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

Time for a recent review for Mister Fox and the Green Man by Sue Vincent and Stuart France.

About the book

“Foxes, Welch!”

When Special Agent Tommy Welch is called into Tee’s office, he has little idea of the perils of his latest assignment. Accompanied by the sensuous Miss Hunnyfludd, Welch believes he is to investigate an outbreak of mysterious Foxes. Instead Tommy finds himself flung far back in time, to the court of King Arthur, where a Green Knight is about to extend a deadly challenge…

Within the humorous spoof that frames the story, the reader is transported to Camelot to witness the confrontation of Gawain and the Green Knight. Based upon the story that lies deep at the heart of Arthurian lore, the threefold nature of the ancient myth unfolds…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle  4.0 out of 5 stars A mythological graphic novel January 31, 2019

This is a most unusual book which presents three concepts from English mythology in the form of a graphic novel. It was not what I originally expected but I did enjoy this unique idea. The book starts with a humorous spoof on the well know British spy, James Bond, and his secretary, fondly referred to in this book as Miss Hunnyfludd.

The spy travels back in time at the instance of the Green Man to the court of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. The Green Man challenges the knights to a duel and offers them the first strike. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge and decapitates the Green Man, who picks up his severed head and tells the knights that in one year’s time, Sir Gawain must entered into another duel with him. This time the Green Man will have the first strike which will end in certain death for Sir Gawain.

Sir Gawain sets off on a quest into the Enchanted Forest to try and find a way to save himself. He encounters an enchanted hind who tells him a riddle which he must solve within the year in order to avoid death. Sir Gawain meets adversity during his quest to find the answer to the riddle in the form of, among other things, a hag who wants to marry him and the wife of Lord Verdant.

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

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

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

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

The next author is Bette A. Stevens with Dog Bone Soup and a recent review.

About Dog Bone Soup

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

A recent review for the book

January 30, 2019

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S5RMUDK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DOG-BONE-SOUP-Historical-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00S5RMUDK

Also by Bette A. Stevens.

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

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/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/

And last but not least is a review for Book 1 in the Windemere Series, Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz.

About Beginning of a Hero

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

A recent review for the book

Just B Happy 5.0 out of 5 starsI Highly Recommend!!! January 18, 2019

I have never read so many books in one series back to back and been so thoroughly entertained. The characters are wonderful and I love the good and bad guys. Great stories, I only wish there were more. I highly recommend reading this whole series!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BL9GBU2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Hero-Legends-Windemere-Book-ebook/dp/B00BL9GBU2

A small selection of other books by Charles E. Yallowitz.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please take a look at this group on Facebook by clicking the image.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Sale – #Children’s Books, #Thrillers #Fantasy – Charles E. Yallowitz, John W. Howell, Jemima Pett, M. J. Mallon and Diana J. Febry


Welcome to the third of the Summer Sale posts with discounted books by authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. There is one more sale posts scheduled for the 20th of July.

Some of the books from Monday 9th may still be on sale so worth checking: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-brigid-p-gallagher-hugh-w-roberts-jacquie-biggar-and-victoria-zigler/

And from Friday 13th (lucky for some): https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-99p-99c-children-ya-poetry-african-adventure-lucinda-e-clarke-darlene-foster-natalie-ducey-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

All the spaces have now been filled but if you have any of your books that are FREE in July there is still some room on those posts.

Wednesday July 18th and Saturday July 21st – Spaces filling up quickly

Just let me have the link to the book on Amazon or Smashwords and the dates the book is free … I will have all your other details on file.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first author today with a discounted offer on his latest book is Charles Yallowitz – Quest of the Brokenhearted is on offer at 99c/99p throughout July.

About the Quest of the Brokenhearted

(From the pages of ‘Legends of Windemere’)

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

Head over and buy the book for 99c: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F5V3CT5/

And on Amazon UK at 99p : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Brokenhearted-Charles-Yallowitz-ebook/dp/B07F5V3CT5

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

One of the recent reviews for War of Nytefall

Nytefall is an interesting book. It’s set in the previously designed world of Windemere, but uses a different cast, and one that isn’t completely likeable. Clyde and his band are vampires. There is a certain amount of human destruction that’s given no more importance than a different character eating a jelly doughnut.

I understand why the author did this. I suppose a vampire would look at humans as nothing more than food, but among real humans some people feel remorse for farm animals.

After the Great Cataclysm, Clyde is changed into something new. He is much more powerful than others of his kind. He is stripped of any magic he had, but is given new powers that don’t rely upon incantations and such. It reminded me a bit of some games where a character earns a skin that gives them an edge. Only Clyde’s edge is much bigger than that.

He reunites his old group and tries to go on with his old life. I’ll stop here to avoid spoiling the story. Nytefall explores prejudice from a new angle, that of jealousy and fear over the rise of the Dawn Fangs. This is for you if you enjoy extensive fantasy worlds, don’t mind a bit of casual murder, and can cheer for the underdog even if he isn’t a hero.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his website: http://www.legendsofwindemere.com/

The next author with a reduced offer for you is John W. Howell with the first of the John Cannon Trilogy – My GRL. It is on offer at 99c/99p just today until 11 PDT which is 7.00am tomorrow UK time.  Get it while you can..

About My GRL

John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. John is unaware his boat has been targeted by a terrorist group to be used to destroy a symbol of America’s greatness. John’s first inkling of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was found unconscious next to the body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now is the only one standing between the terrorists and the success of their mission. An excellent summer read

One of the many excellent reviews for the book

Full-Throttle Action on March 7, 2017

I often find work written in first person/present tense to be jarring. Overuse of “I” and “me” coupled with an awkward reveal of the POV character’s name and appearance usually work against an author’s intent and keep me from engaging in the story.

That’s not the case with John Howell’s MY GRL.

Mr. Howell penned a story that, while written in first person/present tense, actually sucked me into the story. I thought what main character John Cannon thought, I felt what he felt. Howell is to be commended for his ability to immerse the reader into his story world through his protagonist.

This thriller captured me not only for the reason listed above, but also because the author crafted a realistic hero. John Cannon isn’t the thirty-year-old alpha male, Navy Seal, superhero. He’s a regular guy, with realistic fears and logical fallacies. He’s so likable because he could be your uncle, your neighbor, your coworker. We all know John Cannons, and we all love them.

While I found this novel to be character-driven, there’s no shortage of action in the plot. This was a quick read because both the character was relatable and the pace was full-throttle.

This is book one of three in the series. I’ll be looking for the next installment and highly recommend this one.

Read some of the reviews and buy the book for 99c : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VY4V2FC/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-GRL-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B06VY4V2FC/

Also by John W.Howell

Read the reviews and buy all of the John Cannon Series : https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Connect to John via his website: http://www.johnhowell.com

Children’s author Jemima Pett has a three book box set for the Princelings of the East books on offer in July on Smashwords which is excellent value at $3.50 which is half-price until the end of the month.

About the series

A time tunnel, a pirate king, a lost city. In three separate adventures, Princelings Fred and George aim to solve trifling problems, but uncover dangerous and sometimes desperate foes, each with his or her own agenda, threatening the peace of the Realms. This first box set from the series comprises the Princelings of the East, the Princelings and the Pirates, and the Princelings and the Lost City.

A time tunnel, a pirate king, a lost city. In three separate adventures, Princelings Fred and George set out to solve trifling problems, and uncover dangerous and sometimes desperate foes, each with his or her own agenda, threatening the peace of the Realms.

The Princelings of the East: the saga starts with Fred and George leaving their cosy Castle in the Marsh. They encounter the mysterious cola vendor Hugo, the playboy Prince Lupin, and the over-worked innkeeper Victor, and have to use their own wits to decide who to trust, and how to prevent their ordered society descending into chaos.

The Princelings and the Pirates sees our heroes setting out to discover what has gone wrong at Castle Dimerie – a simple errand that ends in kidnap, shipwreck, and a battle in which no quarter is given.

The Princelings and the Lost City introduces George to the delights of flying, and Fred to the tortures of true love. Their inventions and experiments take a back seat as the puzzle of the Lost City and its all-female society lead to questions that may be too difficult to solve.

Buy the three book set at Smashwords for half- price : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678311

Jemima also has some of her books FREE on Smashwords in July and you can find out more in Saturdays Sale Post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-free-books-adventure-childrens-memoir-mary-smith-annabelle-franklin-jemima-pett-and-chuck-jackson/

A small selection of  books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

The next author with a reduced price is M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure. The book is on sale at £1.99 grab while you can.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the reviews for the book

This reviews is adapted from a post which originally appeared on my blog, This Northern Gal. I was sent a copy of the text in exchange for an honest review.

The Curse of Time is all about Amelina, a teenage girl who receives a mysterious invitation. Her already crazy life takes a turn for the weird and unusual. She becomes fixated with the idea that there is a curse on her family and that she has to find a way to break it. Along the way she finds herself in a world that revels in the strange and mysterious. This world building was where M.J Mallon excelled. It allowed her to be wonderfully creative, which in turn meant that I was sucked into the world of The Curse of Time. I particularly enjoyed the way the writer seemed to be inspired by fairy-tales, though in quite a twisted way. From strange reflections in the mirror to vanishing black cats, there was a familiarity in the characters that was really welcoming. They were all presented in new and creative ways however.

This is particularly apparent in the character of Amelina, who is creative and artistic. This meant that her art and poetry were brilliantly woven throughout The Curse of Time. It added a good extra layer to the novel itself.

I also really enjoyed the way crystals were used throughout the text to make the world that Amelina inhabited. It would be interesting to see how this is expanded and sustained in the rest of the M. J Mallon’s writing, particularly in the sequel to The Curse of Time

Read the other reviews and buy the book for the sale price of £1.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US at the reduced price: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The next author with a book reduced this month is Diana J. Febry with Bells on her Toes ( A DCI Peter Hatherall novel) at 99p/99c until July 21st.

About Bells on her Toes

Horse race trainer, Ben Halloway thought the murdered car mechanic found near his gallops was a minor annoyance that didn’t concern him.

That was his first mistake.

Turning his back on those he trusted was his final mistake.

All he wanted was to train a winner.

DCI Hatherall is led a merry dance around the starting gates. As potential witnesses disappear he is in a race against time to solve the case and protect the people he cares for.

One of the reviews for the book

I’ve been reading this series recently and have found all of the books real page-turners. This one, Bells on her Toes is particularly gritty and realistic. It starts off with an apparently straight forward drug-related execution murder, but what follows for DCI Peter Hatherall and his side kick Fiona embroils them in more twists and turns than a wriggling mamba.

There are red herrings galore and by the end, when the series of subsequent murders is eventually solved, the reader feels deeply sympathetic to Hatherall and Fiona for the frustrations and time wasting leads that somehow always distract them from the real clues. As in real life, protagonists die before they can explain their role, so in the end we still don’t know the reasons for all the incidents along the way, but that is real life. I found this an exceptionally compelling and unputdownable mystery. I just hope Diana Febry will write some more DCI Hatherall books so I can learn how the poor detective solves his personal problems, a running subplot in all the books that gives him a somewhat prickly character at times. It would be good to see Fiona happy too, so keep on writing Ms Febry!

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99p until 21st July: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bells-Toes-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07D5F91TF/

And on Amazon US at 99c: https://www.amazon.com/Bells-Toes-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07D5F91TF/

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of these reduced books on your own social media. There will be more free books on Wednesday including one of mine and more reduced books on Friday 20th. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Book Reviewers – Barb Taub for Judith Barrow, M.J. Mallon for Annette Rochelle Aben, Linda Hill for Katherine Clements and Liz LLoyd #RBRT for Rachel Walkley


Welcome to this week’s Meet the Reviewers…

This series is aimed at promoting and celebrating those that review books regularly. Especially those who do so via their blogs, as it would be great to create more traffic to their sites. I am happy to also showcase those that are put directly on Amazon. The details are here in this first post with an example.. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/smorgasbord-new-series-starting-this-saturday-meet-the-book-reviewers/

And here is last week’s post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-meet-the-reviewers-judith-barrow-for-thorne-moore-balroop-singh-for-deborah-a-bowman-robbie-cheadle-for-john-w-howell-and-cathy-ryan-for-abigail-osborne/

  • If you click the images of the books you will be taken directly to Amazon.
  • Where an author or reviewer is in the Cafe and Bookstore I will include their entry.
  • If a review has been posted to Amazon directly without a blog post, I will share the entire review with a link to the reviewers blog.

The first reviewer today is Barb Taub with her views on the wonderful Howarth Family Saga by Judith Barrow. A series that I have read and enjoyed very much. Here is the start of Barb’s post and I hope you will head over and read the entire review for the whole series.

We’ve all read epic family sagas—sweeping multi-generational tales like The Thorn Birds, The Godfather, Roots, the Star Wars franchise, and anything remotely connected to the British Monarchy. So as I read Judith Barrow’s Howarth Family trilogy, I kept trying to slot them into those multigenerational tropes:

  • First generation, we were supposed to see the young protagonist starting a new life with a clean slate, perhaps in a new country.
  • The next generation(s) are all about owning their position, fully assimilated and at home in their world.
  • And the last generation is both rebel and synthesis, with more similarities to the first generation made possible by the confidence of belonging from the second one.

But the complex, three-dimensional miniatures I met in the first three books of the trilogy stubbornly refused to align with those tropes. First of all, there’s Mary Howarth—the child of parents born while Queen Victoria was still on the throne—who is poised between her parents’ Victorian constraints, adjustment to a world fighting a war, and their own human failures including abuse, alcoholism, and ignorance.When Pattern of Shadows begins in 1944, war-fueled anti-German sentiment is so strong, even the King has changed the British monarchy’s last name from Germanic Saxe-Coburg to Windsor. Mary’s beloved brother Tom is imprisoned because of his conscientious objector status, leaving their father to express his humiliation in physical and emotional abuse of his wife and daughters. Her brother Patrick rages at being forced to work in the mines instead of joining the army, while Mary herself works as a nurse treating German prisoners of war in an old mill now converted to a military prison hospital.

Mary’s family and friends are all struggling to survive the bombs, the deaths, the earthshaking changes to virtually every aspect of their world. We’ve all seen the stories about the war—plucky British going about their lives in cheerful defiance of the bombs, going to theaters, sipping tea perched on the wreckage, chins up and upper lips stiff in what Churchill called “their finest hour”. That wasn’t Mary’s war.

Read the rest of the post and review at Barb’s blog: https://barbtaub.com/2018/05/22/hundreds-of-tiny-threads-bookreview-of-the-howarth-family-trilogy-by-judithbarrow77-family-histfic-tuesdaybookblog/

Judith Barrow is in the Cafe Bookstore.

Judith Barrow – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6
Blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

Barb Taub is also in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Barb Taub, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Taub/e/B00EZP9BS8/
Website: https://barbtaub.com

Next we have Marjorie Mallon reviewing the latest poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben, A Haiku Perspective 2018.

An extract from Marjorie’s

This is an enchanting book of poetry. So many wonderful haiku! I love short form poetry and Annette Rochelle Aben’s book covers a multitude of poetic topics in a warm and inviting way.

The first poem Strings is a poignant haiku love story. I read this particular poem several times and seemed to take more from it on each reading. I read it down and then from the bottom up! The family dynamic in this poem changes when a new baby is welcomed and Annette Rochelle Aben captures this to perfection in this thought-provoking poem. The message within will no doubt resonate with many. Love can be the most exquisite emotion. But, there are many loves. Can the love of a child be so consuming that your partner, wife, or husband feels neglected? I loved how this was expressed in a musical way.

Read the rest of Marjorie’s review: https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/24/book-review-a-haiku-perspective-2018-annette-rochelle-aben/

Marjorie Mallon is an author in the cafe and bookstore

M.J.Mallon, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/
Website: https://mjmallon.com/

As is Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette Rochelle Aben, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY
Blog: www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

Please visit Amazon or Annette’s blog to view all her books.

annettebooku_cover_for_kindle6124zpvlnhl-_uy250_

 

The next reviewer is Linda Hill... proprietor of Linda’s Book Bag, and congratulations are in order for winning Best Overall Blog at this year’s Blogger’s Bash in London.

In this post Linda reviews The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements. You can read all of the review by clicking the link at the bottom of the extract… and to buy the book click the cover.

The Coffin PathMaybe you’ve heard tales about Scarcross Hall, the house on the old coffin path that winds from village to moor top. They say there’s something up here, something evil.

Mercy Booth isn’t afraid. The moors and Scarcross are her home and lifeblood. But, beneath her certainty, small things are beginning to trouble her. Three ancient coins missing from her father’s study, the shadowy figure out by the gatepost, an unshakeable sense that someone is watching.

When a stranger appears seeking work, Mercy reluctantly takes him in. As their stories entwine, this man will change everything. She just can’t see it yet.
My Review of The Coffin Path

Living at Scarcross has never been easy for Mercy, but it is about to get considerably harder.

Now, I must confess that I don’t usually read books marketed in the ghost or horror genre as I find them too unsettling, but The Coffin Path was a perfect read for me with just the right amount of creepiness and supernatural to disturb and entertain me. Hardcore horror readers might find it wasn’t horrific enough, but I loved it.

The quality of writing is outstanding. There’s a sophistication to Katherine Clements’s prose style that draws in the reader and that is completely convincing so that I felt I was really able to understand the 1600s when the book is set, and to comprehend its superstitions and practices making for a realistic and powerful reading experience. There’s such realism alongside the more supernatural elements so that this narrative is finely balanced and nuanced.

Read the rest of Linda Hill’s review of the book: https://lindasbookbag.com/2018/05/23/the-coffin-path-by-katherine-clements/

The next reviewer is Elizabeth (Liz) Lloyd, who as well as reviewing books on her own blog Lizanne Lloyd, is a member of the Rosie Amber Book Review Team #RBRT.  This review was featured on Rosie Amber’s site earlier in the week. It is for The Women of Heachley Hall by Rachel Walkley

38910952When book illustrator, Miriam Chambers, inherits Great Aunt Felicity’s Victorian mansion in the Norfolk countryside, she discovers it is a poisoned chalice. Either she must live in the run-down cold building for a year and a day or it will be auctioned for charity. Since she is able to work at home she decides to accept the challenge and she employs some local tradesmen to improve the facilities a little. But it is a lonely house set in overgrown woodland and Miriam is grateful when a strange-looking young man comes to the door offering to chop wood and do odd jobs. As the creaks and bangs around the house alarm her, she is pleased when Charles, the reticent young man, provides company.

Increasingly Miriam tries to find the reason for the conditions imposed in her Great Aunt’s will. Was there foul play when she had her accident and what happened years before when part of the house burnt down? This beautifully written mystery weaves a spell around the house and the people connected to it. It is easy to empathise with Miriam but there is a surprising conclusion which you are unlikely to predict. Reminding me of the books of Kate Morton, this is a story for lovers of ghost stories, history and romance. The introductory quote.

“One lives in hope of becoming a memory”

Is an apt description of this haunting story, about the nature of love.

Head over and read the rest of the review: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-womensfiction-the-women-of-heachley-hall-by-racheljwalkley-3/

If you review books then if you would like to become one of Rosie’s respected Book Review Team, here are the details: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/join-rosies-book-review-team/

Thank you for popping in today and if you have written a book review on your blog or for Amazon in the last month then please let me know. Thanks Sally