Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – Janice Spina, Marian Beaman and Marcia Meara


Welcome to the first of the week’s updates for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews.

Delighted to share one of the recent reviews for the new release by Janice Spina.  Abby & Holly series book 3 – Secrets of the Trunk

About the book

Join Abby and Holly in Book 3 as the cousins discover a new presence in their old Victorian while they are cleaning out the library of old books. They are not sure if this specter is benign or otherwise. This being leads them to the old trunk they discovered in Book 2 which holds many secrets and puzzles that they feel compelled to solve.

They enlist the help of their ghost friend, Felicity, who inhabits their home. She is a benevolent entity that once lived in their house from a century ago. She watches over the girls and vows never to leave them unless they request her to do so.

There will be surprises and ghostly visits that will keep readers enthralled as Abby and Holly work together to uncover the secrets of the trunk.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michelle Clements James 5.0 out of 5 stars The story book instills life lessons September 6, 2019

This is a skillfully written story that logically follows Book 2 in the series. Abby and Holly are determined to solve the mystery of the old trunk and elicit the help of their ghost friends, Felicity and Minerva. When things get a bit out of hand and turn dangerous, the girls turn to their moms and to Abby’s dad for help.

Abby and Holly are typical young middle-grade girls who are adventurous, sweet, kindhearted, and thoughtful. Their ghost friends are helpful and caring. All the characters are well-drawn and believable, that is unless you don’t believe in ghosts.

As with all the author’s children’s books, this book instills life lessons, especially that everyone should treat all others with respect. The life lessons introduced in Secrets of the Trunk are how to handle the unexpected and how to overcome disappointments.

I loved this book, as I have all the other middle-grade books by Janice Spina. I recommend it as a book for your middle-grade child to read by themselves or as a book you’ll read together.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Abby-Holly-Book-Secrets-Trunk/dp/1732528829

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Abby-Holly-Book-Secrets-Trunk/dp/1732528829

A very small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

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

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

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

Connect to Janice via her blog: http://Jemsbooks.blog

Now another excellent review for Marian Beaman.. a memoir – Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl released earlier in September.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

Mennonite Daughter is a beautifully written story about the growing up life and aspirations of one feisty and longing-to-be fancy girl who although practicing her faith obediently, longs to be free from some of the conforms of the Mennonite lifestyle.

Beaman, a girl, not unlike any other girlie girl, striving for her chance at a life free from head coverings and traditional clothing, as her desires since childhood grow to break free from tradition. We learn a lot about the Mennonite way of life, Beaman’s life, the close knit family and community life, and the antiquated punishments inflicted on her by her father, and about the mother who never interjected on those punishments, all because she spoke out for her convictions. The whippings and being locked in a dark, scary basement were the weapons of choice as punishments and discipline for her non-compliance in a world of which we’d now consider as child abuse. One heart trembling sentence that stood out to me, “I always watched for signs that Daddy was about to explode, so I wonder why I didn’t stop before I ignite the fire.” We’ll learn once again, as many writers like myself have lived and wrote about, if we search for the ‘why’ in someone’s behavior, we’ll almost always find the root cause.

Read the early reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XL5FPW6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07XL5FPW6

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19169570.Marian_Longenecker_Beaman

Connect to Marian via her blog: https://marianbeaman.com.

And the final author today is Marcia Meara with a recent review for That Darkest Place (Riverbend Book 3)

About the book

In Book 3 of her popular Riverbend series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit,and Harbinger, takes another look at the lives of the Painter brothers—Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. While Hunter is home again and on the mend, the same isn’t true for his oldest brother. Jackson’s battle has just begun.

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

One of the recent reviews of the book

The third book of the Riverbend series focuses primarily on Painter brothers, Jackson and Forrest, though youngest brother Hunter, is still a strong presence in his unique and quiet way. I fell in love with his character in book two.

At the end of Finding Hunter, Jackson was behaving horribly—lashing out at those around him, physically and verbally abusive. He ended up in a car accident believed to be the result of drunk driving. In That Darkest Place, the truth of what really took place and why is quickly revealed. Once brought to light, Jackson’s long road to recovery begins.

Once again, Meara tackles some weighty issues, but the most powerful theme is the unshakable bond of family, specifically brothers. Forrest and Hunter are not about to let Jackson muddle through on his own. Presenting a united front, they eventually have Jackson back to functioning almost normally again. Along the way there are physical and emotional hurdles to overcome, but there are also heartwarming and humorous moments to offset the weightier scenes.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072LCVP6M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072LCVP6
 

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

Connect to Marcia via her website: http://marciamearawrites.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jeanine Lunsford, Marcia Meara, Judy Penz Sheluk


Welcome to the second of the update posts this week for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author is Jeanine Lunsford for her book Remembering First Love (The Rivera Sisters Series Book One)

About the book

20-year-old Carina Rivera is a prodigal daughter on her way back to her childhood relationship with God when she falls into the seductive trap set for her by her handsome supervisor, Aaron Mendoza.

“Remembering First Love” the first in the Rivera Sisters Series, takes the reader into Carina Rivera’s struggle to clean up the reputation she has acquired during her teen years as the “Bad Rivera sister”. Carina’s hopes of turning a new leaf are shattered when her mother loses her job and Carina becomes the sole breadwinner for her family.

When Carina is introduced to Aaron Mendoza, her handsome supervisor at the garment factory, she is captivated by his amazing looks and dreams of finding a meaningful relationship with him. But Aaron has a different kind of plan for Carina–a plan to lure her into his web of seduction.

Will Aaron’s allure continue to hold Carina captive or will God’s Hand of Providence and the prayers of her family help her escape from the dark shadows of Aaron’s world?

One of the recent reviews for Remembering First Love August 5th 2019

Remembering First Love is a charming faith based romance novel. Carina Rivera is 20 year-old single Cuban woman of faith living in southern Florida. She could be described as wayward, but contrite. On the day of her beloved older sister’s wedding Carina vows to return to God and correct her path. Due to some poor decisions within her control and some unfortunate incidents out of her control, Carina struggles with feeling of self-worth. Will she be able to repair her besmirched reputation? Will a handsome man’s inappropriate intentions sway Carina or will the pull of God’s love be enough to rescue her?

Jeanine Lunsford has written a truly inspiring novel. Carina is relatable in her imperfection. She falls for her supervisor and quickly finds herself in a compromised situation. It doesn’t take long for Carina to discover Aaron’s violent tendencies or his penchant for young attractive women. The story deals with her feelings of guilt balanced with mercy from above. The book also considers the long lasting consequences of child abuse. Although the dialogue feels forced at times, the transformation Carina makes is motivating. Christian readers will relate to the struggles of a modern day woman trying to retain chastity until marriage. Remembering First Love is a steamy novel that pushes the envelope. The drama will leave you breathless and aching for more!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Remembering-First-Love-Rivera-Sisters-ebook/dp/B07KRMNQD9

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Remembering-First-Love-Rivera-Sisters-ebook/dp/B07KRMNQD9

Also by Jeanine Lunsford

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jeanine-Lunsford/e/B07KV4S1QH

And on Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jeanine-Lunsford/e/B07KV4S1QH

And read more reviews and follow Jeanine on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18646293.Jeanine_Lunsford

Connect to Jeanine via her website: https://www.jeaninelunsford.com

The next author with a new review is Marcia Meara for The Emissary – A Riverbend Spinoff Novella which follows the story of a previous character in the series.

About The Emissary

Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jun 24, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it five stars

A delightful little book. The writing is clear and to the point with excellent dialogue that pulls you into the story. The characters are real and you care about them. I love the idea of a sort of angel, or angel’s helper, who drives a semi. Very clever. There is enough action to keep the story moving along. I’m pleased there are more books in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Emissary-Riverbend-Spinoff-Novella-ebook/dp/B075Y2T3CL

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emissary-Riverbend-Spinoff-Novella-ebook/dp/B075Y2T3CL/

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

Connect to Marcia via her website: http://marciamearawrites.com/

The final author with a recent review is Judy Penz Sheluk for Past and Present

About the book

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.
It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

As it happens, I read book one (audio!), but long enough ago I was gratified to find that any references to the past were adequate to the instant plot, making each a standalone. In this tale, our intrepid heroine Calamity sells her house and buys another, and then starts a new business. Sudden deja vu to Judy Garland’s “I have a barn; let’s put on a show!” as various characters are swept in to lend their talents to a new investigative service. But then the first case comes along and serious hard work and research are highlighted with flashes of psi concepts and tarot reading which seem to guide the discoveries. The characters are largely likable with hiss-worthy villains to keep it balanced and I enjoyed the journey and look forward to the next case (hinted at but not a cliffhanger).

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook-dp-B07FYZ6HPF/dp/B07FYZ6HPF

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook/dp/B07FYZ6HPF

A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk

Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

Connect to Judy via her blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arms… Sally.