Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract – #Memoir – My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore  New Series 2020 – Share an Extract with an opportunity to show one of your earlier books some love and attention by sharing an extract.. Check out the above link for all the details.

Today’s extract is from a memoir by Abbie Johnson Taylor, the story of meeting, falling in love and marrying her ideal partner, who sadly became very ill soon after.

About the book

In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid−forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times, like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it, so they wouldn’t always depend on the local paratransit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

Abbie Johnson Taylor lives in Sheridan, Wyoming and is the author of three previously published books.

An extract from My Ideal Partner – Prologue – The Big Day

This couldn’t be happening, I told myself, as, in my underwear, I paced the upstairs hall in Grandma’s house between my aunt’s old bedroom and the bathroom. It was the afternoon of September 10, 2005. In the yard, I heard strains of music from the string duo my father hired for the occasion and the chatter of arriving guests. Soon the ceremony would start. Would I have to walk down the aisle on my father’s arm in my underwear? Where was my sister–in–law, Kathleen, who agreed to be matron of honor?

She was probably still at the motel with my brother, Andy; their two sons, Dylan and Tristan, ages eight and six, who were to be ushers; and their two–year–old daughter, Isabella, who would serve as flower girl. Not only were we missing ushers and a flower girl, but my dress was with Kathleen at the motel, or so I thought. Why wasn’t she here?

The front door banged, and to my relief, I heard the excited voices of my nephews and niece.

“Go out back, and don’t mess up your nice clothes,” Kathleen called before rushing up the stairs to greet me.

“You have my dress?” I asked, noticing she wasn’t carrying a garment.

“No, it’s right there on the bed,” she said, pointing to somewhere I couldn’t see.

With my limited vision, I could only make out people and objects close to me, and in the heightened emotional state of any bride–to–be, I hadn’t thought to look closely for the dress. I’d been pacing the floor and wringing my hands for twenty minutes, wondering where it was, and all this time, it was right in front of me.

“Just breathe,” said Kathleen, as she slipped the gown over my head. That was easy for her to say.

Later, fully dressed, I sat on the toilet seat while Kathleen applied my makeup. From the yard below, the string duo’s music and the din of voices drifted up and in through the open bathroom window. When I was ready, Kathleen said, “Okay, we need something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Let’s see…”

While she wandered through the upstairs rooms, I made my way to the ground floor, feeling anxious. The living room was deserted. Everyone was outside, waiting. Just as I sat on the couch to compose myself, Dad appeared and said, “Honey, they’re starting Pachelbel’s Canon.”

I leapt to my feet and called up the stairs to Kathleen, “Screw something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Let’s do this.”

One of the reviews for My Ideal Partner

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Accolades are due Ms. Johnson Taylor. I must say that it is not just for caregivers, it is a love story, a story of inspiration and determination, and a story that will make you want to read more books by this author. I, personally, am glad that Abbie does not hold anything back.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And:Amazon UK

Other books by Abbie Taylor

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

Read the reviews and follow Abbie on: Goodreads

About Abbie Johnson Taylor.

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Connect to Abbie

Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress
Website: Abbie Johnson Taylor
Facebook: Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks for dropping in and if you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to promote one of your early books then please check out the post: New Series 2020 – Share an Extract 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair #EpicFantasy Deborah Jay, #Memoir Abbie Taylor Johnson, #HistoricalAdventure Andrew Joyce, #Thriller Daniel Kemp


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

If you enjoy epic fantasy novels then The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series by Deborah Jay is one you will enjoy.

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

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written September 24, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and skillfully-written fantasy novel. I was particularly taken with the tight narrative, not a wasted scene or conversation, every word counting as the story unfolded. This contributed to a quick pace and complimented the well-considered plot that comes together with a satisfying ending. Though the first in a series, The Prince’s Man can also be read as a stand-alone.

All that good stuff, and then there’s more… the characters are fabulous, deeply flawed and sympathetic at the same time. The relationship between Rustam and Risada takes center stage. There are hints of a romantic attraction but the reader is saved from moon eyes and heaving chests by a very real tension based on past experiences, current loyalties, and objectives. Despite being allies, there’s a lot of loathing going on here. I love that.

Elves, trolls, and were-cats throw the story into the classic fantasy genre and are integral to the plot and underlying theme of the book. The political machinations are realistic enough to be recognizable today. Prejudices, bigotry, genocide, and beliefs in cultural superiority are alive and well in her world-building. The characters are forced to revisit their worldviews, but just like in real life, they will only open their eyes so wide. And Jay doesn’t hold back on the brutality.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what happens to the two main characters as well as a host of others who intrigued me no end. Recommended for anyone who loves a good fantasy.

A selection of other books by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on : Goodreads

Connect with Deborah via her website: Deborah Jay

The next book is a memoir by Abbie Johnson Taylor, the story of meeting, falling in love and marrying her ideal partner, who sadly became very ill soon after.

About the book

In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid−forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times, like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it, so they wouldn’t always depend on the local paratransit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

Abbie Johnson Taylor lives in Sheridan, Wyoming and is the author of three previously published books.

One of the recent reviews for My Ideal Partner

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Accolades are due Ms. Johnson Taylor. I must say that it is not just for caregivers, it is a love story, a story of inspiration and determination, and a story that will make you want to read more books by this author. I, personally, am glad that Abbie does not hold anything back.

Other books by Abbie Taylor

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

Read the reviews and follow Abbie on: Goodreads

Connect to Abbie: Abbie’s Corner WordPress

The next author is on my ‘favourite reads’ list and I can recommend any of his books as gifts this Christmas… and that would be Andrew Joyce with a recent review for Mahoney his latest release.

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

One of the recent reviews for Mahoney

Jjspina 5.0 out of 5 starsA Memorable Historical Novel that Will Become A Classic One Day! November 27, 2019

An historical novel with epic proportions that chronicles the lives of three generations of Mahoneys. Part 1 begins with Devin Mahoney and his struggles to survive living in Ireland during a famine and how he travels from his homeland to America to begin a new life of prosperity in the Land of Milk and Honey. The author delves into the historical background of the time and how the Irish had to deal with bias and bigotry when they arrived in their new home.

Part 2 takes the reader through the colorful life of Dillon Mahoney as he travels across the West and has encounters with outlaws, an Indian and nearly loses his life. Being a man of courage and convictions he strives to do all he can to correct what he feels need to be corrected by stopping the outlaws from doing any more harm to others.

Part 3 comes full circle with the next generation of Mahoneys, David. He is a troubled soul and spoiled by his father who wanted to give him all he could to make the way easier for him. David must find his way on his own.

This story touched my soul and made me think of my grandparents who came to this country and struggled to make their way by working hard and sacrificing for their children. An unforgettable novel that is a must read. Even my husband who doesn’t talk about many books has not stopped talking about this one. He has even told his friends about it. They are now reading it too.

I have read a few other books by this talented author and enjoyed them all but this book, in my opinion, is his best to date. It’s a memorable historical novel that will stay with me for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a classic and one day we see it up on the big screen. Kudos to Andrew Joyce for creating such a wonderful story.

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on : Goodreads

Connect to Andrew via his blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPress

The next author with books for those of us who enjoy spy novels and thrillers is  Daniel Kemp and the featured book is What Happened in Vienna Jack?

About the book

A robbery in London. The murder of a priest at the end of World War Two. A genocide in Namibia. The discovery of the remains of Hitler’s secretary.

Something connects all this. Former British spy Jack Price knows the answer, and he’s willing to die to keep the secret. The problem? He’s not the only one who knows.

It’s the lies that are not heard, but kept as secrets, that own us all. Deep in the world of espionage and deception, how far is Jack willing to go to fulfill his mission?

One of the recent reviews for the book

If you like the novels of Graham Greene and Len Deighton, then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this very engrossing read, by Daniel Kemp. Set in the 1970s, this thriller is very atmospheric of the times and I really enjoyed the plot (no spoilers here folks) which involved historic secrets the establishment didn’t want revealed.

Mr Kemp has obviously studied the period and also the events leading up to the Second World War extensively and upon finishing the novel, I had to wonder whether the events he portrays, could in fact have happened.

I will certainly be reading more of Mr Kemp’s novels.

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel via his website: Author Danny Kemp

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