Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Thriller Daniel Kemp, #Scifi Thorne Moore, #Memoir #Africa Ann Patras


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

Daniel is also our resident comedian every other Friday on Open Mic Night where he shares his wonderful funnies.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

A recent review for The Story That Had no Beginning

Feb 23, 2021 Roberta Cheadle rated it five stars

This book is an interesting and complex story about twins, Tom and Alice Collins, who enter the foster care system at a young age and are raised separately. The book starts with Alicia Collinson, aka Alice Collins, and her sophisticated boyfriend hosting two friends for a dinner party. Unknow to the dinner participants, the ghost of her brother Tom, known as Bobby Brown among his peer group, is also in attendance. It is obvious from the start that Alicia is a woman of good financial circumstances who mingles with the elite of London’s society. It also becomes evident quite early on, that Tom’s life has followed a very divergent path and he was a member of the mafia-styled criminal class.

The book follows the paths of the twins and how they come to end up in their different circumstances and lifestyles. Alicia is a well-know and talented photographer who owns her own home in London and has plenty of money. Tom has money, albeit ill gotten, but he dies the death of a criminal.

Tom is a conflicting character as he is a man involved in high class prostitution and other shady and illegal dealings. Despite being a seasoned criminal, his narration of the story reveals a different side to his character. One that questions the life he lived and celebrates the good fortune and success achieved by his sister.

Alice or Alicia has the great good luck to become the protegee of a wealthy single woman with no children who effectively adopts her and sets her on the road to success in her chosen field of photography. Unknown to the naïve Alicia, her benefactor isn’t everything she appears to be and some of the people she socialises with are infamous for their continuous promiscuous behaviour with the same, or the opposite, sex. In a contrast to her brother, Tom, who is in the centre of the debaucherous lifestyles led by the wealthy upper classes of London, Alicia hovers around the edges, not realising what is right in front of her.

The author has an in-depth knowledge of the illicit behaviour of the British upper class and paints a detailed picture of how greed, selfishness and a complete disregard for the values and ethics of society lead to the downfall of people.

This book will make you question what success is all about and whether it leads to contentment as the stories of the many characters unfold. This is thought provoking tale as despite the huge difference in the siblings financial and social positions, both of them end up with money but neither of them have good reliable partners or simply and happy lives.

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website:Author Danny Kemp – Facebook:Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

Meet Thorne Moore

Thorne Moore grew up in Luton and studied history at Aberystwyth. Nine years later, after a spell working in a library, she returned to Wales, to north Pembrokeshire, to run a restaurant with her sister, and a craft business making miniature furniture. She took a law degree through the Open University, and occasionally taught genealogy, but these days, she writes, as she had always intended, after retiring from 40 years of craft work. She has had four novels published by Honno and two by Lume, all psychological crime mysteries and three of them historical and she is now writing science fiction.

Books by Thorne Moore

One of the recent reviews of Inside Out

katemaccormack 5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and compelling  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 June 2021

Inside Out appears to mark a change in genre from Thorne Moore’s existing body of work but in fact it has far more in common with her previous novels than it has differences. It shares with them a high quality of writing, acutely observed settings, intriguing characters, twisting plot, varying time periods and dry wit. The only real difference is that is not on the same planet. Or indeed, for most of the novel, on any planet.

Thorne Moore has said herself that whatever the setting, she is always writing about what people might do when pushed to their limits, and Inside Out is certainly no exception to that. A group of disparate travellers are aboard a spaceship, ostensibly the space-age equivalent of a cruise liner, on their way to Triton. None of them is particularly sympathetic, they all have mysterious pasts and fairly obscure presents, but by the end of the story we know them and their motivations so well we are rooting for them all. The sense of hope and redemption at the end of the novel is hugely satisfying, and the exciting last few chapters worthy of any blockbuster sci-fi movie. Highly recommended. 

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon UK – Amazon US
UniversalGoodreadsWebsite/BlogThorne MooreFacebookThorne Moore Novelist – Twitter@ThorneMoore

Meet Ann Patras

Ann Patras was born in Burton upon Trent, England quite a while ago.

In 1971 she emigrated to Canada for a year before returning to the UK where, in 1974, she married her boyfriend of five years. In 1980 she and her husband Ziggy rounded up their three small children and headed for Zambia, initially on a 2 year contract. They finally left Zambia in 1989, moving down to South Africa where they lived for 22 years.

Career-wise Ann commenced work as a legal secretary, changing tack to Administration in the brewing industry after she got married. After moving to Zambia and not officially being permitted to work, her time was occupied by voluntary posts with various social or sports organisations. In South Africa work ranged from the shipping industry, to dressmaker and finally as Administration Manager of the Watercolour Society of SA. In her spare time she spent several years as a Police Reservist, chiefly in the Mounted Unit in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

Always a keen letter writer, Ann entertained numerous family members and friends with tales of their various adventures, calamities and just plain silly activities over the years. She was constantly nagged by them to “write a book about it!”.

Buying her first PC in 1987 for the sole purpose of writing the book, Ann got through many PCs before ‘Into Africa: with 3 Kids, 13 Crates and a Husband’ was published in 2014. As this only covers their very first year of life in Zambia. Her second book, ‘More Into Africa: with 3 kids, some dogs and a husband’ was released in 2016. The final book in this Zambia Trilogy, ‘Much More Into Africa with kids, dogs, horses and a husband’ was released in January 2020.

Ann and her husband now live in Spain, where she has still more to write about their lives in Africa.

Books by Ann Patras

One of the recent reviews for Much More Into Africa

Vonda Wielsma 5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Entertainment  Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2021

I highly recommend Ann’s books to anyone who enjoys amusing antics and stories told in an entertaining manner about living in another country with young children. I couldn’t wait for this book to be available and was not disappointed. I love the stories as well as her way of sharing what she was thinking at the time.  

Read the reviews and buy Ann’s books: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show – 1960s Hits Part One – Special Guests Ann Patras, Darlene Foster


Over the last four weeks we have been featuring the hits in the charts of 1960-1962. We have also included some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time. You can find these posts:The Breakfast Show with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin

We will be sharing the music of the 1960s until the end of May before moving on to the 1970s. Participate in the spin-off shows and share your memories of the music of the 60s. An opportunity to share your work and here are the details: The Breakfast Show 2021

Our first guest today is Ann Patras who shares her love of music from an early age and a track that is close to her heart.

Music in my Life – Ann Patras

This was taken on the veranda of the Atlantic Hotel adjoining Magaluf beach, Mallorca in 1968. I first went there with my grandmother when I was 11, when the Atlantic was the ONLY hotel there. (I wouldn’t go to Magaluf now if you paid me!)

Like you, Sally, my life was filled with music from the year dot. We had a Radio Relay speaker in our living room which played all the BBC channels, but from 7 o’clock at night we had to use the transistor radio to get Radio Luxemburg, which was the only radio source of pop music for years.

We had a cabinet Décor record player in our front room, which was then joined by a reel-to-reel tape player. We played anything from big band crooners and popular soloists to early pop music.

I was seventeen when I recognised the need for quality stereo equipment. I was at my cousin Tony’s house who was/is a ‘sound expert’ and we were listening on his amazing set-up to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when the track ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ came on. I couldn’t believe it when at the end of the track I heard a hunt galloping across the room from the left speaker and disappearing off behind the right one. For my 18th birthday I was given a proper hi-fi system.

Apart from regular stuff, we used to buy ‘Sampler’ LP records which contained tracks ranging from soloists, through groups to film theme tunes. I used to love these LPs as they introduced me to so many artists in different genres that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise come across.

Although I have hundreds, there are two songs in particular which remind of those sixties music days. Obviously Good Morning is right up there at the top, but the other is by my dear departed mum’s favourite artist, Tony Bennett. (Who is still singing live, aged 94 at the time of writing!) I absolutely love his original rendition of “A Taste of Honey” Tony Bennett

These days my preferred listening is 70s/80s rock music, although occasionally something current can grab my attention, as proven when I gave my son a lockdown haircut earlier this year while dancing to Uptown Funk. (A must see video)

Ann Patras has written three memoirs of her life in Africa..What started out as a two-year contract in Zambia, resulted in her living in Africa for 31 years.The onset of those 31 years came with some surprises. She didn’t know anything about the place they were moving to (1980 was light years before the internet), if she had known she might not have agreed to go. Within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find they didn’t have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species, ants were the size of small cats and there was a fly whose larvae ate you from the inside out if you didn’t iron all your laundry. Yes, even socks!

Maintaining the sunshine theme she now lives in Spain, with the same weird-sounding husband and writes books about all their crazy experiences.

Read the reviews and buy Ann’s books: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

The second guest today is Darlene Foster who shares her memories of music on the radio and listening to Country and Western Music.

A teenage Darlene

I was raised with music in the house. We didn’t have a TV so the radio was on all the time. My cowboy dad loved country and western music so the likes of Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers and Gene Audrey is what he enjoyed. Then Elvis came on the scene, initially as a country singer, and introduced rock and roll to our house. My first album, Blue Hawaii, was a gift from my parents. I was heartbroken when he had to join the army. As a teenager in the 1960s, I became aware of the anti-war movement and felt strongly about it. It was reflected in my choice of music at the time. Where Have All the Flowers Gone, was a favourite of mine. Although many performers have recorded this meaningful Pete Seeger song, Peter Paul and Mary’s version is the one I love the most. I was delighted to see them perform this and many of their great songs years later. This song still makes me emotional when I hear it as it is as relevant today as it was back then.

Here is my choice for the 60s songs. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” by Peter Paul and Mary recorded in 1962. I could not find a video from back then but here is one from a performance later. I was lucky to see them perform this song, and many others I love, when they were at this age.

 

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster

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Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPress – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

Join us tomorrow for special guests John W. Howell and Jennie Fitzkee with their memories and favourite music of the 1960s

Thanks for joining us today and as always we would love your feedback..you can all the Tuesday Breakfast Shows so far in the directory Here

 

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – Guest Presenter Ann Patras – Highland Games #Dogs


Today the afternoon video has been suggested by author Ann Patras and feature the delightul Olive and Mabel.. definitely a channel to follow. mrandrewcotter

Books by Ann Patras

Ann Patras, Buy: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Memoir #Africa Ann Patras, #Romance P.C. Zick, #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Ann Patras

A long time ago Ann Patras was born in Burton Upon Trent, England. Actually that’s a lie. Ann Johnson was born, but she married a weirdo named Ziggy and became Ann Patras in the mid 1970’s. She was quite normal until she married him, or that’s what she’d have you believe. At one point she actually went to live in Canada to get away from him but he dragged her back by the hair (well, maybe a slight exaggeration) to England to marry her. Then, after the rather rapid arrival of three kids he hauled her off, kicking and screaming, to Africa! Well that’s a lie too really, as she was quite keen to take on that adventure.

Apart from strange sounding men and three wild children she also loves dogs and horses. (Absolutely nothing should be read into the fact that all of the dogs have been named with an alcoholic theme). She wears garish-coloured nail polish, sings along to loud music when she’s driving and likes to live in sunny places which might account for why, what started out as a two-year contract in Zambia, resulted in her living in Africa for 31 years.

The onset of those 31 years came with some surprises. She didn’t know anything about the place they were moving to (1980 was light years before the internet), if she had known she might not have agreed to go. Within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find they didn’t have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species, ants were the size of small cats and there was a fly whose larvae ate you from the inside out if you didn’t iron all your laundry. Yes, even socks!

Because of all these oddities, as well as various strange, scary and hilarious things which happened to the family, she wrote scores of letters home to relatives and friends who all thought it was so crazy she must be making it up.

Maintaining the sunshine theme she now lives in Spain, with the same weird-sounding husband and writes books about all their crazy experiences.

Books by Ann Patras

One of the recent reviews for Much More Into Africa Goodreads

Mar 22, 2020 Tara rated it Five Stars

I couldn’t wait to read this third installation of Ann’s hectic life in Zambia, and it did not disappoint! Once you start reading, it is hard to put down. I especially liked her telling of adventures rafting down the Zambezi–I had a very similar experience just a couple years ago! (The boat next to us flipped and we saw how that got handled! And the hike out of that canyon has not changed in the least, except maybe for a lovely hot meal awaiting us at the top!) I hope Ann will write about her next adventures in S.A…? As having been an expat myself, I just loved it when she talked about friendships in the expat community being so much stronger. I hope you tale the opportunity to go in this adventure with Ann and all her kids, husband, dogs and horses. Ann has a hilarious way of retelling all these details from her life–I am glad she kept such good records of her letter writing.

Ann Patras, Buy: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras AuthorFacebook: Ann Patras Author

Meet P.C. Zick

Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and creative nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. She says her, “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife–both human and animal–supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

P.C. writes both sweet and steamy romances. The sweet contemporary romances in her Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in southwest North Carolina. Another sweet romance series, Rivals in Love, contains two books with four more in the works. All six follow the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers.

Her steamy romances go from Florida to Long Island. The Behind the Love series, set in a small fictional town in Florida, feature a community of people who form bonds as they learn to overcome the challenges of their youth. Her Montauk Romances are set in and around Long Island and feature simple, yet sophisticated beach houses designed with romance in mind. The two books in this set are filled with steamy scenes as love grows and thrives.

No matter the genre of novel, they all contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

A selection of books by P.C. Zick

 

One of the recent reviews for Love on the Wind

suzy v. kelly 5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!  Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2020

Kiley has a career and wants more personal time. Jeff has a business and wants to pursue other avenues associated with the business. Appearances aren’t always what they seem to be. Read the book and find out if they can make their future work. Definitely recommend!

P.C. Zick, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow P.C. Zick  :Goodreads –  WebsiteP.C. ZickTwitter @PCZick

Meet Lorinda J. Taylor

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

A selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor.

A review for The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars, Part Seven: Fifth Island in the River

Audrey Driscoll 5.0 out of 5 stars Discovery and Disaster Reviewed in Canada on March 17, 2020

This is the seventh part of the fictional biography of 28th century spacefarer Robbin Nikalishin. It’s every bit as gripping and exciting as the very first book. No, actually it’s even more so, because in this book, the long-anticipated voyage to the stars actually happens.

The first third of the book shows Capt. Robbie and his crew launch into space and settle into shipboard routines in a long series of temporal quantum jumps and intervals that eventually take them to the vicinity of the star Epsilon Eridani. The only shadow on this optimistic beginning is the secretly delusional state of Chief Engineer Ian Glencrosse. Otherwise, we have a multicultural storytelling session, hormone-driven hijinks, birthday celebrations, and even a wedding. I laughed out loud at some scenes and was moved to tears at others. Many of the crew members are familiar personalities from the earlier books, so it’s easy to relate to them as they interact and become an extended family.

Things get serious when part of the ship’s engine malfunctions. Two tension-filled chapters are followed by relief and the thrill of discovery and a series of historical “firsts.” Then, just over the halfway point, real disaster strikes and the tension is cranked up to excruciating. There were many places where I honestly did not want to keep reading, but couldn’t make myself stop. I will say no more at this point, except that the ending promises momentous revelations for humans of the 28th century as well as readers of the 21st. Those who have read Lorinda J. Taylor’s book The Termite Queen may guess at some of them. I hope Part 8 is in the works!

A few things that impressed me especially: first, the extent to which Robbin Nikalishin has grown and matured since his younger days. He has definitely overcome some of his personality flaws to the point that he draws upon his earlier errors and their consequences in dealing with a number of issues on this all-important mission to the stars. Second, the aforementioned wedding scene includes a tantalizing glimpse into the writings of one of the Mythmakers. The Valley of the White Bear and the character Ingreaf are referenced in several of the earlier books, so I was intrigued to learn a little more about them here. Finally, I continue to be impressed with the technological terms for temporal quantum engines and other devices that do not as yet exist. When the Engineers and technical crew deal with these items, their discussions sound absolutely authentic (bearing in mind that I’m neither engineer nor scientist).

It may be argued that a reader committed to a long-running series may not be an entirely objective reviewer. On the other hand, having followed Capt. Robbie’s career through its many ups and downs, I would have been disappointed if this episode had been less than thrilling. I was certainly not disappointed, and would definitely recommend this book to anyone who appreciates serious science fiction leavened with realistic human relationships and emotions. But you really have to read the first six books to fully appreciate this one!

Lorinda J. Taylor buy books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Lorinda on : Goodreads  –  Blog: Termite Writer Blog Spot – Twitter: @TermiteWriter

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.