Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Memoir Patty Fletcher


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 Marian Beaman


Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her artist husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

One of the recent reviews for Marian’s memoir

Joy Nwosu Lo-BamijokoVINE VOICE 4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye-Opener!  Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2021

This book was a learning process for me. First, I have never heard of the Mennonites until I read this book. It would seem that this religious group lived in a world of their own within the real world. They were against so many rules that we take for granted, and they lived by their own rules.Marian Longenecker was brought up in this exclusive and well-protected family. The children attended their own churches and were taught in their own schools, where everything and everyone conformed to the same rules.

Marian grew up always at loggerheads with her father, and she was severely punished in a way that only people in their secluded life would punish a child by whipping and getting away with it.

Looking at her parents, her father, Ray, mother, Ruth, her grandmother, Fannie, or her aunt Ruthie, one could not tell where she got her stubbornness from. As much as she was stubborn, her father was high-handed.

They were three sisters, Janice Jean and Marian, but Marian was the only one who was always at loggerheads with their father. She grew up believing that the father did not love her. She was smart, a straight-A student, but her parents never acknowledged this. One event stood out for me. She graduated high school, a straight-A student, and her father could not buy her ice cream to celebrate! When he gave her gifts, it was usually a run-down, rickety gift, like the bicycle gift.

She took everything in her stride, continued doing well in school, passed her exams, and became a teacher. As a Mennonite school teacher, she was expected to observe a dress code that she said made her feel like a Nun. She always dreamt of escaping the shackles of her Mennonite upbringing. Then Cliff came into her life and gave her the courage to leave her family in Pennsylvania and migrate to the South to teach.

The author was able to paint the canvass of her life with such vividness and dept that I could understand and empathize with her story and learn about the culture of the Mennonites. I loved her description of the great dinners served in her family, and the succulency of the meals served. The story is an eye-opener for me.

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

Meet Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

A selection of books by Jacqui Murray

A recent review for Against All Odds

The Quest for Home is book 2 in the Crossroads series and continues with leaders Xhosa and Pan-do’s quest to find a new home for their combined People.

This book gets off to an exciting start with the People recovering from the wreckages of the rafts they had used to escape an unexpected attack. Bad weather caused the rafts to crash or sink long before their intended destination. Leader Xhosa knows the People will need to take time to recover from the catastrophe and then follow Hawk’s directions on foot and not by raft. Unfortunately, Hawk will not be accompanying them, but at least she still has Pan-do, her quiet and sensible co-leader, and Nightshade, her unbeatable Lead Warrior.

Like the previous book in this series, The Quest for Home is incredibly well researched and I became completely immersed in the period and setting being approximately 850 thousand years ago. The twin goals of the People, to survive and to have children to continue the species, quickly became my goals and I shared Leader Xhosa’s anxieties, worries and sweated over the difficult decisions she needed to make. It is interesting to see the same social issues such as abuse of females and murder raising their ugly heads in this ancient society and it brought home to me how little real progress humankind has made in certain areas, despite huge advancements in other areas like technology.

Xhosa continues to grow as a character and her leadership skills expand. She starts to understand the benefits of softer skills such as negotiation and protection of the weaker members of her People. Unfortunately, Xhosa is still not able to see the increasingly bad character traits in certain of her colleagues and this causes her a lot of misery and pain down the line.

Pan-do continues to be the steadfast and calm leader he has always been and remains completely devoted to his daughter, Lyta. Pan-do’s determination to keep the peace and not cause conflict is sorely tested in this second story. There is only so much goading anyone can take.

Nightshade continues to exhibit selfish and greedy behaviour and increasingly assumes the mantle of the abuser and future despot. His manipulative ways are obvious to the reader who see certain situations through his eyes, and it mounts the tension hugely to know more than either Pan-do or Xhosa do and to watch them make mistakes.

Wind, the twin brother of the aggressive ‘Big Head’ Thunder, makes a reappearance in this book and plays a much bigger role. He is an excellent warrior, but is also empathetic and kind with an ability and desire to teach others. There is a spark between Xhosa and Wind but they are not of the same origins and that appears to be an insurmountable problem.

People who enjoy a good novel with an interesting historical setting based on solid research will thoroughly enjoy this book.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter: @WordDreams

Meet Patty Fletcher

Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020 she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is her hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.

Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn. She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.

Books by Patty Fletcher

A review for Pathway to Freedom

Dec 29, 2020 Christy McMakin rated it five stars it was amazing

I met Patty last November and was immediately intrigued by her authenticity and witty personality. Over the past year we have become great friends and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her on a personal level. When I heard her new book was ready for purchase, I immediately ordered it! Due to my busy schedule, I read a little here and there, until finally, during the holiday, I was able to sit down with book in hand, really delve into the book and I was captivated! Patty’s story is one of trauma, perseverance and overcoming. Her writing style draws you in and will leave you laughing one moment and crying the next, all the while standing in awe of her honesty and transparency.

As a person of sight, I had no idea of the vigorous training it took to pair someone with their service animal and I completely appreciated every single detail Patty shared of her training with Campbell at The Seeing Eye. As someone who has also suffered from domestic violence, I appreciated Patty’s willingness to allow her readers to see inside her personal battle with the mental and emotional trauma that you experience at the hands of an abuser. Anyone who reads this book will be informed, educated and inspired 

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon USAnd :Amazon UK – Follow Patty: GoodreadsWebsite and Blog: Patty’s World  Twitter: @Bubbalee04

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Releases #Paranormal Marcia Meara #Reviews -#Shortstories Jude Lennon, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases, reviews and offers for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share the latest book from Marcia Meara released on August 29th The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

About the book

The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.

Azrael’s emissary program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills needed to do their jobs.

With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.

Sometimes even angels hate to be right.

Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red-and-white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?

To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!

One of the early reviews for the book

Priscilla Bettis4.0 out of 5 stars A Feel-Good Novella to Wrap Up the Series  Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2020

This is a “heavenly” romance novella that wraps up the Emissary trilogy. The emissary Jake wishes to find true love and thinks he’s found it in the human Juliet.

First of all, the way Azrael pops in and out is often funny, and I chuckled at his effect on Jake. As for Dodger’s love interest, do not count Juliet out. She’s a strong supporting character, and her role in the ending was perfect. I could see Dodger changing and growing over the course of the story which is why, I think, the ending was so satisfactory.

I like the way Meara includes song titles at the beginning of each chapter. The songs relate to what’s happening in the story.

Overall, it’s a sweet, feel-good story.
One person found this helpful

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon US And : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

The next author today is Jude Lennon who is also a children’s author whose books are in that cafe and bookstore too. This recent review is for her short story collection for adults. A Slice of Lemon.

About the collection

In this collection of short stories, you’ll meet a range of characters embarking on adventures of self-discovery, healing, resolution, intrigue and mystery. The settings are as diverse as the themes, tempting you into rugged landscapes, ancient castles, beautiful beaches and an icy wilderness. If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, escape and reflect in equal measure, you’ve found it. Over the years, many people have asked when I was going to publish something for adults so the answer is – now! So, if you are about to sit down and enjoy a well-earned gin or other beverage of choice – A Slice of Lennon is the perfect accompaniment.

This collection of short stories was inspired by the writing group I’m part of. We meet every month to share our work and to give and receive feedback. There is always tea and cake consumption and sometimes even the odd glass of wine. We’ve used many things to kickstart our writing including photographs, quotes, poems, album covers and random objects. Many, but not all of the stories in this collection have started life following a writing prompt from this group. Although most of the books I’ve written to date are picture books for children being part of this group has allowed my writing pen to wander into the territory of the grown-up audience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process. Like the writing prompts themselves, this collection is varied in content and theme and I hope I’ve captured a wide range of human emotions.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Gemma O 5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant and Beautiful Collection of Short Stories  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2020

A brilliant and beautiful collection of short stories for adults. Jude Lennon has put together a real treat for those who like a quick pick me up book to read. My favourite was Civilised Outrage as that short story is set in Amsterdam by the Anne Frank museum. Amaterdam is one of my most favourite places I have visited.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK —And: Amazon US

A selection of Jude’s children’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Other Reviews: Goodreads – Website and shop: Little Lamb Publishing – Facebook: Jude Lennon Author – Twitter: @JudeLennonBooks

The next author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

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

First of all I enjoyed the story because of living in the same neighborhood and relating to places, events and times that the book was written. But most of all, things that I thought only happened in my house and feelings I have carried through my life, I came to realize that not only was some of this a product of the times and the faith but as we grow older and reflect, can all be forgiven. I enjoyed the humor and colorful descriptions that Marian used. Her Aunt Ruth to me was Miss Longenecker all through my elementary school day as both a teacher and a principal. But as an Aunt to Marian she played a very important role in her life and that was a side we didn’t see at school although she was the most friendly and smiling principal I ever knew. Loved the book. Will reread this many times as it has certainly taught me to face forgiveness

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

The final review today is for Paulette Mahurin for her World War II novel, The Old Gilt Clock

About the book

During one of the darkest times in human history when millions of innocent Jews and others deemed “undesirables” were being sent to concentration camps to be brutality worked to death or slaughtered, a group of Dutch resistance workers rose up against the atrocities. Their resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands created a vast counterintelligence, domestic sabotage, and communications network to help hide Jewish people from German authorities. The Old Gilt Clock is the story of how one Dutch resistance member, Willem Arondéus, risked his life to defy the Nazis’ plans to identify and deport hundreds of thousands of Dutch Jews. Arondéus’ courage is largely forgotten by history, but not by the Jewish and Dutch people. Written by the award-winning international Amazon bestselling author of The Seven Year Dress, comes a story of Arondéus’ courageous struggle to stand up to the unimaginable evil designs of Hitler. Inclusive is Arondéus’ battle to come out to his homophobic father, who hated his son’s homosexuality. It is also a story about friendships formed in the Dutch resistance movement, their joys and sorrows, their wins and losses, their loves and betrayals, and ultimately their resilience to oppose tyranny and oppression when millions stood silent condoning heinous behavior. Thousands are alive today because of these brave, compassionate men and women.

One of the recent reviews for The Old Gild Clock

Kayla Krantz5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful  Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020

Willem Arondeus is a gentle soul. An artist with homosexual tendencies. When Hitler and his Nazi’s descend over Willem’s country, he’s placed into the same category as the Jews. Willem has a choice to make—rise up against the prejudice or let it destroy everything dear to him.

Willem was a very fascinating character. Built up with a sense of his normality that made him easy to relate to. The fact that he was an unusual hero also made the story interesting because it added to that sense of helplessness that people like him must’ve felt when the Nazis came to power.

To me, it was an interesting foil to the political influences that are rising in today’s society in America. A lot of people feel helpless to change the terrible things around them, but this story is good testament to exactly what one person can do when they set their mind to something. Invoking change isn’t just about what one person can do for society. It also takes into account what they can encourage others to do as well.

This is a solid story with good historical impact. Stories like this show that even the impossible isn’t truly impossible when someone puts their mind to achieving something they believe in. Above all, good will always triumph over evil.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

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Paulette Mahurin, buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPress –  Twitter: @MahurinPaulette

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to take away with you.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Crime Sue Coletta, #Humour Geoff Le Pard


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 Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

One of the recent reviews for the memoir.

This well written memoir by someone with whom I went to high school turned into a page turner as I learned what Mennonite life was like from her perspective. I knew the people and the places but I didn’t know what her internal life was like as a “minority” in a college preparatory program during the Sputnik era. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that there is more than one meaning to the term “minority” and those experiences are important in formulating character.

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

Meet Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday. Sue’s a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

2019, 2018 & 2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 100 Crime Blogs on the Net (Murder Blog sits at #5) and 2019 Award-winner of Expertido’s Best Crime Blog, Sue shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, true crime stories, and anything and everything in between at https://www.suecoletta.com. If you search her archives, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts… crime, crime, and more crime.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where members will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes, when available. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door.

BONUS: When you join Sue’s community you’ll receive two killer reads!

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, who deals with a crazy crime writer feeding circus peanuts to crows named Poe and Edgar, a squirrel named Shawnee (the Marilyn Monroe of squirrels, with her silky strawberry-blonde tail), and a chipmunk dubbed “Hippy” for his enthusiasm and excited leaps each time he scores a peanut in “Hip, hip, hooray!” fashion.

A selection of books by Sue  Coletta

A recent review for Hacked

Sherry Fundin 4.0 out of 5 stars Could this happen in real life?  Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020

Shawnee Daniels is an unforgettable character that lives by her own set of rules…so I wouldn’t recommend getting on her bad side. She is a forensic hacker extraordinaire, working for the police. She makes me think of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. She is also a cat burglar, but we’re keeping that on the down low. I love a unique character and Shawnee fits the bill. Her BFF, Nadine, is quite the character in her own right. She is bubbly, effervescent and adds a lighter touch to the inherent danger that follows Shawnee around. I have wondered about this scenario in the real world and to see it play out in fiction is all too frightening. A quick reading novella that only whets my appetite for more.

Sue Coletta, Buy: Amazon US –  AndAmazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter@SueColetta1

Meet Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

One of the recent reviews for Booms and Busts

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Tickled me!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2020

Oh, I was glad to get back to the adventures of Harry Spittle in his lawyer days!

What a fantastically farcical tale of the mishaps and misadventures that Harry finds himself in, narrowly escaping prison, mixing with the wrong sorts, and with reappearing ghouls from the past.

I really enjoyed it, and Le Pard’s way with words, his dry sense of humour, makes the book for me!

Hooray for Harry, the hapless hero!

Geoff Le Pard, Buy:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreadsGeoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

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.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman


The first book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Faith-Filled.  Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020

The author of this collection of poetry and short snippets takes us on a journey through life—her life—as seen through the music of words and photographs. She shares experiences through marriage, parenthood, the loss of loved ones, even cancer treatments. Heartfelt and often spiritual, the book resonates with strength, love, and faith. There are multiple poems and snippets that touched me, but a few that really stood out are Cocoon-Butterfly, A Tribute to My Dad, and Gratitude for Being. Each reader will no doubt find poems that speak to their heart. Although this collection is a reflection of the author’s life, the beauty and spirit of the work brings something for everyone.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next book with a recent review is the memoir.  My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog, edited by his best friend Andrew Joyce.

About the book

Danny the Dog is a prolific writer. He’s written articles for bloggers around the world and has his own very popular blog where he dispenses his wisdom on a monthly basis. He’s humorous, clever, charming, delightful, and sometimes irascible. Or, as he would phrase it, “I’m a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and words.”In My Name Is Danny, Danny writes about his real-life adventures living on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his human, Andrew. He tells of their trials and tribulations … and the love they have for one another. Fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz will enjoy this book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jane Fulkerson 5.0 out of 5 stars From Jane in Montana: What dogs really think of their owners.  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020

I’ve always wondered what dogs really think about the people who own them. This book answers that question. If you end up with the likes of houseboat owner Andrew, it fluctuates between “toleration” and “all out love.”

This book takes you down to small dog level – right next to the ground – where all of the good smells are. There are places you can go hide where no one can find you, and if you are cute, which Danny is, you learn how to use that to your advantage in all situations.

I enjoyed these dog adventures very much, especially the Q and A Interviews, where Danny speaks his mind – no holds barred. He certainly earned his turkey slices and won my heart in very short order.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on : Goodreads

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew via his blog: Andrew Joyce WordPress

The final author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

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

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and Thought-Provoking  Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2020

Marian Beamon writes an honest and revealing memoir about growing up in a Mennonite family and community. The oldest of four children, Marian, grows up surrounded by family. Her grandparents live only a half-mile away with her Aunt Ruthie. Marian, like most Mennonite children, is caught in a world of contradictions. She learns that being fancy is an accepted part of the culture when you are a child, but the conventional style of dress is to be plain when she gets older.

Marian could be rebellious at times, which led to her father’s ire. She knows this provokes her father, but she occasionally challenges his authority. Her father responds with lashings across Marian’s legs. She questions why this type of physical punishment is permitted from a culture professing to be nonviolent. She thinks it odd for a community that is against war and only permits the use of guns for hunting to tolerate corporal punishment. She also begins to resent her mom for merely acting as a bystander when her dad loses his temper. She also wonders why none of her siblings receive the same treatment from her father.

There are further disappointments when Marian’s father promises to get her a bike for her birthday for working so hard alongside him on the family’s tomato crop. When the time comes, she is hurt when he gets her a secondhand antique, dents and all.

There are many wonderful times, too. Marian’s father gets her a violin at one point, and she gets quite skilled at playing it, even participating in the high school orchestra. Her grandmother teaches her to sew, and she spends many good times with her aunt and her grandmother. In the end, Marian faces the difficult question of whether or not to remain a Mennonite.

Beaman’s writing is exceptional, and she retells stories with a keen sense of detail. I learned a lot about a culture that I knew little about beforehand.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marian via her blog: Marian Beaman.

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Thriller Paulette Mahurin, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Fantasy #Western Jean Lee


The first author with a recent review is Paulette Mahurin for her thriller Irma’s Endgame

As with all Paulette’s books, profits from will go to rescue dogs from kill shelters.

About Irma’s Endgame.

When newspaper headlines screamed in large bold print that one of the world’s leading heart-transplant surgeons, Peter Dayton, was arrested for the death of one of his transplant patients, shock waves were felt around the world. Particularly impacted was an attorney, Irma Mullins, who found it inconceivable that the man she once loved could have committed the heinous act for which he had been arrested. Determined to find out what happened, she embarks on a course of action to uncover the truth. But when all paths lead to one dead-end after another, and Dayton continues to maintain his innocence, she detours.

Through desperation, frustration, fear, and determination she grasps at thin threads for anything that might uncover facts to help exonerate Dayton. What she ultimately discovers is both shocking and unbelievable. Written by the award-winning, international best-selling author, Paulette Mahurin, Irma’s Endgame is a story of friendship and loyalty, of betrayal and revenge, of mystery and discovery, of enmity and love. It is a narrative that shakes the very core of the scientific ground we all walk on and proves that what we think is real is not always solid terrain. This is a novel that will be remembered long after the last page is finished.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 03, 2020 D.G. Kaye rated it it was amazing

I’m a big fan of Paulette Mahurin’s historical fiction books and was curious to read this book of a different genre – mystery/medical thriller, which of course, didn’t disappoint.

Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Peter Dayton is in a whirl of trouble. He’s being charged for the death of one of his transplant patients, which he insists is not his fault.

Irma Mullin is an attorney who had a close love relationship with the doctor years prior. She’d read about the scandalous charges, and despite the sad circumstances that ended their relationship years ago, she knew this was not the Peter she’d known and loved in the past. Irma begins her own investigation with assistance from her reporter friend Ben in effort to help defend her old flame. She also learns about Peter’s loveless marriage he continues to live in.

Irma and Ben’s investigations lead them into questioning another of the good doctor’s heart recipients, Jeffrey, a man who Dr. Dayton has given new life to, and whose wife Amelia becomes suspicious and bothered by the ‘new’ personality characteristics her husband has inherited since the transplant. Is Dr. Dayton being unjustifiably set up for a mal-practice suit?

I’m just not going to go into more detail here because there are quite a few great sub-plots and plot twists in this book that will keep you turning the pages. But I’ll pose these questions here as food for thought:

Can a heart transplant recipient really take on some of the personality traits of their donor?

Can a damaged and emotionally broken woman instigate such devastating accusation against the good doctor fueled from hurts from a long ago past?

If so, how far would one crazed woman go to cause so much trouble?

Now, you will have to read this book to find out! Mahurin never disappoints!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and BUY the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on : Goodreads 

Connect to Paulette via her blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPress

The next author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

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

ALB 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-Written, Sensory-Infused Prose  Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2020
Mennonite Daughter, by Marian Beaman, was an absolute delight to read! I live several hours away in another area of Pennsylvania, so her book intrigued me. The one family vacation we took was to Lancaster so before reading her memoir, I was somewhat familiar with the area.
Surprisingly, the author used the physical homes in her childhood home and also that of her grandmother’s close by as a technique and a framework for her storytelling. When she opened the doors to various rooms, the stories emerged. Her language is rich, sensory-infused, and descriptive. I was so caught up in the pictures she wove, I started writing them down. They had an almost lyrical quality about them. For example, she was talking about something as mundane as the outhouse: “…its peaked roof smothered by lilac bushes, a fragrant air freshener…”
 
But not only did Beaman’s memoir have lovely prose, it also explored her feelings, especially about challenging relationships. So it had a deeper, more intimate level. Because she had a turbulent relationship with one of her family members, she periodically assessed how an experience impacted her. “…Each of us carry around such ghosts. They are as real and familiar to us as they are foreign to others.” These statements seem to invite the reader to examine his or her own life for such hidden feelings.
 
What I loved the most was her honesty. I appreciated the imperfection within her family, and enjoyed the insights into her Mennonite background–her satisfaction with the lifestyle of much of how she was raised and the dissatisfaction with other aspects. The stories themselves caught at my heartstrings—for the beauty and innocence of them, and also for the grief some caused her.
 
I highly recommend this memoir to anyone interested in the Plain Life, a simpler time period and the love of a good anecdotes and a fine writing style.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marian via her blog: Marian Beaman.

And the final author today is Jean Lee with a western that is also an historical fantasy… Night’s Tooth (Tales of the River Vine Book 1)

About Night’s Tooth

Mississippi River Valley, 1870s. The white man wields rails and guns to bring law to the land. But there are more than wild animals hiding in the territories, and it will take more than guns to bring them down.

Sumac the bounty hunter needs no guns to hunt any bandit with a price on his head, even one as legendary and mysterious as Night’s Tooth. But Sumac didn’t count on other bounty hunters coming along as competition, nor did he expect hunters sharing his own magical gifts.

It’s one man against a gang and a mystery, all to protect a train that must cross the territories at all costs…

Inspired by classics like For a Few Dollars More and fantasy cult favorites like Highlander, “Night’s Tooth” is a western with a fantasy edge set in the Fallen Princeborn universe.

One of the recent reviews for the book

p.j. lazosTop Contributor: Writing 5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and sinister

Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2020

Night’s Tooth is about as about as gritty a story as you can get and Jean Lee is just the woman to deliver it. Her world building and sense of timing deliver a heightened sense of tension and you’ll find yourself holding your breath page after page. For those with a low suspense threshold, I recommend reading Night’s Tooth with all the lights on!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Jean Lee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on: Goodreads

Connect to Jean via her website: Jean Lee’s World

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you have found some books to add to your TBR… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Family – An Explosive Diary Entry by Marian Longenecker Beaman


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the second post from author Marian Longenecker Beaman with a thought provoking article on how whilst a devastating event might be taking place in some part of the world, or even closer to home and we carry on, unaware of the consequences to others and sometimes to ourselves.

An Explosive Diary Entry

Aunt Ruthie figures large in my memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl. Though she stands as my most significant mentor for life, one of my chapters about her is entitled “Ruthie the Cheater.”

Aunt Ruthie circa 1975

After her death in 2017, I discovered her diaries inside a painted chest in her bedroom.

The two entries below from 1945 (recording events happening 74 years ago) juxtapose ordinary life in her household with the detonation of a bomb over Hiroshima.

A translation:

August 6, 1945

Rainy Monday, so we decided since we had all yesterday’s dishes to wash, we’d clean the cupboards. We cleaned the desk and the red [cherry] cupboard, washed all the dishes, etc. Uncle Joe stopped in for dinner. Today an atomic bomb was released over Japan. It is very destructive – weighing 11 pounds, it is equivalent to 300 carloads of T.N.T.

August 7, 1945

Sun in & sun out, so we washed – it dried & is ironed. This afternoon we had 3 showers – one a thunderstorm. Now it seems quite clear. Ray brought Janice down in the scooter [equipped with a rear bin] today. She’s only 10 months old.

That atomic bomb surely has been destructive although no one knows to what extent. It was never tested for there was no spot possible in the U. S.

Washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning amidst news of a BOMB exploding in a foreign land, killing hundreds of thousands of people, likely announced first on the radio, and the next day, in the newspaper.

Aunt Ruthie’s diary entry reflects the sentiment which W. H. Auden expresses in Musee des Beaux Arts, a poem he wrote just before the beginning of World War II in 1938.

Auden praises the painters, old Masters, like Brueghel, who understood the nature of suffering and humanity’s indifference to it.

He recognizes that all humans have painful and traumatic experiences that can change the course of their lives, but meanwhile the rest of the world continues on in a mundane way. He uses these examples:

  • Children are born
  • The elderly are waiting to die
  • Meanwhile, skaters glide on a pond
  • Dogs go on with their “doggy life”
  • A horse scratches its behind on a tree.

 

In the Painting:

A boy falls out of the sky – the mythical Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, his wings melting!

Icarus falls from the sky

A farmer keeps plowing his field though he may have heard a splash.

Sailors on “the expensive ship must have seen /Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,/Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”

Life Goes On!

***********

How do you reconcile cataclysmic events that explode in the world with your personal life?

What about those that burst into your own, ordinary life?

©Marian Beaman 2019

Marian’s memoir

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 book

Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl is a wonderful and engaging read. I learned a great deal about the Mennonite way of life: the culture, the dress, the history, and the occasional conflict as Marian Beaman experienced it and so beautifully shares it. I especially enjoyed Marian’s honest description of her home life, including her clashes with her father. It’s brave to put that out there for the world to see; good for you, Marian!

Marian’s clear writing style brought to life her immediate family, her relatives, the Mennonite culture, the mouth- watering food, and the hard work that kept her family fed, clothed, and healthy. This was a life so very different from mine; I found myself envying parts of it while wondering how these folks still exist in our modern world. It’s amazing!

As I read the book, I came to admire Marian so very much; she was strong enough to stand up for herself in her home, in the Mennonite culture, and, eventually, in the outside world. The photographs and illustrations are lovely, and I will be using the recipes for special occasions.

Read this unique book, and enjoy your visit to a thought-provoking culture in a world that is close-by, but still far away.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – 

And : Amazon UK –

Follow Marian : Goodreads

About Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

Connect to Marian

Blog: Marian Beaman.
Facebook: Marian Beaman
LinkedIn: Marian Beaman

Thanks to Marian for sharing this observation with us. I am sure that many of us can remember where we were and what we were doing on certain cataclysmic events took place such as the death of John F. Kennedy or 9/11.  But have other events taken place that have been devastating for many and we were not aware of the enormity of it at the time, and carried on with our own lives….

Your feedback is always welcome.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 -#Driving – Confession of a Cone Head by Marian Longenecker Beaman


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post from author Marian Longenecker Beaman who shares here encounter of the bendy kind…. when driving.

Confession of a Cone Head by Marian Longenecker Beaman

Getty Images

The Damage

Mouth agape, wide-eyed and stunned at the WaWa station – I beheld a tee-shirted man holding a frosty drink and belly laughing at me. In the bay just ahead, this guy observed what I failed to see: two traffic cones smashed under my two wheels. Not one, but two—smashed flat!

Seconds earlier I had felt a ripple on my driver’s side tire but my car moved ahead, haltingly. Yes, I had detected some resistance but thought it may have been the metal caps of an underground well for holding gas. No, Sireee!

Then I heard a disembodied voice over the service station intercom announcing for all to hear, “Ma’am, you’ve just run over the traffic cones. This pump is out of order. Move ahead to the next one.”

The Resurrection

The Frostee-drinking guy took his sweet time to mount his truck, pull on his seat belt and move ahead, but when I cleared the out-of-order pump and moved on to where he had been gassing up, I turned back to see one of the lurid orange cones re-inflate halfway, the other still flat. As I pushed the nozzle into my gas tank though, both smashed orange cones stood straight up. That blessed image caught my full attention.

I could safely remove my dunce cap.

The Cause?

I had just come from a riotous lunch with friends at J Alexander’s. No alcohol, just endorphins from laughter with friends, I imagine now.

How could this have happened? Spotting the station, I had approached what looked like an available pump, maneuvering my steering wheel hard left, a tight hook to line up to the screen and nozzles of the gas pump I was aiming for.

No out-of-order sign appeared in my line of vision. No obvious orange cones either, a giveaway for an out-of-service pump. Maybe my crossover, a high-off-the-ground vehicle, obstructed my view.

Still, why oh why did I do such a dumb thing?

I guess I forgot to take my Smart Pill!

Gratitude: Ultra-flexible traffic cones!

A Cone Story from Southlake, Texas

            Read about citizens’ sympathy for a battered and bruised cone pictured here:

Remember this movie? 

It’s your turn to tell your “accidental” story. Readers probably hope embarrassment is part of the tale. I know I do!

©Marian Beaman 2019

Marian’s memoir

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 book

Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl is a wonderful and engaging read. I learned a great deal about the Mennonite way of life: the culture, the dress, the history, and the occasional conflict as Marian Beaman experienced it and so beautifully shares it. I especially enjoyed Marian’s honest description of her home life, including her clashes with her father. It’s brave to put that out there for the world to see; good for you, Marian!

Marian’s clear writing style brought to life her immediate family, her relatives, the Mennonite culture, the mouth- watering food, and the hard work that kept her family fed, clothed, and healthy. This was a life so very different from mine; I found myself envying parts of it while wondering how these folks still exist in our modern world. It’s amazing!

As I read the book, I came to admire Marian so very much; she was strong enough to stand up for herself in her home, in the Mennonite culture, and, eventually, in the outside world. The photographs and illustrations are lovely, and I will be using the recipes for special occasions.

Read this unique book, and enjoy your visit to a thought-provoking culture in a world that is close-by, but still far away.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – 

And : Amazon UK –

Follow Marian : Goodreads

About Marian Longenecker Beaman

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.

She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside

Connect to Marian

Blog: Marian Beaman.
Facebook: Marian Beaman
LinkedIn: Marian Beaman

My thanks to Marian for sharing her misadventure… I know she would love your feedback and we would all enjoy hearing about your motoring mishaps… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Memoir Joy Lennick, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #YAFantasy Jean Lee


Welcome to the mid-week edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is frequent contributor to the blog, Joy Lennick with a lovely review for her memoir My Gentle War: Memoir of an Essex Girl

About the book

The affection Joy Lennick nee Mansfield felt and feels for Wales is immediately evident in this charming memoir. Separated in World War II from her parents – with her father serving in the Royal Air Force abroad and her mother working in munitions – she finds herself living on a mountain with her two brothers. It is
a world away from the cosy environment of her home in Dagenham, Essex.

Her story evokes the magic of childhood, from the discovery of nature’s minute miracles to the joy of using our five senses to the full. Joyce meets kindness and curiosity, as well as hostility…and discovers a valuable wealth of new experiences, not least the world of ‘dance’. While bombs are raining on her home town, she is sliding down a Welsh slag-tip on a piece of lino and alternately appearing in ‘Mother Goose’ in Merthyr Tydfil’s main theatre. Learning that humour is the cement of survival, she also learns to cope with constant change and occasional heartache.

And when at last the war ends, she discovers the meaning of unreigned happiness. Joy salutes all the kind people who took in and cared for evacuees at a great time of need.

A recent review for the book

Jan 05, 2020 Roberta Cheadle rated it Five Stars

My Gentle War is a delightful memoir about the life on a little girl, aged seven years old when war was declared in 1939, and her family as they navigated the changing landscape of everyday life in war time Britain. Joyce’s family lived a middle class life in Dagenham, London when the war started and her father and his brother, Bernard, signed up with the Royal Air Force to go and fight. Joyce’s parents decide that it will be safer for her mother, two younger brothers and herself to go and live with her family in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. The book describes in great detail the difference between her father’s beautifully cultivated garden filled with gorgeous flowers in Dagenham and the wild and lonely beauty of life in the Welsh mountains. Her father’s sadness at having to ruin his garden by building a bomb shelter in the middle of it is the first insight the reader has of the changes that are going to come.

The second insight comes when the author describes the chaos of Paddington Station when her father leaves to go and fight in France and the rest of the family depart for Wales. It is not that easy for an evacuee to fit into life in a rural village, but Joyce and her brothers are young enough to do so without to many problems and, other than one incident when Joyce has a broken glass bottle thrown at her, they all settle into their new life and school. The hard life in Wales is detailed through the memories of the little girl who sees the poverty and learns about the hardship inflicted by the depression prior to the war, on this mining town. The risks of mining are also described through the chronic lung disease suffered by her uncle and the death of a young cousin in the coal mine. The joys of life for children are also expressed with the town arranging concerts staring the children, a picnic and other forms of entertainment. During the early part of the, the bombs do not reach Wales and the food shortages have not as yet bitten.

Throughout the war, Joyce’s family go between places of refuge, initially Wales, and their London home which they return to when her father is home on leave and intermittently while her mother is doing war work in London.

For the last part of the war, Joyce and her brothers become real evacuees are are sent to live with strangers away from London and the buzz bombs. This particular part of this memoir made me realise how fortunate my own mother was during her days growing up in the war. Her family never had to leave their home town of Bungay and were able to stay on their farm throughout the war.

I really enjoyed this memoir which reads like a conversation and tells of life for Joyce and her mother and siblings in Britain and also tells of some of her father’s experiences of the war in France, including the lead up to the evacuation of Dunkirk, through extracts of his diary and letters home. For people who are interested in World War II and particularly every day life for people during this terrible time, this is a wonderful and eye opening book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on Amazon US: Amazon US

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on : Goodreads

Connect to Joy via her blog: Joy Lennick at WordPress

The next author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

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: The Story of a Plain Girl is a wonderful and engaging read. I learned a great deal about the Mennonite way of life: the culture, the dress, the history, and the occasional conflict as Marian Beaman experienced it and so beautifully shares it. I especially enjoyed Marian’s honest description of her home life, including her clashes with her father. It’s brave to put that out there for the world to see; good for you, Marian!

Marian’s clear writing style brought to life her immediate family, her relatives, the Mennonite culture, the mouth- watering food, and the hard work that kept her family fed, clothed, and healthy. This was a life so very different from mine; I found myself envying parts of it while wondering how these folks still exist in our modern world. It’s amazing!

As I read the book, I came to admire Marian so very much; she was strong enough to stand up for herself in her home, in the Mennonite culture, and, eventually, in the outside world. The photographs and illustrations are lovely, and I will be using the recipes for special occasions.

Read this unique book, and enjoy your visit to a thought-provoking culture in a world that is close-by, but still far away.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marian via her blog: Marian Beaman.

And the final review today is for Jean Lee for Fallen Princeborn: Stolen a YA Fantasy Novel.

About Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Dec 03, 2019 Bunnerbooky rated it Five Stars

I have NO idea where to begin. Oh well, let’s start from the characters.

I LOVED THEM. Seriously, these characters are the kind I absolutely fall for. I’d been having a hard time finding books that had characters talking all primordially without the book being written in my, what, grandma’s time? I don’t think there are many books that have ancient characters that talk all anciently, in the modern world, anymore, which is why I absolutely relished every bit of the story and its characters. Charlotte is from the 21st Century, but the male protagonist, Liam, is certainly not. Which leads to the point that there is, in fact, a really cool male protagonist in the story who is immortal and therefore young but ancient, and I don’t think you might’ve derived that from my synopsis above. Pardon – Liam and Charlotte are the most adorable pair I’ve liked in a hell lot of while.

The thing that I loved the most, after the writing style and Liam and Charlie, of course, is the place where this book takes you. For a debut novel, I’d say this book has a really grand, aesthetically and proportionally described place of tale. River Vine is the fantasy land where the ‘velidevour’ dwell and all the events arise – and I wish I could live there for the rest of my life. And the way the author has chosen to describe it – I wish I wasn’t so damn jealous. Really. You wouldn’t think the novel is a debut – that’s how much gripping and vibrant and colorful the writing is.

Inspired me like the inspirational dream of a book this is!

If you’re a human being who loves color and life and green and flowers, (and perhaps creepy dream-drinkers/human-slayers too) I ask you: do you know how much you’re missing if you haven’t yet read this book? A TON. You shouldn’t wait for a second more, my friend!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Jean Lee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on: Goodreads

Connect to Jean via her website: Jean Lee’s World

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Poetry Lynda McKinney Lambert, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Thriller J.P. Mclean, #Romance Shehanne Moore


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.

The first author today who writes beautiful poetry is Lynda McKinney Lambert with her recently released collection of poems: Star Signs.

About the collection

Lynda Lambert covers a wide terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people and weather.

She opens this large collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet as it digs through thoughts, emotions and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brush strokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize–winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us.

It offers a wonderful feast for the eyes and the mind.—Wesley D. Sims, author of Taste of Change Painting in Mid–October Autumn’s morning light revealed changes Undermined the scarlet–red palette taking center stage on the painting Undulating rain cast gray–violet hues Misty diffusion brought a new perspective Not anticipated yesterday Aroused the softened brush strokes Layered over the primed canvas.Dying is a careful arrangement A graceful staged performance Yellow leaves are faithful dancers Spectacular choreography!

One of the early reviews for the book

Discover more about Lynda’s books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Connect to Lynda via her website: Lynda Lambert