Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Thriller John L. DeBoer, #Murdermystery Terry Tyler, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the cafe weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Mae Clair for End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)

About the book

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

One of the recent reviews for End of Day

John W. Howell VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Well Written  Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2021

End of Day is the second book in the Hode’s Hill series. I read them a little out of turn, but I can honestly say doing so did not in any way diminish the story of each.

End of Day pretty much picks up where the first book left off. I was happy to see a character that I thought had a lot of moxie re-appear in the second book. I’m referring to the artist Dante DeLuca, a pain in the side of the Hode family. His dad worked at a lab owned by the Hodes and died there. He is no fan of the prominent Hode family.

Through tradition, Jillian Clay and her sister were responsible for watching and tending after the grave of their ancestor, Gabriel Vane. Vane was the first buried in the ancient cemetery instead of the traditional dog sacrifice, so it fell to him to take the watchdog role to ward off evil spirits.

Jillian’s sister watched the brutal murder of her husband and has not spoken in the last three years. The men who killed him are still at large. When Gabriel’s remains are stolen, decedents of those buried in the cemetery begin having accidents.

I have described only the tip of the mysteries and intrigues that are going on in Hodes Hill. The author does a great job at building suspense by flashing back to the 1700s and then returning to the present day. The reader comes to understand that actions taken back then have consequences now. Mae Clair has also created a cast of characters that are interesting and unique to the story.

The story is compelling, the characters well developed, and a very satisfying ending. I would recommend The End of Day to those who like these elements and excellent writing in their reading.  

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on:Goodreads – Website: Mae Clair – Twitter:@MaeClair1

The next review is for John L. DeBoer for the thriller Deep Cover.

About the book

As his 40th birthday nears, former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor faces a desk job in the paramilitary security firm he works for – a sedentary executive position devoid of the exciting missions he’d craved during his entire professional life. So he joins the U.S. Marshals Service, hoping to get selected for the elite Special Operations Group of the Service. Soon thereafter, he finds himself involved in a hunt for Russian spies.

Espionage agents trained to pose as Americans in a secret base near Irkutsk, Russia have been inserted into the United States. Their mission: gather information concerning the political and social views of their neighbors and manipulate them to affect U.S. elections in disinformation campaigns. When this program is discovered by serendipity, the FBI, U.S.Marshals Service, and the NSA combine forces to weed out the spies as the 2018 midterm elections approach.

Adam and a cast of characters take the reader on an action-packed, suspenseful journey in which Russian agents scramble to keep ahead of the hunters by eliminating those who can expose the spymasters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2021

Deep cover by John Deboer is an intelligent and frightening book about Russian sleeper cells in the U.S. These individuals planted by foreign governments live as neighbors, colleagues, teachers, and friends. They collect data about political and social perspectives from their neighbors in order to influence United States’ elections. This book is timely, suspenseful, and packed with action and intrigue. Well written and memorable. I highly recommend Deep Cover for those who like reading spy thrillers. A fantastic 5 star read! 

A selection of other books by John L. DeBoer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow John: Goodreads – Twitter: @Johnldeboer

The next author today with a recent review is Terry Tyler for The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery

About the book

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…

The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021

2024: The apocalypse is here and people are dying from bat fever – a plague from which no one survives. That should be bad enough, but in an isolated town called Hincham, people are being murdered. In the eyes of those remaining (for the time being), the killer could be any one of them in the small, but rapidly diminishing community … or maybe not.

For me, what made this story so interesting, was that there were no police to be called, no clues to send off to the labs, and none of the usual tools the world has for solving murders. “The Visitor,” who also has another name we do not know, is part of the group being murdered, (by different methods), and there wasn’t one person safe from suspicion.

“The Visitor” who narrates throughout the book, is most chilling, especially as the character is not the typical sociopath. Who is it? Who could it be? And Why? Such an important question.

The entire mystery comes together in a very clever way. The author understands and captures the mindset of flawed human beings from many angles. The thought process of the killer … and the others, is quite fascinating indeed.

And yes, in these troubling times, this story is even more terrifying.  

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4

The final review is for author and poet Bette A. Stevens and her coming of age novel Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey

About the book

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

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

John 4.0 out of 5 stars Born on the poor side of town  Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2021

DOG BONE SOUP: A Boomer’s Journey by Bette Stevens is about a dysfunctional family trying to survive in the 50’s and 60’s. The father, a self-appointed “King of the castle” is an abusive drunk, the mother tries her best to keep the family clothed and fed, Shawn and Willie are the oldest two boys who along with their two sisters do whatever it takes to etch out a living. They are also a proud bunch, refusing food donations from the Church or handouts.

The story is told from Shawn’s POV, he is bullied and teased all through school because they are poor and their father is a known drunk. The ramshackle home they live in has no running water, cooking and heating the home also requires firewood. Shawn learned early in life how to fish, chop wood, and bring in water from the stream for washing and cooking. He also witnessed his father striking and beating their mother but was too afraid to get involved. To escape the wrath, the kids would run off and seek out new adventures to entertain themselves. Shawn is a hard worker who takes on odd jobs to help put food on the table. The title of this book is the name of a soup the family eats for days on end (boiled dog bones, onions, carrots and potatoes).

During his senior year in high school, Shawn finally stands up to his father and the school bullies for the first time. His mother gets a divorce and the family is finally free of the abusive father and husband who only sat around drank beer, and watched TV after work. That is, of course, if he wasn’t in the local bar getting drunk.

Shawn wants to make a life for himself and pursues joining the military…this is just as the war in Vietnam is beginning. His uncle tries to talk him out of it because of the horrors he’ll witness, confidentially sharing why his father drinks – to forget about the horrors of war that he fought in.

It’s a tale of a mother’s love & sacrifice and the coming of age story of a young boy in a small town. The story flowed well but I did encounter typos and missing words throughout the book. If you think you have it bad, you should read this story to see how those who do have it bad are able to cope, dream, and hope for a better life.  

Books by Bette A. Stevens

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Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog: 4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Murdermystery Terry Tyler, #Meditation Sue Vincent, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach


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

The first author today with a recent review is Terry Tyler for The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery

About the book

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…

The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.

A recent review for the book

loopyloulaura 5.0 out of 5 stars fast paced and completely absorbing  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 January 2021

Four lifelong friends plan to see out bat fever in a secret bunker but will they all survive long enough to get there? And once there, a murderer is on the loose in the village…
Amidst the coronavirius pandemic, this book is scary! Set in the same reality as the Project Renova books, The Visitor is a stand alone novel set in 2024. Coronavirus has been and gone, the world recovered. But the new disease is much more deadly and every case is fatal. The politics of the original books are still there with the vaccine programme (again, scary given the current situation!)

The Visitor is written from Jack and Avalon’s first person perspectives as well as various other third person viewpoints. This allows us to understand and feel their emotions as their loved ones die and they adjust to life in the village. The Visitor also has their own first person chapters so we anticipate their next move…
The murder mystery is a fascinating plot device which stands this book apart from the other Project Renova books. The fear and suspicion adds an extra element to the plot and provides extra character development. It engages the reader as we try to figure out who the mysterious Visitor could be and deduce their motive.

Terry Tyler is such a clever writer as she plays to our fears and makes her characters and situations very realistic. She has used the current coronavirus pandemic to underscore her plot and it supports our understanding of the events, motives and actions of each character we encounter.

The Visitor is fast paced yet the sinister build up to the murderous events is not rushed. The danger from the virus as well as from others within and outside the community is completely absorbing.

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

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4 

The next author is Sue Vincent with a recent review for  Petals of the Rose: Guided Journeys

About the book

A series of guided meditations, designed to open aspects of the personality in as gentle and natural way as the petals of the rose open at the touch of the sun. Each inner journey will carry you to a haven within your own psyche from which to explore layers of your own being, learning their meaning and purpose. From mystical and silent castles, to the song of the unicorn… each journey takes you deeper into your inner being and carries you out beyond the stars. Stories stir the imagination, casting images upon the screen of mind that allow us to explore, in safety, aspects of our lives and being that we might otherwise avoid or overlook. There is a rich vein of experience in memory that can be mined for its treasures. One of the simplest and best ways of exploring the labyrinths of the mind is to do so through a guided journey.

Meditation and visualisation are not arcane practices in which a few indulge… we all use these tools every day, to navigate our way around the world and our lives. We ask ourselves ‘what if?’, creating imaginary scenarios before we act. We visualise the route we walk to work, or what the basket full of ingredients will look like, once assembled and cooked, on a dinner plate. There is no mystery in meditation… but when you give time and attention to the practice, it can open the door to many mysteries… including those of our own being…

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Feb 06, 2021 D.G. Kaye rated it five stars it was amazing

A small book that packs a punch for the soul. Sue Vincent offers up some wonderful calming and soothing meditations with guided imagery to help take us into a higher mindspace and bring us into a calmer sense of self.

This book offers simple meditations with painted visualizations in words (which this author is known well for) that aid in getting us into a meditative state and help to stir our senses by taking us into the imagery and leaving us to continue with wherever our imagination takes us.

A lovely book to keep at the bedside to use for those reflective moments, or when we just need to zone out and recompose.

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

Please visit Amazon to view all Sue’s books and those written with Stuart France.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UKand: Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent – Twitter:@SCVincent

The final author is D.Wallace Peach with a recent review for the fantasy Sunwielder

About the book

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.

Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.

Now his story remakes itself, casting him backward in time to moments of decision and death. His old life gone, he no longer remembers the purpose of the medallion burning his chest. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A unique story  Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021

I do not read a lot of fantasy books, but I make an exception for D. Wallace Peach as her books are extraordinary and unique.

Gryff Worden is an ordinary man who just wants to help his uncle and aunt raise horses on their farm while raising his own family. Gryff adores his wife and two children, but there is bad blood between Gryff and the son of the Earl who rules his area. The hostility is emanates from Brant Loden’s side only, but it changes the course of Gryff’s life.

Gryff’s country is attacked by an aggressive nation who want to enslave his people and he is eventually morally wounded and his family murdered by enemy soldiers. At the time of his death he is visited by an elderly prophet who offers him another chance at life if he accepts the sunwielder, a bronze medallion which allows him to go back in time and revise decisions he made thereby changing his life’s path. I thought this concept was clever and unique. I have read other books where the hero can go back in time, but this particular method and the limited number of life choices offered by the sunwielder was something quite different and fascinating.

Gryff is a wonderful character, he is a good man and tries to do the right thing in all situations but he is human and, therefore, susceptible to various human failings like anger and resentment. It was most interesting to experience his going back in time and having to try an alternative approach when his previous choice failed. As Gryff moved further along his path, his choices improved and his self control and discipline increased allowing him to make better choices earlier and without constant intervention.

There is a love story thread that runs through the book and this is intriguing as the reader doesn’t know how his relationships with his wife and with his lover are going to turn out – his destiny in this regard is unclear for most of the book.

There are a number of characters in this book and it provides great insight into the frailties of men and how arrogance, greed, and hunger for power can destroy individuals and the people around them. Good leadership is a strong theme in this book and the importance of strategy and leadership in war and battles is highlighted.

The author writes the most beautiful and powerful prose and even without the incredible story, this book would have been worth reading just to experience the skillful writing. I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and those who enjoy excellent writing.

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreads blog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter:@Dwallacepeach

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.