Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update- #Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Historical V.M. Sang


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

The first author today is Teri Polen with a recent review for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. G. Driver  5.0 out of 5 stars Great Action!  Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2021

A terrific dystopian scifi YA novel. The fight scenes in this book were great, and I liked the characters a lot. I enjoyed that the Asher and Brynn are a couple from the start, and I liked how solid their relationship is. It is pointed out over and over again that although they spent a lot of their youth growing up in the same household that they for sure are not siblings. I think that’s important. This is a great book if you enjoyed the Divergent series or if you enjoy movies like Logan’s Run or In Time. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.  

Also by Teri Polen

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Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And:  Amazon UK Follow Teri: Goodreads – website: Teri PolenTwitter: @Tpolen6

The next review is for Amy M. Reade… and MayDay! (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 5)

About the book

Lilly Carlsen has planned the perfect wedding reception for her brother, but her plans unravel in spectacular fashion when a dead body turns up and someone’s dangerous prank spirals out of control.

After Bill and Noley head off to their well-deserved honeymoon in the tropics, Lilly is determined to find out who was behind the events that turned a fairy-tale evening into the worst reception in Juniper Junction history. But all is not as it seems, and Lilly may be putting herself in grave danger by attempting to uncover the culprits.

And to make matters worse, serious family issues are mounting and Lilly may have to do the one thing she swore she wouldn’t do…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Iris Chacon 5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous return to the Juniper Springs family & friends  Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2021

Lilly Carlson has planned the perfect wedding for her brother to her best friend. It’s in beautiful Colorado on a gorgeous spring day, the 1st of May. “Mayday” takes on additional meaning, however, when a plane buzzes the party then crashes nearby. Then the caterer’s murdered body is discovered, placing everyone present under suspicion. While her brother is away on his honeymoon, Lilly will find all kinds of trouble and danger as she tries to unravel May Day’s tragic events.

The great fun and mystery of this novel is even better because the reader comes home again to the quaint town of Juniper Springs and the characters we love from previous books by Amy M Reade. If this is your first Juniper Springs holiday novel, you’ll want to read them all. And soon!  

A selection of books by Amy M. Reade

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads – Twitter: @readeandwrite

This is proving to be a busy week for new books in the Cafe and delighted to share the news of the new release by V.M. Sang…Jealousy of a Viking (A Family Through The Ages Book 2)

About the book

After Helgha meets Erik in the woods surrounding her home near Jorvik – modern day York – she learns that he is lost, and helps him by taking him into her home for the night.

In time, the two grow close, much to the anxiety of her parents as there is no message from his father suggesting a betrothal, but Erik behaves as though they are betrothed. Soon, they learn that there is another reason why Erik has not asked her to marry him.

With the honour of their family at stake, Helgha’s father takes drastic measures to rectify the situation. Amid the bloodshed and danger of the medieval times, can Helgha find happiness for herself and her family?

This book contains graphic violence and is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

One of the recent reviews for the book

jaye marie 4.0 out of 5 stars most unusual Viking story!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 August 2021

This unusual medieval story of one woman’s quest for love, reminded me of so many other star-crossed lovers throughout history. The author has cut away most of the myths surrounding the Vikings, revealing their wisdom and their beliefs. A far cry from the blood thirsty tribes we see all the time on TV.

I loved reading about the Viking people, and the way Helgha, the main character, used both the Christian and Viking religions to help her when rescued by a Christian community.
Even though she managed to hedge her bets, so to speak, it didn’t look as if anything would help her to find happiness.

Helgha must have been one of the unluckiest women, for when history decided to repeat the first stage in her journey, I wondered what fate had in store for her. Or was she doomed to be loved, but only from a distance?

A selection of books by V.M. Sang

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow: Goodreads – Blog/Website: Aspholessaria – Facebook: Viv Sang – Twitter: @vm_sang

 

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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Wine Linda Sheehan, #Paranormal Jan Sikes.


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 Amy M. Reade

Amy M. Reade is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling mystery author who practiced law until she realized it was way more fun writing fiction.

She writes cozy and Gothic mysteries under the name Amy M. Reade and historical mysteries under the name A.M. Reade. She lives in New Jersey with her family and loves reading, cooking, traveling, playing with the dog, quilling, counted cross-stitch, chocolate, wine, and cheese, though not necessarily in that order.

If you’re looking for her and she’s not in her office, check the kitchen. If she’s not there, she’s definitely in the laundry room.

A selection of books by Amy M. Reade

One of the recent reviews for Mayday

May 13, 2021 Darlene Foster rated it five stars

I don’t often read cozy mysteries but this was a treat. Lily, the main character, is a typical sandwich generation woman. She is in the middle of dealing with teenagers with raging hormones and an elderly mother with dementia while running a jewellery store. Like all busy people, she takes on too much, including organizing her brother’s wedding to her best friend. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything as it happens. When someone is killed during the reception, Lily is determined to find out who the murderer is while juggling family mishaps. At times I could feel how tired she was and could see why she had little time for her own boyfriend. It took a while for the story to take off, but when it did there was plenty of action. I will be reading more of these books!

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads – Twitter: @readeandwrite

Meet Linda Sheehan

Linda Sheehan has lived in New York and Los Angeles where she wrote and produced commercials and trailers for movies and television. She now lives in Napa, California where she’s the co-owner of Poe Wines that makes highly acclaimed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Rosé, sparkling wines as well as organic grapefruit vermouth awarded 95 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “Decanted” is her second novel. Besides indulging her passion for great wines, she pursues her addictions of horseback riding and golf.

A recent review for Decanted.

Nurse_bookie 5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this one  Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2021

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Passions

This immersive and captivating story takes us though the beautiful vineyards of the South of France and Napa Valley in Northern California. Samantha and Vivian are both wonderful characters. These women are strong and don’t follow traditional conventions but instead forge their own path and future. The setting and the intricacies of the wine making business is so well written I completely immersed into the story line. This was a gorgeous story about following your passions, family and of course wine!  

Connect to Linda Sheehan: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Linda:Goodreads – Website:Linda Sheehan Author – Facebook:Linda Sheehan – Instagram:Linda Sheehan Author

Meet Jan Sikes

Jan Sikes openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. Through fictitious characters, the entertaining true story comes to life in an intricately woven tale which encompasses four books.

A series of music CDs accompanies the books, while a beautiful and unique book of poetry and art brings the story full circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, in 2020, as Book One of The White Rune Series. Jagged Feathers is set to release in 2021 as Book Two of that series.

She is a member of the Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.

A recent review for Satin & Cinders

Mae Clair 4.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming message  Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2021

This is a very short read, but it delivers both a message and a huge warm fuzzy. Told from the POV of Cinders, a wild stallion in love with Satin, a domestic mare, the story delivers a tale of longing, love, and having the confidence to reach for your dream. When Cinders braves the unknown to connect with the mare he has loved from afar in spirit, he and Satin find strength in their devotion to each other. The delivery is sweet and wraps with a lovely and strengthening message about pursuing your dreams, even when it involves stepping out of your comfort zone.

A small selection of books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Reviews – #1960s Jane Risdon, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano.


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

The first author today with a recent review is Jane Risdon for the 1960s Only One Woman..co-written with Christina Jones.

About the book

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But, after a romantic summer together, they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the colourful and final year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Trekker Girl 4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the 1960s  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 December 2020

Written from the the diaries of two young women who are in love with the same man, this is an interesting collaboration between these two authors. Seamlessly moving from one perspective to the other, this book kept me interested and intrigued by the possible outcomes.

I loved the 60s setting with music, fashion and culture references that rang true to that era and the age of the two girls.

A blast back to the swinging 60s and a fun read which I thoroughly enjoyed and I will be searching out other titles from both of these authors.

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

Also by Jane Risdon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – AndAmazon US–   Blog:Jane Risdon WordPressGoodreads:Jane Risdon Goodread –  Twitter: @Jane_Risdon

The next author is Amy M. Reade with a review for her Christmas themed The Worst Noel (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 1)

About the book

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy, but for Lilly Carlsen, this Christmas is murder.

As a single mom, small business owner, and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the last thing she needs is to find a dead body on the floor of her jewelry shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as if that isn’t enough, Lilly has to deal with a deadbeat ex-husband, a mother with declining mental health, and two teenagers.

But when a second body turns up, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself? And will her family’s Christmas be merry…or scary?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lori Caswell/Dollycas VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read  Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2020

Dollycas’s Thoughts – Lily Carlsen has made a good life for herself and her teenagers, Laurel and Tighe after her ex decided years ago that family life wasn’t for him. Her brother Bill is a police officer in town and they both watch over their mother who lives down the street from Lily. The kids are a big help too as the tentacles of dementia start to take control of their grandmother. The family also has a lovable pup named Barney.

Lilly owns the local jewelry store and is president of the Chamber of Commerce. She works long hours but has raised some really good kids. She has been getting ready for the holiday rush and is excited about the Black Friday shoppers But when she arrives at her store she finds the back door unlocked and as she ventures inside notices the vault is open and a dead body on the showroom floor. The body belongs to a woman Lilly has a history with through the chamber. So even with a brother on the force, she finds herself a suspect in the woman’s murder.

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

 Also by Amy M. Reade

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Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US  – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress  –  Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads –  Twitter: @readeandwrite

The final author today with a recent review is Gwen M. Plano for The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.

About the book

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

One of the recent reviews for the book

“The Culmination” is the third book in the Contract Series. I loved all the books, but this one topped them. It touched me on a level of reality and fear, bringing the idea of hope in our current cold social climate. It starts after the second book and an assassination attempt. There is a group determined to cause mayhem and stop anyone in their way, including heads of state. There’s not only exciting action but developing relationships and political intrigue. I found a lot of what was going on in the story relevant for current times. Where Ms. Plano took this story is a place where I could imagine the right things being done in the middle of chaos. I loved the American Vice President with her logic and heart. Beautifully written and thought-provoking with scenarios all too familiar, some heartbreaking, and some tender. This book not only scared me but offered an optimistic option at the same time. I highly recommend it and the whole series.

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

Other books by Gwen Plano

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand  : Amazon US – follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Pre-Historic Jacqui Murray, #Fantasy Deborah Jay, #Mystery Amy M. Reade


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

The first author with a recent review is Jacqui Murray for Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy)

About the book

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of the People’s long search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Anneli5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure Packed with Danger Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2020

Even after I had read the first two books of the Crossroads trilogy, I could hardly wait to feast my eyes on Book Three, Against All Odds. I was not disappointed. Over the span of the three books, Ms. Murray develops characters I love or despise, while fearing or worrying about others. As the People, several small tribes traveling together, cover what must be hundreds of miles in their quest for a permanent home base, they encounter a variety of dangers along the way. Sometimes the challenges are geographical and sometimes weather- and climate-related. The tribes are conscientious hunters and gatherers, taking only what they need. They face danger from the animals they prey on, but the most dangerous situations are when the People themselves become the prey of Others, Big Heads, and the most feared – cannibals.

Ms. Murray has combined her talent for storytelling with a huge amount of research into the many aspects of early man’s probable lifestyle, from communication, to weapons, survival skills, their use of early medicines, and social living habits. There has been much discussion about the level of language and signing skills early man used. Ms. Murray uses some poetic licence to suggest to the reader what the characters are probably communicating to each other. In a setting of 850,000 years ago, we must allow this in order to build the story that I guarantee you will love reading.

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

Also by by Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray, BuyAmazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter@WordDreams

The next author is Deborah Jay with a recent review  for The Prince’s Son: The Five Kingdoms: Book Two

About the book

The thrilling fantasy adventure begun in The Prince’s Man continues with new, and familiar, characters…

Nessa Haddo has been raised to pursue what every young noblewoman needs: a suitable husband. Unfortunately for her, as a younger twin, her prospects are limited. Things start to look up when she lays eyes on the handsome foreign envoy sent to escort her sister to an arranged marriage, but her romantic fantasies quickly entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Compared to his last mission, ex-spy Rustam Chalice’s new assignment sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats, and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding. What could possibly go wrong?
Meanwhile, Lady Risada—the woman who haunts Rustam’s dreams—is struggling to adjust to a normal life. All her carefully honed assassin’s instincts scream warnings of foul play, yet she can find nothing obviously amiss.

And deep in the halls of a mountain clan, an old enemy plucks his victims’ strings with expert malice.

A recent review for the book

Miss K Marsden VINE VOICE5.0 out of 5 stars Prince’s Son  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 August 2020

In an effort to strengthen ties between countries, Rustam is responsible for escorting Tyr-en nobles to an arranged marriage. But an old enemy is about to disrupt these plans.

I initially read the first part of the series a few years ago, and it was easy to slip back into the world of the Five Kingdoms, with Rustam and Risada coping with their new lives.

Despite saving the country, Rustam was exiled for using magic. Two years on, he has a prestigious diplomatic position in a foreign court, but his first loyalty will always be to Tyr-en and Prince Halnashead. Free from Tyr-en’s strict rules on magic, Rusty has been able to learn so much more about his inborn skills. He has to refrain from using them during his escort mission, as the girl’s chaperone – Princess Annasala – has a deep-routed fear of magic, thanks to the torture she previously endured.

Risada knows what’s expected of her. She is a lady of the second house, and needs to continue her bloodline with a suitable partner. No matter how much it breaks her heart.
At the end of the last book, she had negotiated her own marriage to Prince Halnadshead, and they are now expecting their first child. Risada used to be the most dangerous woman in the Five Kingdoms, but her days as he infamous assassin Dart look to be over. With her permanently damaged arm, and her growing belly, you can sense her frustrations at losing her once-perfect control. But her instincts are telling her there’s danger, and Risada is determined to get to the bottom of it, whilst protecting those she loves.

The newcomer to the story, is Nessa. The younger twin sister of Lady Julin, they travel together to Julin’s arranged marriage across the border. There are plenty of superstitions about younger twins in the Five Kingdoms, they are thought of as unlucky, or cursed. Nessa knows that she cannot expect much from life, but she hopes that after Julin marries, she can take the time to find her own perfect suitor. As soon as she lays eyes on Rustam, she is violently in love, and has a whole journey through the mountains to gain his affections.

Nessa was… sooo very annoying and immature in the beginning, but she means well, and all of her actions have good intentions. At seventeen years old, her view of the world is very narrow; and being the disposable twin has given her an uncertain future. I think that makes what happens to her so much harsher in comparison. Nessa and Julin both suffer various abuse whilst captive with the Tylocians. Neither are innocent children when they get out.

The abuse suffered by female characters is very central to this plot, with the twins’ forging it into a quiet strength; compared to Princess Annasala, who uses religious mania to stop herself from having to deal with it. The story doesn’t shy away from the subject, and I thought it was written very well. It respects how serious this is, and portrays it honestly; but the writing never gets bogged down with being dark and depressing.

The rest of the plot plays out well, keeping you guessing and hoping the whole time.

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

Books by Deborah Jay

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Deborah Jay, BuyAmazon US – And:Amazon UK – follow Deborah : Goodreads – website: Deborah Jay – Twitter: @DeborahJay2

The final author is Amy M. Reade with a recent review for Ghouls Night Out (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 4) 

About the book

Halloween is just around the corner and the goblins are out in force in Juniper Junction. A crotchety merchant, a malicious next-door neighbor, and some ghoulish trick-or-treaters are causing hair-raising problems for Lilly Carlsen’s boyfriend, Hassan Ashraf, and things are about to get much worse.

When Hassan finds himself at the center of a police investigation following the deaths of two of his tormentors just days apart, Lilly is ready to help in any way she can to bring the real fiends to justice.

But with Lilly’s daughter having trouble adjusting to college, her mother continuing a downward spiral into dementia, and possible romantic strife on the horizon between Lilly’s brother and her best friend, Lilly’s Halloween is beginning to look especially frightful.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Iris Chacon 5.0 out of 5 stars I want to move to Juniper Springs immediately!  Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2020

I felt so much at home with the warm, deep characters who live in the fictional community of Juniper Springs, I wanted to settle in and spend not only Halloween but many future holidays with them. This novel keeps the reader turning page after page to find out what is happening to Lilly’s boyfriend, Hassan, who has been wrongly accused of murder. Then we want to know who murdered the second victim within mere days. And why is the tearoom closed literally before it opened, and where is its owner? Add to the suspense the fight between Lilly and her ex-husband over her daughter’s wish to drop out of college, combined with the troublesome and tragic descent of Lilly’s mother into dementia. And don’t get me started on Lilly’s brother, the policeman, and the secrets he’s carrying on his overworked shoulders. What I’m saying — although I’m taking way too long to say it — is that you definitely want to grab a copy of Ghouls’ Night Out to read between now and Halloween! It’s just the treat you need to brighten your holiday season.

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

Also by Amy M. Reade

51dikCmd-RL._UY250_House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

Amy Reade, Buy:Amazon US  – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress  Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads –  Twitter: @readeandwrite

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Children’s Annika Perry, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Afghanistan Mary Smith


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 Annika Perry

Annika Perry is a full-time writer, blogger and book reviewer. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and raised near Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Annika received her BA Honours Degree in German Language and Literature from the University of Leeds. Her initial employment was as a journalist followed by many years as an agent in the timber trade. She was awarded first prize in Writing Magazine’s Short Story Competition in 2014 and also shortlisted in an Ink Tears Short Fiction Contest. “The Storyteller Speaks”, a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, was her debut book. “Oskar’s Quest”, a beautifully illustrated and enchanting children’s story, is her second published book. Annika Perry lives with her family in a small village in North Essex, England.

Books by Annika Perry

One of the reviews for Oskar’s Quest

Jan 28, 2020 Erica Henault rated it Five Stars on Goodreads

“Oskar’s Quest” is a beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship. Annika Perry has a gift for writing up, not down to children. Even very young children are attentive, curious and observant. My four year old Granddaughter and I love reading “Oskar’s Quest!” My Granddaughter has already memorized parts of this book, especially the sound effects. She loves following “Oskar,” the blue bird, and “Maya,” the golden bird, throughout the story. Often a key to an engaging children’s book is how the adult also enjoys reading the book over and over and over again. I highly recommend “Oskar’s Quest!”

Annika Perry, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Annika: Goodreads – blog: Annika PerryTwitter    @AnnikaPerry68

Meet Amy M. Reade

USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade writes Gothic, traditional, contemporary, and cozy mysteries. Her books have been compared to those by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s standalone novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Her Malice series explores a family’s secrets and mysteries set against the breathtaking backdrops of Scotland and Wales. Her Juniper Junction Holiday Mysteries is a cozy series set in Colorado and her Libraries of the World Mysteries takes her main character around the world solving mysteries based in different well-known libraries.

A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling. She loves cooking, reading, and travel.

Books by Amy M. Reade

51dikCmd-RL._UY250_House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

One of the early reviews for Cape Menace released on June 2nd.

SD 5.0 out of 5 stars A STELLAR HISTORICAL READ  Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020

As soon as I began reading Cape Menace, I became immersed in the world of the early eighteenth century, which reflects Ms. Reade’s skill as an author and researcher. She does a brilliant job weaving historical facts, mystery, and romance into a gripping story and I found the book hard to put down. I appreciate Ms. Reade’s attention to detail, especially the authenticity of her characters’ behavior, attitudes, and morals which accurately reflect those of the period. All of this would be interesting enough, but the addition of a captivating storyline makes this book a stellar read. For me, the best books entertain and enlighten, and Cape Menace checks those boxes. Congratulations to the author. Highly recommended. I received an advance copy of this novel. 

Amy Reade, Buy:Amazon US  – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress  Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads –  Twitter: @readeandwrite

Meet Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She wanted others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan

Books by Mary Smith

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A recent review No More Mulberries

Carol McKay 5.0 out of 5 stars Immersive  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2020

A really enjoyable story that had my imagination fully immersed in its portrayal of the sensory world of 1990s rural Afghanistan. A tender love story set against a backdrop of cultural conflicts and encroaching war.

Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

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 Update – #Reviews – #Thriller Yigal Zur, #WarRomance Marina Osipova, #Mystery Amy M. Reade


Welcome to the first of the Cafe updates for the week, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first featured book today is an action thriller, Passport to Death – Dotan Naor thriller series by Yigal Zur

About the Dotan Naor thriller series

Dotan Naor is an ex-Mossad agent, bounced out of the agency not just for a fatal miscalculation in Palestinian Jenin but for his inability to live within the bureaucracy and submit to authority. Dotan is now a private detective who uses his immense skills of persuasion and violence to rescue Israelis who are in peril throughout the world. Through his extensive travels in Asia, Dotan has developed a love for Eastern philosophy and lifestyle; his enhanced spiritual existence also happens to be good for business as many Israelis run off to exotic Asian locales to let off steam after their mandatory and often dangerous military service.

About Passport to Death

Dotan Naor, an Israeli private investigator, ousted from Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—goes to Thailand to find Sigal Bardon, a beautiful young girl from a wealthy Israeli family. Sigal has disappeared in Bangkok—completely. Dotan has connections in Thailand and he’s familiar with Bangkok’s dark side—the narrow alleys with bars and hookers, trenches of stagnant water, hotel rooms with illicit activity. This is where he intends to start his search. But when the passport of the missing Israeli girl ends up in his hands during his first taxi ride in the city, he’s suspicious that someone is playing him. But who? And why?

As Dotan searches for Sigal, police corruption blocks his every path. Every lead he pursues draws him closer and closer to a black hole in his “own” past—one intertwined with his pursuit of Sigal—one that leads him to Reuven—and the haunting failure that led to the dismissal of both of them from Shin Bet. The wound between Dotan and Reuven is raw and deep, but Dotan realizes it must be healed in order to save Sigal.

A recent review for the book

Jay 5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-layered detective story Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2020

I received a copy of this book from the author with the request for an honest review. I am glad I got the chance to read the story. The author harkens back to detectives of old with a main character is is world weary, scarred, and pretty pessimistic. He still has a drive to do the right thing, and like all good detectives… he just can’t let go. There is a lot of back story that dribbles out throughout the course of the book, giving the reader a glimpse into our main character’s previous life and providing partial explanation for that pessimism. The majority of the story takes place in Bangkok. The author’s description are highly evocative. Everything from the weather, to the traffic, even the locals’ mannerisms, draws an extremely detailed and accurate picture of the locale. The story itself moves quickly and logically from one step to the next, with a conclusion that leads me to believe there will be more, which I am definitely hoping for. There is a lot of ground left to cover to explain why the main character is who he is – I will definitely read the next installment.

If you like solid detective stories in exotic (and sometimes seedy) locales, I highly recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also in English by Yigal Zur

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Yigal on : Goodreads

Connect to Yigal via Facebook: Yigal Zur Author

The next author with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing:
(Book One in the Love and Fate Series 1)

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020

An ominous beginning with a beautiful bird singing and then the looming cruelty that is hard to understand. How “we” humans do to each other what we do is more times than not incomprehensible. Perhaps it is in wanting to understand that I am so enamored by this author’s brilliant portrayal of war on the eastern front. Within the hard seed of heartbreaking suffering lies courage, faith, resilience, and what makes up the best of the human condition. Bold and defiant, nothing is held back and it is in the integrity of this author’s writing that the book is hard to stop reading. It takes a great talent to turn something as dark as devastating war into a light that shines on what is possible in the worst of conditions. A compelling, excellent read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marina on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marina via her website: Marina Osipova

And the final author today is USA Today Bestselling Author Amy M. Reade with a review for her recently published Juniper Junction Holiday MysteriesBe My Valencrime...

About the book

It’s Valentine’s Day in Juniper Junction and love is in the air. Or is that just a dark cloud?
Lilly’s shop assistant, Harry, is about to pop the question to his girlfriend, Alice Davenport. He’s got the ring, he’s planned a romantic dinner, and he’s even thought of a gracious escape if Alice says no.

The only thing missing is…Alice.

Lilly wants to do all she can to help find Alice, even if that means interfering with a police investigation. But as she begins to learn more about Harry’s sweet, unassuming girlfriend, she discovers that Alice is hiding a shocking secret that will complicate everything.

And when Lilly suffers a lapse in judgment, the consequences are swift and painful. Can she pull herself together enough to help her daughter through a tunnel of teenage angst, deal with her mother’s dementia-related wanderings, and still help Harry find his Happily Ever After?

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2020

Jewelry shop owner, Lilly Carlsen is set for a big sales day this Valentine’s Day, as customers flock in to buy their perfect gift. Her shop assistant Harry has an engagement proposal on his mind–will his girlfriend Alice accept? Lilly has her own special gift planned for her love interest, Hassan–will they take their relationship to the next level this Valentine’s?

Problems on the home front may interfere with the romantic plans as Lilly’s mother, Bev, who suffers from dementia, and her daughter, Laurel, experience health and relationship setbacks. When Harry’s girlfriend Alice is a no show to their planned Valentine’s dinner, everything starts to unravel, and a missing persons investigation is initiated. Lilly is determined to help her friend Harry, but her police officer brother, Bill begs her not to get involved. A hidden lifestyle shocks those who know Alice, and may be the reason she disappeared. As the days pass, the hope for her survival dwindles.

Secrets and family drama muddy Lilly’s investigative attempts, putting her close relationships at risk, and her life in danger. Unexpected twists and turns make this story a delightful who-dun-it read. I really enjoy Author Reade’s engaging style and characters–and those recipes at the end were a treat. I now have another cozy mystery series to enjoy, a delightful read, highly recommended!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Amy M. Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Amy on : Goodreads

Connect to Amy via her blog: Amy Reade at WordPress

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Children Victoria Zigler


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

If you are looking for a good mystery to curl up by the fire with this Christmas then here is Amy M. Reade with Trudy’s Diary (Libraries of the World Mysteries Book 1)

About the book

Daisy Carruthers moved to Washington, DC, from New York City following an emotionally draining murder investigation, little knowing she would soon be involved in two more. But when her boss and her best friend come under suspicion for killing two adulterous lovers, Daisy has no choice but to help when they ask.

And when she comes across a diary and an old dime novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

​Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ruth Barrineau-Brooks 5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible mystery August 30, 2019

Trudy’s Diary, the first in a new mystery series by Amy Reade, had me from page one. Daisy Carruthers is working to recreate her life when finds herself trying to solve two murders …or is it more? The narrative of present-day Daisy alternates with nineteenth-century Trudy after she starts reading Trudy’s diary, and it kept me reading late into the night. The plot, full of twists and turns, and the memorable characters made for a fascinating read. I love mysteries and loved this one! I highly recommend it.

Also by Amy M. Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Amy on : Goodreads

Connect to Amy via her website: Amy M. Reade

Time for some poetry and Annette Rochelle Aben has a wonderful selection of Japanese poetry often accompanied by wonderful images. This is her latest release Think Tanka: Vision in Verse

About Think Tanka

Throughout time, the poet has used words to convey feelings, share ideas and unite the reader with their vision. Think Tanka uses the traditional structure of Japanese lyric poetry to unite the reader to the vision of the poet. if you can “see” what she is trying to “say” in every grouping of 31 syllables, then she has done her job. Think Tanka is a book for those who appreciate poetry, those who enjoy short reads, people who like to smile and those who know what it is like to be lost in a world of imagination. Whether you are buying this book for yourself or someone else, you’ll want to make sure you get an extra copy so you’ll have one on hand to share.

One of the recent reviews for Think Tanka

At the beginning of this beautiful little book, the author writes, “Tanka means short song.” That describes this book completely. Not only is it in alphabetical order according to topic titles, but it provides a daily reference for inspiration, a thought for the day, or a chuckle. The author touches on every topic from the deepest spiritual aspect of “Quiet & Space,” to the frolicking “Dance Machine.” There is a large dose of magic sprinkled throughout this book of Tanka. There is homage to our beautiful panet, Mother Earth and even a nod to our traditions. If you are looking for a book to make your day sparkle, you will enjoy the amazing Tanka from Annette Rochelle Aben!  

Other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Annette: Goodreads

Connect to Annette via her blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress

The next author with those of you who enjoy murder mysteries is Barbara Silkstone for the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series – Sun Scream.

About the book

A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jamie Toast, Loud Mouth of the South, wants to have a Murder Mystery Party for an open house where all their friends dress up in roaring twenties attire. Jamie isn’t really a likeable character, but Olive and Lizzy have befriended her. The week before her party, mysterious accidents start happening to Jamie, which could have all been life threatening. All evidence seems to point to her husband, Chip Toast.

In the meantime, Sophia Napoli, an Italian film star, is considering backing and endorsing Nonna’s Cold Cream. One of her conditions is that Olive and Lizzy have to stop their crime busting antics, they would have to leave that up to the local police. Their involvement wouldn’t reflect well on Sophia. Olive agrees, but is torn. Being a psychologist, one of the things she does for the police is profile the people Kal brings in for questioning. She won’t let that go and figures she could do it on the sly.

Grams, Lizzy’s grandmother, is a spunky old coot who assigns herself, with her large brass candlestick, as Jamie’s bodyguard. She is also convinced that Chip is guilty of setting up the traps to kill Jamie. The night of the Murder Mystery Party Lizzy and Olive are assigned their roles to play. Everyone is having a good time and the game goes as planned with Jamie and her death scene. Then one of the party goers falls from one of the balconies and dies. Another mystery needs to be solved. This woman could have been mistaken for Jamie from behind. Was this another attempt on Jamie’s life?

Kal, Olive, and Lizzy scramble to clear Chip Toast and find the real person behind Jamie’s life-threatening attacks. And solve the real murder at the party. Was the woman pushed or did she jump to her death? Nothing can be found to link her to any of the party attendees. Olive invited her and her guest to the party. All possible leads are dead ends. Join Kal, Olive and Lizzy as they try to solve an unsolvable mystery…

Other books in the series.

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on: Goodreads

Connect to Barbara via her website: Second Act Cafe

And finally a reminder of the lovely children’s books by Victoria Zigler and today her book The Witchlet: Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy.

About Witchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?

This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. The titles in the series are as follows:

1. Witchlet
2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
3. A Magical Storm

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 05, 2019 Robbie Cheadle rated it Four Stars

The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.

Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.

In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out

The other two books in the Trilogy and a selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

You can download all the other print and audio books from Amazon: Amazon UK

and Amazon US: Amazon US

Read many more reviews and follow Victoria on: Goodreads

Connect to Victoria via her website: Victoria Zigler

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