Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Janet Gogerty, #Thriller Eloise De Sousa

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 Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone’s most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES ~ SOAP ON A ROPE ~ SUN SCREAM ~ LAVENDER TOES. And a bonus novella GRAMS’S CHRISTMAS BABY. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg of Starfish Cove, Florida ~ a place near and dear to Silkstone’s hometown of Redington Beach on the Gulf of Mexico just north of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Barbara currently lives in Central Florida with her eccentric kitty who adores Liam Neeson and chasing lizards (the cat, not Barbara) 🙂

Recent series: Florence Nightingale Comedy Mysteries…THE GIGGLING CORPSE, THE KILLER CORSET, and THE CHEEKY CORONER. Victorian cozies.

Silkstone is the best-selling author of both Regency Pride and Prejudice variations, including the popular the MISTER DARCY SERIES OF COMEDIC MYSTERIES ~ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE contemporary variations. All her books are light-hearted adventures based on Jane Austen’s timeless tales of love denied and love discovered. “Feel good” tales to warm your heart.

She is also the author of the Wendy Darlin Comedy Mystery series. Five coffee-snorting tales that combine Cozy with outrageous adventures.

Plus a mixed bag of standalone cozy comedy mysteries: Zo White and the Seven Morphs, Cold Case Morphs, The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland … and more.

A selection of books by Barbara Silkstone

One of the recent reviews for Makeover Murder

Yvonne 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!! Highly recommended!!!  Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020

What a fun read. Very surprising end!!
Olive is up to her neck trying to solve a murder.
When a customer calls and wants Olive to come and give her a makeover before she goes in to an inquest, on her husbands life, Olive ends up sick and her customer ends up dead.
While sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong, there are two attempts on her life.
With Granny’s antics and Lizzy’s flirting ways can they find the killer before the killer gets Olive?
Very surprised with the ending, I did not see that coming?
These characters are so much fun I keep wanting more!

Barbara Silkstone, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK Follow Barbara on:Goodreads – website:Second Act CafeTwitter: @barbsilkstone

Meet Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Books by Janet Gogerty

One of the recent reviews for At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

Jane Deans 4.0 out of 5 stars A series of gentle mysteries Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2020

This work is a series of short stories on the theme of ‘missing persons’ linked by the central character, Toby who is an amateur detective, himself attempting to find a missing girlfriend. The settings and characters are reminiscent of seaside postcards and evoke a bygone England of conventional households and family relationships. Most of the stories were gentle mysteries and there are references to familiar pub chains and English tourist destinations. The only parts that jarred for me were the elements containing a robot and one with a ghost, both of which were implausible in the context of the other stories.

Janet Gogerty, Buy:Amazon UK – And :Amazon US – Goodreads:Goodreads – Blog: Tidal Scribe WordPress – Twitter: @ytregog

Meet Eloise De Sousa

A crime fiction writer with a penchant for penning poems and children’s stories.

Eloise was born in Zimbabwe, Africa. After emigrating to the United Kingdom with her husband over twenty years ago, she settled down in the Berkshire countryside to raise her four children, four cats and dog whilst writing her first series of children’s stories and crime thrillers.

Now saying good-bye to her role as School Librarian and Specialist Literacy Teaching Assistant, Eloise is embarking on a new adventure.

Her enthusiasm for teaching others to find their own creative voices and helping to build the confidence required to share those stories has encouraged her to start a mentoring service for novice writers, as well as writing workshops for all ages.

Books by Eloise De Sousa

One of the recent reviews for The Iron Pendulum

C. TAYLOR 5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping page turner! Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 March 2020

This book was an impulse purchase. I was looking for something different and enjoy reading material by less well known and/or up and coming authors. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a gripping page turner than offers a fantastic and unexpected twist at the end. I am always fascinated by the ideas that get woven in to novels. This story is full of characters you can try to get inside the mind of. Super. Highly recommended!

Eloise De Sousa buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK More reviews on Goodreads – Connect to Eloise via her: Blog –  Twitter: @mello_elo
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 – #Memoir Ann Patras, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone

The first author today is Ann Patras with a recent review for Much More Into Africa the third book in her memoir series.

About the book

It is four years since Ann and Ziggy moved with their young family from England to Zambia’s Copperbelt. During this time, their new life experiences and crazy antics were the subject of multitudes of letters to their incredulous family and friends.

Will they continue with their daft escapades now, as they change location to the country’s capital city?

This is where you find out, as the Patras family gets Much More Into Africa.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Mar 22, 2020 Tara rated it Five Stars

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

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

The other books in the series

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ann on: Goodreads

Connect to Ann via her website: Ann Patras Author

The first author is Frank Prem  with a review for his poetry collection – Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection

Joy RS 5.0 out of 5 stars An exploration of love, with a unique take  Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020

There is a beautiful story of the inspiration behind this collection of poetry and the poems themselves. They are stories of love, but all take their inspiration from the picturesque work, Madonna of the Evening Flowers. It provides a unique theme that runs through each page of this book – each page with its own flavour and feelings – making every offering here an individual piece of a bigger work of art. I enjoyed the thought-provoking way in which the author plays with and presents his words, and the theme that binds them adds extra charm and poignancy.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

The final author today with a recent review is Barbara Silkstone for her most recent release Makeover Murder: Cold Cream Murders – Book 6.

About the book

Olive Peroni was having a tough day. Her makeover client died a mysterious death before the woman could attend her husband’s inquest—where she would explain why she ran over him as he stood in front of her car putting coins in a parking meter.

Now Olive is both a suspect in her client’s murder and a victim-to-be. Can the Cold Cream team from the shop on Starfish Cove Beach catch the shadowy killer before he strikes again—killing the last person to see the makeover lady alive—Olive?

“This is one of our trickiest cases. It was like plucking a chicken in the wind.”
~ Grams Dingler

A series of quirky murders plague Olive Peroni and her Cold Cream shop partner. A psychologist by training and a miracle cold cream designer by luck, Olive leaves her family practice to start a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida. The gals make designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach. Business is brisk and life is good until bodies start popping and dropping—and Olive must rely on her people skills to separate the killers from their victims.

Fun DIY beauty products and special hints in every book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

mskiti 5.0 out of 5 stars Cozy mystery reading at its best  Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020

Recently I was gifted an ebook of Makeover Murder from author Barbara Silkstone. What a delightful surprise and what a great gift it was. This latest installment of her Cold Cream Murders series is filled with humor, twists and turns in a fast moving plot. Olive does a cosmetic make over for a prominent Starfish Cove citizen who dies shortly afterward leaving Olive the primary suspect in her death. Olive and business partner Lizzy must prove Olive’s innocence. Meanwhile Feisty 92 year old Grams Dingler is assigned to report on the murder for the Silverfish Gazette, so her appearances and one-liners throughout the story are an added bonus of hilarity. All the quirky characters of Starfish Cove are back as well with laugh out loud opinions and observations about the murder investigation. Although this can be read as a stand alone novel, it is so much fun, anyone new to this series will definitely want to go back and read all the previous books. Frankly it just keeps getting better and better.

A selection of 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

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


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