Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Western Jan Sikes, #Contemporary Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Richard W. Wise, New Release Anita Dawes

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

The first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for her latest release, the short story Brazos Wind…

About the book

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 16, 2020 Jacquie rated it Four Stars
Two damaged souls come together to mend their wounded spirits.

Jack McClean has seen the worst of humanity during the war and just wants to find a quiet place to finish out his life. When he comes across an unconscious woman next to a burned out home, Jack is given the opportunity to change his path.

Savannah Logan lost her faith in God with the deaths of her husband and two children. She’s living-barely- day-to-day when a fire destroys the one thing she has left- her home. Now she just wants to curl up and wait to die, but an aimless drifter arrives on her doorstep and gives her the will to live.

This short story has all the feel-goods of a much longer novel. I quickly became invested in Jack and Savannah and their journey. Hopefully, there will be more about these two in an upcoming book!

Second chances can be right around the corner- don’t give up

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

A selection of books by Jan Sikes

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

The first author today is Ritu Bhathal for her romance Marriage Unarranged.

About the book

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Zoe May 5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the characters and getting to revisit India 😀  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2020

I loved this book! I’m a big fan of all things India and so this book was IDEAL for me. The main character, Aashi’s arranged marriage falls through when it turns out that the man she is engaged to, Ravi, has been cheating. To clear her head, Aashi heads off to India with her friend Kiran and her brothers Sunny and Bali. I LOVED being in India with these characters. I’ve been to Delhi and really enjoyed revisiting parts like Chandi Chowk and Connaught Place. The descriptions were so evocative and took me right back! If you have been to India, this book will allow you to wander back down memory lane, and if you haven’t been, you’ll get such a genuine and realistic insight into Indian life and culture by reading this novel.

I also really liked all the characters in the book. They all felt very realistic and were likeable and vulnerable in their own different ways. Although Aashi’s story takes centre stage, I liked that Kiran, Bali and Sunny also developed during the course of the book and experienced growth during the trip to India.

A wonderful book which has made me crave another trip to India, not to mention some parathas 😀

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

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal, Buy: Amazon UK – andAmazon US- Blog: Ritu Bhathal WordPress Follow Ritu: Goodreads – Twitter: @RituBhathal

The next author today with a recent review for Redlined: A Novel of Boston is Richard W. Wise

About the book

The year is 1974. Boston’s Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood under siege, a community skating along the razor’s edge of decline. The banks have REDLINED Jamaica Plain, causing the housing market to crash, wiping out local homeowner’s lifetime investments and opening the neighborhood to blockbusters and slumlords. Now, someone has begun systematically torching those abandoned buildings and the charred body of Sandy Morgan, a dedicated young neighborhood organizer, has been found among the ashes. Why? Who stands to gain?

Community organizer and Marine combat veteran, Jedidiah Flynt and Alex Jordan, his beautiful Harvard educated researcher together with a group of local property owners are determined to stop the redlining and and bring the arsonists responsible for Sandy Morgan’s death to justice. Their search will lead them through a labyrinth of corrupt politicians, Asian gangsters and bent churchmen.
Two interwoven plots work their way through the narrative, one is absolutely true, the other never happened, but might have.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I liked the book because Rick Wise as a community organizer in this neighborhood of Boston accurately told the story of the impact of bank redlining and disinvestment and how effective community organizing can make a difference in a better story of opportunity being achieved.

All the stories about the issues and organizing are true and actually happened back then in this neighborhood.

He adds elements that make it a novel about a death by arson of an organizer though there was much arson and people did die. And he adds a scheme about corruption around state legislative approval of a casino and unsavory support for it from a Catholic priest though unfortunately such scandals action by politicians and betrayals by priests do actually occur. All of this material makes the novel a page turner to read.

I knew of Rick and his organization’s effective work in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in this period as I was a community organizer working on similar issues in another neighborhood of Boston called Dorchester and still do this organizing work today..

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

Also by Richard W. Wise

Richard W. Wise, Buy: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK – follow Richard: Goodreads –  Website: The French BlueFacebook: Richard Wise Books

The final author today is Anita Dawes with her latest release, a collection of poems Shadows

About the Collection

A collection of Anita Dawes best poems – about love and longing – hopes and dreams – there will be something for everyone…

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

Also by Anita Dawes

One of the recent reviews for The Scarlet Ribbon

Sep 03, 2020 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Scarlet Ribbons, also known as The Scarlet Ribbon, by Anita Dawes is a contemporary fiction novel that focuses on the afterlife and how one woman deals with the tragedy of a single moment in time, a moment she couldn’t prevent from occurring. I became familiar with the book after following the author’s blog and learning more about her collaboration with Jaye Marie on a variety of a projects.

In this tale, Maggie Haynes is hit by a car. Her husband witnesses the accident and is forced to watch his beloved wife put on life support when she falls into a coma. When Maggie goes under, her life seems to separate into reality and another world. In one path, she recovers and finds herself heading down a certain troubling existence… and in another, she’s somewhere beyond the Earth… not quite heaven or hell… not even clear of the specifics, but this new world can be quite scary. She’s able to ‘cross over’ to see some things happening back home, and it’s not always a good thing.

Can you imagine being able to watch your loved ones grieve? What if they decided to move on? Are you aware of how long you are in the coma? When Maggie discovers various connections with new people she meets in her confusing new life, she can’t help but think about how much is real and how much might be a dream. Is she trapped somewhere? Will she wake up paralyzed from the accident? Is she secretly already dead? What does her family think has happened? So many amazing questions to ponder while reading this book…

I enjoyed the writing style. At times, the author whisks you away into a dreamy state; even I was uncertain which world Maggie resided in during these moments. It’s a tough and scary topic, but Dawes pushes you to consider all the options and angles. What if you were meant to disappear for a while so that you could save someone else? A child who desperately needs your help deserves unselfish reactions, right? Maggie and her husband chose not to have kids but was this a reality check? When she visits previous periods in her family’s life, learning what it was like for them to grow up, it destabilizes her core… Maggie can’t be sure which life she wants to hold on to – new or old. And can she change her mind?

In the end, she dives deep into understanding her new world, with the help of some friends and possible a foe or two, and she comes out stronger. But it is the shocking surprise finale that left me wondering… how much of this could really happen in our future? Dawes pushes me to think about past lives, reincarnation, soul therapy, and so much more. I enjoyed the writing style and development on the worlds most of all. If you’ve got an open mind and a love of ethereal and other worldly existences, this is a good one to read. I’m left wondering what additional themes the author explores in her other books now! Must check one out in the near future.

Anita Dawes, buy Amazon UK – And: Amazon US –  follow Anita: Goodreads – Blog: Jaye and Anita’ Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2


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