Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves for Christmas – Mo: The Spotlight Tales by S. Pearce


I am delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and bookstore and to feature his books as part of the Christmas promotion. I am featuring the first book in The Spotlight Tales series by S. Pearce.

The series of stand-alone tales which take a critical look at our society. Extremism, nationalism and environmental concerns all come under the spotlight in this remarkable series. The tales will take you to the precipice and leave you dangling there. Get ready to question your thoughts, your actions, and wonder what those about you are planning.

About Mo

Will he listen to the extremist rhetoric, enticing him to commit unspeakable horrors? Will he heed the calmer and more softly spoken voice, coming from an unexpected source?

Catapulted out of the sheltered world of infancy into the raw – sometimes brutal – environment of new adolescence, Mo finds himself abandoned by cherished childhood friends and subjected to racial insults, bullying and general torment.Confusion and anger follow, compounded by an inability to confide in those close to him. All the while, sinister forces are beckoning him to follow a violent path. And yet, another mysterious voice is attempting to guide him. Mo hovers tantalisingly between fantasy and reality, between horror and wonder.

It describes how a young boy tries to find his way as family, friends, and strangers tug at his conscience with their conflicting demands.S Pearce’s enigmatic tale skilfully examines notions of identity in an unsettled world. Delving at times into the supernatural and at others into violent extremism, this intriguing and intelligent story can be seen as a modern day morality tale which will keep readers guessing throughout. This book will challenge your notions of right and wrong. It will take you, with the protagonist, to a cliff edge. You will feel uncomfortable, you will feel wronged, you will feel like Mo.

One of the reviews for the book

An unusual novel, this. The protagonist is a young Muslim boy facing a future he finds unattractive for many reasons. At first, I wondered if this book was meant for children, but that opinion was quickly squashed by the complex language and general tone of the story. The book is aimed, I imagine, at parents, teachers, and, perhaps, those leaders of Islamic groups who might benefit from the ideas it contains.

The character of the young lad is well drawn and it’s easy to form empathy with him. His rather distant father who begins as a man who shows little understanding of his son, and his devoted mother, caught between the needs of her lad and the demands of the father, slowly develop as characters as the story progresses. The other main character, an idiosyncratic and lonely old man with a kind heart and a fascination for moths and other wildlife, is another beautifully drawn player.

The story deals with bullying, isolation, prejudice, the grooming of terrorists, and the dangers of obsessive gaming, which is why it’s a very good read for concerned parents and teachers.
There were odd times when I was a little jarred by a passage of what almost amounted to preaching, but this happened only very rarely. For the most part, the story moves well and the reader is fully engaged.

Either the author has engaged in substantial research, or he has used imagination coupled with some personal experience to get into the head of Mo as well as to understand the methods used by groups wishing to subvert innocents to their cause.

This is an absorbing story; well told and full of events and discussions that provoke thought. Not an easy read, it has much of value to say on the injustice and ignorance that drives certain individuals to extreme action.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mo-Spotlight-Tales-S-Pearce/dp/1974168883

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mo-Spotlight-Tales-S-Pearce/dp/1974168883

Also by Simon Pearce

One of the recent reviews for Exit Velocity

marvelous whodunnit, on November 20, 2018

Sometimes, but not often, a new writer pops up from nowhere who is gifted with natural talent. Mr S Pearce has talent by the bucket load. In this, his second book, I’m reminded of the old school essays we had to write about the adventures of a penny as it changed hands. In this case, the pennies are deadly poisonous sweets! As the story daisy chains between the lives (and deaths) of all those effected, we’re left to work out which of them is the perpetrator. Exit Velocity is a marvelous whodunnit, well written, quick to read, and engrossing. Highly recommended. 

Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.co.uk/S-Pearce/e/B077WVLJ9H

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/S-Pearce/e/B077WVLJ9H

Read more reviews and follow Simon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14620497.S_Pearce

About Simon Pearce

Simon Pearce was born in the south of England and spent most of his formative years growing up on the Isle of Wight. He then went on to read English and German at the University of Wales, Swansea, and then wrote his Ph.D. in German history and literature at the University of Nottingham. Finally, he completed a PGCE and spent many years living in Chesterfield, working at schools in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. He now lives near Berlin.

Connect to Simon Pearce

Website: http://www.thespotlighttales.com

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the post. Thanks Sally

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves for Christmas -#Mystery – Murder on the Books by HL Carpenter


Another new book just in time for Christmas a #mystery from mother and daughter writing team HL Carpenter.  A Murder by the Books.

About the book

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Certified public accountant Fae Childers is not an embezzler, despite the belief of the accounting firm that fires her for stealing.
But proving her innocence is harder than convincing an IRS agent to allow a deduction. She’s lost her mother, her job, her fiancé, and her self-respect. She’s running out of money and the lease is about to expire on her apartment.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.

An early review for the book

A good plot but still felt a bit let down. The embezzlement at her old firm was still unpunished and her name was still tarred by suspicion. Nice twists although I must admit that i did have my suspicions as to the killer. The characters were vivid and clear although wish that she had had a bit more get up and go.

She’s been fired under suspicion of embezzlement, her fiance has ditched her and with her mother’s death only a few months ago she feels as if she drowning. A letter from a solicitor has her driving to a small community after hearing that she’s her Grandmother’s heir. A grandmother she know nothing about. Everyone talks about her Grandmother’s gifts but she doesn’t believe she has any. Now she is drawn into the recent death which left a neighbour as heiress to millions. When her neighbour dies after being attacked she starts looking into why.

Break-ins, attacks and threats seem to be flying around the small community. Is the solicitor she feels drawn too involved? What does a past embezzlement case have to do with anything? As she prepares the estate financial reports for the dead neighbour she notices some things that cause her to question things further. Will they find the killer before more people die?

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KQB9XP8

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Books-mystery-HL-Carpenter-ebook/dp/B07KQB9XP8

A selection of other books for adults, YA and children by HL Carpenter

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B007SHS9LA/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HL-Carpenter/e/B007SHS9LA/

You will find a lot more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5820921.H_L_Carpenter

About HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri)

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity

Their website also offers opportunities for promotion for other authors and here is a link to one of their latest guest posts Looking Within to Overcome Challenges – Elle Smith

Connect to HL Carpenter

Website and blog: https://www.hlcarpenter.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hl_carpenter
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hlcarpenter/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/102212877836673370583
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hlcarpenter/

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Helen and Lorri’s new book. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene and M.C.V. Egan


The first author to have received a great review recently is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with her Three Things Serial Novella.

About the Three Things Serial Novella

Everything about this story was determined by the random “things” readers sent. Absolutely nothing was pre-planned. First came the narrator, Pip, aka Paisley Idelle Peabody. I imagined the voice of Lucille Ball as Pip, telling a story of her youth. Then came the 1920s setting, inspired by oscillating fan. Next the “things” brought characters, particularly Andy who came back for another serial. Eventually a thing gave me the Florida setting. I think you get the idea of how this worked.

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures. In this story a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped. Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos and other “things.” Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Ca d’Zan.

Here are two recent reviews for Three Things Serial: Ballerina, Fireman, Movie Star.

By Vashi Quiroz-Vega: Author Spotlight

The Three Things Serial Story is a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode. Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed. While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride! Here’s a trailer to put you in a Roaring Twenties mood.

Author Teagan Geneviene has spun a delightful little mystery. “The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story” takes the reader back in time with characters and dialog that ring true. The story not only kept me guessing right from the start, it offered a charming tale with lots of surprises along the way. Well done!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Three-Things-Serial-Story-Little-ebook/dp/B01MRRC0B2

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Things-Serial-Story-Little-ebook/dp/B01MRRC0B2

Also by Teagan Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books and find out more about Teagan Geneviene: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Connect to Teagan via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

For the second update today new reviews for M.C.V. Egan’s book published in January 2017; Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color

M.C.V EganAbout the book

Color coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

The most recent review for the book

Seriously, how is it that I thoroughly enjoyed this color coded story of the death of a loved one? I SURE DID! Not that I wanted a character to die, it was the crafting of this story by the author that was fantastic.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I feel that M.C.V. Egan did a remarkable job at telling a beautiful story of Bruce, the Sculptor, his loves which were his ex-wives, his current wife, his current love and his children.

WOW…I had never read a story before where each chapter was devoted to an individual character in the story. I was given unique insight into each character by the author doing this and the story flowed beautifully!

This was not a somber read at all. Actually, quite enlightening and even some chuckles. Although the total number of pages in this story are short, I didn’t feel it was a short story at all.

This author wrote this story very artistically in a manner perfect so that even those not familiar with the “art world” could very easily envision and understand. Well done M.C V. Egan, a highly recommended read by me!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Sculptor-Hue-Shape-Color-ebook/dp/B01MZ3Z8TC

Also by M.C.V. Egan

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/M.C.V.-Egan/e/B0069W9NY2

61axflh-oml-_ux250_ Connect to Catalina Egan via her website: http://thebridgeofdeaths.com/

If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new release or a great new review you would like to share contact me sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview with Ailsa Abraham


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to the interactive Book Reading at the Cafe and my guest today is fantasy and paranormal author and short story writer Ailsa Abraham.

First a few of my observations about Ailsa and I hope she won’t mind me being a little personal.

Ailsa and I go way back in social media and blogging terms to when I started Smorgasbord three and a half years ago. Otter or Ottie to her friends (many) has a passion for animals as you can tell by the affectionate nickname that she has. She has oodles of charm and can also get quite sparky when people take liberties, especially if it involves bullying and abuse of two and four-legged creatures.

This last couple of years have not been easy as Ailsa had a terrible motor-bike accident has been diagnosed with some serious health issues and at this very moment is propped up in bed with her laptop resting (Ailsa’s definition of that word is not the same as her doctors!) prior to an operation.  She is energised and energising and fiesty as they come. She is also very supportive of her friends be they writers or not.

She lives in rural France in a small village out in the sticks. She welcomes authors virtually (and sometimes literally) to her Bingergread Cottage (an upside down house). From this magical place, she practices what she preaches, which is shamanism, healing, how to eat croissants from mad baker Pierre (delicious by the way and she has brought some today) and of course writing with the help of Lily a wee dog with a large appetite for croissants.

Ailsa’s Books

What the readers are saying

Ailsa Abraham’s ‘Shaman’s Drum’ sucked me in and swallowed me whole. In the near future where today’s organized modern religions have been outlawed, people seek the old beliefs. Magic is prevalent and regularly accepted. Ailsa spins these distinct “old” beliefs from different time periods together in a way that makes everything flow effortlessly. This world she creates by bringing the past alive in modern times is genius. I’ve never read anything like it and cannot wait to read more of her work. This writer can weave a great story! Next up, another book by Abraham….Alchemy!

Ailsa Abraham’s novel Alchemy starts with a premise that would be the perfect ending for many novels, in appearance promising an idyllic utopian future for all. With a mysterious thriller-like beginning, a discovery that for once falls in the right hands, and a deal too good for all governments to ignore, one wonders where the story will go from there. Fascinating and enlightened characters appear and then quickly get to work, and new characters, whose relationship to the previous ones is not always evident at first, make an entry.

There is magic related to Pagan religious practice, and we follow two young children, a boy and a girl, as they discover their faith and are trained to reach the highest ranks. Do not worry if you’re not very versed in the different pagan practices and groups, as Adrian, a Professor in Ancient Religious Studies and once born (not magical) and his girlfriend, Helen, a thriller writer, serve as a point of contact and questioning guides into the ins and outs of the new world religious order. And if you thought everything seemed too nice to be true, there’s evil at work and dangerous alliances that put humanity at risk. A pair of unlikely hero and heroine will have to step forward and pay the price.

If you think fights over fuel and religious wars are responsible for all that’s wrong in our world, read this book and you might think again. Alchemy is a novel that combines a plot interesting from an ethical and philosophical point of view, with a good story and fascinating characters that I hope will be further developed in other books in the series. And if you like a good romantic story of impossible love, Riga and Iamo are far more interesting than Romeo and Juliette. (And two of the most intriguing characters I’ve met in recent times).

If you have an open mind and like to explore big questions whilst being transported to worlds both familiar and completely alien to ours, you should read this book. If you love adventures that go beyond the usual, don’t miss it. If you love beautifully written books with great characters, this one is for you too. In summary, if you have a bit of imagination and enjoy reading, give it a go. I am looking forward to reviewing Shaman’s Drum soon.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Ailsa-Abraham/e/B00AYKUBQ4

Now it is time to meet the lovely lady herself, no doubt cuddling Lily, with laptop balanced on her knees nibbling on pastries… Please put your questions to Ailsa in the comments section of the interview and she is looking forward to answering them over the next couple of days.

Welcome Ailsa and Lily and shift over a bit so I can sit down and get at the plate….

Thank you so much for inviting me over, Sally. Fabulous to see you again and I’ve brought some lovely patisserie from the mad baker, Pierre. You remember? The one who kisses my hand and pretends to be a musketeer when I’m in there buying bread!

I have been very busy  organising the launch of my latest book, Attention To Death which was released on 10th March with a riotous Facebook Party.. Sorry if you missed the fun.

It’s a departure from my better-known style of magical realism. I’ve gone into mystery romance including a very gory murder. I don’t know why except that I have a limited attention span, love watching detective shows on TV and wanted a change.

Here is an extract from where our investigators have arrived in Germany on the British Army base where the murder happened and Angus, our Chief Investigator is having a bad time with the MO. She is Edinburgh and he is Glasgow, so it hasn’t started off well.

Extract from Attention To Death – The Autopsy

He was rewarded when she was removing the brain and gave a squeak of surprise.

“There’s a bullet in here!” She fiddled with a pair of forceps and held up a 9mm standard NATO round.

“Cause of death, Ma’am?” Angus inquired politely, and was delighted to see her flush scarlet from her thick neck up to the roots of her hair. He had been right to stay and watch.

“I’d say this was the coup-de-grace, Captain,” she replied. “At a guess, given the amount of blood loss at the scene, the man was already hemorrhaging badly and then was shot. There’s no sign of an entry wound on the body, so I have to conclude…”

“That the broom handle was removed, replaced by an automatic pistol and the trigger pulled?”

“Exactly so.”

“Its location in the brain, Ma’am? Any ideas on that?”

“The passage through the soft tissues all the way through the body would have slowed the bullet down. When it finally hit the cranium it didn’t have enough force to break through; hence no exit wound either. I think, Captain, that whoever did this knew what they were doing.”

“I’d have to agree with you there, Ma’am. Because it was most probably a soldier.”

The most recent review for the book

A cracking read from start to finish. No waiting for page thirty five, the steam is rising from page one. A change in direction from previous novels, this is a detective saga, but from an unlikely source, and that’s just the backdrop.

Better suited to those who read alone, as the chuckling and “Wow”s will be a giveaway. Hehehe….

Read the reviews so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Attention-Death-Ailsa-Abraham-ebook/dp/B01MRBTYLX

Time to find out what Ailsa has to say in response to my questions.

If you could be a character in any book you have read.. Who would it be and why?

Nanny Ogg in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. This is cheating because I already am. I have several of her characteristics including the inability to NOT chat to people and get their entire life histories in ten minutes. I do have a few more teeth but she doesn’t wear dentures! Like her, I am family obsessed but with me it is my huge extended family which I have adopted. I now have relations all over the world thanks to social media and they mean as much to me as the Ogg Tribe do to their Mum.

Why?

It would be instantly recognisable to people who I am and they wouldn’t keep saying to me “You are SO Nanny Ogg!” Some even ask if I were the prototype and apparently Sir Terry was sick of being asked as he had never heard of me. I have, therefore, adopted Nanny Ab as my alter-ego and mentor, so it might well be she who relates my memoirs which are due with the publishers at the end of April.

Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?

Yes. “The sky is my father, the earth is my mother, every being between is my sister or brother”. It is a pagan prayer that comes from an old Navajo saying. I say this every morning when I first see the sun and it has ruled my adult life.

It teaches me compassion and to remember that we are all completely equal in the eyes of Nature. Interdependent and responsible for each other. I don’t always live up to it but when someone is rude or unpleasant to me I try to remember that they are my brother or sister and probably working under some stress about which I know nothing. It is a saying that keeps me grounded and knowing my place in the Universe. By living this way I know that all beings are of equal value and importance, all lives are of worth.

What would you tell your 16 year old self that might benefit them?

I know that you think you have to “live fast, die young” but don’t try to do it all at once. It’s amazing how much you can fit into sixty years if you have an open mind and accept challenges. Say “yes” and make the most of all the experiences, good or bad because you will learn from the bad ones and the good ones will make fabulous memories to live on when you are older. Never, ever think you are better than anyone else even while you are young and pretty. Pretty is on the inside, strive to achieve that instead. Be kind. A long time after people have forgotten your looks, they will remember your kindness.

Could you tells us more about Shamanism please?

Oh yes, that is a big part of my life and a subject that appears in my Alchemy series. I studied under Mike Williams PhD and I can only recommend his books to anyone who is interested in the subject. Very briefly indeed, shamanism is the belief that everything has a spirit with which it is possible to make contact. From stones, water, air through to illness and injuries, it is possible to reach out and work with them. Obviously sentient beings are easier which is why I appear to be fluent in many animal “languages” and can shape-shift to suit. When with a cat, I behave like a cat, avoiding “big eyes” contact, squeezing my eyes into a cat-smile and not touching them unless invited to. Horses I also do quite well but with them I can whinny and do the head-tossing that is an invitation to come and be friends.

In my village I am the shaman, responsible for healing, protecting the countryside and seeing to anything that is going wrong, like springing traps set for coypu. Yes, I am a bit of a menace to hunters who are killing for fun.

You come from a long line of Scottish witches.. How did you discover this and how far back were you able to trace your family history?

Hard to say. I knew the rest of the women in my family were on the path from birth and my own gifts were revealed as time went on. I don’t have to wish ill to anyone who does the dirty on me, it just seems to happen. I noticed that and my mother told me to NEVER wish return on anyone because it would come anyway. My first patient as a healer was my mother when I was about 7 (yes, significant number!). She had a blinding headache and I automatically put my hands on her head and “drew the pain out”. From then on it was clear what kind of witch I was destined to be. I couldn’t make filthy potions because I don’t approve of killing hahahaha.

Can you tell us about your pen-names and the work published under them?

We come back to “Attention To Death”. I used to write gay fiction under the name of my late twin brother, Cameron Lawton. I kept the names separate because my genre of magical realism is so far removed and I felt readers might be confused or disappointed.

Eventually “his” publishers released his work back to me and I decided to combine some of the ideas from that work into my departure into murder mystery. This is why the two investigators who are working on the murder are Military Police so have to keep their relationship secret. Their sexuality gives them insights into the case. It was delightful to bring them back under new names.

I hope that Attention to Death is a success so I will be able to write more about the boys. They are a joy to work with.

My thanks to Ailsa, not just because she is a wonderful guest but for all her kindness and support for me over the years. I am sure you have questions for her and please leave them in the comments section below..

Connect to Ailsa.

Website – https://ailsaabraham.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/294439520709930/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OtterAbraham

Thank you for dropping in today and look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – My Sister by author John W. Howell


blog-sitting

We have reached the end of the Blog Sitting Special with just two more guest posts to go.. The first of which is by author John W. Howell with a very special tribute to his sister. I have been popping in most days and I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been to see so many talented writers sharing their posts and also having a good chinwag with each other. I will be back tomorrow with the first of the Creative Artist Interviews… don’t forget to pop in with your questions for William Price King.. Enjoy John’s post.. I did.

john-resized

A little about John W. Howell.

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest.

His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon. The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books is now available in Paperback and Kindle formats. He has recently published the third book in the series, Our Justice.

My Sister by John W. Howell

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This photo is of my sister Barbara Burke who is six years’ senior to me. The photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day in 2014 at the beach where I live. There nothing unusual about the picture other than you can see my sister in the ice-cold water with a walker. To most people, this would seem to be a little bit of an unusual event. To me, it was a continuum of a spirit of adventure and quest to overcome any obstacle standing in the way of my sister’s desire to do whatever she wants to do. Let me give a little background.

My sister is the mother of five grown children all of whom are successful and happy now raising or have raised families of their own. This accomplishment alone would be cause for accolades, but on top of raising a family, my sister went to night school. How many years I can’t count but let me say she persevered until she received her Bachelor’s of Nursing degree. During this time she also tended to the children. Not content with a Bachelor Degree she continued and earned a Masters and the designation of Nurse Practitioner. While raising kids and in school, Barbara also works nights as an emergency room nurse. Her last working years were spent running the medical clinic at a Ford Motor facility.

When the time came to retire, Barbara decided that her passion for plants and flowers needed to be taken to the next level, so she completed training and became a Master Gardener. With this knowledge, she not only took care of her extensive gardens but also volunteered to help harvest maple sap and produce maple syrup.

She has been active all her life and over the last few years has had some significant issues with her ability to walk. She also has had to give up sail boarding and bike riding. Using a walker with either of these activities is hard.

Each Thanksgiving I invite Barbara to our house. Since she lives two thousand miles away and has several Thanksgiving invitations from her children, she cannot always accept. I’m fortunate that in 2014, it was my turn. This photo is a reminder of those good times and the life we have shared.

We will be traveling to Scotland in June to touch our roots. Our grandparents were first generation immigrants, and we have a lot of relatives still there. I hope to have many memories from the trip as precious as this.

©JohnWHowell 2017

51bypm1jgll-_uy250_About Our Justice

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs figured out a plan to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.
The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

A recent review for the book

I got my copy of the third in the John Howell trilogy as soon as it was available but I saved it up to be my holiday reading pleasure, and it sure didn’t disappoint! I’ve loved both the earlier books in the trilogy but I must say for the finale John has pulled out all the stops and taken us for a fantastic ride. It starts with a bang and doesn’t let up and the pacing in this novel is superb. Pretty much un-put-downable.

In John Cannon we have a very relatable and very likeable hero – one whose heart and bravery are always clear, and who takes on his nemesis, Jacobs, for all the rights reasons and in all the right ways. The novel’s other characters are finely observed, and the villain is as intriguing as he is disturbing. Add to that a quick succession of carefully drawn settings and non stop action and you have a recipe for thriller success.

A fantastic conclusion to a wonderful trilogy – I’ll miss having a next instalment to look forward to, but I’m sure John Howell has much in store for his fans with future works, and I for one am eager to see what comes next.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Justice-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B01LDFM9WM

Also by John W. Howell

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Connect to John via his blog: http://www.johnhowell.com

My thanks to John for sharing this lovely tribute to his sister and for kindly participating in the Blog Sitting Special.. I am so delighted to have left the blog is such great hands. Please show your appreciation by sharing thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Frank Immersed: A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel (Frank Rozzani Detective Novels Book 5) by Don Massenzio


new-on-the-shelves-update

Delighted to feature Don Massenzio today with his books and in particular the fifth book in the Frank Rozzani Detective series; released just before Christmas 2016. If the number of excellent reviews for book one and the rest of the series are an indication, Frank Immersed is likely to be just as popular. This book was written in collaboration with  Kent Arceneaux

51jyfophdxl-_uy250_About Frank Immersed: A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel (Frank Rozzani Detective Novels Book 5)

Frank and Jonesy are back. This time the case will require all of their talents. Young female passengers are disappearing from luxury cruise ships. After young twin daughters disappear during a family cruise, Frank and Jonesy must go undercover to find out what’s happening.The stakes are high and the odds are against them. Will this case prove to be more than they can handle? Luckily, the twins’ father, Jim Mason, has special training and associates from his past that will be called upon as the search for the girls escalates.

Follow Frank and Jonesy on this ocean-going adventure as they search for the twins and dredge up powerful bad guys from one of their past cases in this latest adventure, Frank Immersed.

One of the top reviews for the book.

Well researched, good character display and great suspense…! By pwrbrkr38 on January 9, 2017

This was one of the first fiction books I’ve read in quite awhile. I was immediately captured by the in-depth character formation. The authors do a great job at personalizing each character and spending just enough time on the back story, depth, and substance of each character. In my opinion, this is where many writers have either too much characterization which is cumbersome to read, or they don’t spend enough time on a character and you never really feel empathetic or understand a point of view. This book does a great job of this. In addition, this book tackles come interesting issues regarding the sex trade, the cruise industry, the military, and law enforcement.

I was particularly impressed with the writers knowledge of the inner workings of the cruise line industry. My brother has worked in the cruise industry for years and many of the descriptions in the book regarding staffing, the logistics of the boats themselves, and how passengers and other matters are handled, were spot on. As a lawyer I appreciated the authors interpretation of law enforcement matters and how certain situations were handled by “Frank” and his associates.

In closing, this book was well researched, intertwined a great storyline amongst a good cast of characters, and did so in a succinct manner that made this reader very happy. I hope you have the same experience.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Immersed-Rozzani-Detective-Novels-ebook/dp/B01NBBUMIH

A selection of books by Don Massenzio

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One of the reviews from a fan of the Frank Rozzani series.

Great story line! on April 30, 2016

This series just keeps getting better and better. Frank and Jonesy think they have a case that is pretty clear cut. But all of us know it may not be what it seems. Characters and dialogue flow well. Very good storyline with suspence that makes it hard to put down. I’ve read every book from this series and this is the best to me. I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI

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About Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio was born in Syracuse, New York, to first generation Italian American parents. He is an avid reader. Some of his favorite authors include Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, and Hugh Howey. His favorite book of all time is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Don began writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate travel. He uses writing as a therapeutic outlet.

He recently took the jump to sharing his work with others. His first published long work was the novel, Frankly Speaking. The first in what has become a series of books focused on the character, Frank Rozzani, a Florida private detective. The series is a throwback to the days of pulp detective novels with a tip of the hat to Jim Rockford from 70’s television and The Rockford Files.

Connect to Don.

Blog: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmassenzio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dmassenzio
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8157756.Don_Massenzio

If you would like to join Don and 140 other authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore then please take a look at the various options to promote your work.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Thank you for dropping by and your feedback is always very welcome.  Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Naked Alliances: A Richard Noggin Novel (The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series Book 1) by S.K. Nicholls


New on the shelves

A riveting romp through Central Florida, Naked Alliances air-drops you into the seedier side of Orlando that the amusement park industry tries to keep under wraps. Naked Alliances: A Richard Noggin Novel (The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series Book 1) by S.K. Nicholls

51kkwa1-0nl-_uy250_ About the book

When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are fleeing men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back on them, even if helping them makes him a target.

Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case with the potential of getting him off the streets and into air-conditioned offices. Instead, he’s handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder.

Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, he reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, they go undercover in a nudist resort, determined to catch the killer and bring down the mastermind of the Alliance before someone else dies.

From the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon, to the sunny exposure of Leisure Lagoon, the Naked Eye juggles to keep his balls in the air.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m hooked and will be waiting impatiently for Book Two. Nicholls’ got a great idea here for a mystery series–adventurous mysteries that feature the nudist resort Leisure Lagoon and diverse Orlando as backdrops. What an original concept. And one S.K. understands since her “family owns and operates one of the oldest and largest nudist resorts in the nation.”

The book is fast-paced and plausible. The mystery itself takes some twists and turns and always seems to have one more twist ahead (even at the end). Richard Noggin (yes, think about it) is a semi-stable, humane, and very human protagonist, and his at-first-unwilling helper Brandi has a colorful personal style. I hope we see more of the two of them teamed up solving crimes. Not sure Richard can do without Brandi’s assistance!

Maybe the most glowing praise I can pin on this book is that I kept envisioning everything as if it were a movie playing out before my eyes.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Alliances-Richard-Private-Investigator-ebook/dp/B01LFW4XAE

Also by S.K. Nicholls

51thhsg13tl-_uy250_ One of the editorial reviews – there are also 41 customer reviews for the book.

Red Clay and Roses is a beautiful and inspiring Southern story…Nicholls has crafted an incredibly touching piece of written art…The author has blended fact and fiction together very well to write a compelling story. The characters are so interesting and believable that you cannot help but be drawn into their tales and both sympathize and connect with them

… A clear portrayal of the Deep South’s early 20th century past…In the end, it makes me think hard about our present society; how far have we come. I definitely recommend it. ~ Reader’s Favorite

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/S.K.-Nicholls/e/B00C8EX4GS

71gtrdqi9bl-_ux250_About S.K Nicholls

S.K. Nicholls is a crime romp and historical fiction novelist that lives in Central Florida where her family has owned and operated Cypress Cove, a nudist resort, since 1964. A Registered Nurse and former Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, (S.A.N.E.), she has a special interest in sex-trafficking. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing. When she’s not writing, she can be found tracking down Snorlaxes, wandering city parks with the homeless, or sipping margaritas on the bow of a boat. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Florida Writer’s Association and Writers of Central Florida…or Thereabouts.

Connect to S.K. Nicholls.

Blog: https://sknicholls.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.sknicholls.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sknicholls1

Thank you for dropping in today.. If you would like your books to join Susan’s on the shelves of the Cafe Bookstore then here is how you can do that.. will just take a few minutes of your time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

As always your feedback is very welcome.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord 2016 in Review – Open House – Meet author Claire Fullerton


Smorgasbord Open House

This was the top viewed Smorgasbord Open House in 2016 for the interview with author Claire Fullerton.

My guest today is Claire Fullerton author of Dancing to an Irish Reel which is set in Connemara, Ireland and A Portal in Time, a paranormal mystery across two time periods, set on California’s Monterey Peninsula in the famous village of Carmel-on-Sea, both published by Vinspire Publishing.

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Claire is a three- time award winning essayist, a former newspaper columnist, a contributor to magazines including Celtic Life International and Southern Writers Magazine. She is a five-time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series and can be found on Goodreads as well as the website under her name. She is currently working on her third novel and you can find out more about that later in the post.

First a look at Claire’s books beginning with her latest release in 2015, the wonderfully titled Dancing to an Irish Reel set in Connemara.

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About the book.

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.

Some of the many reviews for the book also now in audio.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is awesome!!!!! By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2016 Format: Audible Audio EditionVerified Purchase

A lovely, leisurely trip to Ireland from my couch By Sophie Quist on January 24, 2016 Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Distinctive and Convincing Writing By Gracelikestoread on December 13, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

 Direct Links to Purchase “Dancing to an Irish Reel”

Amazon Books and Kindle
Barnes and Noble Books and Nook

Google Play

Kobo Books

Now a look at A Portal in Time released in November 2013.

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When we are inexplicably drawn to love and a particular place, is it coincidence, or have we loved before?

Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green, cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California’s Carmel-By-The-Sea where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-By-The-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before. As Anna’s memory unravels the puzzle, she is drawn into a past that’s eerily familiar and a life she just may have lived before.

Claire has received some great reviews for this book.

A Wonderful Page-Turning Romance By Ellen Comeskey on December 11, 2013

I highly recommend this enchanting book. By virginia muller on December 19, 2013

Direct link on Amazon to buy A Portal in Time. Amazon

Claire’s Essays on her website.

If you click on the link to Claire’s website you will not only find out more information on her writing in general but some wonderful published essays. She feels a deep connection to Ireland and this is evident in her essay Irish Connections. Irish Connections

Whilst you browse all her essays I also recommend that you read Carmel. Claire has a personal connection to Carmel as she spent her honeymoon there and she returned on her first anniversary. This essay was published in the Carmel Living Magazine. Claire and her husband spent part of their time after this and the history and atmosphere of the town provided the inspiration for her first novel A Portal in Time. Having stayed their one weekend myself I can also recommend that you visit if you are on the west coast. Delightful place with a huge amount of places of historical interest and charm; perfect setting for a book.

Before we move onto Claire’s interview questions, here is how she describes herself and her Southern upbringing in a previous interview last year. Sunday Lunch

‘I grew up in the Deep South, that part of the US that many consider the last romantic place in America. And it is; the region has its own culture that is so steeped in tradition, it seems that time has stood still. At the heart of the ways and means of the South is an iron-clad code of manners handed down at birth. It is an imperative code of civility that is society’s glue, and there is no more egregious error one can commit than to display bad manners.

When people talk about Southern hospitality, what they’re talking about is how a Southerner will treat a guest, even if that guest is only someone a Southerner accidently brushes up against while walking down the street. The most salient characteristic of Southern hospitality is the ability to extend oneself, which means putting another first, to focus such a high beam of gregarious concern that anyone caught in the headlight will think they’re the most important soul on earth. But you have to be born into the South to know this, for the guidelines of Southern ways are taught through the power of example, wrought through simply observing the glittering Southern people that come before you, who never lower themselves to a gauche confession of their inner-workings, but prefer to walk the line of implication instead in a “show-don’t tell” manner. It is a way of being in the world that is confident enough in its own animal grace to know the unspoken influence of its own attraction’.

So welcome Claire and delighted that you could drop by this morning… Over to you.

What genre do you read and your favourite authors?

My idea of heaven is to immerse myself in the works of contemporary Southern writers, especially when they write in the first person.

Three authors stand out for me: Pat Conroy, Ann Rivers Siddons and Donna Tartt. I am in awe of these writers and could ace a blind test wherein I was given a sentence by each and asked to name who wrote it. All three are considered Southern writers by virtue of the fact that they were born in the American South, and I’ve been pondering this term of late because I am a writer who hails from Memphis, Tennessee.

Not to get off point by digression, but my first two novels have nothing to do with the South, yet my third is set in Memphis and thematically about the repercussions of the culture. This has led me to ponder what it truly means to be a Southern writer. One hears this categorization bantered about, and it does evoke classification that has to do with regional setting, but to me, it is so much more. When a writer hails from the South, they cannot help but carry a certain frame of reference from which they view and interact with the world. This frame of reference is unknown to outsiders and therefore often misunderstood. I say this because I am now a transplanted Southerner living in California. I am well aware that the accent I wield invites assumption.

People “out here,” as any Southerner would label a region north of the Mason Dixon line, think the South is more back woods than it actually is. They don’t know that the South maintains a soft gentility passed down in families, that there is an iron-clad code of civility, and that there is nothing more unforgivable than bad manners. I’ve heard it said that the South is the last romantic place in America, and I believe it to be so. The romance hangs in the air with Southern humidity and informs everything from the way people move to their speech. I have had the great largess of growing up with many a flamboyant Southerner in my immediate circumference.

I will generalize here for the sake of clear explanation by saying those that affected my childhood were proud Southerners intent on perpetuating the social mores of the South, whose heart maintains the love of story. Southerners are a long winded lot, intent on detail and incapable of making any point without offering fifteen minutes of background. But they are bright, upbeat creatures who exist in packs and feel a moral obligation to entertain both literally and figuratively. In the South, great importance is placed on connections, which includes familial lineage, ties to the land, and the jury of one’s peers. They are ever mindful of the value of relationships and measure themselves in relation to one another.

This constitutes a certain regional consciousness and gives rise to a tacit, cultural paradigm that eludes the casual observer. What outsiders don’t know about Southerners is that they are in love with the peculiarities of being Southern, and will defend their Southerness to the hilt. All three of the authors I have mentioned know well of these Southern eccentricities, and it flavours their writing. All three are masters of lyrical language and are sensitive to and sing praises of the nuances of the South.

Which book in your opinion is the best you have ever read and why?

Hands down, Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides.” It’s first two sentences read, “My wound is my geography. It is my anchorage, my port of call.” We’ve all read brilliant writers, but what gets me about Conroy is he takes a knife to the soul and can open up unhealed, dormant wounds that we all carry ( of this I am convinced) and explains them to us through the love of words and story. In the two sentences I have quoted above, he covers everything about what it means to be a product of a family born to a region that defines you and explains everything about who you are. “The Prince of Tides” is the ultimate “sins of the father” story, whose theme of cause and effect perpetrated within the family draws the lines of each character and shapes the course of each of their life.

But it is Conroy’s lyrical use of language throughout the book that sets the mood of the story. It is languid, sonorous, and fluid in a way that is commiserate with the tides of South Carolina’s low country, which is the setting of the book. Not content with economy of language, Pat Conroy takes the reader into the undertow of this family saga and invites them to fend for themselves through the story’s ebb and flow, until they are cast upon the shore panting for breath. This book blew my world wide open. It showed me what is possible with the written word.

What kind of music do you listen to and who are your favourite musicians?

Sally, you’re a woman after my own heart with this question! Here we go: being raised in Memphis, which is literally “The home of the Blues” and having had the good fortune of growing up with a brother named Haines, who was eighteen months older than me, and who picked up a guitar at the age of eight and never put it down, music was the only thing I ever cared about for the first twenty some-odd years of my life! I came into the world that The Beatles defined, and lived in the region that was the hot seat of the impetus of that definition! By this, I mean Elvis Presley. Elvis took the Delta Blues and created Rock-n-Roll, and The Beatles took Rock-n-Roll and revolutionized it. It all came from Memphis; The Beatles knew this, The Rolling Stones knew this, and to one degree or another, contemporary music has Memphis to thank.

I’m a fan of “Pop music” and could keep you here all day naming names. Instead, I’ll tell you I spent nine years as a music radio DJ in Memphis; that I worked in the music business in Los Angeles discovering bands that went on to “make it big” and will now mention that my brother, Haines, was instrumental in the formative years of The Dave Matthews Band.

Okay, let me give you the respect of answering your question and name a few names: The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Crowded House, Neil Finn solo, Toad the Wet Sprocket, anything Glen Phillips does, who could not see the merits in U2, Cold Play is not actually the U2 rip-off many proclaim them to be, Ed Sheeran thrills me; don’t judge me, but I’m a fan of Country Music; Keith Urban comes to mind; I’m in love with Mike Scott and love The Waterboys, as well as Karl Wallinger (you’re in the know if you know their connection.) Lastly, I applaud Irish traditional music; it speaks to my genetic lineage, and I’ll now say that if you don’t have a copy of “A Place among the Stones” by Davy Spillane, then you’re at a complete disadvantage.

Buy A Place Amongst the StonesA place amongst the stones

What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?

I’ll provide a list here in no order of importance.

  1. Move to a foreign country and stay. Submerge yourself in the culture until it makes you forget where you came from.
  2. Study dance and incorporate it into your way of being in the world.
  3. Share your life with a dog. Love it, tend to it, be responsible for it, let it love you, and you will know the nature of unconditional love.
  4. Arrive at a clear idea of how to be of service to others. Identify your peculiar, individual gifts that you came into the world carrying, and get about the business of using them to the benefit of others.
  5. Stay connected to God as you know Him, which means cultivate a daily spiritual practice that’ll lend itself to daily renewal, humility, hope, faith, and a healthy perspective.

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

I recently completed my third novel, which is a Southern family saga set in 1970’s and 1980’s Memphis. Its title is “Mourning Dove,” and it is written in the first person voice of Millie Crossan, as she tells about growing up with her brother, Finley, in their mother’s genteel world, where all that glitters is not gold.

I wanted to tell a family story set in post-civil- rights Memphis that depicts the opulent South, where the region is changing, yet a certain sect of society still clings to old world manner and form, even in the face of tragedy. The themes in “Mourning Dove” are a search for place, a search for identity, and ultimately a search for God. It was my aim to capture the era in which I grew up. Much has changed now, as has the world, but I was well aware of the uniqueness of the Memphis I was born into while I grew up; I found it beautiful and very specifically civilized, yet in a cloistered way.

And as life is life no matter where you set it, how people handle life’s vagaries is often dictated by social customs, and the adherence of those customs colors the experience. Currently, the book is under review.

My thanks to Claire for providing us with an insight into her life and what inspires her to right. Also a big thank you for suggesting we listen to the beautiful Celtic music of Davy Spillane.

Find details and buy links to Claire’s books via her website and of course the usual online bookstores including: Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Connect with Claire on her website and social media.
Website: http://www.clairefullerton.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/clairefullertonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
Dancing to an Irish Reel – Facebook page: Link
Dancing to an Irish Reel -Google+ page:Link
Claire on Pinterest:Lin

Thank you for dropping by and it would be wonderful if you could sign the visitors book… and also before you leave spread the word about Claire Fullerton across your own networks.

If you would like to be a guest on Open House it is very straightforward.. here is the link that tells you about the interview and also has the questions that you can choose from.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sunday-open-house-writers-artists-musicians-guest-spot/

Enjoy the day.. thanks Sally

 

New Book Fanfare Revisited- My Father and Other Liars by Geoff Le Pard


New book fanfare

A new book by Geoff Le Pard out on the 14th but available on pre-order. No good deed goes unpunished after Maurice Oldham saves and American scientist…

My Father and Other Liars by Geoff Le Pard

My father and other liars cover POD v2 12 July

About the Book.

When British freelancer Maurice Oldham saves American scientist Lori-Ann Beaumont from a pack of journalists at a ProLife conference in San Francisco, neither expects to see the other again. But six months on, Lori-Ann is on Maurice’s doorstep, bruised, penniless and desperate to find her boyfriend, Peterson, who has gone missing in England. Maurice soon realises nothing is as it seems with Lori-Ann.

Why is she chasing Peterson; why has her father, Pastor of the Church of Science and Development sent people to bring her home; what is behind the Federal Agency who is investigating Lori-Ann’s workplace in connection with its use of human embryos; and what happened in Nicaragua a quarter of a century ago that is echoing down the years? For Maurice and Lori-Ann the answers lie somewhere in their Fathers’ pasts.

Finding those answers will take Lori-Ann and Maurice from England via America to Nicaragua; in so doing they will have to confront some uncomfortable truths about their Fathers and learn some surprising things about themselves.

Reviews for the book

A Global Setting for a Thought-Provoking Book By Charli Mills on October 27, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“My Father and Other Liars” is a thoughtful book full of twists and complex characters. The way author Geoff Le Pard develops characters to be both flawed and evocative is becoming a hallmark of his writing. The suspense in the book rises from a multitude tensions at the heart of which is political intrigue in regards of the use of stem cells in research. One of the thought-provoking aspects of the story is the crossroads between theology and science. It’s handled in such a way as to be believable and not offensive (unless one has a highly sensitive nature in regards to religion used as a medium in fiction). The author even shares (at the end of the book) how he developed his fictional theology. Another tension arises from the idea of adult orphans and those who have absentee-fathers or poor relationships. It’s a theme that crosses global borders just as the book itself is set in England, America and Nicaragua. The pace is steady and picks up so that it is hard to deny the next chapter. This is the second published novel by Geoff Le Pard and while it is different from his first, “Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle,” his voice comes through as a writer and someone I will continue to follow as a reader.
Format: Kindle Edition
I was on team Lori-Ann from the first page on. Mr. LePard’s book masterfully encompasses several settings. He pulls off the complicated challenge of a religious thriller in which the main characters find mirror images of their own family issues in each other’s story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. But don’t read it at night — your mind will race too much and you’ll keep pulling it off the shelf until the sun comes up.

 

Buy the book – Amazon

Also by Geoff Le Pard

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 About Geoff Le Pard

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 I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam, realised you needed to edit, edit and then edit some more; the result is my first published book in 2014. I once was a lawyer; I am now a writer. When I’m not writing and thinking about writing, I’m blogging (which is a sort of writing); I cook, I walk, I read (but not enough) and I walk some more. The dog approves of my career choices.

Connect with Geoff

Blog: http://geofflepard.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/geofflepard
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+GeoffLepard01/posts

Thanks for dropping by and revisiting Geoff’s book.. Please feel free to share..thanks Sally

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Open House – Author and Translator – Olga Nunez Miret


smorgasbord open house two

Today I am delighted to welcome my guest Olga Nunez Miret, a prolific author of a number of books across several genres.

Olga Núñez Miret 02

Olga was born in Barcelona and moved to the UK to study in the 1990’s. She is a doctor and also a Forensic Psychiatrist until recently, when she gave this up to pursue her dream of writing full time. Her fiction covers a number of genres including crime thriller, family saga, para-normal and romance. Olga is also a translator and works with other authors to introduce their books to a new and wider audience.

Olga is not just a supportive friend to all of us here in blog world but also to any Indie author that needs a boost. Her blog posts are informative, entertaining and her reviews are honest and show a great critical eye. If Olga says read this book.. Then you should.

She is a prolific author and here is a brief overview of her books to date most of which are in both English and Spanish.

41v+ZeNQzgL._UY250_Her first book Escaping Psychiatry is a collection of three stories in the psychological thriller genre with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry.

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This was followed by The Man Who Never Was and Twin Evils?

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Then came Click Me Happy! : Do you believe in love at first sight or first click? Do you think your life should be a romantic novel? Would you like to be able to choose the ending? If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions or feel intrigued by them, this novel offers you a unique opportunity. You can choose what kind of ending you want: unhappy, happy or neutral.

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This was followed by Family, Lust and Cameras which is now available in audio as well as in text formats. Here are the links to audible but it will also be available on Amazon and i-Tunes shortly.

Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Family-Lust-and-Cameras-Audiobook/B01BH6VTTQ/
Audible.co.ukhttp://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Crime-Thrillers/Family-Lust-and-Cameras-Audiobook/B01BH6TE0M/
Sample in soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/olga-nm-1/family-lust-and-cameras-sample

For those who love cookery shows and romance; here is the perfect book –  I Love Your Cupcakes.

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Her latest book is the Novella Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings.

VD1IAbout the Book
How far would a writer go for a killer story? This is the question psychiatrist Mary Miller must answer to solve the first mystery/thriller of her career. You can get to know the main characters of this psychological thriller series for FREE and test your own acumen and intuition in this novella about the price of ambition.

Dr Mary Miller is a young psychiatrist suffering a crisis of vocation. Her friend Phil, a criminalist lawyer working in New York, invites her to visit him and consult on the case of a writer accused of a serious assault. His victim had been harassing him and accusing him of stealing his story, which he’d transformed into a best-selling book. The author denies the allegation and claims it was self-defence. When the victim dies, things get complicated. The threshold between truth and fiction becomes blurred and secrets and lies unfold.

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings is the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry a volume collecting three stories where Mary and her psychiatric expertise are called to help in a variety of cases, from religious and race affairs, to the murder of a policeman, and in the last case she gets closer than ever to a serial killer.

If you enjoy this novella, don’t forget to check Mary’s further adventures. And there are more to come.

One of the reviews for the book

Recommended Psychological Mystery  By Diogenes on 28 Mar. 2016 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Having read, and enjoyed, the author’s trilogy of stories featuring psychiatrist Mary Miller, I was very happy to see this prequel novella pop up on Amazon – and even more enthused to see it as free! (Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?)

Anyway, Olga Nunez Miret is bang on form with this tale of the death of a ‘stalker’, where all is not as it seems. This is a great introduction to an empathetic protagonist. Grab a copy quickly before the author changes her mind about its pricing.

Recommended for those who like a good psychological mystery with some human foibles thrown in to keep things real.

Read for Free Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings.
Amazon:  relinks.me/B01BDG102Q
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/escaping-psychiatry-beginnings-prequel
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1080374488
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escaping-psychiatry-beginnings-olga-n-ez-miret/1123346318?ean=2940152837902
Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/31c8e420-7a4f-4b36-91b1-fb7f9ee3909c
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/297494413/Escaping-Psychiatry-Beginnings-Prequel

Now it is time to hand over to Olga to find out which of the questions she chose to answer including who she would like to have a conversation with from the past.

Welcome back to the blog Olga and who would you like to meet from the past who you would like to have a conversation with. What would you tell them about their behaviour that you admired or disapproved of?

There are quite a few people from the past I’d like to talk to. Definitely quite a few writers I’d like to ask questions to, or simply hang around with (I’m fascinated by Herman Melville, I love Louisa May Alcott…), but I finally decided I’d love to talk to Michelangelo.

When I was a child I lived with my parents and my grandparents in a street of Barcelona that has his name and I’ve always been a great admirer of his art. I recently visited Florence, and I’ve also been to Rome and it’s even better when you see it close up and personal. I’ve always been curious about the publicised bad relationship he had with Leonardo Da Vinci, but more than anything I’d like to tell him how much I admire his work and to ask him about his art and how he felt when he was creating it.

I understand that at the time he worked under patronage and had to work on the projects commissioned, but which ones were his favourites? Was there something he would have liked to work on but didn’t have time to or the opportunity to? I wonder what he would have done with the means we have today. From reading some of his letters I get the sense he would be an interesting and amusing person to meet.

What is your favourite all time television series?

This is a difficult question as I’ve loved many at different times in my life, and it might depend on what mood you catch me when you ask me, but Brideshead Revisited http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083390/  comes to mind.

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I loved the Granada Television series when I saw it in Spain (I think I was 16 or 17), and I remember talking to all my friends about it. I read the Evelyn Waugh’s novel later on, and it’s a beautiful and compelling story, complex, with characters who struggle with their identities, their feelings and their place in society.

The series has a cast to die for (Jeremy Irons in the first big role I ever saw him in, but also Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Anthony Andrews…), the settings are gorgeous too. Oxford looks so beautiful, they visit Venice early on in the story, and Castle Howard, the Brideshead of the title, is such a wonderful place.

I remember at the time I recorded the episodes in a VHS video and went through the titles to find out where it was (no Google then) and decided I would visit it. And I have done so quite a few times. It’s a great place – http://www.castlehoward.co.uk/ – I’ve since watched a more recent movie version that I thought wasn’t bad, but can’t really compare to the original. I’ve recommended it to a few people who’d never watched it at the time and everybody has enjoyed it. So if anybody hasn’t watched it yet, go for it.

In your lifetime what event or invention has most impacted your own life or work?

I guess I had to say computers. I know they were invented before I was born (yes, I’m old but not quite that old) but the personal computer and its expansion has definitely made a big difference to all of our lives. I remember my mother wanted to buy me an electrical typewriter for one of my birthdays when I was 16 or 17 and I told her to hold on because I had the feeling that it would be better to wait and see what computers could do as typewriters might be on the out.

I remember going to a course on how to use computers in the office many years back and being told about ‘Windows’ that was going to revolutionise everything. Were they right or what? Of course it hasn’t only changed the experience of writing, but I remember the process of typing something, making a mistake and having to go through the whole piece or page again, correcting was a very slow process, checking facts or doubts meant having to find books on the subject, visiting libraries or finding people prepared to talk to you about it. And locations, places…

What is the one big adventure that you would like to experience?

I’ve talked about wanting to visit Alaska, but I guess I’d like to experience living doing something completely different for a while. Recently I found a site – https://www.helpx.net/index.asp – where you offer to help in exchange for food and accommodation, and you work in hostels, farms, help with animals… Some of the stays are short, some can be quite long, and they have offerings for very different parts of the world.

I suspect I might be a bit too old for it, but I think it could be a great experience and offer plenty of new material for quite a few books. I also read a book about a woman who goes to a Buddhist convent in China that made me wonder how that would be like.

With regards to new projects, I’ve just published the prequel to my series Escaping Psychiatry which you will find links to in the introduction. This is available free to offer people a taster of the main characters and see if they’d be interested in reading the rest of the series. I finished writing the draft of the next instalment in the same series (that for the moment is going by the title of Escaping Psychiatry. The case of the swapped bodies) but I’m letting it rest for a while and I suspect the process of editing and translating will take me a while.

I’m also wondering about writing a non-fiction book about my experience as a woman living on my own (I’ve started putting a few ideas together, but it’s only the bud of an idea). I’m refreshing my blog and I’m planning on promoting my translation services by offering a lucky author a major discount (in exchange for signing up to my new translation matters newsletter). If everything goes according to plan that will be next month.

Oh, and I almost forgot a reminder about the audio book Family, Lust and Cameras  which has been released on audio. Only 1:30 hours, so if anybody fancies listening to a pretty dark suspenseful revenge story…

Thanks so much for inviting me to blah, blah, about myself, and thanks to your readers for their patience.

My thanks to Olga for an interesting choice of questions and I think that if she does head off to Alaska we can expect some great posts about the adventure.

Here are links to buy all of Olga’s books and she has a number of selling sites to suit your requirements.. Also the various social media platforms that you can connect on.

Links and contact

Subscribe to my newsletter: English: http://eepurl.com/bAUc0v
Website: http://www.OlgaNM.com
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0
Twitter  https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7
Blog:  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com
Facebook: http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/OlgaNunezMiret
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=212028338&trk=tab_pro
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret
G+   https://plus.google.com/u/0/118443714277719085351
Pinterest : http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/
Wattpad: http://wattpad.com/OlgaNM
Tumblr: http://OlgaNMwriter.tumblr.com
Booklikes: http://olganm9.booklikes.com/
Riffle: https://read.rifflebooks.com/profiles/151299
You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeBpRkKciZEhS-6WN_pDfTQ

Thanks for dropping in today and we would both appreciate your sharing the Open House on your own blog and social media. Enjoy the rest of the day.. Sally