Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jean Lee, Paulette Mahurin, Pamela S. Wight

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for the authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review is Jean Lee for her YA/Dark Fantasy Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’ve been around a while and read my fair share of Fantasies, but it’s rare to find an artist who so capably commands her medium as does Jean Lee.

Her evil characters transcend malevolence, while her good characters are flawed enough to be their worthy opponents. I’ve never witnessed such a clash of forces and such mayhem as battled in the climax. I was literally exhausted when I finished it.

It’s good to know there are many books remaining in Jean Lee’s arsenal. We’ll be enjoying her brilliance for years to come.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine

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The next book to receive a recent review is A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin.

About A Different Kind of Angel

Inspired by real events chronicled by a journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.

Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.

This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.

At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin is the incredible story of Klara Gelfman, a Russian Jew fleeing to America after her family life is destroyed in 1881 by soldiers massacring Jews. Klara flees to America with her father for safety. Her father dies on the way over. Alone and speaking no English, she gets mugged and everything she had was stolen. From here, her story takes a drastic turn for the worse. Well written and well researched, at times this story is very hard to read. It speaks to the courage and spirit of an individual to survive horrific conditions.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and buy the books

And Amazon UK:

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

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The next author to receive a recent review is Pamela S. Wight for her romantic suspense Twin Desires…

About the book

Twin Desires, a romantic suspense set in San Francisco and the quiet CA town of Stinson Beach, follows Sandra Eastman and the two men who almost destroy her world.
Blake Sinclair, Sandra’s boss and president of a prestigious investment firm, is successful and charismatic. But his twin brother, Alex, is his opposite – a twisted, tormented soul. Sandra becomes a pawn in a deadly game between these powerful opposing forces.
In this fast-paced thriller, Sandra is scooped up into a whirlwind of suspense from the mansions of the S.F. elite to a remote beach house 30 miles north. As each page turns, she becomes more entangled with the skeletons in the Sinclair closets while desperately confronting her own skeletons and discovering strength she never knew she possessed.

A recent review for the book

Robbie Cheadle  5.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced romantic thriller March 28, 2019

This book was not at all what I expected. It is labelled a romantic suspense and, as I did not really know much about this particular genre, I was expecting a lot more romance and less suspense. I was entirely wrong. This book by Pamela Wight is fast paced and exciting from beginning to end. The romance does play a large role but it is woven into the thriller in a way that does not detract from the excitement and story at all.

Sandra Eastman has spent years overcoming her traumatic past. She has built up a safe and predictable life for herself which contains no surprises. She has a good job in a top investment firm where she is achieving and is set to climb the corporate ladder and she has a lovely place to live with a good and friendly neighbour.

Then life starts of happen and Sandra, who dislikes change and the unexpected, is drawn into a frightening situation involving her attractive but reclusive boss, Blake Sinclair, and his vicious and mentally unstable identical twin brother, Alex. Sandra unwittingly becomes a target of Alex and she must learn to trust Blake in order to survive. She will also have to face her worse fears in order to save the man she has grown to love.

I enjoyed the character of Blake Sinclair. Despite growing up dealing with the endless problems posed by his brother’s mental illness and his resultant sense of responsibility and guilt, combined with his family’s enormous wealth, Blake is a decent man. A bit arrogant and used to commanding other people, but he has a good heart and wants the best for his employees and his company. He does come across as being a bit demanding and impatient and these characteristics do result in the explosive situation with his brother following a different path than what it might have if Blake had a different nature.

I did like Sandra although from time to time she did irritate me a bit with her spinelessness. She grew nicely as a character and was able to deal with greater and greater challenges to her mental stability and physical health as the story unfolded. I enjoyed her a lot more at the end than in the beginning.

All in an excellent read that will keep you entertained throughout.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Pamela S. Wight

Read the reviews and buy all the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Pamela on Goodreads:

Connect to Pamela via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a couple of books tucked under your arm…. Thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives- #Poetry – As Snow Falls by Pamela S. Wight

Delighted to share a poem by author Pamela S. Wight today from her archives. Especially for those of us who are unlikely to see snow anytime soon, this is a lovely poem of family and snow…

As Snow Falls by Pamela S. Wight

As the snow falls like glitter
soft and fast and serious
my family of four sit in front of the fire
warmed by the presence of each other.

Soft and fast and serious
our talk includes weather and food and walks
warmed by the presence of each other
the sight outside is miraculous.

Our talk includes weather and food and walks
and my now grown-up son winks at me
the sight outside is miraculous
so he suggests a brisk walk in the woods.

As I pull on heavy jeans and a warm coat
I feel the frosty air and fierce snow billow round
just mom and son braving the storm
walking into woods that quietly accept this gift.

I feel the frosty air and fierce snow billow round
as our talk swirls round us likewise
walking into woods that quietly accept this gift
of silence loud as snow hitting bare branch.

As our talk swirls round us likewise
my son shares his thoughts, hopes, and dreams
of silence loud as snow hitting bare branch
of love and fears and theology.

My son shares his thoughts, hopes, and dreams
as we crunch through tender white ground
of love and fears and theology
of a young man searching for answers to life.

As we crunch through the tender white ground
soft and fast and furious
a young man searching for answers to life
warmed by the presence of each other.

 ©Pamela S. Wight

About Pamela S. Wight

Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense and has recently added “Children’s picture book author” to her repertoire.

Her first book, THE RIGHT WRONG MAN, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, TWIN DESIRES. “Lots of suspense, plot twists, romance, and excellent character development makes this a fun read!”

Early reviews for the gorgeously illustrated, BIRDS OF PARADISE (pub date April 15, 2017) include enthusiastic comments: “This creative, compassionate story about birds will inspire children to notice the everyday adventures of backyard birds.”

Pamela earned her Master’s in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco.

She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her next novel. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs in both locations.

One of Pamela’s books would make a perfect gift for any child in your family.

About Birds of Paradise.

Sweet sparrows Bessie and Bert grow up as differently as night and day. Bessie is fearful of the dangers inherent in being a bird. She’s scared to leave her cozy branch. But Bert relishes flying in the sky and pecking delicious seeds on the ground, until he loses half a tail. Bessie and Bert uncover each other’s fears and, through a newfound friendship, re-discover the delight in being birds. Charming, lustrous illustrations and light, lilting verse delight children and adults alike as they gain a new appreciation for the joyous birds in their own backyard.

One of the excellent reviews for the book

I bought this book for my friend’s son who just turned 4 and told her I wasn’t sure if it would be over his head. This was her response: “He was very attentive all the way through and said he was old enough for this book. He enjoyed looking for the ladybug on each page and we compared the ending theme of enjoying the world to another book of his about a dumpling and a cockroach. When he is older he can get the deeper layers of the messages in the book.”

Then I sent it to my other friend’s daughter who just finished kindergarten. She said her daughter loved it:)

Read the reviews and buy the book available US only:

Also by Pamela S.Wight

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And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Pamela on Goodreads:

Connect to Pamela


Thanks to Pamela for sharing this poem today and I hope you will head over and check out her books too. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Invitation -Air You Reviews – #Throwback Thursday – Gigi Sedlmayer, Pamela S. Wight and Sally Cronin

Welcome to the Thursday edition of Air Your Reviews when I take a look at an author’s earlier books and give them a boost.

First is children’s author Gigi Sedlmayer and her Talon Series of books.  The review from 1st July 2017  is for book two in the series On the Wing. The book has already received over 50 positive reviews.

About On The Wing

What Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors is actually happening.
And now the adventures begin.

Finally accepting Matica into their community because of an incredible event, the people from the village love seeing her with Talon and demand she tell them about her adventures with the condors.

Matica is now happy to be small because she can do what she has always dreamed of – fly. She is accepted and loved, and because she is so small can have incredible adventures with her beloved Talon. In the meantime, her friendship with Amos continues to grow…
In this book, she has scores of adventures and near disasters with Talon.
The most recent review for On the Wing.

This exciting tale is the second part of a series of books about a ten-year-old sandy-blonde girl by the name of Matica who has a special condition that has stunted her growth, making her remain at the height level of a toddler. She is special in this book because of her remarkable relationship with a family of condors that live in the mountains nearby her home in Peru, South America. She and her parents Mira (mom), Crayn (dad), and younger brother Aikon are originally from Australia but moved to Peru due to Crayn’s occupation. In part one of this series, Matica was able to save an egg of two adult condors who was being eyed by a bunch of ruthless poachers. From this saved “egg” came a dear friend, Talon, whom which this series of books are about.

Now in this book, Matica had a dream that she was able to fly on Talon’s back across the Andes Mountains of Peru, where she was then abruptly dropped with Talon not making an attempt to help her at all. She woke up in time and proceeded to relay her nightmare to Aikon and her parents who took it lightly except that Mira thought she should be careful because you never know… This book is different from part one in that it introduces a bunch of new characters all eager to hear about Matica’s relationship with Talon as well as seeing her fly on his back. We have to consider the fact that this is something “extraordinary” and that no one has ever flown on the back of a bird in the skies or been recorded down in the history of the world. (I think.) There is a plot twist here where one of these new characters resents Matica because he had someone dear to him with her condition abandoned due to thoughts that this beloved person was of no use to society anymore.

I read this book with anticipation waiting for that lesson that part one had. I felt that the same moral was being played out here where Matica once again proved to her surrounding community that her disability and her friendship with Talon tells all those who have a friend or family member with her condition to embrace that person because they might come in handy someday. And all through the book, the Peru Indians were very thankful and adamant to listen to Matica’s tales of her friendship with these condors especially the title character, Talon. It gave them a reason to embrace these birds, Matica’s condors, knowing that they have a valid place in their environment and must be protected at all costs from poachers and all those who threaten to hunt them down for trading and consumption purposes.

I recommend this book to grandparents and parents who are looking for a book for that special, dear bookworm in their families. It will instill in him or her a sense of duty to look out for our friends in nature and teach him or her also the values of love, compassion, friendship and leadership. I also recommend this book to teachers who are searching for titles to add to their classroom libraries. Trust me, your students will enjoy this tale at story-time because the notion of a disabled girl befriending a bird (just like with a dog or a cat or a turtle) and showing it all of her tender love and care is something very kind and sweet that they can relate to. So what are you waiting for? Order this dear today! You will get your money’s worth!

Read some of the other great reviews and buy the book:

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

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My next author with a recent review for her first book is Pamela S. Wight with her fast-paced The Right Wrong Man.


About The Right Wrong Man

Meredith Powers’ career as a medical editor seems safe enough as she searches for love with the right man. But she is pulled suddenly from her serene world in Boston to one of intrigue, kidnapping, and murder in the Caribbean.

Meredith’s simple life becomes terribly complicated when she works with an author who drags her into a drug heist. The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, the D.E.A. agent, and the stunning response from her current accountant boyfriend all lead to complications, danger, and more than a few questions.

Meredith wonders if she really knows the people who surround her in her daily life. Her parents, her best friends, her boss, even her lover. She discovers that almost everyone holds secrets, and the unearthing of those cover-ups lead to mystery and danger that changes everything, and everyone, she thought she knew.

One of the recent reviews for the book

The first pages of this thriller romance were not particularly fast-paced, and I thought I would be in for a slow, but sweet upbeat romance flavored with a thin mystery. Boy, was I wrong. The book speeded up, faster and faster, until by the time I was about 1/3 of the way in, I became so engrossed I almost missed an appointment. When I got back from my appointment, I decided to set everything else aside and finish the book because I was obsessed with discovering what was happening to the protagonist, Meredith, a medical book editor, and which–if any–of the three mysterious and sexy men involved on one side or another of an illegal drug scheme she would choose as her true love. This books features lots of adventure, suspense, and mystery.

Read more of the many excellent reviews and buy the book:

Also by Pamela S.Wight








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Last but not least I would like to share a terrific review from Deborah Bowman for my What’s in a Name short story collection Volume One.

About What’s in a Name Volume One.

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and

The most recent review for the book on Goodreads

Deborah Bowman rated it it was amazing – Recommends it for: EVERYONE!

Little slices of history (x2 generations approximately), but it’s so hard not to give spoilers when these anecdotes, family stories, and clips of emotion make you cry tears of happiness and sadness, literally only pages apart.

What’s in a name? Everything … your identity, your life, your dreams, desires, failures and triumphs. It’s all that you are or could have been. It’s inspirational, deep in meaning, and relates to every heart, life, and soul.

I took notes in the book, meaning to share, but reading it unawares is the only way to shed the light of day … or night on an epiphany of release, glory with each story, mind tingling and bell ringing. All I can strive to thrive in this heartfelt book is felt in but two teasers…Annie and Clive, mere drops of expression, packed with life’s lessons. That’s the reason to keep this unusual genre alive!

Congrats and sincere thanks to Sally Cronin … a masterpiece.

You can read all the reviews and buy the book:

And on Goodreads:

My other books

All my books can be found at

My new book is out at midnight tonight in a special post…. What’s in a Name Volume Two….It is very pink!

Thank you for dropping by today and if you could share around the universe that would be terrific.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Janice Spina, Pamela S. Wight and Judith Barrow.

Janice Spina is celebrating as her book Jerry the Crabby Crayfish has won a prestigious Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. It won in the Best Books in Children’s Interest and it is the fourth award for Janice’s popular children’s books.

About Jerry the Crabby Crayfish and a note from Janice about the inspiration behind the story.

Jerry is a crabby crayfish who all day long wishes he could be a fish. One day something happens in the fish tank that makes Jerry change his mind. Read about the valuable lesson Jerry learns.

Here is a little information about Jerry. He was a real Crayfish that my husband and I had as a pet in one of our fish tanks. He was a beautiful shade of blue and quite a character. He was at times a little crabby and would warn the fish in the tank to stay away from him. When he was hungry he would tap the glass and beg for food. He would also warn my grandchildren not to bother him by waving his claws at them. They had a tendency to tap the glass to get his attention. They were sad when he passed. So was I.

One of the outstanding reviews for the book

If anyone thought fish and waterlife were boring, well, think again. Not in this entertaining story. It is more than just a rhyming story about crayfish. This pleasantly illustrated picture book includes both a wonderful lesson and information that will interest young children. The rhythm and pulse throughout the book produces a strong chant that children fall into naturally. The illustrations are sweet and simple, and they charmingly create a personality for each character. The brightly colored pictures are done in a style that is very close to that of children’s drawings, and nicely introduce children to the fascinating world of fish. This joyfully illustrated book is a lot of fun to read and leaf through. A great rhyming story that stays on your lips long after you are done with it. “Swish, swish, swish, I wish I were a fish!”

Janice Spina has created another wonderful book full of playful, funny, whimsical characters, one that entertains and promotes individuality. Although it is sometimes hard to be yourself, it is always the best rule. Imagination should be encouraged in children, and this book beautifully illustrates the concept for them. A great and entertaining book for young readers!

Read all the reviews and buy this award winning book:

A selection of books by Janice Spina

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The next update is for Pamela S. Wight who has just released this delightfully illustrated book, Birds of Paradise for children and adults alike. Beautifully illustrated by Shelley A. Steinle.

About the book

Sweet sparrows Bessie and Bert grow up as differently as night and day. Bessie is fearful of the dangers inherent in being a bird. She’s scared to leave her cozy branch. But Bert relishes flying in the sky and pecking delicious seeds on the ground, until he loses half a tail. Bessie and Bert uncover each other’s fears and, through a newfound friendship, re-discover the delight in being birds. Charming, lustrous illustrations and light, lilting verse delight children and adults alike as they gain a new appreciation for the joyous birds in their own backyard.

You can find out how this beautiful book was finally published by visiting the post on The Story Reading Ape’s blog

Thirty five years ago, I wrote a wonderful bird’s tale. About a bird who almost lost his tail.

Beta readers, university professors, parents of young children all loved my book about Bert and Bessie, two birds who needed to find each other to find themselves.

Then, “life happened.”

Read the rest of the post:

Buy Birds of Paradise:

Also by Pamela S. Wight

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Last but definitey not least is Judith Barrow, whose three books set during and after World War II are highly regarded. I enjoyed reading them and eagerly await Judith’s next release. Time to update the first book in the series Pattern of Shadows and the place to start obviously if you have not yet read Judith’s books.

About Pattern of Shadows

Mary is a nursing sister at Lancashire prison camp for the housing and treatment of German POWs. Life at work is difficult but fulfilling, life at home a constant round of arguments, until Frank Shuttleworth, a guard at the camp turns up. Frank is difficult to love but persistent and won’t leave until Mary agrees to walk out with him.

A recent review for Pattern of Shadows

Wonderful story! By Cathy Murray on 11 April 2017

Pattern of Shadows is a wonderful story set in the latter days of World War Two somewhere in the north of England. Mary Howarth is a nurse who is part of a medical team given the unenviable task of caring for sick and injured prisoners of war at the prison camp hospital. Mary starts a relationship with one of the guards at the camp, Frank Shuttleworth. The relationship proves difficult for Mary but Frank is persistent.

Meanwhile, Mary’s home life is far from easy and she finds solace in her work. As the novel evolves Mary’s life becomes increasingly fraught and complicated. To say more would be to give away an extremely well constructed plot which explores some challenging issues of the day. I’ve already read Silent Trauma by this author and know that Judith Barrow can write about difficult subjects with sensitivity and honesty. The writer displays that same talent again in this novel.

The novel is well researched and the sense of time and place is established securely. The author has created a group of characters who are very real and the dialogue and interactions between them are a strength of the writing. The romance element of the novel has a degree of predictability but when the concluding chapter is reached there is a sense of relief that what was anticipated has occurred. Pattern of Shadows is the first of a three part set which takes the story on further and it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

Read some of the 77 reviews for the book and buy:

Also by Judith Barrow

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A cover reveal for Judith’s new book

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Thank you for dropping by today and if you are in the bookstore and have some news to share then please email me on

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