Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Books – #FranceWWII Paulette Mahurin, #Fantasy Heather Kindt, #Reviews – #Pre-Historic Jacqui Murray, #Thriller Daniel Kemp, #Paranormal Cecilia Kennedy


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

First today two new book releases

The first author today is celebrating the release of her latest book which I am delighted to share. Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin

About the book

With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note.

Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting.

Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.

One of the early reviews for the book

Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read!  Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2020

I’ve been a fan of Paulette Mahurin’s writing for a few years now and each time her new book comes out, I grab it right away. “Where Irises Never Grow” is another fine example of Ms. Mahurin’s literary talent. From the opening chapters, in which an old newspaper cutting is found in a first edition of Aesop’s Fables, I was riveted to the plot that ultimately led to Nazi-occupied France and the mystery behind the two names on an old newspaper cutting. I won’t be retelling much of the plot to avoid spoilers, so I’ll just say this: if you’re looking for a meticulously researched French Resistance novel that will pull at your heartstrings and reveal not only love, sacrifice, and devotions, but also atrocities of Klaus Barbie, rightly nicknamed The Butcher of Lyon, search no further.

“Where Irises Never Grow” is a stark reminder of a recent past, in which xenophobia and nationalistic hatred lead to the annihilation of millions of people; it is also a warning for our generation not to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers and apply our all to fight bigotry, racism, and dictators that inspire the ugliest sentiments in their followers. The story of Charlotte and Victor Legrand, the story of Agnès Eisenberg and her beloved Jaques is a must-read for sure. Just make sure to have a box of Kleenex ready – you’ll most likely need it. The ending in which we meet an elderly Holocaust survivor is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it’ll remain with you long after you close the book. A truly timeless novel that should be read by everyone. Highly recommended!

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

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

51sem6psgll-_uy250_

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

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPress Twitter: @MahurinPaulette

The next author with a new release out in time for Christmas is Heather Kindt with The White Door (The Eternal Artifacts Book 3)

About the book

The game is no longer a game.

With the completion of the Red Door and the prize money doubled, Meg is determined to tackle the White Door, a portal she’s been drawn to since they started the game. But when Brek is attacked and almost killed, they are thrust into the new world sooner than they planned.

And it is a world unlike any they’ve encountered before. Within a setting five hundred years in the future, they find a human race on the brink of extinction. The leader had helped a select few escape Earth on a spacecraft before the planet was destroyed, attempting to create a sinless society. The ones who are less than perfect are exiled to a nearby planet.

Traveling to the future, Meg and Brek finally discover the inner workings behind the game and Rosenbaum’s true motivations. They also find out that the people they thought they could trust might be holding secrets far too deep to forgive.

The White Door is the third book in Heather Kindt’s young adult fantasy series. If you like secret societies, masquerades, and family reunions, then you’ll love the third installment of the Eternal Artifacts series.

One of the early reviews for the book on Goodreads

Nov 15, 2020 Rain Reads rated it 5 stars it was amazing  Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, arc

I really enjoyed reading this book. I love that it is mainly sci-fi themed with a mix of fantasy. The story was fast-paced and thrilling that will keep you glued until the end. I like the introduction of new characters and the uncovering of their identities, but the world-building and the stories are getting better and engrossing as the series progresses. Out of the three books in the series, this was by far, my favorite read!

The story is about Megan and Brek entering the White Door to win huge prize money to support their families. The third book started with Brek’s car accident that almost cost his life. And due to a threat in Brek’s life and with Carter missing in action, they decided to escape their pursuers and went straight to the Rosenbaum Mansion.

This book is where all the bombshells will be revealed and the plot has a pivotal part in the whole series. I’m happy that my favorite supporting character was again introduced in this story and I can’t wait to know how she will help the main protagonist in the Black Door. I don’t want to reveal so much and I highly recommend you to read this book!!!

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

Also by Heather Kindt

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK –  follow Heather: Goodreads –   website: Heather KindtTwitter:@hmkindt

Now time for some recent reviews for books on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review is Jacqui Murray for Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) A series that I can highly recommend.

About the book

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

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Keith Jahans 5.0 out of 5 stars A story of primitive human survival  Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2020

I normally review trilogies by reading the first book in the series but in this case I went against my norm by starting at the last first. This maybe because I have a passing interest in writings about early man and had read some of the works by Jean M Auel, starting with The Clan of Cave Bear, and having enjoyed them.

In this work I did not feel a pressing need to go back into the history of the central character but felt that I knew enough about primitive humans to skip that part. I may have missed out on some of the story but feel that any novel featuring the same central characters should be able to stand on its own. I found this book in that regard was largely able to do that. However, it contained a large assortment of characters with strangely spelt names which probably made who they were and how they interacted clearer if I had indeed started with the first book.

The author had done her research and obviously knew a great deal about the period of which she was writing. This was clear not only from the list of references at the end but also of the descriptions she used in the narrative. Giving such characters depth is a challenge in itself as primitive peoples were far more involved in surviving from day to day than interacting with each other in what we would describe as a social level today. The author manages this extremely well, giving the objects, animals and people that surround them names that were possibly used by humans of that time. The book is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

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

Also by by Jacqui Murray

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter@WordDreams

The next author with a review to share is Daniel Kemp who moonlights on Smorgasbord every two weeks as our guest comedian on Open Mic nights!..The Widow’s Son (Lies And Consequences Book 3)

About the book

Three months before the invasion of Iraq, a member of a Masonic fraternity known as the Rosicrucians escapes from a British Intelligence holding station.

Orchestrated by the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, this event is somehow linked to a the highly classified CIA file only known as Gladio B. Tasked to destroy an unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, the chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee plans to bring the criminals to justice.

But he is running low on both time and allies, as mass annihilation threatens the whole planet. Who are the mysterious eight families that seem to be behind the mysterious events, and what do they have to do with the ancient 33rd degree level of understanding, only known by the mysterious Rosicrucian brotherhood?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Roy Murry, Author VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars I love a Conspiracy  Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2020

When you get a promotion, you would expect problems; hopefully, that can be solved with help from your cohorts. In Patrick West’s case, his predecessor, Geoffrey, is not upfront with the real situations at hand, which he must confront in his new position.

From the first banter between these two spymasters, Geoffrey’s lies lead Patrick into a maze of international intrigue that elitists have festered. Many characters are involved in a diabolical conspiracy.

Sorting it out is Patrick’s job as head of a British Joint Intelligence Committee. What he uncovers after finding out the truth, culminates into a near disaster.

This novel is the third in a trilogy, beginning with ‘What Happened in Vienna Jack?’ then, ‘Once I Was a Soldier,’ that I have read because of Mr. Kemp’s grasp of English (UK) language. The tit for tat of the main character’s lucid conversations kept me turning the pages to see what came next.

I love a conspiracy novel of fiction, particularly one that leads to an unpredictable ending. It would be best if you started by reading book one. However, this novel stands on its own.

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

A selection of other books by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

The final author today is Cecilia Kennedy with her debut collection of paranormal short stories, The Places We Haunt

About the collection

When a pastry-obsessed ghost follows Audrey M. K. Summons back to her apartment, Audrey feels compelled to write the story—along with a few others she has collected. The resulting manuscript becomes The Places We Haunt, which a literary scholar discovers when Audrey dies. To the scholar’s surprise, the pages magically fill with more stories from beyond the grave, so she publishes the book in order to put Audrey’s spirit to rest. This collection of 13 eclectic dark tales takes place in museums, swimming pools, houses, restaurants, the cemetery, and outdoors in nature. The stories told are sometimes humorous, absurd, pensive, or cautionary. Those who tell them, don’t even realize they’re dead.

One of the recent reviews for The Places we Haunt

Suzanne 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully spooky  Reviewed in Canada on August 29, 2020
 

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US And:Amazon UK – And : Amazon CA – follow Cecilia: Goodreads –  BlogFixin Leaks n Leeks DIY – Twitter:@ckennedyhola

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors new to the Cafe – #Fantasy Adele Marie Park, #Fantasy Freya Pickard, #Paranormal Cecilia Kennedy


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

There have been some new authors and books to the Cafe over the last few weeks and in the last two posts of the series I would like to remind you of their books.

Meet Adele Marie Park

I love writing, it`s my passion. My genres include fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and a mixture of all those. I love telling stories;period. I am married to my wonderful wife, who is my rock.

Our daughter and our dog, german shepherd collie cross, are also my passions. To experience a moment of pure love is to experience the world.

Creativity is something I couldn`t live without.

I am also a Supernatural geek, and love my music. Punk, Goth, Rockabilly and visual Kei music from Japan.

The paranormal is my normal. oh, and I also totally believe in faeries

Books by Adele Marie Park

One of the early reviews for Sea Dragons

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars An atmospheric dark fantasy filled with suspense, murder, and magic!  Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2020

“Sea Dragons” begins with Wisp, a Marsh Faerie Law Enforcer, as he waits inside the office of the new Senior, Nether Green, an elf with considerable law enforcement experience to show for a planned meeting.

He reminisces about the events of the last six months, and recalls the death of his Senior officer Bartholomew at the hands of Dante Asano, and how Lady Pendra Thorne’s childhood home was now her mausoleum, where she lays sealed inside a glass coffin warded with spells. Wisp, Finn, and Arutha watch over the princess in the glass coffin day and night.

After an hour there is a knock at the door. Wisp learns there’s been a murder, and the new Senior is the victim! Even stranger, the new Senior is found hanging from a rope, made to look like a suicide.

After a visit to the scene of the murder, Wisp quickly picks up on a few prominent details and comes to the assumption that the new Senior was indeed murdered. Now, Wisp must solve the murder of another dead elf!

Meanwhile, at home, Finn discovers Pendra convulsing within her glass coffin. Finn summons his mother to help him deal with this new situation.

Inside the glass coffin, Pendra’s mind retreats into a favorite memory of childhood comfort, where she tries to maintain her sanity; unfortunately, the evil Dante is also trapped inside her body. In this state of flux within her mind, Pendra learns the horrible truth of the ancient evil that controls Dante Asano and his plan to rule Edra.

The magical coffin will only keep Pendra alive, and Dante contained for a brief time. To save her, Wisp and Finn and his family have to remove the evil Dante without harming Pendra.

When it’s decided that there might be a spell which will separate Dante from Pendra, Wisp and the others set off for Samoyer, a land across the Great Sea. The only problem is, Finn’s father, Slait, has a price on his head if he returns to his homeland. Yet, without this spell, Pendra will die and Edra could cease to exist.

Park has woven an atmospheric dark fantasy filled with suspense, murder, and magic! Through thoughtful detail, we’re introduced to a world filled with dragons, elves, goblins, faeries, and many other creatures where the laws of magic govern the land.

Park’s portrayal of the evil Farloaeth, the ancient harbinger of doom, reminded me of the Norse’s “Wild Hunt,” which added sensory details to the story in unexpected ways. She filled the book with plenty of twists and turns, which kept me reading long into the night.

The end was a total surprise, which stops on a bit of a cliffhanger. My mouth literally dropped open when I read the last pages. I never saw it coming.

I’ve been a fan of this author’s novels, since I stumbled upon some of her short- stories in several anthologies published within the writing community. Read “Wisp” and then delve into “Sea Dragons” as the books are not standalone novels. If you love fantasy, you will love these characters.

Seriously, I can’t wait to find out what happens in the third book. With Park’s creativity, the sky is the limit! Many thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of this book.

Adele Marie Park, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Adele: Goodreads –  Website: Adele Marie Park – Twitter: @Binky567

Meet Freya Pickard

Freya Pickard is the Author of The Kaerling series, an epic fantasy set in the strange and wonderful world of Nirunen. She writes mainly fantasy tales, with some poetry thrown in, whilst juggling with running a Bed & Breakfast and trying to read as many books as she can. She has published 13 e-books and 6 paperbacks so far. Having survived cancer, Freya is not afraid to explore the darkness and finds her inspiration in the ocean, beautifully written books and vinyl music. When she has time, she likes to bake bread and is learning how to sketch the characters from her stories!

One of the reviews for The Rusalka Ritual

“The Rusalka Ritual and Other Stories” is a selection of 5 short fantasy stories, all featuring the formidable Dracomagan, in some places a warrior woman in a fantasy world, in others an apparently normal(ish) woman in this world, but always an important and powerful figure.

The stories range from atmospheric and tantalizingly fragmented (“Echo Peak”), to creepily fey (“The Rusalka Ritual”), to zanily off-the-wall (“A Picnic at Knole”). It’s never made clear if Dracomagan is the same person, or who exactly she is or how she inhabits different worlds; all the stories are open-ended and leave much up to the reader to decide. If you (like me) enjoy that kind of thing, you will probably enjoy the way the stories work together to create a picture of a world (or worlds) and character (or characters), but if you require your stories to be neatly wrapped up with a bow at the end, this is probably not the collection for you.

Along with Dracomagan, several of the stories feature other interesting female characters, making this a worthwhile read for people looking for some female-focused fantasy. The stories are quite short, meaning that you do no more than dip your toes and whet your appetite for the intriguing world the author has created, but it’s a fun introduction and could be good reading for fantasy fans looking to catch a quick fantasy fix on the bus or over lunch, without worrying about getting lost in the kind of complex epic narratives the genre favors. A charming quick read of slightly off-beat fantasy.

Freya Pickard, Buy:  Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog: Dragonscale Clippings WordPress – Twitter: @FreyasClippings

Meet Cecilia Kennedy who joined the Cafe this last Thursday with her debut short story collection.

Cecilia Kennedy lives in the Greater Seattle area, where the mountains, pines, and occasional Puget Sound views serve as inspiration. Before moving to Washington state, she taught Spanish and English composition courses in Ohio for over 20 years. Since 2017, she has published numerous short stories in literary magazines and anthologies online and in print. In her spare time, she also chronicles her humorous attempts at cooking and home repair on her blog “Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks.”

Cecilia Kennedy, Buy: Amazon US –  and: Amazon UK – And on: Goodreads –  BlogFixin Leaks n Leeks DIY – Twitter: @ckennedyhola

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share… thanks Sally.