Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #Reviews – #Family James J. Cudney, #Paranormal John W. Howell, #WW2 #Russia Marina Osipova


Welcome to the Cafe and update and recent reviews for authors on the shelves

The first author today with a recent review is James. J. Cudney for his family drama Watching Glass Shatter.

About the book

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia’s husband unexpectedly passes away. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 05, 2021 Mark Bierman rated it five stars

Though a bit slower paced than my usual reads, I found this story to be captivating. There was always, ‘one more secret,’ waiting for poor Olivia.

I must admit that I did not care for Olivia during the first half of the book, as I found her domineering and hypercritical. As the story matures, however, so does Olivia. I witnessed a transformation in her as she dealt with some devastating blows.

I think this is a story that plays out in so many lives; secrets kept, expectations unmet, and a lack of sympathy caused by misunderstanding.

James does a great job of weaving the lives of so many characters and their personal crisis together, without the story getting bogged down or confusing.

I’m giving this one, FIVE STARS! 

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

A selection of other books by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US and: Amazon UKWebsite/Blog: This is my truth nowGoodreads: James J. Cudney – Twitter: @Jamescudney4

The next author today is John W. Howell with a review for his paranormal thriller Eternal Road

About the book

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

A recent review for the book

Kichi Rsa 5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story!  Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021

Without a doubt one of my favorite authors. John W. Howell’s books always have a great story to tell; his knowledge of history, psychology, personality, human laws shines through. It makes his books fantastic, fun to read, magical, special…

I love the characters in the Eternal Road! Not perfect, but always believable… and you don’t always know for sure how this all will turn out in the end! I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to all lovers of the paranormal, thriller, and mystery.  

Other books by John Howell

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand :Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

The final books today with a recent review is by Marina Osipova – Push Me Off a Cliff a novel set in post war Russia.

About the book

March of 1948. Three years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended in victory, disposing into the streets of the destroyed and hungry cities and villages brave decorated soldiers: thousands of them having been burned, maimed, or disfigured beyond recognition.

On a crowded commuter train, Maria hears an invalid singing, which painfully connects her to her time at the front and to the love that failed to happen to her. Why, then, since that day, does the voice from the past echo so insistently in her present life? The torture of uncertainty—was it really Armen?—intensifies after the next encounter and leaves her with an unsettling compulsion to do . . . what? Help him? Or, rather, rescue herself from her lonely and unassuming existence her heart subtly rejects? She must decide whether she is willing to let go of the life she knows for feelings she had never thought she could experience.

But, first, she has to find him.

As the genocide of 1915 within the Ottoman Empire destroyed the lives of Armen’s parents and about one-and-a-half-million ethnic Armenians, his future is shattered by this other war and betrayal. Legless and totally alone, and without any family after his mother is gone, it seems the most merciful thing for him would be to end his miserable existence by leaping off a cliff. Otherwise, he must find the courage to continue living in the condition the war left him and find his place in the bitter every-day reality full of difficulties prone to men like him.

Maria and Armen. Each carries private wounds. In the face of despair, will fate offer them a chance to heal their souls and hearts?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Pamela Allegretto 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, memorable story.  Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2021

Marina Osipova possesses a special gift for crafting unique, compelling stories with multi-faceted characters who get under our skin from the first pages and tug at our every emotion. Once again, Ms. Osipova has done her homework, creating a setting that is itself a well-drawn character. What a beautiful, memorable story. My most sincere compliments.

Other books by Marina Osipova

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – follow Marina : Goodreads – website:Marina OsipovaTwitter: @marosikok

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Paranormal John W. Howell, #Poetry Anita Dawes, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John Howell

A recent review for Eternal Road

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars Time traveling adventure  Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2021

Samantha has been dead since childhood, and when James is killed in a car accident, Sam becomes his guide, tasked with leading him to his eternal home. Don’t count on deep religious overtones or run of the mill theories about the afterlife in this book. The story quickly becomes a fantasy time-traveling “road trip” where Sam and James participate in key historical events such as the shootout at OK Corral, the battle at the Alamo, and the invasion of Normandy, to name a few. They also travel two thousand years into the future.

For most of the book, the plot rambles from event to event while the ultimate goal of reaching James’ eternal home takes a “back seat.” The tangents are interesting and details seem well researched, though loosely connected to the overall goal. The debonair Devil has his hand in the mix, and the sexual relationship between Sam and James offers intermissions between the tenser time-traveling activities.

Both Sam and James are well-rounded characters. Their relationship feels genuine, and the dialog flows naturally. Because Sam and James are already spirits, they aren’t in any mortal danger and they experience little fear. Other emotions, like grief and sadness, play a small part until the end when some of the more satisfying and heartfelt aspects of the story take place. This isn’t a deep philosophical read, but if you’re looking for a jaunt through time with two companionable friends, this will do it. Recommended.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

Meet Anita Dawes

Anita Dawes loves all things esoteric, magical and the otherworldly and would prefer to live in a fairy tale. In between these moments, she likes to visit old churches and ancient buildings.

She has written six fiction novels in various genres, Bad Moon, Simple, Secrets, The Scarlet Ribbon; Let it Go and Not My Life. Presently working on a sequel to her popular supernatural romance, The Scarlet Ribbon.

Anita has recently rediscovered her childhood love of poetry and often writes and posts them online. Her poetry collection Shadows was released in September 2020

Once owned by an egocentric black and white cat called Merlin, named after her favourite hero, Anita dislikes computers and prefers to writes longhand, sharing a website with Jaye Marie, who transcribes and edits her work…

A selection of books by Anita Dawes

One of the recent reviews for Shadows

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Short and focused  Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2021

‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.

‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.
Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them.

Read the reviews and buy the books – Amazon UK And:Amazon US follow Anita:Goodreads – Blog: Jaye and Anita’ Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2

Meet Paulette Mahurin

Paulette Mahurin is an international best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her second novel, His Name Was Ben, originally written as an award winning short story while she was in college and later expanded into a novel, rose to bestseller lists its second week out. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth book, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the bestseller lists for literary fiction and historical fiction on Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Australia. Her fifth book, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird, was released in 2017 to rave reviews. Her sixth book, A Different Kind of Angel, was released in the summer of 2018 also to rave reviews.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Books by Paulette Mahurin

One of the recent reviews for Where Irises Never Grow

Kathryn Gauci 5.0 out of 5 stars Where Irises Never Grow.  Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021

A story that takes us to the darkest places of Nazi-occupied France and the torture chambers of the Hotel Terminus where Klaus Barbie reigns supreme. I felt empathy for the Resistants struggling to walk a fine line between living a normal life and being caught in a web of horror. The story centers on Charlotte and Victor Legrand, and a temperamental young Jewish girl whose actions put their lives at risk. As the story unfolds, their lives are threatened. A harrowing story in places, but one told with empathy. It will grab you until the very last page. Highly recommended.  

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

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

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, #WIIDrama Marina Osipova, #Paranormal John W. Howell


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

The first author today with a recent review is Gwen M. Plano for The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.

About the book

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Thriller with Strong Characters  Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2021

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

Other books by Gwen Plano

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USfollow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

The next author today is Marina Osopova with a recent review for her wartime drama How Dare The Birds Sing (Book One in the Love and Fate Series 1)

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Dec 15, 2020 Rachel Heil rated it five stars it was amazing

Author Marina Osipova has crafted a beautiful, heart wrenching story that is highly recommended for World War Two readers and those interested in history of the Soviet Union. This is not a book for the faint of heart and the main character, Lyuba, suffers tragedy after tragedy to the point the reader begins to wonder if she’ll ever get ahead. That being said, How Dare The Birds Sing is a story about human resiliency and that, no matter what life throws at someone, they can pull through. This was hard a story to read but needed to be told. Ms. Osipova is a wonderfully talented author and I look forward to her future works.

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

Other books by Marina Osipova

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – follow Marina : Goodreads – website:Marina Osipova Twitter: @marosikok 

The final author today is John W. Howell with a review for his paranormal thriller Eternal Road

About the book

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

A recent review for the book

tpolen 5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Take on the Afterlife  Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2021

Never have I come across such a blend of genres in a book – supernatural, paranormal, theological, mystery, sci-fi, historical. I would have told you it couldn’t be done. But this author pulls it off with style.

The overall premise is a bit sad with MCs James and Sam both being deceased and leaving this world behind. Sam’s life came to a tragic end at the age of seven, but she’s come back years later to escort childhood friend James to his final resting place. That’s where their adventure begins. Time-traveling in a snazzy 1956 Oldsmobile, they visit some historical sites and meet a few well-known characters along the way. But they don’t just venture into the past, their travels take them several centuries into the future as well. Lucifer himself even shows up in the Sin City of Las Vegas – where else would he be?

I enjoyed the “rules” of the plane between Earth and the afterlife, and they caused some humorous and awkward moments between Sam and James. Both characters are delightful, and I was particularly happy to see something resolved in Sam’s life. This story evokes many emotions and, as a mom, I nearly needed a tissue a couple times. The ending is beautiful and wraps things up nicely – but I can also see the potential for another book in the series, which I would immediately grab. A unique and fascinating take on the afterlife.

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

Other books by John Howell

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand :Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave 

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you are leaving with some books..thanks Sally.