Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Thriller John L. DeBoer, #Murdermystery Terry Tyler, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens

Welcome to the cafe weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Mae Clair for End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)

About the book

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

One of the recent reviews for End of Day

John W. Howell VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Well Written  Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2021

End of Day is the second book in the Hode’s Hill series. I read them a little out of turn, but I can honestly say doing so did not in any way diminish the story of each.

End of Day pretty much picks up where the first book left off. I was happy to see a character that I thought had a lot of moxie re-appear in the second book. I’m referring to the artist Dante DeLuca, a pain in the side of the Hode family. His dad worked at a lab owned by the Hodes and died there. He is no fan of the prominent Hode family.

Through tradition, Jillian Clay and her sister were responsible for watching and tending after the grave of their ancestor, Gabriel Vane. Vane was the first buried in the ancient cemetery instead of the traditional dog sacrifice, so it fell to him to take the watchdog role to ward off evil spirits.

Jillian’s sister watched the brutal murder of her husband and has not spoken in the last three years. The men who killed him are still at large. When Gabriel’s remains are stolen, decedents of those buried in the cemetery begin having accidents.

I have described only the tip of the mysteries and intrigues that are going on in Hodes Hill. The author does a great job at building suspense by flashing back to the 1700s and then returning to the present day. The reader comes to understand that actions taken back then have consequences now. Mae Clair has also created a cast of characters that are interesting and unique to the story.

The story is compelling, the characters well developed, and a very satisfying ending. I would recommend The End of Day to those who like these elements and excellent writing in their reading.  

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on:Goodreads – Website: Mae Clair – Twitter:@MaeClair1

The next review is for John L. DeBoer for the thriller Deep Cover.

About the book

As his 40th birthday nears, former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor faces a desk job in the paramilitary security firm he works for – a sedentary executive position devoid of the exciting missions he’d craved during his entire professional life. So he joins the U.S. Marshals Service, hoping to get selected for the elite Special Operations Group of the Service. Soon thereafter, he finds himself involved in a hunt for Russian spies.

Espionage agents trained to pose as Americans in a secret base near Irkutsk, Russia have been inserted into the United States. Their mission: gather information concerning the political and social views of their neighbors and manipulate them to affect U.S. elections in disinformation campaigns. When this program is discovered by serendipity, the FBI, U.S.Marshals Service, and the NSA combine forces to weed out the spies as the 2018 midterm elections approach.

Adam and a cast of characters take the reader on an action-packed, suspenseful journey in which Russian agents scramble to keep ahead of the hunters by eliminating those who can expose the spymasters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2021

Deep cover by John Deboer is an intelligent and frightening book about Russian sleeper cells in the U.S. These individuals planted by foreign governments live as neighbors, colleagues, teachers, and friends. They collect data about political and social perspectives from their neighbors in order to influence United States’ elections. This book is timely, suspenseful, and packed with action and intrigue. Well written and memorable. I highly recommend Deep Cover for those who like reading spy thrillers. A fantastic 5 star read! 

A selection of other books by John L. DeBoer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow John: Goodreads – Twitter: @Johnldeboer

The next author today with a recent review is Terry Tyler for The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery

About the book

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…

The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021

2024: The apocalypse is here and people are dying from bat fever – a plague from which no one survives. That should be bad enough, but in an isolated town called Hincham, people are being murdered. In the eyes of those remaining (for the time being), the killer could be any one of them in the small, but rapidly diminishing community … or maybe not.

For me, what made this story so interesting, was that there were no police to be called, no clues to send off to the labs, and none of the usual tools the world has for solving murders. “The Visitor,” who also has another name we do not know, is part of the group being murdered, (by different methods), and there wasn’t one person safe from suspicion.

“The Visitor” who narrates throughout the book, is most chilling, especially as the character is not the typical sociopath. Who is it? Who could it be? And Why? Such an important question.

The entire mystery comes together in a very clever way. The author understands and captures the mindset of flawed human beings from many angles. The thought process of the killer … and the others, is quite fascinating indeed.

And yes, in these troubling times, this story is even more terrifying.  

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4

The final review is for author and poet Bette A. Stevens and her coming of age novel Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey

About the book

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

John 4.0 out of 5 stars Born on the poor side of town  Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2021

DOG BONE SOUP: A Boomer’s Journey by Bette Stevens is about a dysfunctional family trying to survive in the 50’s and 60’s. The father, a self-appointed “King of the castle” is an abusive drunk, the mother tries her best to keep the family clothed and fed, Shawn and Willie are the oldest two boys who along with their two sisters do whatever it takes to etch out a living. They are also a proud bunch, refusing food donations from the Church or handouts.

The story is told from Shawn’s POV, he is bullied and teased all through school because they are poor and their father is a known drunk. The ramshackle home they live in has no running water, cooking and heating the home also requires firewood. Shawn learned early in life how to fish, chop wood, and bring in water from the stream for washing and cooking. He also witnessed his father striking and beating their mother but was too afraid to get involved. To escape the wrath, the kids would run off and seek out new adventures to entertain themselves. Shawn is a hard worker who takes on odd jobs to help put food on the table. The title of this book is the name of a soup the family eats for days on end (boiled dog bones, onions, carrots and potatoes).

During his senior year in high school, Shawn finally stands up to his father and the school bullies for the first time. His mother gets a divorce and the family is finally free of the abusive father and husband who only sat around drank beer, and watched TV after work. That is, of course, if he wasn’t in the local bar getting drunk.

Shawn wants to make a life for himself and pursues joining the military…this is just as the war in Vietnam is beginning. His uncle tries to talk him out of it because of the horrors he’ll witness, confidentially sharing why his father drinks – to forget about the horrors of war that he fought in.

It’s a tale of a mother’s love & sacrifice and the coming of age story of a young boy in a small town. The story flowed well but I did encounter typos and missing words throughout the book. If you think you have it bad, you should read this story to see how those who do have it bad are able to cope, dream, and hope for a better life.  

Books by Bette A. Stevens


Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog: 4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens


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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle

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

The first author today is Linda Bradley with the romantic first book in her popular series – Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series book 1).

About the book

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Nov 28, 2020 Colleen Chesebro rated it Four Stars really liked it Shelves: women-s-fiction, romance, literature-fiction, literature

Maggie Abernathy has her Michigan summer all planned out. After a bout with breast cancer, all she wants to do is to recuperate and rejuvenate. Her life as a second-grade teacher was especially difficult this year. To add to Maggie’s problems, she is also learning to navigate life alone after her recent divorce.

When seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John, Maggie’s dull life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The story was predictable, but somehow, comforting. The romance that buds between John and Maggie is even sweeter because of Chloe.

Chloe’s character clearly steals the show. The child possesses a pearl of certain wisdom that women much older than her often wish for. The only child in what had to be a difficult home, Chloe steals Maggie’s heart.

Written in the first-person, I immediately connected with Maggie’s character. There is a lot going on, and Maggie discovers she must learn to overcome some of her own issues before she can truly find herself. So true to life!

The only downside was that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, and you have to purchase the next book to continue her story. I understand it’s a series, but the author hints at a happy ending for Maggie and John. As is true in most romantic fiction there are always some difficulties in a relationship. It would have been nicer for this book to end on a high note. Still, I would recommend this book because of the interesting characters. I’m debating on whether to go further in the series

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

Also by Linda Bradley


Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –  And : Amazon UK – Follow Linda :Goodreads website: Linda Bradley Author – Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

The next author with a recent review is Mae Clair for the ghostly  A Thousand Yesteryears (Point Pleasant Book 1)

About the book

“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real . . .

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer . .

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brenda Marie Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars What could be better than the Mothman, romance and murder?  Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020

I love this book by Mae Clair! It’s a new and intriguing take on the Mothman, made all the more interesting by a compelling romance (with a second one starting to brew for other important characters), family and personal secrets, and mysterious murders. There are other supernatural elements that I feel would be spoilers to divulge. And the suspense continues to build wither life or death threats to characters we love.

It’s my first time to read a book by Mae Clair and I plan to read many more. Deft writing, fascinating plot, well-developed and realistic characters–some to love and others to hate. What could be better?

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

A selection of other books by Mae Clair


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on:Goodreads – Website: Mae Clair – Twitter:@MaeClair1

The next prolific author has recently joined the Cafe with her books and here is a recent review for Silverhills by Sandra Cox, a book that I also reviewed earlier in the year and can recommend.

About the book

In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O’Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment’s notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn’t expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Oct 24, 2020 Pansy rated it Four Stars

Wiping tears – These are bittersweet tears. Yes, there is some sadness. The book is finished. But also sweetness. This was a beautiful story about finding yor destiny, if you will. The story of Alexandria and Brandon . . . Well, it had all the feels. A spectacular meet-cute. Heart stopping action. Forgive me, but I believe the inspiration for the hero and heroine were John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Talk about tempestuous emotions. Even the physical description brought those icons to mind. I think you really need to read this for yourself to get it. A wonderful story with great pacing that grabs and doesn’t let go.

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

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews andbuy the books : Amazon UK –And:Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

The next author is M.J. Mallon with a recent review for her poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, Fun, Good Intro to Author  Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2020

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poems, short stories, and charming moments from a group of memorable characters. Written by M.J. Mallon, it’s not the first I’ve read from her collection, but it was time to pick up another this weekend. If you’re searching for a lovely intro to an author’s writing style and the type of stories and tales she writes, this is a great way to discover more. Mallon’s contributed to several anthologies in the past, including one she coordinated and edited herself, but this time it’s all hers!

Two brothers, twins. A sister. Relationships wrought with love, pain, concern, frustration, anger, sadness, and hope. Interspersed with lyrical poems are short, three-to-four page scenes between the family members, others who see them, and lots of beauty focused on nature and the elements. Picture a gorgeous tree in different seasons, a park bench, memories of the family members who once sat on it, and thoughts about the passing of loved ones. That’s what you’ll find here, and it’ll make you treasure your own relationships.

I most enjoyed the autumn and Halloween moments in this collection, as it’s so timely. Mallon has a wonderful way with words, and while I’m not a big reader of poetry, it’s comforting to dive into it on occasion so you can see the beautiful images around you, that you might often look too far past.

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

Also by M.J. Mallon  NB.. This is Lockdown is now available in print.

Read the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US –AndAmazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The final author today is Miriam Hurdlewith a recent review for her award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.

The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.

The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Oct 07, 2020 Teagan Geneviene rated it Five stars

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” strikes the right chord. I need the peaceful feelings of a gentle breeze that these poems put in my mind as I read. It’s as though I smell flowers and see colors, and occasionally imagine a warm hug. I see that the author says she often thinks up her poems while gardening, and this is easy to believe. Treat yourself to something calm.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK  – Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle –Blog: The Showers of Blessings –  Twitter: @mhurdle112


Thank you for joining me today and I hope you are leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews -#Paranormal Mae Clair, #YA Darlene Foster, #Supernatural Don Massenzio

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

The first author is Mae Clair with a recent review for Cusp of Night: Hode’s Hill Series

About the book

The truth hides in dark places . . .

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . .

One of the recent reviews for the book

After surviving a car accident that nearly killed her, Maya Sinclair moves to Hodes Hill, Pennsylvania. She decides to rent an old brownstone close to where Charlotte Hode was murdered over a century ago.

Maya is still haunted by the time she spent in the Aether, hovering between life and death in a reality where souls with unfinished business lingered. Now, she finds her perceptions altered, opening the doors to her own clairvoyance.

It doesn’t take long for the house to connect with its new occupant. When the clock reaches, 2:22 am known as the cusp of night, terrifying noises explode from the walls of the house. Eventually, Maya recognizes a figure from the Aether… what could it mean?

In a city where the people refuse to let go of the past, the night of the annually celebrated Fiend Festival finally arrives. The townsfolk dress up in costumes to resemble the terrifying creature that murdered Charlotte Hode all those years before. However, this year is different. Something is out there, and it‘s killed again!

It turns out that Hode’s Hill sponsored the spiritualist movement of the Nineteenth century in the form of the Blue Lady, a blue-skinned spiritualist who perpetrated a scam against unsuspecting townsfolk. Now, she uses Maya’s sensitivity to the Aether to carry out her task.

Clair skillfully incorporates the tragic story of Lucy Strick, the Blue Lady, with that of Maya Sinclair bringing the past into the future in a story that was so riveting I couldn’t it put this book down.

The author also displays a rare command over language that’s unique. Her vivid descriptions and settings put me in the story, as if I’d experienced the events myself. I’ll never look at my watch at 2:22 am again!

Maya Sinclair is the type of heroine I like the most. She’s flawed, but in a way that makes her seem multidimensional and very human. This town is full of characters, which makes the story even more realistic. The Hode family contains some despicable figures, but Collin Hode teams up with Maya to help solve the mystery of the blue lady.

If I could give this book a rating over five stars, I would. I rarely say that, but this series is exceptional. I’m already reading the second book (End of Day) in the series and have purchased the third book, (Eventide) as well.

If you love mystery and suspense with a healthy helping of the paranormal, you won’t want to miss this series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

mae clair 2020

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mae: Goodreads

Connect to Mae via her Blog/Website: Mae Clair

The next author is Darlene Foster with a review for Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action.

About Amanda in Holland

Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah; as well as travelling the canals of Amsterdam, visiting Anne Frank House, checking out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and taking pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. She is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than she could have imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information  Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020

Amanda in Holland is the latest addition to the exciting Amanda series of books written by Canadian author, Darlene Foster. Each book in the Amanda series is set in a different country and details some of the amazing cultural and historical sites as well as dishes, drinks and clothes that are specific to that country. This aspect of the series makes it unusual and appealing to young and older readers.

Amanda, who lives in Canada, travels to Holland to meet up with her best friend, Leah Anderson and her father, who live in England. Mr Anderson is in Holland for business purposes and the two teenage girls are free to enjoy themselves seeing all the wonderful historical and cultural sites Holland has to offer. The story starts with a bang when Amanda is nearly ridden over by a woman on a bicycle on her first morning in Amsterdam. The woman’s behaviour is a bit odd and this event is followed by Amanda and Leah discovering a young puppy which has been abandoned in a box next to a rubbish bin around the corner from a cheese shop they are visiting.

Mr Anderson agrees for the girls to keep the dog until it can be taken to an animal shelter and this decision sets in motion a series of occurrences that draw Amanda and Leah into an exciting adventure involving selling animals from puppy farms and stealing rare tulip bulbs. While the two girls investigate the mysterious circumstances of the abandonment of the puppy and the strange behaviour of various individuals who keep turning up, like the woman who nearly ran Amanda over, they also visit a number of interesting places such as the hide out of Anne Frank of The Diary of Anne Frank fame, the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens and a Canadian war-memorial cemetery. Amanda has the picture of her great uncle Harold who disappeared in Holland during the war and whose grave she is hoping she might find. The two girls meet a number of interesting people and get to spend time with a number of Dutch people who introduce them to some delicious Dutch treats.

The book is action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information about life in Holland, WWII and perseverance and determination in unraveling a mystery.

Amanda is a clever and kind girl who will appeal to middle school and young teenagers who will admire her pluck

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other  books by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Darlene: Goodreads

Connect to Darlene via her blog: Darlene Foster WordPress

And the final author today is Don Massenzio with a review for the supernatural Extra Innings: Can you go home again?

About the book

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2020

Extra Innings by Don Massenzio is one man’s search to find more meaning in his simple life. The Langerton Chiefs, a AAA baseball team for the New York Yankees, have always been a significant part of Joe McLean’s life. He and his brother Mike have been lifelong fans. When the city council decides to tear down Maxwell Stadium to build a more modern facility, Joe decides that he wants a piece of the old stadium as a means of remembering his beloved Chiefs.

This meat of this story is not about baseball, however. When McLean purchases an old wooden stadium seat, he finds that he can travel in time when he goes to sleep in it. He understands that he is moving in time and recognizes the critical people in his life from days gone by, but each time Joe ends in a new period, he discovers positives and negatives. The problem is that no timeline seems to be perfect and continually finds things that are imperfect about his life that he goes about trying to fix before moving to another timeline.

It was a bit tedious trying to keep track of all of the timelines, but I found this to be an enjoyable read overall.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Don Massenzio

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and buy follow Don on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Don via his blog: Don Massenzio WordPress

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.