Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #ParanormalYA Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Familydrama James J. Cudney


As there are some great reviews being posted this week, I am slipping in an extra Cafe update for authors on the shelves.

NB. If you have a new release coming out in February please let me know. If you are already an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I just need the date, if you are new to the Cafe.. then details are in this post. It is FREE: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore

The first author is D.G. Kaye who is of course a much loved contributor to the blog. She has a recent review for her memoir Twenty Years After ‘I Do’.

About the Book

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

Avid Reader 5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming memoir that made me smile a lot January 19, 2020

A heart-warming memoir that made me smile a lot

We’re nearly there, at 20 Years after “I Do”, my husband and I.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. Kaye has a sharp sense oh humor, although it brought a tear or two in my eyes.

It takes courage and pride to put your marriage life on paper, a testimony that respect and communication are at the very foundation of any relationship.

Do not take tomorrow for granted, an advise I will gladly follow.

This is the first book I read by Kaye. I discovered an author with a deep understanding and respect for life, in all its aspects.

A poignant read, highly recommended for all ages, irrespective of where they find themselves in their relationship.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

 

Connect to Debby via her blog:D.G. Kaye Writer Blog

The next author with recent reviews is Roberta Eaton Cheadle for Through the Nethergate.

About the book

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough of this horror book that can also be considered historical fiction. Margaret is a teenage orphan with special powers. She can reincarnate the dead who are trapped between the underworld and heaven. She first experiences this when she spends time with her grandfather at his inn. As she reawakens those who have died violent or unnatural deaths and were tricked into turning away from the white light by an evil man whose presence is seen as a black dog, she discovers each person’s story, and we, the readers, also learn about true historical figures from ancient to present times. When Margaret is captured and brought to the Underworld, we also see a different version of Hell than brimstone and fire. This one features office cubicles where demons track disasters and use the Dark Web to aid terrorists and modern evildoers. Lucifer gets into the act, and Margaret’s (and the world’s) only hope lies with the good incarnates and God. This read will really make you think, and the action is fast-paced. Don’t miss it.

A selection of other Sir Chocolate stories co-written with Michael Cheadle and other books by Robbie Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Robbie : Goodreads

Connect to Robbie via her blog: Robbie’s Inspiration

The final book today with recent reviews is Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney.

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

Bernard Jan 5.0 out of 5 stars  A moving family drama with strong and memorable characters  Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2020

I’m glad that the first book I’ve read in the new year is the book from the author I very much respect and love reading, James J. Cudney. I can say nothing but praise for his debut novel Watching Glass Shatter, a moving family drama with strong and memorable characters, which I’ve read after all his other books published to this day.

Two letters that Benjamin Glass leaves to his wife Olivia after his unexpected death, explode with a threat of shattering the whole family. Supported by her sister Diane, Olivia struggles with many family secrets she learns about while visiting each of her five sons. Will she be able to reunite them as a family as each secret cuts her heart like a shattered piece of glass?

Watching Glass Shatter is an impressive portrait of the Glass family members with their real problems, successes and quickly-to-like personalities. It is a story of sadness, pain and love, but also a story of humanity and determination to rise from the sorrow and differences and build a garden where everyone will belong and bloom.

A note to the author: I uncovered Ben’s secret already in Chapter 2 after the family gathering to read his will. That should be a compliment, for you allowed me to connect and empathize with Ben’s sons and their personal situations so early in the book. Thanks and kudos!

There are over 180 excellent reviews for 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 on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow James: Goodreads

Connect to James via his blog: This is my Truth Now

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #ParanormalYA Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #History Jack Eason, #YA Darlene Foster


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

To begin today a wonderful selection of books for children, young adults and those who are young at heart… The featured book is the YA recent release Through the Nethergate…..Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

About the book

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Margaret moves in with her grandfather after the tragic deaths of her parents. Her new home is a centuries-old English inn, and shortly after her arrival, ghosts from the near and far past begin appearing—some dark and evil, others light yet stuck between worlds. Things start going a little mad when Margaret’s presence causes the ghosts to incarnate, able to act on the modern world. In short order, Lucifer takes notice.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the macabre history of real-life maniacal murderers, primarily those who killed when there were no laws protecting peasants from the powerful. Though the author qualifies her tale as fiction, she points out that many of her characters are based on true people, and her research shines. These are some twisted people. The cast of evil-doers isn’t limited to medieval England but goes back to Nero and Caligula as well as forward through the Nazi regime of WWII.

Another interesting aspect of the book is the way technology is identified as a vehicle for evil. Hell looks like an office building full of cubicles. Cheadle ties in current events including the war in Syria, mass shootings, xenophobia, economic disenfranchisement, and “fake news” – all the work of the devil. Grounded in the old testament, faith has a hand in the story too.

I enjoyed the story though the plot got a little wild with lots of characters and simultaneous action. Margaret ends up sharing the lead in the story with several other POV characters including the incarnates. Her character is the most 3-dimensional though I was intrigued by several secondary characters. I’d recommend this book to YA readers who enjoy horror and a quick pace.

A selection of other Sir Chocolate stories co-written with Michael Cheadle and other books by Robbie Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Robbie : Goodreads

Connect to Robbie via her blog: Robbie’s Inspiration

Now for a psychological thriller from Lucinda E.Clarke her latest release A Year in the Life of Leah Brand: A Psychological Thriller – Lucinda writes for all ages and has a wonderful selection of books that would make great gifts.

About the book

Leah’s nightmare began the day the dog died.

A few years earlier a fatal car crash took the lives of Leah’s beloved husband and their two babies, leaving her disabled. Life looked bleak. She was approaching forty, unemployed, broke and desperate.

Then she met Mason. He was charming, charismatic, persuasive, and a successful businessman, well respected in the community. His teenage daughter did nothing to welcome Leah into the family, but life is never perfect.

Then, two years into her second marriage, Leah Brand’s world is turned upside down; inanimate objects in the house move, her clothes are left out for the rubbish collection, pieces of furniture change places, there are unexplained noises and hauntings.

As the disturbances increase, everyone accuses Leah of losing her mind. Soon she begins to doubt herself and she starts to spiral down into a world of insanity. Is she going mad, or is someone out to destroy her? And if so, why?

A gripping, psychological thriller for fans of Mary Higgins Clarke and Louise Jensen.

An extract from one of the recent reviews for A Year in the Life of Leah Brand

Nov 19, 2019 Grant Leishman rated it Five Stars

A Year in the Life of Leah Brand is a tightly written and tense psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the very first chapter and carries you along, at breakneck speed to the unexpected and surprising conclusion. I’ve read a few of Lucinda E. Clarke’s books and one thing I’ve marveled at is her ability to chop and change genres at will – the sign of an excellent author and Clarke definitely is that. I have little doubt that the beautifully drawn and slightly neurotic character of Leah will resonate with many readers. I found myself continually second-guessing the author’s directions with the story and that is always the sign of a superb author, one who can drag the reader into “red-herring” situations and then throw them off balance with a subtle change in tack. The writing is no-nonsense and to the point, from the perspective of the main character. As a reader we are able to understand, empathise, and ride along with Leah’s swirling emotions as she is totally sure she is not crazy – but what other explanation could there be for all the weird goings-on? I liked the fact that Clarke left the door marginally ajar for a possible sequel to the tale. There is another whole path she could take this story down, if she so desired and I for one, totally hope she does. An exciting, gripping psychological thriller that twists and turns and keeps you riveted to the story, I can highly recommend this read.

A selection of other books by Lucinda E.Clarke

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Lucinda: Goodreads

Connect to Lucinda via her blog: WordPress Lucinda E. Clarke

Now something for history buffs.. a novella that engages us in one of the most important battles of British history – Autumn 1066: The End of Anglo-Saxon Dominance by Jack Eason.

About the book

Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066. In Autumn 1066, author Jack Eason gives a great sense of ‘place’, of detail. The reader is right ‘there’ in that poignant year, marching, shivering with September cold (as ‘…no warming fires were allowed lest ‘enemy spies would soon spot their approach.’) From the very first few lines, Eason, practising his unique drycraft, begins to weave his particular brand of magic on his reader.

Eason glamour’s with well-crafted dialogue, drawing his reader into the time and into the action. To accomplish this, the author proffers a gentle blend of informative nomenclature coupled with familiar speech, to ease the reader into his story without distancing with words too unfamiliar, which is a criticism frequently made of Bernard Cornwell’s epics. I long to read more Martin Bradley

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jack Eason has woven a short but compelling tale around the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings, the end of the Saxon times in England. It’s a story of ordinary folk, as well as the rulers of the land, and how the decisions they made shaped the times. Full of well-researched detail, the vivid picture he paints puts you in the centre of the action. Recommended reading for anyone interested in the events of 1066

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Jack and read other reviews: Goodreads

Connect to Jack via his website: Have We Had Help

And another author with a wonderful selection of books which would make great gifts for young adults and also for children who are learning Spanish. Featured today is the latest in the travel novels by Darlene Foster – 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

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A tour of Holland  September 25, 2019

This book was quite a bit of fun. Foster combines a middle-grade fiction plot with a colorful tour of Holland, including its famous sites, snippets of history, and its wonderful flowers and food. I had the great fortune of visiting my grandparents in Holland when I was Amanda’s age, and her experiences in the book mirror my memories in great detail. It was a blast to traipse along beside Amanda and enjoy the country once again.

The main plot focuses on the recovery of a lost puppy, but secondary plots weave through the story, and all come together nicely at the end. There’s a bit of mystery and some danger to keep the tension up. There are also some very moving scenes when Amanda visits Anne Frank’s home and a war memorial dedicated to the Canadians who helped liberate Holland during WWII. A lovely book for young readers and absolutely perfect for readers who plan to travel the world.

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