Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Memoir #Flash Pamela S. Wight, #Western #Folklore Staci Troilo


The first review today is for the Halloween poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku

About the collection

The stage is set and the actors are fully rehearsed and prepared to have the night of their lives. Of course, it IS only ONE NIGHT but that night is Halloween. Come, and eavesdrop on the cast of fright night in the bright light of day as they speak in “haikulike verse”. While most subjects say cheese when facing a camera, these rascals say, BOO! BOOKU that is!

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Halloween Accompaniment!  Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

I love that this little book of Haiku is based on this author’s family and love for all things Halloween! The photos are outstanding. The extent this family goes to with decorations is over the top! But add the brilliant Haiku with the photos and you have an excellent spooky book to share and celebrate at Halloween! I highly recommend this very quick read. It will get you in the trick-or-treating spirit immediately!

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

The next author today with a recent review is Pamela S. Wight for her latest release Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary

About the collection.

Wow! Life goes by in a flash.

Philosophers and mystics ponder the mystery of these flashes. Pamela Wight writes about life flashes in her short stories that include family and friends, love and life’s challenges. Wight’s “Flash Memoir” promotes the belief that we all share sparks of the extraordinary that occur in our everyday life. Each short story is true and brings a smile of recognition to her readers: that life transports and enthralls us in all its confusing, amusing, challenging, and astonishing ways. Each story is light-hearted and short – like a flash – but be prepared for a page-turner that keeps you in your seat, smiling.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! A Must Read!  Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021

Flashes of Life by Pamela S. Wight brings to life those little moments of joy, which we often miss, those emotions that remain unexpressed, those relationships that we cherish and wish we could hold on to them as they slip out of our hands, however hard we may close our fists. Wight possesses the knack of converting an ordinary scenario into a humorous one, with her witty style of writing. I’ve never read a more marvelous account of the endeavor of a fourteen-year-old girl, to straighten her hair to look like ‘Jane Asher!’

I know Pamela writes with élan, as I follow her at her blog but this memoir, in the form of little stories and anecdotes from her life is amazing! She can look at the mirror and wonder, “where’s the cute twenty-year-old? Who the hell is this freaky lady?” I must have thought that a million times when I look at myself but only Pamela could express it so well to compress it into ‘Dancing Our Age.’ Her crisp style and ingenious choice of words adds a dash of delight that touches your heart immediately. Her stories flow like a gurgling stream, cascading at times and shimmering like the first rays of winter sun.

I thought ‘Straight Hair’ would be my favorite but then I read ‘How to Embarrass Your Kids’ (loaded with fun) and ‘A Renewal’ – dripping with subtle emotions and
‘Grilled Cheese,’ which is wonderfully narrative: “kitchen as tiny as an elf’s, and it has already taken me four minutes, thirty-eight seconds to find a knife to cut the cheese.” Wight is most creative but it hits the sky with ‘It’s All Golden!’ Just look at this: “my thirty year old son, once my hard child”, as hard as sleet on soft grass. I was the grass.” I loved ‘Nap Time,’ I laughed out loud while reading ‘Burnt Toast’ and would never forget her winter coat that she wore when it was 70 degrees outside! You have to read to find why!

I have no words to describe the superb beauty of ‘The Weight of the Soul’ and ‘Benji.’ Need I say this is a MUST READ book? I would like to give it double 5 stars and keep it at my bedside to read it again and again.

Also by Pamela S. Wight

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Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Pamela : Goodreads – website:Rough Wighting – Twitter: @pamelawight

The final author is Staci Troilo for her short story Valuable Treasures (The Medici Protectorate)

About the book

Life in the Colorado mountains isn’t easy for immigrants Anita and Ottavio Notaro, particularly when they’re isolated on a hillside and barely speak the language. Anita is carrying their first child, and Tav works many long, hard hours away from home. This isn’t the American dream they were promised; this is a brutal life on the frontier. Tav has been saving money to make their lives easier, and he stumbles on a windfall. The only problem is, he isn’t the only one who knows about it. Trouble befalls these two humble Italians, threatening their livelihoods—and their lives.

A strange posse made up of fellow countrymen ride to their rescue. But will they get there in time?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2021

Having read and loved the Medici Protectorate Series, I was thrilled to see there was a short story prequel to it. Ottavio and a very pregnant Anita are trying to live the American Dream in the Colorado mountains. Ottavio puts in long hours with little to show for it. One day he comes home with an unexpected find right as Anita goes into labor. They hoped to use this to go back to Italy, but things quickly change. This is beautifully written, and I could feel the hardship they had endured, including down to the detail of their poor diet. What happens next is heartbreaking, but then comes relief to see a familiar group. This can be a standalone read, but I highly recommend the following books in the Medici Protectorate Series.  

Other books by Staci Troilo

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Staci Troilo: GoodreadsBlog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo –

 

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

Smorgasbord Book Reviews September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello


A short recap of my reviews this month for adult and children’s books.

The first review in September was for children Lulubelle Loves to Bake.

My review for the book September 4th 2021

This is a great sized book for children A4 with big print and beautifully illustrated by the author.

Lulubelle definitely has a sweet tooth and all the recipes are favourite deserts and cookies that children will be immediately drawn to and offer an opportunity for some fun baking sessions in the kitchen with mum or dad.

Some of my personal favourites are Perfect Pumpkin Pie and Zucchini Muffins…although I wouldn’t say no to Kitchen Sink Cookies either.

Each recipe is accompanied by Lulubelle and her friends, suitably attired to complement the particular recipe, and a rhyme for a child to read and learn, featuring the letter of the alphabet featured.

A great idea for a cookbook and perhaps Lulubelle might follow it up with an A-Z of easy savoury dishes that will introduce them to other foods as well as the format is terrific.

Bright, colourful and full of rhymes and recipes adults and children alike will enjoy reading as they prepare and eat the treats. A recommended read.

I also reviewed Marisa’s First Fishing Trip

My review for the book 16th September

This is a delightfully illustrated story that would engage any small child. A perfect book for grandparents to keep on hand to read and it demonstrates the wonderful bond and teaching moments this offers.

Every page is filled with colour, celebrations such as Christmas and the joy of opening gifts, a plane journey and the adventure of spending the day on a lake with your grandpa learning to fish. And the surprises that you manage to hook on the end of your line.

There are plenty of opportunities to expand the story to personalise it for a child which will extend the enjoyment of the book. Recommended.

A selection of other books by Dawn Doig which are available in several languages.

Read the reviews and Buy Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Dawn: Goodreads – Website: Dawn Doig – Twitter: @Shoebears

Dawn donates the sales of the books to the orphanage CAESEDA Centre d’Acceuil et d’Education Specialisee des Enfants Deficients Auditifs Nkolmebanga, Cameroon

The next review is for a book that caught my attention when viewing a series of delightful videos on Youtube about the wonderful pair of labradors who entertain and endear themselves to millions. Olive and Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs… by Andrew Cotter

My review for the book 11th September 2021

I have to admit that watching Olive and Mabel on YouTube, with a commentary by their owner Andrew Cotter is a guilty pleasure. One that during the last 18 months in particularly, has offered a wonderful few minutes of escapism away from the world’s woes. When I saw there was a book about these two Internet stars and their versatile sports commentator companion, I leapt at the chance to discover more about their joint backgrounds.

As a dog lover I really appreciated the humourous and accurate summation of a dog’s approach to life, in particular to food, walks, toys and rolling in all things aromatic. General observations aside, it was the difference in the natures of Olive and Mabel that brought them to life especially, in their approaches to adventure.

Of these there are plenty as Andrew Cotter is a dedicated mountain man, not only in his native Scotland that offers some magnificent climbing opportunities across the seasons, but also when commentating abroad in places such as Australia and Japan where challenges presented themselves. Whilst happy to scale the summits alone far from the madding crowd, Andrew clearly considers hours spent in the mountains with Olive and Mabel, up to their hollyhocks in snow his greatest pleasure. If you are considering visiting Scotland for some climbing then you will find this a useful guide.

For anyone who is considering bringing a dog in to their home there is an excellent chapter about making the right decision about breed, temperament and happiness of this important new family member, never more so than during the pandemic when suddenly everyone wanted a puppy or cat. Some without thought to how a return to more normal working hours and routine would impact their pet, accustomed to having a family around them 24/7.

Apart from mountaineering, other adventures include the wonder of beaches, love of water; a labrador’s favoured habitat, assorted accomodations from small cottages to exclusive hotels. Not to mention the navigation of clearly dangerous, and to be avoided floor compositions and unacceptable coverings.

There is also a reminder of other remarkable dogs through time who have proved to be man’s best friend and have followed their masters unquestioningly. These include Andrew Cotter’s family dogs as he grew up, who all had very distinctive characters and have chapters dedicated to them.

The author has done an amazing job in bringing Olive and Mabel from the exulted status of stars of the computer screen into our lives as the two adorable and much loved companions they are. I recommend the book to all dog lovers, and those who seek the wonder of being on top of the world in the mountains.

Read some of the over 2000 reviews and buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads

Watch the videos of Olive and Mabel: YouTube

New book being released on October 7th 2021: Amazon UK

This week my advance review for the latest release by Richard Dee.. a Fantasy YA/Teen Sci-fi adventure – The Syk’m. On pre-order ebook for October 15th at an offer price

My five star review for the book September 18th 2021

This is the first venture into fantasy by Richard Dee but I hope it won’t be his last. As an author he is known for his excellent world building and he has carried that across to The Syk’m, creating a number of different worlds that find themselves overlapping by design and sometimes by accident.

Although there are interesting differences physically between the races, there is also a meeting of minds and emotions that provides for some interesting interactions. There is an enemy intent on taking over the world of the Syk’m that have little intention of stopping their advance there. With connecting corridors to other planets the way lies open for a domination of the universe.

The band of young trainee warriors from Skander have a difficult quest ahead of them, filled with danger, far from family and a peaceful existence now enjoyed by their world. Much will be asked of them and the outcome is far from certain.

The characters are all well-crafted, each bringing something significant to the story. Although a fantasy world, there are parallels to be drawn with our own with power seekers, treachery and corruption. There are also heroes willing to sacrifice their lives to succeed in this mission to save this world and others at risk, and to fight shoulder to shoulder with new allies.

I recommend this to those who enjoy well-written fantasy with excellent characters, great world building and plenty of action.

Head over to buy the Ebook on pre-order for Ocober 15th Ebook at £1.99/$2.99: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1 Facebook:Richard Dee Author

A lovely poetry collection in time for Halloween by poet Annette Rochelle Aben, Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku.

My review for the collection 25th September 2021

This book has two lovely purposes… The first is a tribute to the author’s sister who has become somewhat of a neighbourhood legend with the amazing Halloween displays she creates each year with photographs showcasing her skills.

Secondly it is a vehicle to demonstrate how Annette Rochelle Aben can turn even a gruesome skeleton or demonic mask into a thing of beauty by the use of her descriptive Haiku.

No mean feat to strike terror in the hearts of her readers whilst delighting them with the humour she employs.

This is a short read but long on great poetry and images. I can recommend as a wonderful gift in print for children in the family to mark this festivity. For adults it will remind them of the joys of adjusting fangs and green slime before heading out to terrify the neighbourhood into giving them treats. Also provide some ideas on how to decorate their own house and garden this coming Halloween.

Head over to buy the collection in print and ebook: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

And the final review for September Going Home.. a family, murder mystery by Sharon Marchisello.

My review for the book 30th September 2021

This is a well written and thought provoking story that combines a care crisis that many of us face with elderly parents who have developed dementia, and the unravelling of the mystery surrounding a murder in a family home.

It is clear the author has experience of the challenge of communicating with someone who has short term memory loss, and brings in a cleverly crafted murder plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.

There are flashbacks to the past and events which have a bearing on the present, and the reader is witness to the fallout that revelations result in as the search begins for a viable suspect amongst the outsiders who have access to the family home. It would seem that the authorities have only one suspect in mind, and without the ability to communicate coherently, an elderly woman must rely on her extended family to prove her innocence.

The author does a great job in keeping all the various strands of the plot running smoothly in parallel and brings the story to a satisfactory climax.

I recommend to those who enjoy well written murder mysteries and family sagas.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UsAnd: Amazon UK

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

 

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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update #Reviews – #Fantasy Barbara Spencer, #Fantasy P.L. Stuart, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben


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

The first author with a recent review is Barbara Spencer for The Drumming of Heels ((Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 3)

About the Book

1944 approaches and Europe is haemorrhaging under the yoke of their oppressors. Of the three children who survived the massacre, only two remain. Yöst has given his own life to rescue Rico, the boy he loved, and Maestro the musician and, in so doing, has bought himself immortality as people tell stories of the angel who gave them hope. Now it is up to Zande and Tatania to face both the majesty and complexity of the carinatae life – or will they renege, as did Albert Meijer, and choose a human life instead?

A recent review for the book

Mrs. J 5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly Beautiful  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 July 2021

This is the third book in the Children of Zeus trilogy. I’ve been hooked on these wonderful books ever since I read The Year the Swans Came.

Although these books are telling the story of Zande’s growing years, this one seems to be largely Tatania, now known as Tania. It begins not long after the last one finished; the Germans are still in occupation in Holland and life is tough for the people who live in and around Amsterdam. Tania and Zande have taken up a dangerous role – that of helping the resistance rescue British soldiers, until it becomes too dangerous to continue. But before that, something special happens to Tania and the hope she holds in her heart helps to carry her through. Then the war ends and the Germans leave.

Zande knows he will change soon – he is almost of age where his body will go through the painful transition of young man to swan and he will have to fly away with the flock. But he hates his father, Robert, the current leader, and doesn’t want to live the life of the Caritinae, even though he is the Prince, designated to be the flock’s next leader. He wants to be a human like his guardian, Albert, and build boats, which is his dream. He is a young man with a tortured mind. He knows, too, the only chance he has to become human is to find a true love and stay faithful to her – which is everything against what the Caritinae is – their goal is to sire as many children as possible with as many women as possible in order to sustain the flock.

This is a bittersweet tale. I was carried away, my mind so completely involved with Zande and Tania that I found myself crying at one point and achingly sad at other times. And yet, this story still has its triumphs; Tania in particular shows great strength of character and I admire her so much. It is through her that the joyful ending is achieved.

I stand in awe of the skill of Ms Spencer; her knowledge, her way of writing, her descriptions, the way she makes her characters so real proves she is an author of outstanding merit and I wish more people would discover these books. They are so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Don’t be put off by the word ‘fantasy’ because most of it is about a real country and people and history and the fantasy bit just seems so natural.

Now, I’m going to re-read The Year the Swans Came and then on to the last book, and I shall be really sorry to reach the end of the series.  

A small selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Connect to Barbara Spencer: Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

The next author with a recent review is P.L. Stuart for his debut novel A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1)

About the book

Once Second Prince of the mightiest kingdom in the known world, Othrun now leads the last survivors of his exiled people into an uncertain future far across the Shimmering Sea from their ancestral home, now lost beneath the waves. With his Single God binding his knights to chivalric oaths, intent on wiping out idolatry and pagan worship, they will have to carve out a new kingdom on this mysterious continent―a continent that has for centuries been ravaged by warlords competing for supremacy and mages channeling the mystic powers of the elements―and unite the continent under godly rule.

With a troubled past, a cursed sword, and a mysterious spirit guiding him, Othrun means to be that ruler, and conquer all. But with kingdoms fated on the edge of spears, alliances and pagan magic, betrayal, doubt, and dangers await him at every turn. Othrun will be forced to confront the truths of all he believes in on his journey to become a king, and a legend.

When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Destiny Bridwell  4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful  Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2021

I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I got a PDF of this book from the author. It has been awhile since I have ready this type of epic fantasy. It start with a very flawed main character whole is a prince that has lost his whole kingdom and the few survivors that are left a leaving home to find a new one. Their island home has disappeared beneath the waves. I am not sure I like the main character he kind of comes off like a complete jerk. The world building and descriptions is beyond amazing it has a feel like you can reach out and touch the world that is being depicted. One would not assume this was the first book by a debut author. This is a good book.  

Read the reviews and buy the book P.L. Stuart: Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow P.L. Stuart: GoodreadsWebsite: P.L. Stuart – Facebook: P.L. Stuart Writes – Twitter: @plstuartwrites

And the final review today is for the recently released poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku

About the collection

The stage is set and the actors are fully rehearsed and prepared to have the night of their lives. Of course, it IS only ONE NIGHT but that night is Halloween. Come, and eavesdrop on the cast of fright night in the bright light of day as they speak in “haikulike verse”. While most subjects say cheese when facing a camera, these rascals say, BOO! BOOKU that is!

One of the early reviews for the collection.

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars The poems were clever and had me laughing.  Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2021

I’m a huge fan of Halloween and couldn’t pass up a book of Halloween haikus and pictures. Ms. Aben goes into the background of Halloween decorations and her sibling’s part in that. It’s pictures of the displays that are used to inspire the poetry. The poems were clever and had me laughing. Here’s one of them that was paired with a haunting decoration: “I met this vampire/said he hadn’t had a bite/offered him a stake.” This is a quick read to be slowly enjoyed. Reading this book got me into the Halloween mood. If you love poetry and Halloween, this collection is for you.

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

 

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

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Fantasy Adele Marie Park.


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 Annette Rochelle Aben  

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.

A selection of  books by Annette Rochelle Aben

A recent review for A Haiku Perspective 2016

Robbie Cheadle5.0 out of 5 stars A sprinkling of happy dust Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021

I am a fan of Ms Aben’s lovely haikus and other poetry. She is one of the most uplifting people I know and her writing makes me feel happy and able to face the world which isn’t always a happy place. I think this is a real gift. I often have a peep into one of the poet’s books when I feel in need of some happy dust. A few examples of her work from this book are as follows:

“Ahh
Nice moments are grand
Giving us distraction
And Great Memories”

“Smile
Sometimes life hugs you
Just when you least expect it
A whisper of hope”

From Born to Bless
“You’ll be the rainbow
The moment your remember
You always were”  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

Meet Karen Ingalls

Karen Ingalls is the author of four books of which two are award-winning. She has published non-fiction, biographical novel, historical novel, and short stories. She is a retired Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Human Development.

Ms. Ingalls’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the category of women’s health. It was a top finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.
The book offers hope and inspiration to women and their families.

Her most recent book is a series of twelve short stories When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees.

She is a blogger, public speaker, author of many articles, and advocate for gynecologic cancer awareness and fundraiser for research. In her spare time, she loves to read and play golf. All proceeds from the book sales go to ovarian cancer research.

Books by Karen Ingalls

One of the recent reviews for When I Rise

Mar 07, 2021 Gwendolyn Plano rated it it was amazing

Author Karen Ingalls has taken some of the tragedies of life and provided context and healing through well-written short stories. Her depth of understanding and her tenderness kept me turning the pages well into the night. I not only related to the scenes, but I also connected with the author. She became a friend, someone I’d love to know. Though the book is fictional, it reads like nonfiction. The characters are people you know – good or bad, they are in your life. Your neighbor, your spouse, your sibling, your parent – you know them and through Ingalls’ book, you know them in a different way than before. Well done! 

Karen Ingalls, buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

Meet Adele Marie Park

Fantasy and horror writer, Adele Marie Park originally hails from the Orkney islands. Rousay is a small, but archaeological important island, dubbed “The Egypt of The North.” The oral tradition of passing down stories fired the young Adele’s imagination with tales of trolls, faeries, sea monsters, witches, ghosts, and seals who could change into humans. The landscape of the island fascinated her as moorland hills swept down through green fields to the shores of secluded beaches, where black volcanic rocks might be a troll or a sleeping giant.

Reading the Hobbit at an early age inspired her and in her teens she turned to Stephen King, James Herbert, Anne Rice and Storm Constantine to appease a mind hungry to delve into the paranormal. Throughout her life she never gave up writing but it was an ongoing medical condition which forced her to give up work that began her passion to publish her writing for others to read.

Genres may come and go, but Adele’s writing encompasses a solidity which does not change; the overcoming of obstacles in one’s life, love, death, grief and pain all infused with those supernatural elements that one sees out the corner of the eye or feels when one is alone in the house at night and a floorboard creaks.

Books by Adele Marie Park

One of the recent reviews for Wolfe Manor

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Tale of a Young Woman Born to Save Humanity  Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021

Adele Marie Park’s newest release, “Wolfe Manor,” is the haunting tale of a young woman born for one purpose, to save humanity—an enormous task for anyone. But Fianna isn’t just anyone, she’s a guardian.

Wolfe Manor harbors Fianna and her aunts and a circle of friends who promise to assist her in the tremendous undertaking of shutting the portal to the evil that has found its way into the world. Of course, you know there is dark magic at play. There’s only one problem, in order for Fianna to shut the portal, she must first go through it!

There’s plenty of magic to go around, including some evil witches, a demon, and a few totem animals that really made this novel shine. Yet, the real story is witnessing Fianna come into her own personal power to fulfill her destiny.

If you love speculative fiction, paranormal fiction, and stories of women coming to grips with their own power, then this is the story for you. I read long into the night, bewitched by the twists and turns in the story. If you think you know the ending, guess again. This was a real page-turner. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Adele: Goodreads – Website: Firefly WordPressTwitter: @Binky567

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #autobiography Lucinda E. Clarke, #Poetry Anita Dawes, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first book with a recent review is a collection of poetry by Annette Rochelle Aben – A Haiku Perspective 2016..

About the collection

Welcome! Prepare to be entertained, enchanted and encouraged to tell YOUR stories using an ancient Japanese technique of writing poetry. To tell a story with seventeen syllables, we create haiku. Each poem in A Haiku Perspective 2016, tells a story in its own unique way. A Haiku Perspective 2016 is a modern day, American poet’s way of celebrating life through her love of writing, haiku!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Robbie Cheadle5.0 out of 5 stars A sprinkling of happy dust Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021

I am a fan of Ms Aben’s lovely haikus and other poetry. She is one of the most uplifting people I know and her writing makes me feel happy and able to face the world which isn’t always a happy place. I think this is a real gift. I often have a peep into one of the poet’s books when I feel in need of some happy dust. A few examples of her work from this book are as follows:

“Ahh
Nice moments are grand
Giving us distraction
And Great Memories”

“Smile
Sometimes life hugs you
Just when you least expect it
A whisper of hope”

From Born to Bless
“You’ll be the rainbow
The moment your remember
You always were”  

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

The next author is Lucinda E. Clarke for Walking on Eggshells:Surviving Mental Abuse

About the book

Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography that tells the story of a mentally abused child, who married a “Walter Mitty” clone. They moved from England to Kenya, from Libya to Botswana and on again to South Africa. It took all her courage to survive in situations that were at times dangerous, sometimes humorous, but always nerve wracking. She had a variety of jobs, different types of homes, and was both a millionairess and totally broke. She met royalty, hosted ambassadors, and won numerous awards for her writing and television programs. She also climbed over garbage dumps, fended off bailiffs, and coped being abandoned in the African bush with a seven-week-old baby with no money or resources. She admits to being the biggest coward in the world, but her survival instincts kicked in and she lived to tell her story. This book will make you laugh and cry and hopefully inspire others who did not have the best start in life either. All names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent – and that includes the author as well!

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 March 2021

Walking Over Eggshells is one of those books that keeps on surprising from start to finish. Several times I found myself thinking, ‘Well nothing could possibly top that!’ and each time, something did. This is a remarkable true story ; a sweeping tale of cycles of extreme poverty and unimaginable wealth in locations spanning different countries and cultures. From Benghazi to Botswana the pace never lets up and the book is peppered with shocks and tragedies. The author lightens the narrative with remarkable humour and I was left with admiration for someone who could experience the hardships and ordeals that she did and yet come through it all with an objective viewpoint and a smile on her face.
Walking Over Eggshells will make you want to weep, rage and cheer. It’s one of those gems that deserves to be read. Give it a go and be prepared for a bumpy, emotional, ultimately satisfying ride.  

A selection of books by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Blog:WordPress Lucinda E. Clarke — Follow Lucinda:GoodreadsTwitter: @LucindaEClarke

The next review is for Shadows by Anita Dawes.

About the book

A collection of Anita Dawes best poems – about love and longing – hopes and dreams – there will be something for everyone…

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.

A selection of other books by Anita Dawes

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

The last book today with a recent review, is a murder mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

About the book

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

A recent review for the book

Steven Williams4.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Read – Better Winter Read Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2021

I read this book during lockdown, over the winter and it was honestly such a beautiful adventure. It served as a bit of an escape which I thoroughly appreciated. The book is full of action, intrigue and romance. Romance has never really been a selling point for me when it comes to novels, movies or really any storytelling medium, but Sharon does it well. I highly recommend this book, if you are going on vacation to anywhere but the Galapagos. I also highly recommend this book if its a dark and dreary winter, and you need to envision yourself somewhere else. The book is set somewhere wonderful and the mystery keeps you engaged for the long-haul.

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – follow Sharon:Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Mystery Sharon Marchisello, #Memoir Cynthia S. Reyes, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben


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.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.

One of the recent reviews for Secrets of the Galapagos

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and entertaining  Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

This is an entertaining murder mystery with a large dollop of romance. The story is set on a cruise ship which is travelling around the idyllic islands of the Galapogos. The author weaves some lovely and interesting information about these island, the conservation programmes they have in place as well as the amazing wildlife that is found there, into the story which I really enjoyed.

Giovanna has recently had some bad experiences. She lost all the money raised from investors to build her dream non-profit veterinary clinic to a clever con artist and, as a result, her fiancee and business partner, Tim, has broken off their engagement. To make matters even worse, her best friend, Connie, is married to the conman, and helped entice her into his trap. Giovanna’s youthful looking grandmother, Michelle, talks her into going on a cruise to help her recover from these losses and move on with her life. Giavanna decides on the Galapagos as a destination because she has learned, via Facebook, that this is where Connie and the conman have gone and she hopes to somehow get an opportunity to confront him and get the stolen money back.

Giovanna is in for some more hard knocks. While snorkeling with her new friend, Laurel, the pair get separated from the group and Giovanna is nearly left behind by the boat. Laurel disappears and no-one will acknowledge it except for Michelle and a few other guests who notice she is missing. Other unusual things are also happening on board the ship: Michelle gets hit over the head in the ship’s library, a memory stick with photographs of animals on it belonging to Laurel goes missing and one of the guides turns up dead in the swimming pool. Giavanna is determined to get to the bottom of it all and also to confront the conman if the opportunity presents itself.

Into this whole mix enters a gorgeous local policeman, Victor, who is investigating the murder, the disappearance of Laurel and who is interested in Giavanna.

This is a fast paced book with lots of action and some romance. I found it a bit hard to follow in a few parts because there was just so much happening and so many different sub-plots but on the whole this is an entertaining and interesting read.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

Meet Cynthia Reyes

Cynthia Reyes is the author of A Good Home and An Honest House. Her children’s illustrated book Myrtle the Purple Turtle was published in October 2017 to excellent reviews.

Cynthia is a former journalist, producer-director and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. More than a hundred episodes of her programs appeared on network television. She won national and international awards and acclaim for her work, including The Children’s Broadcast Institute Award , The Trailblazer Award and The Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television.

In October 2016, the country of her birth, Jamaica, inducted Cynthia into the Order of Distinction, Commander Rank, in recognition of her work in Canadian and international journalism.

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One of the recent reviews for Twigs in my Hair on Goodreads

Mar 10, 2020 Wendy Macdonald rated it Four Stars and really liked it

If you have ever loved a garden, you’ll enjoy this gardening memoir by Cynthia Reyes. She shows us her flower borders and introduces us to her favorite plants, trees, seasons, and people. Cynthia weaves humor and personal stories into the garden’s fabric so that by the end of the book you feel as though you’ve had tea with a good gardening friend and a tour of a lovingly landscaped Eden. Her husband’s excellent garden photography pairs well with Cynthia’s beautiful and inspiring writing.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And  : Amazon UK – Follow Cynthia : Goodreads – Website:Cynthia Reyes – Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynthiaSReyes

Meet Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses

A selection of books by Annette Rochelle Aben

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One of the recent reviews for Think Tanka

Bette A. Stevens 4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Poetic Renderings!  Reviewed in the United States on February 29, 2020

Aben aptly describes Think Tanka as a collection of “short songs.” As an enthusiastic reader, rapt by the author’s introduction, I began “thinking in tanka.” I was impressed by the poems’ clever grouping by theme—adding to the enjoyment and ease of relating them to my own life. Ranging in scope from nature to human nature, Annette Rochelle Aben manages to strum the heartstrings and lift the spirit with her delightful poetic renderings. ~ Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning children’s picture book Amazing Matilda and other books for children and adults.

Read the reviews and by the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads –  Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter: @YouAreTheExpert

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Children Victoria Zigler


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.

If you are looking for a good mystery to curl up by the fire with this Christmas then here is Amy M. Reade with Trudy’s Diary (Libraries of the World Mysteries Book 1)

About the book

Daisy Carruthers moved to Washington, DC, from New York City following an emotionally draining murder investigation, little knowing she would soon be involved in two more. But when her boss and her best friend come under suspicion for killing two adulterous lovers, Daisy has no choice but to help when they ask.

And when she comes across a diary and an old dime novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

​Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ruth Barrineau-Brooks 5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible mystery August 30, 2019

Trudy’s Diary, the first in a new mystery series by Amy Reade, had me from page one. Daisy Carruthers is working to recreate her life when finds herself trying to solve two murders …or is it more? The narrative of present-day Daisy alternates with nineteenth-century Trudy after she starts reading Trudy’s diary, and it kept me reading late into the night. The plot, full of twists and turns, and the memorable characters made for a fascinating read. I love mysteries and loved this one! I highly recommend it.

Also by Amy M. Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Amy on : Goodreads

Connect to Amy via her website: Amy M. Reade

Time for some poetry and Annette Rochelle Aben has a wonderful selection of Japanese poetry often accompanied by wonderful images. This is her latest release Think Tanka: Vision in Verse

About Think Tanka

Throughout time, the poet has used words to convey feelings, share ideas and unite the reader with their vision. Think Tanka uses the traditional structure of Japanese lyric poetry to unite the reader to the vision of the poet. if you can “see” what she is trying to “say” in every grouping of 31 syllables, then she has done her job. Think Tanka is a book for those who appreciate poetry, those who enjoy short reads, people who like to smile and those who know what it is like to be lost in a world of imagination. Whether you are buying this book for yourself or someone else, you’ll want to make sure you get an extra copy so you’ll have one on hand to share.

One of the recent reviews for Think Tanka

At the beginning of this beautiful little book, the author writes, “Tanka means short song.” That describes this book completely. Not only is it in alphabetical order according to topic titles, but it provides a daily reference for inspiration, a thought for the day, or a chuckle. The author touches on every topic from the deepest spiritual aspect of “Quiet & Space,” to the frolicking “Dance Machine.” There is a large dose of magic sprinkled throughout this book of Tanka. There is homage to our beautiful panet, Mother Earth and even a nod to our traditions. If you are looking for a book to make your day sparkle, you will enjoy the amazing Tanka from Annette Rochelle Aben!  

Other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Annette: Goodreads

Connect to Annette via her blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress

The next author with those of you who enjoy murder mysteries is Barbara Silkstone for the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series – Sun Scream.

About the book

A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jamie Toast, Loud Mouth of the South, wants to have a Murder Mystery Party for an open house where all their friends dress up in roaring twenties attire. Jamie isn’t really a likeable character, but Olive and Lizzy have befriended her. The week before her party, mysterious accidents start happening to Jamie, which could have all been life threatening. All evidence seems to point to her husband, Chip Toast.

In the meantime, Sophia Napoli, an Italian film star, is considering backing and endorsing Nonna’s Cold Cream. One of her conditions is that Olive and Lizzy have to stop their crime busting antics, they would have to leave that up to the local police. Their involvement wouldn’t reflect well on Sophia. Olive agrees, but is torn. Being a psychologist, one of the things she does for the police is profile the people Kal brings in for questioning. She won’t let that go and figures she could do it on the sly.

Grams, Lizzy’s grandmother, is a spunky old coot who assigns herself, with her large brass candlestick, as Jamie’s bodyguard. She is also convinced that Chip is guilty of setting up the traps to kill Jamie. The night of the Murder Mystery Party Lizzy and Olive are assigned their roles to play. Everyone is having a good time and the game goes as planned with Jamie and her death scene. Then one of the party goers falls from one of the balconies and dies. Another mystery needs to be solved. This woman could have been mistaken for Jamie from behind. Was this another attempt on Jamie’s life?

Kal, Olive, and Lizzy scramble to clear Chip Toast and find the real person behind Jamie’s life-threatening attacks. And solve the real murder at the party. Was the woman pushed or did she jump to her death? Nothing can be found to link her to any of the party attendees. Olive invited her and her guest to the party. All possible leads are dead ends. Join Kal, Olive and Lizzy as they try to solve an unsolvable mystery…

Other books in the series.

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on: Goodreads

Connect to Barbara via her website: Second Act Cafe

And finally a reminder of the lovely children’s books by Victoria Zigler and today her book The Witchlet: Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy.

About Witchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?

This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. The titles in the series are as follows:

1. Witchlet
2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
3. A Magical Storm

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 05, 2019 Robbie Cheadle rated it Four Stars

The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.

Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.

In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out

The other two books in the Trilogy and a selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

You can download all the other print and audio books from Amazon: Amazon UK

and Amazon US: Amazon US

Read many more reviews and follow Victoria on: Goodreads

Connect to Victoria via her website: Victoria Zigler

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