In this first feature for the Smorgasbord Bookshelf I am sharing authors whose books I have read and can personally recommend along with one of my reviews for their books.
The first award winning author today is Jan Sikes.. I am enjoying working my way through her extensive portfolio of books and I am sharing one my review for Ghostly Interference. I am looking forward to reading more in 2022.
Meet Jan Sikes
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.
There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.
Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.
In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.
The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.
I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.
A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes
My review for Ghostly Interference (White Rune Series Book 1) February 2021
This is a passionate love story with a gentle paranormal theme running through it. Whilst the central characters are Jag and Rena and is about the development of their relationship, the story also has other players who also create interest and mystery.
The author has done a great job of creating the world that they all inhabit and you almost feel that you are riding pillion on a motorcycle, tapping your toes to the music and seeing something faintly familiar in the shadows.
There is also plenty of action as the lives of others intrude into the love story, and the author does not shy away from writing about tough issues such as domestic violence and life in the foster care system, both relevant to background story and as the plot evolves.
There are some terrific twists and turns in the story that keep you guessing and turning the pages.
I have no hesitation is recommending the book to lovers of well written romance, paranormal and family sagas.
I was introduced to the next author today, Ailish Sinclair early in 2021 and loved the first book I have read and look forward to reading more of her work.
Meet Ailish Sinclair
Ailish Sinclair trained as a dancer and taught dance for many years, before working in schools to help children with special needs. A short stint as a housekeeper in a castle fired her already keen interest in untold stories of the past and she sat down to research and write.
She now lives beside a loch with her husband and two children where she still dances and writes and eats rather a lot of chocolate.
Books by Ailish Sinclair
My review for Fireflies and Chocolate June 2021
As the author explains in her notes, this story is based on actual events that took place in Scotland in the 1740s, when six hundred children and young people were kidnapped from Aberdeen and sold into indentured servitude in the American colonies. Although there are accounts of this devastating event, they are mainly from the male perspective and the author created her central character Elizabeth to redress the balance.
Sinclair has done an excellent job of merging fact and fiction with wonderful characters, some based on real people of the day. Those who survived the crowded and dangerous crossing, were sold to the highest bidder to use as they saw fit for the years of their indenture. At that time slavery was still embedded in the culture, and the indentured servants worked side by side, often in appalling and cruel conditions.
Elizabeth comes from a privileged background but it is a time of conflict with the English and like many Scottish noble families times are hard. However, nothing could prepare her for voyage that broke the spirits of many, and the horror of being sold into an uncertain future.
We follow her adventures as she meets those who are on the run from the harsh treatment on the plantations, and those with a more enlightened attitude to the slavery and the use of indentured servants. Her bravery in the face of the treatment to those she now works side by side with, wins hearts and also endangers her life and those she loves.
This book is well researched, bringing history to life and the writing flows smoothly like hot chocolate as it warms on a cold day. It is a coming of age and love story which will have you holding your breath on occasion as Elizabeth comes to terms with her future.
I can highly recommend the book to those who enjoy well researched and compelling historical novels.
Read the other reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Other reviews :Goodreads – Website:Ailish Sinclair – Twitter: @AilishSinclair – Facebook: Ailish Sinclair Author – LinkedIn: Ailish Sinclair
The next poet whose collections are much enjoyed is Balroop Singh and I read and reviewed her most recent collection in 2021.
Meet Balroop Singh
Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California.
Books by Balroop Singh
My review for Slivers: Chiseled Poetry July 2021
Poetry, particularly about nature is perfect for enjoying sitting in sunshine and listening to the sounds always present in a summer garden. The poet Balroop Singh captures this wonderful environment and other aspects of mother and human nature in her collection of micro-poetry. Inspired by Haiku and Tanka with the addition of a section of acrostic poetry, it is a collection to be savoured and reread again and again.
I have some particular favourites out of the 100 or so poems.
each day reminds us
it’s the symphony of surroundings
that whispers life into us
ochre and crimson
robes of mother nature remind
decay can be exquisite
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
I believe in love
even when I cannot feel it
love and light are my mentors
This is a collection that will appeal to all lovers of micro poetry that manages to capture the essence and beauty of the world around us, the fickleness of human nature, and offers hope for the future.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally.