Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Africa Ann Patras, #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the start of the Christmas Book Fair posts. With over 150 authors in the Cafe I need to start now to make sure that I include everyone on shelves.

I am going to be choosing authors at random so that there is a variety of genres in each post to offer as many gift ideas as possible.

The first author is Ann Patras who shares the story of her family’s life in Africa over three memoirs.. Today the third book in the series, Much More Into Africa, which would make a wonderful gift for adventurous members of the family.

About the book

It is four years since Ann and Ziggy moved with their young family from England to Zambia’s Copperbelt. During this time, their new life experiences and crazy antics were the subject of multitudes of letters to their incredulous family and friends.

Will they continue with their daft escapades now, as they change location to the country’s capital city?

This is where you find out, as the Patras family gets Much More Into Africa.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lindylou 5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2020

Here we have the third instalment of Ann. Ziggy and the children’s lives in Africa and like the previous books it does not disappoint. More fun, laughter and adventures, forays into the unknown, giant spiders in the bathroom. As with the previous books this one includes letters written home to the family accompanied by pictures and Ann’s own drawings which are divine.

Ann loves Africa and its people, this all comes through in her unique style of writing which is an easy, relaxed style but always that underlying hint of humour is never far away.

Four years after moving to Kitwe there are big changes in the Patras’ life, Ziggy has changed job and they have now moved to Lusaka. Life soon settles down for the children busy with their school life and her husband with his work, Ann wonders what is there for her. Having left her friends behind she was at a bit of a loss…let’s face it with a houseboy there was little to do around the house.

Ann soon becomes involved with the Lusaka Gymkhana Club and here more fun ensues for the family and her stories of her and the children’s riding adventures were a joy to read about. She recounts their adventures of safaris which had me in awe of the animals, white water rafting experience (more Ziggy’s idea of fun than Ann’s but she enters into the spirit of it) this had me holding onto my seat whilst they were tossed around.

The family spend more time in the UK and it is a pleasure to read more of life for them there. There are also sad times for Ann in the UK and I cried along with her.

There is yet another job change for Ziggy, feeling that Zambia has no more to offer him along comes a change of location so I look forward to more of their adventures in South Africa.

Once again you are drawn into the stories and feel as if you are there experiencing it all with them, it is a totally delightful book to read and I have loved them all so far.
Thank you Ann for a thrilling and exciting read

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

The other books in the series

Ann Patras, Buy: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

Now something for fantasy lovers from Lorinda J. Taylor with  The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World

About the book

What would it really be like to be immortal? And how important is the power of friendship and the need for communion with one’s fellow humans? On Ziraf’s World, a planet in a universe far away from ours, an old priest named Gilzara decides to ask the Dreamers for the gift of immortality, and Krozem the Creator of Humankind grants his request, including giving him the power to make others immortal. However, things go tragically wrong; Gilzara’s dying wife refuses the gift, and Gilzara is left to live his immortal life alone.

The Troil, incorporeal spirit beings who also inhabit this world, take it upon themselves to save Gilzara from destroying the token that holds the key to his immortality, but he continues to see himself as a freak and an outcast, unable to relate to any mortal. The Troil teach him the power of venwara – wizardry – and thus fortified, he returns to the human world, desperately searching for a connection. He finds it in Halrab, a young novice priest, and together they set out to climb the Starbell, the highest mountain in Ziraf’s World, the symbol of an unattainable goal.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Sep 06, 2020 Audrey Driscoll rated it Four Stars really liked it Recommends it for: Readers who appreciate literary fantasy.

Lorinda J. Taylor’s stated goal is “to write compelling fiction that delivers an emotional impact and leaves her readers with something to think about at the end of each story.” She has certainly done that with The Blessing of Krozem.

Who wouldn’t want to become immortal? Especially in a body that remains forever in a state of health and fitness. That is the gift bestowed on the priest Gilzara, one of the central characters of this book. It comes with the power—indeed, the obligation— to make others immortal as well, and with the expectation that the power is used wisely. But the gift coincides with a great loss for Gilzara, because his wife, Javon, refuses it and dies.

The creators of the world in which the story takes place gave humans free will, but also trick and test them. Because of this, the gift of immortality becomes a curse for Gilzara, a great responsibility to which he believes himself unequal. And as the only immortal human in the world, he is desperately lonely.

The other main character of the book is Halrab, a young apprentice priest whom Gilzara meets decades later, after much sorrowful wandering. Halrab is practical and optimistic, while Gilzara is a tortured soul. The establishment of friendship between the two takes many twists and turns, and constitutes the greater part of the story. Halrab is a sympathetic character. I could identify with him as he solved problems, made choices, and dealt with Gilzara’s many anxieties.

The setting for this story is Ziraf’s World, described in the author’s Afterword as “a fantasy creation in a galaxy far, far away from our own planet.” The world is sort of like Earth, but also quite different. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Blue is the planet’s dominant colour. The mountains and even the moon are blue. So is the race of humans to which Gilzara and Halrab belong, although there are rumors of other human races in distant lands. Indeed, this world is full of colours—stars in shades of green, red, purple, and yellow, trees whose blue flowers open by moonlight, and a wealth of other plants and animals, each with distinctive names and characteristics. It’s a mountainous region, and the highest mountain has the captivating name of Starbell. I loved this aspect of the book.

Another group of characters are the Troil, mostly incorporeal spirits attached to winds, waters, caves, and other natural features. Several of them play key roles in advancing the plot. They are rather charming individuals, whose appearance and ways of expressing themselves add an element of lightness.

As with Taylor’s other books, this one includes a constructed language (conlang). I discerned some of its conventions as I read, and there is a glossary at the end. It reinforced the impression of an alien world complete in itself.

For me, the first two-thirds of the story read like a legend set in China, with its communities of priests, mountain and forest shrines, and mentions of distant and powerful deities. I envisioned the plot as though painted on silk scrolls. In the final four chapters, there is a greater degree of tension and immediacy. Crucial revelations are made, and Gilzara either succeeds or fails (I’m not saying which!) in using the blessing with which he is burdened. I could not imagine, when I started reading, what the outcome might be. The ending was satisfying but the story did give me a lot to think about, as its author intended.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor.

All Lorinda’s books about extraterrestrial intelligent termites, starting with The Termite Queen, pictured, are only 99c on Amazon and Smashwords, through November.

Lorinda J. Taylor buy books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Lorinda on : Goodreads  –  Blog: Termite Writer Blog Spot – Twitter: @TermiteWriter

The final the perfect gift for poetry lovers-  a collection  by Bette A. Stevens that celebrates the beauty the state of Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Lisa Kradjian 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection… Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2020

Organized by the four seasons, this lovely collection explores the landscape and communal spirit of Maine, through the year, the holidays, the blooms, the change in terrain. It is like a stroll through the town and woods and waters — a visual feast, with gentle and vivid language. Some favorites include:

Wide-eyed spectators
Shake their heads in wonder to
A spring concerto

From the Master’s hand
Lily of the Valley sings
Rejuvenation

Radiant leaves—now
Memories in our scrapbooks
Seasons travel on

I recommend “My Maine” highly.

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

Books by Bette A. Stevens

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Bette A. Stevens, Buy: Amazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog:4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to give as gifts this Christmas.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #Release #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Reviews #Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the Monday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with news of new releases and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Very pleased to add the latest release from D. Wallace Peach to her other books in the cafe. Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3)

About the book

In this thrilling conclusion to the Unraveling the Veil series, tensions mount and war looms.

After saving the changeling queen from a savage death, a second sworn oath sends Naj, Alue, and Talin to the mine where the first disappearances set the wheels of anarchy in motion. But it’s not the renders of Kalann il Drakk, the First of Chaos, who confront them in the blackness of the collapsed tunnels. It’s another foe, no less deadly.

When brutality strikes in the stone cells of the Authority, accusations and blame splinter trust. Once again, the fragile threads of loyalty that once bound the companions together on an impossible mission fray. The alliance finally breaks.

Naj, a goblin mage and traitor, returns to Jad’ra, determined to defend his home. With nothing to lose, Talin retreats to the changelings’ jungle to find his queen a stranger and his city on the verge of burning. Alue journeys to the Riverlands on a hopeless quest to enlist the aid of the elfin king.

All the while, the First of Chaos gloats. For only as allies will his three adversaries prevail. Above the hall of the First, his brethren, the Veil vanishes before the truth. The hordes of chaos descend on the known land, and the final battle begins.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

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One of the recent reviews for Allies and Spies

ACFlory 5.0 out of 5 stars No middle book sag here!  Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2020

After falling in love with the first book of the series, Liars and Thieves, I was a little apprehensive about whether the second book could live up to the first. Second books are a bit like the ‘middle child’ of a family. You get all the surprises with the first one so what’s left for the second?

I needn’t have worried. 😀 Allies and Spies sees the story grow up and out, both in terms of the plot and the characters.

I really didn’t like Alue very much in Liars and Thieves, but she really comes into her own in book 2. I can’t tell you what she does, but she saves both Naj and Tallin from a very nasty death. More importantly, she does so by coming into her strength. She’s always been brave, but there’s a difference between physical courage and the courage needed to overcome your own shortcomings. Or even to recognize them. Yet that is precisely what all three of the main characters must do if they are ever to solve the mystery of the disappearances that have claimed so many lives.

D. Wallace Peach, Buy:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

The next author is Charles E. Yallowitz with a recent review for Ravenous (War of Nytefall Book 5)

About the book

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims. With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready. Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades. Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires. As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery. Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads for the book

Sep 28, 2020 Victoria Zigler rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This is another excellent addition to this series, which shows some fantastic character development, and has an exciting and action-packed plot. Some delicate topics – including both grief and addiction – are touched upon in this story, which were handled very well in my opinion. Had life not gotten in the way, I could have easily devoured this book in one sitting.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of books by Charles Yallowitz

Charles Yallowitz – Buy: Amazon US –  and:Amazon UK –  follow Charles : Goodreads –  Blog: Legends of Windemere BlogTwitter: @cyallowitz

The final author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Lisa Kradjian 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection… Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2020

Organized by the four seasons, this lovely collection explores the landscape and communal spirit of Maine, through the year, the holidays, the blooms, the change in terrain. It is like a stroll through the town and woods and waters — a visual feast, with gentle and vivid language. Some favorites include:

Wide-eyed spectators
Shake their heads in wonder to
A spring concerto

From the Master’s hand
Lily of the Valley sings
Rejuvenation

Radiant leaves—now
Memories in our scrapbooks
Seasons travel on

I recommend “My Maine” highly.

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

Books by Bette A. Stevens

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Bette A. Stevens, BuyAmazon US –and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog:4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – New Releases, #Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz #Reviews #HistoricalRomance Christine Campbell, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases, reviews and offers for authors on the shelves.

A new release for Charles E. Yallowitz…Ravenous (War of Nytefall Book 5) published the first week in September.

About the book

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims. With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready. Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades. Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires. As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery. Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of books by Charles Yallowitz

A recent review for Warlord of the Forgotten Age (Legends of Windemere Book 15) and the Windemere series

Magjm02 5.0 out of 5 stars Great series  Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2020

A 15 book series that is highly recommended. This is the second time I’ve read the whole series and this time I was able to warn my husband about the tears. Some happiness and a lot of sadness at the end but I love it.

Charles Yallowitz – Buy: Amazon US –  and:Amazon UK –  follow Charles : Goodreads –  Blog: Legends of Windemere BlogTwitter: @cyallowitz

The next author is  Christine Campbellwith a review for  A Mountain of Memories.

About A Mountain of Memories

A childhood trip from Edinburgh to explore Caitlin’s family’s history results in tragedy on a mountainside above the village of Kinlochleven.

As an adult she is still affected by the events that took place there, though most of her memories of that day were lost as a result of its trauma.

Over a century earlier, Caitlin’s great-great grandmother, Mhairi, watched the village of Kinlochleven being born, suffering through its birth pangs. Caitlin and Mhairi’s lives are linked by their common heritage, and as their stories become intertwined, Caitlin is drawn back to the question that has haunted her for eleven years.

What really happened on that mountainside?

A historic story folded into a contemporary story, the two linked by family, location and events.

One of the recent reviews for the book

K. Francis 5.0 out of 5 stars A truly captivating read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 September 2020

I have just finished reading A Mountain of Memories. This definitely has to be my favourite of Christine Campbell’a books that I have read so far.It is difficult to categorise this sweeping story into a particular genre. As another reviewer said, it is part romance, part historical, part mystery/thriller with some psychology thrown in.

Right from the beginning, I was drawn into the lives of the characters, Caitlin, Matt and Lexie. And then to explore how their modern day story links in with Mhairi,100 or so years previously, and all that happens in her life is just captivating.

Both stories evoked some strong emotions in me. I felt happy when they were happy, but I also cried when they experienced tragedy and loss.

Thank you, Christine, for producing another wonderful story. Now I just have to decide what to read next. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US
A selection of books by Christine Campbell

 

Christine Campbell, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  follow Christine : Goodreads –  blog: Christine Campbell at WordPress – Twitter: @Campbama

The final author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2020

My Maine by Bette A. Stevens is a book of poetry in Haiku verse that is matched with breath-taking photos from Maine. I ordered the printed book so the book would be handy for me to read a poem every day to inspire me. Author Stevens has grouped the poetry into four seasons in Maine. Each verse focuses on landscapes, beginning with “Spring Awakenings” and ending with “Winter Tales.” The verse is eloquent with rich sensory descriptions. As in life, nature reminds us that we are stewards of the earth and of our human souls. High recommended.

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

Books by Bette A. Stevens

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Bette A. Stevens, BuyAmazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog:4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Summer 2020- Pot Luck -Come Join Us at the All-New Rave Reviews Book Club—#RRBC Best Book Club on the Planet by Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post from the archives of children’s author Bette Stevens and this week I have selected another post from earlier in the year that offers you another author support resource.. and we can’t have enough of those…

Come Join Us at the All-New Rave Reviews Book Club—#RRBC Best Book Club on the Planet

You’re invited to visit the ALL-NEW RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB at our new location : Rave Reviews Book Club WordPress

I’ve been an active member of Rave Reviews Book Club since January 2014 and highly recommend membership to all of my author friends. I’ll be sporting my 6 Year Membership Badge soon… If you’re looking for awesome support as an author, you’ll find it at #RRBC. I call it “The Best Book Club on the Planet.” Come join us—you’ll be glad you did! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

  • If you are an author looking for amazing support, #RRBC is the place for you!
  • If you are looking to grow as a writer, #RRBC is the place for you!
  • If you are looking for a community where your peers push for your success just as hard as they push for their own, #RRBC is the place for you!

When visiting the #RRBC Website, we ask that you #follow our site so that you’re kept up-to-date with all the awesome news that we’ll be sharing in 2020.

If you like what you see after looking around the site, then please, Join Us We’d love to have you!

© Bette A. Stevens 2020

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). The author has also released the poetry collections  MY MAINE: Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection (2019).

Books by Bette A. Stevens

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One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup on Goodreads

Jul 13, 2020 Jacquie rated it five stars it was amazing

Shawn Daniels is the oldest of a dirt poor family and his days are full of cutting wood, hauling water, caring for his younger siblings and trying to keep up his grades at school.

Compounded by a drunkard for a father who makes the family a laughing stock, Shawn dreams of escaping the doldrums of his day-to-day existence.

It’s not all bad though. Shawn and his brother, Willie, go on many adventures together; biking, fishing, sneaking apples from the neighbors field, and learning to milk cows so his family doesn’t go without. He picks up odd jobs and soon knows how to do a wide variety of life skills.

Shawn’s strength of will and ingenuity shine throughout this heartwarming tale. Set in the 50’s the vernacular takes us back to ‘simpler’ times when work was long and hard for little payment and indoor plumbing was for the rich.

This is a wonderfully told story that will leave you laughing in places, and gasping in others!

Bette A. Stevens, BuyAmazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Bette: Goodreads – Blog:4 Writers and ReadersTwitter: @BetteAStevens

Thank you for dropping by and Bette would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Children Janice Spina, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the third update this week for authors on the shelves of the bookstore with recent reviews.

The first author today is Balroop Singh with a review for her poetry collection Timeless Echoes.

About the book

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

A recent review for the collection

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and meaningful freestyle poetry January 22, 2020

I started reading this collection of poetry by Ms Singh without reading the blurb and I soon picked up the subtle undertones of wistfulness and almost melancholy that run through these poems, linking them all with this common theme. This did make sense to me as the book is called Timeless Echoes. After I had finished the book, I looked up the blurb and knew that the emotions I had sensed were indeed a vital part of the book as the poems are intended to reverberate with the reader in the manner of the echoes of past loves, yearnings and regrets.

This is not to say that the poems are sad or depressing as there are many delightfully uplifting ideas that support the fact that who we are is a factor of the events and circumstances of our lives. The echoes of past joys, pains, trails, failures and successes are woven through the fabric of our souls.

“The dew on my dreams is still fresh

Sunbeams add a sparkle” is one of these inspirational lines from a poem called Echoes Of Life.

Some of the poems dwell on a love lost in the past:

“I know I made a wrong choice

Intoxicated by the wine of youth” from Silent Echo are lines from such a poem.

The poem reflects on life’s fleetingness and impermanence:

“Echoing within her … nothing is permanent from Captive.

There are reminiscences of love lost or unworthy:

“Dark despotic attitude…

Arguments I could never win” from Sardonic Shadows

I enjoyed these deep and meaningful freestyle poems and recommend this book to lovers of poetry and life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on: Goodreads

Connect to Balroop via her blog: Balroop Singh on WordPress

Now a recent review for the third book in the Abby and Holly Series: Secrets of the Trunk by award winning author Janice Spina..

About the book

Join Abby and Holly in Book 3 as the cousins discover a new presence in their old Victorian while they are cleaning out the library of old books. They are not sure if this specter is benign or otherwise. This being leads them to the old trunk they discovered in Book 2 which holds many secrets and puzzles that they feel compelled to solve.

They enlist the help of their ghost friend, Felicity, who inhabits their home. She is a benevolent entity that once lived in their house from a century ago. She watches over the girls and vows never to leave them unless they request her to do so.

There will be surprises and ghostly visits that will keep readers enthralled as Abby and Holly work together to uncover the secrets of the trunk.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nov 24, 2019 Victoria Zigler rated it it was amazing Five Stars

This was an excellent read for middle graders, and those who are grown up but still enjoy children’s stories – especially fans of paranormal mysteries. The whole series teaches valuable life lessons children should be taught – and even some of us adults could sometimes do with a reminder of – but in a fun way. As with the previous books, this one has a fantastic plot, and a wonderful cast of well-rounded and relatable characters.

A very small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Janice: Goodreads

Connect to Janice via her blog: Jem’s Books

The final author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

‘My Maine’ is a gem of a poetry book celebrating the state of Maine through 150 haikus. Bette A. Stevens captures the essence and heart of Maine with wonderful and evocative poetry that flows easily from one to the next. Divided into four seasons each page is accompanied by a photograph taken by the poet, all stunning, reflecting the brimming beauty of her words. I am in awe how the poet has not only managed to bring alive the grandeur of the landscape, its mountains, pine trees and lakes but also writes with skill and a sense of humour about the minutiae of life in the state! The writer’s keen observation of life is evident throughout and her passion for nature and the wildlife is extraordinary and she conveys this to the reader with exemplary skill. This is a book I treasure and which I’ve read many times. I’m absolutely captivated by the ‘story’ of Maine, a state I feel I can now rightly call, every so slightly, ‘My Maine’!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews #Poetry Bette A. Stevens, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Author Update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for her poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

 JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Descriptive  Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2019

This book of Haiku puts the State of Maine in a whole new perspective. The author takes the reader through each of the four seasons and through well-written Haiku, shows the unique aspects of the Pine State. I also loved the fun facts about Maine at the end of the book. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Haiku, amazing photographs and has a fascination with Maine!

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

Time to catch up with Fiona Tarr and her latest book released in October 2019 Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)

About the Book

A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.

This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.

Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.

As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.

Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2020

I really enjoyed reading another of Fiona Tarr’s novels. Relic Seeker is well paced, with wonderful characters and a good balance of adventure, mystery, tender moments, and surprises. Trust is a central issue, with costly betrayals littering the battleground when the characters find out who they can trust, and who they cannot. The stage is so well set and the action so well drawn that I felt like I was right there beside Ariela and Culaan, experiencing their heartaches and adventures. Although it’s not my usual thing, I loved the elements of time travel, magic and history. Highly recommended.

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

The final author today is D.Wallace Peach for Sunwielder which is also now in audio version.

About Sunwielder

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden discovers his family slaughtered, his farm in ruin.Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of the northern forests, one who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion promising to return him to the pivotal choices that swayed his life’s journey. Her only condition—he must wear the bronze charm until the end.Now his story remakes itself, casting him backward in time to moments of decision and death. His old life gone, he no longer remembers the purpose of the medallion burning his chest. As he uncovers the sunwield’s power, new choices lead him on an epic adventure through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Avid Reader 5.0 out of 5 stars  Highly recommended to lovers of time-travel  Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019

If you would be granted the ability to travel back in time and redo some of your life choices, would you take it?

What if strings were attached?

Without giving any spoilers away, I loved the way D. Wallace Peach handled the plot and the magic she instilled in the time-travel charm as well as the twists she put in the past being relieved. The worlds she created were fascinating and very well developed as well as full of political intrigue. It was amazing to discover how Gryff’s new life options affected those involved and the heartache he went through was gripping, well balanced by lyrical descriptions.

I found it hard to put it down, so many chores were put on hold until I finished the book…

Sunwielder is a page turner with a super clever plot, highly recommended.

A small selection of of other books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Diana: Goodreads

Connect to Diana via her blog: Myths of the Mirror

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 – #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens, #Children Pamela S. Wight, #Mystery Mary Adler


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.

The first books that would make wonderful gifts for poetry lovers the fantasy novels of Fiona Tarr  and the featured book is her latest book released in early October Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)

About the Book

A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.

This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.

Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.

As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.

Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

In keeping with the first book in The Priestess Chronicles, Relic Seeker has Ariela thrown into a new time and place to uncover her mission. She left with friends, but arrives alone, something that bothers her friends just as much when they discover her absence. Ariela is a servant on the Senator’s estate while the other two find themselves suspected gods, or at least the answer to prayers, in a nearby Goth village. This separation allows our heroes to tackle the problem from both ends as they struggle to figure out who or what they were sent to stop.

This is another adventure where Ariela and her friends must adapt while seeking clues to show why the angel brought them to this place. The Romans and Goths have a tentative alliance built on the need for mercenary troops and a willingness to accept Roman coin. An insidious rumor, whether true or false, is enough to undermine the peace as magic and rational beliefs clash.

Toss in the emperor’s half-mad son, powerful relics from lost cultures, and a villain with a mission cutting a little too close to the heart of our heroes, and this book offers a more nuanced conflict. The view of the Romans, possibly a reflection of when they land, supports this additional complexity. Hints indicate it is the rule of Constantine who became a Christian rather than keeping to the Roman gods.

The separation of main characters allows us to discover the good in Romans and Goths alike, and learn something about both cultures. Our heroes make friends among the villagers and Roman staff who influence the course of their mission as well as expanding the characters we, as readers, come to care about.

The omniscient, rolling point of view (POV) had a few small hiccups where information is withheld to create what I consider false tension, but for the most part, the POV worked well and I never lost track of who held center stage. It allows the reader to follow both sides of a complex situation without a lot of explanation required as it would be if non-POV characters had to reveal what they’ve been doing off screen.

The spare, straightforward writing style, plus a lighter hand with the less appealing aspects of both Roman and Goth life, makes this novel a solid, fun read. It managed to draw my sympathies and endear me to characters new and old as they faced challenges to touch their hearts and minds. Relic Seeker raises interesting questions about the lines where cultures and people meet while exploring human struggles.

I enjoyed the story and spending time with familiar characters along with new ones. The series could easily have fallen into a pattern. Instead, it draws on the characters’ histories, along with changing times, to offer a brand new conflict and challenge our band of time-traveling heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how this is accomplished in the next book.

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

The next author with books for children, YA and adults this Christmas is Bette A. Stevens and her most recent release which is a poetry collection My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Harmony Kent 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful little book November 13, 2019

A wonderful collection of Haiku. The author obviously loves the state of Maine in all its seasons. I enjoyed this little book enough to be inspired to put my review into a Haiku too

Evocative words
Awesome, alluring pictures
A wonderful book!

I’ve read all of Bette Stevens’ books and admire this writer greatly. My Maine gets a solid 5 stars from me.

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

And another author who writes for children and adults Pamela S.Wight and her featured book today is Molly Finds her Purr Illustrated by Shelley A. Steinle, and with an eye on perfect book gifts for the younger members of the family, I am sure that Molly will be a wonderful addition to any child’s stocking.

About the Book

Molly the Cat is lonely. No matter how hard she tries to make friends with birds, they all fly away from her. Even other cats don’t seem to like her. Friendless, Molly has no purr. But a wisecracking squirrel opens Molly’s eyes to a world in which friendship comes in all sizes, shapes, and species.

This delightful tale with dazzling illustrations sparkles with sweet insight that makes all readers purr with pleasure at the end.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I bought this book for my youngest granddaughter’s third birthday. I read it before giving it to her and thoroughly enjoyed it. Molly, the feral cat, was searching for friendship and her purr. She ran into animals who rejected her, but she kept looking until she found her circle. This has a wonderful message of friendship and finding that inner purr or what I thought of as the inner spark. The illustrations are charming and brought the characters to life. Locating the dragonfly on each page added to my delight. Adults will enjoy reading this to their children almost as much as I know the children will love having it read to them–or reading it themselves. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my granddaughter. I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book.

Also by Pamela S. Wight

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Pamela : Goodreads

Connect to Pamela via her website: Rough Wighting

Now for mystery lovers, the books of Mary Adler and her featured book today is her wartime mystery Shadowed by Death An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2.

About Shadowed by Death

San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.

Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.

When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.

Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.

A recent review for the book

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A great Read! September 11, 2019

After reading the first book of this series, I decided to read the second book to find out what happened to the protagonists of the first book. This second book did not disappoint.

I remembered Oliver from the first story and his dog Harley. For Oliver, the war was over but for the Jewish Poles who escaped the war to find refuge in the United States of America, the war was still raging.

Sophia Nirenska, a Polish refugee and one of the underground advocates was very outspoken about the evils perpetrated by Russia and Hitler’s Germany. Her advocacy put her life in danger. Oliver agreed to protect her. Sophia, however, would always want to do things her way and that put her and Oliver in danger.

In the end, they found out who was the mole amongst them, the one thwarting their plans and causing the deaths of a good number of the underground fighters.

This is a great second world war story. Very interesting and well written. I enjoyed reading it.

Also by Mary Adler

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mary: Goodreads

Connect to Mary via her website: Mary Adler Writes

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