Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Poetry Frank Prem


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. D.Wallace Peach

Best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit:
D.Wallace Peach Books

A selection of  books by D.Wallace Peach

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An early review for The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The sea witch Panmar is not a mermaid and definitely nothing like Disney’s Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”. Panmar is an unusual blend of fish and human called a merrow:

“The sea witch surfaced. Urchin’s spines fanned from her temples and forehead in a prickly crown. Muscle threaded her arms, her body slim but bold-boned, skin drawn tight across her cheeks and throat. Her hair glimmered with pearls and beads of abalone, bewitching if not for the malevolence in her hooded eyes … blood-red hair slick against her skull, spectral eyes black as jet.”

As her kingdom’s ruler, Panmar is not given to kindness or leniency but when a human sailor named Callum almost loses his life trying to save Panmar’s daughter, she offers him a trade: He will be the only ferryman who can cross the Sea Witch’s waters but he can never set foot on land again AND he must provide a royal sacrifice to assuage the Witch. Until he finds one, he must offer a human sacrifice as the price of crossing her watery realm.

“The sea-witch required royal blood, and until her vengeance was satisfied, each crossing of the Deep required a sacrifice. The task fell to him [Callum]. To the ferryman.”

Two warring nations, one on either side of the Sea Witch’s oceans, commit to this arrangement by trading royal infants, allowing their sworn enemy to raise their child. The day finally comes when the children must return to their rightful family but what trust there once was has melted away over the years to be replaced by lies, deceit, and treachery. Hidden secrets must now come out as the intertwined fates of the two royal houses unravel. If even family can’t be trusted, how can Callum find a way to save what is most important to him?

Highly recommended for those who love fantasy, dark sea shanties, and anything written by Diana Peach.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

Meet Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She wanted others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.
Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.
Mary loves interacting with her readers Mary Smith Website

Books by Mary Smith

One of the recent reviews Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni

Elizabeth Gauffreau 5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling & Highly Recommended  Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2021

Mary Smith’s Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real stories of Afghan women surprised me. Going into it, I expected the memoir to be interesting, as its focus is on a part of the world I know very little about. What I did not expect was that it would be so compelling.

For three years in the 1990s, Smith and her partner Jon worked in Afghanistan for a nonprofit to provide healthcare and health education for women in Mazar-i-Sharif. Poverty, hygiene practices that led to disease, cultural myths, and reluctance to discuss gynecological problems with male doctors were all challenges Smith was faced with addressing.

She did it by establishing the Female Health Volunteer training project, whereby Afghan women would be trained to provide health education to the women in their villages, focusing on
antenatal care, safe childbirth and postpartum care, and the care of babies and young children who failed to thrive due to diarrhea.

The details of the volunteer training project and the story of each woman who participated in it were the highlight of the book for me and the reason I looked forward to picking it up again to read after a long day. The women were so proud of their ability to learn new concepts and practices, pass the required testing, and go back to their villages to use what they had learned to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

One of the most striking aspects of the book is how Smith describes the deprivation and unsanitary conditions in which she worked and lived. These conditions are described matter-of-factly and without the judgemental lens of squeamish first-world privilege. Along similar lines, Smith’s goal to help improve the health and living conditions of Afghan women and their children has none of the zeal of the missionary to proselytize and convert them to a Western way of life.

Threaded throughout the book is contextual information about the traditional role of women in Afghan society, marital relationships, changes in Afghan society toward modernization, and the political situation, which ultimately led to the takeover by the Taliban.

The last section of the book is devoted to what happened to the women I came to know and care about after the Taliban took over the country. Their stories of horrific tragedy and, ultimately, resilience are one more reason I highly recommend Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

Meet Frank Prem

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.

He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word.

He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia.

Also by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Voices in the Trash

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Creative photographs and poetry! Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2021

Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”

What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.

This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.  

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –And:Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter:@frank_prem
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair -New Release – #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, Reviews -#Memoir Liesbet Collaert, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Shortstories Janice Spina


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. Today a new release and some recent reviews.

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Gwen M. Plano, The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.

About the book

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

One of the early reviews for the book

John W. Howell VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A MultiFaceted Thriller  Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020

I describe The Culmination as a political thriller with a strong military influence. There are many challenging situations presented in the plot by the author Gwen M. Plano. These situations are designed with action in mind and are very intriguing. The worldwide stage on which these situations play out serves to keep the reader riveted to the end. This story is a continuation of The Contract Thriller series and does reflect the title. It almost feels as if this book has been the end goal of the other two. I have read all three and can say that a reader must not have read the other two to enjoy this one thoroughly.

The scope of the plot is vast. The reader moves from what appears to be simple situations of trouble to complex machinations that could lead to World War Three. The story involves multiple nations and heads of state. There are some surprising moments, as well as a tender love story.

If you like a book with plenty of action, compelling characters, political intrigue, military maneuverings, and a compelling love story, this one is for you.

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

Other books by Gwen Plano

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand Amazon US – follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

The first review today is for an author who has recently added her books to the Cafe and Bookstore, Liesbet Collaert and I am sharing one of the wonderful early recommendations for her memoir Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary. 

About the book

Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir, as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?

###

Have you ever wondered how life could be if you had made different choices? If you didn’t marry early, commit to a large loan for the house, focus on your career, start a family?

Maybe you’re just curious about how a person thinking outside the box manages? A person without boundaries, striving to be flexible, happy, and free. What you are about to read is how one such person follows her dreams, no, her intuition, and how she survives her naivety, life altering twists, and a relationship in close quarters.

Plunge is a story of what happens when you go with the flow, when you have a bright idea – or thought you had one – and ride the waves of the unknown. Ready to hop aboard and delve in?

One of the early reviews for the book

Nov 17, 2020 Ellen rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This memoir has it all – adventure, romance, fascinating characters, and travel!

The author takes us on a riveting tale of her life as a nomad, exploring the world from a sailboat and embracing the highs and lows of life at sea. This memoir will appeal to all sorts of readers, not just sailors, because, ultimately, it’s a story about the choices one woman makes in search of love, fulfillment, and happiness – choices many of us can relate to.

For me, what sets this memoir apart is its unflinching honesty. The author bares her soul, exposes her innermost feelings, shares her hopes and fears, and reflects on the struggles she’s experienced and the difficult choices she’s had to make. This isn’t a cheerful travelogue that takes the armchair voyager on a pleasant trip around the world, glossing over any unpleasant moments and difficulties. Instead, this is a fascinating and compelling account of a woman in pursuit of a life less ordinary that tells it like it is – the ups and the downs; the times of celebration and the times of sacrifice; the excitement of travel coupled with the challenges one can encounter when exploring new countries; and the joys and struggles of relationships.

Once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down. The author has a unique voice which will quickly draw you into the story of her unconventional life and the path she’s taken.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Find more reviews on: Goodreads

Also by Liesbet Collaert

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –  Follow Liesbet: GoodreadsBlogs: Roaming About Cruising the World the way it is – Facebook pages: Personal Liesbet CollaertRoamingsabout – ItsIrie – Twitter: @LiesbetCollaert

The next author with a recent review is Frank Prem for his most recent release which is a selection of his poetry from across his current collections – Pebbles to Poems

About the collection

Pebbles to Poems is a sample pack of Frank Prem’s free-verse poetry and storytelling published between 2018 and 2020. Extracts from six collections, ranging through memoir, and wildfire though to contemporary love poetry.

  • Small Town Kid – growing up in a rural Australian town during the 1960s and 70s.
  • Devil In The Wind – the stories of victims and survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires in Australia.
  • The New Asylum – an experience of public psychiatry in Australia, from childhood roaming the mental hospital grounds, through student psychiatric nursing and on to managing acute wards and patients.
  • A Love Poetry Trilogy:
  • Walk Away Silver Heart – derived from the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’.
  • A Kiss for the Worthy – derived from the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.
  • Rescue and Redemption – derived from the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.
  • This is poetry that is meant to be read on the page and aloud, as well. Poetry the way you always wished it could be written.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Pebbles to Poems is a selection of Frank Prem’s treasured poems between 2018-2020. It is almost like inviting your old friends to afternoon tea and indulging in the memories and reflections of yesteryear; you will not be disappointed From the seemingly carefree childhood to the career that brought reflections of human nature and institutional mayhem, or the horror and devastation of the Marysville bushfires versus the reflections of love and nature in the poem trilogy Walk away Silver Heart, A Kiss for the Worthy and Rescue and Redemption, this little book whets your appetite to indulge in more of Frank’s poetry style. It might even be good to purchase more copies because this like the others is an ideal gift. Happy reading

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

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –And:Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter:@frank_prem

The final author today is Janice Spina with the ideal gift of a short story collection An Angel Among Us.

About the collection

A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story is specially created for her and is the inspiration for the title of this book.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Pick-me-up Any Time of Year!  Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020

I have read, enjoyed and gifted many of Janice Spina’s delightful rhyming children’s books and am glad I decided to give her short story collection An Angel Among Us a go. The collection contains heartwarming stories from diverse genres. One of my favorites was “The True Meaning of Christmas.” Readers can enjoy this collection one sweet story at a time. Perfect for a pick-me-up any time of year.

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

A selection of other books by Janice Spina

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Janice: Goodreads – blog:Jem’s BooksTwitter: @janice_spina 

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some great gifts to share.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Author Update Release #Poetry Frank Prem, Reviews #Crime Jane Risdon, #Thriller Gwen Plano


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with new releases and reviews for the authors on the shelves

Delighted to share the news of Frank Prem’s latest release which is a selection of his poetry from across his current collections – Pebbles to Poems

About the collection

Pebbles to Poems is a sample pack of Frank Prem’s free-verse poetry and storytelling published between 2018 and 2020. Extracts from six collections, ranging through memoir, and wildfire though to contemporary love poetry.

  • Small Town Kid – growing up in a rural Australian town during the 1960s and 70s.
  • Devil In The Wind – the stories of victims and survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires in Australia.
  • The New Asylum – an experience of public psychiatry in Australia, from childhood roaming the mental hospital grounds, through student psychiatric nursing and on to managing acute wards and patients.
  • A Love Poetry Trilogy:
  • Walk Away Silver Heart – derived from the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’.
  • A Kiss for the Worthy – derived from the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.
  • Rescue and Redemption – derived from the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.
  • This is poetry that is meant to be read on the page and aloud, as well. Poetry the way you always wished it could be written.

One of the early reviews for the collection

Sep 26, 2020 D.G. Kaye rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This book is a delicious sampling of extracts from some of the works of Frank Prem. The first collections are written in personal memoir style, poetic reflections of growing up in rural Australia in the 1960s and 70s from his book – Small Town Kid. Prem shares in his poetic anthology about his personal experiences with the 2009 wildfires in Australia in his book – Devil in the Wind. And more experience shared from his background in working in a mental asylum, and then as a nurse in the public mental health system, offering a taste of his poetic telling from his book, The New Asylum. These stories are exposés of life through the eyes and experience of Prem and the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades as Prem shares some of the shenanigans that went on, giving us a glimpse of life in the public psychiatric system, written in the style we’ve come to know from Prem, with his free-verse poetry.

In the last part of this book, Prem revisits some of his beautiful poetry from his love trilogy and shares snippets from the three-book collection – Walk Away Silver Heart, Rescue and Redemption, and A Kiss for the Worthy, a personal collection of love poems with lines taken from various reknowned authors, converted into Prem’s own self tellings with his unique form of poetry.

If you enjoy personal poetry and memoir written in poetic style, you are sure to get hooked on Prem’s writing as he breathes new life into both, old styled and new poetry.

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

Also by Frank Prem

Frank Prem, Buy: Amazon US –And: Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter:@frank_prem

The first author with a recent review is Jane Risdon for her collection Undercover: Crime Shorts.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Pamela Allegretto 5.0 out of 5 stars easy 5 stars  Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2020

Jane Risdon treats the reader to her rare talent for spinning well-written, unique, and memorable yarns. Her writing is uncluttered, with each carefully chosen word packing a maximum punch. I thoroughly enjoyed this imaginative compilation.

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

Also by Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon Buy: Amazon UK – AndAmazon US–   Blog:Jane Risdon WordPressGoodreads:Jane Risdon Goodread –  Twitter: @Jane_Risdon

And the final author today is Gwen Plano with a recent review for The Choice: Unexpected Heroes, the sequel to the co-written paranormal thriller with John W. Howell.. Contract

About the book

The Choice: unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract: between heaven and earth. In the first book, a catastrophic political event threatens Earth. The heavenly leadership decides to execute extraordinary measures to ensure the survival and long-term viability of the planet. Two volunteer souls return to Earth and take human form as Brad Channing and Sarah O’Brien. They are ultimately successful in preventing the catastrophe, but lose their lives in the process.

The Choice picks up where the first book ends, at an Air Force Base in northern California. The base commander invites Brad’s former Navy SEAL instructor to help him determine who is behind the murder of Brad and Sarah. It is evident that their deaths are part of a bigger plan, and the commander has an urgent need to thwart that plan.

A mystery unfolds which implicates key Washington D.C. officials. A confidential team studies the evidence and pursues leads. Eventually, they uncover a traitorous conspiracy that has as its goal: world domination. The pressing question is who can be trusted and who cannot.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 4.0 out of 5 stars Well plotted political intrigue  Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2020

If you enjoy military fiction and political intrigue, you’ll enjoy this well-polished and plotted novel. The sequel to The Contract: Between Heaven and Earth, the story delves into the murder of Brad and Sarah (from book one) and who ordered their deaths. The author does provide a forward which helps cover what occurred in the first novel if you are new to the series.

In The Choice, new characters are introduced, including two who set up a romantic theme. I liked how the relationship grew and flourished between Jim and Donna. The bulk of the story, however, focuses on the investigation and political twists and turns as our “unexpected heroes” work to stop a power-hungry man known as “the Lion” from creating a one-world government. The pace moves steadily throughout with a few unexpected and well delivered twists at the end. A solid four star read.

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

Other books by Gwen Plano

Gwen Plano, Buy: Amazon UKand Amazon US – follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews – #Poetry Frank Prem, #Memoir D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the series where I will be sharing a selection of book reviews I have posted in the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to showcase books that I have enjoyed and their authors and if you have not read the books, I hope it will encourage you to check them out.

The first review from 2019 is a memoir that is a collection of poems and stories about growing up in a small town in Australia, Small Town Kid by Frank Prem.

About Small Town Kid

Small Town Kid is the experience of regional life as a child, in an insular town during the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, remote from the more worldly places where life really happens, in a time before the internet and the online existence of social media.

It is a time when a small town boy can walk a mile to school and back every day, and hunt rabbits with his dog in the hours of freedom before sundown. He can hoard crackers for bonfire night and blow up the deputy school master’s mailbox in an act of joyous rebellion.

A time when a small town teenager will ride fourteen miles on a bicycle for his first experience of girls, and of love. A time when migrating from a foreign country to a small town means his family will always feel that they are strangers, while visitors to the town are treated like an invading host.

It is also the remembrance of tragedy for inexperienced friends driving on narrow country roads.

This collection of poems and stories shares the type of childhood that has mostly disappeared in contemporary times. Come and revisit it here, in the pages of a Small Town Kid.

My review for the collection

I have read many poetry collections over the years, but Small Town Kid is unusual and intriguingly different. It flows through the different ages of the author from a very small boy to fatherhood, sharing the highs and lows of childhood and the coming of age years.

You are invited in by I can Hardly Wait to Show You… that sets the scene of this town where singing waters and scrubby creeks beckon and land supported sheep and gold prospectors tried their luck.

Having accepted that invitation you become a spectator as Oma rocks the cradle of the young child whilst his mother works and makes poppy cakes, and Opa comforts a crying toddler as he contemplates the labour that has gone into cultivating the land around them. We are introduced to other members of this extended family and share in their celebrations, including a wedding in the fire house. This background is important as it highlights the sense of disconnection felt by many immigrant families who settle in a new land and are torn between adapting and still holding on to their old traditions and customs.

We enjoy picnics, and a detailed description of the view from the inside of the outhouse, and its maintenance by the stoic Nightman, and the profitable recycling of newspapers to the butcher. We join in rabbit hunts, school days, drag races, anti-tourist activities, and miscalculations when dispatching rubbish. Easter and the annual fete offer entertainment as does a rather interesting firework distribution method. The teen years bring jostling for status and the discovery that girls have some interesting attributes.

We also share in the lives of members of the group that the author grew up with, including its tragedies. It serves to remind us that however idyllic it might seem to be part of a small town community, it cannot protect you from all of life’s dangers.

I enjoyed all the memories and felt engaged with the young Frank as he navigated through these years. It was brought to life by the storytelling and there was a smooth flow from one story to the next.  One of the many personal favourites is ‘Mcalpine’s Cherries’ which mirrored my experience with picking strawberries.

Overall a delightful read that will resonate with readers whose childhood and teen years were considerably simpler than today. I can highly recommend.

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

Also by Frank Prem

Frank Prem, Buy: Amazon US –And: Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @frank_prem

 

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

If you are a frequent visitor to the blog you will have seen D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies here many times as a contributor, and supporter. It is no secret that we are friends. This however, does not influence my views on her books, and this applies to her memoir. Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging.

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

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

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

My review for Twenty Years After “I Do”

The emphasis on partnership is present throughout D.G. Kaye’s story of her 20 year marriage to Gordon. Whilst it is clear, that theirs was a wonderful love affair from the beginning, she does not flinch from describing the various aspects of their relationship in a very forthright and honest way.

Their relationship is a May/September love affair that was put to the test from very shortly after their marriage. Despite the nearly 20 years age difference, it was Kaye who suffered a near fatal medical emergency, which brought home the fact, it is not necessarily the older partner, who will be the first to suffer ill health.

The book does highlight that in a relationship where there is a significant age difference, issues arise that might not for a couple the same age. Having children for example, or the dynamics in a relationship after retirement  and natural aging; reversing the traditional roles, as one becomes more dependent on the other.

D.G. Kaye allows us an intimate view into her marriage, encouraging us to look at our own relationships, appreciate how they have triumphed over challenges over the years, and to celebrate the love that endures.

I certainly recommend the book for those who are about to embark on a relationship, whatever the age difference. In this modern day and age, when the pressures on couples and families are ever present, it is very useful to be offered the experience and guidance from someone who has successfully navigated their way through those same obstacles.

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

Also by D.G. Kaye

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads:D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster 

If you are a regular visitor you will have met Debby before as a contributor writing The Travel Column for two years and now The Realm of Relationships 2020. Debby also co-hosts the Laughter Lines twice a week.

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed past reviews for there recommended books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Poetry Balroop Singh


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Olga Nunez Miret – for her contemporary novel – You’re Never Too Old to be A Prom Queen

About the book

Have you ever found yourself in the unenviable position of being told that you are too … (fill in the gap with whichever word fits: young, pretty, thin, fat, short, tall, clever, silly, old…) to do something? Mildred, one of the protagonists of the story, had always dreamed of having a prom. But when she finished her studies, in the UK, that was not the done thing. Now, many years later and with time in her hands after having retired from her full-time job as a nurse, she is still thinking about it. She tells her husband, who is less-than-enthusiastic about her idea. After years of being told what to do, she decides it’s time to take things in her own hands. With more than a little help from her friends, her project starts to take shape.

What started as a challenge becomes a mission that engages the imagination and the hearts of all the people involved.

A heart-warming story for all ages about friendship, creativity, determination, and the power of a tight-knit community and of dreams.

A recent review for the book

June 27th 2020 Christoph Fischer

I really enjoyed this beautiful book. Told in parts in interviews with Mildred , her family, friends and new acquaintances of hers, this is a charming book about a woman making a life long dream come true.

Mildred is an instantly likeable character, a psychiatric nurse with a drive to help others. In her quest she meets a lot of other great characters with similar passions and resolves a few issues and problems on the way to her very own prom.

There is a wonderful air of diversity around the cast, people coming together and enriching each other’s lives. While the narrative documents the events and preparations taking place, the interviews cast additional light onto the characters, their past and likes and disliked.
Once again, Olga’s background as psychologist adds credibility and deeper insights.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a lovely story, engaging and warm characters and a feel good story through and through. A definite winner.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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Read the reviews and buy the books including audio: Amazon UK 

and: Amazon US 

Follow: Olga on Goodreads

Connect to Olga via her blogAuthorTranslator Olga

The next review is for a kiss for the worthy: Poetry inspired by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 2) by Frank Prem

About the collection

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes,
the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also,
but I shall not let it.. . .

from Leaves of Grass

Drawing on the phrasing of Walt Whitman’s great late 19th century poem Leaves of Grass (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of expansive and outward looking love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary exploration of themes of love in poetry, and utilise Whitman’s original phrases to inspire a contemplation of the self in the context of landscape and the wider world:

and as they open
I realise
they are filled
with sweet perfumes

golden glory

wafted aroma

from a house filled (with the sensual)

a kiss for the worthy is the second of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The first collection, walk away silver heart, draws on Amy Lowell’s deeply personal Madonna of the Evening Flowers, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection  

Jun 27, 2020 D.G. Kaye rated it Five Stars

This is the second book in Prem’s Love Trilogy. Prem has taken from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and once again, transforms his own version of thoughts and feelings putting his own creative spin on Whitman’s poetry by taking in and evoking the simple joys of life, love and nature.

Three of these poems stood out to me: – Clean (This soil, my air), transformed from ‘From this soil, this air’, Prem goes deeper – ‘A bootprint in the sand, breathing my own air – a cleansing’. And he takes the poignant line from ‘Born Here (an immigrant son)’, transformed into – ‘Born here of parents born here from parents of the same, and their parents the same …’, the author shares his own lineage on this controversial and au current topic. He continues – “Sing me a song of an immigrant, on the road – sing me the song of a traveller, I will join you in the chorus, for I carry, that same dusty weight.” ‘No to Espresso’ gives us a stunning conversion into the realms of addiction to the coveted java – which Prem expands on in stanza, elaborating on how caffeine affects.

Prem leaves us much to both savor and contemplate with his altered perspective on Whitman’s work. A mixture of emotion and perspective, cleverly re-wrapped into engaging bite-sized stories with robust meaning. I look forward to the last book in this beautiful series.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

The final author is Balroop Singh, with a review for her poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Miriam Hurdle 5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational poems of love in human relationship  Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2020

Last year I read Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh and loved it. It delighted me to read Moments We Love by the same author. I enjoyed Singh’s poetry style. The poetry in this book depicted deep emotions, sensitive to human relationships, and appreciation of nature. It reflected the vivid imagination from the author’s personal experience and her observation of the surrounding circumstances.

The poetry collection is divided into three sections. Moments of Love in section one included poems of the passionate and magical feeling of young lovers, the lovers drifting apart, and turning against each other, and the return of love brought above by cuddling of the grandchildren. Moments of Harmony in section two included poems about nature and seasons. Moments that make Life in section three included poems about buried dreams, moment of tranquility, moment in waiting, moment of deceit, moment of waiting, and moment of new beginning.

Section three ended with the poems When I Go and The Last Smile as the author’s thoughts of the transience of life.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: 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

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Poetry Frank Prem, #Fantasy Teagan Geneviene, #Humour #Mystery Mae Clair


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 Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

A recent review for A Kiss for the Worthy

Mary Dharsi 5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Lovely Kaleidoscope  Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2020

A Kiss for the Worthy is the second book in, A Love Poetry Trilogy. Each line in, Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman served as a muse for Prem’s creativity in this next collection. A Kiss for the Worthy, branched from the first book in its love between two people and delved instead into love and reflection for oneself.

I thought the opening poem, “mmm-hmmm (this day)” immediately set a wonderful tone in how it conveyed the waiting beauty of perspective when love and respect for self is held dear. I also felt the joy that can be brought to others in this but for me it seemed this aspect was more a complement to feeling the fruitful contentment in the open-mindedness of “only I” and finding “the whole of me.”

I think the best way to describe this second book of love poems is a kaleidoscope. It used many parts of the world to make me feel my own light inside was a little brighter, a little bigger, a little more. For me, I loved seeing and feeling every turn within this collection’s patterns.

Frank Prem, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Frank Prem – Goodreads: GoodreadsTwitter: @frank_prem

Meet Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no *extremes* in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. Teagan’s Books

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris

A selection of books by Teagan

A recent review for Brother Love

D.L. Finn 5.0 out of 5 stars I love the magic woven into the story!  Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2020

I read “Brother Love” over several weeks on Ms. Geneviene’s blog and enjoyed it. I was happy to see it released and read it as a book. I appreciated it just as much the second time around. My favorite character was the magpie, Jinx, and his insights. Although Birdie, the town outcast, is a second close, because of what others perceived her mother to have done and where she lives near. The humor and setting drew me into the story that was set in the south in the 50s. I could see myself at the town revival as people went forward to get healed. I loved the magic woven into a story that otherwise felt very real. I recommend this novella for all fantasy readers who appreciate a unique tale as I do

Teagan Geneviene – Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

Meet Mae Clair

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

A selection of books by Mae Clair

A recent review for In Search of McDoogal

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable tale you would love!  Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2020

In Search of McDoogal is a gem that shimmers amongst the engaging works of Mae Clair, a superb storyteller, with a unique style. I’ve never read a story that could make me smile till the last page. At places, giggles erupted unknowingly, adding a blush to my ears, as I like to laugh loudly but felt guilty, with Kindle in my hand. It is a pleasure to read that McDoogal was the name of Mae’s loving cat whose cherished memory has been encapsulated so lovingly within this story.

Brady’s love for his girlfriend impels him to retrieve the precious painting that he had inadvertently sold to a guy who drove a bright orange Dodge pick up and the whole fun starts. Though Brady is really upset with the situation he is placed in, but Clair turns it into a light-hearted tale with crafty dialogues, funny situations, eccentric characters and names like “Abe Barr,” “Webb,” “Jenks,” “Clark Barr,” who looked like “a rat.” Even names of places evoke humor. I loved the ending, which left me craving for more such stories.

Mae Clair, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads
Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting more of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and discovering their books. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Memoir Ann Patras, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone


The first author today is Ann Patras with a recent review for Much More Into Africa the third book in her memoir series.

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 on Goodreads

Mar 22, 2020 Tara rated it Five Stars

I couldn’t wait to read this third installation of Ann’s hectic life in Zambia, and it did not disappoint! Once you start reading, it is hard to put down. I especially liked her telling of adventures rafting down the Zambezi–I had a very similar experience just a couple years ago! (The boat next to us flipped and we saw how that got handled! And the hike out of that canyon has not changed in the least, except maybe for a lovely hot meal awaiting us at the top!) I hope Ann will write about her next adventures in S.A…? As having been an expat myself, I just loved it when she talked about friendships in the expat community being so much stronger. I hope you tale the opportunity to go in this adventure with Ann and all her kids, husband, dogs and horses. Ann has a hilarious way of retelling all these details from her life–I am glad she kept such good records of her letter writing.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

The other books in the series

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ann on: Goodreads

Connect to Ann via her website: Ann Patras Author

The first author is Frank Prem  with a review for his poetry collection – Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection

Joy RS 5.0 out of 5 stars An exploration of love, with a unique take  Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020

There is a beautiful story of the inspiration behind this collection of poetry and the poems themselves. They are stories of love, but all take their inspiration from the picturesque work, Madonna of the Evening Flowers. It provides a unique theme that runs through each page of this book – each page with its own flavour and feelings – making every offering here an individual piece of a bigger work of art. I enjoyed the thought-provoking way in which the author plays with and presents his words, and the theme that binds them adds extra charm and poignancy.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

The final author today with a recent review is Barbara Silkstone for her most recent release Makeover Murder: Cold Cream Murders – Book 6.

About the book

Olive Peroni was having a tough day. Her makeover client died a mysterious death before the woman could attend her husband’s inquest—where she would explain why she ran over him as he stood in front of her car putting coins in a parking meter.

Now Olive is both a suspect in her client’s murder and a victim-to-be. Can the Cold Cream team from the shop on Starfish Cove Beach catch the shadowy killer before he strikes again—killing the last person to see the makeover lady alive—Olive?

“This is one of our trickiest cases. It was like plucking a chicken in the wind.”
~ Grams Dingler
~~
About COLD CREAM MURDERS:

A series of quirky murders plague Olive Peroni and her Cold Cream shop partner. A psychologist by training and a miracle cold cream designer by luck, Olive leaves her family practice to start a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida. The gals make designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach. Business is brisk and life is good until bodies start popping and dropping—and Olive must rely on her people skills to separate the killers from their victims.

Fun DIY beauty products and special hints in every book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

mskiti 5.0 out of 5 stars Cozy mystery reading at its best  Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020

Recently I was gifted an ebook of Makeover Murder from author Barbara Silkstone. What a delightful surprise and what a great gift it was. This latest installment of her Cold Cream Murders series is filled with humor, twists and turns in a fast moving plot. Olive does a cosmetic make over for a prominent Starfish Cove citizen who dies shortly afterward leaving Olive the primary suspect in her death. Olive and business partner Lizzy must prove Olive’s innocence. Meanwhile Feisty 92 year old Grams Dingler is assigned to report on the murder for the Silverfish Gazette, so her appearances and one-liners throughout the story are an added bonus of hilarity. All the quirky characters of Starfish Cove are back as well with laugh out loud opinions and observations about the murder investigation. Although this can be read as a stand alone novel, it is so much fun, anyone new to this series will definitely want to go back and read all the previous books. Frankly it just keeps getting better and better.

A selection of 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

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates -#Reviews – #Poetry Frank Prem, #Thriller Toni Pike, #Writers Harmony Kent


Welcome to the first of the cafe and bookstore updates this week, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves..

The first author is Frank Prem  with a review for his poetry collection – Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection

Emily Jo 5.0 out of 5 stars A Whimsical Read  Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2020

Walk Away Silver Heart is a romantic, whimsical journey from the mind of a lover. The character in the book watches his lover doing the most average, every day things, and yet, those tasks don’t seem so ordinary. As someone who is recently married, but peen with their partner for over 8 years, I find this book to be very realistic and true. There are days where I look at my husband and find whatever he’s doing to be so wholesome and so just “i love you.” Have you ever had that feeling? If you know what I’m talking about, that’s the feeling this book emanates. 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

Now for a recent review for Toni Pike for The Magus Covenant The secret that will change the world (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 1)

About the book

THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IS IN PERIL – UNLESS ONE MAN CAN UNCOVER THE TRUTH…

A long-forgotten sect, a deadly brotherhood, a billionaire who trades in relics and a race across Europe in pursuit of a killer.

Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD.

But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the bell tower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumours fly about a papyrus scroll. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for a hidden sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

Jotham is kidnapped, tortured and on the run. He races from Italy to England to Sweden. But the body count continues to rise and so does the heat in this non-stop thriller that will leave you breathless.

FEATURING: a fast-paced and gripping plot, chase sequences, Italian police, mysterious historical events and an ending that you won’t see coming.

Don’t miss this action-packed thriller! Discover the secret that will change the world.

There are three other books in this series – enjoy Jotham Fletcher’s continuing story.

Book 2: THE ROCK OF MAGUS – Code Red in the Vatican
Book 3: THE MAGUS EPIPHANY – Ancient treasures and a new revelation
Book 4: HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS – The covenant will be fulfilled

One of the recent reviews for the book

I mention Dan Brown because I like his books. I only recently got on to Toni Pike. This is the first in the Jotham Fletcher series; I will read more. He is a rector in an Australian parish working on research into Simon Magus (could not help but recall the Silver Chalice–where Jack Palance portraying Magus, believes he can fly, saw it as a child). Like Brown’s Logdon, Pike’s Fletcher gets embroiled in controversial sectarian elements within the Catholic Church. Unlike Logdon, Fletcher faces much more serious danger personally. So, this story is really stronger in that respect.

Pike’s book follows the mystery/thriller precepts of plot/suspense progression well and builds to a climax with heightened tension and twists. If you like the genre, you will like this book–it’s well written.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Toni on: Goodreads

Connect to Toni via her website: Toni Pike

And the final author today is Harmony Kent with a recent review for her author guide Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer

About the book

Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer is the perfect gift for the writer in your life.

Do you want to be an author? Are you struggling to find inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to put words on the page? Or are you simply looking for novel ideas? If so, then this book is for you.

This little guide will help you unlock your story ideas and fire your imagination. The text covers things such as writing from various prompts, to using Chess, Tarot, and even nursing Triage (and much more) for developing your characters, story, and plot.

From the award-winning author of Polish Your Prose: Essential Self-Editing Tips for Authors—an excellent companion text—Creative Solutions focuses on the creative side of writing rather than the technical.

This book gives you the tools you need to make writing fun, as well as tips and techniques on creating characters and stories that will stay with you and your readers forever.

Crammed with easy-to understand examples, this guide is for writers of every genre—both fiction and non-fiction, literary, and commercial. But most of all, it’s about having fun and making friends with your muse.

One of the recent reviews

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable writing tool  Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2020

I read and enjoyed one of Harmony Kent’s fictional works and I was sufficiently impressed by her writing to pick up this non-fiction book about writing techniques and inspirational tools when it launched last year. I was not disappointed and learned a lot a developing good writing habits and ways of discovering inspiration for this book.

I have always edited as I write, this is largely due to the fact that I am a perfectionist and leaving something half done is difficult for me. This book encourages writers to not edit as they write but rather to ride the wave of your creativity and go back and edit later. I have tried this over the past week and have added double the words to my WIP. I didn’t not edit completely, but I did a lot less and felt I got a lot more words on paper this way. It is difficult to pick up on an incomplete idea so this advice makes perfect sense so that you get a piece of writing written down while it is fresh in your mind.

This books sets out lots of ideas for writing prompts which I find a great way of sharpening my writing skills. The author’s prompts have given me a lot of food for thought and I certainly won’t be running out of ideas in the foreseeable future. There are also great tips on using Tarot cards, horoscopes, chess boards and other items to generate ideas or to move your story along if you become bogged down or stale with your writing.

I thought this was a valuable writing tool and I will certainly be referring back to it going forward.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Harmony: Goodreads

Connect to Harmony via her website: Harmony Kent

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to explore the books of these authors in more detail.. and perhaps add some books to your TBRs.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Horror Vashti Quiroz Vega


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore where I share recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review isTeri Polen for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michael P. Hartnett 5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Dystopian Novel of Complex Emotions and Countless Revelations  Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020

About two-thirds through Teri Polen’s terrific dystopian novel Subject A36, our narrator and protagonist Asher Solomon makes a declaration: “I’m in control, not A36.” But with all of the stunning revelations that have delivered before that statement, neither the reader nor Asher can be sure. Indeed, this novel has challenges for the reviewer since Polen unfolds so many clever surprises that I have to worry about passing along spoilers.

Asher, his girlfriend Brynn, and Noah head an insurgent movement that combats the Colony. That Colony harvests the genetic attributes of its victims. Asher and his companions daringly rescue many of those captured by the Colony before those victims can be harvested. Yet, while the Colony soldiers hunt the insurgents, their greatest goal is get their hands on Subject A36. From this premise, many intrigues emerge. Asher must consider the past, confronting his father’s legacy, even as he must face a future where the specter of what A36 might do next haunts him.

The central psychological tension of the novel homes in on Asher’s struggle to maintain his humanity under the tremendous dual combination of situational stress and hard-wired genetics. This emotional intensity gives the narrative greater richness and force. Polen has well considered the details of this novel right down Asher’s last name of Solomon, whose Biblical namesake was famous for a decision splitting a child, certainly a bifurcated position with which Asher could identify.

Dr. Everly serves as Asher’s worthy adversary, a villain of diabolical tactics and mental manipulations. Ultimately, the conflict leads to a series of tremendously compelling scenes, right down to the final twist. The first installment of the Colony Series, Subject A36 signals that a rip-roaring sequel will follow, one that promises to be true to the complicated emotions of this powerful dystopian novel.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Teri Polen

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow TeriGoodreads

Connect to Teri via her website:  Teri Polen

The next author is Frank Prem  with a review for his poetry collection – Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

A recent review for the collection

Amazon Customer  5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful love poem  Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020

This book takes you through each line of the original Lowell poem in a way that is like living it through the author’s eyes. You get a sense of his place, his longing, his love. It’s not overly sad. If fact, it’s happy. It’s a celebration of love and life and flowers in the garden. It’s like reading two stories in one, the way it is intertwined with the classic poem. A very talented poet and I’m very much looking forward to the next book.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

The final author is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for her short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

Ms. Quiroz-Vega has mastered characterization!!! What it takes many authors an entire novel to impart, she’s accomplished in a short that takes an hour to read. Abandonment, matricide, mental, physical, and sexual abuse are either exacted or avenged to the readers’ satisfaction.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Vashti : Goodreads

Connect to Vashti via her website: Vashti – WordPress

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 #Reviews #WarRomance Marina Osipova, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Children’s Pamela S. Wight


Since the middle of November I have featured all the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with a recent review and since we have a few days left, I will now share more up to date reviews that have been posted.

The first author with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing.

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

A beautiful story with so many twists and turns! I was amazed at all the angles this story took. I loved the main character and was heartbroken that she went through so much pain, sorrow and hardship. The author is so good at bringing each character alive and into perfect focus of their personality. An excellent book!! It brings in so many aspects of the war. I loved it!! Sweet love, despising hatred, resigned living in sorrow, pain of loss, hardships, abuse, the Partisans, the camps, Red Army, Nazis, starvation and freezing cold and heartbreak upon heartbreak, as well as forgiveness and freedom, kindness and sacrificial love. So much in this one book! Beautifully done!!

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marina on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marina via her website: Marina Osipova

And now a recent review for The New Asylum: a memoir of psychiatry by Frank Prem.

About the collection

The New Asylum is the third volume in a series of free-verse poetry anthologies and personal memoirs from Australian author Frank Prem (Small Town Kid, Devil In The Wind).

This collection is an exposé of life in the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades and describing sometimes graphically, sometimes ironically, often poignantly, and always honestly, a search for meaning in extraordinary and often incomprehensible circumstances.

The journey begins with childhood experiences of watching immigrant parents earn their living in the Mayday Hills Mental Asylum… progresses through the oddities and antics of psychiatric nurse training in the 1970s… on to the high-pressure coalface of managing regional centres facing an inundation of modern urban challenges… and finally, settles into the generally calmer waters of a small town residential facility.

Join Frank Prem on his New Asylum journey, and discover what it means to become that particular ‘mental health creature’ that is a psychiatric nurse.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Deeply and poignantly written, this mental health memoir in free-verse poetry, of the author’s life as a psychiatric nurse takes the reader from Frank’s days when he watched his parents head to work in the Mayday Hills Mental Asylum, through the tragic, heartrending years of life and death, and everything in between.

Humorous at times – “ask the pharmacist” he instructed “for a pair of fallopian tubes” – the author’s ability to have the reader “see” the circumstances; capture the essence in only a few words, is exceptional. Highly recommended.

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Frank via his blog: Frank Prem WordPress

And finally a recent review for an author who writes for children and adults Pamela S.Wight and her book Molly Finds her Purr Illustrated by Shelley A. Steinle.

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

What a wonderful story of finding one’s place in the world by connecting with others! Molly Finds Her Purr is a sweet story that is so relatable to children: finding a friend. Yet it has the underlying message that through connection with others our differences can shine. A great conversation starter for older children and a nice message for toddlers. As a third grade teacher I recommend this as a way to tackle the difficult conversations of how to be yourself while wanting to belong. Molly Finds Her Purr reassures us all that we can.

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

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