Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 -#Poetry Inner Rumblings: by Joyce Murphy


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

Today my review is from April 2020 and is for Joyce Murphy and her debut poetry collection Inner Rumblings: Poems to Give My Inner Self a Voice, the Self I Call Joycie Reilly

About the collection

Inner Rumblings is a collection of poems about life, about courage, and about emotion. Whether you are looking for the courage to keep going when your heart is breaking, the inspiration to follow your dreams or a feeling of ‘someone else has been here too,’ these poems offer an open invitation to share joys, struggles, loves and pain with you.

The poems are expressed through Joycie Reilly, the name the author gives to her inner self – the self that speaks honestly about her battles with social anxiety and self-approval – the self that is searching for acceptance in a cold and turbulent world.

But despite her struggles, Joycie Reilly continues her journey through life, experiencing feelings of great happiness and great pain along the way. And her hope for you the reader is this, that in knowing her journey, you may better come to understand your own.

The book is divided into 10 lifecycles – each lifecycle presenting a separate set of poems relevant to the age and circumstances of the author. The lifecycles span over a 30 year period beginning with Early Teens and ending with Coming Home.

My review for the collection April 18th 2020

Poetry should stir the emotions and convey imagery with flow and rhythm and Joyce Murphy achieves that in her debut collection of verse.

It is a collection that reflects many shades of human emotion through the various phases of the poet’s life from 15 years old after what was an idyllic childhood. Teenage years are not the easiest for many of us and it is clear that the poet experienced anguish and self doubt as she moved into young adulthood including the turmoil of first love. We travel with her to Germany where she worked as an au pair, experiencing feelings of being an outcast in this very different environment to Ireland… and the dilemma caused by a romantic attraction. 

There is also lightness from touches of humour and the renewal that comes with finding a soul mate in ‘Love’s Vision’, but it is countered by the enormity of great loss.

The poetry is a roller coaster that takes you along for the ride. I am sure that there will be life’s experiences that many will relate to throughout the phases of the collection.

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

Also by Joyce Murphy for Children

 

Read the reviews and buy both children and poetry books: Amazon UK –  And: Amazon US – follow Joyce: Goodreads  –  Blog: Joycie Reilly Poetry – Twitter: @JoycieReilly

About Joyce Murphy

I have been a scribbler all my life. We didn’t have money for writing paper in my house so I scribbled stories and poems on anything I could get my hands on. Wherever scribbling material was to be found, I wrote on it. This included between the lines of my Enid Blyton books, the white top and bottom margins of my parent’s ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Coat’ program, bits of copybook paper and even blank pages torn from other books.

The poems found in my book, ‘Inner Rumblings,’ were written on small pieces of paper, torn out copybook pages and even on blank pages at the end of my biology book – lack of paper was never going to stop my urge to write.

My goal is to inspire joy and play in children and help them discover themselves and their world through story. To this end I also use my poetry and poems to run adult creative voice workshops. I am a proud self-published author with a unique vision of the world and our place in it. A love of animals and the environment is close to my heart and also runs through my stories for small children. I am also a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the review for Joyce’s poetry collection…Sally.

Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Books – #Turtles Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, #Redhair Joyce Murphy


Welcome to the Children’s Cafe and Bookstore with new books and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

If you are a children’s author with books suitable up to the age of 12 years old then please check out how you can add your books to the Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – FREE book marketing.

The first authors today with a new release are Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange with illustrations by Jo RobinsonMyrtle and the Big Mistake: Myrtle the Purple Turtle Series

About the book

When a lie is told about one of Myrtle’s friends, she knows it’s up to her to make sure the truth comes out. Join Myrtle and friends on this new adventure that encourages children to think about the impact that gossip might have on other kids, to do the right thing and have the courage to stand-up for others.

Myrtle and the Big Mistake is the fourth book in the best-selling children’s series, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, about friendship, kindness, inclusion and self-esteem. Written by Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, the books have been praised by children, parents and grandparents, teachers, librarians and book reviewers around the world.

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

Other books in the Myrtle the Turtle Series

One of the Five Star reviews for the first book in the series Myrtle the Purple Turtle.

Mar 28, 2019 Sade Fadipe rated it Five Stars

Myrtle the Purple Turtle leads the way in helping children boost their self confidence – bordering on conflicting reactions to race and social acceptance.

This is a beautiful book. The language flows with intentional emphasis and so do the emotions too. It depicts the manner in which children sometimes process information and Myrtle is quite an endearing character!

Not convinced that her mother’s advice was spot-on, she goes a head to resolve her problems single handedly; lo, who comes to her rescue? The wisdom to feeling secure is certainly dependent on the friends we choose – the story seems to say. The text strikes me more than the illustrations notwithstanding, the layout is stunning and it is a lovely, well written book indeed!

It’s simply the kind of book every teacher needs to hand, as children will always express opinions based on their family setting

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Cynthia : Goodreads – Website:Cynthia ReyesTwitter: @CynthiaSReyes

You can find other books by Cynthia Reyes in the main Cafe and Bookstore

The next author with a new release is Joyce Murphy with her debut children’s book The Girl with the Flaming Red Hair.

About the book

A fun picture book in verse celebrating girls with red hair.

Meet Rosie Red, the girl with the Flaming Red Hair as she skips, hopidy, hops through her fun-filled life. Every day is just one big adventure after another!

This illustrated short story book is my tribute to children born with red hair, who like me, make up only 2% of the world’s population. It is a celebration of a child’s diversity captured in a colourful, vibrant picture book for girls.

The story unfolds around Grandma, Rosie’s patient older sister, her trickster little brother, fun parents, her exasperated teacher and friends who first stare at her and are then won over by her fun, charm and zest for life.

The Girl with the Flaming Red Hair is an enjoyable children’s rhyme book – a story of a little girl and her life experiences and day to day activities expressed in verse. It will appeal to children who enjoy rhyme books by Julia Donaldson and Rachel Bright and the occasional nursery rhyme.

This would make an excellent starter book for early readers. At the same time, toddlers, kindergarten and preschool children can use this book for early learning as it provides a repeating word pattern which helps children, who are only just beginning to learn to read, discover themselves and the relationships with those around them. It also includes fun facts about red hair and is perfect for children two years and older.

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

Read the reviews and buy both children and poetry books: Amazon UK –  And: Amazon US – follow Joyce: Goodreads  –  Blog: Joycie Reilly Poetry – Twitter: @JoycieReilly

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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Thriller Allan Hudson, #Poetry Joyce Murphy, #Paranormal #Romance Marcia Meara


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 Allan Hudson

I live by Cocagne Bay in Eastern Canada where the summers are hot by the seaside and the snow is deep in the winter. I married the greatest gal on earth, Gloria, and have a wonderful son Adam, two great stepsons Mark (Nathalie) and Chris (Mireille)Young. Three grandchildren Matthieu, Natasha and Damian.

I love reading. My mother was my school teacher and taught me to read and write when I was young. I’m thankful for that.
I’m a carpenter, woodworker, aspiring author and I sell jewellery for a living at Peoples Jewellers.

I love jazz music and am a HUGE fan of JJ Cale.

I have a wonderful life. I hope that you will read my novels – Wall of War and Dark Side of a Promise . I trust you will enjoy them and if so please tell someone.

A selection of books by Allan Hudson

One of the recent reviews for Shattered Figurine

Apr 09, 2020 Pierre Arseneault rated it Five Stars

Fantastic read. Allan is a great wordsmith to say the least. For such a small book, it packs a heck of a wallop.

Allan Hudson buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Allan: Goodreads – Website: South Branch Scribbler – Twitter: @hudson_allan

Meet Joyce Murphy

 

I have been a scribbler all my life. Whenever I felt the urge to write, I grabbed whatever writing paper I could find and scribbled stories on it.

The storyteller in me also found voice in play – play that to my Mother’s dismay, involved taking down ashtrays, combs, pens and plugs onto the floor and transforming these ordinary appliances into kings and queens and witches and wizards that lived in lands made of ice-cream and honey. I can never remember wanting toys as my imagination preferred traveling to imaginary lands where I could create anything I wanted.

I was born in Ireland – a land well know for Bards poets, and storytellers who spun tales of magical happening in a place called the Otherworld. These storytellers or bards were also council to Kings and Queens – wise in their ways – spinning webs of heartache, love and fantasy into each tale.

As an author I am inspired by wild and mystical landscapes – places where I can dance freely in the rain, make up stories about the shapes I see in the clouds and walk barefoot on the earth. I also love the sea especially in a storm and take many long isolated walks along the cliffs in my home in the South East of Ireland.

My goal is to inspire imagination and play in children and help them discover themselves and their world through story.

To this end I have created story rhyme books and stories for older children where adventure and fun and learning are key.

A love of animals and the environment defines me and whenever I can, I bring it into my stories. I believe that children are best served when they learn to care for themselves, others and the environment.

I am also a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

My review for the collection 24th April 2020

Poetry should stir the emotions and convey imagery with flow and rhythm and Joyce Murphy achieves that in her debut collection of verse.

It is a collection that reflects many shades of human emotion through the various phases of the poet’s life from 15 years old after what was an idyllic childhood. Teenage years are not the easiest for many of us and it is clear that the poet experienced anguish and self doubt as she moved into young adulthood including the turmoil of first love. We travel with her to Germany where she worked as an au pair, experiencing feelings of being an outcast in this very different environment to Ireland… and the dilemma caused by a romantic attraction. 

There is also lightness from touches of humour and the renewal that comes with finding a soul mate in ‘Love’s Vision’, but it is countered by the enormity of great loss.

The poetry is a roller coaster that takes you along for the ride. I am sure that there will be life’s experiences that many will relate to throughout the phases of the collection.

Joyce Murphy buy: Amazon UK –  And: Amazon US – follow Joyce: Goodreads  –  Blog: Joycie Reilly Poetry – Twitter: @JoycieReilly

Meet Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and one small dachshund.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

A recent review for Wake-Robin Ridge

D. W. Peach5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and love story with a blend of thriller and mystery  Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2020

Part romance, part thriller, part mystery, part ghost story, part epistolary, and most of all a love story, this first book in the Wake Robin Ridge series has it all, pulled together into a well-crafted tale. It’s quite a feat and thoroughly engaging.

The first half of the book alternates between two stories. One is Ruthie’s narrative, set in the early 1960s. She runs away from an abusive relationship and rebuilds her life in a rural cabin in the Carolinas. Ruthie’s story is definitely a nail-biting thriller, and I wanted to hide under my blankets.

The second narrative belongs to Sarah, who moves into the same cabin in 2011and starts up a romance with her neighbor, Mac, a man with a secret who’s conflicted about starting a relationship. Romance readers will enjoy many of the tropes that pepper their relationship.

Then in the middle of the book, an event changes everything for both women even though they live 50 years apart. Ruth’s story continues through a series of unmailed letters, and Sarah and Mac are determined to find out what happened to her. The romance and thriller parts of the book fade as the narrative shifts into mature love, grief, loyalty, and sacrifice. There were times when I got a little choked up.

Clearly the book has a lot going on, but it’s beautifully told and kept up a good pace, particularly in the second half. The characters are three dimensional with rich emotional lives and distinct voices. Ruthie was my favorite and the most sympathetic; it was her story that blurred the eyes. Highly recommended to love story and romance readers who enjoy a bit of a thrill and mystery blended in to add interest to the tale.

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews #YAFantasy M.J. Mallon, #Mystery James J. Cudney, #Poetry Joyce Murphy #Childrens Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to the first of the updates for the week, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author is Marjorie Mallon with The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 10, 2020 Darlene Foster rated it Four Stars

For someone who doesn’t usually read fantasy, this YA novel caught my interest. The teenage characters in the book are very real with typical issues such as lack of confidence, jealousy, confusion, parental disagreements, and volatile friendships. Amelina comes from a dysfunctional family with a paranormal twist. If she can figure out the curse, perhaps her family could be happy once more. In her quest, she meets a self-harming girl locked in a mirror, a heartthrob boy with a mean side, a cottage full of amazing crystals and an old woman with sage advice.

I like that the story is based on a real clock, the Corpus Chronophage clock, in Cambridge, England. (Chronophage means time-eater). There is some time travel in the story, which I love. There’s a lot happening in this very descriptive book and not everything is explained. But that is because it is the first book in a series. I look forward to reading more about Amelina and her quirky friends.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US

And:Amazon UK

Also by M. J. Mallon

Read the other reviews and buy the book:Amazon UK

And on : Amazon US

Follow M.J. Mallon on: Goodreads

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: M.J. Mallon

The next author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his latest release Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6)

About the Book

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

One of the recent reviews for the book

L. Higgins 5.0 out of 5 stars  Perfect Title  Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020

Both clues and motives for murder abound in Frozen Stiff Drink, the latest addition to James J. Cudney’s Braxton Campus Mystery Series. With each book, I think the plot threads can’t get more tangled than in the previous books, but they do! With a cast of characters that will intrigue you, draw you in, and evoke strong reactions, this cozy mystery will provide you with all the distraction you need during this time of shelter in place.

Kellan has a history of finding dead bodies since he returned to Wharton County; but his girlfriend, Sheriff April Montague, has finally begun to accept that he doesn’t go looking for trouble. With the series’ usual large number of characters, this book holds a challenge when trying to sort through the many relationships, but the author helps out with a list of characters including their connections to other characters.

I enjoyed Frozen Stiff Drink all the way to the conclusion where my jaw dropped as the many plot threads were resolved, and several new issues dramatically appeared beckoning me into delightful anticipation of the next installment in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow James: Goodreads

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

Now Joyce Murphy with a review for her debut poetry collection Inner Rumblings: Poems to Give My Inner Self a Voice, the Self I Call Joycie Reilly

About the collection

Inner Rumblings is a collection of poems about life, about courage, and about emotion. Whether you are looking for the courage to keep going when your heart is breaking, the inspiration to follow your dreams or a feeling of ‘someone else has been here too,’ these poems offer an open invitation to share joys, struggles, loves and pain with you.

The poems are expressed through Joycie Reilly, the name the author gives to her inner self – the self that speaks honestly about her battles with social anxiety and self-approval – the self that is searching for acceptance in a cold and turbulent world.

But despite her struggles, Joycie Reilly continues her journey through life, experiencing feelings of great happiness and great pain along the way. And her hope for you the reader is this, that in knowing her journey, you may better come to understand your own.

The book is divided into 10 lifecycles – each lifecycle presenting a separate set of poems relevant to the age and circumstances of the author. The lifecycles span over a 30 year period beginning with Early Teens and ending with Coming Home.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly relative  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 March 2020

I don’t usually buy poetry books online but I liked the description of this book, I was not disappointed. The poems are incredibly moving and I found it interesting to see the style and voice of the poems evolve over time. There are little story lines before each segment/lifecycle explaining the motivation behind each set of poems and how they relate to the author’s life.

I would recommend this book to a variety of ages and personalities as there is a segment/lifestyle in it for everyone. I think young adults would also find this book very relatable and helpful with dealing with issues of social anxiety and mental health. Being a romantic at heart these poems spoke to me. I also related to the rawness of the poems in the section My Mother Myself which were about grief and loss. But if you take the book as a whole, I think my favourite is ‘The Phoenix’ which appears at the beginning and end of the book, a poem which promises that no matter in our lives we can pick ourselves up and fly free.

Read the reviews and follow Joyce: Amazon UK

And:Amazon US

Read reviews and follow Joyce: Goodreads

Connect to Joyce via her blog: Joycie Reilly Poetry

Bette A. Stevens has her children’s book Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale on offer April 21st – April 24th  at 99c/99p as it is Earth Day on April 22nd and as the Monarch butterfly is an endangered species it is an opportunity to draw attention to its plight.

About  Amazing Matilda

(Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly.

This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch butterfly’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf—she stretches and yawns and knows she wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are as you follow Matilda from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 19, 2020 Patricia Furstenberg rated it Five Stars

“Amazing Matilda” is one of those special, unforgettable books that are a captivating story AND a wonderful message blend into an attractive format.

Through Matilda’s adventures, children will absorb a valuable lesson: that patience and self-belief are important in achieving one’s dreams and that if you wish for something and try hard enough, you will succeed.

“Amazing Matilda” is an enchanting book that belongs on any child’s bookshelf.
An enchanting book that belongs on any child’s bookshelf.

Read the reviews and buy the book April 21st- 24th at 99c: Amazon US

And at 99p: 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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books to add to your reading list.. thanks Sally.