Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #FamilySaga Judith Barrow


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet M. J. Mallon

I am a diverse author who blogs at: M.J. Mallon. My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favourite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over: One hundred book reviews

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious. I am a member of two professional writing bodies: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

Books by M.J. Mallon

One of the recent reviews for Lockdown Innit

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Covid Poetry You Will Relate to!  Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2021

“Lockdown Innit – Poems About Absurdity” is a collection of poetry about the third wave of lockdowns in the U.K. because of the Corona Virus pandemic. Seen through the eyes of poet and author M. J. Mallon, not everything is as it seems, and we should take nothing for granted.

The Coronavirus has brought much of the U.K. and Europe to their knees, while here in the U. S. they’ve taken a more lackadaisical approach to the pandemic. Mallon shares the trials and tribulations of her life in lockdown through her poetry.

Her poem, “The Face Mask Rolls” left me with the haunting image of a discarded mask rolling down the road, clearly, a metaphor for the despair this virus has wracked upon humanity.

This is a short, poignant collection that will forever remind us of a time when no one had control over their lives. A must-read! 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

Meet Aurora Jean Alexander

I’m a fantasy author working on a paranormal romance series. The first book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018.

I have written short stories and poetry in the past. Some of my poems can be read on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

Also by A.J. Alexander

One of the recent reviews for Bounty Hunter

Jasmin5.0 out of 5 stars Centriel‘s point of view  Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2021

Bounty Hunter is already the fourth book in the ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. While reading it, we meet not only the meanwhile quite familiar characters like Raphael, Katie, Sundance, Zepheira, and Uriel; we’re also introduced to Simin Arnatt. She not only turns Centriel’s head, but she also keeps a huge secret…

In this latest adventure, for the first time, Alexander wrote a big part of the story from the point of view of one of the Archangels, which I liked very much.

Of course, with Simin, we get to know another new, strong, interesting female character. But I also enjoyed very much how the author let us peek into Centriel’s life.

Bounty Hunter is a terrific book, filled with secrets, suspense, and the perfect amount of AJ Alexander’s unique humor. I didn’t like too much about the book because it ended at one point, and I will have to wait for the next book in the series.  

A.J. Alexander, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Aurora Jean Alexander – Twitter: @AuroraJean_A

Meet Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines,has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for forty years.

She has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University and She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions..

She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.

Books by Judith Barrow

One of the recent reviews for The Heart Stone

This is a compelling read – well researched and written.

I read another review where the reviewer states that the book stayed with them after they had finished it – and I felt the same each evening when I had to put it down to go to bed – I have to admit to an extra 5 mins here, chapter there and more sometimes.

It was a story of the hardships of WW1 – the boys that went to war, underage, for the patriotic chance to help their King and Country, the women left behind often cowed by those men who didn’t go to war and made to feel inferior.

In fact, the main character, Jessie, was married to a man who did so purely because ‘What was hers was his’ when in fact the Law had changed and she was entitled to inherit her family business in her own right.

Jessie. like so many thought she had lost her love and married for respectability.
Her lost love, forced to become and act like a man when little more than a boy himself and was traumatised by what he had seen and endured in the Trenches of WW1 which was described with horrific detail by the author. This meant it was obvious the book was well researched for the finer details of how futile and terrible aspects of WW1 were.

I have written far more about the storyline than I would normally but I felt it important to point out that this was more than a tale of love and loss in WW1 – there was the horror of the Trenches, injuries sustained, women left behind struggling to cope emotionally and financially, domestic abuse and in the end redemption and hope.
Though not necessarily complete healing for the soldiers traumatised by the scenes they had endured.

If normally you would pass this book by then maybe give it a chance 

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Goodreads – blog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Author Updates #Reviews – #Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Thriller Alex Craigie, #Thriller Carol Balawyder


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

The first book with a review is the recently released collection Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity by M.J. Mallon

About the collection

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

A recent review for the collection

SVG 4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful collection of poems  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 February 2021

Author Marjorie Mallon’s keen sense of observation came to play in the way the poems were penned. Different emotions like fear, anger, longing, desire, humor were evoked while reading them.

The words also showed how people behaved during these tough times. It is the truth that some have still not learned after losing so many lives across the world. Many in the book were hard-hitting, some were humorous, and the best ones were, where the spoke of her love for her daughters through her words. Hope sailed through in them.

Then the author sneaked in a wispy one longing to be like the cat, dreaming peacefully of normal times. A perfect way to end the book.  

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

Also by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The next author is Alex Craigie with a review for Someone Close to Home

About the book

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Books R Best 5.0 out of 5 stars JUST WOW!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 February 2021

This is a book I will remember for a long time to come. It resonated with me, and while it is heart breaking, it also had some beautiful moments. Not an easy subject but one the author handled so well. I shall be checking out her other books for sure.  

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

Also by Alex Craigie

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Alex: Goodreads – Alex Craigie : Facebook

The final review today is for Carol Balawyder for a book for those who enjoy thrillers, Warning Signs

About the book

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?

Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.

Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2021

This psychological thriller is told from three points of view: a serial killer, the young woman who loves him, and the detective investigating the serial murders of several teenagers.

Eugene Munroe is a creepy guy, and there were times during the read where the real world disappeared and I was completely absorbed in his strange and fascinating thought processes. Angie is overly needy and desperate for love, and Eugene’s attentions have her ignoring the warning signs that something is wrong. Van Ray is the cop on the case who compromises the law in more ways than one.

The plot starts with a lot of tension that kept me glued to the pages. A significant twist at the halfway point changes the nature of the story, shifting it away from imminent danger into the psychology of the characters. The pace slows slightly as the book works toward a conclusion, but it wraps up the various threads nicely. The writing seemed well researched, particularly related to the serial killer.

I encountered a problem with formatting on my kindle (it may just be my kindle). There were no breaks or indents distinguishing paragraphs. This made the read more difficult for me, but otherwise, I recommend it to fans of thrillers, crime novels, and psychological dramas.  

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

A selection of books by Carol Balawyder

Read reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Poetry and #Prose Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon


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 I am sharing my review from March 2020 for the magical collection of poetry and prose, Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images.

My review for the collection March 4th 2020.

Set against the beautiful back drop of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, prose and verse tell the story of people who find solace and joy in the weeping willow tree and dragonflies and in the wonders of the orchids in the hot house. Twin brothers have a favourite bench where they watch the world go by, and their sister Annette reflects on her life after their loss… Other characters make their appearances sharing the magic of the natural world, including young Aurora who collects rainbows and semi-precious stones.

The author takes us through the seasons with poems reflecting the festivals such as Halloween and Christmas, with ghosts and snowmen and a Christmas Bubble Monster. Finally we meet Mr. Sagittarius who shares the loves of his long life….

This is a delightful read with wonderful photographs to enhance the words, and you will find yourself returning to certain passages to read again and enjoy. I am sure you will find your own favourites and I was hard pushed to select just one, but the Etheree: A Face on Bark struck a chord with me.

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

Also by M.J. Mallon  NB.. This is Lockdown is now available in print.

Read the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

About M.J. Mallon

I am a diverse author who blogs M.J Mallon My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favourite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over 100 reviews: M.J. Mallon Book Reviews

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

I am a member of two professional writing bodies: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the review and will head over to check out Marjorie’s books further.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Marjorie Mallon – Author Interview and Excerpt Sally Cronin


Delighted to accept the invitation to join author and poet Marjorie Mallon on her eclectic blog for an interview. We talked about my nomadic life, blogging, book marketing and maintaining my mojo in this current crazy world we inhabit.. I hope you will head over to join us..

Welcome to Kyrosmagica! It is wonderful to have you over for a chit chat, Sally.

Lovely to be here Marjorie and thank you for the invitation.

MJ: I’m delighted to be reading Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sally, the title is so beguiling, particularly as I do love fruit, and cherries are a favourite!

MJ: Sally, I’d love to hear more about your nomadic life. I believe you have lived in many countries. Which of these places has a special place in your heart and why?

My father was in the Royal Navy and was posted overseas several times. On occasion we were able to travel with him as a family, including my first trip at age 18 months to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The first year was documented in photographs and I don’t really remember as I was too young, but certainly by the time I was three I was aware of my surroundings and the people in my life. We lived in a house on the edge of the jungle and we had a cook and an amah or nanny for me. My two sisters were 13 and 14 by this time and when they came back from school I was handed over to them. Anything they did I did too, and I was swimming every day in my rubber ring which I loved and still do today, but without the rubber ring!! On one memorable occasion, I followed my eldest sister up a steep ladder during a diving competition. She completed her dive and surfaced expecting applause to find a stunned silence and groans from the crowd. I had crawled to the end of the diving board, stood up and jumped off. Apparently I surfaced and told my sister ‘again’.

Please head over to find out more about my travels and thoughts on books and blogging and also finding a place to call home: Marjorie Mallon interview with Sally Cronin

Books by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

About M.J. Mallon

I am a diverse author who blogs M.J Mallon My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favourite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over 100 reviews: M.J. Mallon Book Reviews

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

I am a member of two professional writing bodies: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to join us and read the interview in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Dystopian Teri Polen


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 M. J. Mallon

I am an author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 Book Reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Books by M.J. Mallon

One of the recent reviews for Mr. Sagittarius

May 11, 2020 Miriam Hurdle rated it Five Stars it was amazing

In Mr. Sagittarius, M J Mallon told the story of the twin brothers, Harold, and William, and their sister Annette. The brothers shared the magic of the little creatures and the natural beauty in the botanical garden.

Harold and William loved sitting on a bench under a golden weeping willow tree. After Harold passed away, William sat on the bench grieving for his loss. A dragonfly came to visit him, and he felt as if he had a conversation with the dragonfly. He went back to his flat unhappily toward Annette, his sister who cared for him. Annette confronted him that the twins only cared for each other and neglected her. William apologized, and they hugged each other. Before the night was over, Annette knitted a rainbow hat for William which he would love for a Christmas gift. When he visited the bench again, he felt the hat flew up and landed on top of a tree next to a ginger-color tomcat. The dragonfly, the cat, and the hat became a magical tale at Christmas.

Annette had her share of the magical moment when she received a gift of bubble bath from her late husband. When she poured the entire bottle into the bathtub, the bubble seemed to be with no end.

This is a lovely story told in a charming way. In between the episodes of the aging siblings’ lives were the beautiful poetry and photos from the author.

M.J.Mallon, Buy:   Amazon US – And  Amazon UK Website: M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

Meet Olga Nunez Miret

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer. I also do translations of other author’s work. What else? I was born in Barcelona, Spain,lived in the UK for many years and went back home again in the Spring 2018. Over the years I’ve done many things and had other lives but however far I wander I keep coming back to books and stories, my two earliest loves. When reading was no longer enough, I started writing. My first book was published in 2012 and my publications span different genres, from literary fiction to romance, Young Adult and psychological thrillers. I plan on writing more novels in the same genres and if my imagination so dictates, I will explore others. I love to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to get in touch..

Olga has translated her own books into Spanish of course and she has also translated some excellent Spanish books into English and you can find out more here. Olga Nunez Miret – Translations

Books by Olga Nunez Miret

41v+ZeNQzgL._UY250_51UQJ3bj5RL._UY250_51ScBPcJ91L._UY250_51aPmeAEwHL._UY250_

One of the Reviews You’re Never Too Old to be a Prom Queen

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.

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy: Amazon UK – and: Amazon US – Blog: Olga Nunez Miret Author TranslatorGoodreads: Olga on GoodreadsTwitter- @OlgaNM7

Meet Teri Polen

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Sarah, her debut novel, was named a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

41jwrqyo45l-_uy250_

A recent review for Subject A36

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop action  Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2020

Set in a dystopian future, Asher and his team live in a world where children with desirable traits (specific hair or eye color, physical strength, agility, etc), are captured and harvested for “gene stripping” so the wealthy can purchase coveted qualities like selecting from an a la carte menu. After seeing the destruction of his family, seventeen-year-old Asher has found a new family with his team, including, Brynn, who he has come to love and Noah, who is like a brother. But doing what they do comes with excessive risk and plenty of danger.From the start, there is barely time to catch your breath. The reader is given detailed insight into Asher’s character as well as multiple members of his team. Each are unique and fully fleshed out individuals, the good and the bad.

The Colony—which orchestrates gene stripping—is set on finding and capturing Subject A36, a genetically altered individual designed as the perfect killing machine.

This novel is packed with non-stop action, and shocking revelation piled upon revelation. The writing is smooth and snappy, scenes plunging like a roller coaster from one into the next. I devoured this book in two sittings and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction, great YA characters, and pulse-pounding action.

Teri Polen, Buy : Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Follow Teri:Goodreads – website: Teri PolenTwitter: @Tpolen6

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 #YAFantasy Jean Lee, #Humour Geoff Le Pard, #Poetry M.J. Mallon


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

The first review today is for Jean Lee for Fallen Princeborn: Stolen a YA Fantasy Novel.

About Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

May 09, 2020 Briar’s Reviews rated it Four Stars and really liked it

Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee is a fabulous, fantastical, young adult novel that will keep you captivated!

This folklore tale follows a young girl trying her best to escape from a horrible situation. Suddenly, she is thrust into a fantasy world of epic proportions! All this girl wants is for her and her sister to be safe, but nothing is as it seems…

If you like world building, this story is for you. It’s full of lush lore and descriptions that will whisk you away into another universe. I was so intrigued by all that was going on, I could hardly believe I binged the whole book. This book is magical, whimsical and wild! The action and thrills just kept going and I barely had a minute to breathe (just how I like it!). On top of that, the characters are great! I felt like they were (almost) real! They had personalities, they grew throughout the story and had feelings and emotions. It was a well balanced story!

I like that Jean Lee finished this story up but left room for the sequel. Nothing kills me like a mighty cliffhanger! There’s still much to learn, but I didn’t feel like I was left disappointed.

I also feel like this book easily crosses the lines across YA, New Adult and Adult. While it does feature teenage characters, I think New Adult and Adult fiction fans will easily enjoy this book. With so much going on, it’s hard to place it in just one category.

If you haven’t picked up this book, I recommend it! It gave me great vibes and it was truly addicting. Four out of five stars.
 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Jean Lee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on: Goodreads

Connect to Jean via her website: Jean Lee’s World

The next author with a review to share is Geoff Le Pard for his recently released Booms and Busts.

About the book

It’s 1987 and Harry Spittle’s life is going pretty well: the City of London is booming and his legal career is on an upward trajectory. His long-term relationship with girlfriend Penny is back on an even keel – for now – and they are about to become parents; they are also the proud owners of their first home and have finally joined the property-owning class. So of course everything is about to go horribly wrong…

It’s bad enough that he finds a partner’s dead body sprawled across a desk in a compromising condition when he returns to the office late one Friday evening and he goes on to unwisely accepts his senior partner’s offer to ‘sort the problem out’. Life is further complicated when Magda Kleinkopf, an old friend from Harry’s days working in a Hampshire hotel, turns up at his house desperate to have him sort out her UK citizenship to help her save her sister from the East German authorities. This leads him into conflict with his sister Dina, who now works for MI5 in a mysterious capacity.

We follow Harry as he risks losing his friends, his family, his career and possibly his life to an incurable disease. Everything comes to a head as the storm clouds gather. Can there be a happy ending? Set against the booming economy of Thatcherite politics and the imminent bust at the end of October 1987, we see Harry in a new guise. In this, the third in the series of the Harry Spittle Sagas Harry is all grown up but not really sure how to handle the responsibility, and the pressure is on to tie up the loose ends before his child is born.

A recent review for the book

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Tickled me!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2020

Oh, I was glad to get back to the adventures of Harry Spittle in his lawyer days!

What a fantastically farcical tale of the mishaps and misadventures that Harry finds himself in, narrowly escaping prison, mixing with the wrong sorts, and with reappearing ghouls from the past.

I really enjoyed it, and Le Pard’s way with words, his dry sense of humour, makes the book for me!

Hooray for Harry, the hapless hero!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Geoff Le Pard

51gmjki4zul-_uy250_

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And :Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Geoff on: Goodreads

Connect to Geoff via his blog: Geoff Le Pard

The final author is M.J. Mallon with a review for her poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads

May 11, 2020 Miriam Hurdle rated it Five Stars it was amazing

In Mr. Sagittarius, M J Mallon told the story of the twin brothers, Harold, and William, and their sister Annette. The brothers shared the magic of the little creatures and the natural beauty in the botanical garden.

Harold and William loved sitting on a bench under a golden weeping willow tree. After Harold passed away, William sat on the bench grieving for his loss. A dragonfly came to visit him, and he felt as if he had a conversation with the dragonfly. He went back to his flat unhappily toward Annette, his sister who cared for him. Annette confronted him that the twins only cared for each other and neglected her. William apologized, and they hugged each other. Before the night was over, Annette knitted a rainbow hat for William which he would love for a Christmas gift. When he visited the bench again, he felt the hat flew up and landed on top of a tree next to a ginger-color tomcat. The dragonfly, the cat, and the hat became a magical tale at Christmas.

Annette had her share of the magical moment when she received a gift of bubble bath from her late husband. When she poured the entire bottle into the bathtub, the bubble seemed to be with no end.

This is a lovely story told in a charming way. In between the episodes of the aging siblings’ lives were the beautiful poetry and photos from the author.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more Reviews and follow Marjorie on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Majorie via her website/blog: M.J. Mallon

Thank you 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 M.J. Mallon, #psychological thriller Jaye Marie, #Fantasy JP McLean


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

The first author is M.J. Mallon with one of the reviews for her new poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2020

What a magical Webb is woven here by author Marjorie Mallon. A tale of two brothers and a sister, botanical gardens, magical creatures and a bench under a Golden Willow Tree. This delightful mix can be either read in one go or enjoyed as momentary fix. I truly cannot recommend Mr Sagittarius enough there is something for everyone inside it’s pages. I shall say no more apart from urge you to read this book and be totally charmed by it

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more Reviews and follow Marjorie on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Majorie via her website/blog: M.J. Mallon

The next author celebrating a recent reviews is Jaye Marie for her psychological thriller – Silent Payback.

About the book

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.
When the case lands on detective David Mallory’s desk, will his personal demon prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice?

As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of his heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.

With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case before more women die?

One of the recent reviews for Silent Payback on Goodreads

Mar 13, 2020 Tony Parsons rated it 4.5 stars.

Maggie Maynard (wife, hospice nurse) gave DS David Mallory (Lewes PD) his AM breakfast. Brighton (East Sussex county is a seaside resort), England. Lewes HQ. Incident room. DS David Mallory briefed DI Jane Snow & Anna Lukas (new trainee).
Ms. Agatha Blackstone (U of Sussex; English dept. Head) wanted to know when the last time DS Mallory saw Angela Johnson (mother in law).
Peter Hilary (hospice nurse) informed everyone Maggie had died.
Tommy McKenzie (5, son) had passed away also.

Would the Harrison case get solved?

I do not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing free books from publishers & authors. Therefore, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one.

A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written cozy suspense book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great suspense movie, or better yet a mini TV series. It wasn’t as exciting as I hoped but I will still rate it at 4/5 stars.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And:Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Jaye Marie

Read the reviews and and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie : Goodreads

Connect to Jaye Marie: WordPress Blog

The final author today is JP McLean for the fantasy Secret Sky (The Gift Legacy Book 1)

About the book

When Emelynn Taylor wakes up in the emergency room, her injuries present Dr. Avery Coulter with more questions than answers.

Who is this guarded young woman? Why was she found in the middle of Sunset Park? How can she have injuries consistent with falling from above the tree line? Seemingly from nowhere?
And, more importantly: Why is she lying about it?

The truth is stranger than anyone could have imagined – least of all Emelynn herself.

Nine years earlier, during the same summer she’d lost her father, 12-year-old Emelynn accepted a ‘gift’ from a mysterious woman called Jolene.

Now, as she recovers in Dr. Coulter’s emergency room, she’s left wondering if that blessing was really more of a curse.

Jolene’s gift planted the seeds of incredible power within Emelynn – but what’s the point of such abilities if you can’t control them?

Her emerging gift of flight, for example, nearly killed Emelynn when it sent her plummeting to the sidewalk in Sunset Park. Next time, she might not be so lucky.

But Emelynn is determined to master her abilities, and returns to the seaside cottage where Jolene had once granted her this ‘gift.’ There, Dr. Coulter guides Emelynn in uncovering a secret society of others just like her, who inhabit a mysterious world-within-a-world that challenges everything Emelynn thought she’d known.

But the more she uncovers, the murkier the truth becomes. Soon, Emelynn is left questioning the motives of those she’d trusted the most – and is forced to rely on her barely-mastered powers in a desperate fight for survival.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 17, 2020 Kristy Halseth rated it Five Stars

The plot is interesting. The book reads like a mystery with elements of fantasy and romance. While the content definitely makes this a fantasy novel, the structure is more like that of a mystery. The start is a bit slow but starts with an event that really captures you. The main character, Em, explains her background that set the stage for this novel in a series of flash backs right at the start that were deftly handled during periods of unconsciousness as she is in the hospital recovering from her mysterious accident. This is right at the start of the book so I don’t really consider this a spoiler.

So while the start is slow the mystery of what is happening to Em holds the reader’s attention. Because Em clearly knows what happened but it is a mystery to the reader. I’m trying not to say too much about this book. I don’t want to give things away. Even when I was not reading the book I kept thinking about it. It is a bit longer than most of the other ARCs I get. The kindle said it would be a 6 hour read for me and most are only 2 to 3 hours.

I can happily give this book a 5 star rating.

Also by J.P. McLean

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UKAmazon UK

And find more reviews and follow J. P. Mclean on : Goodreads

Connect to J.P Mclean via her website: J.P. Mclean Author

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello, #Paranormal Marcia Meara


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

The first author is M.J. Mallon with one of the reviews for her new poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Feb 16, 2020 Colleen M. Chesebro rated it it was amazing

Mr. Sagittarius is the tale of two very different brothers and their only sister, told in poetry and prose inspired by the natural beauty of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Montreal. The accompanying photographs complement the story, adding to the beauty of the author’s words.

We begin with William, who is mourning the loss of his brother Harold. However, he isn’t the only one feeling the pain of bereavement. Annette, the sister, also laments Harold’s passing. This loss forces the two remaining members of the family to come to grips with their grief in a most extraordinary way.

This is a charming poetic journey inspired by the author’s chance meeting with a dragonfly and a robin, sure to delight all readers. Yet, there is more than one magical tale spilling from this collection. By the time you reach the finale, Mr. Sagittarius reveals the wisdom of a life richly lived. 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more Reviews and follow Marjorie on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Majorie via her website/blog: M.J. Mallon

The next review is for Sharon Marchisello and her recently released new crime mystery novel Secrets of the Galapagos…

About the book

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

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

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK 

Read other reviews and follow Sharon: Goodreads

Connect to Sharon via her blog on WordPress: Sharon Marchisello

The final author today is Marcia Meara for Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4: The Light, the latest in the Paranormal fantasy series.

About the book

The Magic is Back!

For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light different from all the rest.

In his biggest challenge to date, Rabbit—aided by his daddy and his newest friend, Austin Dupree— begins a quest to learn more about the mysterious light. Their investigation unveils a web of cons and corruption none of them expected and exposes a brutal murder along the way.

Throughout all, Rabbit is unfaltering in his commitment to do whatever it takes to understand the truth behind the glowing orb and to determine how he can help it. After all, it followed him home.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mar 02, 2020 Cathy Ryan rated it Five Stars

I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this series very much. Eleven year old Rabbit is a remarkable little boy who has inherited an exceptional gift from his grandmother — what mountain people called ‘the Sight’, giving him the ability to sense and see things others cannot. He was brought up by his grandparents in the mountains of North Carolina and lived in isolation until they both passed away. After an arduous journey he found ‘the good people’ his grandmother had told him about and was adopted by Sarah and Mac.

In The Light, Rabbit wants to see the Brown Mountain lights on Halloween — a phenomenon that has been sighted and talked about for years without a satisfactory explanation being found. So Mac, Sarah, Rabbit and baby Branna take a late afternoon trip to Brown Mountain, with no idea of what they were about to witness.

Rabbit meets a new friend at the overlook. Austin Dupree is planning to do a dissertation on unexplained phenomena in North Carolina. Austin and Rabbit soon become firm friends and Austin becomes part of the family.

This is an intriguing story because the lights are a real event over Brown Mountain and I’m fascinated by the unexplained. I’d love to see the lights myself. What nobody was expecting was a mysterious light floating off by itself after the light display had finished. Rabbit sensed there was something different about it. Their subsequent investigation uncovers much more than they could have imagined and I love the way the lights have been woven into the plot.

The story is mostly narrated by Sarah with some third person perspectives. All the characters have evolved as the series continues and Rabbit is learning to cope with his ever expanding abilities and is committed to using them to help people whenever he can. The descriptions are, as always, wonderful and give a visual sense of place. A steadily unfolding plot uncovers the mystery of the lone light…

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on: Goodreads

 

Connect to Marcia via her blog: Marcia Meara Writes

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