Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Thriller Iain Kelly, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle


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.G. Kaye

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?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You

Harmony Kent 5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Everyone Should Read Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2021

As soon as I saw what this book was about, I had to read it, and I am so pleased I did.

Because of the difficult subject matter, and my own history, I had to take a deep breath before I plunged in. Not only has this writer’s honesty and bravery helped me to understand my parents a little better, it has also shown me precisely what my sister has become. I’d missed that, and this explains so very much.

It is a sad fact of life that, all too often, the victim becomes the perpetrator, unless we have the insight and strength to do something about it. I have long joked that I’m the reverse ‘black sheep’ of my family, and it seems to me that Debby is too. For all our successes, and the miracle of growing into well-adjusted adults in spite of it all, we will never be accepted by a parent who demands that we live their lies, manipulations, and abuses. The same with any sibling who demands the same.

Some lines that resonated with me in particular:

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

Meet Iain Kelly

Iain Kelly lives in Scotland, UK. He is married with two children and works in the media industry as a television editor for the BBC. When he is not creating stories through sound and vision, he is writing them. ‘A Justified State,’ published in 2018, was his first novel. It was followed by a sequel, ‘State Of Denial’ in September 2019 and ‘State Of War’ in 2020, which concluded ‘The State’ trilogy. Find out more and read more of his work at his writing blog:

Books by Iain Kelly

One of the recent reviews for The State Trilogy

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous trilogy  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 June 2021

A fabulous trilogy. The first book sets the stage, painting a vivid landscape of a post war civilisation. Peopled with characters who have depth and obvious back story.

The superbly structured story swept me along. Craftily introducing the key points of the narrative, until I felt like I was on a rollercoaster racing towards a brilliant cliff edge as the first book came to a sensational end.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – follow Iain: Goodreads – website: Iain Kelly WritingTwitter: @iainthekid

Meet Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Books by Miriam Hurdle

A recent review for Songs of Heartstrings

Carla the Reader5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Poetry Collection to make you reflect and be grateful.  Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2021

The subtitle of this collection is “Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” and that is a great description of these poems. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is easy to relate to. There were so many poems that touched me and left me contemplating and reflecting on things.

The book is divided into sections, with the first being SONGS OF NATURE. I read this during an early spring, so the beauty of the words and the images that accompanied them had me heading outside to appreciate the joy that our beautiful world give us. SONGS OF DISSONANCE, REASON and SONGS OF PHYSICAL HEALING contain poems that show human struggles with sickness, cancer, grief, lost love and sadness. All things that we all deal with during out life. There are other sections dealing with moments of happiness and sadness, but I have to say my favourite section in this book was SONGS OF REFLECTION. I reread several of these poems many times.

As I mentioned earlier, Miriam is a talented photographer and many of her photos accompany her poems. As well some of her paintings also grace the pages. This adds so much to the personal touches in this book.

Miriam wrote this poetry collection after dealing with many things in her life, some happy, some obstacles that she had to overcome. Her poetry shares those moments as well as some of what she learned as she dealt with things. Miriam also demonstrates many different forms of poetry, showing us that poetry comes in all forms. It’s not just about rhyming or repetition. Some of them could even be considered prose. One other thing that I appreciated is her open love and acknowledgment of God in her life. She thanks him for all she has received and asks for blessings when needed. This is a relatively short book, but it is chockfull of poems to make you think, reflect and be grateful.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US And:Amazon UK Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings – Twitter: @mhurdle112

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author today is Linda Bradley with the romantic first book in her popular series – Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series book 1).

About the book

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Nov 28, 2020 Colleen Chesebro rated it Four Stars really liked it Shelves: women-s-fiction, romance, literature-fiction, literature

Maggie Abernathy has her Michigan summer all planned out. After a bout with breast cancer, all she wants to do is to recuperate and rejuvenate. Her life as a second-grade teacher was especially difficult this year. To add to Maggie’s problems, she is also learning to navigate life alone after her recent divorce.

When seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John, Maggie’s dull life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The story was predictable, but somehow, comforting. The romance that buds between John and Maggie is even sweeter because of Chloe.

Chloe’s character clearly steals the show. The child possesses a pearl of certain wisdom that women much older than her often wish for. The only child in what had to be a difficult home, Chloe steals Maggie’s heart.

Written in the first-person, I immediately connected with Maggie’s character. There is a lot going on, and Maggie discovers she must learn to overcome some of her own issues before she can truly find herself. So true to life!

The only downside was that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, and you have to purchase the next book to continue her story. I understand it’s a series, but the author hints at a happy ending for Maggie and John. As is true in most romantic fiction there are always some difficulties in a relationship. It would have been nicer for this book to end on a high note. Still, I would recommend this book because of the interesting characters. I’m debating on whether to go further in the series

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

Also by Linda Bradley

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Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –  And : Amazon UK – Follow Linda :Goodreads website: Linda Bradley Author – Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

The next author with a recent review is Mae Clair for the ghostly  A Thousand Yesteryears (Point Pleasant Book 1)

About the book

“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real . . .

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer . .

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brenda Marie Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars What could be better than the Mothman, romance and murder?  Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020

I love this book by Mae Clair! It’s a new and intriguing take on the Mothman, made all the more interesting by a compelling romance (with a second one starting to brew for other important characters), family and personal secrets, and mysterious murders. There are other supernatural elements that I feel would be spoilers to divulge. And the suspense continues to build wither life or death threats to characters we love.

It’s my first time to read a book by Mae Clair and I plan to read many more. Deft writing, fascinating plot, well-developed and realistic characters–some to love and others to hate. What could be better?

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

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on:Goodreads – Website: Mae Clair – Twitter:@MaeClair1

The next prolific author has recently joined the Cafe with her books and here is a recent review for Silverhills by Sandra Cox, a book that I also reviewed earlier in the year and can recommend.

About the book

In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O’Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment’s notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn’t expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Oct 24, 2020 Pansy rated it Four Stars

Wiping tears – These are bittersweet tears. Yes, there is some sadness. The book is finished. But also sweetness. This was a beautiful story about finding yor destiny, if you will. The story of Alexandria and Brandon . . . Well, it had all the feels. A spectacular meet-cute. Heart stopping action. Forgive me, but I believe the inspiration for the hero and heroine were John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Talk about tempestuous emotions. Even the physical description brought those icons to mind. I think you really need to read this for yourself to get it. A wonderful story with great pacing that grabs and doesn’t let go.

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

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews andbuy the books : Amazon UK –And:Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

The next author is M.J. Mallon with a recent 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

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, Fun, Good Intro to Author  Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2020

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poems, short stories, and charming moments from a group of memorable characters. Written by M.J. Mallon, it’s not the first I’ve read from her collection, but it was time to pick up another this weekend. If you’re searching for a lovely intro to an author’s writing style and the type of stories and tales she writes, this is a great way to discover more. Mallon’s contributed to several anthologies in the past, including one she coordinated and edited herself, but this time it’s all hers!

Two brothers, twins. A sister. Relationships wrought with love, pain, concern, frustration, anger, sadness, and hope. Interspersed with lyrical poems are short, three-to-four page scenes between the family members, others who see them, and lots of beauty focused on nature and the elements. Picture a gorgeous tree in different seasons, a park bench, memories of the family members who once sat on it, and thoughts about the passing of loved ones. That’s what you’ll find here, and it’ll make you treasure your own relationships.

I most enjoyed the autumn and Halloween moments in this collection, as it’s so timely. Mallon has a wonderful way with words, and while I’m not a big reader of poetry, it’s comforting to dive into it on occasion so you can see the beautiful images around you, that you might often look too far past.

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 –AndAmazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The final author today is Miriam Hurdlewith a recent review for her award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.

The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.

The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Oct 07, 2020 Teagan Geneviene rated it Five stars

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” strikes the right chord. I need the peaceful feelings of a gentle breeze that these poems put in my mind as I read. It’s as though I smell flowers and see colors, and occasionally imagine a warm hug. I see that the author says she often thinks up her poems while gardening, and this is easy to believe. Treat yourself to something calm.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK  – Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle –Blog: The Showers of Blessings –  Twitter: @mhurdle112

 

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you are leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews -#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Fantasy, #Paranormal C.S. Boyack


The first review is for award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.

The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.

The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 July 2020

What a lovely collection of poetry, photography and paintings. I really enjoyed this poetry collection. Songs of Heartstrings tells the story of the author’s life and the many difficulties she has overcome. It is heartfelt and personal. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry touches upon human frailties: struggling through cancer, learning to love again, rejoicing in the gifts of parenthood, music, exalting in the joy of nature, friendship and the sadness that returns with loss.

There is much that I related to, especially the poems of nature and the sea. Both of which mean a lot to me. It’s clear that Miriam Hurdle takes a great deal of comfort from religion and she shares her faith in her poetry.

The reader is enriched from reading Songs of Heartstrings with a sense of shared reminiscences and a deeper connection. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is simply that, truthful, personal and real. My recommendation: Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next author is Judith Barrow with a review for her compelling family drama – The Memory.

About the book

Mother and daughter tied together by shame and secrecy, love and hate.

I wait by the bed. I move into her line of vision and it’s as though we’re watching one another, my mother and me; two women – trapped.

Today has been a long time coming. Irene sits at her mother’s side waiting for the right moment, for the point at which she will know she is doing the right thing by Rose.

Rose was Irene’s little sister, an unwanted embarrassment to their mother Lilian but a treasure to Irene. Rose died thirty years ago, when she was eight, and nobody has talked about the circumstances of her death since. But Irene knows what she saw. Over the course of 24 hours their moving and tragic story is revealed – a story of love and duty, betrayal and loss – as Irene rediscovers the past and finds hope for the future.

The new novel from the bestselling author of the Howarth family saga

One of the recent reviews for the book

HeatherGirl 5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful storytelling  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 June 2020

Having long been a fan of Judith Barrow’s ‘Mary’ sagas, I was looking forward to ‘The Memory’. It did not disappoint.

The story of Irene and her ‘special’ sister Rose grabs you and pulls you in from the start. It’s a brave writer who tackles the themes of a Downs Syndrome child and the agony of caring for a parent with dementia, but Judith Barrow is utterly convincing. With her masterful eye for telling detail, and her understanding of the complexities of family relationships, Judith Barrow brings this story alive. At first glance, it should be depressing. But it is not. It’s certainly no light read, but all the more satisfying for it. And, without giving any spoilers, it is also a journey of self-discovery that is ultimately uplifting.

‘The Memory’ is another triumph of storytelling from Judith Barrow, one that will stay long in my mind. I’m already looking forward with eager anticipation to her next novel!

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon UK

And:  Amazon US

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Judith: Goodreads

Connect to Judith via her blog: Judith Barrow

The final author today is C.S. Boyack with a review Viral Blues

About the book

Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 09, 2020 Jaye Marie rated it Five Stars

I wasn’t sure about the premise for Viral Blues, considering the state of the planet right now. I thought it might be just a little too close for comfort, but the cast of characters soon grabbed me by my coat tails and pulled me into the story with wonderful enthusiasm!

Such an interesting idea, bringing all your favourite characters together in one book. They all fit together well, apart from the Hat, who has never been a team player but did his level best to rule the roost!

That extra chapter at the end was worthy of being compared to some of Hollywood’s best (and cringe-making) finales. It is extremely well written but nasty in the extreme, but villains should always get their comeuppance, shouldn’t they? And what happened to Danny O’Malley was wonderfully poetic!

Read other reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And :  Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack:  Goodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog Cold Hand Boyack

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 Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Jacquie Biggar, #YARomance Angie Dokos


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 Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

A recent review for the collection

Esther Suh 5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book! A thoughtful and fun poem collection of life Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this book of poetry and in one sitting! I rarely buy books of poems because they can be so hard to understand or follow. But I found out about Miriam Hurdle’s book through her blog and ordered it to show support for a fellow blogger and writer. I’m glad I did!

The organization of her book was fluid to read in following the different stages of her life. Her introduction works as a perfect guide for the reader. Her poems ranged in topics from hope, failure, pain, heartbreak, reflections about family and nature, and some lighthearted ones about animals. My only regret is that I didn’t check out my order in color. Miriam told me about this beforehand, but I didn’t look into it too much. From the black and white pictures I could tell they would be beautiful in color. Thanks Miriam for rekindling my interest in reading poetry!

Miriam Hurdle, Buy also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings –  Twitter: @mhurdle112

Meet Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

One of the recent reviews for Virtually Gone

Laura Furuta 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfaul read…. Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2020

The story Virtually Gone (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6) by Jacquie Biggar is a thrilling book to read. It pulled me in from the start and didn’t let me go until the final page. It is a story that has mystery, suspense, and danger. I loved reading about the characters of Julie Crenshaw and Matthew Roy. Julie is an investigative reporter who when on a story is determined to follow it to its conclusion. The one that she is on now could be the case of a lifetime. Matthew is a detective who is frustrated by the fact that he hasn’t been able to bring a rapist to justice. When the suspect escalates his crime to murder, Matthew knows that he has to bring him in. The one question is how? Read this book to see if Matthew solves the case. This is a story that had me turning pages wondering what was going to happen next. I loved the way that the author writes about the technology used in the investigation. I also enjoyed the interactions and bantering back and forth between the characters. This is a fast-paced book that will keep you guessing. I highly recommend reading it.

Jacquie Biggar, Buy:  Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

Meet Angie Dokos

I was born a reader and grew to be a writer. Okay, so the reading took a few years, but in the meantime, I was having someone else read to me. I enjoy hiking and love to travel. I currently live in Woodstock, GA with my husband and children. I love to read and write to escape reality and to live more than one life. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, WordPress, and other sites if you are interested. If you are entertained by my work, chances are your friends will be too, so spread the word, please. Thank you. Remember, live life one chapter at a time!

Books by Angie Dokos

One of the recent reviews for Roadside

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Hopeful, Tender  Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2020

Roadside is a contemporary fiction / young adult / romance novel by author Angie Dokos. I’ve previously read another of her books, and when I saw she was doing some marketing for an upcoming tour of this one, I decided to move up the book in my reading queue.

Zayne, a ~20ish college student, finds the almost dead body of a young girl on the roadside with his dad. They take her to the hospital, and Zayne keeps returning to check on her. He feels a weird connection. When she wakes up, he learns her name is Serena. She was attacked and had been unconscious for days. She remembers a lot of details, and Zayne’s father does the investigating with the police to find her assailant. Clues remain in the forest by the roadside, but ultimately, this is a story about the aftermath, how to trust someone you’ve just met, and recovery.

Dokos creates memorable characters. This is a very simple, sweet, and touching story. There is complexity in the plot and relationships, but the writing is casual, easy to read, connective, and makes you feel warm and cozy, even in the scary parts. There’s a balance of light and darkness, given the subject matter, and in the end, you 100% root for Zayne and Serena to fall in love. But there’s a supporting cast you also find yourself keen to get to know. Best friends, siblings, parents, school administrators and staff… everyone plays a pivotal role. Just who did attack Serena and why?

We learn the truth midway through the book, and the remainder is about dealing with the recovery and results of trusting someone you shouldn’t. How can you assign blame and fix the problem when the problem occurred so long ago, you feel bad for the assailant too? Okay, just a little, as (s)he did try to rape and kill Serena. No matter the circumstances, the person needs to be punished.

I enjoy Dokos’ writing style, and she makes you flip the pages quickly to keep investing in the story. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Angie Dokos, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  follow Angie : Goodreads –  website: Angie Dokos WordPress –  Twitter: @AngieDokos

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 – #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman


The first book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Faith-Filled.  Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020

The author of this collection of poetry and short snippets takes us on a journey through life—her life—as seen through the music of words and photographs. She shares experiences through marriage, parenthood, the loss of loved ones, even cancer treatments. Heartfelt and often spiritual, the book resonates with strength, love, and faith. There are multiple poems and snippets that touched me, but a few that really stood out are Cocoon-Butterfly, A Tribute to My Dad, and Gratitude for Being. Each reader will no doubt find poems that speak to their heart. Although this collection is a reflection of the author’s life, the beauty and spirit of the work brings something for everyone.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next book with a recent review is the memoir.  My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog, edited by his best friend Andrew Joyce.

About the book

Danny the Dog is a prolific writer. He’s written articles for bloggers around the world and has his own very popular blog where he dispenses his wisdom on a monthly basis. He’s humorous, clever, charming, delightful, and sometimes irascible. Or, as he would phrase it, “I’m a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and words.”In My Name Is Danny, Danny writes about his real-life adventures living on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his human, Andrew. He tells of their trials and tribulations … and the love they have for one another. Fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz will enjoy this book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jane Fulkerson 5.0 out of 5 stars From Jane in Montana: What dogs really think of their owners.  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020

I’ve always wondered what dogs really think about the people who own them. This book answers that question. If you end up with the likes of houseboat owner Andrew, it fluctuates between “toleration” and “all out love.”

This book takes you down to small dog level – right next to the ground – where all of the good smells are. There are places you can go hide where no one can find you, and if you are cute, which Danny is, you learn how to use that to your advantage in all situations.

I enjoyed these dog adventures very much, especially the Q and A Interviews, where Danny speaks his mind – no holds barred. He certainly earned his turkey slices and won my heart in very short order.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on : Goodreads

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew via his blog: Andrew Joyce WordPress

The final author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and Thought-Provoking  Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2020

Marian Beamon writes an honest and revealing memoir about growing up in a Mennonite family and community. The oldest of four children, Marian, grows up surrounded by family. Her grandparents live only a half-mile away with her Aunt Ruthie. Marian, like most Mennonite children, is caught in a world of contradictions. She learns that being fancy is an accepted part of the culture when you are a child, but the conventional style of dress is to be plain when she gets older.

Marian could be rebellious at times, which led to her father’s ire. She knows this provokes her father, but she occasionally challenges his authority. Her father responds with lashings across Marian’s legs. She questions why this type of physical punishment is permitted from a culture professing to be nonviolent. She thinks it odd for a community that is against war and only permits the use of guns for hunting to tolerate corporal punishment. She also begins to resent her mom for merely acting as a bystander when her dad loses his temper. She also wonders why none of her siblings receive the same treatment from her father.

There are further disappointments when Marian’s father promises to get her a bike for her birthday for working so hard alongside him on the family’s tomato crop. When the time comes, she is hurt when he gets her a secondhand antique, dents and all.

There are many wonderful times, too. Marian’s father gets her a violin at one point, and she gets quite skilled at playing it, even participating in the high school orchestra. Her grandmother teaches her to sew, and she spends many good times with her aunt and her grandmother. In the end, Marian faces the difficult question of whether or not to remain a Mennonite.

Beaman’s writing is exceptional, and she retells stories with a keen sense of detail. I learned a lot about a culture that I knew little about beforehand.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marian on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Marian via her blog: Marian Beaman.

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 Miriam Hurdle, #BritishHistory Mike Biles, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega


The first book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Retelling a Life Story Through Poetry   Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020

I’ve never had much aptitude for writing poetry, and it is not something that I usually read, but Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings touched me. Hurdle shares significant moments in her life through this collection of works. She divides her book into eight songs (sections). It was as if I were a part of Hurdle’s life as she shared powerful pieces demonstrating her faith, rocky first marriage, battles with melanoma cancer, finding her soulmate, and the premature birth of her daughter.

The group of songs that moved me the most were her songs of tribute. This section was more like short stories instead of poems, but they were so moving. She pays homage to her mother and father, who battled separate health issues. Miriam’s recollections of her husband’s best friend, Randy, were so touching, and I felt empathy when her husband, who never cries, sheds tears of pain for his friend’s passing.

Not only did I enjoy this varied collection of poetic styles, but I also enjoyed Hurdle’s photography and quotes from other poets/writers that introduced each group of songs. After reading Songs of Heartstrings, I will be more open-minded to other works of poetry.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next author with a recent review is Mike Biles for his history of Britain that I can highly recommend.. A Bit About Britain’s History.

About A Bit about Britain’s History: From a long time ago to quite recently.

Could this short, elegant, volume be the only book on British history you’ll ever need?

A Bit About Britain’s History is for anyone who wants a serious, yet light, introduction to Britain’s amazing story. If you don’t know the basics, or would like a reminder, this book is for you. It is also perfect for those that didn’t enjoy history at school, but who have suddenly realised they’d like to understand it a bit better now.

What did the Romans achieve? How did Christianity arrive? Who are the English and why did they fight the French so often? What is Henry VIII’s greatest legacy? When did democracy start and people get the vote? Why on earth did Britain get involved in WW1?

Organised clearly and chronologically, A Bit About Britain’s History covers every period from a long time ago until quite recently. It begins by briefly mentioning that the place was once inhabited by extremely large lizards, and ends up with a post-war 20th century consumer society. Brief articles explain the essential aspects of Britain’s past, including how the ancestors of its current inhabitants arrived, how they fought each other, formed nations, fell out over religion, acquired a large empire, became gradually more democratic, helped win a couple of world wars and were left wondering what to do next. At the end of the book are detailed timelines for each period, which provide useful reference and make fascinating reading in their own right.

A Bit About Britain’s History might be the only book on British history you’ll ever need; or it might be your stepping stone to more in-depth academic reading

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 February 2020

Here is a book it is easy to dip into; I love history told in an amusing way and this book does that whilst it is also very informative. In many ways it is an eye opener and well worth the time spent.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon UK

And on Amazon US: Amazon US

Follow Mike on : Goodreads

Connect to Mike via his blog: Bit About Britain

The next author with a recent review, is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for the first book in the Fantasy Angels Series – The Fall of Lilith.

About The Fall of Lilith:

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brett 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing world building Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2020

Vashti Quiroz-Vega has created an amazing world and has a blended tale of fantasy and mythology. Her characters are engaging and you can trace their fall from grace and the steps each character took to get them into trouble. The main character Lilith is manipulative, self-serving and yet likable.

If you enjoy reading stories with great character development and fantastical worlds, you will want to read this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: 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 that you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath, #Supernaturalthriller Mae Clair, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle


The first book with a recent review is for poetry lovers  Roads: A Journey With Verses – Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath

About Roads

“Roads” is a poetic rendezvous that takes the reader on a panoramic journey, making one pause, ponder and celebrate life.

The book is a light, alluring read that instantly strikes a chord and elevates one’s spirits. A trove of 60 poems, it is quilled with beads of nine virtues: Courage, Wisdom, Serenity, Love, Hope, Strength, Joy, Compassion and Gratitude. The verses encapsulate life’s ebbs and flows while prompting the reader to enjoy its simple pleasures.

“Roads” is a book that you would want to keep on your bedside, for a quiet read before retiring for the night or for the morning wisdom to seize the day. With poems revolving around emotions that each of us experiences, “Roads” very easily develops a personal connect with the reader that is defiantly refreshing.

“Roads” is a journey with verses. Take it on yours.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Roads: A Journey With Verses’ by Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath is a brilliant collection of poems that talk about life, love and the paths that mold us, values that mentor us, and pay a tribute to the persons who hold our hand through turbulent times to make our journey smoother.

In perfect sync with each other, Smitha’s tenderness is complemented by the exquisite style of Vandana who lashes out at societal norms that fetter us to the threshold, trying to slash our wings to compress us into compartments. Bold and chilling, her poems question the dogma, the exploitation and injustice that have been meekly accepted in the name of parochial diktats. Raising voice against subjugation, she calls upon shedding “the mask” and “darn the rules.”

One of my favorites, ‘Writer vs. Woman’ validates the power that lies dormant within the so-called fragile woman who proudly declares: “Do I need a better armor when words are my defense?” Realism percolates through their words as they capture a thousand emotions with élan. ‘Miss You When You’re Gone’ touches the most precious memories of letting go and break free from the stifling love that lingers despite the pride of watching our children soar toward the horizon of their choice. All mothers could relate to the pangs embedded within the words of Smitha.

For a person like me who values emotions and relationships, these poems are heart-warming. Along with tender moments of nurturing love and trust, self-belief, determination and courage stand out to reassure that there is no need to be swayed by the age-old traditions of embracing the defined roles. These poems would tug at your heart; stirring a thousand moments that stand and smile at you, reassuring that roads of life may be arduous yet shimmer with hope and happiness.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Connect to Vandana via her blog: My Feelings My Freedom

Smitha V

Connect to Smitha via her Blog: Life a Teacher

The next author with recent reviews for her latest release is Mae Clair for Eventide (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 3)

About Eventide

The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tripower53 VINE VOICE – 4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice addition to the series January 4, 2020

This book is an excellent addition to the series.

Madison Hewitt witnessed the stabbing death of her husband some time ago. She has now declared herself recovered and a bought an old house in an isolated spot in Pennsylvania.

But all is not well in her new house. There are noises – and that cistern in the basement!!

This story move back and forth between the present and the 1890’s. Something very bad happened back then and the old house has held on to it.

Tension ratchets up as the story goes along. Ms. Clair is a fantastic writer. Her stories are filled with reality. That is to say, the reader could almost believe that the events are really happening. The book is remarkably well written and plotted. One event follows another in a logical progression. The characters are colorful and likable – for the most part. I liked Madison, her slightly psychic sister and her new beau. Well done, Ms. Clair! More please.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mae on: Goodreads

Connect to Mae via her website: Mae Clair

The next book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Jan 02, 2020 H.R.R. Gorman rated it Five Stars


As I read through many of these poems, I had a feeling like I was reading the book of Psalms. Miriam is a fitting Psalmist, I’d say – her zest for life and ability to see the Creator in all things is admirable and amazing. Reading this book made me feel like I was intimately connected with he author.

And Miriam Hurdle, I dare say, is someone everyone should know.

If you enjoy poetry or want to be inspired, this is a great set of poetry. I read the poems one or two a day (sometimes I’d cheat) and try to soak them in. I don’t know if this is the way I was supposed to enjoy it, but I think it worked for me.

Also a hint: there are some photos in this. I can’t comment too much on them because I have an old Kindle that didn’t show them in good quality. If you want full effect, go f

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two under your arm..thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Writers Denise O’Hagan, #Familydrama Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Iain Kelly, #Writers Harmony Kent


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first book which would make a great gift for writers is by editor Denise O’Hagan. Mini Style Guide: An Introduction to Good Writing and Manuscript Presentation

About the guide

An easy-to-use guide for writers, editors and students

The Mini Style Guide covers the fundamentals of good writing and explains how to present a manuscript for publication. It is written in a direct and accessible manner suitable for all ages and backgrounds, and assumes no prior knowledge of the writing trade or the publishing industry. Explanations are accompanied by plentiful ‘real life’ examples, and each chapter opens with a humorous quotation. The book consists of three parts.

Part 1 covers the essence of good writing, both factual and non-factual. It covers the principles of Plain English; words that are often misused or misspelled; and common grammatical and punctuation errors. Differences between Australian, British and American English are explored; inclusive writing is defined; and copyright law as it applies to writers is clarified.

Part 2 explains the technicalities of how to present a manuscript. It examines the advantages and disadvantages of working exclusively on computer and working partly on hard copy; outlines the structure of a manuscript and the order of its various components; and explains how to compile a contents page to reflect the heading hierarchy. It explains how to treat quotations, lists, abbreviations and numbers; offers advice on presenting illustrations, tables, charts and graphs; and discusses bibliographical material and indexes.

Part 3 explores possible publishing avenues; that is, commercial publishers, literary agents and self-publishing. It defines the role of each; explains which one is best suited to which type of writing; and includes advice on how to write a synopsis, select sample chapters and draft a covering letter.

The Appendix contains templates of standard forms and letters that can be photocopied and tailored to suit individual needs.
The Glossary contains commonly used terms to do with writing, publishing and printing.
The Bibliography contains sources used and recommended.
Foreword by Robert Fairhead, book reviewer at Writing NSW.

One of the reviews for the guide 

Reading about style is about the last thing an aspiring writer would want to read about. But for the serious writer, reading and studying style guides are essential to the craft. This style guide was clearly and succinctly written with plenty of examples to make the medicine go down easily! I recommend this book for both the new writer and the seasoned veteran.

Read the reviews and buy the guide: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Connect to Denise via her website: Black Quill Press

The next author with a wonderful selection of books that make wonderful gifts is Christa Polkinhorn and the featured book is The Italian Sister (The Wine Lover’s Daughter Book 1).

About the book

Standing at her father’s grave in California, Sofia Laverne mourns his untimely death. Henry had not only been a loving parent but Sofia’s best friend and mentor. Imagine her shock and grief when she finds out her father had lived a double-life, that she has a ten-year younger sister and inherited a vineyard in Tuscany. Torn between anger about his betrayal, grief for her loss, and hopeful anticipation, Sofia packs her bags and takes off for Italy to meet fourteen-year old Julietta. Arriving in the small hill town of Vignaverde, she is greeted by olive groves, neat rows of grape vines, and picturesque houses. Some of the inhabitants of this beautiful estate are, unfortunately, less welcoming and resent her intrusion into the family business. Soon, strange occurrences begin to frighten Sofia. When a suspicious accident lands her in the hospital, Sofia fears for her life.

Part family drama, part romantic suspense, THE ITALIAN SISTER takes us on a wild journey from California to Tuscany and provides glimpses into the exciting world of winemaking.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brigitte & Karen 5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner!! August 25, 2019

Not only is this a fascinating family drama, the combination of wine and mystery is absolutely perfect. From California to Tuscany, this book is a page turner! Even if you are a true wine expert, you’ll learn so much more about Italian wines. Christa Polkinhorn’s descriptions of the Tuscany landscape will make you want to go to Italy tomorrow!

A Selection of other books by Christa Polkinhorn

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Christa : Goodreads

Connect to Christa via her blog: Christa Polkinhorn

The next book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle. The collection has just won the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards!

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

I was gifted Miriam’s book during a particularly tough season of life, with my tiny baby in the NICU. Slowly reading through Miriam’s poetry brought peace and calmness to my heart. Her wisdom, faith, hope and inspiration comes through in each poem.

Given the season of life I was in, I found myself going back to the poem “ Beautiful Tiny Baby” over and over. Knowing the wonderful woman of faith that Miriam’s beautiful tiny baby has grown into not only brought me an amazing comfort that I am grateful for, but also reminded me that Miriam’s faith and hope is intimately woven into her – inspiring me to do the same for mine each day.

No matter what season of life you are in, this is a book you can read over and over again, and find wisdom, hope and inspiration.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next book is for thriller lovers by Iain Kelly – State Of Denial (The State Trilogy Book 2).

About State of Denial.

Election time in The State, the citizens prepare to vote. A journalist from the Capital City heads north to report on growing resistance to the powerful ruling Party. An ex-police detective returns to the City he once fled. Together they become entangled in a burgeoning opposition movement. Soon they learn the Party will do whatever it takes to remain in power, and one life is all it takes to spark a revolution.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ms. Laurie J. Bell 5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific book two October 15, 2019

A very well done book two. State of Denial picks up a few years after A Justified State and is set in the same near future world. It introduces a new character, Maxine Aubert, to the familiar cast. Max is a journalist who becomes drawn into the impossible rebellion against the all powerful State. Our favorite character, Danny, is now living in the wilderness, having escaped the all controlling city after the events of Book One. He is forced back to the city and once there becomes entangled once again in city politics, the election and the machinations of an ex-spy he once thought of as a friend.

This is an easy series to get drawn into. Well written, the plot flows effortlessly through it like the river though the city. Danny is a well developed character and Max’s introduction is a joyful contribution to the story of intrigue and the makings of a civil war. The futuristic elements of the setting are cleverly thought through and easy to imagine. The concept of a government state doing everything in its power to keep control of its citizens is a frightful yet realistic theme.

A gripping sci fi that is a little bit horrifying and a lot entertaining.

Also by Iain Kelly

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Iain:  Goodreads

Connect to Iain on his website: Iain Kelly Writing

And finally today another book for writers from Harmony Kent

Creative Solutions for the  Modern Writer…Inspirational tools to fire your imagination.

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.

A recent review for the book

While not necessary, you really should read Ms. Kent’s dystopian novel, Fallout first. It’s not required, but it would help you understand when she outlines her method of preparing to write a story. (BTW, I did read and enjoy, ‘Fallout.’)

While I am a 15% planner/85% ‘pantser’ writer, I’ve seen a lot of methods of setting up a novel outline. Ms. Kent gives the reader several different approaches for those who ‘think differently’ than others do. In high school and college, I took several various chemistry courses, but still had a problem understanding the Periodic Table of Elements. In my fifth chemistry course, an instructor said something that opened my eyes, and suddenly the chart made perfect sense.

In a ‘how-to’ book to plan a novel, I never thought I read about ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,’ a month-long topic in one of my psychology courses being used to explain plot development. Interesting concept!

At the end of this story, Ms. Kent lists many useful tools and how to get them. If you are a beginning author, those tools alone are worth the money for the book.

While I’ll never be a ‘planner,’ I will put some of these concepts to use. I’ve always started with a premise, a basic idea of where I was going, and an ending. All I had to do, then was to use my premise and work my way to my conclusion. It’s worked for me. Harmony’s information will influence my next novel. Thank you!

A selection of other books by Harmony Kent.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Harmony Goodreads

Connect to Harmony via her website: Harmony Kent

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