Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Poetry Sue Vincent, #Paranormal #Romance Jan Sikes, #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach


Welcome to the Weekly New and recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first review is for Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End by Sue Vincent.  I promised Sue that as long as I was blogging I would continue to promote her books that have been on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore since it began five years ago. She has left an incredible legacy for us to read and for me it is a way to keep her spirit alive and with us.

About the book

Do you know what really happened between George and the Dragon? Or why Briar Rose got her name? And have you ever suffered the indignity of an overdunked ginger nut?

Take a life with a small dog in tow, add a dash of red hair dye, a selection of crumbling biscuits and a passion for recitable verse… The result is a recipe for laughter. Sue Vincent shares her world in verse.

One of the recent reviews for the book

marjorie mallon 5.0 out of 5 stars Poems to make you laugh, and smile.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2021

Laughter lines – Life from the Tail End is a beautiful book of poetry celebrating the bond between man (or in this case woman!) and dog. The poems make you laugh, smile and are so relatable. That’s simply because they are about everyday life, sharing memories, experiences and humorous doggy anecdotes!

Poetic thoughts on:

Trouble sleeping, – being that I suffered badly from insomnia when I was younger I relate to this so much – (The Demon List.)

Cute doggy ones such as bathing Sue’s dog Ani, (Hair of the Dog,) and Sue’s poem about sharing her food with Ani and therefore not having to diet! (The Canine Diet,)

I loved the poem Grandad Doughnuts which involved being excluded from the kitchen by Grandma and therefore having to resort to cunning and imaginative measures to make another kind of doughnut with Grandad! This was probably my favourite poem in the collection. Loved it.

Hearts and Flowers explored how love should be more than a shop bought card

There were poems about being an indie author/creative living from hand to mouth –The Archetypal Indie, and An Author’s Lament, all very relatable!

Sue Vincent’s hair dye disasters Red For Danger and Saturday Morning Blues made me smile. Been there done that! And her desire to live the free life came shining through in Rewriting The Wrinkles.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the poems and would highly recommend.

A small selection of other books by Sue Vincent and co-written with Stuart France.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK and: Amazon US Blog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent – Twitter:@SCVincent – Ani’s Blog: The Small Dog’s Blog – Blog: France And Vincent

The next author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series)

About the book

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

A recent review for the book

L D Tanner VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Universal Themes Resonate in Multi-layer Romance  Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2021

The worlds of Jag Peters and Rena Jett collide when he nearly crashes into her motorcycle in “Ghostly Interference” by Jan Sikes. When Jag tracks down Rena’s candy apple red Harley at a corner pub so he can apologize to her, he is instantly attracted to the spitfire, dark-hair beauty. They are nothing alike. A computer programmer, Jag avoids risks while Rena is a brash waitress who appears fearless. Nonetheless, it is as though “the Universe had strange ways of bringing two souls together.” After meeting Rena, Jag strangely glimpses a ghostly figure in camouflage military attire at various times. As his relationship develops with Rena, he discovers that beneath her hard facade is a lonely girl with a troubled past and that her brother, Sam, had recently died in combat in Afghanistan. Jag wonders if the ghost is Rena’s brother who has stayed to protect and to assure her happiness. Rena’s brother’s last gift to her is a magical rune, symbolizing “happily ever after,” that helps tie their past and present together in a climactic ending.

Author Jan Sikes has written a romance with paranormal elements that will resonate with readers. For romance readers, there are some steamy scenes that will make your heart pound harder. Yet, there are more layers to the story, which on the surface seems a straight-forward romance. The following quote from the book resonated with me as I read the book: Live for today. Leave tomorrow alone. As for yesterday let it go. Rena needs to let go of the emotional scars she endured in abusive foster homes so that she can accept Jag’s love and a family lost to her. Jag must recognize that he has found something that he never knew he lost.

The secondary characters are memorable and their backstories help drive the story. I particularly like Jag’s mother, who made the ultimate sacrifice for her son so he could be raised in a stable family. We also learn about Sam, who can’t leave his little sister until he knows that she is safe and that she can embrace happiness. Other secondary characters from Jag’s and Rena’s past also help them learn how to live for the moment and to find their true passions. The themes of forgiveness, redemption, and unconditional love are enhanced with the multi-layered backstories of the secondary characters. Lyrics from songs and the symbol of the rune add to the rich tapestry of the love story.

The universal themes in “Ghostly Interference” will resonate with readers on several levels after they finish the book. It is a memorable, multi-layer love story between two completely different people who help each other find

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

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

About the book

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

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

A recent review for the book

AK Cagg 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful myth about immortality  Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2021
This story feels like a modern fairytale wrapped up in a classic myth, and it will have you stopping to ponder what immortality truly is. I felt taken along on Gilzara and Halrab’s journeys. It often felt like I was sitting around a campfire being told their stories by people who knew them. The author weaves the language and trappings of a completely foreign world into the prose seamlessly. You will definitely read a word you don’t recognize and not feel out of place a bit due to the context and the fact you’ve been immersed into this universe so completely. This is not a light read, but it is the perfect book to delve deep into, and it will have you questioning your own views on mortality in no time.

A selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor.

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

And the last review today is for Diana Wallace Peachand Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1)

About the book

Behind the Veil, the hordes of Chaos gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

A recent review for the book

Mar 19, 2021 Sandra Cox rated it Five stars it was amazing

An elf, a changeling and a goblin unite to save their worlds.
Sworn enemies discover that maybe their adversaries aren’t as bad as they have been taught and maybe their own cultures aren’t as perfect as they’ve been led to believe.
This was a fascinating story that was intricately written. The world building is second to none and the characters well-developed. The longer I read, the more I was drawn in. There are surprises that add an extra layer to the storyline and the characters. I enjoyed the read so much I purchased the second in the series.

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

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

 

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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Poetry Sue Vincent, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Shortstories Sally Cronin


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

The first author is Sue Vincent with a recent review for her poetry collection Life Lines.

About the Collection.

“The pen paints the souls longing in jewel tones.”

A collection of fifty-two poems of life, love and inspiration.

There are joys for which we cannot find expression, moments that have a depth of emotion that can only be shared in images. It is here that poetry comes into its own, for the pictures we paint with words can conjure all the emotions of the human heart. From solitude to passion, from aspiration to the quest for the soul’s inner light, we seek to find ways to share our journey through life, to witness our footsteps as we pass through its shifting sands and cast a reflection on time itself. The poet is both mirror and reflection, framing the images of a human life and giving them a beating heart.

One of the recent reviews for Life Lines

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite poetry Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021

Life Lines’ by Sue Vincent highlights the paths of life we traverse – from innocent laughter to the snowy lanes of life, from the depths of sorrow to the light that beckons us, from the abyss of tears to the memories that pull us out; whether it is past or present, life is woven with delicate threads that bind us into a “purpose” and inspire us to “fall in love with life at every passing day.”

Sue’s poetry flows like a steady stream that takes in all the upheavals in its stride and absorbs them, keeping the hope alive. She has a unique style of playing with the symbols that reach your heart:
“flames caress the moon,” for the glow of sunset,
“scattered motes of possibility in the darkness,” for the stars,
“two ravens” for thought and memory, “winter leaf” for self,
“heart-beat of earth” for sea,
“shadows in the glass” for joy and pain.

While ‘Flowers’ brilliantly captures the journey of a woman, ‘I’ emphasizes how the choices of life are snatched away from us unawares! ‘Door of Dreams’ exhorts us to rise from our inner world to “face the demons of today” and look beyond. There are many such poems that would inspire you to keep the flame of hope aloft. I felt ‘Sunset’ could be one of my favorites but then ‘Just One’ mesmerized me with the thoughts of how many kinds of love encompasses us. Each poem exudes an emotion, profound yet subtle.

The poems in this collection need to be savored slowly, to be re-read with sips of your favorite tea, coffee or wine. Highly recommended.

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

A selection of Sue’s books and those written with Stuart France.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UKand: Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent – Twitter:@SCVincent

The nextg author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

About the book

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting characters you will not forget! A soul-satisfying read!  Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021

The Rise of Gadreel is the third and final book in Vashti Q. Vega’s Fantasy Angel Series.

Using the blackest of magic, Lucifer, a.k.a. Satan figures a way out of his earthly prison by infiltrating a corrupt priesthood. As expected, it isn’t long before a terrible new evil invades the world.

Tired of the fight, Gadreel only wants to repent her past sins and find peace. She seeks God’s forgiveness, regretting her decision to fight alongside Lilith and Lucifer and the other fallen angels. She knows it’s now up to her and Dracúl to fight this new terror and to save humanity.

Along with a trio of extraordinary allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel finds the courage to defy her past and create a new future for herself and the world.

I’ve loved each book in this series, but Gadreel’s story was the most soul satisfying for me. The writing is riveting, and I read long into the night. The author weaves her magic by combining historical facts from the Dark Ages, along with a few tales from the Bible to create a story like no other.

Written from both the protagonist and antagonist views, the reader glimpses the battle between good and evil first hand—but not for the faint of heart. There were a few parts that made me squirm. Yet, in the end, I was sad to let the characters go. A must read unforgettable series!

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 – Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

And finally I would like to share one of the recent reviews for my latest book.. Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by [Sally Cronin]

About the collection

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Feb 22, 2021 Alex Craigie rated it five stars it was amazing
Until the pandemic struck, I only read full-length novels. I thought that short stories might be shallow and unsatisfying in comparison. When we went into lockdown, here was my chance to get on with some meaty reading. But I couldn’t. I’ve been restless and unfocussed and when Sally Cronin’s Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries was recommended to me I decided to give it a go. How wrong I’d been about short stories!
I loved this book. The sub heading of Sometimes bitter, Sometimes Sweet is apt as the stories covered a wide range of experiences and each one touched me in different ways. Sally Cronin understands people. Her descriptions of relationships will strike a chord with everyone who reads this collection.
The tone varies, which added to the pleasure for me: wry, humorous, sad, reflective, vengeful, sweet. Some of the characters I positively enjoyed disliking and it was immensely satisfying when they got their comeuppance, others squeezed my heart but I was never left without hope for them.
The plots were neat, too. The first in the book was delightful, very funny but also a touch macabre. Gaffer Tape managed to condense a whole novel of abuse into a few powerful pages with an ending that made me want to cheer. Animals feature in some of these tales and Sally’s love of creatures is evident in the closely observed behaviours and in their impact upon humans. The story about the badly treated guard dog was one of my favourites and left me moved by the innate goodness evident in most people.
Scattered like precious gems throughout the book are exquisite poems. These aren’t rambling sagas; they’re expertly crafted delights that follow strict rules such as the syllabic form of cinquains. The results are stunning in their ability to condense a world of meaning into a few considered words.
I’m a convert now and will be looking out for more collections of short stories by this amazing author.

My other books

Read the reviews and buy the books: :Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Sally on Goodreads:Goodreads – Blog: Smorgasbord InvitationTwitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin
Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Childrens Janice Spina, #Romance Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Poetry Sue Vincent


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

The first author with recent reviews is author Janice Spina for her children’s book Drystan the Dragon and Friends Series, Book 2: Damara Helps Drystan Find His Roar

About the book

This the second book in the magical series about Drystan the dragon and his friends. These dragons are colorful, engaging and fun to read about. They teach children the importance of friendship, caring for one another, being kind to others, and it’s okay to be different. All dragons are of different colors and their names begin with the letter ‘D’ – a fun way for young children to learn the letter ‘D’ and colors.

In Book 2 a new dragon is introduced – Damara, a different dragon who does things her own way. As she is traveling by one day she spies a dragon, Drystan, in distress. She flies down to see what is wrong. It appears that Drystan has lost his roar. What caused Drystan to lose his roar? Can Damara help him get it back? Read this book in rhyme for a comical story that will delight your children. Watch for more books in this mystical series.

One of the reviews for the book

Sara123 5.0 out of 5 stars To Be Different is Okay!  Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2020

Author Janice Spina’s second book in her new series, “Drystan the Dragon and Friends” is a fine addition to her ever-growing list of books written for enriching the lives of young readers.

In the second volume, “Damara Helps Drystan Find His Roar”, Damara, a green dragon who is different than others, does not worry about what people say. She knows she’s not like everyone else, but owns her differences and is proud of who she is. This terrific message intertwines nicely with the little tale of Damara’s encounter with Drystan, who is also taught a lesson, courtesy of his new friend.

The illustrations are lovely, created by the author’s partner in life and work, Mr. John Spina. The terrific team’s growing library is impressive and recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

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

Also as J.E. Spina

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Janice: Goodreads

Connect to Janice on her blog: Jem’s Books

The next author is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with a recent review for the romantic novelette Fiona Finch & the Pink Valentine

About the book

Put your feet up and enjoy a whimsical break with this quick, lighthearted story. There’s some romance, and a lot of silliness. It’s a steampunk/Victorian setting. You might call it a long-short story or a novelette.

This is a tale of an old lost valentine and the shenanigans that ensue when it turns up. Fiona Finch and her brother Steele – along with a helping “wing” from Quellie the duck, work to bring two long ago sweethearts back together. Even though it is a Valentine’s Day story, it does not include sex or passionate romance. It does, however, include a lot of imaginative fun.

One of the recent reviews for the book

tpolen 5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet HEA Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2020

I’ve read several books by this author and her creativity never ceases to amaze and delight me. This tale of a lost valentine from years ago and amusing matchmaking efforts at a masquerade ball is guaranteed to leave you with a smile. Although a quick read, character development certainly isn’t lacking, and you’ll feel as if you’ve spent time with friends by the end of this whimsical novelette. And did I mention the pet duck? An absolute scene-stealer. If you’re in the mood for a light read with a sweet happily ever after, look no further.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Teagan : Goodreads

Connect to Teagan via her blog: Teagan’s Books

The final author today is Sue Vincent with a review for her poetry collection Life Lines: Poems from a Reflection

About the collection

“The pen paints the souls longing in jewel tones.”

A collection of fifty-two poems of life, love and inspiration.

There are joys for which we cannot find expression, moments that have a depth of emotion that can only be shared in images. It is here that poetry comes into its own, for the pictures we paint with words can conjure all the emotions of the human heart. From solitude to passion, from aspiration to the quest for the soul’s inner light, we seek to find ways to share our journey through life, to witness our footsteps as we pass through its shifting sands and cast a reflection on time itself. The poet is both mirror and reflection, framing the images of a human life and giving them a beating heart.

One of the recent reviews for the poetry

Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020

This collection of 52 poems by Sue Vincent is a gem. I’d give this book 6 stars if I could. It’s hard to put into words how moving I found Vincent’s poetry. The poems are free form reflections on the profound moments of life, the deep emotional wells of love, loss, and memories, the rhythms of nature reflected in our journeys, and the poignant journeys themselves.

It was almost impossible to pick out a few favorites, but I’m giving it a try: “I See You” is an exquisite poem about aging and the lasting echoes of youth that we carry inside our memories. “Flowers” (which makes me weepy just thinking about it) chronicles a woman’s life-stages in flowers from birth through death. Two touching poems are told from the point of view of someone watching a loved one sleep. They’re both gentle and heartachingly beautiful. “Just for a Moment” is a rare syllabic poem in the collection about the peace of love, and “Memory” about love lost.

Though the poems can be read in an hour or so, I would suggest savoring them. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Sue Vincent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue: Goodreads

Connect to Sue via her blog: S.C. Vincent

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