Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Thriller John W. Howell – #Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts – #ParanormalRomance Linda G. Hill – #Poetry Ritu Bhathal


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.

To make it easier for you to buy I will provide the US and UK Amazon Author Pages and Goodreads Page for the author where you will find the featured book and also the others by the author.

The first author is John W. Howell with a stand alone novel – Circumstances of Childhood.. I have read all of John’s book and enjoy his style of writing and this this novel was not exception. They would make great gifts to friends and family.

About Circumstances of Childhood.

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

A recent review for the book.

I truly enjoyed this novel and I hope John W. Howell keeps writing for a very long time. One thing that really impresses me is the care he takes in his writing…his dialogue skills and the way he creates believable but awesome characters (in this case – Greg and Keith Petros). This book hit all the marks for what I love a great story: fast-paced, surprising twists, characters I could root for, characters to hate/despise/feel pity/willing to save, and of course an ending that had me snapping my Kindle shut and thinking – noooo way, I’d like to read more..! If you want a good book that keeps you glued to the page, read this one or better all of the books by this author!

Three last words: exceptional, suspenseful and smart! Go, grab it!

Also by John W. Howell.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US author page

and on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow John: John Howell Goodreads

Connect to John: John Howell blog and website

The next author enjoying a recent review is Hugh W. Roberts for his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses I have read and can recommend as a great gift for someone who enjoys reading some edgy short stories.. expect the unexpected.

About More Glimpses

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or know the real truth about what lurks inside every mobile phone? Would you steal items from a blind person, or send your neighbours on a time travelling adventure fraught with danger and menace to save the human race from a bug? How about staying in a sleepy village where many murders have taken place or coming to the aid of royalty while out shopping?

‘More Glimpses’ gives the reader an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of normal, everyday people whose lives are all on a path full of twists, turns and unexpected endings. However, it’s not only about the humans; nothing escapes the extraordinary journeys Hugh has planned for you. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’ then you’re in for another exciting trip in this second collection from Hugh. Come and meet the characters who had no idea their lives were about to be turned upside-down. Enjoy the ride!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

After reading Glimpses, Hugh Roberts’ first anthology of short stories, I was enthused to see his second book out for sale. More Glimpses fulfils its title by giving the reader a snapshot view into the lives of the characters colouring the pages, sharing moments of conflict, grandeur and horror before the shutter closes and the next story begins. Some dwell in the macabre; others are downright delightful in their telling. Hugh weaves his storytelling web over these bite-size stories, bringing to life the colourful characters, warts and all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was lucky enough to receive my copy from the author himself. I look forward to his next anthology as I’m sure it will be just as thrilling as Glimpses and More Glimpses.

Also by Hugh W. Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Hugh :Hugh Roberts Goodreads

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog: Hugh’s Views and News

A now something for those who enjoy some romance/paranormal in their reading. Linda G. Hill with the most recent review for her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

About the book

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 starsAn intriguing read May 13, 2019

Herman has a most unusual name which has been a burden to her all her school life. Why on earth would her parents saddle her with a boy’s name? As this interesting book, filled with magic and mystery progresses, Herman finds out that it is not only her name that is unusual about her, or her parents choice that is unusual about them.

Herman’s mother has been very ill for a long time and her father is never there to offer any support to his family. Herman assumed the role of mother to her younger brother, Chad, when she was very young and now she is breaking free to establish a life for herself. She plans to bring her brother to live with her once she is settled and earning an income. On the train to her new job, Herman meets a riveting young man who introduces himself as Stephen. Much to Herman’s surprise, Stephen professes to be as taken with her as she is with him, so when he asks her to work for him as his assistant she doesn’t put up much of a fight. Fortunately for Herman, Stephen, who is a magician, is genuine in his offer for her to become his assistant and she quickly discovers that there is more to his magic than meets the eye. In fact, Herman soon comes to realise that the household staff and Stephen’s entire lifestyle is fairly unorthodox.

The attraction between Herman and Stephen is incredibly strong but Herman can sense there is something not quite right with their relationship and this causes her to hold back from committing herself completely to him. What is Stephen’s secret and will Herman be able to accept it when she eventually discovers what it is? I did like the fact that the character of Stephen illustrated respect for Herman and gave her the opportunity to make her own choice about his unusual situation.

This book is for adults and, although not graphic, it does contain descriptions of sex and suggestions of sexual freedoms. The romantic aspect of this book is the overriding genre with the supernatural element playing a lessor role.

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Linda on: Goodreads

Connect to Linda via her website: Linda G. Hill

And the final book today is the poetry collection from Ritu Bhathal which has received wonderful review and would make a lovely gift for poetry lovers- Poetry Rituals

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

 Read all the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US

and other reviews: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Ritu: Goodreads

Connect to Ritu:But I smile anyway

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more Christmas Book recommendations over the weekend. Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 11th November 2019. Robbie Cheadle with Ritu Bhathal, Patricia Furstenberg and Richard Dee


Time to catch up on some of my favourite blogs again after our two weeks away.

The first post is from Robbie Cheadle who is in the process of promoting poets in a Readathon.. And in this post she is showcasing Ritu Bhathal.

Poetry readathon

Today I am introducing you to poet, author and blogger, Ritu Bhathal. Ritu has selected a lovely poem from her book Poetic RITUals to share here today.

From Twinkle to Reality

Let me take you down that road,

Much-travelled through eternity

The journey to become a mum,

From twinkle to reality.

Head over and enjoy the rest of the poem and post: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/poetryreadathon-meet-poet-and-blogger/

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

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Now a guest post by Patricia Furstenberg on the blog Books by Women on the subject of women writers and contemporary war fiction.

At some stage during my adult life, and this will astound my history teacher if she’d discover, I found myself fascinated by the thought of writing fiction inspired by contemporary events.

A thread that brought me here might have been reading Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” in my teens; another one, witnessing the terrorist attack on World Trade Center on Live TV while pregnant with my daughter. A definite thread, silky and alluring, came from enjoying historical fiction by Philippa Gregory and Diana Gabaldon. While the most recent one, still carding itself, draws from my son’s keen interest in war computer games and my own, in military working dogs.

When the seed of writing a fictional book about dogs involved in combat was still on the counter, not even planted yet, I turned to literature for guidance. And hit a wall.

Contemporary war fiction penned by women pales in comparison to the amount of books written by men. Be it in poetry or prose, throughout the centuries an author, not an authoress, depicted more often the combat male protagonist. As Homer put it in his Iliad, “war will be men’s business”.

Why so, since countless notable women were not afraid of fighting battles? The Greek goddess Athena is shown as a warrior, the patron of justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, and arts. The Celtic goddess Brigid is the patron of poetry and smithcraft. Scathach is an Irish Goddess who taught the martial arts. The Amazons were fierce warrior women and there were even gladiator women, gladiatrices, although Juvenal, the Roman poet of those times, depicted them as a mere novelty. History is splattered with the blood of innumerable women warriors: Hatshepsut, Queen Boudicca, Queen Samsi of Arabia, the Trung Sisters from Vietnam, Empress Theodora of Byzantium, Olga of Russia, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary I and Elizabeth I of England.

Please head over to read the rest of this fascinating article by Patricia: http://booksbywomen.org/why-we-need-contemporary-war-fiction-written-by-women/

Patricia Furstenberg, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Furstenberg/e/B018QGC570 Blog:  http://alluringcreations.co.za/wp/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8867736.Patricia_Furstenberg

Here is a post for all of you who are in the second week of your NaNoMo projects from Richard Dee who completed the challenge with the first in his Andorra Pett series in 2016. Head over to compare your experiences of this writing challenge.

Welcome back to my trip through the NaNo projects of the past.

This time, I’m looking at 2016. I didn’t attempt NaNo in 2015, I was otherwise engaged in adjusting to life after work, as I mentioned last week. My shoulder required an operation in the end, an 8mm bone spur was removed. After six months off work. I decided to take early retirement, rather than have to retrain and re-certify for a job that I had been doing for forty years. Don’t you just love the system?

Ribbonworld, the subject of last weeks post, was actually published in November 2015. And I did write a novel in 2015, just not in one concentrated spell or as part of the NaNo challenge. A change of genre for me, it was a Steampunk adventure called The Rocks of Aserol.

I also wrote several short stories. Among them was one that I wrote as a bet. My wife had challenged me to write a female character, and to do a ‘woman-runs-away-from-it-all-and-starts-again-in-a-new-place’ type story, only set in space.

I thought about it and had an idea for a jilted woman, who reluctantly turns amateur detective when she is forced to, by circumstances beyond her control.

I named her Andorra Pett and based her on a combination of the character traits of my wife and my three daughters.

Head over to find out more about Richard’s experiences and to add your own: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/the-second-monday-of-nanowrimo-2/

Richard Dee, buy: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/
Website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/Goodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads

Please go to Amazon or Richard’s website to view all his books.

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read all these posts in full…more tomorrow thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Easter Parade Blog Party – Part One – Eggellent time to add your links!! – Music, Dancing, Food, and Behatted Guests..


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Easter Parade with some behatted guests, music, humour and food. And since you have dropped in today.. please don’t leave without leaving the link to your latest post…. or your Amazon link and a little bit about yourself.

While you are all standing around waiting for the parade to begin.. here is the first of the entertainers…

Here we have Laura Ganley of the Ganley Sisters,  http://www.theganleysisters.com/ performing a Sean-Nos Barrel dance! All on a Wild West Irish Tour!

We have quite a few special guests today who have joined us from all over the world, wearing a hat of their choice or have brought a guest wearing one….and the first to join the parade is children’s author Darlene Foster who has travelled all the way from Spain to take part.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A small selection of books by Darlene.

Discover all of Darlene Foster’s books and reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA Find more reviews on Goodreads: Darlene Foster Visit her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

Please help yourself to a free coffee as you pass by.

The next guest is Science Fiction/Thriller author Richard Dee who has popped over from the South Coast of England..wearing his own version of an Easter bonnet…..

About Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon, England He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. He contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Discover all the books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/ Read more reviews and follow Richard on Goodreads: Richard Dee – http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ Connect to Richard via his website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

Debby Gies will be joining the Monday Parade but in the meantime she has found all the funnies shared today. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog

Time for another guest and joining the parade is master storyteller Hugh Roberts who looks very Dapper in his boater and who has ferried it across from Wales this morning. Clearly prepared for the vagaries of the Irish weather!

About Hugh Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my posts on blogging tips. I’ve learned a lot about the world of blogging since I first discovered it in February 2014. All of the tips and advice I give are free of charge and will cost you nothing apart from, maybe, your time. To see all my posts that include blogging tips, click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ button on the menu bar.

I’m a member of the committee of the Bloggers Bash, a group set up to organise annual get-togethers for all bloggers. The next event is 15th June in London and full details can be found on the website about tickets and the awards: https://annualbloggersbash.com/about-the-bash/

Hugh is the author of two multi-genre short story collections and I can recommend both.

Books by Hugh Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP – Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:Hugh W. Roberts Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Time for a little more entertainment in the parade and still in Ireland… some music…Celtic dueling violins Smith & Nesbitt. Live from Hyde Park London. Uploaded by AdriFlaherty

If you are now feeling a little peckish.. here are some fresh Hot Cross Buns..please help yourself…

My next guest is Children’s author Victoria Zigler whose delightful books on family pets are very popular. She lives in South East England and has sent over a representative her much loved Kero.

About Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England with my husband, Kelly, a degu named Joshua, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I didn’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of being a published author. I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing eBooks via Smashwords. Three years later, I began using CreateSpace to make my books available in print. So now I’m a published author of children’s fiction, as well as a couple of poetry collections; all of which are available in multiple eBook formats, and as paperback books.

A small selection of books by Victoria.

You can read reviews and buy the books from Amazon in print and audio: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6 Victoria has many more reviews on Goodreads: Victoria Zigler Connect to Tori via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

My next guest  is the entertaining author Geoff Le Pard whose humour overflows onto social media as well.. I hear that he had the flight crew from Gatwick in stitches on his way over for the parade. I have substituted Geoff’s original hat for this photograph which I think is far more Easter orientated…..and funny.

 

About Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0 – Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: Geoff Le Pard  Connect to Geoff via his website: http://geofflepard.com/

Time to join in with the West Coast Swing dancers from Sydney just mind the puddles… thanks to Swing Skool

Following on behind the Easter Bunny we have our next guest in today’s paradeRitu Bhathal lives in London and has joined us with her feline companion today.. As you can see Ritu wears many hats.. including being a published poet.

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

The poetry collection by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: Ritu Bhathal Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

My next guest is one who is very familiar to most of you.. Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape who has gone the extra mile with his Easter photograph… thankfully his Cites wildlife permit was up to date to enable him to join us in Ireland today.

About the Story Reading Ape.

My literature Hero is Terry Pratchett who, in one of his Science of Discworld books, postulated that Homo Sapiens Sapiens survived all the pitfalls that made other Homo Sapiens species become extinct, by being story telling apes.

If this is the case, then in order to be effective, for every story telling ape there had to be a story listening ape.

I am descended from them, except I read stories instead of listening to them; and author’s are the tellers of the stories I read. I don’t so much read books as devour them, (sometimes re-devouring them several times), so I’ve set myself a long term task, to list all the books I’ve ever read on Goodreads – trouble is I’ve got the memory of a sieve and I must have read thousands of them!

The Indie author supporter.

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Chris and his sister compiled his late mother’s wonderful poems written about growing up in Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’? My Vibrating Vertebrae and other Poems by Agnes Mae Graham

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116   Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30845724-my-vibrating-vertebrae Connect to Chris, The Story Reading Ape: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com

And last but not least in the parade today is Carol Taylor who is the resident foodie here on Smorgasbord. I mentioned the word ‘Partee’ and the she whipped up a bunch of friends, chartered a flight from Thailand and landed this morning…..

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Please help yourself to a chocolate bunny before you join in the dancing of the incredible Indlondlo Traditional Zulu dance group who have featured as guest here on the blog several times in the last six years. You can find more amazing videos via their YouTube Channel. Indlondlo Zulu Dancers

Thank you for joining us today for part one of the Easter Parade.. Part Two on Monday with more guests and entertainment.

Please drop your links to your latest blog post that you would like to share.. and your Amazon Author Page if you have one… Thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #reviews Ritu Bhathal, Natalie Ducey, Mae Clair and C. S. Boyack


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore Updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Ritu Bhathal with her collection Poetic Rituals.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Lucy Mitchell 5.0 out of 5 stars Love these poems! 5 April 2019

This a wonderful collection of poems. They will make you smile, chuckle, sigh, coo, squeal and squeak! My overall favourite is ‘Whispers’ – very clever! I hope there will be more from this talented lady!

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

Another poet with a recent review is Natalie Ducey for her collection The Heart’s Lullaby

About the collection

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

One of the recent reviews

M. Smith  5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Emotion February 1, 2019

This is the second book of this author’s that I have read. Just like with the first book, I fell in love with the poetry. She has such a beautiful way of writing. There’s so much emotion that goes into her words. Your heart will be touched as you explore the pages of love and pain. Tears will fall. Your own memories may even fade in. Even better, this is a book you can read again and again. It’s that good.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072TMDGRB

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hearts-Lullaby-candid-portrayal-splendor-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

Also by Natalie Ducey

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13534715.Natalie_Ducey

Connect to Natalie via her blog: https://natalieducey.com/

The next author with a recent review is Mae Clair for End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)

About End of Day.

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair has returned to the weird little town of Hode’s Hill, where things aren’t always as they seem, and where the terrible sins of the past continue to impact the present, often in undesirable ways. Once again, Clair has used her excellent writing skills to pull readers into this mystery within a mystery. She layers chills upon heartbreak upon budding romance, and the result is a seamless story that works beautifully, and reminds us that what we think we know of our own history just might not be the entire truth.

If you love eerie, paranormal tales filled with well-developed characters and a touch of romance, I highly recommend this book. It’s every bit as good as, if not better than, Book 1, Cusp of Night. I can’t wait for the next one!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/End-Hodes-Hill-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B07CKFDQ1

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/End-Hodes-Hill-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B07CKFDQ1

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0/

Read more reviews and follow Mae on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

Connect to Mae via her website: https://maeclair.net/

And the final author with  recent review is C.S. Boyack for his latest release Voyage of the Lanternfish.

About Voyage of the Lanternfish

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful adventure of pirates on the high seas, along the lines of the famous Treasure Island, but filled with marvelous creatures and unusual beings and people, in the manner of The Hobbit, and incorporating a splash of the science fiction innovation found in the Harry Potter series of books (which I loved). I enjoyed Voyage of the Laternfish more than either Treasure Island or The Hobbit because it also contained some humour and there is nothing like a bit of well written humour for great reading pleasure.

My favourite character was … the root monsters. They were the most fascinating creatures ever reduced to the written word by an amazing imagination. Of them all, Trubba (Trouble) was my favourite and I enjoyed reading about their antics and the theatrical performances they put on to entertain the crew.

When Dan and James are kidnapped, along with Dan’s sister and James’ fiance, Bonnie, this tale of adventure begins. The kidnapper incarcerates Bonnie in his castle to ensure that Dan and James fulfill their promises to help him invoke a war with a rival country. The kidnapper, however, vastly underestimates the determination and abilities of the pair and they escape, hell bent on starting the war on their own terms in order to rescue Bonnie.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MP8V633

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voyage-Lanternfish-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B07MP8V633

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

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And on Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect to Craig via his website: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are heading out with a couple of books under your arm….thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Poetry – Ritu Bhathal, Christy Birmingham, Colleen M. Chesebro, Natalie Ducey and Dorinda Duclos


Welcome to another of the Christmas book promotions and today the first post for the poetry books on the shelves of the cafe and bookstore. I love poetry collections and short stories as they are something you can dip into at any time of day to distract you from life and problems or to revitalise the spirit.

And the first poet is Ritu Bhathal with her collection Poetic Rituals. I met Ritu at the Bloggers Bash in 2017 and it is no surprise that her Twitter handle is @PhantomGiggler and she will brighten your day and anyone you gift her poetry. She is also an award winning blogger at But I Smile Anyway

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

Balroop Singh rated it Five Stars.

Poetic Rituals’ by Ritu Bhathal is an amalgamation of free verse, haiku and tanka. First section is packed with the emotions of a new mother; pride and affection flow freely through her verse but a realistic touch of worry, of angst and frustration add more charm to her poems. Every mother would ‘like to flee’ at some point when she feels that her kids are ‘devils in disguise!’ ‘Twelve Days Of Holidays’ is cute rendition of how mothers handle their little monsters during the holidays.

Ritu’s poetry matures as the book proceeds into the third segment, dwelling on love, life and its realities… trying to answer some pertinent questions like… “Head or heart, to whom do I bow?” Section four would bring a smile on your lips as you read
‘Brow-terpillars’ and ‘Oh My Bag,’ reminding you of similar groans that the poet shares about packing and trying to fit in all those things in one bag and later realize we didn’t even use. It is amazing how she could write a poem about chores like ironing, dieting, connecting a printer to Mac!

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

The next poet is Christy Birmingham for her collection of poetry Versions of the Self. Christy also has an amazing blog When Women Inspire and you can connect to her on Twitter @Christybis

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

All my life I thought that my emotional reliance on someone was a foregone conclusion, and that my self had to connect with another’s to inject coherence into my life’s abstract manuscript. In several unique ways in Versions of the Self, Christy Birmingham informs that the self can last ‘brutally independent’ longer without such reliance or even when it’s relying on someone. In “Gliding Under Water,” she writes, “I am gliding under the waters and my vision is remarkably clear while my body washes with liquids that contain no mixture of you.”

Christy has succinctly touched on several emotions; that we don’t pause and ponder enough to rationalize. We sense myriad versions of several people, and the only way we could connect with their selves is if it’s a soul-led journey from us, without a destination in mind, in which case, no car had driven my expectations to them. Shake hands, therefore, seeking nothing but simplicity.

“And now it seems he takes the last space in my life, outside of my heart’s walls, and miles from my reality” – she says in “The Capital.” How fierce this self-representation is, so unyielding, that it draws its strength from the innate soul-gem.

Since I’m close to my mother – everyone is and must be – these lines from “As We Walk Together” aimed for my heartstrings: “I feel you take my hand as we walk forward, together, and we inhale the scents that disclose a recent rainfall has occurred.” It reminded me of my childhood and those precious moments I so wish to return to, over and again. But, this heartwarming book wants me to return to my self, even away from the self that gave me birth because my self is the primary cure for all my worries, like the primary network that doesn’t charge out of pocket. My soul is my self and, therefore, always covered.

This is a must-have book for anyone who wants to go beyond the mundane ‘identify yourself’ literature. Sans going beyond, we are nothing but a body without life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Read more reviews and follow Christy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham

Also by Christy Birmingham.

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

Connect to Christy via her website: https://whenwomeninspire.com/

No selection of Poetry collections as gifts at any time of year would be complete without including Colleen M. Chesebro – her Tuesday #poetry challenges are Legendary and you can connect to her on Twitter at @ColleenChesebro.

And for those of you in theSouthern hemisphere… perfect for Christmas in the Sun (or any climate)...Fairies, Myths and Magic..A Summer Celebration.

About the collection

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

One of the reviews for Fairies, Myths & Magic on Goodreads –   Lisa Thomson rated it

If you’ve lost the connection to your inner child, you’ll want to pick up Fairies, Myths, & Magic! This is a delightful and magical collection of stories and poems by Colleen M. Chesebro. A devotion to the summer solstice (and a few winter season stories), this was the perfect bed time read to get in tune with the season of full moons, star gazing, and the magic of little winged creatures. I would add that this collection would be lovely to read to a young child. The author brings the reader into her world of fairies with a great variety of settings. I will be re-reading this book every summer!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01N9MV2RX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com

The next poet is Natalie Ducey who has a wonderful way with words, creating heartfelt and inspiring poetry. You can find out more about her About Natalie Ducey and on Twitter at @NatalieDucey

About The Heart’s Lullaby

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

One of the reviews for the collection

Robin Goodfellow rated it Five Stars

The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey is a beautiful book of poetry that describes the fragility as well as the strength of the human heart. The book is separated into four parts. Embers of Love focuses on the bittersweet aspect of heartbreak, the pain of saying goodbye to someone you care about. Eternal Love illustrates the beauty of love lasting forever, even after death. The Agony of Holding On & The Angst of Letting Go is about falling out of love, and that despite everything you do to hold onto that person, sometimes it’s better to let go. Finally, The Journey of Becoming is about being comfortable with yourself, and knowing that both the heart and the mind need to work together to bring peace and comfort. Whether it be through pain, loss, or peace, Ducey shows us that love can comfort us in our time of need, and show us how human we really are.

The world is a funny place. Sometimes, we do so much to protect ourselves to the point where we simply forget what it means to laugh or cry, or to even love our own selves again. This collection does, in fact, remind me of a lullaby you would sing to a small child at night, or even to a grown-up in need for comforting. For example, one of my most favorite poems in this collection comes from Eternal Love, where the narrator promises to love their beloved for all time in the memories of their past, even if they’re gone. It’s wonderful, because oftentimes we worry about if we’re missed, if we’re better off gone. It’s a question that’s haunted many people, but this poem answers it easily. In my mind, it shouldn’t be an easy question, but nevertheless, I’m shocked at how easy it is. It’s nostalgically iridescent, to say the least.

Ducey provides a soothing, comforting atmosphere interlaced within her poetry. From the pain of losing a loved one, to the relief of finally finding yourself in the end, this book encourages those suffering from heartbreak, and mesmerizes others just by its messages of hope alone. As such, I would recommend it to fans of Feathers, Shades, Shadows and a Few Raindrops by Mandar Naik, and Catching a Dream by J.R. McRae.

Read the other reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Lullaby-candid-portrayal-splendor-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hearts-Lullaby-candid-portrayal-splendor-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

Also by Natalie Ducey

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13534715.Natalie_Ducey

Connect to Natalie via her blog: https://natalieducey.com/

The final author in this first post for poetry is Dorinda Duclos whose work you can also read and buy (signed copies) at her Book Page You can also connect to Dorinda via Twitter: @DorindaDuclos

The poems in this particular collection would be a perfect gift for young adults and adults and  Night Owl Poetry.

About Night Owl Poetry

Poet and author Dorinda Duclos shares her life experiences and thoughts, with you, through her poetry. In this book, you’ll find love, life, fantasy, fiction, sorrow and happiness. A vast view of one woman’s vision of the world surrounding us.

One of the reviews for the collection.

I purchased a copy of the Night Owl Poetry for myself to read in the morning time when I am reading on the sofa while also enjoying drinking my vanilla latte. I find that all of the poems inside this book were wonderfully written and the poems focus towards the young adults to adult readers. She has a variety of poetry in her book, but my favorites are “Believe,” “Daddy’s Little Girl,” and “The Cherry Tree Haiku.” Those poems stood out the most to me and were the most meaningful to me in my life right now. Thank you for writing such a lovely poetry book and I will be sure to share this with others.

All the books including signed copies can be purchased through Dorinda’s website: Book Page

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Dorinda-Duclos/e/B00LE97O5K

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dorinda-Duclos/e/B00LE97O5K

Read more reviews and follow Dorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8405193.Dorinda_Duclos

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more poetry collections for Christmas Gifts later in the week. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Poet Ritu Bhathal


Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is poet Ritu Bhathal who I enjoyed meeting at last year’s Bloggers Bash in London. And it was fantastic to be there when she won the Best Overall Blog Award 2017. You can find out more about her debut poetry collection Poetic Rituals later in the post.

Before we find out which questions Ritu has chosen to respond to, here is a little bit about her background.

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

Welcome Ritu and we are looking forward to Getting to Know You.

Do you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?

I discovered quite by chance that I had a phobia of being touched on or around my neck and throat. If you were close family or a friend, I was okay, but if anyone else who I wasn’t that familiar with, or close to, tried to touch my neck for any reason, be it to help fasten a necklace, or tickling, even an overenthusiastic hug, would end up with me getting more and more uncomfortable. It all came to a head when my then 6-year-old cousin came to visit and he was playing games with me. His tickles reached my neck, and I actually freaked out. I was hyperventilating and crying, and I just needed him to stop. It was a horrible experience, and I felt so bad that I had scared him with my reaction.

I needed to know why my neck was such a sensitive spot for me, and what may have happened to trigger this kind of reaction. It took a while to work it out, but apparently, I was a rather active baby in my mother’s womb, and over the course of the pregnancy, I somersaulted around so much that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck three times! Baby in distress at labour, as you may have guessed, and I was a C-Section baby in the end.

So, somewhere in my subconscious, that feeling of having my neck squeezed has stayed with me. I am much better and handling being touched there now I know but how crazy!

If you could get rid of one household chore, what would it be?

For me, it would have to be dusting! I have far too many little things around my house, and to dust properly would probably take a whole day, then I’d need to start again the next day, as dust tends to settle! As I dust, I tend to ponder upon the other things I could be doing whilst moving these annoying particles around! And cat hair… don’t mention the cat hair!

The Culprit

What is something you look forward to when you retire?

There are a few things that I look forward to when that time comes, (though with the pension and retirement ages in the UK moving goalposts so much, I may be waiting a good 30 years) like reading more for pleasure, writing with no boundaries, but I’d also like to travel more. Our life at the moment doesn’t lend itself to extensive travelling, with me being a teacher, and the kids at school. We missed the boat, when it came to travelling pre-family, so I think the time for us will come one we are happily retired, and hopefully not too old to enjoy the delights of the world! But I do hope to add some other destinations to our visited list before that age too!

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I am definitely a morning person. I am one of those people who can jump up at the first sound of the alarm, get ready, and be very productive in those first couple of hours before I start work. I am fresher and have infinitely more patience than later on in the day! As a youngster I was a bit of both, but that is also known at burning the candle at both ends.

Now, when the tiredness starts to hit, I don’t fight it, but I go to bed, knowing I won’t function well at all if I stay awake. My Hubby Dearest is the polar opposite. He hates to wake up early, and the grumpy face is ever-present, the snoozed alarms, and need for caffeine to kick start his day. Though he is a true night owl. He can stay up watching films and TV until past midnight I rarely end up knowing what time he goes to bed, especially at the weekends. He does try to be sensible on the weekdays, knowing work will be calling the next morning!

Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?

As a child I learned the recorder (who didn’t?!), and can still play a mean Polly Wolly Doodle! I also tried my hand at guitar, though that didn’t really take off. My teacher, Mr Mason, would hold a pencil in his hand, tapping it to the rhythms, and if we went off beat, he would use the pencil to sting our hand with a little blow! He also had a thing for Fruit Polos (remember them?) and used the end of the pencil to put in the middle of the polo, and eat it from the end… then he use that same pencil to ‘punish’ our mistakes, YUCK!

Needless to say the lessons didn’t last long, but I still have the guitar and Lil Man is able to pluck tunes on it. Lil Princess enjoys the ukulele! The last instrument I tried my hand at was piano. I always knew I wanted to teach, and being able to play the piano was a great addition to the CV. Mum and Pops actually tried to arrange lessons for me from a young age, but they were advised against it at that time, stating my fingers were too small to stretch across the keys. Fast forward to my Sixth Form days and I decided to try and learn them. My music teacher gave me some basic lessons, so I was able to read the notes and press the right keys, but it never stuck. I think starting so late, and then going off to University, where the thought of practicing piano was removed from my mind, replaced with assignments, lectures and going out with my new friends, didn’t really help me.

Now, singing. I LOVE to sing! Music, dancing and song runs in my blood. On my father’s side, I think we were all born, dancing out of the birth canal (or the C-Section cut in my case!) and singing instead of crying. Please note, this doesn’t mean that everyone was good at it, but it was in the blood so we all tried! But I have learned a lot of traditional Punjabi songs and sing with my cousins at family weddings. In fact, one of my cousins and I were ‘hired’ to sing at someone else’s wedding as they were so impressed that young girls like us knew the traditional songs! I even compiled a book with the words written in a Romanised way, so the younger generations who didn’t read Punjabi text, could also learn and join in. I have sung on stage in school productions too, as various characters in plays, and in a showcase in my final year at Sixth form. And I have been known to burst out in song at school, as a teacher, on a regular basis.

Oh, and on the blog. There have been a few posts over the years, showcasing my singing!

Sally here:  I spent a wonderful time going through the videos on YouTube and in the end chose these two young singers have a blast..

When browsing Ritu’s blog… I found this post about her WIP.. which is 18 years in the making.. Here is the preliminary blurb and then please head over to read the rest of the post and add your encouraging words to help the process move forward.

Mock Up cover

Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

After finding out her fiancé was not the man she thought, she vows to put him, and her innocence behind her.

Accompanied by her brothers and best friend, she embarks upon an enlightening journey, where memories created and new relationships forged, have far-reaching effects.

Read the rest of the post: https://butismileanyway.com/2018/04/28/the-big-reread-has-commenced-amwriting-amrereading-amcringing/

“What I wish for is a world where everyone’s differences are accepted and celebrated, not held against them – be it racial, religious or disability – we are all human, and we all deserve a chance of respect.” Ritu
 

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

The first thing that attracted me to this book of poetry was the clever play-on-words with the title, Poetic RITUals, and the author’s name. They always say to not judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you should. As clever and heartwarming as the title suggests, so is the poetry inside.

The book was filled with a delightful and eclectic mix of metered poems filled with patterned beats and rhymes, Haiku, and freestyle poetry. Another charming addition was the way the book was divided into four different sections of “RITUals,” family, life, of the heart, and to make you smile. I found the categorization to be a peek into the ingenious mind of the poet.

The themes of motherhood and family, her work as a teacher, and that of being a wife are shared with love and laughter. Many of the poems shared a realistic look at the author’s life that I found endearing. I remembered feeling much the same way when my kids were young.

One of my favorites in this collection was a piece called, “Poetic Confusion,” which I found in the last section of the book. The author laments the writing of poetry in its many forms; finally coming to the conclusion that she would rhyme and vent to her heart’s content, and write poetry in her own way. I love her poetic spirit and spunk.

Poetic RITUals is a must read for wives and mothers of all ages who also wear many hats just to get through a normal day. This sweet book will make you smile. Enjoy it over a cup of tea, or two… I did. ❤

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 – Flow and Pace: 5 – Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 – Reader Enjoyment: 5 – Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu in the usual haunts.

Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/but-i-smile-anyway-13707551
Tumblrhttps://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles 

Delighted to have found out a little more about Ritu and I am sure she will be delighted to answer your questions… fire away in the comments. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Jaye Marie, Anita Dawes, Paulette Mahurin, Ritu Bhathal and Natalie Ducey


Welcome to Friday’s Christmas Book Fair with another group of talented authors with books that would make perfect gifts.

The first authors are Jaye Marie who with her writing partner Anita Dawes operate a two women blog promotion scheme.. they are very generous..So very pleased to feature both their books today.

Books by Jaye Marie

A review for The Apple Blossom

I did wonder why there was a picture of apple blossom on the front cover of this book, which is a very short (14 pages) but factual story of the author’s thoughts and feelings on her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer (the treatments are not described in too much detail). However, the significance of the apple blossom became apparent as I read on. I finished the book in 20 minutes, and can sympathise entirely with Jaye Marie’s dread of radiotherapy, as I underwent 30 of these treatments myself for a different type of cancer earlier this year.

I would have liked the book to have been a little bit longer, and would have liked to read more about the after-effects of radiotherapy and whether the author suffered from on-going tiredness and lymphoedema (swelling due to bad lymph drainage) for example. After-effects can linger for years, and it would be interesting to find out if radiotherapy for different types of cancers all give similar after-effects.

The book was well formatted, and I found only a couple of typos. Doctors, nurses and radiologists try their best to make us as comfortable as possible during our treatment, but at the end of the day a course of radiotherapy is something that ultimately augments a cancer sufferer’s capability to endure. We can take along CD’s to try and blot out the clicking of the tomography machine, but it is unfortunately an endurance test. Well done to Jaye Marie though, for passing the test with flying colours!

Read the reviews and and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Books by Anita Dawes

One of the recent reviews for The Scarlet Ribbon

It’s rare these days to find an original concept in fiction but Anita Dawes has created an unusual story here. Maggie has been knocked down by a car and is in a coma, aware of her surroundings but unable to communicate. While in the coma, she also occupies an alternate world somewhere between life and death. Here she meets David and Annie, two characters who will continue to haunt her when she emerges from her coma.

The novel is beautifully written and the characterization is strong; the reader is rooting for Maggie from the start. It took me a little while to get into this story but from the point Maggie comes out of her coma I couldn’t put it down. The whole premise is thought provoking and I’d particularly recommend it to people who are interested in concepts of the afterlife. In particular, the ending will stay with me for a long time.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10

Read more reviews and follow Anita on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6586480.Anita_Dawes

Connect to Jaye and Anita via their website:  http://jenanita01.wordpress.com

The next author that has some wonderful books for all year let alone Christmas is Paulette Mahurin with her recent release The Day I Saw The Hummingbird.

About the book

On the eve of his tenth birthday, a young slave’s life is turned upside down. The unthinkable events that led up to the day Oscar Mercer saw a hummingbird test the limits of this young boy’s body, mind and soul. Gripped with fear and filled with anger, Oscar faces raw, crushing hatred aimed at him and everyone he loves. In a time when a nation was ripped apart geographically, economically, politically and morally, comes a story of a courageous boy who began life as a slave on a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana and escapes via The Underground Railroad.

Through the efforts and good will of kind, brave people determined to free slaves, Oscar faces devastating obstacles and dangers. Struggling with his inner impulse to seek revenge for the injustices and violence levied on his family and friends, he discovers that in bondage you pray to God, but in freedom, you meet Him.

From the award-winning, best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes a story that brings another cadre of memorable characters alive on pages that pulse with hatred and kindness, cruelty and compassion, despair and hope. Oscar’s journey on the Underground Railroad is a heart-pounding ride that the reader will remember long after this story ends.

One of the recent excellent reviews

Fantastic on December 14, 2017

Paulette Mahurin has delivered another fantastic celebration of the human spirit in this latest novel. From the uplifting cover to the perceptive reflections, this is a well written and insightful look at a bygone era. You know a gifted writer when you’re left wanting more and when you’re still thinking about some of what the characters have endured after you finish reading.

What I especially loved is that it showed the very real impact of the subject matter. There’s no real flat resolution, but rather the suggestion that life is life and that it will rumble on out with these pages. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have a sublime conclusion, because it really does. It’s really hard to find fault because the story, the characters and the writing itself is so moving.

If you haven’t read any of Mahurin’s work, you should check it out. This isn’t my first experience of this very gifted lady, and I’m certain it won’t be my last.

Read all of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Saw-Hummingbird-Novel-ebook/dp/B075QMKXQS

Also by Paulette Mahurin

51i68gzmu9l-_uy250_51kctenodfl-_uy250_51q0487ggfl-_uy250_Read all the reviews and BUY the books: https://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin

 

Connect to Paulette:https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

If you are looking for a gift for a poetry lover then I now have a couple of collections for you. The first is from Ritu Bhathal with one of the recent reviews for her collection Poetic Rituals.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads

M.J. J Mallon rated it Four Stars on October 26th 2017

Ritu Bhathal’s collection of poems is accessible, easy readable poetry that warms the heart and keeps you smiling. It would appeal to everyone. It’s not high brow, it’s very down to earth, human and touches upon so many topics that readers will relate to – such as the trials and tribulations of bringing up children, family life, and relationships. It’s very witty, and made me smile in lots of places.

The chapter headings give you an excellent indication of the breadth of poems covered:
Family Rituals, (children, motherhood, being a daughter and sibling, even a few poems about cats!)

Life Rituals – Life, Different cultures, Christmas and positivity – and Ritu’s poem But I Smile Anyway that is the title of her blog.

Rituals of The Heart. Tender first love and sizzling passion too !

Rituals to make you Smile. Lots of witty ones in this section!

Would I recommend it? Indeed I would. I rate it 4 stars, a very lovely collection of poems.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

The next poet, who is also a huge supporter to many of us here in blog world, is  Natalie Ducey and her latest collection of poetry The Heart’s Lullaby

About The Heart’s Lullaby

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

A recent review for The Heart’s Lullaby

Poetry from the Heart on October 30, 2017

This book of heartfelt poetry is gorgeous. Once you get started into reading these poems you can get a deep feel for the author’s emotion she engraves into her beautiful words. Her poetry revolves around life and matters of the heart and in the second part Ducey shares some more intimate passages dedicated to more concrete issues such as PTSD, Dementia, and tributes to her own family members.

If you’re looking for a short time out from chaos and need to rejuvenate with some poetic words of inspiration I recommend reading this book.

Read the other reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Lullaby-candid-portrayal-splendor-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hearts-Lullaby-candid-portrayal-splendor-ebook/dp/B072TMDGRB

Also by Natalie Ducey

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8G

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natalie-Ducey/e/B014XNEG8

Read all the reviews and follow Natalie on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13534715.Natalie_Ducey

Connect to Natalie via her blog: https://natalieducey.com/

Thank you so much for dropping in today and I hope that you enjoyed the selection of books. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay and D.G. Kaye


Time now to celebrate some of the poets in the bookstore and the first is Ritu Bhathal with more praise for her collection Poetic Rituals.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads

M.J. J Mallon rated it Four Stars on October 26th 2017

Ritu Bhathal’s collection of poems is accessible, easy readable poetry that warms the heart and keeps you smiling. It would appeal to everyone. It’s not high brow, it’s very down to earth, human and touches upon so many topics that readers will relate to – such as the trials and tribulations of bringing up children, family life, and relationships. It’s very witty, and made me smile in lots of places.

The chapter headings give you an excellent indication of the breadth of poems covered:
Family Rituals, (children, motherhood, being a daughter and sibling, even a few poems about cats!)

Life Rituals – Life, Different cultures, Christmas and positivity – and Ritu’s poem But I Smile Anyway that is the title of her blog.

Rituals of The Heart. Tender first love and sizzling passion too !

Rituals to make you Smile. Lots of witty ones in this section!

Would I recommend it? Indeed I would. I rate it 4 stars, a very lovely collection of poems.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

The next author with a recent review is Deborah Jay with The Prince’s Man which Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series.

About The Prince’s Man

Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Deborah Jay’s The Prince’s Man (Amazon Digital Services 2014) is a beautifully told epic of noble people, magic, elves, and vicious trolls. Rusty is a bon vivant male companion to wealthy women and undercover spy in the service of his king. To save the kingdom, he partners with a woman–something that just isn’t done in this fantastical world–and together they rescue a captured elf in the hope it will garner the assistance of his kinsmen. As they travel the long journey required to return him to his home, they face trolls, sprites, and elementals, each with their own goals and none of which help the pair succeed. When they finally reach their destination, they find this is only the beginning of a mission fraught with danger, unusual alliances, and death-defying consequences.

This elaborately constructed world of royalty and spies, intrigue and romance, is truly is a mix of fantasy and 007. In so many ways, it resembles the delightful conniving multilayered world of the French and British court life with its flirtatious characters, the one-upmanship of lords and ladies, and the subterfuge that can surface at any moment to threaten the ruler. But when you add an elixir that offers the fountain of youth, the price of victory or defeat skyrockets. This award-winning story, the first in the Five Kingdoms series, is intricately woven, dramatically told, and filled with twists and turns that will keep every reader guessing.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20

Also by Deborah Jay

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY

Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/

The next review is for The Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye with a book that explores the damage that can be done to our self-esteem with unguarded or unkind words when we are young.

About Words We Carry

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

The most recent review for the book

The dysfunctional childhood suffered by author D.G Kaye has left her with great insight into the human condition, which she writes about with much accumulated wisdom in her inspirational non-fiction book ‘Words We Carry’. We read how parents, teachers, and events in our childhood shape the adults that we become. I suffered quite a few similar events in my own childhood that the author did, and found the whole book excellent and eerily uncanny to my own life experiences.

Ms Kaye believes, just as I do, that we should put on a smile, think positive thoughts, and dress to please ourselves and not others. It doesn’t matter if we are not blessed with outward beauty, a happy and friendly demeanour will shine through and attract new friends. Beauty is as beauty does; nobody gets pleasure from being around a miserable complainer, even though they may be the best looking person for miles around.
By the time the reader reaches the last page, they would have the recipe in their hands to give their self-esteem a huge boost. Over the years I have learned to feel comfortable in my own skin, just like the author had to, and to ignore or walk away from people whose only aim in life was to make disparaging comments in order to make me feel bad about myself.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

 

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.https://www.dgkayewriter.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to Amazon and read the reviews and buy the books. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Ritu Bhathal, Colleen Chesebro, Mae Clair


Welcome to the book review post where I share the most recent reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first featured writer today is Ritu Bhathal who has received an excellent review for her debut poetry collection Poetic Rituals.

About Poetic Rituals

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

The most recent review for Poetic Rituals

This is a delightful book of poetry with a lot of variety in the tone and content of the poems. They are all written from a very human perspective and cover the day-to-day life of a Mother of two, wife and employee with a lovely twist of humour. As all of these things myself, I found the verses to be very relatable. The book is divided into four sections which each deal with different aspects of life, namely, Family RITUals, Life rituals, Rituals of the heart and Rituals to make you smile.

Who could not enjoy such words as the following:

“Snuggled close while you feed.
Little blessing, sent from God
My heart is filled with joy”

This took me right back to those first days as a Mother and the closeness of cuddling your new-born and breastfeeding.

“A cough or sniffle, fever, rash
You wish you could
make them well
but other than love, and Calpol
It’s a parent’s
Form of Hell”

As a Mother of a child with a chronic illness, this verse had me nodding my head in agreement and feeling Ritu’s anguish.

I would recommend this book which is a keeper. A book to delve into for a smile when life gets heavy going.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

The next author with a recent review is Colleen Chesebro for her book The Swamp Fairy: The Heartstone Chronicles Volume One.

About the Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations. Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy.

The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors. But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world. Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
The most recent review for the book

A beautifully written story of a foster child with a mystical ancestry. The line of fairy whisperers continues through the ages and ends in Abigale Forester’s hand to protect a parcel of swamp land in Florida. A difficult task to assimilate in a new home with her aunt, a new school and the dawning what her true calling as protector of the swamp land entails.

Colleen M Chesebro makes the connection between humans and mystical creatures weaving them together to ensure nature in its splendor will continue for the benefit and protection of all. This fast-paced novel takes the reader through the trials a tributes of Abigale, a 14 year old girl with the powers to understand and communicate with the animal world. She has a strong will and has to make difficult decisions. Her character and her friends are believable and likable. This is one of the best books I read in this age group and I look forward to the next installment in this series.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT

Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/

The final author today is  member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair with her latest release published in July, A Desolate Hour, Book Three of the Point Pleasant Series.

About A Desolate Hour

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing the chief—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

The most recent review

Well – I hated to see this series wrap up – but what a satisfying ending. I’m a devoted fan of all things supernatural, which is what initially drew me to these books, but even if the supernatural elements were nonexistent, I’d continue to return for the characters. They’re believable, compelling, charming, loathsome, mysterious – for the most part, people you’d meet on the street (maybe not the aliens – but you never know) and enjoy having as friends.

If you thought there were no shocking secrets left to be revealed, guess again. Just another thing I enjoyed about this series – layers upon layers of intrigue coaxing me into reading just a little longer before turning out the light.

Combining elements of mystery, suspense, folklore, the supernatural, and a bit of romance, this eerie, atmospheric series would appeal to readers across the board. Highly recommend!

Read all the review so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Desolate-Hour-Point-Pleasant-ebook/dp/B01MDPY2A5

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0

Read more reviews and follow Mae on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

Connect to Mae via her website: https://maeclair.net/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of great books.. Thanks Sally

 

New Series – Sally’s Cafe & Bookstore Christmas Update – New books and Reviews


sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-updateWelcome to Sally’s Cafe & Bookstore Christmas Update. Recently I asked  the 120 authors in the bookstore to check their entries to make sure that I have their latest books on the shelves.. If you did not check perhaps you could do so and then let me know sally.cronin@moyhill.com

During the next six weeks to Christmas I will be posting an update two or three times a week featuring as many of the authors on the shelves as I can.. I will be checking each author on Amazon for latest books or reviews of their most recent published book but it would be helpful if you could give me a heads up in advance.  Just email me with your Amazon Link and I will do the rest.

To be in the bookstore you will need to have been promoted during the year at some point.

On with the update….

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A new release from Richard M. Ankers. Book 2 in  The Eternals Series – Hunter Hunted.

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About the book.

As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, he and Princess Linka are drawn into a world of darkness. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of supposed myth – transport their guests deep beneath the Arctic ice to the legendary city of Hvit.Their mother, Queen Serena, offers the pair sanctuary, but all is not right.

Betrayed by the royal family and almost drowned in an orca hunt, Jean is forced to leave Linka behind. His mood is darker than ever and the world will feel his fury. Renewing old acquaintances, both good and bad, Jean must solve the mystery of who manipulates him and the deepening saga of his parents’ deaths. Now, Jean fights for more than just himself; he fights for love.

Once again, aided and abetted by the increasingly manic Merryweather, and the mysterious beauty that is Princess Aurora, Jean seeks retribution. Both hunter and hunted, trapped between wolves of land and sea, all directions point north. Jean must return to Hvit, the cloying, lavender stench of death, and the never-ending quest for blood.

Also by Richard M. Ankers.

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Buy the books and connect to Richard

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690
Websitehttps://richardankers.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

Great reviews for Linda Bethea’s first book Everything Smells Like Poke Salad

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About the book.

51qb8fm4dql-_ac_us240_ql65_1Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family. She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way.

Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal. Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again.

The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the latest rave reviews.

Definitely 5-stars   By Dr. M on July 31, 2016

Very nicely woven tales of one family through the eyes of one girl born in depression era and still alive. She not only shares the stories but also helped illustrate the book. The author paints a very vivid yet poignant picture of what went on in lives of ordinary Americans during depression, such that it seems that you actually seeing the scenes happen rather than just reading.

Even the epilogue is a memorable one in its own way. Kathleen, now in her eighties says this about not remarrying after death of her husband decades ago, “There’s nothing wrong with men. I just don’t want to marry another one. They keep breathing in and out!”

Those who whine all the time about money issues for no good reason should read the book to see how America survived the depression and came out stronger because of great Americans like the heroine in this book.

Buy the book and connect to Linda.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

An update on reviews for Ritu Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals published earlier in the year.

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About the book

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Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the latest reviews.

A woman’s life in poems  By Diana on September 14, 2016

Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals is a collection of poems that explores life’s rituals, those of a mother, wife, lover, and teacher. There are real gems in here with lovely imagery, humor, passion, and ambivalence. My favorite poems were the lighthearted rhymes about being a mother of young children. A great read to visit and browse throughout the day.

Buy the book and connect to Ritu.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ritu-Bhathal/e/B01H5F3KE0

Blog: https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

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Latest release from Linda Bradley Maggie’s Montana the third in The Montana Bound Series

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About the book

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Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

The latest review from Goodreads – Kayla rated it it was amazing

This book gave me the feels for the love between John and Maggie. I felt like I was in Montana right along with the characters. You can feel the strain Maggie is facing in deciding what her future holds and you hope that she picks what is best for her in the end. Great book to read to relax!

Also by Linda Bradley

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Buy the books and connect to Linda Bradley.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS
Websitehttp://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

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A review update for Untangled by Alexis Rose.

fullsizerenderAbout the book.

516anwju-ml-_uy250_2A story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph.
Recalling her life, the author takes us on a journey of unimaginable abuse with continued explicit threats that eventually led to her being sent overseas on an impossible mission. She repressed the memories of her past until a family tragedy forced her to face what her life had been. A history of abuse, torture, and threats to maintain her silence or be killed could no longer be denied.

This is the story of facing the truth and risking the consequences of breaking the silence. The author learns to accept the effects of the trauma that echo through her daily life as PTSD.
Through years of self-exploration, she learns to live her life fearlessly, with eyes wide open. Ultimately this book is about resilience; hope for victims who have suffered trauma and for the people who support them.

One of the reviews for the book.

Couldn’t Put Down   By Francie Nolan on March 21, 2016

I discovered this book on the writer’s blog. Although I don’t normally read accounts of trauma because they tend to trigger me, I downloaded a sample and found the narrative so compelling, I bought the book.This is an amazing story. I cannot conceive of how the author survived all she went through. An incredibly strong and resilient spirit! The memoir is well-written and the story flows easily. It was a couldn’t-put-down book. When her husband tells the mother she has to leave the house at one point, I cheered. And cheered for the author all the way.

I connected with the author especially when she mentioned the physical pain that manifested at the same time as the unblocking of her emotions and memories. Highly recommended.

Buy the book and connect to Alexis

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Blog. https://atribeuntangled.com/

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I hope that you have enjoyed this first of the Cafe & Bookstore updates and that it will give you some inspiration for the gift of books for family and friends this Christmas and also your own TBR.

Your feedback would be very welcome and also if you could share on your own social media it would be amazing. Sally