Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Linda G. Hill, Helen Jones, J.A. Owenby and Robbie and Michael Cheadle.


Welcome to Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore update and another full house today beginning with Linda G. Hill with the most recent review for her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

Until the end of October all proceeds from books sold by Linda G. Hill will be donated to the fund for hurrican relief for the Islands.


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 most recent reviews for the book

A demon incubus passed from generation to generation and handed down from father to son is the creative genius of Canadian author, Linda G. Hill. In, The Magician’s Curse, those infected with the scourge have one sole purpose in life – to seduce women and create offspring. Stephen Dagmar inherits this bane of his existence which ties his family to their servants, the Currys’ involving some creepy relationships in the true gothic sense of the genre.

Yet, as the author states, “Things don’t always go as planned.” Enter, Herman Anderson, an almost eighteen-year-old ready to break free from the restraints of a broken family. Her mother is dysfunctional with some kind of strange malady, and her father is gone most of the time. Yet, determined to strike out on her own, Herman leaves behind her eleven-year-old brother to fend for himself with the promise that she will send for him when she is situated at the job she accepted at a far from home horse farm.

While on the train heading to the new job, Herman engages in a conversation with the captivating magician, Stephen Dagmar. There is an immediate attraction between the two, and the story takes off, sweeping the reader off your feet in much the same fashion. Before you know it, Herman is under Stephen’s spell and agrees to become his magician’s assistant.

I found this reaction hard to believe at first until I realized there was more at play here. Much in the same way that Dracula held power over the ladies, Stephen Dagmar commands the physical attraction of men and women alike. Herman is no exception, and for one so young and inexperienced in the ways of men, she falls for Stephen immediately. Stephen senses something special in Herman and is clearly smitten himself.

Immediately, Herman enters the fairy tale world of Dagmaru, the magician, where money is no object. Stephen spends lavishly on the teen, and as they get to know one another, their physical attraction grows. Finally, in desperation, Stephen explains that until Herman is eighteen, they will not consummate their relationship. There is a dark thread of sexual tension that runs through the book from beginning to end that at times gave me the shivers.

Deep down I suspected that I knew where the story was headed, but for the life of me I couldn’t predict the twists and turns the novel produced. The writing was crisp and clear as it propelled me on toward the explosive ending. In fact, the suspense kept me turning pages long into the night. Even so, by the end of book one, I was haunted by more questions than answers. I look forward to the second book in the series with the hope that these issues will be solved.

The Magician’s Curse is a deliciously eerie tale unlike any I’ve read so far. Be prepared to be seduced by the supernatural potential of the series. I loved it and can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

Read other reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Connect to Linda via her website: https://lindaghill.com

The next author with an update is Helen Jones with a recent review for her book A Thousand Rooms.

About A Thousand Rooms

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Laurie rated it Four Stars on September 5th 2017

Wow! Haven’t we all wondered what happens when our time on earth end?
Helen Jones took the plunge thru a character named Katie who dies suddenly and quite by accident. Obviously, Nobody was expecting her,which causes some problems for Katie as she attempts to find Heaven.

Heaven isn’t about one big cloud we all sit on, but finding peace and complete happiness and forgiveness in those we have left behind. Katie- after visiting so many rooms in Heaven that she does not belong in, finds her room and her complete love.

“Maybe I would have been able to show you a little, but you had to find it in yourself. You’re the only person who can help you, in the end.”  “I was blessed.”

An interesting read that would be an excellent book club discussion. I truly enjoyed it.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones/dp/1539010724

Read many more reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32721282-a-thousand-rooms

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

The next author with an update is J. A. Owenby with a recent release, the novella My Hurricane.

About the novella

Do you ever think you know things, but realize that you don’t know jack?

That was me. I thought I had the world in the palm of my hands.

Senior year was a breeze, complete with raging parties, a hot girlfriend, and a future all laid out for me. Life was perfect. Christ, was I wrong.

And when everything started crumbling down, there was not one damn thing I could do to make it stop. Life started spiraling out of control, one letdown and setback after the next. And now, suddenly, I’m trapped in a hurricane of hell that I can’t escape.

I’m Walker Farren, And this is only the beginning.

One of the recent reviews for the novella

Great read on September 5, 2017

Owenby does it again. This novella is told from Walker’s perspective. Having read the Truth trilogy, this short story took me back to the beginning of Walker’s teen years and brought the trilogy to a full circle. I was immediately drawn in on the very first page and couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want it to end.

If you haven’t read the Truth series, I highly recommend that you do. J.A. Owenby has a way of pulling you in and making you want more.

Read all the reviews and buy the novella: https://www.amazon.com/My-Hurricane-Truth-Book-0-ebook/dp/B0752XDK53

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Hurricane-Truth-Book-0-ebook/dp/B0752XDK53

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35706396-my-hurricane

Also by J. A. Owenby

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/J.A.-Owenby/e/B00J77KCFK

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/J.A.-Owenby/e/B00J77KCFK/

Read other reviews and follow J.A. Owenby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751226.J_A_Owenby

Connect to J.A. Owenby via her website: http://www.jaowenby.com/

And finally today great news for fans of Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s, story and cookbooks with the latest release of Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook.

About the book

The Condensed Milk River that flows through Chocolateville has narrowed to a slither. All the fish and other water creatures have lost their homes and the people of Chocolateville are at a loss as to what to do. Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on this new adventure to find out what is causing the problem. Learn to make some of their 5 fun recipes along the way, including mini quiches and marshmallow flowers. (A5 version)

An early review for the book

on 11 October 2017

I just love these rhyming stories about Sir Chocolate and his adventures. I could almost taste the “enormous milky jewel” condensed milk river! The recipes look delicious and so easy too.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Condensed-River-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070916

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Condensed-River-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070916

Also by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie and Michael on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and explore the books of these talented authors. thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – John Maberry, Colin Chappell, Robbie and Michael Cheadle


First author today with an update is John Maberry who is offering his latest short story collection The Fountain FREE from today until Sunday 27th August. Here is a reminder of what you can enjoy.

The Fountain and six more fantasy & Scifi stories.

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman. A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.” A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.” A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.” What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson. A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.” Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

One of the most recent reviews for the collection

I wonder if The Fountain’s stories should be labeled speculative or science fiction, as they remind me more of Twilight Zone and less of Philip K. Dick. Maybe that’s the best definition of them; the common ground between these works. Whichever it is, I enjoyed them and their twists. Maberry writes in a clear way that immerses the reader into the story. He has a gift for creating easily identifiable characters who feel familiar after just a few lines. All in all, a fine collection for those who enjoy their short stories with a twist.

Read the other reviews and download the book: http://smarturl.it/6mp9z7

Also by John Maberry

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Follow John Maberry on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1210538.John_Maberry

Connect to John via his website: http://waitforwest.eaglepeakpress.com/

It is National Dog Day tomorrow in the United States so delighted to share a recent review for Who Said I Was Up For Adoption by Colin Chappell. A wonderfully personal and inspiring story of a man meeting a dog that stole his heart.

About the book

Is there any expression of FRIENDSHIP as endearing as a dog voluntarily touching its nose to yours?

When Colin Chappell contemplated the idea of adopting a dog, he did so warily, for he had seldom spent time with dogs and one of his primary canine experiences came when he was bitten by a German Shepherd at age fourteen. He certainly was unprepared for the complexities of caring for the seventy-five pounds of rescued, furry attitude he encountered in Ray. But perhaps what he was even more unprepared for were the emotions he would feel once Ray invited him to be his friend.

Who Said I Was Up For Adoption? tells the evolving story of this adoption (though it remains unclear just who did the adopting). Funny, heartwarming, and emotional, Colin and Ray’s story is really two stories, for part of learning to let an adopted dog into one’s life is learning to see from a perspective other than your own. True to that knowledge the book is narrated from parallel, alternating viewpoints—Colin’s and … Ray’s!

All net profits from sales of Who Said I Was Up For Adoption? will be donated to the Oakville and Milton Humane Society, a remarkable organization that rescues and rehabilitates dogs (and many other creatures) and matches them with suitable, loving humans.

The most recent review for the book

What a wonderful story about a man and a dog ‘finding’ each other and, yes, rescuing each other in different ways. Being a dog lover myself, I immediately melted into this book of a man who was once afraid of dogs, yet agreed to rescue a dog who’d been neglected and probably mistreated before taken to an adoption center. This story of how a man and dog learn to read each other’s signals, to understand each other, and then love each other, is heart-warming and sincere.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FIT5PAM

Connect to Colin via his blog: https://meandray.com

And finally today the most recent review for Robbie and Michael Cheadle, the mother and son creators of Sir Chocolate and his adventures. Here is Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook.

About the book

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

The most recent review for the book:

This is a children’s story and activity book about food.

It contains two rhyming poems. The first and longest is mainly for the children. It is about Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have the magic sugar dust that can save the wilting flowers. The second is mainly for the parents reminding them that the moments spent with their children are wonderful and go by quickly.

These poems are illustrated with photographs of fondant artfully shaped like the characters in the poems.

The book ends with five recipes children can make with help from their parents: cheese bread, butter biscuits, jammy scones, rainbow cupcakes and banana bread.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B06XXR7JGY/

 Also by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

That is it for today and thank you for dropping in.. I hope you enjoy the reviews and will head over and buy the books. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Short Story Festival and weekly round up – and The Mummy!


Welcome to a slightly shorter round-up this week as I get back into the swing of things after my weekend in London.  You can read all about the day at the 3rd Annual #BloggersBash in my post earlier today: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/thebloggersbash-2017-time-to-turn-virtual-hugs-into-real-ones/ and I hope that next year more of you will be able to join the party.

David came with me for the weekend and we flew by City Jet into London City Airport and if you are travelling to spend the weekend in London then I can recommend this as an airport. Small and easy to navigate and there is a Docklands Light Railway station that links to Bank station and Central line into the heart of the City.

We opted to stay at the Travelodge which to be honest is cheap and cheerful. But we reckoned we were only going to sleep there and at the weekend the airport is on restricted hours meaning you can get some sleep! They were very friendly and the rooms are fine and economical. We spent what we would have on accommodation at central London rates on eating out during our stay… and perhaps the odd G&T!.

Friday night was very nostalgic. We both worked in the Docklands from 1987 to 1996 and when we first started Canary Wharf was still a hole in the ground. The amount of construction in the last twenty years is astonishing and we barely recognised the place. The year that I left to move to another part of the company, a floating Chinese Restaurant opened in the wharf where our office was based. The Lotus is like a paddle steamer and so 22 years after my leaving lunch.. we enjoyed a feast for two… including our favourites Crispy Duck and some Sake…

On Saturday we split up and David headed off to see his brother and family and I headed off to the hugfest in Central London.We had booked to eat at Zedel’s Brasserie in Piccadilly Circus after the #BloggersBash but David sent me a text to get a cab to The Cafe Royale where we downed a couple of G&Ts before heading off to eat.

The weather was sweltering all weekend but we had pre-booked tickets to see The Mummy and after a lengthy walk around Marble Arch and Oxford Street we retired to the air conditioned Odeon.

To be honest I would only give The Mummy 6 out of 10. The movie had some great stunts and special effects but they were linked with a very suspect script. It was not Tom Cruise’s finest work and Russell Crowe spent most of his time mumbling into his beard with a dodgy English accent. The Mummy herself however did a pretty good acting job!  If you like action with little plot then it is worth going to see.

We were not up with the lark but with the first plane taking off at 7.00 on Monday morning. We had breakfast in the airport and a pleasant hour long flight back to Dublin where thankfully we remembered which row we had left the car in at the long term carpark! It was a great weekend with plenty of highlights and I do have one tip for you if you are going to London for sightseeing and are going to use public transport of any kind. Buy an Oyster Card online before you go (can take a while to get to you) or buy at a station. This will save you at least half on your fares and you can use on the Docklands Light Railway, Underground and buses. https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

I will be updating the directories with all of last week’s posts but I wanted to mention the wonderful writers who took care of Smorgasbord while I was off gallivanting. The Short Story Competition was a huge success and I must also thank Paul Andruss for providing his usual fantastic post on Friday morning.

For those of you who missed the finale of The Stevie Wonder story with William Price King here is the link.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/william-price-king-meets-some-legends-stevie-wonder-highlights-from-the-last-20-years/

You will find links to all the contributors blogs and social media in their individual stories and if you missed.. here they are.

Thanks to Paul Andruss, Sheila Williams, John Howell, Phillip T. Stephens, Mary Smith, Wendy Janes and Robbie and Michael Cheadle. 

You will also find three of my stories from my previous collection and hope you enjoy.

Thomas the RhymerFrankenstein

Paul Andruss with the background to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/writer-in-residence-frankenstein-by-paul-andruss/

Boy with a Harmonica

Sheila Williams with a story set in France during World War II with a supernatural twist.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-festival-9th-12th-june-boy-with-a-harmonica-france-1943-by-sheila-williams/

Albert

Sally Cronin –  Meet a man who was the perfect candidate for the job set in the near future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-june-12th-june-albert-the-perfect-candidate-by-sally-cronin/

Saturday 10th June.

The Matmakers

Geoff Cronin – As a boy Geoff befriends the travellers who come to the beach near his home every summer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/the-black-bitch-and-other-tales-the-matmakers-by-geoff-cronin/

The World Darkly

John Howell with a story that makes you rethink your approach to finding lost property!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-the-world-darkly-by-john-w-howell/

The Last Emperor

Sally Cronin with a story of redemption and loyalty in the Magic Garden.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-tales-from-the-garden-the-last-emperor-by-sally-cronin/

Sunday 11th June

Flinches

Geoff Cronin explains the old country ways of bird catching.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/the-black-bitch-and-other-tales-serialisation-flinches-by-geoff-cronin/

Search and Seizure

Phillip T. Stephens with a futuristic look at border and customs control.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-search-and-seizure-by-phillip-t-stephens/

From Hackney to Hollywood

Wendy Janes takes us on the trail to stardom from Shakespeare in Hackney to the chat show sofa in Hollywood.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-from-hackney-to-hollywood-by-wendy-janes/

Monday 12th June

The health benefits of laughter and an invitation to join the academy with your favourite jokes, videos or images.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/smorgasbord-health-2017-laughter-the-best-medicine-the-health-benefits-and-the-laughter-academy/

Sir Chocolate and the Stolen Moon and Stars

Robbie and Michael Cheadle bring us another adventure story starring Sir Chocolate in verse and also Michael’s original concept for the tale.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-sir-chocolate-and-the-stolen-moon-and-stars-by-robbie-and-michael-cheadle/

Trouble with Socks

Mary Smith with a story of how simple things can become very important to us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-trouble-with-socks-by-mary-smith/

Elaine

Sally Cronin with the story of a woman planning to surprise her husband on his birthday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/smorgasbord-short-story-festival-9th-12th-june-elaine-by-sally-cronin/

 

My thanks for all your support during the week and over the weekend. Sally