Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Fantasy Yvette Calliero, #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #western #romance Sandra Cox


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

The first review is for Yvette Calliero for her short story The One Chosen: A Diasodz Short Story (Chronicles of the Diasodz)

About the book

Valerie is eager to learn the skills needed to become a Diasodz warrior, but when she meets her new trainer, all she can think about is him.

Nolan is a master trainer who has taught thousands of fledglings throughout his life. He has never had a relationship with a student nor does he plan to.

When Nolan and Valerie are thrust together on a routine mission, nothing goes as planned. If they want to survive, they will need to trust each other. But how do you trust someone who has rejected you? Nolan and Valerie must find a way or lose each other forever.

Note: This short story is related to the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It takes place in the early 1600s and sets the stage for a major conflict in the series. It can be read alone, but if you enjoy it, I encourage you to read the series.

A recent review for the book

John 5.0 out of 5 stars Special warriors  Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2021

A wonderful short story within the world of Diasodz. Valarie is transported to a special school where all the children that reached their death date go to become Warriors. All have special gifts that determine their place in this new order. Valerie has already practiced her Warrior specialty which calls forth a bow and arrows which materialize in her hands on a whim. Her friend, Hannah, can determine changes in the body and helps her when she develops a crush for the lead instructor, Nolan.

Upon graduation, as Valarie is no longer a student, Nolan feels comfortable in reciprocating those special feelings exhibited by Valarie. However, A third person, Drake, who heads the training programs, also has his eye on Valarie and wants her for himself.

In the Warriors’ first task, Valarie is paired with Nolan on a special mission. Will their feelings for one another cause them to lose their focus and get killed in the battle? The pair are soon ambushed by the enemy and fight valiantly – Valarie is seriously injured. Can Nolan save her?

At 65-pages, this story reads like a full-length novel. THE ONE CHOSEN is the prequel to the Diasodz series. I have already read the first book in the series and look forward to getting back into the series. Highly recommended!

Also in the Chronicles of the Diasodz series and by Yvette M. Calleiro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews: GoodreadsAuthor Blog: Yvette M. Calleiro Blogspot – Twitter: @YvetteMCalleiro – Facebook: Yvette M. Calleiro 

The next book today with a recent review is Myth and Magic by Mae Clair

About the book

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2021

Caithelden Breckwood is a tortured soul, carrying the weight of guilt for the death of his best friend. But they were only kids and all because of his family wealth and family name. Now he’s an adult with a set of steel bars around his heart and a new last name leaving behind all association to the Breckwood family. The only one he lets in is his young son, Derrick. He’s fiercely protective, determined that what happened to him will not ever happen to his son. However, when he is hired as a Private Investigator to get to the bottom of who and what is sabotaging Stone Willow Lodge, he comes face-to-face with his past including the one woman he has always loved.

Veronica is not prepared to face Caith again. The wound he left on her heart is permanent. As the events that occur at the lodge escalate into an all-out attack, Caith and Veronica are swept into a nail-biting journey that also finds them still deeply attracted to each other and often winding up in each other’s beds. The child, Derrick, plays a big part in helping each of the adults in this story heal and forgive. I loved all of the characters, but especially Caithelden’s mother, Morgana, who is fascinated by myth and magic. The family drama that unfolds is believable as personalities clash and old issues arise. I rooted for Caith and Veronica all the way. That kind of love cannot be denied. The book came to a more than satisfactory conclusion. If you love a good mystery mixed with a steamy romance, you will love this book. I highly recommend it!  

A selection of books by Mae Clair

Mae Clair, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads
Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

The final author today is Sandra Cox for the western romance, Tumblestar

About the book

Coop Malloy receives a telegram that his sister and brother-in-law have died and his ten-year-old niece is on her way to Texas to live with him.

Still reeling from the loss of his sister, he receives another shock when his childhood friend Randa Lockhart steps off the stage with his niece Kallie. He’s stunned to see that the little pigtailed nuisance that tagged after him, and his best friend, years ago has turned into a beautiful young woman.

Randa and Kallie have barely settled in when Coop finds buffalo hunter Marvin Doolin beating the local blacksmith within an inch of his life for laming his horse. Coop steps in and when the buffalo hunter tries to kill him, shoots him. Now Doolin’s four brothers are out to even the score.

When they go after Randa, they cross the line. They’re about to find out that there’s nothing Coop won’t do, and no one he won’t track down to protect the two females that have burrowed hard and fast into his heart.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Western Romance  Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2021

Independent characters, wild horses, gunfights with buffalo hunters who smell like death, and love. What more can readers of western romance ask for?

When Cooper Malloy meets the stage coach to retrieve his young orphaned niece, Kallie, he discovers that she’s accompanied by his old childhood friend Miranda Lockhart, only Miranda’s no longer a child. Miranda and Kallie take up residence at Coop’s Tumblestar ranch and it’s not long before an attraction blooms. But who has time for romance when a ranch needs running? Wild horses need breaking, and the buffalo-hunting Doolin brothers are out for blood.

This story has lots of strengths from diverse and rich characters with three-dimensional lives to glimpses of life on the frontier to high-paced action with a variety of villains. Cooper is a great blend of grit and fair-mindedness, Miranda is courageous, and secondary characters are as strong as the main. Scenes involving the round-ups of wild horses and the rescue of an injured stallion were some of my favorites. Read and enjoy, but do not try this at home! Except for the romance, of course.

An excellent fast-pace read for fans of western romance. Highly recommended.

A small selection of Sandra’s books

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

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #Truecrime Sue Coletta, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton


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

The first book today with a recent review is Myth and Magic by Mae Clair

About the book

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

A recent review for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Mystery  Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2021

A wonderful romance/cozy mystery mash-up by one of my go-to authors. Veronica is the manager of the Stone Willow Lodge, owned by the wealthy Breckwood family. Ghost-sightings and other more gruesome events are disturbing the guests and making hay for the local newspaper whose goal seems to be driving the inn out of business. To find out what’s going on, the Breckwoods hire a private investigator who happens to be the black sheep of the family.

Caith unwillingly returns to his childhood town, pressured by his young son who wants to see his cousins and grandfather. Caith brings along a ton of psychological baggage based on old trauma that he’s unable to deal with. He and Veronica have their own issues to clear, but the attraction is as strong as ever (when she isn’t furious with him).

The romance part of the story is stormy and satisfying. The mystery part is much more… well, mysterious. The tension amps up as gruesome events at the lodge escalate and Caith runs into family resistance. The author slowly reveals Caith’s past, and I couldn’t help but worry that the tragedy of his history would repeat itself. There are red herrings and lots of potential suspects.

The plot is well done, with appropriate foreshadowing, and I didn’t know who the culprits were until the reveal. I have to say though that Caith and his three brothers stole the show. The relationships were complicated, but there were moments of pure joy too. A highly recommended standalone read for fans of deftly entwined romances and cozy mysteries.

A selection of books by Mae Clair

Mae Clair, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads
Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

The second author with a recent review is for bestselling crime author Sue Coletta and Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs

About the book

For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.

Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 11, 2021 Colin Garrow rated it five stars

Exploring murder in nineteenth century New England, crime writer Sue Coletta tells the stories of five female serial killers – Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason and Sarah Jane Robinson. Delving into their individual backgrounds, she looks at the events that drove these women to a point where they chose to commit murder. Between the five, they killed more than one hundred people, many of which were members of their own families.

Though I’m familiar with many of the famous serial killers of the 1800s in my own country (UK), I’m less aware of America’s Victorian murderers, so hadn’t heard of any of these women or the details of their crimes. Carrying out meticulous research, the author recounts how each one went about their nefarious deeds and the ensuing consequences. What I found most interesting was that the preferred method of all five was to use poison – that old stalwart of Victorian killers – arsenic. It’s also interesting that many of the women murdered their own children and husbands – in some cases several husbands!

Using witness testimonies and court records, Sue Coletta tells a captivating tale of lies, deceit and an appalling number of murders. She also reveals how some of the attending physicians involved managed to make colossal mistakes in their diagnoses (in terms of cause of death). If these serial killers hadn’t knocked off so many people, perhaps they might never have been caught.

A fascinating account of Victorian murders in New England. 

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

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter: @SueColetta1

The final author today is Claire Fullerton with a review for her novel Little Tea.

About the book.

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 06, 2021 Marta Ratliff rated it five stars it was amazing

Very well written

I loved the way Little Tea took 3 friends from teen years to their 50’s. No one knows the sruggles of life like your lifetime buddies! It seems not much was different in the 80s with interracial relationships than when I was growing up in the 60’s. Claire Fullerton has a way with words and there were times she brought me to tears! Now I better wait to start another book to savor this one for a few days. 

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Blog: Claire Fullerton WordPress – Twitter: @Cfullerton3 

 

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