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


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

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

About the book

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

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

One of the reviews for the book

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

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

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

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

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

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

Also as J.E. Spina

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Find more reviews and follow Janice: Goodreads

Connect to Janice on her blog: Jem’s Books

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

About the book

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

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

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

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Teagan : Goodreads

Connect to Teagan via her blog: Teagan’s Books

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

About the collection

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the poetry

Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020

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

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

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

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Sue Vincent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue: Goodreads

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

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Supernatural Marcia Meara, #Romance Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #post-apocalyptic Sandra J. Jackson


Welcome to the first of the author updates of the week with recent reviews for authors in the Cafe.

The first author today with a new review is Marcia Meara for A Boy Named Rabbit: Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series.

About the book

In Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, returns to the rugged beauty of the North Carolina mountains, introducing a little boy whose remarkable gift will change the world for everyone he meets.

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Feb 15, 2020 Deborah rated it Five Stars

Sarah and Mac survived a terrifying encounter with a vengeful ghost in book #1 of this series, ending up happy and settled together, but nothing could have prepared them for the way their world is turned topsy-turvy in book #2 by the arrival of an elusive figure on their land. Quite what – or who – is the wild, half-starved boy Sarah sees near the grave of Mac’s son?

Meara has created a truly unique character in Rabbit – a child raised in complete isolation from the modern world. The only people he has ever known are his grandparents, and when he is suddenly left alone, he undertakes a perilous journey to locate the man his gran – who has ‘the Sight’ – instructs Rabbit to find with her dying breath. The man who looks exactly like Mac.

Rabbit’s reactions to everything, from the magic of electricity, to living under a roof, to the sound of music, are wondrous, and ring so true for how a complete innocent might genuinely regard such miracles. And Rabbit’s charming dialogue is such fun to read!

Add Meara’s signature supernatural twist, when it transpires that Rabbit’s gran has passed her gift onto him, and you have a tale that is heart-warming, shocking, scary, and truly satisfying, all rolled into one. Once more, I stayed up far later than I should to keep reading another chapter, and another, and then did the same as I did on finishing book #1, going straight on to the next one without pause. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on: Goodreads

Connect to Marcia via her blog: Marcia Meara Writes

The next author is Teagan Riordain Geneviene for her recent release the romantic novelette Fiona Finch & the Pink Valentine

About the book

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A light and fun-filled read which is clever and entertaining Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2020

This delightfully whimsical Valentine novella is filled with the author’s trademark creativity, humour and sharp insight into human characters and relationships. Fiona is a fun-loving girl with a passion for pink. She lives with her genius stepbrother, Steele, who is the protegee of the famous inventor, Professor Quirinius. The Professor has been absent from their lives for some time at the start of the story, as he has been pursuing his own inventions and initiatives. When he left them, however, he gave Steele a gift of a cheeky and troublesome duck, which Fiona has nicknamed, Quellie. Quellie is also clever and likes to help out around the house with certain tasks including delivering the mail.

After a disastrous episode where Fiona’s efforts to create a lovely pink dye result in Quellie dying herself pink and reacting to the change with great annoyance, Steele tries to reinstate peace by sharing with Fiona a wonderful gift from the Professor. The gift is a selection of delicious chocolates encased in a beautiful pink wooden box. The box is for Fiona who loves pink. Quellie’s annoyance with Fiona bubbles over and she charges her, causing the lovely pink box to fall to the floor and break. A quick inspection proves that it is not broken. The box actually has a secret drawer which has sprung open due to the fall. Inside is a pink Valentine’s letter to a well-to-do and wealthy woman who as recently been widowed.

Fiona takes it upon herself to send the 30-year old Valentine’s letter to its intended recipient with rather hilarious and entertaining consequences.

If you are looking for a light and fun-filled read which is clever and entertaining, this novella is the book for you.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Teagan : Goodreads

Connect to Teagan via her blog: Teagan’s Books

And the last review today is for the post-apocalyptic adventure from Sandra J. JacksonThe Escape Series Book 2 – Catching Butterflies: Search for Home

About the book

April and Beth have escaped, and their captor is dead. Freedom is in their grasp – if only they knew where they were.

With some memories returning, April and Beth struggle to find answers to their questions. What they know is that they’ve been vaccinated against a strange virus. But what happened to their family, and to the rest of the world?

As they head out, they stumble onto the compound where their nightmare began, but the empty building only brings more mystery into their lives. Soon, they encounter others wandering on the numerous trails throughout the woods. For April, finding her family is priority one; for Beth, it’s sticking to the trails.

How can April ever convince her to leave the forest… and why are they being hunted?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jennifer Coffey 5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite dystopian YA series!  Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020

The Escape Series follows two sisters, April and Beth, as they try to piece together what has happened the world in the last five years.

The plot of the last two books has kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot is fast, but still leaves time to digest what is happening around them. Jackson does a great job of slowly giving the reader the information they need to help the sisters piece together the mystery of the Butterfly Virus.

The world-building is perfect and nothing to convenient. Jackson wrote the story, so the girls wouldn’t suddenly remember what happened to them. The girls needed to experience and encounter to trigger a memory, and I thought that was brilliant. (Also, the world they live in is absolutely terrifying!)

The organization is straightforward, and I was never confused.

In the first book, I didn’t like the girls as much as I wanted too. I found them both to be too immature, but on in this book. As the sisters regain their memory, they become more relatable and lovable.

My favorite part was the big plot twist at the end. I had been waiting for that moment for so long, and I was so happy when it happened.

My least favorite part was around the middle of the novel. The girls stumbled across the location where they were held captive for five years. During their search through the rubble, I found that scene to be slightly slower from the rest of the novel.

I give Catching Butterflies 5 out of 5 stars. I loved almost everything about this novel. Specifically, the characters stood out to me the most because they drove the story in a positive direction, and they developed significantly over time.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA dystopian novels. I liked this better than The Darkest Minds trilogy by Marie Lu!

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Sandra on: Goodreads

Connect to Sandra via her blog: Sandra Jackson WordPress

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