Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #reviews – D.G. Kaye, Toni Pike, Sarah Brentyn and Stevie Turner + 19 Writers.


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week.. More talented writers with recent reviews.

The first author today is non-fiction author D.G. Kaye with a recent review for her memoir P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy. Debby is here in both capacities today as an author and a reviewer

About the book

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You on Goodreads

Jul 05, 2019 James rated it it was amazing

My month of memoirs continues with an autobiography by D. G. Kaye — ‘P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy.’ Although not quite a series, this is the second book by the author as she explores the impact of a narcissistic mother on her daily life. I read this before bed last night, and all I can say is that some people are dealt a very unfair hand in life. That said, it’s amazing to see how wonderful Kaye is handling all that she went through in the last ~50 years. What a great (but painful) read!

Imagine growing up with a mother who seems to intentionally cause pain for her children. The oldest of four, Kaye spent years letting the woman treat her horribly. In this introspective and emotional autobiography, we learn how and why she tolerated it. The memoir kicks off by letting readers know that the author’s mother has passed away, and this is the story of how she handled the decision whether to be there when the woman crossed over. Sick for many years, touch and go at times, it seems like every possible painful opportunity was taken to cause trouble for this family. It was heartbreaking not just because of what they went through but because you really want this to turn out to be a positive story.

In some ways, it does turn out that way… in death, you are often released from the troubles of the past. Not quickly. Not immediately. Not entirely. Kaye suffers to this day because of the trauma she went through. Emotional pain can be far worse and impacting that physical pain. Seeing how the author connects with her siblings and her aunt helps provide a sense of love and hope for her future. Kaye has a phenomenal way of sharing her past with readers… we feel as if we are there, but one thing is for sure — we were not. That… is fantastic writing.

There is a cathartic honesty in her writing style as well as how she processes the events of her life. On the outskirts, it might seem simple: (A) She’s your mother, you should stay and respect her, or (B) She’s been evil and nasty, you need to run away and forget her. Nope… Kaye fully provides the wide spectrum of all the scenarios that ran through her head, some positive and some not-so-positive. How do you make such a decision? Only a strong person can thoroughly see through the minutia to determine what’s best for both the victim and the victimizer (I might’ve made that word up).

If I could reach through a book to hug someone, this would be the prime one for it to happen. I’ve felt these emotions tons of times before when an author creates a character who suffers… but when a real-life woman shares the truth and the pain she’s gone through, it’s a whole different ball game. If you have a high threshold for reading about someone’s emotional suffering, I suggest you take this book on… it might give you the perspective you need to help others.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LWOYPRP

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/P-S-Forgive-You-Broken-Legacy-ebook/dp/B01LWOYPRP

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

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

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby via her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Now for a recent review for the recently released  thriller from Toni Pike…..Desolation Bluff

About the book

Blind romance author Oliver Cameron uses the pen name of Fidel Amore and thinks he has the perfect life at his country estate near Desolation Bluff. After a honeymoon in Paris, his wife Vanessa continues her work as his assistant. His friend Ray is the business manager who lives in the gatehouse and also acts as the public face of Fidel Amore, doing all those book-signing trips that Oliver never wanted to attend. Helen Dunkley is the housekeeper devoted to him since childhood – but she detests the two newcomers.

Complications set in when Ray, working on his old car, accidentally backs into Oliver. His injuries appear minor but the next day he suddenly regains his sight. Oliver wants Ray and Rachel to be the first to hear his good news, but when he finds them he uncovers a shocking betrayal.

A game of cat and mouse begins – and with the arrival of a mysterious stranger, it turns deadly. A short suspense novel that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Desolation Bluff was a pleasure to read. Blind writer, Oliver, who writes under the pen name of Fidel Amore, is a workaholic who has his newlywed wife, Vanessa looking after Oliver’s administrative and public relations side of his novels. Oliver’s best friend – Ray, impersonates Oliver by doing all the physical PR work, showing up to book signings, etc, pretending to be Oliver, allowing Oliver his freedom to write without having to go anywhere to promote his work. What could possibly go wrong?

Blind at birth, Oliver is unaware of the shenanigans going on between his wife and his best friend until the plot thickens and Ray accidentally backs into Oliver on the driveway and knocks him down. One of the side effects from this was Oliver’s vision was miraculously restored – and this is when the story really heats up.

Oliver makes a decision to keep his newly restored sight a secret when he realizes that his wife and Ray have become much ‘closer’ than he was aware of. And so the games begin! – Somebody is murdered, and then another somebody is murdered, and Oliver realizes that he may be next in line!

This book was a thoroughly enjoyable read with interesting characters and great plot twist to keep me hooked all the way through to a most satisfying ending! #Recommended. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RCDRF86

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desolation-Bluff-Toni-Pike-ebook/dp/B07RCDRF86

Also by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14736589.Toni_Pike

Connect to Toni Pike via her website: www.tonipike.com

The next author with a recent review is Sarah Brentyn for her Flash Fiction collection On the Edge of a Raindrop

About the collection

When You’re on the Edge, It’s Easy to Fall  These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

Flash fiction is a curious beast to tame but Sarah Brentyn feels beyond comfortable making 6 lines leave you thinking, “What the hell happened?” Much like “Hinting at Shadows”, this collection would be something I would recommend to anyone who is facing writer’s block. Try to imagine micro stories so intense that they would make an amazing prompt for a long story or even a novel, that’s what she does so well and so consistently.

I will admit that some pieces hover near the waters of poetry, but Brentyn often pulls the reign to bring it back into the realm of prose. Page after page of inspiration await anyone who picks either of her collections and she proves once again that impact and word count are not correlated.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Raindrop-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B077QM32S7

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edge-Raindrop-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B077QM32S7

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

Read other reviews and follow Sarah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

Connect to Sarah via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

And last but not least a recent review for the anthology Understanding that was compiled by Stevie Turner and featured stories of real life events by 19 writers.

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

The contributors to the anthology.

Alienora Browning – Sally Cronin – Dorinda Duclos – Scarlett Flame
Bernard Foong – Darlene Foster – Janet Gogerty – Debbie Harris
Lucy V. Hay – Miriam Hurdle – Phil Huston – Pamela Jessen
Joe – D.G Kaye – Lynda McKinney Lambert – Jaye Marie
Clive Pilcher – Abbie Johnson Taylor – Beem Weeks 

One of the recent reviews for the anthology

I’ve delved into this book as if reading/listening to the lives of good friends who have gone through traumatic times, and come out of them with insight and wonder to write about them. Each ‘chapter’ of questions and answers is a story itself. And each discusses a part of life that gives pain and strength, fear and ultimately, even joy. Some stories grabbed me more than others; for me, the ones about struggling with weight issues, cancer, parental abuse, care giving, and depression lifted me with the courage that these writers show in writing honestly about their struggles, and their path to joy.

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

Read the reviews and buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

Editor and publisher of the anthology Stevie Turner who also contributed an article on Thyroid Cancer.

Connect to Stevie via her blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

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

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Short Stories Linda Bethea, Sarah Brentyn, Eric Halpenny and Gregg Savage


I love reading and writing short stories, so in the next couple of Christmas book promotions I am going to share some of the collections on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author I would like to feature is also one of the regular contributors to the blog. Linda Bethea has been entertaining us on her blog with stories of her extended family and their adventures going back to her mother Kathleen’s childhood in the 1930s.  You can find examples of her stories on her blog Nutsrok and follow her on Twitter @nutsrok1Now 

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

One of the reviews for the collection

I Loved it! I just finished reading this book and didn’t want it to end…then I realized it hadn’t. The characters in Bethea’s book are so real, so captivating, so powerful, that their stories will stay with me even though the last page has been read. If you are looking for great humor, stories of perseverance and triumph, wisdom, and above all, love, this is the book for you!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Also by Linda Bethea

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born 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.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Connect to Linda via her blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

The next author is Sarah Brentyn with a great review for her collection of short fiction Hinting at Shadows. You can connect with Sarah via her Blog and also on Twitter – @SarahBrentyn

About Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A real treat!  on October 31, 2018
An explanation on good micro-fiction written by Stephen Hastings-King, begins as follows (this is only a section of the quote): “There is a flat white fog. It is everywhere. There are birds. You can hear them. There are binoculars. You pick them up. You cannot see what you are looking at. You look at another thing to see what you are looking at…” Many of the pieces in Ms. Brentyn’s collection echo the above words. A real treat!

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hinting-at-Shadows-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

Read other reviews and follow Sarah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

Connect to Sarah via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

Now time for a short story collection of mixed genres by Eric Halpenny –  Thread and Other Stories. You can find out more about Eric on his Blog and also follow him on @dragonswordbook

About Thread and Other Stories

Thread and Other Stories is a multi-genre collection of short stories (single author) that includes science fiction, fantasy, urban fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and espionage. There are seven stories in the collection.

Prudence and her older brother Yannick face extreme poverty and hardship in Thread. They live day to day on the wages they earn at low paying, difficult jobs. They face hardships that seem insurmountable for two young children. Isidore, an impoverished boy trying to survive on his own, enters their lives with even greater needs than Prudence and Yannick. They integrate him into their family life even as their world begins to crumble around them. But, there is an ominous backdrop to these events as strange entities take a keen interest in the lives of the three children.

A military psychologist evaluates a Vietnam war veteran who has experienced psychological damage in Shrink. The veteran’s fellow soldiers and friends must support him as the psychologist attempts to uncover the reasons behind his trauma.

Emil, Annie, and their three children—Zona, Owen, and Abner—struggle to stay safe in a steampunk-inspired fantasy world in Chance. Abner finds himself in trouble as a powerful magical being terrorizes the family farm. Only Zona’s quick thinking along with her parents’ knowledge of magic will give them a chance against the dark sorcery of the enemy.

John and Greg, bound by friendship, embark on a journey of trial and tragedy in Conflict, a 20th Century historical fiction. They must deal with death, loss, and grief as compatriots fall in battle during this poignant snapshot of the Canadian military in World War I. John and Greg show a contrast in the ways that these soldiers adapted to the psychological effects of war.

Veera, an astrophysicist, begins to experience recurring déjà vu, the source of which she cannot determine in Oversight, a science fiction adventure. She is unknowingly set on a collision course with Misha, who challenges Veera’s perception of the world as she struggles to determine what is real and what isn’t. Misha must deal with his own psychological demons as he tries to salvage a failing mission that will either end in glory or in his own death.

Dmitry is a hardened spy in the Cold War who has no mercy for his adversary Olyesa in the espionage thriller Deception. Olyesa and Dmitry navigate their way through the murky waters of agents and double agents while simultaneously struggling against each other for survival. When their divergent plans collide, it threatens to destroy them both.

Explore a metaphysical debate in the literary short story Conversation, which is woven between each of the short stories in this collection. An unnamed protagonist and an unidentified and secretive entity discuss the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind science and what it means to gain knowledge.

One of the reviews for the collection

Thread and Other Stories” is a short story collection that ranges from historical to science fiction. There are seven stories that I’d have a hard time picking my favorite from because they are so different, but they are all well-written. I was involved in each story with the characters and outcome for different reasons. “Conflict” the tale of two friends in World War 1 was the one that touched me the most with their friendship and the horror of war. In “Thread” I was immediately drawn into the story of two poor orphans and their struggled to survive—I was rooting for them. The most interesting though was the story “Conversation” that was weaved around the other stories in six parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the different genres and the mystery of “Conversation” in this creative collection. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072KDWLZS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thread-Other-Stories-Eric-Halpenny-ebook/dp/B072KDWLZS/

Three of the stories in Thread are also available separately.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Eric-Halpenny/e/B072NKQTMN/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eric-Halpenny/e/B072NKQTMN/

Read more reviews and follow Eric on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16951705.Eric_Halpenny

Connect to Eric via his Blog: https://www.erichalpenny.com/myblog/

Now time for a short story collection for children by Gregg Savage. Gregg committed to sharing a story a day on his Daily Tales and is now up to 236… He also has published ten of the stories in a collection which would make an amazing gift this Christmas.. for an adult to read to a child.. .of for slightly older children to read for themselves. You can also follow Gregg on Twitter @greggsavage

About the collection.

First Everything, Now This is a collection of the 10 most popular short stories taken from The Daily Children’s Tales of Gregg Savage. Combining humour, philosophy and imagination, the tales are designed to entertain you while encouraging a fresh perspective on your daily experiences. Each story takes place in a world where things may not work out for the best and where the mundane can become the extraordinary in a matter of minutes.

A new tale is written daily and posted on greggsavage.net to allow the audience to interact with a story that was written only moments ago. Immerse yourself in the world every day by visiting the website and joining in the conversation.

One of the reviews for the collection

Chris Graham 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for kids of all ages (no upper age limit applies). 9 June 2018

I have been following the progress of this author’s quest to write a short story on his blog, each day, for one year since 22nd October 2017, and was delighted when he decided to publish some of them.

This book is only a very small sample of the range and variety of tales he has told, so I sincerely hope he publishes more (preferably all) of them, for the wider world to enjoy.
If you (and your little ones) have enjoyed these ten tales as much as I have, I recommend you visit his blog to read the other tales posted to date.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/First-Everything-Now-This-October-ebook/dp/B078GTXZX9

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Everything-Now-This-October-ebook/dp/B078GTXZX9/

Connect to Gregg via his website: dailytales.com.au

Thank you very much for visiting and I hope you will find one or more of these books perfect for Christmas gifts… or for yourself. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update #Reviews – Sarah Brentyn, Mae Clair and Stevie Turner.


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

The first author is Sarah Brentyn with a great review for her collection of short fiction Hinting at Shadows

About Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A real treat!  on October 31, 2018
An explanation on good micro-fiction written by Stephen Hastings-King, begins as follows (this is only a section of the quote): “There is a flat white fog. It is everywhere. There are birds. You can hear them. There are binoculars. You pick them up. You cannot see what you are looking at. You look at another thing to see what you are looking at…” Many of the pieces in Ms. Brentyn’s collection echo the above words. A real treat!

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hinting-at-Shadows-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

Read other reviews and follow Sarah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

Connect to Sarah via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

The next author whose recent review is receiving rave reviews is Mae Clair for Cusp of Night ( Hode’s Hill Series)

About Cusp of Night

The truth hides in dark places . . .

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die.

One of the recent reviews for the book

What a read!  on October 2, 2018

I loved this book, one in the Hode’s Hill series by Mae Claire. It had all the things that make for a good mystery – a historical basis, an unknown murderous entity, a psychic, a touch of paranormal, a growing romantic relationship and great story telling. What’s not to like? It was a perfect summer beach read, only I read it on a boat circumnavigating Iceland…

The story opens in 1900 with a dead-of-rainy-night visit by society woman Charlette Hode to a renowned spiritualist, Lucinda Glass, on whom she has come to depend. She’s been warned that the Fiend – a killer with seemingly supernatural abilities to kill and disappear – may be about, but she pays no mind…

In the present day, Maya Sinclair, recently recovered from a car accident during which she was dead for two minutes, settles in to an old house in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania. She soon discovers the house was once owned by the renowned psychic Lucinda Glass, who was called the Blue Lady because of her blue-hued skin and who was killed by the Fiend. When sightings of a strange creature occur at the time of the annual ‘Fiend Fest’ and Maya begins to experience strange happenings in her house, she can’t help but try to learn more of the history of Hode’s Hill and the Blue Lady. She soon meets the son of the current Hode patriarch, who believes her account of the mysterious events in her house, and she also learns of a secret research facility located outside the town.

I won’t say more because I want to leave other readers to the delight and chills of the story. Who was the Fiend? Has it returned to life or is it a more modern version of the legend?
Mae Claire has crafted a gem of a creepy thriller about supernatural occurrences and a centuries-old monster. She creates the perfect turn-of- the- century ambience, and I liked the alternating point of view from the 20th century Lucinda Glass and the modern-day Maya. The author clearly did researched spiritualists, who were so popular in Lucinda’s time, which lends authenticity top that aspect of the book.

The tale, while chilling, is not gory. There is no lurid blood-letting, and Maya and her friend Ivy are authentic characters. The author lays out the clues to the mystery in an agonizing precision – so I had to read faster – and I loved the way the twists and turns in the story came together at the end. A perfect paranormal cozy!
I’m anxious to read the next in the Hode’s Hill series

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cusp-Night-Hodes-Hill-Novel-ebook/dp/B078LJX83X/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cusp-Night-Hodes-Hill-Novel-ebook/dp/B078LJX83X/

The Point Pleasant Series

A small 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 blog: https://maeclair.net/blog/

The final author today with a recent review is Stevie Turner with A Marriage of Convenience.

About the book

Gerrie Hermann, aspiring rock star from a rich South African family, has an unusual proposal for Sophie Woods when he meets her for the first time in their university canteen. Strait-laced Sophie has never done anything out of the ordinary in the whole of her 19 years. When she decides to take Gerrie up on his offer she has no idea that her decision is going to affect the rest of her life in ways that she could never have foreseen, even in her wildest dreams.

A recent review for the book

Would you marry someone simply to help them out of a dilemma?

This is what Sophie Woods, a university student, is about to do, a business arrangement, nothing more. But what happens afterwards is the stuff that dreams, and Hollywood movies are made of. Sophie, young and naïve, has never done anything risky before and has no idea of what fate awaits her.

Gerrie, a South African student, is an aspiring rock star with wealthy parents, who unfortunately don’t approve of his career choice. Gerrie wants to stay in England and the only way he can do that, is to get married.

Sophie falls in love with her new husband, but circumstances conspire to ruin their unexpected happiness and break both their hearts as well. The tension builds unbearably for them and their future outcome looks decidedly bleak.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to their problems and after so long, can there really be a happy ever after?

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marriage-Convenience-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B07D7Z37DR/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Convenience-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B07D7Z37DR/

A selection of books by Stevie Turner please visit Amazon to view them all.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Connect to Stevie Turner via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and discover more about these authors and their books. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book for Christmas – On the Edge of a Raindrop by Sarah Brentyn


Delighted to share the new collection of Flash Fiction from Sarah Brentyn published on November 23rd. On The Edge of a Raindrop. Perfect for lovers of short stories with an edge…

About the collection

When You’re on the Edge, It’s Easy to Fall

These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

An early review for the collection

Intriguing Collection on November 28, 2017

An intriguing collection of vignettes, micro fics and collected thoughts. There is a strong atmospheric sense to the writing and the author’s turn of phrase is alternately lyrical and stark.This reads quickly, but many of these short snippets offer delicious phrasing and unique word choices to ponder. Nicely done.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Raindrop-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B077QM32S7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edge-Raindrop-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B077QM32S

Also by Sarah Brentyn and anthologies contributed to.

 

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

Read other reviews and follow Sarah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

About Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

Connect to Sarah

Blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.sarahbrentyn.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahBrentyn/

Have you released a new book since November 1st .. if you are in the Cafe of Bookstore or a new author to the blog please contact me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Please help share the news of Sarah’s new book it would make a difference. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Sarah Brentyn, Brigid P. Gallagher, Marcia Meara


Welcome to another post where you can share the news of your latest reviews. Our first author is Sarah Brentyn with a great review for her collection of short fiction Hinting at Shadows

About Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

The most recent review for the book

Sarah Brentyn is a master at micro-fiction. Her stories written in short 100 words or less don’t require more words, but leave us in deep contemplation. The power of words in small micro-bursts have the ability to reveal a whole story open to the reader’s interpretation.

All Brentyn’s stories reveal a human element reflecting many emotions from fear, abuse, trust, passion, hope and more.

Just a sampling here will demonstrate that although short, this book will give a reader reason to pause and digest these bite-sized chunks of life:

‘They said, “if you talk about it, it will set you free.” She told them. They locked her up.’

“Eventually we learned that his rage was preferable when he lashed out. His silence meant a storm grew within him. And we would pay.”

‘The doctors say insomnia and prescription pills. I say “writer” and pick up a pen.’

Hinting at Shadows is a wonderful, thought-provoking, psychological read about the human condition.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

Connect to Sarah via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

The next author who has received a great review is Brigid P. Gallagher for her memoir Waiting for Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

The most recent review for the book

I didn’t know what to expect when I bought Brigid’s book. What I got though, was the author’s personal journey of discovery ; of places, of the mind and of the soul.

This book is written with remarkable openness and honesty, although the graphic detail of a miscarried pregnancy was a bit too much for my mere male sensibilities. Her drive to seek answers and cures spurred her on to knocking on doors and engaging fully in whatever field she entered.

She committed fully, whether it was complimentary medicine, mystical cultures or matters of Faith.

You could say that her journey was Holistic.

It wasn’t all study,though.

Along the way she had plenty of fun and enjoyment. Although she travelled alone, who travels light, travels quicker, she always seemed to meet up with kindred spirits, who embellished her travels.

Like every life journey, there is sadness and sometimes tragedy. Brigid had her share. It would be natural for someone with her outlook to feel close to nature and so it is with her, as her passion for horticulture testifies.

However, it occurred to me, at the end of the book, that she has found her spiritual home, like many others have, in the beauty of her beloved Donegal…the coolest place on Earth. (c) National Geographic.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

Now time for a recent review for the poetry collection, Summer Magic by Marcia Meara.

About Summer Magic

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love is a collection of contemporary poetry about exactly that–life and love. The first part of the book features poems about the magic a young boy discovers while camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The second part of the book has a sampling of poetry about love, life and death, autumn, and dreams coming true.

A recent review for the collection

After having read all Marcia Meara’s books and loved them all, and am patiently waiting for more in near future, I have decided to purchase Poems of Life and Love. Again I was not disappointed. Marcia is a master at getting your feelings of love and appreciation of life’s joys, and frailties sorted out. So many memories are awakened. I did not think poetry would be that interesting to me. I look forward to more.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Magic-Poems-Life-Love-ebook/dp/B00FNBLIPC

Also by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

Connect to Marcia via her website: http://marciamearawrites.com/

If you have received a great review recently that you would like to share then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Richard Ankers, Linda Bethea and Sarah Brentyn


Welcome to the first of the review posts this week which is open to all authors and reviewers of books. Those authors in the Bookstore are also featured here between posts.  This is an opportunity to give your previous books a boost and if you have just received a great review in a blog or on Amazon or Goodreads drop me a line. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first recent review is for Richard Ankers and his dark fantasy Hunter Hunted: Book 2 in the Eternals Series

About Hunter Hunted

As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, a world of darkness draws him and Princess Linka in. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of 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 must 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.

This was truly a book I found hard to put down. Having read the first in the series, I wasn’t sure if the sequel would be able to match the tension and excitement created by the author in The Eternals. In fact, Mr. Ankers exceeded all expectations with this breathtaking, pulsating follow up to his initial work. Accompanied by the almost ethereal Nordic Princess Aurora, Jean, the stoic, attitude laden Eternal sets out on a quest to try and discover just who is trying to manipulate his life, and why. The surprises come thick and fast in a true roller-coaster of an adventure that left me breathless at times, eager to turn to the next page to see what would happen next.

Jean’s old friend/Nemesis, Merryweather makes an appearance with Jean still unable to decide just whose side he is on and yet again the mysterious monks, the Sunyins have a part to play. In a world teetering on the edge of annihilation, Jean makes uncomfortable discoveries about his past as he attempts to shape the future of his dying world. Another triumph for the author with an ending that leads perfect into the third book in the series. I can’t wait!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Hunted-Eternals-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01N8ODF9T

Also by Richard Ankers

Read more about Richard Ankers, read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

Connect to Richard Ankers via his Website: https://richardankers.com/

Now for an April 1st review for Linda Bethea’s very popular book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad.  And author Patricia Salamone highly recommends.

About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

Born 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.

The most recent review for the book

I highly recommend “Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad”

Linda Swain-Bethea comes from a long line of wonderful storytellers and weaves Kathleen Holdaway-Swains memories into a delightful look at what life was like being raised during the Depression. Living in Cuthand, Texas a small out of the way town, considered the low country. Despite hard times, Kathleen’s parents made sure their children always had a roof over their heads, clean clothes and food on the table, including Poke Salad and received an education. Her detailed description of her family and life in Cuthand will have you laughing and yet there leaves a sadness that folks had to live through such hard times when every penny counted. You will meet the family and neighbors, friends and enemies through the eyes of a youngster from a poor but loving home. How the years of WWII affected her family and her future.

Kathleen gets herself into some precarious situations as a child due to her strict moral values instilled in her by her parents. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Her dreams for her future take twists and turns as she forges into the unknown and winds up in Louisiana and finally realizes her dream, only not quite the way she thought it would be.

Kathleen is alive and well and has not lost her sense of humor. She is surrounded by her loving family including her great-grandchildren.

There are also several photos included which put a face to some of the real people in this memoir.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

Connect to Linda via her very entertaining blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

The final review today is for the short story collection Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn.

About the collection

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

The most recent review for Hinting at Shadows

I actually read this book some weeks ago, but it has taken me a while to reflect on it. In fairness, it took me a while to read it, but that was a deliberate choice I made.

The book is a collection of short stories or, more accurately, flash fiction, a style of writing that I’m not overly familiar with. I have rediscovered my appreciation of short stories in recent years, which was what brought me to this book. What I found inside was an experience I hadn’t had before. Stories that were over in minutes (sometimes seconds), but that left me thinking. So, although I started out with the intention of ploughing my way through it, I came to realise that I could only read a few at a time. Like a fancy box of chocolates, if I’d wolfed those stories down, I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate them.

As the title suggests, dark places are visited throughout the book. What Brentyn has done here is create intricate experiences that touch nerves through some carefully crafted narratives. This is not a book that will appeal to everyone. My own feeling initially was one of uncertainty. Yet, by being patient, and savouring the morsel-sized tales, I came to appreciate the author’s mastery as a storyteller. There are lessons to be learnt here for all writers.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Connect to Sarah Brentyn via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

Thanks for dropping by.. The next Air your Reviews is Thursday if you would like to share your latest review please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn


new-on-the-shelves-update

Today’s author is Sarah Brentyn with a collection of flash and micro fiction. Hinting at Shadows which was released in November 2016.

Author’s Note: Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

hinting-at-shadows_ebook-cover_sarah-brentyn-resizedAbout Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Two of the recent reviews

A string of story pearls on February 12, 2017

I just finished Hinting at Shadows and had to rave a little about this book of short fiction. When Brentyn says short, she means short. Most of the stories are about 100 words, what I refer to as flash fiction. I enjoy flash fiction, but wasn’t sure about reading a whole book of it. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

Every story is a pearl. The writing is exquisite and full of pathos with a focus on the poignancy of the human condition. Hinting at Shadows is the perfect title as each story is a tiny hint at a larger human story, one that is characterized by shadows – sometimes secrets, but more often complex feelings of loneliness, regret, longing, disappointment, and hope.

It would be possible to whip through this book in a couple hours, but I think it’s meant to be savored, just as one might read poetry. So that’s what I did. It’s perfect for someone who enjoys filling their free moments with words or someone who just loves beautiful writing.

A book to savour. highly recommended. By roger waters on February 1, 2017

Although short this book gave me a long read. Rather than read in a single sitting, I preferred to have the thought provoking flash fiction, short stories, micro flash and one liners, wash over me slowly, letting me digest the twists and turns and black places Sarah Brentyn took me. She I s a master at this genre of writing, with twists that are unexpected as they are shocking. no story exceeded 100 words and many, including those that hit hardest, were over in a blink of an eye, yet stayed with you, rocking you to your core.

I am going to give nothing away and hence my review is as short as Brentyn’s book but nowhere near as powerful. I highly recommend this book of psychological shorts.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Anthologies that Sarah has contributed to.

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Buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

sarahbrentyn-profile-pic

About Sarah Brentyn

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives in New England with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

Connect to Sarah

Blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.sarahbrentyn.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahBrentyn/

Thank you for dropping by today and please give Sarah’s collection of stories a boost across the networks. Thanks Sally

If you would like to join the other authors on the shelves in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore please read the following.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/