Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Fantasy Adele Marie Park.


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Annette Rochelle Aben  

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.

A selection of  books by Annette Rochelle Aben

A recent review for A Haiku Perspective 2016

Robbie Cheadle5.0 out of 5 stars A sprinkling of happy dust Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021

I am a fan of Ms Aben’s lovely haikus and other poetry. She is one of the most uplifting people I know and her writing makes me feel happy and able to face the world which isn’t always a happy place. I think this is a real gift. I often have a peep into one of the poet’s books when I feel in need of some happy dust. A few examples of her work from this book are as follows:

“Ahh
Nice moments are grand
Giving us distraction
And Great Memories”

“Smile
Sometimes life hugs you
Just when you least expect it
A whisper of hope”

From Born to Bless
“You’ll be the rainbow
The moment your remember
You always were”  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

Meet Karen Ingalls

Karen Ingalls is the author of four books of which two are award-winning. She has published non-fiction, biographical novel, historical novel, and short stories. She is a retired Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Human Development.

Ms. Ingalls’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the category of women’s health. It was a top finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.
The book offers hope and inspiration to women and their families.

Her most recent book is a series of twelve short stories When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees.

She is a blogger, public speaker, author of many articles, and advocate for gynecologic cancer awareness and fundraiser for research. In her spare time, she loves to read and play golf. All proceeds from the book sales go to ovarian cancer research.

Books by Karen Ingalls

One of the recent reviews for When I Rise

Mar 07, 2021 Gwendolyn Plano rated it it was amazing

Author Karen Ingalls has taken some of the tragedies of life and provided context and healing through well-written short stories. Her depth of understanding and her tenderness kept me turning the pages well into the night. I not only related to the scenes, but I also connected with the author. She became a friend, someone I’d love to know. Though the book is fictional, it reads like nonfiction. The characters are people you know – good or bad, they are in your life. Your neighbor, your spouse, your sibling, your parent – you know them and through Ingalls’ book, you know them in a different way than before. Well done! 

Karen Ingalls, buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

Meet Adele Marie Park

Fantasy and horror writer, Adele Marie Park originally hails from the Orkney islands. Rousay is a small, but archaeological important island, dubbed “The Egypt of The North.” The oral tradition of passing down stories fired the young Adele’s imagination with tales of trolls, faeries, sea monsters, witches, ghosts, and seals who could change into humans. The landscape of the island fascinated her as moorland hills swept down through green fields to the shores of secluded beaches, where black volcanic rocks might be a troll or a sleeping giant.

Reading the Hobbit at an early age inspired her and in her teens she turned to Stephen King, James Herbert, Anne Rice and Storm Constantine to appease a mind hungry to delve into the paranormal. Throughout her life she never gave up writing but it was an ongoing medical condition which forced her to give up work that began her passion to publish her writing for others to read.

Genres may come and go, but Adele’s writing encompasses a solidity which does not change; the overcoming of obstacles in one’s life, love, death, grief and pain all infused with those supernatural elements that one sees out the corner of the eye or feels when one is alone in the house at night and a floorboard creaks.

Books by Adele Marie Park

One of the recent reviews for Wolfe Manor

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Tale of a Young Woman Born to Save Humanity  Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021

Adele Marie Park’s newest release, “Wolfe Manor,” is the haunting tale of a young woman born for one purpose, to save humanity—an enormous task for anyone. But Fianna isn’t just anyone, she’s a guardian.

Wolfe Manor harbors Fianna and her aunts and a circle of friends who promise to assist her in the tremendous undertaking of shutting the portal to the evil that has found its way into the world. Of course, you know there is dark magic at play. There’s only one problem, in order for Fianna to shut the portal, she must first go through it!

There’s plenty of magic to go around, including some evil witches, a demon, and a few totem animals that really made this novel shine. Yet, the real story is witnessing Fianna come into her own personal power to fulfill her destiny.

If you love speculative fiction, paranormal fiction, and stories of women coming to grips with their own power, then this is the story for you. I read long into the night, bewitched by the twists and turns in the story. If you think you know the ending, guess again. This was a real page-turner. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Adele: Goodreads – Website: Firefly WordPressTwitter: @Binky567

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Reviews #Family Christa Polkinhorn, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Sc-fi Sandra J. Jackson


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

The first author with a recent review is Christa Polkinhorn for The Italian Sister (The Wine Lover’s Daughter Book 1).

About the book

Standing at her father’s grave in California, Sofia Laverne mourns his untimely death. Henry had not only been a loving parent but Sofia’s best friend and mentor. Imagine her shock and grief when she finds out her father had lived a double-life, that she has a ten-year younger sister and inherited a vineyard in Tuscany. Torn between anger about his betrayal, grief for her loss, and hopeful anticipation, Sofia packs her bags and takes off for Italy to meet fourteen-year old Julietta. Arriving in the small hill town of Vignaverde, she is greeted by olive groves, neat rows of grape vines, and picturesque houses. Some of the inhabitants of this beautiful estate are, unfortunately, less welcoming and resent her intrusion into the family business. Soon, strange occurrences begin to frighten Sofia. When a suspicious accident lands her in the hospital, Sofia fears for her life.

Part family drama, part romantic suspense, THE ITALIAN SISTER takes us on a wild journey from California to Tuscany and provides glimpses into the exciting world of winemaking.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Great vintnerbook!  Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2021

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

A selection of books by Christa Polkinhorn

Christa Polkinhorn, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Christa : Goodreads – blog: Christa Polkinhorn – Twitter: @cpolkinhorn

The next author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the collection

Karen K 4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Readings  Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2021

The book is extremely easy to read as each story is short. Reading the stories is time well spent as each one presents a different moral or truth to consider. This book is one that can be read over and over. Keep it within easy reach and open it up any time you need a lift to your spirit.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon US – and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls

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Karen Ingalls, buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

The final author today is Sandra J. Jackson with her post apocalyptic sci-fi suspense story Playing in the Rain  (Escape Series Book 1)

About the book

When the effects of a hypnosis inducing drug fade, April slowly begins a conscious awakening. Memories of her past are unclear and she has no recollection of her identity or her whereabouts.

As the days slip by, April realizes there is more to life than existing when she is introduced to an occupant who does just that—her sister. The more she learns about her environment the more she wants to escape.

Will April remember her past, her sister? Will she have the courage to leave? And if she does, where will she go?

Experience through April’s eyes her struggle to remember and her determination to escape in this sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, suspense story.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Gnomes  5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting page turner!  Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021

This was a very enjoyable read. It started out shrouded in mystery and worked like an onion. Revealing itself slowly but keeping me intrigued the whole way. The plot is surely unique and engrossing at the same time. I don’t want to give too much away about the story. Part of the joy was being submerged in this world and figuring out the questions along with the character. I very much enjoyed this book. It’s a quick fun sci fi like read for anyone looking for a few hours of enjoyment 🥳

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

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read the reviews and buy the book Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Sandra : Goodreads  – blog: Sandra Jackson WordPress – Twitter: @sjjacksonauthor

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #1920s Elizabeth Gauffreau, #History Paul Edmondson, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Elizabeth Gauffreau

I have always been drawn to the inner lives of other people–what they care about, what they most desire, what causes them pain, what brings them joy. These inner lives become my characters. I write to tell their stories.

My fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines, including Rio Grande Review, Serving House Journal, Soundings East, Hospital Drive, Blueline, Evening Street Review, and Adelaide Literary Magazine, as well as several themed anthologies. Telling Sonny is my first published book.

I hold a B.A. in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Currently, I am the Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Assessment at Champlain College Online in Burlington, Vermont.

One of the recent reviews for Telling Sonny

Telling Sonny is the sad, wonderful tale of Faby Gauthier, a small-town Vermont girl just coming of age who is seduced by a smooth-talking vaudeville actor whose stage name is Slim White. After he leaves town Faby finds she is pregnant. She eventually tracks him down and they are married, much to the chagrin of her conservative French-Canadian family. Louis Kittel (Slim’s true name) then brings Faby south, from city to town, show to show and the whole while her hopes of this man she barely knows turning into a reliable and loving husband and father begin to fade.

As the book moves along the author Elizabeth Gauffreau does a masterful job of pulling the reader right into the 1920s—the colorful description, imagery and period-perfect word selection makes the reader wonder if this might actually have been some gifted writer’s diary from the early 20th century that was turned into a novel.

By the middle of the book I was invested emotionally in Faby’s plight, and strongly disliked the lying, cheating Slim White and in each chapter I hoped he would either come around and change for Faby’s sake (and the sake of his child), or that Faby would simply leave him. Alas, neither of those things truly came to pass, and near the end I wondered if this was just one of those unhappy stories that was well- and intentionally written to do nothing other than evoke sorrow and melancholy. I was delighted to find, however, that this wasn’t quite the case, as the final two chapters seemed to bring closure to Faby’s unfortunate story.

All in all, a beautifully written, evocative, sad, and curiously happy story I will remember for a long time to come.

Elizabeth Gauffreau, BuyAmazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Elizabeth: Goodreads –  blog: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @lgauffreau

Meet Paul Edmondson

Paul Edmondson was born in Salford, England and now lives in Waterford, Ireland. He has retired, enabling him to pursue his passions of writing and photography.

He is a founding member of the Waterford Writers group and his poems have appeared in an anthology of Waterford Writers, in Déise Voices, regional newspapers and magazines. His photographic works have appeared on national television, national and regional newspapers.

He has presented his work at public forums, including open mic sessions and at charitable events.

Having travelled to every continent through his working life, it was visiting Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas for pleasure that gave him the inspiration and motivation to study the history of the park and its indigenous populations, leading to the writing of Great Spirit of Yosemite: The Story of Chief Tenaya.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jun 22, 2020 Mary Crowley rated it Five Stars it was amazing

Set in a natural backdrop of mountains capturing the Indian way of life. The Story of Chief Tenya is a refreshing insight of historical events interwoven with a skilfully written story. Most books tend focus on tales of new settlers whereas The Story of Chief Tenya offers an awareness of tribal life, resulting in being both an educational and compelling read. We learn of the sacrifices Indians were forced to endure as their heritage was threatened by greed and violence. The book not only offers literary insight but is also filled with beautiful photographs. A fantastic and beautifully written novel which I highly recommend reading.

Paul Edmondson, buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK  – follow Paul: Goodreads – Website: Paul Edmondson Author – Facebook: Paul Edmondson

Meet Karen Ingalls

Karen Ingalls is the author of four books of which two are award-winning. She has published non-fiction, biographical novel, historical novel, and short stories. She is a retired Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Human Development.

Ms. Ingalls’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the category of women’s health. It was a top finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.
The book offers hope and inspiration to women and their families.

Her most recent book is a series of twelve short stories When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees.

Davida: Model & Mistress is about the love affair between her great-grandparents Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Davida. There are little-known facts about Davida except for her role as a model for many of the sculptor’s famous works. It won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and the Apple Award for 2016.

Novy’s Son, The Selfish Genius, is about Murray Clark, who sought love and acceptance from his father, who was the bastard child of the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After reading Iron John by Robert Bly, Ms. Ingalls recognized what was missing in her father’s life.

She is a blogger, public speaker, author of many articles, and advocate for gynecologic cancer awareness and fundraiser for research. In her spare time, she loves to read and play golf.

Karen donates all proceeds from her books to ovarian cancer research.

Books by Karen Ingalls

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A recent review for When I Rise

L D Tanner5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Social Issues Tied to Symbolism of Trees  Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020

What drew me to read “When I Rise” by Karen Ingalls are 12 modern-day tales of social issues and how they are symbolically tied to trees. Each of the tales is about a social issue that is told in a unique way. Some tales span several generations while others are told about a moment in time. Some of the tales are inspiring while others are sobering. The tales that most resonated with me are “The Cigar Box” and “The Machine Shop.” Others may find other short stories have special meaning for them.

“The Cigar Box” is about a hand-crafted box that is hand-crafted from cedar, but the carving on the top of the lid is an olive tree standing alone in a field and with branches stretching “as if trying to reach out and touch someone or something.” The tale spans several generations as the cigar box is handed off to each new generation. It is a poignant story of how family members tried to reach out to each other while working a winery beginning in 1833. The cigar box has a magical mist that whenever someone breathes in its aroma, the person’s well-being or sense of purpose improves in a mystical way. It as though the cigar box embraces the best of each person’s essence and emanates its sweet fragrance.

“The Machine Shop” is a sobering short story about the psychological impact on a family after the mother dies. It is a tragic tale that is associated with the Cypress Tree about the importance of talking with children about life and death, and helping them to deal with difficult times instead of succumbing to them.

Author Karen Ingalls masterfully reveals the truth about how we deal with issues in life by symbolically relating these to trees. I recommend reading the softcover book as it is beautifully formatted which adds to the reading experience.

Karen Ingalls, buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting more of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and discovering their books. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Historical Noelle Granger, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Daniel Kemp


The first author today is Noelle Granger for her recently released historical novel The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman

About the book

This book captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the cramped and dank living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

A recent review for the book

What a fascinating read, especially with the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower this year. I had no idea about all the hardships the Pilgrims/Separatists had to endure, and if they had not made it then we wouldn’t be here today. Her book makes you feel present at that time right along with the new settlers to the Americas. This is an entertaining way to learn the history of our great country.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by N.A. Granger

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Noelle: Goodreads

Connect to Noelle via her blog: Sayling Away

The next author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the collection

L D Tanner5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Social Issues Tied to Symbolism of Trees  Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020

What drew me to read “When I Rise” by Karen Ingalls are 12 modern-day tales of social issues and how they are symbolically tied to trees. Each of the tales is about a social issue that is told in a unique way. Some tales span several generations while others are told about a moment in time. Some of the tales are inspiring while others are sobering. The tales that most resonated with me are “The Cigar Box” and “The Machine Shop.” Others may find other short stories have special meaning for them.

“The Cigar Box” is about a hand-crafted box that is hand-crafted from cedar, but the carving on the top of the lid is an olive tree standing alone in a field and with branches stretching “as if trying to reach out and touch someone or something.” The tale spans several generations as the cigar box is handed off to each new generation. It is a poignant story of how family members tried to reach out to each other while working a winery beginning in 1833. The cigar box has a magical mist that whenever someone breathes in its aroma, the person’s well-being or sense of purpose improves in a mystical way. It as though the cigar box embraces the best of each person’s essence and emanates its sweet fragrance.

“The Machine Shop” is a sobering short story about the psychological impact on a family after the mother dies. It is a tragic tale that is associated with the Cypress Tree about the importance of talking with children about life and death, and helping them to deal with difficult times instead of succumbing to them.

Author Karen Ingalls masterfully reveals the truth about how we deal with issues in life by symbolically relating these to trees. I recommend reading the softcover book as it is beautifully formatted which adds to the reading experience.

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The final author today is Daniel Kemp with a recent review for A Covenant of Spies

About the book

In 2007, intelligence operative Nikita Kudashov attempts to escape his native Russia after a series of top-secret spying operations.

Years later, Patrick West of MI6 is assigned to investigate the operations Kudashov took part in, and discovers a shocking connection between the former Soviet Union and the Foreign And Commonwealth Office.

Can West unravel the ambiguous connection – and the final clue that disguises the information Blythe-Smith never passed on to the Secret Intelligence Service?

A recent review for A Covenant of Spies on Goodreads

Daniel Kemp’s A Covenant Of Spies deals with British Intelligence investigating Russian operative.

I enjoyed the clever, complex tale featuring a net of lies and political cover-ups that made me think twice about the daily news headlines.

An entertaining story of 21st century spies and tales of the Cold War sprinkled with clues till the end, it reminded me of “Bridge of Spies”.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel via his website: Author Danny Kemp

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 #Thriller John W. Howell, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Iain Kelly


Welcome to the Wednesday Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors in the cafe.

The first author is John W. Howell with a review for the first of his John J. Cannon series My GRL…

About the book

John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, needs some well-deserved time off. He takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. His short-term plan is to become a charter fishing boat captain. John is unaware his craft has been targeted by a terrorist group to be used to destroy a class of Annapolis Midshipmen on their summer cruise. John’s first inkling of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was unconscious next to the body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. To further complicate the situation, he was lying on the gun that killed her

John now has a more critical plan than charter fishing. He needs to convince law enforcement that he is innocent of the woman’s murder and to figure out why he was in the position of taking the fall.

John’s quest for answers takes him from the small fishing village of Port Aransas to eventually confront those who are holding him prisoner on the cargo ship carrying My GRL in the hold. The answers come fast and not to John’s liking. The chief terrorist has decided to lash John to the wheel of My GRL which is packed with C4 explosives and by remote control steer them to certain death at the Port of New York. The plan is to destroy the Midshipmen and the Intrepid museum. All this to satisfy the terrorists need for revenge on perceived grievances against America and the leader’s hatred for John.

If you like your heroes’ to be regular people and you want your thrillers to be exciting with plenty of twists and turns this is the book for you. It is the first in the John Cannon Trilogy.

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Great character and lots of action Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020

John Cannon is on a sabbatical from his high-powered attorney job and decides to spend a year on Mustang Island off the coast of Texas working on his used 65’ boat. Then his friend ends up shot, and the sheriff suspects that he’s keeping secrets. Add to that, it turns out that terrorists want his boat.

This book moves along at a good clip as John deals with the sheriff and then gets embroiled in the terrorists’ plot. He’s a great character, and for me, he brought the book to life. He’s kind of an average guy, but he’s smart and resourceful (for the most part), and he has some attitude. I had a great time watching him deal with all the problems while completely out of his element.

The story didn’t bog down with description or backstory, and it had just the right amount of shipboard detail to lend authenticity to the setting, John’s capabilities, and the story’s resolution. I would definitely read more of this character and author. Though a thriller, the book was also a lot of fun. Highly recommended for readers of action novels and thrillers, and book-lovers who enjoy great characters. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by John W. Howell.

Read the reviews and buy John’s books: Amazon US

and on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow John: Goodreads

Connect to John: John W. Howell

The next author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2020

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees by Karen Ingalls is an enlightening collection of short stories, inspired from life and its truths. Each story brings in a symbolic message of a tree to accentuate the most important aspects of life: acceptance and change. Most of the stories reflect on family relationships, are fast-paced; some even lack a breather and focus on the events than characters. They are written in first person, which lends a realistic touch to them.

Margaret’s love for savoring each moment of life, Rick’s positivity and Sally’s resilience – all shine through the words of Karen. In ‘The Machine Shop’, emotional upheavals in the life of a child are handled in a superb manner, highlighting the need to talk to children about their fears and how they can cope with them. My favorite story is ‘The Cigar Box’, as it holds a child-like charm yet conveys some profound messages through its journey. ‘The Piano’ takes us through the darkest alleys of Alzheimer’s disease, revealing the poignant irony of attachments. Well-written!

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The final book with a recent review is by Iain Kelly – State Of Denial (The State Trilogy Book 2).

About State of Denial.

Election time in The State, the citizens prepare to vote. A journalist from the Capital City heads north to report on growing resistance to the powerful ruling Party. An ex-police detective returns to the City he once fled. Together they become entangled in a burgeoning opposition movement. Soon they learn the Party will do whatever it takes to remain in power, and one life is all it takes to spark a revolution.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 March 2020

A newspaper reporter, Maxine Aubert, asks an unscripted question during a government news brief. They sack her. The “State” is playing lip service to democracy and has created an illusion in which the citizens conform or else! The up-and-coming elections are a sham and there is an underground force prepared to confront the State; there is a rebel movement gathering in the Northern Wilderness.
This second novel of the trilogy expands on the politics of the dysfunctional State and justifies the social unrest that hums in the background. However, it was not clear to me how the rebels intend to replace the “State” and what the new social structure will be.

If you enjoy both the mix of Sc-Fi and political upheaval in society fighting against the government type of scenario – then you may enjoy reading this.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Iain Kelly

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow IainGoodreads

Connect to Iain on his website: Iain Kelly Writing

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye


Delighted to see so many reviews coming through for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore so I will be adding an extra update in the week to make sure they get showcased.

The first author with a recent review for her collection of short stories is Karen Ingalls for When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees. 

As always Karen will be donating all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the collection

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees is a series of twelve short stories inspired by a poem written by Ms. Ingalls’ grandson. Each story (tale) brings to light one or more social or moral issues, the truth is the lesson(s) to be learned, and the symbolism of a tree provides the ways we can learn how to live, grow, change, and die.

A recent review for the book

This collection of 12 short stories uses a single poem and the symbolism of 12 specific trees as the underlying foundation of morals and themes. The trees don’t appear in the actual stories, but each one is referenced by the author at the end of its tale with a statement about its significance. I enjoyed the stories, particularly Two Sisters, a tale about enduring love between two sisters; and The Piano, a well-told story from the point of view of an Alzheimer’s patient.

The storytelling is primarily from an omniscient point of view and moves rapidly through events and years in a simple straightforward style. As a reader, I didn’t get to know the characters deeply but was carried along by most narratives to a satisfying conclusion. An afternoon’s read recommended for those who enjoy short stories with strong moral messages about love and family.

Head over to read the reviews: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Karen: Goodreads

Connect to Karen via her blog: Karen Ingalls Blog

The next author with recent reviews is Terry Tyler for her post apocalyptic thriller Blackthorn.

About the book

The UK, year 2139.

One hundred and fifteen years ago, a mysterious virus wiped out ninety-five per cent of humanity.

Blackthorn, the largest settlement in England, rose from the ashes of the devastated old world. It is a troubled city, where the workers live in crude shacks, and make do with the worst of everything.

It is a city of violent divisions, crime, and an over-populated jail block, until a charismatic traveller has a miraculous vision, and promises to bring hope back to the people’s lives.

Blackthorn falls under Ryder Swift’s spell, and the most devoted of all is the governor’s loyal servant, Lieutenant August Hemsley.

Twenty-one-year-old Evie has lived her whole life in the shacks. She and disillusioned guard Byron Lewis are two of a minority who have doubts about Ryder’s message. Can they stand against the beliefs of an entire city?

A recent review for Blackthorn

Once again I couldn’t pass up the latest offering by one of the most accomplished independent authors out there.

Although post-apoc isn’t a go-to genre of mine, I’ve become engrossed in the ‘crap new world’ Terry Tyler has created with her Tipping Point trilogy and the extended future she created in Legacy and Hope.

Every word of this page-turning story rings true. The banality of a community primarily concerned with survival. The absence of distraction and the profitable ignorance of a fearful populace. The shifty, hierarchical leadership and its manipulation of a stratified and docile underclass. In Tyler’s book, these are skilfully presented as both remote and futuristic while being real and recognisable enough to seem frighteningly imminent.

But this is not just allegory. There’s a real, tangible world here with excellent characterisation, genuine threat and fully-realised people you want to follow and know better. Evie is a typical Tyler heroine – an uncluttered, plucky realist aware of her own limitations and respectful of the community and family ties around her. Yet she’s a thinker who recognises the unusual behaviour of the returning Ryder. He’s an Aragorn-like itinerant hero who claims to have had a genuine spiritual conversion which rapidly gains traction in the threatened community of Blackthorn.

The narrative remains unpredictable throughout, and Tyler deftly shapes our sympathies between various characters until the final outcome.

Bittersweet but satisfying, there’s another instalment to come of this gripping tale and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler: Goodreads

Connect to Terry via her Blog: Terry Tyler Blogspot

The next author with a recent recommendation is C.S Boyack for Serang

About Serang

Monastic life is all about duty, service, and harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval brings chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of it’s predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Harmony Kent 4.0 out of 5 stars A rip-roaring fun read February 6, 2020

After thoroughly enjoying Serang’s character in Craig Boyack’s earlier book, Voyage of the Lanternfish, I looked forward to reading all about her in her very own story.

It was great fun to read about Serang as a wilful child who had to learn to adapt to change and find a whole new way of living after family tragedy struck, and to see her grow into a formidable y0ung woman.

This is a fun fantasy read filled with a strong sense of humour as well as more serious moments. The writer has done a great job with world building and characterisation, and has obviously done his research on the subject matter.

Although this is a spin-off from a character from Voyage of the Lantern Fish, it works well as a standalone novel. Having read the first book, it’s wonderful to learn where Serang’s propensity for Huangjiu came from! Equally as fascinating is reading about her trials and tribulations set within the vast upheavals that beset the China of the day with an emperor bent on war and total domination.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

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

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

AndAmazon UK

Read more reviews and follow C.S. BoyackGoodreads

Connect to Craig via his blog: Cold Hand Boyack

The final author today is D.G. Kaye who as you know is a regular contributor to the blog with  her new column on Relationships and the Laughter Lines. She has received a recent review for  Twenty Years After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging..

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”. May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

Twenty Years: After “I Do” is an autobiographical non-fiction book about the author’s experience with marriage and relationships. I’ve previously read another of her autobiographies about her relationship with her mother, and it was such an emotionally charged and well-written book, I decided to keep reading more from her every few months until I caught up on all her works.

In this one, Debby tells us what happened almost twenty years ago when she debated whether to marry the man who is now her husband. Given he was twenty years older, she had a lot of decisions to consider when it came to how her life would change. At the core of this book, and her approach to life, is her commitment and honesty in all that she achieves. Debby knew… if she married him, she would have to accept all that came with it in the future. From there, she dives into key aspects of married life: emotions, sex life, personal time, separation of couple and individual, fighting, decision-making, and death. Lessons we all need to consider.

Debby’s writing style is simply fantastic. It’s easy to devour in a short sitting, but it always makes you feel like part of her life. She openly shares so much (the good, the bad, and the ugly) while holding back in all the appropriate areas to allow for proper balance, e.g. we learn about the impacts to her sex life when one partner is ill but she doesn’t go into the details. She tells us how she and her husband tackled the issues from a day-to-day perspective and moved on… because they loved one another (to the moon and back).

There is a refreshing honesty and truth in her words, and readers will quickly find themselves a path to compare their own lives to that of the author’s. What have I done well? What could I do better? What needs to change? Excellent questions to consider, but Debby doesn’t directly tell us to do this–her actions show us why this is at the core of a good marriage. I’m thrilled I had the chance to read this one today. Although I’ve only been with my partner for 8 years, it’s easy to track where things are and what we could do differently.

Debby bravely tells us her story, allowing us to interpret for ourselves what everything means, especially in this ever-changing world where people live longer and have access to more things but it’s harder to get them. I highly recommend this book to nearly anyone in a relationship, or those who want to know how to handle one when they are. Debby shares a few secrets, some hints, and a few suggestions to consider. It’s not just for newbies or long-term couples… there’s a bit of everything for how to co-exist and still be who you are. Great work!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby via her blog: D.G. Writes

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