Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Frank Prem, C. S. Boyack, Stevie Turner and Judith Barrow.


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore Updates this week with more reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Frank Prem whose latest collection Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires is receiving wonderful reviews.

About Devil in the Wind

Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.

In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.

And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.

In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.

In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people who had lived through the experience — victims, rescuers, and observers — were spoken and were heard.

Devil In The Wind is Frank Prem’s poetic anthology of the personal, and very human, accounts of those who themselves experienced and survived Black Saturday. Poetry writing that interacts directly with readers emotions.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m not a poetry person, at least not normally, but I cried when I read ‘Devil in the Wind’ by Frank Prem. It’s about the Black Saturday fires that claimed 173 lives here in Victoria.
I was at home in Warrandyte that day. I’d sent the Offspring away, but I was at home with Dad and the animals because Dad had mild dementia and…I don’t think any of us really believed. I listened to 774 radio all day and some horrific reports were being phoned in, but we had the best roof sprinklers money could buy, and fire-resistant shutters. I was sure we’d be fine. And we didn’t really believe.

The next day, the reports started coming in and finally, we believed.

It was ‘all in together’ for a while after Black Saturday. We grieved, and donated food, and money, and hay because the animals were starving, and because we were alive and so many were not.

The togetherness has disappeared now, but we had it for a while, and I thank Frank Prem for helping me remember.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Wind-anthology-Saturday-bushfires-ebook/dp/B07Q9YLD8V

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Wind-anthology-Saturday-bushfires-ebook/dp/B07Q9YLD8V

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank via his blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/

And the next author with a recent review is C.S. Boyack for his Sci-fi/Fantasy the novella The Hat

About The Hat

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

One of the recent reviews for the book 

This book is not in my usual reading genre, but nonetheless, a delight to read. The Hat is a whimsical tale of a dynamic team – Lizzie, a 21 year old girl with troubles it seems at every corner, who manages to team up with the talking hat.

Lizzie manages to scoop a box off the moving truck taking away what’s left of her recently passed grandmother’s estate. Completely unaware what’s in the box, Lizzie strikes a real gem when she discovers in that box is a hat, but not just any hat.

As Lizzie and the talking hat get acquainted, finally becoming friends, the hat teaches her more about her family background, and ultimately becomes her cohort in her quest to save the kidnapped babies she learns about after her friend’s baby is kidnapped.

The story progresses through the quest to solve the crime, all the while experiencing magical situations and escapes when she puts on the hat and it empowers her with its magical properties, even being able to transport her to safety when the goings get rough.
A fun escape with lots of laughs and a perfect short read and entertaining read for a rainy afternoon.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078YYCNSF/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hat-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B078YYCNSF/

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect with Craig via his blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Now for a recent review for Stevie Turner and The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

About The Daughter-in-Law Syndrome.

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric. Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother. Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride. Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive. After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…

A recent review for the book

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events-compiled by Stevie Turner


Over the last three weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series: Contributors part six

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 

My review for the anthology.

Although I am a contributor to the anthology, there are 18 other writers who have shared significant events in their lives. They range from the devastating experiences of abuse in childhood through to being diagnosed with clinical depression. There are also major events that everyone can relate too and resonate with such as getting married and being mother to a large family.

Some might say that certain events or conditions were avoidable with better decisions such as obesity, but some issues are not one dimensional and there are usually underlying physical, mental or emotional elements to be considered. However, there can be no responsibility claimed for being abused as a child, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, losing a brother at such a young age, becoming a carer for a loved one, or beating cancer, not once but three times.

Whilst many of life’s significant events are included in this collection of interviews, there is also an abundance of courage, perseverance, love and unbowed human spirit.

We cannot turn our eyes from the issues that are uncomfortable to read about, because they are far more uncomfortable and devastating to those who experienced them first hand. An inspiring read.

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.

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Thank you for dropping in and I hope that you will enjoy reading Understanding for yourselves. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Easter Parade Blog Party – Part Two – Music, dancing, food, Behatted guests and time to drop you links.


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Easter Parade part two with more behatted guests, music, dancing, humour and food. And since you have dropped in today.. please don’t leave without leaving the link to your latest post…. or your Amazon link and a little bit about yourself.

It is a beautiful day here and whilst you are waiting for the parade to begin here is something spectacular for you to join in with…

The first guest in the parade today has been providing the funnies for the blog over the last few months, even when she was basking in the sun in Mexico…most of you will already be enjoying her monthly D.G. Kaye Travel Column Debby Gies has gone all out with not just her hat today but her entire outfit….Debby has jetted in overnight from Canada to be with us.

About D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO – Read more reviews and follow Debby: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads
Follow Debby on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Debby has also supplied the funnies for the parade…

The next guest in the parade has flown in from Texas to join the party. Thriller/Paranormal author John W. Howell delights the readers of his blog with short stories and also personal musings by his two dogs.. who seem to have him wrapped around their little paws!

About John Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

A selection of books by John W. Howell


Discover all the books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C Read more reviews and follow John: John Howell Goodreads
Connect to John via his blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

Please help yourselves to coffee and macaroons...

My next guest has crossed the Irish Sea which was thankfully calm last night, to be part of the parade.. author Stevie Turner recently compiled and contributed to an amazing anthology with articles for 19 authors (including me) on significant aspects of life Proceeds to Cancer Research – you can find out more here Understanding – Significant Aspects of Life

As you can see Stevie loves a bit of rock ‘n’ roll….

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

A very small selection of books by Stevie Turner

Discover all the books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTURead more reviews and follow Stevie on Goodreads: Stevie Turner
Connect to Stevie via her website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Now time for a little more entertainment…the Easter parade is a place for all to gather, even those who have passed away and who hopefully are still dancing somewhere… including my parents. This is for all of them and our enjoyment.

My next guest is the lovely Robbie Cheadle who has sent representatives all the way from South Africa to the parade.. Her two sons Michael, who co-writes the Sir Chocolate series of stories and cookbooks.. and Gregory who keeps them both in order and provides much needed social media support.

This was taken when they were a little bit younger wearing stunning top hats.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

A small selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

Discover all the books and read the reviews:https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Find more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: Robbie Cheadle Connect to Robbie via her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Please help yourself to some sandwiches as you walk passed the stands..

My next guest, Sue Vincent, has also sent a representative as she is busy this weekend. I have a sneaky suspicion that her beloved small black dog Ani, is not quite sure about getting the ferry across on her own and being billeted in our house for the weekend… but I am sure a little Irish Cheddar will do the trick.. Ani is an author in her own right…with proceeds going towards a tennis ball launcher…About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press).

Since then she has published a number of books, beginning with “Sword of Destiny”, a magical tale set in the ancient landscape of Yorkshire. Her retelling of the Egyptian myths, “The Osiriad”, came shortly afterwards along with the Triad of Albion – “The Initiate”, “Heart of Albion” and “Giants Dance” in collaboration with Stuart France. These books tell a factual tale in a fictional manner, that is at once a journey into the landscape, myth and iconography of Albion and the story of a growing and rather oddball friendship.

Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk

A very small selection of books by Sue Vincent (and Ani)

Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: Sue Vincent Connect to Sue via her blog: http://scvincent.com/

Time for a little more entertainment.and something I am sure Ani would be keen to join in with…courtesy of the amazing partnership – FCI Dog dance World Championship 2016 – Winner freestyle – Yvonne Belin and Alice (Switzerland):  Videos from Freestyle&HTM World Championship 2016 Mos

My next guest is crime fiction/children’s author Eloise de Sousa who has brought company along with he. Eloise says she sits at her computer some days, contemplating murder.. and passion and adventure.. when she is not in her bat cave she is mum to four children, four cats and a dog called Henry…

About Eloise de Sousa

Finding heroes and villains is easy – capturing their essence in a story is harder.
Eloise thrives on creating characters that make you want to reach into the book and shake them, hug them or arrest them. Her children’s books follow real life trends told through easy stories that face bullying or social issues which open children’s minds to the opportunity to question the world around them.

With the few books written thus far, Eloise plans to capture more villains and weave more tales to inspire or frighten her readers (whichever is appropriate!). She will be publishing a few more stories in the coming months.

A small selection of books by Eloise

Discover all the books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eloise-De-Sousa/e/B00JKTFVXIFind more reviews and follow Eloise on Goodreads: Eloise De Sousa – Follow Eloise on her blog: http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com

My next guest is poet Willow Willers who is sporting a dashing flat cap. Willow has been nominated for the best lifestyle blog in the Bloggers Bash Awards this year and you can find out more at this LINK

About Willow Willers

I am the mum of three boys all now grown and flown to live their own lives. Luckily they do keep in touch and visit often. I now have two beautiful grandsons.

When I started this blog I had not long come home from hospital after an accident in which I broke my back. I was in hospital for a month and had three operations.

It has taken me a long time to recover, I am still recovering but every day my body is getting stronger.It has taken a huge toll on me mentally I had to retire early on health grounds, I had to come to terms with finding out people I thought were friends were not. I had to make a new life for myself. Things I could do easily have become difficult.

Writing poetry and prose has helped me a great deal, in fact I think it has saved my life.

You can find one of Willow’s stories here: Vlad

and you can follow Willow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willow.willers.7

Time for another Flash Mob on your feet.. this time Pharrell Williams with Happy from Italy. Marco Squeglia

We are nearly at the end of the parade with just three more guests, the first of which is Marian Beaman..who is looking very swish as she arrives from the USA. Since beginning her blog in 2013, she has uncovered nostalgic photos, letters, and artifacts from her two Longenecker homes in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, many of which are featured on blog on Wednesdays such as her latest: http://marianbeaman.com/2019/04/17/easter-2019-memories-mother/

About Marian Beaman

My love of books, along with a connection to students and colleagues, has made my years in education pure joy. I have spent more than 40 years teaching, finishing my career with 21 years at Florida State College in Jacksonville.

Writing dovetails with reading and teaching. My academic writing includes a multi-colored array of topics, ranging from “A Thousand Acres: Not King Lear in a Cornfield” for the American Popular Culture Association and “It’s Not Easy Being Green, Wal-Mart and Me,” recounting my neighborhood struggle to keep large oaks and tall pines from biting the dust.

Former Mennonite with a Writing Habit

A dream came true when I presented and published “God: Myth and Mystery from the Romantics through the Twentieth Century: Informing Global Religious Conflict” in magical Oxford, England. In 2011 Bedford St. Martin’s textbooks published “Facilitating Cooperative Learning,” the mantra of my most effective teaching techniques.

Now in my Third Act, I’ve embraced creative non-fiction with “Gutsy In Ukraine,” published in Sonia Marsh’s My Gutsy Story Anthology (2014), Volume 2. In September 2016, my story “Making Love Edible: Lessons from Fanny Martin Longenecker” was published in The Mennonite magazine. In the fall 2018 issue, The Arts & Antiques show magazine published my article in Patient Profiles.

My work in progress is tentatively titled A Mennonite Daughter: Thorns and Roses, a memoir that reveals family secrets.

You can discover more of Marian’s posts via her blog: http://marianbeaman.com/ You can also follow Marian on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marian.beaman

My next guest has taken the request for fancy headgear to heart and please welcome poet Miriam Hurdle who is looking very fetching in Easter Bunny Ears.. Miriam is one of the contributors to the Posts from Your Archives series including her latest inspiring story about her brother-in-law’s kidney transplant: Kidney Transplant: A Good Match

About Miriam Hurdle.

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

Read the reviews for Songs of the Heartstrings: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9 Read more reviews on Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle  Follow Miriam on her blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

As it is still very warm… please grab a glass of water on your way passed the stand….

My final guest is poet and fantasy author  M. J. Mallon (Marjorie) who joins us from the UK and looks like she is making the most of the wonderful weather on the crossing to Ireland….Not only an author but a prolific book reviewer with over 100 for you to read on her blog : : https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka.

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

You can read the reviews for The Curse of Time : https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/There are more reviews and you can follow Marjorie on Goodreads: M. J. Mallon  Follow Marjorie on her website/blog: https://mjmallon.com/about/

And not just time to thank you for dropping in today and pleased don’t forget to add the links to your latest posts and to Amazon for your books… Thanks and Happy Easter… Sally.

I thought we would end with another ABBA track…one to get everyone on their feet to follow the parade. 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature -#ProceedsCancerResearch – UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events compiled by Stevie Turner and 18 other authors.


Author Stevie Turner has compiled articles from 19 authors on life experiences, traumas, challenges, and achievements in an anthology called ‘Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events‘. I am very honoured to be one of those authors.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Over the next week I will be posing a number of author profiles of those who have contributed and I hope that you will follow those authors and also support their work in this collection.

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers kindly 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!

All proceeds will go to Cancer Research.

Thanks to:
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

You can 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.

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Please visit Amazon or Stevie’s website to view all her books.

One of the authors who contributed to the anthology is non-fiction author D.G. Kaye who is a regular contributor and friend. Here is an brief extract from her entry in the anthology. You can read more on her post on the anthology

Daughter of a Narcissist

I may not have a PHD beside my name, but I’ve spent a lifetime analyzing my own mother’s debilitating narcissism.

When I was a young child, I had no concept of the meaning of the word narcissist, nor was I familiar with the word itself. I eventually learned that my mother’s behavior fit perfectly into that category.

I made it my business to observe her closely, question her lies (to my father, not to her), and learn to recognize her habits and exaggerations in her stories in order to first, figure out the real story by separating the truth of her words without her embellishments, and to try to understand what spurred her theatrical behavior.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

I have contributed an article on weight loss based on my experience of losing 150lbs 23 years ago. Here is a brief extract.

From Morbid Obesity to Health by Sally Cronin

In 1996, when I was forty-three years old, I weighed 336lbs (152kilo 24stone). My weight had fluctuated massively from the age of ten years old between being classified as obese and also underweight.

As a child I was a normal weight for my age, although quite tall. When I was ten years old I gained about 40lbs over a period of three months. It was not until I was researching my weight gain over the years that I pinpointed that as the time when I was prescribed several courses of antibiotics for repeated flare ups of tonsillitis . That was to prove significant factor

Neither of my parents were overweight or my sisters and brother. We all essentially had the same diet growing up, although my father had a sweet tooth and we always had to have a dessert after our main meal. Sweets were really only eaten at the weekend when we were given our pocket money, and they were never left lying around in the house. All the food when I was a child in the 1950s and 1960s, was fresh and cooked from scratch.

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. After a long and very happy career, I took the step to retrain as a nutritional therapist, a subject that I was very interested in, and to make the time to write my first book. Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another eleven books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Over the next week I will be featuring more of the authors in the anthology and I do hope you will head over and buy the collection of articles.. it is a terrific price and all the proceeds will be going to Cancer Research. Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Social Injustice #Thriller #Fantasy with Yecheilyah Ysrayl, Stevie Turner and Fiona Tarr


Welcome to another selection of christmas gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and some books that explore the darker side of human nature and social injustice. The first is the latest release from Yecheilyah Ysrayl – A novella – Even Salt Looks Like Sugar.

About the book

Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises, that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.

One of the reviews for the novella

Lisa T 4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read! October 3, 2018

Don’t trust everything you see. Even Salt Looks Like Sugar is a poignant tale of a 16 year old girl named Wanda who was abandoned by her parents and taken in by a neighbor. The story takes place in a rural Louisiana town where everybody knows you and your business.

The “kindly” neighbor, Miss Cassaundra, had a habit of taking in children who had been abandoned. She would feed and clothe them, but also made them feel trapped. She received money from the government to care for the kids, but she didn’t show they live and affection. In fact, they lived in a brothel, run by Cassaundra, a woman who rarely got off of her couch due to being morbidly obese.

Wanda wanted out, but the only way she knew to do that was to get a job. Each time she had an interview, Cassaundra found out and threw a wrench in her plans.

Things escalate and eventually Wanda is told the truth about why her father abandoned her, leaving her in a whore house. Wanda’s only saving grace was the young girl who was left in her charge, Abby. Cassaundra was getting money for her, but Wanda was taking care of the child. Things come to a head and secrets are revealed. One such secret ends up saving Abby from Cassaundra’s clutches.

I loved the dynamic between Wanda and her BFF, Rosa. They grew up in foster care together and had each other’s backs no matter what.

This was a quick read, more like a short story. It held my attention and gave some good info on the foster care system. I expect nothing less when I read a novel by Yecheilyah.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G2VLM24

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Even-Salt-Looks-Like-Sugar-ebook/dp/B07G2VLM24

Also by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Yecheilyah-Ysrayl/e/B00ML6OHFA/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yecheilyah-Ysrayl/e/B00ML6OHFA

Read more reviews and follow Yecheilyah on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8336941.Yecheilyah_Ysrayl

Connect to Yecheilyah via her website: https://www.yecheilyahysrayl.com/

The next author with a wonderfully wide range of books that would make great gifts is Stevie Turner and I am featuring her psychological thriller A House Without Windows.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/41cr21evdsl-_uy250_.jpg?w=276&h=409

About the book

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lays awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

One of the recent reviews for the book

A gripping read  on November 3, 2018

I listened to the audio version of this book narrated by Wendy Anne Darling. I thought Wendy did a very good job. She has the perfect accent for this particular book set in the United Kingdom and I found her narration to be clear and easy to follow.

I found this story to be very touching and emotional on two levels. One, because I found the idea of the abduction of a young, professional woman by a patient she had tried to help absolutely awful but also alarmingly possible. Two, the mental illness demonstrated by Edwin in this book strikes a deep cord with me as I have had a few brushes with people suffering from mental illness. The thought of how parents, either good or bad, impact on and shape the destiny of someone with problems and leanings towards obsessive compulsive disorder and probably autism, as are exhibited by Edwin, together with the fact that his childhood abuse was never discovered or noticed in a country as progressive as the UK is very poignant and sad. The neglect and physical and metal abuse that Edwin suffered, impacted heavily on his own life and also on the lives of his abductee, Beth, and her entire family. The complexities and enormous difficulties faced by medical practitioners in attempting to treat these sorts of disorders in government facilities without the support of family and friends is also tragically apparent.

I enjoyed Turner’s style of writing and the use of a children’s book given to Amy, Beth’s young daughter who was born in captivity, to draw parallels between her life, living as a prisoner in a house without windows to the lives of the children in the book who have a lot of freedom, experience boating on the ocean and a great adventure. Amy learns a lot about life from reading this book and it makes her restless and unsettled in her own life.

This is a book about a terrible experience by a woman and how it impacts on the man who loves her, her children and her family. The effects of Beth’s abduction are far reaching and last for many years into the future of those around her.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

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 via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Now something for fantasy lovers from Fiona Tarr with her latest release Call of the Druids ( The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 1)

About Call of the Druids

When an Angel answers your prayers, you had better be prepared!

All Ariela has ever wished for is to be treated like all the other Priestesses and be given a chance to use her powers to fight evil. Until now, her parents have held her back, treated her like a Princess and kept her from danger.

Now she is eighteen and believes she will finally be allowed to embark on her first quest. But when Ariela’s uncle the King sends word that he has promised her in marriage, Ariela’s hopes are shattered.

She prays for an escape. When the Angel Raziel offers her a divine quest, she must choose!

Stay, marry and never be the Priestess she longs to be or leave everything she has ever known, for a quest she knows nothing about—to a place and time she has never seen—for people she is yet to meet.

One of the recent reviews for the book

History is full of moments when those in power stomped out all mention of magic, but what if the people with such talents teamed up to prevent their elimination? That’s the foundation of Call of the Druids, and I presume The Priestess Chronicles as a whole.

The story begins with a young priestess whose bloodline connection to King David of Israel means she’s assigned a diplomatic marriage rather than allowed to follow her calling. She’s trained her whole life to use her gifts from God to fight evil. Ariela begs God for another path and the angel Raziel sweeps her away to parts unknown. She arrives in Roman-occupied territory where Celtic clans struggle to protect their few remaining druids and their disappearing culture.

While the beginning would be appropriate in any young adult novel, make no mistake. This story delves into the heart of Roman atrocities with their treatment of conquered people, especially women. It also looks at how greed and envy can corrupt a soul. Even without knowing something of the history involved, I had no doubt as to the villains of this piece almost from the moment she lands in a mud-filled alley.

Morrigan, a druid, finds and protects Ariela as she overcomes the disorientation of learning she has jumped not just in space but also some 500-700 years in time to offer the druids hope when they’re all but lost. The druid suspects Ariela is more than the young, vulnerable woman she appears, and she’s right.

Though trained in battle and magic, Ariela is not alone in the battle against the Roman conquerors either. Beyond Morrigan’s help, she’s joined by two friends in the clan, Culaan and Genie, who stand up for Ariela even while they doubt the truth of her accounting.

Druidic power had so faded from the clan memories, even Culaan believes Morrigan nothing more than a mixer of herbs, though her potions are far from simple tinctures. Genie is slower to dismiss the idea, or at least she recognizes the accuracy of Ariela’s accounting of that time. This interest in history is an odd quirk in a woman known as a huntress and tracker extraordinaire.

Culaan has his own specific histories, a mystery shrouding his dead mother and the disdain of his father, who is also clan chieftain. Where another could grow bitter, Culaan is good-hearted and looks out for those around him, the image of his father’s relationships with the clan.

I’m mostly recounting things from the story rather than talking about the themes of the story for two reasons:

First, the theme is pretty straightforward, which does not diminish its strength in any way. The destruction of culture and loss of knowledge in the wake of conquer is something I mourn. It is an atrocity repeated all too often in our histories, and one that has echoes down the timeline to modern day, affecting us still.

The second, though, is because I was swept into the story and the characters until little else mattered. Do not fear I’ve given away all the interesting parts. The above barely scratches the surface of a complex dance between tradition and belief, honor and greed, and fear versus action.

The story has a rotating point of view (POV) that can fall on almost any character in any scene. While this might bother some of you, I suggest you give it a try because I never lost the sense of whose POV I was in no matter how often it moved. This is a well-telegraphed close omniscient voice such that it took me a bit to realize how often it switched. Any other technical issues were minor in comparison to the strength of the narrative and characters as they worked to keep the druidic traditions alive.

At one point, the angel charges Ariela to “Save the magic,” but this is no simple task. She has to find and bring supporters around her, learn to navigate new cultures, and help bring faith back to those who have lost their way if she’s to have any chance of living up to this command. Nor is Ariela left unmolested in her efforts. Her first act upon arriving has consequences stretching further than she could have imagined.

Fiona Tarr made the story come alive through complex characters with their own concerns and histories to drive them. If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know story wins out over anything, but a strong story is more than theme and plot. It’s the people contained within the lines and how they become real to the reader. Call of the Druids succeeds in this admirably. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JN8W5CG

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Druids-Priestess-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07JN8W5CG

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

Read more reviews and follow Fiona on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423164.Fiona_Tarr

Connect to  Fiona via her website: http://atime2write.com.au

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection… there will be more gift ideas for you tomorrow…still 60 authors left to feature in the Christmas promotions.

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

Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – #Music requests from Stevie Turner, Jaye Marie, Lisa Thomson and Dolly Aizenman.


I thought I would share this in the ‘just after midnight slot’ as Letter’s From America is now on a short break until a couple of weeks before Christmas, when my letters to my parents began again following their return to the UK at the end of November.

Unfortunately there was not the space or time to play all of the guest requests at the four meals over the weekend but I promised to do so during the week. Here were the missing tracks from Brunch.You can find more about these guests in more detail Sunday Lunch

Author Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. You can read more at Stevie Turner  Stevie has a wonderful blog and you will find short stories, interviews, posts on writing and also ones that give you something to think about such as this one on education: Exams fiasco

Here is a selection of Stevie’s books, find them all and the reviews Amazon

Stevie mentioned Rimsky-Korsakov’sScheherazade’ as her favourite piece of music and I found part of the 2nd movement of the suite.

Jaye Marie is one-half of the writing partnership, Anita & Jaye Dawes.

Jaye will often be found around the blogging community and social media and is very generous about sharing all our posts. You can find out more about Jaye and enjoy posts and book reviews on her blog Jaye’s books and reviews can be found on Amazon

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Jaye requested something from the 1980s which offered me an excuse for a walk down memory lane….so I selected Take My Breath Away by Berlin.. for lovers of Top Gun.. and to remind you that they are making a sequel.

Lisa Thomson is a recent and welcome addition to the Cafe and Bookstore.

Her two self-help books, “The great Escape; A Girl’s Guide To Leaving a Marriage” and “A divorce Companion”, help economically-dependent women going through divorce. “Hearts Unbroken-short stories”, is her first published fiction. Lisa now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. You can find out more about Lisa on her website  You can find and read the reviews for Lisa’s books on Amazon

Lisa requested American Pie by Don McLean and explains: So much music means everything to me but the last month it’s been this song. It reminds me of my childhood, a time when my family was close.Courtesy of maildavenow

You can buy Don McLean’s music on Amazon

And my final request comes from Dolly Aizenman of Kool Kosher Kitchen blog and cookery book.

Dolly is now semi-retired, loves to cook, and has time on her hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas. Find out more, including the fabulous recipes from around the world on Dolly’s website  You can find Kool Kosher Kitchen and reviews on Amazon

Dolly requested Yesterday by The Beatles courtesy of Various Artists – Topic

Thank you so much for tuning in and for all the comments and shares for the End of Summer Posts.

There is one final celebration and that is tomorrow morning, just after midnight, when Paul Andruss, who has been on an extended break, shares a brand new post written to bring this week long party to a close.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – #Summer Sale – D.G. Kaye, Stevie Turner, D.Wallace Peach and Colleen Chesebro


Welcome to the last in the Summer Sale posts with books in the Cafe and Bookstore that have been reduced on Amazon or Smashwords.

Some of the books from Monday 9th may still be on sale so worth checking: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-brigid-p-gallagher-hugh-w-roberts-jacquie-biggar-and-victoria-zigler/

And from Friday 13th (lucky for some): https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-99p-99c-children-ya-poetry-african-adventure-lucinda-e-clarke-darlene-foster-natalie-ducey-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

Some may still be on offer from Monday 16th: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-childrens-books-thrillers-fantasy-charles-e-yallowitz-john-w-howell-jemima-pett-m-j-mallon-and-diana-j-febry/

Now time to showcase the last of the books in the summer sale beginning with D.G. Kaye who has reduced her latest memoir – Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging. 99c/99p until July 31st

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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Twenty Years: After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye highlights the fact that love can conquer all…only if you understand what is real love. Love is not just passion for each other, laughing or going out together. It is also listening intently, it is being emotionally present in those conversations, it is cleaning the mess of your partner who may get sick just after you marry her. Kaye has shared her personal story of marrying Gordon, who is twenty years older than her but age didn’t deter her from her decision of marrying a man whom she loved. Despite the challenges, love strengthened their relationship in the face of storms of life, taking care of each other in all situations.

This book may be based on the personal experiences of Kaye but it makes an in-depth analysis of marriage, which is not just a commitment that brings blissful joy in the lives of a couple while they are healthy and energetic but also demands care, unconditional love, respect and trust that the partner has to give spontaneously.
In a successful marriage, romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand that forbearance and patience are as essential as passion and sex. A spouse who can’t pick up your luggage from the carousel or who needs a wheel chair at the airport to board a flight just after 20 years of marriage just needs your smile and support.

Conflicts are natural in a marriage but Kaye illustrates with real situations how she copes with them, giving a message that one has to devise one’s own ways to resolve them. Any married person can feel the connect with the thoughts of D.G. but if you are at the threshold of this new phase of life, you could collect some pearls of wisdom from the experiences that she shares in this book. The last two chapters of the book are heart-wrenching and left me wondering how could mortality be discussed in so many words. Kudos to Kaye for her bravery!

Read the reviews and buy the book at 99c until July 31st: https://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Years-Reflections-Changes-Through-ebook/dp/B077V386TL/

And on Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twenty-Years-Reflections-Changes-Through-ebook/dp/B077V386TL/

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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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 website/blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

The next author in the summer sale is Stevie Turner who has reduced her book A House Without Mirrors to 99p/99c until July 26th.

About A House Without Windows

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lies awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

One of the recent reviews for the book

A House without Windows is a psychological thriller that will shock readers. I couldn’t put this book down. This would make an exceptional movie on the big screen.

The author tells the story through the mind of the main protagonist, Beth Nichols, a caring and well-liked doctor. On her way home one day she stops to assist a patient of hers and doesn’t remember anything. Afterward she finds herself locked in a basement room. Edwin Evans is a disturbed individual and has kidnapped Beth and locked her up in his basement to have for himself. A good part of the story takes place in this dark basement that has only one light overhead that is on all the time.

Beth is engaged to the love of her life, Liam, who has no idea what has happened to her. She is kept hidden for nearly ten years. During this time she gives birth to a child which the kidnapper thinks is his. Beth knows better but does not share this fact. The author then continues the story through the eyes of the child, Amy, which only makes this more horrendous for the reader to comprehend.

I don’t want to say what happens next for it would spoil the story for readers. It is an unforgettable read and makes the reader question how a person could endure such incomprehensible treatment and survive with her mind intact. How would a young child adjust to the outside world after being subjected to this life in her early years. Would Beth ever be able to escape with her daughter and if she does will she ever be able to live a normal life again?

This is an exceptional read that you will not be able to erase from your mind. It is no wonder that this excellent read has already won two book awards. Kudos to the author!

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99p until 26th of July: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

And on Amazon US for 99c until 26th July :https://www.amazon.com/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

A selection of other books by Stevie Turner

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 via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

The next author offering her latest release on a Kindle countdown deal is D.Wallace Peach for Soul Swallowers ( The Shattered Sea Book 1) starting at 99c/99p today so grab quickly while it is at that price as it will increase shortly.

About Soul Swallowers

When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness.

Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul.

When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head.

Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.

***

In this completed series, epic fantasy blends with the wisdom of old souls to create a unique coming of age story of courage and honor in the midst of evil. Slavery is pitted against freedom, anger against forgiveness, and a desire to live peacefully against the necessity to take up the sword.

It’s a story of bitter estrangement and broken hearts, of deception and unfettered ambition. For Raze Anvrell it’s a journey of violence, redemption, and his soul’s growth as he transforms from a reckless youth into a man with a rich legacy of souls.

Magic, politics, love, and madness collide in this fantasy adventure. For lovers of beauty and battle, and complex characters willing to risk everything in the fight for their souls.

One of the early reviews for the book

D. Wallace Peach has the rare distinction of becoming my favorite fantasy author based on the quality of her storytelling methods. I haven’t read a single book by this author that I haven’t loved.

Imagine my glee, when I found out she had begun a new series, called, The Shattered Sea. Book One, The Soul Swallowers, is everything I knew it would be—brilliant, creative, and unforgettable.

When Raze Anvrell leaves the wealth and the safety of his home after his young wife is brutally murdered, he suspects that his family was to blame for her demise. Determined to strike out on his own, he flees to Ravenwood, where the souls of the unbound dwell.

Everyone wears an empty soulstone which is given to all of the people at the Temple of Souls. When people die their soul transfers into the pendant. To die without their soulstone allows a soul to drift forever in the ether. The individual’s skills, aptitudes, and the very essence of their personality would then be lost to future generations.

Raze meets Briyon, the owner of his own freehold, who invites the young man to join him in making a new life. Briyon becomes the father figure in Raze’s life and when he dies, Raze swallows his first soul.

Imagine being whom you are and accepting the soul essence of someone else into your existence. New skills and knowledge must integrate, for better or worse. If you swallow too many souls, disaster prevails as the personalities clash for dominion, madness being the end result.

It is in this world where Raze follows the whispers of his soul into unknown territory where only the brave survive.

I felt the magic breathe through the pages of this book with an ancient wisdom that touched my own soul. At the book’s ending, I found myself reluctantly thrust back into my world hating to let the fantasy go.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars 

Head over and buy the book at 99c before it increases soon: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

And on Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

A selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website/blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

And the last author today with her latest release on offer is Colleen Chesebro with Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration. Currently on offer for 99c/99p for the next few days.

About the book

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colleen celebrates summer with fairies, nymphs and those magical creatures that have constantly enchanted mankind. Her spiritual encounter with “a tiny creature, with transparent wings and lavender fragrance” mesmerized her and gave her an amazing power to become a fairy whisperer. Her poetry and stories, which exude magic, are inspired from the swamp fairy she had met. She could sense her presence even after she had vanished into the fog, as it fired her imagination, impelling her to write about their realm.

Colleen transports you to the magical world of fairies, slowly opening each door to reveal the wonders of fairy kingdom where spells are cast to win love or heal, where fairies get tipsy and stop whispering into the ears of Roger, where the thrill of spiritual bliss could be felt. When Regin plans to trick Aerwyna into the words of spell to win her love for a few hours, all he gets is the love of an old woman Mrs Hawkins, the most aged woman in the country while Aerwyna laughs at the spectacle! This book is a superb combination of stories and poetry, which has a mystical connection with spirits and myths.

Read the reviews and buy the book for 99c for the next few days: https://www.amazon.com/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

And Amazon UK at 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01N9MV2RX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com

Thank you for joining us today and tomorrow there are a few more books that are currently FREE to download.. I hope you will pop in to check them out.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Open House Sunday Interview – Author Stevie Turner


Delighted to welcome author Stevie Turner to the Open House today. We will find out about those iconic figures in history that she would like to pop back in time to meet, her blog, the inventions that she wishes had never existed and the five experiences she believes we should all enjoy in our lifetimes.

First a little more about Stevie……..

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. This includes The Donor that is now in Spanish.

I will now hand over to Stevie to share the questions that she chose to answer.

Who would you like to meet from the past who you would like to have a conversation with. What would you tell them about their behaviour that you admired or disapproved of?

When I’m walking over Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight, I often imagine Lord Tennyson striding along his favourite walkway as well, with his black cape flowing out behind him. I’d love to go back in time to catch up with him and have a little chat as we march along the top of the cliffs. I’d tell him how much I enjoyed looking around Farringford House, his home on the Island, and how much I admire his poetry. Then we’d pop into Dimbola Lodge nearby and have tea with photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, who might even take a picture or two of us to hang on her wall with all the other Victorian creatives already there. We’d sit and chat about poetry, about life, and about how on earth I’d managed to inveigle myself into Farringford House 120 years into the future.

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger.

My blog is primarily a source of writing tips for authors, but I also blog about life experiences, and re-blog other writing that I find interesting. I’m enjoying running a free monthly short story/poetry competition on my blog, where I share a story of mine, and then choose my favourite story or poem from the submissions each month and share it on my newsletter and a few of my social media sites. Authors leave a link to their story on my blog so that the submissions can be read by everybody. It’s proving very popular, and at the end of the year I plan to collect all the winning stories or poems together and publish them in a free anthology.  https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/share-your-short-story-february/

Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?

Oh yes, the mobile phone! I got along without it very well for a good 40 years. It’s caused a whole generation of young people to be addicted to social media. They walk around in a trance, looking down at their phones and unaware of what’s going on around them. Teachers must have the devil of a problem trying to engage children, because even the youngest ones are carrying these phones around all the time. They are a terrible distraction and should be banned in schools, and have caused no end of problems regarding on-line bullying and even sexting.

Mobile phones are great for an emergency, such as breaking down on the motorway, and in my opinion they should be left in cars for just this kind of emergency. I’m sick of seeing people walking about lost in their phones in case they’re missing a message. Mobile phones are turning people into zombies.

What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?

  1. Find a soul mate. It makes life worth living if you can find somebody to love who also loves you back, and is there for you in times of trouble.
  2. Become a parent. It ‘rounds’ you off as a person; you learn tolerance, patience, and selflessness. Also, teaching your son or daughter to read and watching them grow to have a love of books is very satisfying.
  3. Find enjoyable employment: Everybody needs to work and earn a living unless you are born rich. It makes sense to find a job that you actually look forward to going to. If you hate your job you will be miserable.
  4. Travel to another country to sample a different culture. You will be amazed how some folks live! A few of the many places I’ve travelled to are The Sambadrome in Rio, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, St. Lucia, Canada, Switzerland, Minorca, Majorca, Ibiza, Crete, France and Germany. However, to me there is no place like the UK. It’s home!
  5. Learn to drive a car. It makes you independent. When I was 17 my father told me he was going to teach me to drive. I remember answering in the negative, because I was too nervous to learn. Undeterred, he told me I would thank him some day. He took me to a quiet road and with endless patience taught me how to make a car do something other than shoot forward ‘kangaroo’ style. Now I live out in the ‘sticks’ and thank him every day for not giving up on me and letting me learn to drive at my own pace.

Can you tell us about your WIP?

I’m currently working on a contemporary crime novel, but have no idea when it will be finished!

What is your favourite piece of music?

Too many to mention, but one that stands out is Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2

Here is the very accomplished Valentina Lisitsa Youtube Channel music available from Amazon

One of Stevie Turner’s books to receive a recent review.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/41cr21evdsl-_uy250_.jpg?w=276&h=409

About the book

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lays awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

One of the recent reviews for A House Without Windows

This book has an unusual storyline with each chapter taking us into the minds and real life thoughts of each character, I could liken this story to the book/movie – Room, but the story isn’t only about ‘the room’ Beth is held captive in, but life after she is freed and the perspectives of every day life after being a victim.

A House Without Windows is the story of Beth Nichols whose compassion as a doctor leads to a scary nightmare in real life when Edwin Evans forms a ploy to kidnap her and keep her locked up all for himself. The story begins as a psychological thriller where Beth’s captivity in a tiny room with no windows becomes her life and the only home she will know for almost ten years,

Turner does a great job of giving us readers a ringside seat into what life is like for Beth, leaving us feeling uncomfortable, anxious, taking us in, almost as though we were that hostage, and wondering how on earth she will ever get out of her hell. Beth is a strong-willed and an intelligent woman, which has much to do with how she manages to stay sane while enduring solitude and the daily abuse, all the while remembering her love for her dear fiancee Liam.

I don’t want to reveal spoilers so it’s better I don’t talk about what happens in the second half of the book. Suffice it to say, I will plant some questions here that came to my mind as I read this captivating book:

Beth: How does one continue on back in the real world when it comes to love and sex and trust?

Beth: How does a mother keep love in her heart for a child who was born from rape?

Amy: How does a child born in captivity adapt to the real world after young childhood years in 4 walls?

Liam: Does true love ever die no matter the circumstance even after moving on and accepting the love of your life is dead?

Joss: Does being born of the spawn of a psychotic maniac carry through the genes?

These are just a few questions that came to mind and will no doubt come to any reader’s mind as they read this book, and as you continue to read those answers will be revealed. Turner has done a fantastic job of fleshing out characters, settings and mood. I would highly #recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Without-Windows-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00HUH6R7Q

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

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

Website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6
Blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105747643789021738179/posts/p/pub
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/
Email: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

My thanks to Stevie for joining us today and as always we would love to have your feedback and questions… Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Jacquie Biggar, Stevie Turner and Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the second Christmas book fair today and the first author who has a book that would delight any reader at this time of year is USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense Jacquie Biggar with Silver Bells.

About Silver Bells

Will a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family? A heartwarming, passionate story of true love.

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most? A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, and romantic comedy, Silver Bells has something for every reader.

One of the excellent reviews for the book

SILVER BELLS: A Holiday Romance by Jacquie Biggar is a holiday novella that was sweet and easily read in one sitting curled up on the couch while the weather outside is frightful.
Joel Campbell, award winning mystery writer, has moved from Scotland to Vancover Island. He wants to be closer to his grandmother and hopes the change will get him over his writers’ block. Hating his fame, he has walled off his heart, become gruff and hates anyone interrupting him and yet, he is lonely.

Christy Taylor is an artist who has started her own shop attached to her rented home. Her life cannot be more hectic. She is attempting to grow her clientele, while caring for her small daughter, Jill, who has been diagnosed with Type 1, Juvenile diabetes. Christy is a great mother, but her divorce and her exes attitude toward their daughter has made her distrustful of any help from any man.

These two need to open up their hearts and learn to trust again before it is too late.
This novella is an enjoyable and quick read. I loved the characters in this short read, but being short, I felt some of the character development was lost. Jill was adorable and her disease was handle extremely well. I also feel this novella was not really a Christmas story, just a winter setting. That said, still a good heartfelt novella for a cold winter day.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Bells-Holiday-Augustus-Mystery-Prequel-ebook/dp/B01N58D23M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Bells-Holiday-Augustus-Mystery-Prequel-ebook/dp/B01N58D23M/

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar

Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com

The next author is Stevie Turner for her latest release Mind Games new on the shelves in October.

About Mind Games

Frances Andrews is sick of her husband Martin’s addiction to pornography, and has lost her trust in him. Martin views porn as a harmless pastime, but when Frances threatens to leave, he is distraught and begs her to go with him for marriage guidance therapy. Counsellor Rhona suggests they take a holiday in the first instance, and start talking to one another again. Frances just wants out of the marriage, but finally agrees to go on a cruise…as long as they have separate cabins.

Told from both Frances and Martin’s perspectives, Mind Games shines a light on the effect that an addiction to pornography can have on a previously happy marriage.

One of the early reviews for the book

What do you do when trust has been destroyed in a marriage? Frances and Martin have had a happy marriage, except that his pornography addiction and her obsession with catching him out have rendered them unable to trust one another. He still loves her, but she’s completely disgusted by him. Is there anyway to find common ground?

I won’t give away the ending, but I thought it was interesting how Stevie Turner resolved the main conflict of the novel.

Well-written, insightful. Turner doesn’t give in to the usual conventions of romance make-up literature. She writes real people undergoing a believable crisis. Although I haven’t known any couples struggling with porn addictions, I have heard similar stories in other 12-Step groups. After a partner has deeply damaged the relationship, that partner stepping onto a better path doesn’t erase the hurt their spouse feels. You can only try to find a compromise where love remains.

Lest you think this story is a real downer, it’s not. There are some truly hilarious lines in this book. You definitely get the sense that Martin loves Frances and, if she weren’t so mad at him for repeating the same unfaithfulness over and over, she’d love him too.

I would definitely read more of Turner’s books.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Games-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B073YHXSJH

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Games-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B073YHXSJH

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

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 via her website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Delighted to feature Olga Nunez Miret with her books. Olga has been working with me in the role of translator this year and the Spanish version of Tales from the Garden should be available by Christmas.. I cannot recommend Olga enough in this capacity and as a very supportive and generous blogging friend.  I have selected I Love Your Cupcakes to feature since everyone loves cupcakes at this time of year.. and I love the cover.

About I Love Your Cupcakes

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

One of the reviews for the book

What a fun book this was! Starting with a colorful, tantalizing cover, Ms. Núñez Miret’s story immediately drew me in. In it, Dulce and Adelfa are best friends and, coincidentally, half sisters (It’s complicated!). Dulce has dabbled in one profession after another; Adelfa has had trouble with men. Together they finally get their acts together by starting a cupcake and cake business, proving the age-old adage, “when things are meant to be” they just happen lickety-split.

Using an old, 1878 abandoned firehouse, they develop a community-based, fun-filled bakery, where books are offered to the public as well as good cheer. All is going swimmingly when they are invited to participate in a televised Hollywood bake off. The reader is then treated to the inner workings of shows such as this––some of it wonderful, some of it not so good. As the contestants get to know one another, romance blossoms for our heroines, bringing happiness full circle for all. If you want to read a highly entertaining, feel-good book, I definitely recommend this one!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Your-Cupcakes-Núñez-Miret-ebook/dp/B00NZ73WBO

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Cupcakes-Núñez-Miret-ebook/dp/B00NZ73WBO

A selection of other books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

Read the reviews and buy the books Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads –http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio books http://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga via her website: http://www.olganm.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope it has given you some ideas for books as gifts for friends and family as well as for yourself. Thanks Sally