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

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily #Meet the Reviewers – Monday, November 5th 2018 – Robbie Cheadle with Stevie Turner, Don Massenzio, Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the first of the blogger daily posts this week and meet the reviewers, where I share bloggers who promote authors.

The first is Robbie Cheadle who is an avid reader and reviewer and today she has featured A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner

Newly-pregnant Dr. Beth Nichols is happily engaged to Liam Darrah, a fellow doctor. She has no idea she is being stalked by ex-patient Edwin Evans as she makes her way home one evening after a late shift at the hospital. After being anaesthetized, she wakes up in Edwin’s basement, held against her will, and eventually gives birth there without medical help. However, Beth tries to stay positive, and somehow knows that Liam will still be out there searching for her. Every night, she looks up at the light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that one day they will be together again.

This romance/suspense story is written from different perspectives; from Beth’s nine-year-old daughter Amy, born in captivity, from Beth herself, unwillingly pregnant again years later with Edwin’ s baby; from Liam and Edwin; and 16 years later from Joss, Beth and Edwin’s son.

Head over and read Robbie’s review of the book: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/11/03/bookreview-a-house-without-windows-by-stevie-turner

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

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Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

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

Have you ever wondered about incorporating time travel into your writing… Don Massenzio has and in this post he shared the various theories of how it might be achieved according to writers who have ventured into the unknown.

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Head over and discover some of the theories that have been presented in fiction and leave your views on the subject: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/time-travel-a-recurring-theme-in-science-fiction

Don Massenzio, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI
Blog: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

Please visit Don’s Amazon page or his blog to view all his books.

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Time for a book launch and Miriam Hurdle is celebrating the release of her poetry collection. Songs of the Heartstrings was released today and although I will be doing a new book promotion this week, here is a taster with drinks on offer too.

Welcome to my Book Launch party. My book is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. Paperback is in black and white and Kindle is in color (see below).

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It’s wonderful to see you dropping by to give me support. Please help yourself with some drink.

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I would like to tell you about my book. Songs of Heartstrings is my poetic memoir. It has nine themes:

– Songs of Nature – Lessons learned from observing the surviving power in nature

Head over and find out more about the other eight themes and also enjoy the images that Miriam has used in the book: https://theshowersofblessings.com/2018/11/05/songs-of-heartstrings-book-launch/

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope that you will head over and read the posts in full.. 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.

Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Sunday Lunch with guests Annette Rochelle Aben, Stevie Turner, Jaye Marie, Balroop Singh, Lisa Thomson, Janice Spina, Dolly Aizenman, Ritu Bhathal, Jacquie Biggar and Sharon Marchisello.


Welcome to the last of the meals to celebrate the end of summer. Sunday Lunch is a meal that brings family and friends together and I hope you enjoy the food and company here today.

I asked my guests if there was one particular food that they could not live without and hopefully I have catered for all of their tastes. I have also asked for their music requests and I have drawn four of the choices out of a hat to play today.

Those tracks that there is not time for will be shared during next week in special editions of the Blogger Daily.

With that out of the way I hope you will enjoy this opportunity to meet blogger friends in a slightly different setting, and also new contacts that will increase your blogging pleasure.

This is a party and if you are popping in then please do not leave without leaving you name, a little bit about yourself and the link to your blog and to Amazon if you are an author.

Before we get seated for lunch, please help yourself to some canapes there are some roasted cashews on the platter, especially for my first guest who cannot live without nuts!

Meet Annette Rochelle Aben who is a shining light of kindness and someone who daily encourages to be grateful. A talented poet, Annette has published several collections that reflect life around us and usually accompanied by beautiful images.

Annette spent many years in the broadcast industry and has used her expertise to create an online platform for authors and artists to showcase their talents. You can find out more about how to join Annette on the air Where the Magic Happens

She is a very generous supporter of everyone that she connects to and her daily affirmations on social media bring a spark of inspiration to all who follow her. You can find more posts and poetry on Annette’s Blog

Here is a selection of Annette’s books and them all and read the reviews on Amazon

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One of the reviews for A Tanka Picture Book by Tina Frisco 5.0 out of 5 stars A Song for the Heart

This beautiful little book will warm your heart and stir your soul. A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben is a treasure trove of inspiration, filled with picturesque images overlaid by touching verse. The author explains that Tanka means “short song.” I find this the perfect description, considering I felt my heart singing while I read. Compassion, encouragement, and gratitude create a texture and mood that will leave you feeling both peaceful and exhilarated. Whether your spirit needs fortifying or you’re simply looking for a splendid gift, this book is sure to deliver. 

Annette has requested Let it Be by The Beatles and she has a fascinating story to tell.

I actually made a recording of this song at a Beatle Convention in Detroit, in the 90’s The song had always touched me emotionally but that day a very special person heard me sing it, approached me and offered to change my life forever. Mike McCartney was there (Paul’s brother) asked for the tape and the person who paid for the tape refused to turn it over. True Story…

Here are the lads singing live in Spain…You can buy The Beatles on Amazon

Time for the guests to take their seats and enjoy a selection of starters including these wholemeal bruschetta with ham and mozzarella especially for my next guest who would never give up eating bread.

Time to meet author Stevie Turner who 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. Her award winning books are also in audio and For the Sake of a Child has also been adapted into a screenplay and 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. 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

Here is an extract from a recent review for A House Without Windows which has achieved over 500 reviews on Goodreads. Jul 31, 2018 Frank Parker reviewed the book

Inevitably this book invites comparison with the award winning Room. Both were suggested by real life situations in which a woman was abducted and held captive for a number of years during which she gave birth to one or more children.

I have to say that Turner’s imagining of such a scenario is very different – and none the worse for that. This is true both in the way the child’s behaviour in captivity is portrayed and in events subsequent to the escape. Rather cleverly Turner allows the child, Amy, to acquire an Enid Blyton story book and her understanding of life outside the ‘house without windows’ is framed by the adventures of the fictional children.

Stevie mentioned Rimsky-Korsakov’sScheherazade’ as her favourite piece of music and I will be playing part of the 2nd movement of the suite during the week in the Blogger Daily.

The guests today have been offered a choice of two roasts and a vegetarian option for the main course and here roast beef with all the trimmings along with some seasonal vegetables.

I hope that my next guest author Jaye Marie will enjoy the roast beef as her go to food is steak… there is some mustard available is she enjoys that too. Jaye will often be found around the blogging community and social media and is very generous about sharing all our posts.

Jaye is one-half of the writing partnership, Anita & Jaye Dawes, and you met Jaye’s sister-in-law yesterday at Brunch. Since Jaye’s retirement she has been enjoying reading books, developing an online platform and getting to grips with publishing Anita’s books. With all of that under her belt, she discovered that she too had a story that needed to be told which was her first book, a mystery thriller The Ninth Life. 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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An extract from a review for The Ninth Life by Louise Wyatt  An addictive and rollercoaster of a read

If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then this would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.

Not once did I get bored reading it or find the story faltering at all – definitely one of those where ‘you need to know what happens next’ but I think the author’s gift when writing this is to keep the protagonist centre whilst keeping the reader constantly hooked. The antagonist is typically a nasty character, one whom the reader takes an instant dislike to and the edge he adds to the story is almost palpable.

Jaye requested something from the 1980s and I will be searching through my favourites to play during the week on the Blogger Daily

For the vegetarian option I have prepared tortellini stuffed with mushrooms, in a tomato and basil sauce.

Although my next guest said that she enjoys salads and desserts the most, I am hoping that she might enjoy eating a little tortellini as well.

Balroop Singh is another supportive blogger and also inspires by sharing her poetry on social media. She is a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart and you can find out a great deal more, including wonderful book reviews and heartwarming posts on Balroop’s Blog

You can find all of Balroop’s books and reviews on Amazon

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Here is an extract from an early review for Balroop’s latest collection Timeless Echoes by Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Deep emotions uniquely revealed in Balroop’s poetry July 7, 2018

When Balroop Singh’s latest poetry book, Timeless Echoes (2018), published, I planned to savor it slowly, bring it out for those moments when I needed a boost or a cheer up. That didn’t happen. I ended up devouring it. I know from her blog that Balroop has incredible insights into the human condition. When she puts these in context with the flow and rhythm of poetry and the connotative depth only a poet can pack into a few words, this becomes a truly important book of poetry:

“It seemed so fascinating
To tread the unknown trail
How could I forget the elation?
The warm words of assurance!

Balroop has a preference for soft and sentimental music which had me scouring my playlists and I hope that she and the other guests enjoy this visually stunning piece from Gloria Franchi

Time for another of the roast dishes which is roast pork with crackling, served with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables already on the table and apple sauce..

Lisa Thomson is a recent and welcome addition to the Cafe and Bookstore and was born and raised in B.C., and eventually moved to Edmonton, Alberta. As a graduate of University of Alberta, with a BA, she worked in Recreation Administration for several years. Lisa’s passion for writing began during her divorce and has blossomed into more creative pursuit without losing that drive to help others. 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 will find self-help articles on divorce but also on other topics such as social media including this post on Instagram

You can find and read the reviews for Lisa’s books on Amazon

Here is an extract from one of the early reviews for Hearts Unbroken from the guest sitting next to her at the table. Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Engrossing  July 14, 2018

Hearts Unbroken’ by Lisa Thomson is an anthology of short stories that tug at reader’s heart, as they talk about human emotions and relationships, some of them so fragile that they need a solo long drive to figure them out. Sarah’s marriage is a façade and she discovers it the day she decides to attend her family reunion without her husband who has no respect for her emotions and desires. He shrugs her off with an insensitive remark. No less poignant are the questions of Samantha who is too little to understand why her mommy is not coming home to tuck her in her bed. Lisa excels in bringing out raw emotions without letting them melt into a melodrama. Her characters move on with their life despite heavy baggage of betrayal and internal strife.

Lisa loves chocolate and I have made sure that the dessert selection contains plenty of it…

She also requested American Pie by Don McLean and I will be playing that during the week in the Blogger Daily.

I have chosen a medium dry white wine to accompany lunch today and there is also some very robust red to accompany the roast beef.

Meet award winning and prolific author Janice Spina who did request lobster which are a bit difficult to find here, but she also mentioned wine… so hope she will indulge in a glass or two of the above.

Janice has written 17 children’s books including her latest, illustrated as always by her husband John –  Abby & Holly School Dance, book one of a brand new series, a spin off from Davey and Derek Junior Detectives. Janice has published three novels under J. E. Spina, a paranormal/mystery/romance novel,  and a short story collection. You can find out more about Janice and her books, as well as enjoy guest posts and interviews with the authors that she supports so generously on her Blog

Here is just a small selection of Janice’s books and you can find them all and reviews on Amazon

One of the recent reviews for Abbey & Holly by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne 5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining book with a valuable lesson!  July 19, 2018

I loved Janice Spina’s new book “Abby and Holly, School Dance.” The writing style made you feel like you were enjoying the adventures of Abby, Holly and their friends. You’re sure to smile at the twins Derek and Davey’s shyness around Abby and Holly. It’s a delightful story. Trouble comes when one of their classmates, Justine, mysteriously becomes sick. How is the mystery solved? When Justine is bullied, how does the group of friends encourage the bullies to change their behavior. This is an enjoyable book teaches, families, and teens are sure to love and they are likely to remember not only the entertaining adventures, but the important message the story shares. Another wonderful book by Janice Spina.

Janice has requested Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You and explains why – my husband and I danced to that song at our wedding. It said everything that we felt for each other.

Time for the first of the desserts and perhaps some water to cleanse the palate, infused with fruit. Who does not love Tiramisu …. there are certainly a few chocolate lovers dining here today.

Time to meet Dolly Aizenman of Kool Kosher Kitchen blog and cookery book who loves anything chocolate so I hope she is tucking into the dessert..

Here is a little bit about Dolly in her own words. It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my 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

One of the recent reviews for the book Linda H. Gershater5.0 out of 5 stars MORE THAN A COOKBOOK, FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!  June 10, 2018

So much more than a cookbook. This is a book to warm your heart and soul! I have been privileged to know Mrs. Aizenman for a number of years. Her stories are so warm, heartfelt and sincere. I sat down to look it over, and ended up reading it from cover to cover, enjoying her wonderful stories and anecdotes. I hope that you will add this very special book to your collection of cookbooks, but remember to sit, make a cup of tea (or two, or three) and just enjoy the read. Her recipes are terrific and very true to the way that she cooks. You won’t be disappointed. 

Dolly requested Yesterday by The Beatles and I will be playing that later in the week in The Blogger Daily.

Since there are so many chocolate lovers here today I have included this rich chocolate cake served with strawberries and someone better pass my next guest some whipped cream to go with it. She is off this particular treat at the moment, so let’s see if we can tempt her.

Time to meet Ritu Bhathal who is a poet, who fits in writing somehow into a busy life as a full-time teacher and mum. She is also a very active member of our blogging and social media community and she generously shares a great many of our blog posts each day. I loved meeting her in person at last year’s Blogger’s Bash and I am sure she will be adding some laughter to today’s lunch.

Ritu was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

Ritu also writes a blog, But I Smile Anyway, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu’s collection of poetry and its reviews can be found on Amazon

One of the reviews for Poetic Rituals A delightful book of metrical poetry with some haiku celebrating the family 

This book contains about 120 pages of poems celebrating family and its joyfulness. Most of the poems are metrical and many of these rhyme. This book, for the most part, provides the reader with a traditional poetic, sound experience. The book also contains haiku and other such forms. These are also witty and enjoyable.

Although this is a book of poetry, you should be able to understand every page and find lines and stanzas that make you smile–or at least make you want to highlight them so you can find them again quickly.

Ritu has requested Dhule Ka Sehra and she explains why: It was a song my Pops wanted played at my wedding. It is filled with the feelings of a father upon seeing his daughter getting married. It is beautiful and makes me cry even today!

Here it is performed by Sufi Soul Sangeet

And for the final dessert today I have a fresh fruit salad that you can eat with cream, fresh yogurt or add to your chocolate cake. The fruit was a special request by the next guest at the table.

I have been connected to Jacquie Biggar for a couple of years now and she is a delightful person with a great sense of humour. I recommend that you follow her on her website and also on the main social media platforms as you will find her to be generous with her likes and sharing.

Jacquie is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. You can find out more by visiting Jacquie’s website

You will find guest posts and also book reviews on Jacquie’s blog which is part of her website.. such as this review on Friday Desperate Girls

This is just a very small selection of Jacquie’s books and you will find the rest and reviews on Amazon

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Here is one of the recent reviews for Jacquie’s latest release Sweetheart Cove by Colorado Cowgirl 5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming and lovely story about the power of love to heal hearts and bodies July 24, 2018

Sweetheart Cove is where wounded hearts get a second chance at love. This is such a heartwarming, lovely story, complete with a moody widower, his disabled sweetie of a young daughter, a cute puppy and a “jilted at the altar” heroine. The setting is an endearing small town in British Columbia, full of noisy and wonderful characters that fill-out the story nicely. There is even a wicked developer lady. Josie’s fiancé cheated on her and her wedding and honeymoon plans crash around her. She decides to retreat to the end of the earth and lick her wounds, while she works as a physiotherapist for a girl in a wheelchair. But she is too young and attractive and threatens to chip away at the ice protecting Jacob’s heart since his wife died in the accident that disabled his daughter. The book is full of charm, romance, humor and heartwarming situations. But the grief and pain is very real too. This is a short “beach read” that you won’t want to put down (watch for sunburn). And the little girl and her puppy steal the show, of course!

Jacquie requested Dance by Garth Brooks and I will be playing the track during the week in the Blogger Daily.

I had some cheese left over from dinner last night which is a good thing since my next guest adores it.

My final guest for Sunday Lunch is Sharon Marchisello who is a travel writer, author of non-fiction personal finance guides, and a murder mystery. Going Home is her first published novel. The concept was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California. Now she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. You can find out more on Sharon’s Blog

Sharon has contributed a number of very informative and interesting posts to Smorgasbord including her latest for those of you planning a trip to Cuba Navigating Cuban Currency

You can find Sharon’s books and reviews on Amazon

One of the reviews for Going Home Very Good By Don S and TeamGolfwell

I really liked “Going Home” by Sharon Marchisello, and found it to be an excellent and exciting mystery. I am familiar with the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and the author wrote an excellent mystery with many interesting characters. Ms. Marchisello has a lot of talent as a writer and I enjoyed it very much.

Sharon has requested one of my favourite songs from The EaglesDesperado and she explains it is because it took her so long to settle down…..

Here is the track from a live performance of The Eagles in New Zealand

Thank you for dropping and hope you have enjoyed the last meal in this celebration of the End of the Summer and some of the wonderful bloggers and authors in our community.

As with any of these parties, it is an opportunity to introduce yourself and leave your link to your blog and your Amazon author page. It would also be great if you would share the post as far as possible through the web…

My thanks to https://pixabay.com for providing the food that I could not make myself.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Something to think about with Vashti-Quiroz-Vega, Nicholas Rossis and Stevie Turner


Welcome to the Blogger Daily, and today I am popping into the Cafe and bookstore to check on posts from the authors. The first I would like to share is from Vashti Quiroz-Vega with an update on the Red Algae off southwest Florida which has resulted in the governor declaring a state of emergency.Vashti took the opportunity to write a poem about the disaster for #PoetryFriday.

Poetry Friday ~ Love & Time (Synonyms)

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news about the ‘Red Tide’ algae affecting southwest Florida, but what’s going on here is a real tragedy.

Toxic algae, called ‘red tide’ are killing the marine life in the southwest coast of Florida. Sea creatures have been washing up on our shores. The situation is so bad that our governor has declared a state of emergency.

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Images Vashti Quiroz-Vega

This kind of thing upsets me beyond belief. Scientists are trying to figure out how to get rid of these tiny creatures and there has been some wild speculations as to how they had come to be. Well, I have a theory of my own. I believe The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (BP oil spill) in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010 is one of many things to blame. Nature always tries to protect itself and that includes marine life. All the garbage and oil in the water have killed many aquatic creatures and vegetation. Maybe, some of the gulf’s algae mutated into what are now known as ‘red-tide algae’ to protect itself long ago and maybe they plague us for disrespecting their environment. Yes, I know this reads like something out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, but it makes perfect sense to me. When a life form is placed in a toxic environment it will either die or change to adapt to its new surroundings. Only this algae has mutated into a monstrous form that kills off every other creature around.

Please head over and read the rest of the post, Vashti’s poem and watch the National Geographic video: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/poetry-friday-love-time-synonyms/

Now for another hot topic which is the blatant use of personal information by Facebook for targeted advertising. This is not new as back as far as 2010 when I was browsing for sites selling stair lifts on Google and began to get adverts in my Facebook feed for stair lifts but also other elderly aids such as toilet risers and incontinent knickers.. I kid you not…At this time they have clearly decided that I am in need of a break, as I am getting weekend breaks and spa days in my timeline.
Anyway as always Nicholas Rossis has the up to date information, and if you have taken out ads for your books, then head over and read what you should think about in regards to how you manage them.

Unless you spend most of your time under a rock, you will have heard of Facebook’s troubles regarding its cavalier use of its user’s personal data. Zuckerberg was grilled in Congress and they were recently fined £500,000 for their role in the big Cambridge Analytical data scandal, which saw some 87 million Facebook users have their data exposed and used to influence political elections.
Facebook’s Response

As reported by Ron Douglas, Facebook has responded by quietly taking away targeting options that were based on sensitive data they don’t want people to know they had in the first place.

These include options built on the data provided by third-party companies like Axiom or Experian. These options are called Partner Categories and are very powerful when trying to target users based on the behaviors they take outside of Facebook. This explains why you may search for shoes on Google and have Ads for shoes appear on your timeline a moment later.

Using Partner Categories, advertisers were able to target people who were frequent buyers, in the market for a new vehicle, in certain job roles, or likely to relocate. This behavioral data was super valuable when trying to meet users with the right marketing message at the right time during the consideration process.

What does this mean for you? Head over and find out: https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/facebook-ads-news-changes-in-targeting/

Nicholas Rossis, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-C.-Rossis/e/B00FXXIBZA
Blog:http://nicholasrossis.me/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7426506.Nicholas_C_Rossis

Please visit Amazon or Nicholas’s website to view all his books.

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And now on the subject of exams and the recent announcement of A- Level results in the UK.. from Stevie Turner. I have to admit to being as mystified as Stevie at how the statistics and pass rates appear to have been fudged, although as Stevie points out, if you want a full school and funding you cannot have a low pass rate.

Anyway in whichever country you live in you will have your own education system and can pass comment on that. But it strikes me, having been on the receiving end of the education systems school and university graduates, that some of the grass roots subjects, such as Reading, Writing and basic arithmetic might be quite useful. Apparently 17% – 20% of 16-19 year old students are leaving school functionally illiterate and unable to cope with the challenges of everyday life: Teaching Times

I expect this post is not going to be popular with young people who have just had their A Level results, but do stay with me for the rest of this blog because I need to say something about the examination system in England, which I have had some past experience of, having worked in the examinations department of a college.

On my BBC News app, it says A Levels in England have been moving away from coursework and instead are graded on final exams. This is how it used to be when I was at school, but wait a minute… I also read that this year A Level students have been awarded the highest proportion of As and A* grades since 2012 (97.6% was the overall pass rate for all grades), and that the exams’ regulator had promised grade boundaries could be lowered once papers were marked if it transpired that the new exams were tougher than expected.

I don’t have an ‘ology’ so correct me if I’ve missed something here, but I assume the students had been studying the proper course content for 2 years, they knew they’d be tested at the end, and they’d had the chance to take a few mock exams beforehand? What is the point of making the exams tougher if the grade boundaries then get lowered because not enough students achieve top grades? Surely it’s how the subjects are taught and the teachers’ control of the class that should be checked? It’s pointless lowering grades, as very soon you’re back to square one where everybody passes and university clearing houses and prospective employers cannot then root out the wheat from the chaff.

Head over and read the rest of this thought provoking post: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2018/08/18/this-exams-fiasco/

and the follow up post: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/music-lessons/

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

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

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will explore the posts further and add your comments there. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday August 1st 2018 – #Travel with Jacqui Murray, #Publishing with Anne R. Allen and FREE books with Stevie Turner


Welcome to today’s small selection of posts that I have enjoyed.

The first post is from author Jacqui Murray who is sharing her trip across America by plane and train. Very entertaining and informative and keep your eyes out for part two.

My Trip Across America 2018 – Part One – by Jacqui Murray

Over the last two weeks, my son and I traveled across the United States visiting my daughter in the Washington DC area, my sister in Indiana, and then trained it home to Laguna Hills, California. I want to share the highlights with you. I hope you enjoy the journey!

Washington DC

  • My daughter actually lives in a condo in Fulton, Maryland, about an hour (depending upon traffic) outside of DC. We used this as a central point to visit her alma mater the United States Naval Academy, take a tour of the White House and the Capitol Building, have lunch at the incomparably-beautiful Trump Tower, and drive around Virginia house hunting. Here are my thoughts:
  • I carry a small water bottle in my purse to take my RA and AS pills (and migraine pill when needed) but security always takes it from me. This time, I carried the empty bottle and filled it on the opposite side. Brilliant me! I can’t believe it took about ten plane trips to figure that one out.
  • What can I say about a plane ride that hasn’t already been said? The seats are too close, the food is non-existent, and the service is efficient but rote. Since we didn’t choose to eat airplane food, Sean and I read and talked. One of our conversations was about ‘feral cows’. I contended that most domesticated animals have feral versions (wild dogs, feral cats, wild horses) but not cows. They can’t survive on their own. My son disagreed but could provide no evidence. This came out of a post at Karen Hume’s blog about curiosity I know my extreme curiosity makes me a bit odd. I get intrigued by lots of stuff and often tangential to anything going on. My kids are used to me.
  • Since California no longer gives away plastic bags with groceries, I will have to buy my trash bags and dog poop bags when I run out of my inventory. As a result, my daughter collects them for me in Maryland that doesn’t have this law and I take them home. I did so this time but most of the bags I stuffed into corners of my luggage were taken by my sister (in Marion Indiana). Bags are free in Maryland but sister can’t get enough for the daily cat boxes for her six cats.
  • About those plastic bags–my daughter got a bit angry with me when I wouldn’t take a suitcase-full of them. I would have had to pay to check the luggage but the illogic of that didn’t sway her. Try saying no to a LT CMDR in the Navy. She is intimidating!
  • During our visit to the Naval Academy, we joined a tour of John Paul Jones’ crypt which is located on the Yard. I forgot he was a Rear Admiral in the Russian Navy.
  • The White House tour was well worth the time and security (including a drug-sniffing dog). It was self-paced so we could take as long or short as we wanted.
  • The only other tour we could fit in was the Capitol Building. An interesting factoid: George Washington was supposed to be in the crypt under the dome but his estate won’t give up his body so the crypt is empty.
  • We received a warm welcome at both the White House (top picture–see the image in the right-hand window? That’s my tech ed profile) and the Capitol Building (Ask a Tech Teacher is my tech ed blog and Structured Learning is my collaborative publisher–for nonfiction). I grabbed these photos of the greeting:

Image Jacqui Murray

Please head over and enjoy the rest of the trip and the terrific photographs that Jacqui has shared: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/my-trip-across-america-part-1/

Jacqui is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Jacqui Murray, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ
Website: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/

Now a post from Anne R. Allen which is great news for those of us who blog but are also authors. I am a firm believer in blogs as a way to promote books, and it would seem that it might also be an excellent way to attract the attention of publishers. Anne also shares many more benefits of blogging, and her own experiences of its impact on her writing.

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This week, Jane Friedman reports some bad news for new novelists who want to go the traditional publishing route. She says fiction markets are increasingly “more competitive and risk-averse due to continued dwindling sales.” And she tells us that agents and publishers are now combing queries looking for “authors who demonstrate they have a vision for their career and the marketing work involved in that career.”

So how can you show “vision” and an aptitude for “marketing work”…before you query?

One way is blogging.

And if you decide to go indie and skip those risk-averse publishers, you’ll need even more vision and marketing skills. In order to sell in any significant numbers, you’ll want to establish your brand before you send your baby out into the marketplace.

So how can you do that?

By blogging.

Head over and read the rest of the post and keep blogging: http://annerallen.com/2018/07/blogging-jumpstart-writing-career/

Stevie Turner’s August newsletter is now out and is offering her new release A Marriage of Convenience Free between 25th and 29th August so put in your diaries. Also Stevie is sharing writing contest links, news of For the Sake of a Child now in Italian and now permanently FREE The Pilates Class..

FREE BOOK!

My latest book ‘A Marriage of Convenience’ will be FREE from 25th – 29th August:

http://bookShow.me/B07D7Z37DR

Latest 5 star review:

Turner has a gift for creating engrossing family drama stories and fleshing out strong characters who draw us into their stories and emotions.

In this tale we are introduced to Sophie, a university student, who is offered an unusual opportunity to marry Gerrie, an aspiring musician who is a fellow student at her school,: he’s looking for someone who will marry him to give him legal status to stay in the U.K. legally to pursue his musical career. A large sum of money comes with the offer which makes it quite a tempting one.

What transpires from their marriage of convenience turns out to be a lasting love, along with an emotional rollercoaster for both Sophie and Gerrie from the beginning when they both, first have to inform their parents about the sudden marriage, and continues with the drama that ensues throughout their marriage (no spoilers). Suffice it to say, that the plot thickens when Gerrie hatches a plot to extract money from his wealthy parents to start up a band and take it on the road, which backfires because Gerrie’s parents had bigger dreams of him taking over the family business, so there was no other way his parents would freely hand him over the money for a pipedream. This leaves Gerrie with no option but to go through with his alternate plan which ultimately winds up jeopardizing his family.

The story continues to build with many tribulations as the couple’s plight to gain funds gets sticky, and Gerrie and Sophie are faced with dramatic family woes. As the years pass and their family grows, grief that is hidden but never forgotten plays a big part in their quest to regain their family unit and in doing so, find forgiveness for the baddies who turned their lives upside down.

Head over and read the rest of the newsletter including the link to writing contests and free book: https://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Stevie is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

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

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will explore the posts further…. thanks Sally.

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.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Stevie Turner, D.G. Kaye, Terry Tyler and Bette A. Stevens


Welcome to Monday’s Cafe and Bookstore Update. The first author with recent review is Stevie Turner for her book Mind Games.

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 recent reviews for the book

Mind Games is the story of the life of Frances and Martin Andrews. Their story is one of a marriage that has been destroyed by Martin’s addiction to porn and the loss of trust that comes from addiction.

The story is told from both Frances and Martin’s perspectives. Throughout the story you begin to see life through the eyes of Frances, with occasional views through Martin’s eyes. The character of Frances really grows throughout the tale, and I found myself really rooting for her.

It is a fast moving story, and I found myself making my way through the book in a short time. Although the story is about porn addiction, it is not an erotic or sensual book in anyway. At times the book is hard to read simply because porn addiction is a tough subject to read about. But the story line is interesting, and I wanted to know the outcome of their marriage and where life takes them.

I think the author did a very good job telling an interesting, fast moving story about a very complex, yet believable situation.

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/

The next author with a recent review is D.G. Kaye for her memoir P.S. I Forgive You.

About the book

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Heartfelt on May 13, 2018

The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.

A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.

The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.
I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/P-S-Forgive-You-Broken-Legacy-ebook/dp/B01LWOYPRP/

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

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

Marina Osipova is also in the Cafe and Bookstore

Marina Osipova, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW
Website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

The next author celebrating recent reviews for her latest release is Terry Tyler for UK2 (Project Renova Book 3)

About UK2 (Project Ronova Book 3)

‘Two decades of social media had prepared them well for UK2.’

The pace steps up in this final instalment of the Project Renova trilogy, as the survivors’ way of life comes under threat.

Two years after the viral outbreak, representatives from UK Central arrive at Lindisfarne to tell the islanders about the shiny new city being created down south. UK2 governor Verlander’s plan is simple: all independent communities are to be dissolved, their inhabitants to reside in approved colonies. Alas, those who relocate soon suspect that the promises of a bright tomorrow are nothing but smoke and mirrors, as great opportunities turn into broken dreams, and dangerous journeys provide the only hope of freedom.

Meanwhile, far away in the southern hemisphere, a new terror is gathering momentum…

‘I walked through that grey afternoon, past fields that nobody had tended for nearly three years, past broken down, rusty old vehicles, buildings with smashed windows. I was walking alone at the end of the world, but I was a happy man. I was free, at last.’

Although this concludes the Project Renova trilogy, there will be more books in the series. A collection of five side stories is planned, and another novel, set far into the future.

One of the recent  reviews for the book

I couldn’t wait to get started on the final book in the Project Renova series. Having followed Vicky, Lottie, Dex, and the rest of the bat fever survivors I was desperate to know what they had in store for them this time.

I’ve always loved Terry Tyler’s writing voice and find her novels thoroughly enjoyable. UK2 was no exception. Every chapter is told from a different characters POV. Dex is first up, and I’m quickly reminded why I started to despise him about half-way through Lindisfarne (book 2)! Every novel needs a bad guy, and Dex is that guy. He is that character you really wish someone would kill, but they keep on surviving.

My favourite character throughout the series has been Lottie, and we see how much she’s grown in UK2. She bursts onto the scene holding a knife to someone’s throat with a calm control that should be alien to a teenager. She’s witnessed too much, lived through the worst of times, and has secrets that are eating away at her and yet she’s one of the strongest and wisest characters on the island. Lottie’s mum, Vicky goes through some serious changes of her own in UK2, and I was pleased to see an inner strength begin to emerge.

We meet new people, and we lose old friends as the truth about bat fever, and Project Renova unfolds. I loved the way each character realises what’s happening almost too late and how they deal with the circumstances they find themselves in. I could picture the scenes like I was watching a dark and disturbing film. There are plenty of ‘gasp’ moments as the twists fall into place. I especially loved Flora’s development as she slowly understands that all is not as she believed.

UK2 contains a mix of themes from building friendships to conspiracy theories, and murder to romance. It’s all seamlessly blended to give the reader an extraordinary experience.

We are left with a perfectly crafted ending (and deeply satisfying in some areas) but with enough little threads to leave you wondering what happens next. UK2 is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UK2-Project-Renova-Book-3-ebook/dp/B07C9H3XNP

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/UK2-Project-Renova-Book-3-ebook/dp/B07C9H3XNP

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

Connect to Terry via her website: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

Bette A. Stevens created the magical world of Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to entrance its young readers of all ages.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale.
In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

Get your FREE Authorgraph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens has been on my list for a long time. I had been waiting for my grandchildren to grow up a little to understand the process of change that occurs in a caterpillar to transform into a beautiful butterfly. I am proud to read this book to my grandchildren who want me to read it again and again.

The story of Matilda, with beautiful illustrations has been told in an engrossing manner, with encouragement from her friends, the wise sparrow who advises her to listen to her instincts and have patience, a toad who agrees that patience pays and another friend rabbit shares his story of hopping. This is not just a cute story that tells children about the cycle of a butterfly, it hints at following your dreams and cultivating patience. Highly recommended for children.

Read all the wonderful reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Balroop Singh is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Balroop Singh, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U
Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selected books and reviews.  Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Stevie Turner, M.J. Mallon, Terry Tyler and Phillip T. Stephens


Welcome to the first update of the week when I share the most recent reviews of authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. The first author with a review to celebrate is Stevie Turner for her book For the Sake of a Child.

About the Book

Ginny Ford is pleased to win the coveted job of housekeeper to the directors of PhizzFace Inc. However, her joy becomes tarnished by an accidental find whilst cleaning, leading her to suspect that all is not as it should be on the managerial corridor. Delving deeper, she is shocked to uncover corruption and a secret paedophile network that has remained hidden for years, involving the very people she has come to know and trust. Unable to live with her conscience any more, she decides that she cannot keep quiet and that she must find a way of helping all the children involved. However, by trying to help the children she discovers that she has unwittingly put her entire family at risk…..

A recent review for the book

An intricate and chilling plot with all too real connotations mixed with emotion and true feeling; personal and life changing risks taken for the greater good. A hard to put down book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sake-Child-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00NK0MGTA

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sake-Child-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B00NK0MGTA

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/

Now a recent review for M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

The most recent review for the book

This reviews is adapted from a post which originally appeared on my blog, This Northern Gal. I was sent a copy of the text in exchange for an honest review.

The Curse of Time is all about Amelina, a teenage girl who receives a mysterious invitation. Her already crazy life takes a turn for the weird and unusual. She becomes fixated with the idea that there is a curse on her family and that she has to find a way to break it. Along the way she finds herself in a world that revels in the strange and mysterious. This world building was where M.J Mallon excelled. It allowed her to be wonderfully creative, which in turn meant that I was sucked into the world of The Curse of Time. I particularly enjoyed the way the writer seemed to be inspired by fairy-tales, though in quite a twisted way. From strange reflections in the mirror to vanishing black cats, there was a familiarity in the characters that was really welcoming. They were all presented in new and creative ways however.

This is particularly apparent in the character of Amelina, who is creative and artistic. This meant that her art and poetry were brilliantly woven throughout The Curse of Time. It added a good extra layer to the novel itself.

I also really enjoyed the way crystals were used throughout the text to make the world that Amelina inhabited. It would be interesting to see how this is expanded and sustained in the rest of the M. J Mallon’s writing, particularly in the sequel to The Curse of Time

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The new and third book in the Project Renova Series – UK2 by Terry Tyler is receiving great reviews and here is one of the recent to be posted.

About UK2 (Project Ronova Book 3)

‘Two decades of social media had prepared them well for UK2.’

The pace steps up in this final instalment of the Project Renova trilogy, as the survivors’ way of life comes under threat.

Two years after the viral outbreak, representatives from UK Central arrive at Lindisfarne to tell the islanders about the shiny new city being created down south. UK2 governor Verlander’s plan is simple: all independent communities are to be dissolved, their inhabitants to reside in approved colonies. Alas, those who relocate soon suspect that the promises of a bright tomorrow are nothing but smoke and mirrors, as great opportunities turn into broken dreams, and dangerous journeys provide the only hope of freedom.

Meanwhile, far away in the southern hemisphere, a new terror is gathering momentum…

‘I walked through that grey afternoon, past fields that nobody had tended for nearly three years, past broken down, rusty old vehicles, buildings with smashed windows. I was walking alone at the end of the world, but I was a happy man. I was free, at last.’

Although this concludes the Project Renova trilogy, there will be more books in the series. A collection of five side stories is planned, and another novel, set far into the future.

One of the recent  reviews

UK2 provides a great ending to this inventive and completely believable trilogy. I was a little concerned after Lindisfarne that the tone might take a mawkish step into soap-opera land, but UK2 was like a punch in the gut. It’s arguably the strongest entry in the trilogy. I enjoyed it as much as Tipping Point and more than Lindisfarne, mostly because it steps up the conspiracy aspect and involves more of the characters I liked, while the stakes become much higher than simple survival against the elements.

There is a very strong cast of likeable and not-so-likeable characters in UK2. Lottie has been my favourite throughout, and Doyle gets far more screentime in this outing. Terry Tyler’s particular narrative strength is the male douchebag, several of whom are so teeth-grindingly awful that several pillows were beaten up as a result! No spoilers here, but I really loved the character development in this final episode and the page-turning quality of the narrative was up to her usual standard – “unputdownable” is one cliche I would gladly use for UK2, it really delivered on all levels

Highly recommended for fans of conspiracies, dystopian and post-apocalyptic survival novels; but also for fans of good fiction, solid writing and great storytelling!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UK2-Project-Renova-Book-3-ebook/dp/B07C9H3XNP

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/UK2-Project-Renova-Book-3-ebook/dp/B07C9H3XNP

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

Connect to Terry via her website: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/

And last but not least, a recent review for Phillip T. Stephens for his book Cigerets, Guns & Beer.

About the book

Dodd breaks up a convenience store robbery when his car breaks down in Sweet Water Falls, Texas. What’s the thanks he gets? The sheriff won’t let him leave, the car lot can’t find the parts and everybody wants him for something—sales pitch, church membership, and even stud pony.

But most of all, it seems a family named Dodd were shot down robbing the bank in 1949 and the half million they stole remains missing. Everyone thinks Dodd returned to dig up the loot and no one intends to let him leave until he finds it—along with (or so the legends go) a long lost flying saucer.

Here is the most recent review for the book

A really hilarious crime story about a mythical small town in Texas where a handful of corrupt people enjoy an abundance of sex, cigarettes and booze. Not to mention some instances of setting other people up to take the fall for their financial crimes before killing them. I know, that doesn’t sound too appealing but that’s where the dark and bucolic humor comes in that makes it a fun read. Plus, it has one of my favorite things, a twist at the end. Not always into picaresque protagonists, but the humor makes him entertaining. Note: Could use a little proofreading for a few typos but they’re not too off-putting.

 

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cigerets-Guns-Beer-Phillip-Stephens-ebook/dp/B00QLI1Q3K

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cigerets-Guns-Beer-Phillip-Stephens-ebook/dp/B00QLI1Q3K

A selection of books also by Phillip T. Stephens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Phillip-Stephens/e/B0091XK7HS

Read more reviews and follow Phillip on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/583139.Phillip_T_Stephens

Connect with Phillip via his website: https://ptstephens.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the word about these authors and their news. Thanks Sally

If you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore and have received a recent review since I last featured you in the Spring Showcase Series at the beginning of April, then please email me.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

You can check your listing here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

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.