Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update -#Reviews Sue Vincent, Janice Spina, Christoph Fischer and Teri Polen


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

The first author today is Sue Vincent with a recent review for Sword of Destiny.

About Sword of Destiny

“…and the swords must be found and held by their bearers lest the darkness find a way into the heart of man. Ask the waters to grant guidance and tell the ancient Keeper of Light that it is time to join battle for the next age.” Rhea Marchant heads north to the wild and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales where she is plunged into an adventure that will span the worlds. The earth beneath her feet reveals its hidden life as she and her companions are guided by the ancient Keeper of Light in search of artefacts of arcane power. With the aid of the Old Ones and the merry immortal Heilyn, the company seek the elemental weapons that will help restore hope to an unbalanced world at the dawn of a new era.”

A recent review for the book

An amputation of the soul
So dark, so final, yet I understand it.
I love the way you became a priest
Absolving Merlin of the sins written about him
None of which I believed
Arthurs birth is better told without the sting of rape
Robed in rainbows, like moonlight on water, FAB
I didn’t so much read this book as eat my way through it…

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sword-Destiny-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B00F2HDM7Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Destiny-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B00F2HDM7Y

A selection of books by Sue Vincent and with Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links: UKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue via her blog: https://scvincent.com/

The next author with a recent review is Janice Spina for the latest adventure of Davey & Derek Jr. Detectives The Case of the Missing Bells.

About The Case of the Missing Bells

Step into another magical and fun adventure with the twin detectives to solve this new mystery. There are clues at every turn, ghostly dreams with strange messages, and a surprise visitor that shakes things up. Even Aunt Gigi and Mianna are at a loss to provide any assistance to the boys.

Will Davey & Derek be able to solve this mystery of the bells? Where do they turn? Will they be able to put all the clues together? Can they use their new birthday gifts in this adventure? Find out what the boys do in this magical mystery.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Janice Spina’s new book “The Case of the Mystery Bells” Davey and Derek’s Mystery Book 6, is another entertaining, wonderful story. This time the twins, Davey and Derek work diligently to solve the mystery of the bells. Why to they hear bells at certain times? Who are the ghosts in their dreams? Why do the boys hear bells in their dreams? Even their gifted Aunt Gigi is baffled from time to time. The boys are introduced to a new member of the family and they even learn more about their ancestry. Young readers are sure to enjoy this story and marvel at the literary skills of its author, Janice Spina. I highly recommend this story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Mystery-Bells-Junior-Detectives-ebook/dp/B07QWZZHJN

And on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07QWZZHJN

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy  https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://Jemsbooks.com

The next author with a recent review is Christoph Fischer and his book Ludwika.

About Ludwika

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

One of the recent reviews for the book

1 April 2019

Once again, Fischer shows such talent for bringing history to life, with this based-on-fact novel about the survival of a young Polish woman during WW2. Taking the small details he could find, the author weaves them into a story by adding fictional characters, delivering a page-turning experience that showcases his style and skill.

From a peaceful life on a Polish farm, to near slave labour in far-off Germany, we follow the trials and tribulations that beset our young heroine during the long years of that war. And to round it off, we also get to find out what really happened to her, later in life.

This combination works so well, giving us completely believable characters, authentic locations, and set around the cataclysmic events that rocked Europe from 1939, until well after the end of hostilities. Recommended unreservedly, this is a book for everyone to read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ludwika-Polish-Struggle-Survive-Germany/dp/1519539118

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ludwika-Polish-Struggle-Survive-Germany-ebook/dp/B018UTHX7A

A selection of books also by Christoph Fischer.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Connect to Christoph via his website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

And last but not least….time for some Science Fiction/Fantasy from Teri Polen with The Gemini Connection which has received a recent review.

About The Gemini Connection.

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is. On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing. A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

One of the recent reviews for the book

The Gemini Connection is a most intriguing book which weaves the human emotions of frustration, anger, jealousy, resentment, self depreciation and love like colourful threads through the greater fabric of an exciting and unique science fiction novel.

The book features twins who live in a futuristic dystopian world where the inhabitants of the planet have exhausted many of its resources and what remains is being decimated by unknown and untreatable diseases. Scientists and other clever and inventive people, who are able to contribute towards findings solutions for the salvation of a society that is in the process of failing, are held up as heroes and are the recipients of accolades for their societal contributions as well as better food and lifestyles. The twins parents fall into this category and, at the beginning of the story, spend all their time and energy on saving their people and planet. This complete change in their focus from their family and two sons to the quest for glory in the guise of saving their planet changes life significantly for Simon and Evan. The backstory of their evolution into scientists, obsessed with their work, and the related increasing disdain for ordinary people who are not able to contribute towards saving the planet in the same way due to different talents and aspirations, is an important theme of the story and sets the scene for the unfortunate events that come to pass in the book.

Simon has a brilliant mind and is following in the footsteps of his illustrious parents. Evan is not as intellectual and demonstrates more physical and sporty gifts. This makes Simon the child of their parents dreams and Evan the disappointing child they cannot relate to or understand. This attitude by their parents results in Evan becoming a young man who lacks confidence and belief in himself and who feels inferior to his cleverer brother. Despite this unfortunate home environment, Simon and Evan are very close and share a unique bond that enables them to both “feel” the other’s presence and emotional state. When Simon disappears soon after discovering a sordid and dark secret by one of his mentors in his job, Evan feels responsible and sets off on a path of emotional self destruction. However, Evan has a talent of his own which enables him to access the minds of other people and help them sort out their chaotic thoughts. This talent gives him to tools track down and help save his brother but it also serves as the gateway to his own possible destruction. Will Evan be able to detect their joint enemies and stop their evil plans in time to save his brother and return him home? I enjoyed this book’s fresh take on a science fiction story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Gemini-Connection-Teri-Polen/dp/1684330343/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gemini-Connection-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B07BFGFN66/

Also by Teri Polen

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B01NBIFRF4

Read more reviews and follow Teri on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Connect to Teri via her website: https://teripolen.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm… You can find all the authors and how to join them in this post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

 

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


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

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

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

About D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books by D.G. Kaye

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

Debby has also supplied the funnies for the parade…

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

About John Howell

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

A selection of books by John W. Howell


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

Please help yourselves to coffee and macaroons...

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

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

About Stevie Turner

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

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

A very small selection of books by Stevie Turner

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

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

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

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

About Robbie Cheadle

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

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

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

A small selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Eloise de Sousa

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

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

A small selection of books by Eloise

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

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

About Willow Willers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Marian Beaman

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

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

Former Mennonite with a Writing Habit

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

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

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

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

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

About Miriam Hurdle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Marjorie Mallon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – M.J. Mallon, Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Bette A. Stevens and Charles E. Yallowitz.


Welcome to the first of the author promotions this week, and the first author with a recent review is  M.J. Mallon whose 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.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads.

Feb 15, 2019 Heena Rathore P. rated it really liked it

The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon is an intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.

The writing is good, the characterization decent and the pacing and tension in sync with the plot. The plot-progression was good and the character development was something I really appreciated in this story. The simple use of language complimented the plot and made it an enjoyable read.

The only problem I had when I started reading this book was that there were a number of themes running through the book, which at times felt a little bit confusing to me. But as I progressed further in the story, everything started to fall into place, and eventually, everything started to make more sense. So, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, either way, it wasn’t a big issue as I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy and supernatural readers.

Read the 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

Find more reviews and 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/

Time for a recent review for Mister Fox and the Green Man by Sue Vincent and Stuart France.

About the book

“Foxes, Welch!”

When Special Agent Tommy Welch is called into Tee’s office, he has little idea of the perils of his latest assignment. Accompanied by the sensuous Miss Hunnyfludd, Welch believes he is to investigate an outbreak of mysterious Foxes. Instead Tommy finds himself flung far back in time, to the court of King Arthur, where a Green Knight is about to extend a deadly challenge…

Within the humorous spoof that frames the story, the reader is transported to Camelot to witness the confrontation of Gawain and the Green Knight. Based upon the story that lies deep at the heart of Arthurian lore, the threefold nature of the ancient myth unfolds…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle  4.0 out of 5 stars A mythological graphic novel January 31, 2019

This is a most unusual book which presents three concepts from English mythology in the form of a graphic novel. It was not what I originally expected but I did enjoy this unique idea. The book starts with a humorous spoof on the well know British spy, James Bond, and his secretary, fondly referred to in this book as Miss Hunnyfludd.

The spy travels back in time at the instance of the Green Man to the court of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. The Green Man challenges the knights to a duel and offers them the first strike. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge and decapitates the Green Man, who picks up his severed head and tells the knights that in one year’s time, Sir Gawain must entered into another duel with him. This time the Green Man will have the first strike which will end in certain death for Sir Gawain.

Sir Gawain sets off on a quest into the Enchanted Forest to try and find a way to save himself. He encounters an enchanted hind who tells him a riddle which he must solve within the year in order to avoid death. Sir Gawain meets adversity during his quest to find the answer to the riddle in the form of, among other things, a hag who wants to marry him and the wife of Lord Verdant.

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

The next author is Bette A. Stevens with Dog Bone Soup and a recent review.

About Dog Bone Soup

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

A recent review for the book

January 30, 2019

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S5RMUDK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DOG-BONE-SOUP-Historical-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00S5RMUDK

Also by Bette A. Stevens.

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

And 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/

And last but not least is a review for Book 1 in the Windemere Series, Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz.

About Beginning of a Hero

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

A recent review for the book

Just B Happy 5.0 out of 5 starsI Highly Recommend!!! January 18, 2019

I have never read so many books in one series back to back and been so thoroughly entertained. The characters are wonderful and I love the good and bad guys. Great stories, I only wish there were more. I highly recommend reading this whole series!!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BL9GBU2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Hero-Legends-Windemere-Book-ebook/dp/B00BL9GBU2

A small selection of other books by Charles E. Yallowitz.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please take a look at this group on Facebook by clicking the image.

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A Family of Dogs by Sue Vincent


Delighted that author Sue Vincent is sharing a post from her archives, particularly as it is all about dogs that have been a part of her family, going back generations.

A Family of Dogs by Sue Vincent

There have not always been dogs in my life, but there have always been dogs in my heart. All of them, except the setters, who were family and Echo, who was a gift, were rescue dogs. And all of them have known how to smile.

The first was a dog I never even knew. His name was Paddy and his life ended before mine began. My mother wrote his story once and sent it off to her publisher. It was returned with a note saying that it was a beautiful tale… it had made the office smile and weep in turn… but it was ‘too far fetched’ to be suitable for publication.

It told of a stray dog who had wandered into the lives of my grandparents when they were a newly married couple. They had bought a neat little house in which to set up home and, in spite of the onset of war, they soon became a family. My mother was born, Grandad was sent to fight in Burma and Paddy moved in to take over the care of the family.

In spite of the hazards of war, the world was, in many ways, safer and simpler. Paddy would take the basket to the shops and bring home the necessities. He would watch over my mother and, in later years, collect her from school. During the war years, he made it his business to make sure she was taken safely to the air-raid shelter when the sirens sounded and stayed by her side until the all-clear. Even so far north of London, this was not an empty precaution… in March, 1941, an incendiary bomb fell on the house and the scars, like the shelters, still remained into my own childhood.

There were dogs around when I was born… my great grandparents had a house full of Irish setters. Rory was a great, gorgeous creature always ready to laugh and play. Bonnie, his sister, was a pretty, delicate fairy of a girl, while Meg, their mother, already touched with grey around the muzzle, mothered us all impartially.

My own first dog was Kim, a German shepherd. Kim was not really ‘mine’ as I was tiny at the time, and we did not have him for long. My mother was devastated when he was killed by the number 77 bus. After that, and with married quarters, it was not until after I started school that Sandy came into my life. By this time, we were living with my grandparents. Sandy was a collie/labrador cross who became my friend on the day my grandfather picked me up from school with the soft little puppy in his arms. Sandy did not have an easy time, and had to be nursed through months of illness, but he lived to a ripe old age.

My first real experience of grief was when Rory died. I had lost my great-grandmother, but had been too young at the time to be aware of more than the grown-ups reaction to her passing, though I remember the scene vividly. She was someone I barely knew, but Rory was my friend. I will never forget great-grandad coming to tell us in person, his handsome old face streaked with tears. Meg went soon afterwards and Bonnie did not survive them for long… I don’t think they knew how to live without each other and, at the time, I felt equally lost without their presence.

There were no more dogs for a good many years, not until I was thirteen and came home to an offhand comment from my mother. “There’s a fur on your bed…” Thinking it was a new ‘fun-fur’ coat that was all the rage, I dumped my school bags and ran upstairs… and found the German shepherd pup we named Sheba. I cuddled her all night… and we deflea’ed the pair of us next morning.

We moved to an isolated property where Sheba was joined by Cindy, a lurcher. By this time, Sheba was a huge, menacing creature, who stood almost as tall as me on her hind legs. She would attack the fence to warn any passers-by to stay away… and yet would let my two-year-old brother drag her in my the tail. Cindy was found bound, starved and discarded… my mother put her in the pushchair with my little brother and brought her home. We did not think she could survive the wounds and starvation, but Sheba lifted her and made her eat. The two were inseparable until tragedy struck. Sheba was shot by boys playing with a pellet gun. The pellet lodged in her brain and her fits were dangerous. The vet said we had no choice.

There was no chance to have a dog for a good many years after that as I married and left home. There were occasional cats, Fred, the guinea pig, the odd bird… but no dogs. My mother always had dogs, my boss in France had a dog, Bilbo, who filled the gap until he was kidnapped, and my mother-in-law had a poodle who changed my opinion of the breed for the better. But it was not until my sons were in their teens that I was able to share a home with dogs again.

Molly, rescued from the most appalling circumstances, and Echo, my laughing girl…a gift of love given in grief… joined us after the death of my partner. Their presence healed my heart and their loss broke it. I never thought I would have another dog.

And then, unexpectedly, there was Ani…

Ani is the latest, and perhaps she will be the last, to bring the gifts of love, companionship and simple joy into my home. She was acquired from a rescue to be an assistance dog for my son, following Paddy’s lead. But my son recovered far better than we could ever have hoped and Ani stayed with me.

I have learned so much from loving and living with dogs. Their presence has filled my days with laughter and an example of joyful living in this moment. Watching some of them recover from the most appalling treatment has taught me how to accept and how to forgive. I learned from them how to grieve and how to live with happy memories instead of the weight of loss. And, perhaps most importantly, I have learned that the love that wants nothing for itself can heal almost anything.

Appropriately here is one of Ani’s book – Laughter Lines – Life from the Tail End.

About the book

Take a life with a small dog in tow, add a dash of red hair dye, a selection of crumbling biscuits and a passion for recitable verse… The result is a recipe for laughter. Sue Vincent shares her world in verse.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This novel by Sue Vincent is a wonder. It will make you laugh and cheer you up in the darkest Winter nights. A treasure to read and read again.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laughter-Lines-Life-Tail-End/dp/1910478091

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Laughter-Lines-Life-Tail-End/dp/1910478091

A selection of books by Sue Vincent and with Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links: UKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer, esoteric teacher and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of The Mystical Hexagram with Dr G.M.Vasey. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also writes at http://scvincent.com/

The Silent Eye School of Consciousness is a modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. With students around the world the School offers a fully supervised and practical correspondence course that explores the self through guided inner journeys and daily exercises. It also offers workshops that combine sacred drama, lectures and informal gatherings to bring the teachings to life in a vivid and exciting format. The Silent Eye operates on a not-for-profit basis. Full details of the School may be found on the official website, http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk.

Connect to Sue

Blog: http://scvincent.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scvincent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-C-Vincent/17967259931?ref=hl
Silent Eye Website: http://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Website (books) : http://www.franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Authors FB: https://www.facebook.com/silenteyeauthors?ref=hl

Thank you to Sue for this lovely post from her archives and if you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

If you are an author who would like to share book reviews and interviews on Facebook then please click on the Literary Diva’s Library image

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas -#Supernatural #Fantasy – Marcia Meara, Charles E. Yallowitz, Stuart France and Sue Vincent


Time to get a little supernatural in the Christmas book promotions and indulge in some paranormal and Fantasy…..and no better place to start the proceedings than with Marcia Meara – The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody.

About the Novella

In Marcia Meara’s second installment of The Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our three heroes at it again. Beautiful new places, exciting new adventures, and a whole assortment of new problems await them, bringing tears, laughter, and an extraordinary amount of love along with them.

Trouble never does a head count before showing up …They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?

A recent review for the book

Not all sweetness and light this time, as Azrael gets serious about equipping both Jake and Dodger for their job of helping souls in trouble. I loved the chapter about the training session, and how Dodger and Jake reacted to the new strong-arm tactics.

I loved everything about this book just as I did the first in the series. The way Dodger tries to cope with his insecurities, and Jake’s capable and patient attitude. Azrael had me laughing, he tried hard not to lose it as he struggled to get his point across to these very different personalities.

You never really imagine an angel getting cranky, now do you?

The missing element between Jake and Dodger, always a possible father-son relationship, really gets going in this book. I found it beautifully written and very emotional as I never got to know my own father. Altogether though, I thought they made a great team as they travel around the country, helping us mortals keep on the straight and narrow.

A subtle reminder that some of us in this world can’t be helped, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to know someone cares enough to try!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JDP2B3D

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JDP2B3D

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

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

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4

Read more reviews and follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242441.Marcia_Meara

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

Now time for some Fantasy courtesy of  War of Nytefall Book 2: Lost by Charles E. Yallowitz

About Lost

As the Vampire Civil War of Windemere rages on in the shadows, a mysterious girl appears to deliver mayhem to both sides.

Rumors of old-world vampires disappearing and mortals being attacked by an army of humanoid monsters have reached Clyde’s ears. Still learning how to rule the city of Nytefall as a strong, but fair leader instead of a vicious warlord, the former thief assumes he has rogue agents on his hands. Instead, his people stumble upon Lost, a teenage Dawn Fang looking for her father and aided by a decrepit bunny that might be an animated corpse. Bounding from one side of the Vampire Civil War to another, this carefree girl will turn out to be more trouble than she looks as all of the demons of her past emerge to get what they have been promised. Yet, her chaotic actions are nothing compared to the secret of her creation, which will change the very fabric of the Dawn Fangs’ world.

It is time for the womb-born to be revealed.

One of the recent reviews for the book

N. N. Light  4.0 out of 5 stars Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world! October 5, 2018

As the vampire civil war intensifies, a new player emerges and like most in power, judging this teenage girl by her appearance is a deadly mistake. Her name is Lost and she’s a Dawn Fang. She looks innocent and keeps talking about her mission to find her father. Chaos follows in her wake, causing mass confusion between Clyde and the Dawn Fangs as well as Xavier, his wife and their subjects. There’s an army of followers looking for Lost, too. When she reveals she’s womb-born and not fang-born, the vampiric world erupts. Once reunited with her parents, will Lost obey vampiric law or will she destroy them all?

Lost continues where Loyalty left off and for the most part, the plot moves at a good pace. Lost is a deceptive character, appearing innocent yet she’s one powerful vampire. Lost reminds me of Darla from Buffy and Lamia Zacharius from Death Coach. Betrayal, especially in a vampire’s world, is a criminal offense and there’s plenty of it to go around. Yallowitz pens an all-encompassing world with quite a few twists and turns. The ending, though, was a little let-down. It can be read as a standalone, but you’ll understand characters’ motivation if you read book one first. Perfect for this time of year!

Favorite Character/Quote: “Fine, but after we take naps. A grumpy Princess General is a sloppy Princess General.”

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H4X3P6C

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-War-Nytefall-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07H4X3P6C

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

Connect to Charles via his blog: https://legendsofwindemere.com/

The next authors bring us fantasy in the form of a graphic novel…Mister Fox – Winter’s Tail by Stuart France and Sue Vincent

About the book

Where is Mister Fox? The night howls in triumph… pale eyes watch from the shadows… It is the night of the Hunter’s Moon and the dancing ground should be alive with flame as the Foxes dance in the dark. But the dancing ground is deserted. They are gone. No earthly light pierces the gloom, only the sickly glow of a veiled moon. Don and Wen stare in disbelief. Whispers in the shadows, a faceless voice, a tale of ambush and betrayal… of Foxes driven from their home and scattered, condemned to wander far from their ancestral lands. Charles James Fox wounded… none has seen him since that fateful night. Will the Hunter’s Moon pass in darkness? Have the Demon Dogs succeeded in their mission to bring eternal winter to the land? Or will their celebrations be short-lived? …For none may mar the Dancing Ground Nor add their darkness to the night, Nor stand against the Silver Fox, The wielder of the Staff of Light…

One of the recent reviews for the book

The graphic novels that make up the Mister Fox series are, frankly, weird. Character development, plot, pacing, or almost any of the elements I would normally demand from a book—especially one I like—are virtually irrelevant. Instead the authors have created a visually stunning retelling of the cycle of the seasons, presented as an otherworldly re-enactment of a myth.

Every culture has stories of supernatural interference with the cycle of nature. Persephone has to go to Hades before she can come back to bring spring. The great summer and winter solstices have to be observed so planting and harvesting can be scheduled. Night has to follow day. Egyptian sun god Ra must fight the underworld serpent Apep every night in order for the day to return. The Greek goddesses of day and night, Hemia and Nyx, meet each day. “Nyx and Hemera draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is about to go down into the house, the other comes out at the door.”–Hesiod’s Theogony, c. 700BCE”

And how do you mark this importance? By showing what happens when the cycle is broken of course. When Persephone’s distraught mother Demeter, the Goddess of the Harvest, can’t find her daughter, all the crops fail. It’s only the return of Persephone every spring that allows crops to grow.

And, as all believers know, it’s better not to leave anything this important in the laps of easily distractable deities. So you build temples, chapels, stone circles. Conduct ceremonies, say prayers, and even channel your gods through ritual to ensure they stay on task.

And that’s where Mister Charles Fox and his band of (anonymous) dancers come in. By firelight as autumn moves toward winter, Summer, in the form of a giant crow, wages epic battle against the foxes who herald the change of season and the arrival of winter. Their primeval battle is a dance, set to drum and pipe music and waged against the flickering flames of fire and torch.

But when the friends of the foxes, Wen and Don, arrive expecting to see the usual dance, they’re shocked to find all the foxes have disappeared. Their search for their friends turns up a story that starts in 1591…

For this modern day recreation of a myth, the graphic novel format is perfect. The flames glow against the darkness, wrapping the dancers in a layer of magic and fantasy. And you’ve just got to love a background mystery that begins with, “The year,” he said, “is fifteen-hundred and ninety-one…”

Like all books in this series, Mister Fox Winter’s Tail is beautiful, fun, confusing, and leaves you feeling there are a lot more things going on than the few words and gorgeous pictures tell you (besides that pun in the title, of course!). And, while there are only a small number of pages, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this book is an epic.

Read the reviews and buy on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue Vincent UKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart France UKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

I hope you have found one or two fantastic or supernatural books to add to your Christmas book list…thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Mister Fox: Winter’s Tail by Stuart France and Sue Vincent


For Sue Vincent and Stuart France fans, and Mister Fox... then latest book has been released. Mister Fox – Winter’s Tail

About the book

Where is Mister Fox? The night howls in triumph… pale eyes watch from the shadows… It is the night of the Hunter’s Moon and the dancing ground should be alive with flame as the Foxes dance in the dark. But the dancing ground is deserted. They are gone. No earthly light pierces the gloom, only the sickly glow of a veiled moon. Don and Wen stare in disbelief. Whispers in the shadows, a faceless voice, a tale of ambush and betrayal… of Foxes driven from their home and scattered, condemned to wander far from their ancestral lands. Charles James Fox wounded… none has seen him since that fateful night. Will the Hunter’s Moon pass in darkness? Have the Demon Dogs succeeded in their mission to bring eternal winter to the land? Or will their celebrations be short-lived? …For none may mar the Dancing Ground Nor add their darkness to the night, Nor stand against the Silver Fox, The wielder of the Staff of Light…

The book is available Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mister-Fox-Winters-Tail-4/dp/1910478199

A selection of other books by Sue Vincent and Stuart France

One of the reviews for Mister Fox: The Legends.

In almost every culture from the very earliest records we have, there are stories of the tricksters who use brains to triumph over larger, stronger, richer foes, frequently to aid people around them. Tricksters from ancient Prometheus—who tricked Zeus, stole fire, and gave it to mortals—to Loki, Anansi, Kokopelli, Lugh, Coyote, Crow, and so many more worked their clever, funny, and often helpful schemes.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France have added a page to that legend. But instead of simply retelling, they’ve pulled together the mystery and the dance, combined it with firelight and magic, and graphically presented an experience rather than a story. “I have seen them write in fire on the darkness…and heard the drums beaten with flaming brands.”

I can’t review this like a regular book, because my normal benchmarks—plot, pace, character development—are irrelevant. Oh, sure there are words—a new Trickster legend for Crow, and a tale-within-a-tale legend told appropriately by Punch, that most British of Tricksters. There are even inside jokes like the one in which the ancient Fox manuscript is lost when the original Sir Rufus Foxx has to flee the country after “disaster is visited on the family” by younger brother Guido Foxx (Guy Fawkes?).

But ultimately, all I can tell you is that this little book is more than the sum of its parts. The glowing artwork, with its puzzles and hints at so much more, is a much a part of the voice and the magic as the spare words. You can’t read this book as much as experience it. But if you do, you’ll know how art and fire and dance can combine to make magic. And just maybe a sky-full of stars too.

Read the reviews and buy the books from the following links.

Sue VincentUKUSAFranceGermany

Stuart FranceUKUSAFranceGermany

And you can find more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6551588.Sue_Vincent

About France and Vincent

The writing partnership of France and Vincent has a peculiar alchemy of humour, scholarship and vision that has given birth to many books, including the The Triad of Albion and Doomsday series’ as well as a number of unusual tales presented as graphic novels.

Stuart France – writer and mystic; author of The Living One and Crucible of the Sun. Stuart has a deep and practical knowledge of the Western Mystery Tradition, having followed a Path that has taken him hopping through the branches of the Trees of Knowledge and Delight. His astonishing work with symbolism and the interpretation of myth comes from a profound understanding and love of life and humanity. After gaining his BA in Philosophy and Literature, and his MA in Writing, this Child of Light studied with OBOD, AMORC, and the Servants of the Light and is a Director of The Silent Eye School of Consciousness. Stuart blogs at somethingferal.com.

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer, esoteric teacher and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of The Mystical Hexagram with Dr G.M.Vasey. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also writes at scvincent.com.

The Silent Eye School of Consciousness is a modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. With students around the world the School offers a fully supervised and practical correspondence course that explores the self through guided inner journeys and daily exercises. It also offers workshops that combine sacred drama, lectures and informal gatherings to bring the teachings to life in a vivid and exciting format. The Silent Eye operates on a not-for-profit basis. Full details of the School may be found on the official website, http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk.

Connect to Sue and Stuart through their book website:  http://www.franceandvincent.com/

Thank you for popping in today.. I am on a ferry at the moment off to house and dog sit.. so I would be very grateful if you could share the post.  I will be back online in a couple of days to respond to comments.. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – #Music to get the weekend started – The Requests – Sue Vincent, Jacquie Biggar, Mary Smith and Tina Frisco


Since the beginning of this series, I have asked you to share your favourite music with links in the comments. I thought I would create a special playlist, sharing the track and link to the latest post of those requesting the song.

The first track is requested by Sue Vincent  Eric Clapton and ‘Bad Love’ Apparently Sue cannot hit the road without this blasting out.

We have some country coming up from Charlie Pride with ‘Kiss an Angel Good Morning‘, requested by Jacquie Biggar and if you head over you can read Jacquie’s review of Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs.

Billy Joel and ‘Uptown Girl’ was the selection by Mary Smith to keep her company when hitting the road.

The stunning voice of Loreena McKennitt and the song ‘Santiago’ was selected by Tina Frisco which I am sure you will enjoy. If you head over you can catch Tina’ recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape.

Tune in next week for part two of the requests from the series. Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful weekend. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives -Christmas Past by Sue Vincent


Welcome to the second of the posts from Sue Vincent’s Christmas Archives… and today a look back at her vivid memories of a Christmas in Paris…………

Christmas Past by Sue Vincent

There are some things we don’t forget. Times, places, memories that stay in that special corner in our hearts where treasures are kept. There are many Christmas memories, from childhood, of course. There are those precious moments with my children when they were small and their eyes sparkled brighter than the lights on the tree. The one we knew would be the last with my late partner which was full of love and laughter, friends and silliness.

There are times and places we see as pivotal in our growth into who we are and will become. And there was Paris 1981.

And of course, I have the Diaries.

I had been in France for a year and had made some wonderful friends, mainly amongst the resident artists who stayed there all year round and took their art seriously. Others came and went chasing the concentration of summer tourists and francs. My friends were the ones who had made it their home. I modelled for them and fed them when they were broke, and when they sold a painting, we partied. They were some of the best friends you could wish for and we took care of each other.

We congregated in the bar on the corner of the square, “Au Clairon des Chasseurs”. I could arrive for coffee on a Saturday morning and still be there sipping wine in the wee small hours of Sunday. Just talking. The artists would come in between clients to warm their hands and have a coffee or a beer, and as one left another would arrive. Actors, writers, diplomats…all came and joined the conversations at the bar. Mini, Tahar and Thierry the waiters joined in as they could when a moment allowed, and we discussed and debated just about every subject under the sun and then went further, delving into the mysteries of the inner universe.

All nations, all languages, all faiths seemed represented and the only rivalries I ever saw were in jest.

This particular Christmas stands out for many reasons. It was my first in Paris and it was beautiful with the lights and the powdering of snow. How I love that city! It was my first, too, away from home, just divorced from a violent marriage and finding my feet in the world. I had never lived as myself before, having gone from my mother’s shadow to my husband’s control and the year had been one of growing confidence and self-discovery.

It is a curious feeling when a fully formed adult can stand back and observe themselves.

Had I been asked I would have told you I was self-assured and competent at life. Yet as I watched myself in this new environment I was surprised at how small I seemed, how afraid of life, how insecure.. I saw myself as the mouse I had been called and felt myself worth little. I had been under my husband’s control for so long I had lost sight of who I was supposed to be and seemed to have failed to grow into myself. I could see myself hiding behind a false personality, but you could not do that for long in Montmartre.

Gradually, over the course of the year, it had dawned on me that the friends I was making must actually like this person for some reason. Here, I was just me, not my mother’s daughter or someone’s wife. Just me. It was a novel feeling. It fed my confidence a little.
I bought myself a bright red outfit, I who had always dressed in colours that hid me. My friends nicknamed me ‘la Tomate’ affectionately, or called me ‘Yorkshire’ in heavily accented tones. I really felt I had come home. When they give you a nickname, they explained, you have been adopted into the family.

 

My closest friend was Tom Coffield, a brilliant Glaswegian artist. He was a small, wiry Scot with a deep love of Burns and a gift for holding up the mirror of the soul. We had met after I had been sitting on the pavement talking philosophy with Big Boris in broken French. He handed me a portrait but I shook my head. It was spring, the early transient artists had arrived and I wasn’t buying. “An I’m no’ sellin’!” Boris introduced us and wandered off to paint and Tom joined me on the pavement. We must have talked for six hours straight.

He became my friend. And conscience. Advisor and confidante, protector and in many ways a teacher. He was well read, well educated, a challenging conversationalist and damned good fun. More importantly for me, he stripped back every layer behind which you could hide and made you look at yourself. We spent most of the summer talking. He promised me a proper portrait, but it never materialised. Each time he tried to paint he saw something new, knowing me so well, and tried to capture it all.

But that Christmas he gave me something better. He gave me a memory.

We had dined chez Denise on the Rue Lepic and Tom introduced me to Thierry Arnault, who introduced me to his bizarre work and his cats, Snoopy and Pigalle. Armed with a bottle of 1978 Chateauneuf from Mini at the Clairon, we descended on Montparnasse.

Thierry Arnault art.

There was a party at a friend’s apartment. It was snowing and the city was magical in the moonlight. Next day I was heading home for England for a family Christmas, but tonight was for laughter.

I have no idea what possessed me to join Vince in ‘Ilkley Moor bah’t ‘at’ to drown out Tom’s Gaelic. I may be obliged to plead the fifth… not amendment, but Chateauneuf. There was dancing, I was officially renamed ‘La Princesse’, and my diary records, “ …and that was a good day. So many friends I have made! I am a lucky woman.”

The evening ended with Tom kissing me merry Christmas and telling me to come back soon as I was loved by many and would be missed. It was the first time I felt that I really mattered in the world. One is born into a family, but the loves that find and cherish us for who we are, they are very special.

Tom also gave me a Christmas gift which hangs on my wall today. The Clairon and all my friends. Tom is the small guy with the beret on the left talking to Monsieur Steve and old Marcel who loved the light in my hair… I am gazing the long way up at Big Boris and his beard. Alain, gazes soulfully across the room… but that is another story. I knew them all.

Even the pigeons on the glass roof…

…once upon a time.

©Sue Vincent

My thanks to Sue for sharing what was clearly a magical year in Paris and wonderful Christmas.

About Sue Vincent, her collaborations and her books.

One of her most important collaborations is with a small black dog with a delightful mind of her own!  Meet Ani..

41irlk3aanl-_uy250_ 51eltwi-cal-_uy250_

Sue is a prolific author and has also co-written a book with Dr. G. Michael Vasey and over recent years a substantial number with Stuart France.  Here is a small selection.

41j6menjpbl-_uy250_ 41lardqnpnl-_uy250_ 41rbtzowjbl-_uy250_41pohqnoakl-_uy250_51xri-fkwfl-_uy250_

About An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales – the latest release from Sue and Stuart.

“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote. In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow. Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures.

Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human. Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death. When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation.

‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick more than four times in any one day.’ ‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators. The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia.

From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance. It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be enjoyed.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

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

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

51sl-a2xhyl-_uy250_Stuart France and Sue Vincent are also the authors of the Doomsday series.

41g1rltc0wl-_uy250_ 41mb7ais2l-_uy250_ 510ubnb19ql-_uy250_

Find out more about their work together: http://www.franceandvincent.com/

inner-temple-three

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

Also by Sue Vincent

41wlzm7ejdl-_uy250_ 413l6tp2v-l-_uy250_

Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue Vincent

Blog: http://scvincent.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scvincent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-C-Vincent/17967259931?ref=hl
Silent Eye Website: http://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Website (books) : http://www.franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Authors FB: https://www.facebook.com/silenteyeauthors?ref=hl

Thank you for dropping in today and I am Sue and I would both love your feedback.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Christmas Lights by Sue Vincent.


Hard to believe that we are only 15 days away from Christmas and this weekend we are putting up our tree. It is a six foot artificial variety that you won’t find in any botanical reference, but it has been with us for twenty years and is part of the family.

Sue Vincent shares one of the posts from her Christmas archives and as always with her stories, it will leave you with a warm glow. Tissue alert………

Christmas Lights by Sue Vincent.

“I must be mad.” A wry smile played amongst the wrinkles as she heaved the top half of the faded tree into place. Not a large tree… about the same height as its owner. Taller, probably, these days, she thought. She had always struggled with the damned thing. Why today? She cursed herself for an idiot, laughed at herself… a fine picture in her nightie putting up a Christmas tree no-one would see. Except her, of course. She would know.

So many times she had dressed this tree and carefully packed it away again. Every year for over half a century. Gawd but that sounded a long time. Somehow, at this end of life it didn’t feel it. But the children had grown and had homes of their own now… trees and children of their own. There had been the year when no-one came… and there is nothing sadder than a Christmas tree no child will see. She hadn’t bothered with the tree after that; not for a long time. Why she had decided to drag it out this year she would never know.

Boxes littered the floor; scraps of tarnished tinsel, the inevitable sparkle of old glitter and dust motes. She straightened the branches, bending their ageing wire into some semblance of order. The thing looked a sorry specimen, after all. Years of use and longer years in the cupboard under the stairs had taken their toll. “Should have left it there.” Her voice broke the silence that hung in the air. Too much silence, she thought.

In the bottom of the box she spied the old CD in its dog-eared sleeve …old favourites. Would it still work? They would make her cry… they always did… but what the hell. The machine groaned and creaked as she pressed ‘play’ and the crooner oozed into the familiar song. She could never hear it without tears welling unbidden; even in the supermarket. That and the damned chestnuts roasting … got her every time, they did. Ah well, she had memories for every note … she pressed repeat. It could keep playing.

She sniffed and wiped her eyes on her sleeve, smiling. Then, eyes narrowed with determination, she bent her knees. Joints protested at the unaccustomed movement; it took a while and a fair amount of cursing to make it to the floor. She had forgotten what the world looked like from down here. The tree looked taller, more imposing. A child’s eye view… Mind you, they had been proper trees then, smelling of pine and shedding needles everywhere that turned up all year in the strangest places. There had been trees so tall they’d had to saw the bottom off to get them in the room… and the ceilings were high in the big old house. She remembered Grandad wrestling with the biggest of them, fighting his way in. It took up half the room. The whole place had smelled like Christmas, garlanded with holly and mistletoe. She’d never liked killing trees though…

They’d always decorated the laburnum outside the French windows too… stringing monkey nuts together to make garlands and making fat balls and coconuts instead of baubles for the birds to have Christmas too. That was where she’d learned their names. So long ago now…

The lights were all tangled, of course. “Sod’s law”, she thought, “I’ll sort ‘em out and then they won’t work…” Even so, her fingers began the long, fiddly job, untangling the wires. She remembered tiny candles on the tree as a girl. Little golden holders with clips on the end. “Gawd, what a fire hazard that must have been. I suppose that’s why we only lit them Christmas Eve.” She plugged the wires into the socket, astonished to find herself surrounded by pinpoints of multi-coloured light. “Bloody hell…” She winced as she climbed to her feet once more, catching her breath as she straightened the stiff spine before winding the little lamps around the tree. Somehow, they seemed to bring it to life.

Tinsel should be next, she thought, picking up the crumbling mass. The tarnished strands looked drab and brittle. Maybe not… She’d always liked the tinsel. Even the plain silver stuff they’d had back then… thin and sparse. Not like the big, thick garlands of it she had bought when the children were small… emerald green. They had spent one December making big, shiny bows to hold the top loops of the draped tinsel that ran around the picture rail. Faded green now, almost silver. Full circle…

The icicles were okay though. She loved those… clear and iridescent, they had always looked good. Garlands of small ones to drape through the branches… big individual ones to hang alone… they looked almost new, like the day they had bought them. Their first Christmas together with the kids… Woolworths, she recalled. They had been expensive back then… they could only afford a few and by the next year the icicles were frosted twists. Not the same at all.

There had been icicles on the real tree too… glass ones. She remembered the care with which they had been packed and unpacked each year from the sectioned cardboard boxes. Each one wrapped in tissue paper… and still there were always broken baubles; shattered piles of gilded shards amid the treasures. The caps went missing too… and the little sprung pins that went through them to hang on the tree. It was always a time of wonder for the little girl, unwrapping the magic of Christmas, discovering old friends… all the baubles were special and had their stories that wound back through the garlands of time and family. Plastic now. Safer. But not the same.

Adeste Fideles… Grandma used to love that song. She sang along with the Latin carol. Her mind went back to the merry old lady in the paper crown, scraping the brazil nuts she loved against her few remaining teeth. Granny had hated the false ones. “Yeah…. I can understand that now.” Paper crowns… and turkey and Christmas pudding…. And Great Granny needing the commode halfway through Christmas dinner every year… “And I’m older now than she was…”

She found a few crackers… squashed and battered. They wouldn’t bang, not now. But then, she wouldn’t be pulling them. They’d had to help great granny pull them too. Still, they had the paper crowns and corny jokes inside. Grinning with remembered mischief, she teased the crimped end apart, tipping the little plastic toy into her hand. Utter rubbish of course… but she had been adept at peeking to see what was in them when she was little. She put the cheap puzzle back in the cracker, crimping the ends so you couldn’t tell… she could still do it… not that anyone would look. They probably never had…then she placed the crackers on the tree. The magic was always there for children… they didn’t care that the toys in the crackers were rubbish. It was the laughter.

She was near the bottom of the box now. Were they really still there? Those little parcels, neatly wrapped… their very first Christmas when they couldn’t afford baubles so had wrapped all manner of things… mainly matchboxes…to hang on the tree. Then there were the little knitted toys her own granny had made… a snowman, an angel and a Santa. The star was missing though… the big, shiny star for the top of the tree. She had made a hole in the back so she could light it up… but it had gone, who knew where… He was still there though. She smiled, reaching down to the bottom of the box… the robin was a little moth-eaten and threadbare, but he still seemed to smile back at her. Could robins smile? He would be the star. She placed him on top of the tree and stood back. A bit wonky, but suddenly it felt like Christmas.

There was still something missing though. Rooting around in the screwed up paper she found the little bag… the nativity figures. She set them out around the base of the tree. Crudely carved, she loved the lines of the tall Magi… and especially the little wooden donkey. She was still holding him as she sat down, breathing in harsh little gasps… she needed a rest. Getting old was no fun…

Rheumy eyes travelled across the tree. She’d always had good taste, always been at war with herself over the Christmas decorations. On one level she saw them as a little overblown and tawdry… but they held memories. Lifetimes of them, not just her own. Every bauble held a story… and they would all be forgotten one day. She was their custodian. For now. Did it matter? Probably not, not any more. The children had their own memories… no-one else would care, not really. They wouldn’t even know they didn’t know, would they?

Half a dozen Christmas cards on the mantle… old friends far away, one to Grandma. That made her smile. She’d kept them, the special ones… the ‘I love you’s, the ones the children had made… they were there. She remembered long strings of cards filling the walls once upon a time, hundreds of them. Never enough room. Such a lovely thing… paper thoughts that had fallen on the doormat, bridging miles and bringing friends and family close to the heart with each opened envelope. She was tired now. “…Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light…” Said it all that song… The room blurred as the tears came. They always did.

Gentle tears, greeting each memory with love, grateful for their presence. Setting them free like snowy doves, saying farewell to the memories that would not return to her ageing mind. There had been love, so much love. And laughter. Silliness and games, tears and longing. Empty places, missing faces, new brides, new babes…There had been Life. And every year of it, there had been Christmas. “…Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow…” Would they come, she wondered? Would they be waiting? She stroked the rough lines of the cockeyed wooden donkey… she’d have to put him with the others. Let him go. Not yet though… a few more minutes…

Outside she could hear children playing in the August sun…

The young woman watched from the corner of the room, silent and unseen. She was filled with love for this little old lady. Her heart ached for her, wanting to reach out and wipe the last traces of tears from the withered cheeks… yet she smiled too, knowing they were not tears of regret for loves that were lost, but joy for the love she had known.

She watched as the eyes closed and the mouth fell open, saw the arthritic fingers relax and the little wooden donkey fall to her lap. He would stay with her till they found her.

Unseen, unfelt, she studied the quiet figure, moving closer, dropping an ephemeral kiss on her brow. Where had the years gone? How quickly they had flown… what had she learned and what would come next?

She turned to say a last goodbye to the faded glory of the Christmas tree… a present of Christmas past. A final gift. A Christmas feast of love and memory illuminated by fairy lights. The lights filled the dark corner of the little room. Lights filled with Love and the promise of a greater Light beyond.

Light that drew her like open arms, waiting… drawing her… onward.

There was always Light and Love at Christmas.

©Sue Vincent

My thanks to Sue for this delightful story that illustrates how powerful the memories of Christmas and love of families can be.

About Sue Vincent, her collaborations and her books.

One of her most important collaborations is with a small black dog with a delightful mind of her own!  Meet Ani..

41irlk3aanl-_uy250_ 51eltwi-cal-_uy250_

Sue is a prolific author and has also co-written a book with Dr. G. Michael Vasey and over recent years a substantial number with Stuart France.  Here is a small selection.

 41j6menjpbl-_uy250_ 41lardqnpnl-_uy250_ 41rbtzowjbl-_uy250_41pohqnoakl-_uy250_51xri-fkwfl-_uy250_

About An Imperious Impulse: Coyote Tales – the latest release from Sue and Stuart.

“Couldn’t you make me into a Bull?” asked Coyote. In a time before Man walked the Earth, the Great Spirit breathed life into the land. Coyote was the First. Playful, subversive, curious and sometimes comical, he and his fellow creatures shaped the world for those who were to follow. Coyote is a Native American Trickster and hero of many adventures.

Tales of Coyote were passed down and shared with the young to illustrate the dangers of being human. Wilful, headstrong and always in trouble, Coyote journeyed through the spirit worlds, stealing fire and outwitting Death. When the Earth was loved as a living being, the rocks sang and the trees danced. Animals uttered Nature’s wisdom and the sun rose and set upon a wondrous world. The echoes of this magical landscape can still be found in the myths and legends of many cultures. They represent the weaving of the human spirit and the silent lore of creation.

‘Be careful, Coyote, never perform this trick more than four times in any one day.’ ‘An Imperious Impulse’ is the first book of the Lore Weavers, a collection of ancient tales retold. All traditional cultures evolved stories through which the natural and supernatural worlds could be explained and approached. Beyond their entertainment and humour is a deeper layer of mystery and symbolism through which the wisdom of the people could be transmitted. Telling of a time beyond human experience or memory, these tales meld a knowledge of the natural world with the spiritual and moral code of their creators. The essence of the human quest for an understanding of our role within creation has changed little over the millennia.

From the Dreaming of the Australian peoples, to the Great Mystery of the Native Americans and the ancient Celtic myths, there is a common thread that unites humankind across time and distance. It is in the rich tapestry of folk tales that we glimpse its multi-hued beauty. Long may they continue to be enjoyed.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Imperious-Impulse-Coyote-Tales-Weavers/dp/1910478172

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

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

51sl-a2xhyl-_uy250_Stuart France and Sue Vincent are also the authors of the Doomsday series.

41g1rltc0wl-_uy250_ 41mb7ais2l-_uy250_ 510ubnb19ql-_uy250_

Find out more about their work together: http://www.franceandvincent.com/

inner-temple-three

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

Also by Sue Vincent

41wlzm7ejdl-_uy250_ 413l6tp2v-l-_uy250_

Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Connect to Sue Vincent

Blog: http://scvincent.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scvincent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-C-Vincent/17967259931?ref=hl
Silent Eye Website: http://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Website (books) : http://www.franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Authors FB: https://www.facebook.com/silenteyeauthors?ref=hl

Thank you for dropping in today and I am Sue and I would both love your feedback.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Living the Dream with Sue Vincent.


Welcome to the Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

 

Here is more about how you can participate here:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/new-sunday-show-interview-series-the-ultimate-bucket-list-a-test-run-with-sally-cronin/

My guest today is Sue Vincent whose popular blog offers a wide range of topics and themes for us to enjoy from poetry and challenges to ancient monuments and churches. Sue takes us on a journey through a much older Britain when paganism was the religion of the day and as early Christianity began to surpass the old ways. She has a constant companion in the shape of a small black dog, Ani, who also writes occasionally posts on the lack of play-time and missing tennis balls. You can find out more about Sue’s books and collaborations later in the post.

Living the Dream – Sue Vincent

Sally says that the top items on the Bucket List can be taken for granted. That may be so, but if we all wish for world peace, to live in harmony with each other and the earth, and see our children and grandchildren grow as happy, healthy and fulfilled human beings, I sometimes wonder where we are going wrong.

Be that as it may, this feature requires that the top two items should be taken from a personal Bucket List… and that is easy. Once upon a time, Egypt was at the top of that list… a lifelong ambition that never came to pass. Others, such as living la vie Bohème and living in Paris, did happen. I have had my fair share of dreams come true… but that is no reason to stop dreaming.

These days my dreams are closer to home. Top of my list is a camper van. As I would have to submit this request to a fairy godmother, while she is waving her wand, the van would come with several years of insurance and a guaranteed pass on its MOT, an unlimited supply of fuel and, while she is at it, a magic cauldron to keep us fed. It would be big enough to live in for an extended period and small enough to get down the tiny country lanes that lead to every stone circle and ancient site in Great Britain and Ireland.

Okay, the godmother might have to extend my lifespan a bit to see them all, but I would give it my best shot!

I am no fairy godmother Sue.. but perhaps something like this?

In return, I would photograph, explore and research every site… and then write books about them, preserving their history, folklore and stories for future generations and sharing this land that I love with others.

While we are in the realm of impossibilities, my first dream would finance my second.

These books would then prove to be so popular and successful that, when the road ceased to call so vociferously, I would be able to settle down in a cottage, miles from nowhere… a place I already seem to spend a lot of time… with a couple of dogs and a tame raven.

The cottage would need a mountain behind it and a stream of iron-rich water tumbling through the heather that surrounds it… a stone circle close by would be nice too, but I’d hate to seem greedy. It can be as simple as you please… as long as it has decent plumbing and an internet connection. To be practical, it should probably be somewhere the local supermarket will deliver to too.

I found this on Pinterest Sue… would this suit?

Dreams and Bucket Lists are all very well… it is good to dream and have something to work towards, even if you are aware that, in reality, those dreams may never come true.

But it is good also to take stock of where you are…and how close those dreams may be. I currently live with the small dog, in a place far from hills and heather…but with fields full of ravens on my doorstep. I spend as much free time as I can manage exploring the ancient sites of these islands with Stuart France and our books share our love of the land and its stories.

And, if we never reach international bestseller status…in so many ways, we are already living the dream.

My thanks to Sue for participating in this challenge.. and I hope that the images turn into a reality one day.

About Sue Vincent

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

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born.

Books by Sue Vincent and Ani

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Sue is a prolific author and has also co-written a book with Dr. G. Michael Vasey and over recent years a substantial number with Stuart France.  Here is a small selection.

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Sue began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press).

51sl-a2xhyl-_uy250_Stuart France and Sue Vincent are also the authors of the Doomsday series.

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Find out more about their work together: http://www.franceandvincent.com/

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

Also by Sue Vincent

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Read the reviews and discover all of Sue Vincent’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W

Connect to Sue Vincent

Blog: http://scvincent.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scvincent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-C-Vincent/17967259931?ref=hl
Silent Eye Website: http://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Website (books) : http://www.franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Authors FB: https://www.facebook.com/silenteyeauthors?ref=hl
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Thank you for joining us today and we look forward to your feedback. And if you would like to share your top two ultimate bucket list items then head over to the post and check out what I need. Thanks Sally

:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/new-sunday-show-interview-series-the-ultimate-bucket-list-a-test-run-with-sally-cronin/