Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Teri Polen, Colleen Chesebro and Sally Cronin


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Welcome to the first update of the week.. and as an author on the bookshelves I get to share my news too today.  But first a catch up with two other authors.  I am taking a look at some of the authors who have entered the bookstore since the begining of December over the next week. Unless of course any of you reading this who are in the bookstore have news of a recent release or great review.  Get in touch sallygcronin@gmail.com

The first author update is for Teri Polen who released her debut novel Sarah at the beginning of December 2016. Since then she has received 26 reviews and here is one that is right up to date.

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About Sarah

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

 A Spine-Tingling Tale You Won’t Want to Miss on February 5, 2017

Teri Polen’s SARAH is the stuff that will keep you up at night. It’s the perfect blend of lighthearted teenage banter and blood-curdling horror elements. Shades of the television show Supernatural will keep fans of theWinchester brothers engrossed from the beginning through the last spine-tingling word of the epilogue.

Cain starts out as an affable teenage boy who too soon has become the man of the house because of the untimely death of his father. The addition of his best friend Finn creates a dynamic duo—the two clearly are as thick as biological brothers and their interactions are so enjoyable. Cain has typical teenage problems—love, academics, sports—until his life changes for the worse.

There is a ghost in his house.

The ghost, Sarah, has a dramatic character arc, something that infatuated me. Her change from beginning to end was something I couldn’t tear my attention from. Cain, Finn, and Lindsey are a trio that rivals Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The barbs they exchange are funny and believable, but these kids are loyal to each other to a fault. Watching those relationships solidify was a true pleasure.

I love a good ghost story, and SARAH is one of the best ones I’ve read in a while. I blew through it—it was such an easy and exciting read that I finished it in one afternoon. But I’m left fervently wishing for a sequel, because I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

If you like horror, you’ll love SARAH. It’s a must read.

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

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

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We head over to Marjorie Mallon’s wonderfully eclectic blog about books, writing, photography, magic haiku and inspiration. Not only has Marjorie posted a terrific view for the recently released The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy by Colleen M. Chesebro, but she has also availed herself of the exclusively designed pendant.

the-heart-stone-chroniclesAbout The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Marjorie Mallon’s Review for the book.

What’s not to love? I knew I would love The Swamp Fairy and I did. For me, it has two magical ingredients: a crystal pendant, ( I just love crystals!!!) and fairies! My only regret is that when I turned the last page of The Swamp Fairy I was left feeling bereft. I wanted more!!! Thank goodness Colleen will satisfy this sense of loss with the second book in this series…

I’d recommend The Swamp Fairy to young ‘tween’ girls who love the magical realm of fairies, and the power and mystery of crystals exemplified in Abigale’s pendant , a precious piece of the sacred calcite heart stone.

Gutsy young heroine Abigale Forester will do anything to save the swamp fairies and the Pink Sundew plants. Right from the start, it’s obvious that she’s no pushover, even though she has had to deal with more pain and loss than the average fourteen-year-old. After her mother Kathryn’s death and her drug addict father’s disappearance she is sent away to stay with her distant aunt Magnolia. It’s not just the weather that changes. Chicago girl Abigale’s new destination is Blackberry Ridge, Florida. She has to get to know her aunt, acquaint herself with a new school, meet new friends, Savanna Brook, Blake Barrett, and Cash Book, (Savanna’s brother.) But all that’s nothing compared with having to cope with the nasty jibes of the mean Kramer brothers, and it doesn’t end there. A greedy, ruthless land developer, Rafe Cobb is determined to get hold of the swamp land bequeathed to her by her deceased mother.

Abigale refuses to buckle under Rafe Cobb’s threats even when she realises that he will go to the most desperate and deadly ends to get what he wants.

Abigale has a special relationship with the fairies, (the Naiad Nymph Clan,) a unique bond with horses, (especially Sand Dollar,) and the many other animals in the story. She can hear what they are saying, and can speak to them too!

This is such an enthralling, sweet story, with excitement a-plenty. There are beautiful descriptions of the swamp fairies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. Plus the added bonus of beautifully crafted haiku poems at the start of each chapter. 

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-heart-stone-chronicles-book-1-the-swamp-fairy-by-colleen-chesebro/

Read the other recent reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967

colleen-author-picConnect to Colleen Chesebro via her Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

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Now I get to do a little self-promotion since I am on the shelves of the bookstore!  I released my latest short story collection, What’s in a Name, last Friday and was delighted that Linda Bethea dived in and gave the book its first review over the weekend.. Absolutely thrilled as you can imagine.

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About What’s in a Name

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

I rushed to buy this as soon as I saw it was released. I have read and loved Sally’s books before and this one did not disappoint. Read it through in one sitting. I loved the crooks and twists. The characterizations are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and grab this one, but I doubt you’ll get much done once you start!

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

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Connect with me here and on social media: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/connect-with-me-on-social-media/

If you would like to be in the bookstore then here are the promotions that might interest you.

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

Thank you for dropping by and as always your feedback is appreciated.

Blogger Daily – 24th January 2017 – Pizza, Horror, Weather Bunnies, and Author Etiquette!


Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to Blogger Daily with a small selection of the posts I have read in the last day or so. Please leave a link to your latest post in the comments section if you would like it shared.

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To begin with today… a post from Linda Bethea who turns the humble pizza into a family saga… there is a conspiracy afoot….

‘I suspect there is a new pyramid scheme starting, a plot to fatten. It’s diabolical. A friend was given a box of seventy-five pizzas from one of those gigantic superstores. That is neither a typo nor exaggeration. She wagged it home, split it into three separate bundles and put them in the freezer. Her twenty-year-old son still lives at home. He was on that pizza like a dog on a bone, joyously heaping those basic pizzas with every added topping he could ferret out, extra cheese, mushroom, sausage, hotdogs, hamburger, and extra sauce.’

Read on about who else dived into the Pizza….https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/pizza-love/

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Time for a little horror courtesy of David Watson who is part of the team over at Horror Addicts blog.. Zombies, ghosts and anything that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end!!! This post is a review of Dead over Heels by Theresa Braun…

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‘Veronica is looking for true love, it hasn’t been easy and now she thinks using a little magic may help. It works in the form of Sebastian and they hit it off instantly. Their first date is in a haunted restaurant and as luck would have it their romantic dinner is the scene of a supernatural encounter. They notice a young couple dining, but no one else does, and Veronica along with an apprehensive Sebastian decides to investigate further. They discover that they have a connection to the couple in question and they may be the only ones who can set the ghosts free.’

Read David’s review: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/davids-haunted-library-dead-over-heels/

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We have learned over the years to take weather forecasters with a pinch of salt (or a bag full if they predict ice) but there have been some monumental fails… admittedly with all the satellites in space not too bad recently.. We had just arrived back from Texas and were back in London.. The BBC weather reported some wind but did not mention it would be a full scale hurricane.. I climbed over trees to reach my office as it was my first day in my new job… no-one else made it in that day and I ended up manning the phones and selling car advert.. on job training.. Anyway.. John Kraft has his own reservations about weather forecasting including that of their local weather bunny…

ICE? WHAT ICE? I DON’T SEE NO ICE.

‘I take that back – I see ice in my coffee, but there is no ice on the roads or on my windshield. I’m not complaining mind you. In fact, I am doing my Happy Dance – big time.

For the last week the Weather Bunny on Channel Two has been predicting that Terre Haute (That’s French for “What’s that floating in the Wabash?”) was going to be hit with several days worth of ice storms, Sleet, Freezing Rain and NCAA Athletes. I don’t mind the athletes, but the ice, sleet and freezing rain I can do without.’

Read the rest of this very entertaining post: https://johnkraft.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/were-doomed-whats-for-lunch/

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Another review, this time by Teri Polen for The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn scheduled for release on February 7th… a dark and twisted horror mystery…

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‘Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.’

Read the rest of the blurb and the review: https://teripolen.com/2017/01/24/the-devil-crept-in-by-ania-ahlborn-bookreview-tuesdaybookblog/

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Finally today a post from publisher and author Susan Toy who has helped a huge number of  Indies be noticed on her Reading Recommendations (myself included).  Susan’s title today is Author’s Continuing to behave badly…You will also find two posts from 2014 relating to the same topic and they are worth reading too.. As someone who promotes authors and blogs I have found that the vast majority are great at participating, responding to comments made by people who have taken time to give their feedback and reciprocate in kind.

Each post that a blogger puts together for an author, especially if it is just from links takes anything from 30 minutes to an hour to gather images and text, format and post which is why there are submission guidelines. These should always be read and followed so that a promotion of a book gets the best possible showcase. Anyway here is an excerpt from Susan’s post and well worth a read before you approach anyone for a promotion…

It seems to be time – again! – to remind some “authors” out there how they should be conducting themselves in the world of promoting their books. Not everyone has bad manners, but there are enough who make it difficult for the rest of us who DO abide by those guidelines and rules and maintain decent behaviour.

This need to reiterate what I’ve railed on about before here came about after a reviewer posted this poem to her own blog – a poem that was actually a cry for help and an oblique explanation of how she’d been treated recently by indie authors she had set herself up to help promote. I reblogged her poem here then wrote to the reviewer directly to tell her I understood what she was going through.

Fortunately, this reviewer’s experience has had a happy (!) ending, or at least her problem has been resolved somewhat, to the point that she posted a follow-up poem this morning on her own blog.

I knew I’d addressed this subject of “Authors Behaving Badly” before, so I typed those words into my blog’s search thingie and found the following two posts written one after the other in Dec. 2014.

So here, for the benefit of Happymeerkatreviews and those authors who continue to behave badly when approaching reviewers and other promoters, are the two posts:

Connect to the two posts and read onhttps://islandeditions.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/authors-continuing-to-behave-badly/

I hope you will find these posts interesting and I know the bloggers would value your feedback. I would love to showcase your latest post so please put the link in the comments section.  thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Reading – Sarah by Teri Polen


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Today’s featured book is the debut novel, Sarah by Teri Polen released on December 1st. A YA/Thriller it a teenager into contact with a ghost  with an agenda.

41jwrqyo45l-_uy250_About Sarah.

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

A selection of the early reviews for Sarah

I’m not usually tempted by young adult novels, but once I saw the cover and title of the book… I had to read this one. It’s definitely written in a young adult manner, but I think horror fans in general will still enjoy it. It’s a good old fashioned ghost story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I burned right though it in one sitting.

I loved the dynamic between the main character and his friends. They rag on each other the way good friends always seem to do. It really helps you become immersed in the story, because you can clearly imagine them in your head. The way Sarah is described gets pretty chilling, as well.

Cain is a fairly normal seventeen year old kid. He rules the soccer field, loves horror movies, and cares deeply about his mother and little sister. His dad has passed, and he helps his mother and cares for little sister without complaint. His only problem in the beginning of the book is his girlfriend. Vapid and controlling, he wants to break up with her but doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. That little problem soon pales in comparison when strange things start happening at his house. The attic door in his bedroom is opening by itself. His cat is jumpy. The temperature keeps fluctuating. It’s up to Cain and best friend Finn to figure out what’s going on… and soon Lindsey, who seems to make a much better girlfriend for Cain than the previous. Sarah is the ghost in the attic, and she’s not going to stay there.

There was so much I liked about this book. The realistic ribbing between friends. The dark humor combined with the strong undercurrent that you need to do what is right. Eby. (This is the black cat I immediately had a soft spot for, as I’m owned by a “fluffy” black rescue myself.) Oh, and that ending!

I was permitted to read an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Black Rose Writing, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.

There is Cain, soccer player and quite normal teenage boy, Finn, his loyal friend and Erin, the shallow cheerleader girlfriend. Life is good for Cain, the only thing he wants to get rid of is Erin, but he can’t find the courage to break up with her.

After Cain and his family moved to a new house, after his father died, his quiet life is going to change dramatically. Cain finds out that there is the ghost of a murdered teenage girl living in the attic. This could be interesting and exciting if the ghost wasn’t so malicious and vindictive. Sarah, the murdered girl, wants revenge on the three boys responsible for her death, And she will get them, whatever it takes.

I loved this story, it was all I want in a book and I couldn’t put it down. It was creepy, but my heart broke for Sarah and what those boys did to her. They needed to be punished. Maybe not the way she had in mind and she went too far, when she wanted to kill both Cain and Finn. I barely had time to breath, things just happened without giving me a break and my heart stopped when Sarah had Cain alone in the house and there was no way to stop her. What? No happy ending? Yeah, well, this is no love story, I know that, still… Then it seems that everything is going to be alright. Help is on the way and the evil is banished.

Again….hopefully. I sigh in relieve. Epilogue…this used to be the happy ending part in books, right? BAM! What did I think?! In horror books there are no happy endings.

All I can say: Read it! It’s worth it, you’ll not gonna be disappointed.

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

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About Teri Polen

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.

Connect to Teri

Book is available: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sarah-teri-polen/1125171739?ean=9781612967912

Publisher: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/sarah

Christmas Tree courtesy of author John W. Howell.
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John Howell, Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: http://www.johnhowell.com

Thank you for spending some time over here today and as always your feedback is very welcome.. It would also be great if you could spread the word of Teri’s new book far and wide.  Thanks Sally