Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen #YA #Sc-fi


A red letter day for Teri Polen with the release of her latest book The Gemini Connection. Teri is having a book launch party today on Facebook and details at the end of the post.

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 early reviews for the book

Darque Dreamer 5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating! June 1, 2018

The Gemini Connection is exhilarating! It’s an edge of your seat sci-fi with a mystery! You are gong to love the emotion and uniqueness this one has to offer!

Oh, the feels! On the surface, this began as a fast paced sci-fi story. Having dug deeper, it offered emotional connections, thrills, and a bit of the paranormal!

This was my first book read by Teri Polen, and it certainly won’t be my last. I loved her writing style. It flowed seamlessly. It sparked vivid images in my mind, and strong feelings in my heart. I loved how she took a typical YA sci-fi setting and gave it life. I loved the fact that her main character was a teenage male instead of a female. And, I loved how she took a little predictability and twisted it with some shocking moments to create an incredibly exciting story!

I read the whole thing in one sitting! It was such a compulsive read!! I loved the world, the science aspects, the emotions, and the characters! I loved our main characters, Evan and Simon. They had a strong, brotherly connection that spoke volumes in a genre that normally highlights female characters. I enjoyed their strengths, their weaknesses, their differences, and their personalities!

Evan was hard working and intense, but also extremely vulnerable deep down. Simon was intelligent and level headed. Together, the pair symbolized true friendship. I also really loved our supporting characters. Max really stood out to me. He represented anger and struggle, but also hope and love. And, Syd represented patience, beauty, and loyalty.

Teri created intensely beautiful relationships and friendships (and even included an awesome LGBT relationship) in the story. She created a story that flowed with emotion and heart pounding thrills. I couldn’t put this one down! I loved the paranormal aspects of the story involving Simon and Evan being able to feel each other’s emotions, and found the creation of the mind benders to be really intriguing! I’d recommend this one to all YA sci-fi readers, hands down!

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

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. Sarah is her debut novel and was named a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Connect to Teri.

Website:  https://teripolen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Teri is holding a Virtual Book Launch Party between 5pm- 7pm. CST on Facebook today.. with some giveaways and a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Teri’s news. Thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Teri Polen, Marina Osipova, Amy M. Reade and Pamela S. Wight


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update. I will be making a few changes to the blog in the coming weeks and I really want to focus on authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, their reviews and new releases. I have made a note of one or two new releases coming up but if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and are publishing in the next month, can you please contact me (sally.cronin@moyhill.com) so that I can schedule a new book promotion for you.

If you are not there, then please let me know so I can do a promotion and add you: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

The first author today with a recent review is Teri Polen for her book YA horror novel, Sarah. And look out for Teri’s new book released on June 7th.. The Gemini Connection.

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.

One of the recent reviews.

To this day I still can’t understand the difference between a YA novel and an adult scare story. Perhaps in the YA everyone keeps their clothes on. I can tell anyone who wants to listen that although Teri Polen’s Sarah is billed as a YA novel it still scares the bejesus out of you. The story is well written, and the suspense factor is such that no matter your age you will be on the edge of your seat.

The story is about the ghost of a young girl who was murdered in the house of the protagonist named Cain. He is a high school kid who plays on the varsity soccer team and has worries about his mother and sister Maddie due to the loss of his father. He has a great best pal named Finn and Eby the cat who are there when he needs them..

Now when the ghost named Sarah appears the reader immediately thinks there is going to be some heroic effort by Cain to help her find the people responsible for murdering her. In fact, this would be a cliché that would have been all too easy. Ms. Polen had none of that easy stuff. Oh no. She builds the characterizations of the ghost to a point where the reader feels threatened. Speaking of characterizations this book is rich with characters that behave much like people you have met.

Too much more said will drop a few spoilers. Let me leave you with the idea that this book is for everyone who likes an exciting story well told.

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/

John W. Howell is also in the Cafe and Bookstore

John Howell, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C
Blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

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The next author with a recent review is Marina Osipova for A Cruel Romance.

About the book

October 1941. A small village outside Moscow. Serafima bids farewell to Vitya, a Soviet officer going to the front. With only moments left together, she places a cross around her beloved’s neck and reluctantly releases him into a cruel world where nothing is certain, especially whether she will ever see him again. Days later Germans invade her village and take over her tiny house. Serafima and her mother must comply with orders, endure abuse, and stay put or their village will be annihilated.

As World War II intertwines Serafima’s and Vitya’s life with that of a young German violinist and a Russian intellectual, their destinies are irrevocably altered. Can they rise to the challenge of agonizing moral choices and learn to forgive and love again? Praise The Cruel Romance is a tale of love, violence, and acceptance as Serafima is forced to live with what the Germans left behind.

This compelling story makes for a thrilling read in a setting and time that comes to life, pulling the reader into the vividly drawn, rarely seen world. Elisabeth Amaral, author of When Any Kind of Love Will Do and Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup

One of the recent reviews for the book

A Cruel Romance Indeed  on May 27, 2018

A cruel romance indeed. And as we all know, nothing is fair in love or war.

A fast paced, unputdownable engaging read from Osipova where she takes us into the troubled, and life of hardship of Serafima, a poor Russian girl, barely yet 18 years old. Serafima is caught in the midst of WWII and a sorrowful parting with her newly flourishing love with Victor who is heading off to the Russian front to join the war. Serafima vows to wait for him, both in virtue and in her heart. The author paints vivid imagery with poignant settings and well fleshed out complicated characters in a complicated time.

Already living in a tiny village in the forest, well outside of Moscow, Serafima knows poverty and hunger well, yet never complains. Living with her emotionless mother in a tiny hut, she learns that her hardships are about to get a lot worse after two German soldiers invade and take over her tiny home, complete with her and her mother as their private slaves, where Serafima endures the brunt of mental and physical abuse.

Throughout the passing years, Serafima never stops pining for her lost love Victor. And as the war comes to an end and the Germans move out, Serafima finds herself with child. We are now drawn into the raw emotion and struggle Serafima must deal with when her child is born and her disgust for his conception overshadows any joy she should have from giving birth and ultimately, distancing herself emotionally from her own child.

When a few more years pass, still with hope her Victor will return to marry her, she receives a rude awakening one day when he does return and he spots her child. A misunderstanding from unspoken words and a lifetime of holding back the truth changes the course of Serafima’s life dramatically. Instead Serafima continues to work and make the best life she can while dismissing her undying love for Victor and learning to live with a broken heart.

Victor too never stopped loving Serafima despite their lack of reconciliation, and demonstrates how unresolved love can grow into vengeance. Life is a circle, and secrets of the past have a way of working themselves back into one’s life just as they did for Serafima, when she was faced to make peace with her past. Can she ever find love again? Will she eventually reunite with Victor? You will have to read the book to find out.

This book had me turning pages at every opportunity I could pick up the book. I will say. the ending was quite surprising, The book was beautifully written and so engaging I can’t help but give it 5 stars!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

And Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457862-the-cruel-romance

Connect to Marina via her website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

D.G. Kaye is also in the Cafe and Bookstore

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

The next author with a recent review is Amy M. Reade with her book Murder in Thistlecross (A Malice Novel).

About the book

The emerald hills and violet valleys of Wales seem the ideal place to start over after murder—and divorce—shattered Eilidh’s life in the Scottish Highlands. But within the stone walls of an ancient castle, a family’s dark, violent past threatens much more than her newfound tranquility . . .

For the past two years, Eilidh has called the quaint Welsh village of Thistlecross home, embracing her new life as estate manager of a restored fifteenth-century castle. But the long-anticipated arrival of her employer’s three estranged sons and their wives transforms Gylfinog Castell from a welcoming haven to a place seething with dangerous secrets. When the escalating tensions culminate in murder, Eilidh must sift through a castle full of suspects both upstairs and downstairs. She can trust no one as she follows a twisting maze of greed and malice to ferret out a killer who’s breaching every defense, preparing to make Eilidh the next to die.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A castle, a sweet woman who loves her job but needs to find some love in her life, a dysfunctional family who has its own terrible secrets, all set in the lush lovely country of Wales. Amy Reade mixes together all of these ingredients to give her readers a delicious gothic novel. I’m not one who needs to categorize books into certain genres.

I don’t generally read “gothic’ novels, but after reading this book, I wonder why not? if it’s written as seamlessly as Reade’s book is, with well-detailed characters, a main character who we root for throughout the book, some suspense and murder and “whodunit” questions, perhaps I DO like gothic novels. The writing does not rush the reader; we slowly get to know the castle that the main character manages and all of its inhabitants. There’s also a bit of downstairs/upstairs vibe, and of course a slowly simmering romance. I’ve read all of Reade’s books, and this one did not disappoint.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Thistlecross-Malice-Novel-Reade-ebook/dp/B071L5C6C7

and Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Thistlecross-Malice-Novel-Reade-ebook/dp/B071L5C6C7

Also by Amy M. Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2

Read more reviews and follow Amy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

Connect to Amy via her website: www.amymreade.com

Pamela Wight is also in the Cafe and Bookstore

Pamela S. Wight, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
Blog:https://roughwighting.net/

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And congratulations to Pamela S.Wight as her book Birds of Paradise is the Award Winning Finalist in the Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction category of the 2018 International Book Awards.

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About Birds of Paradise

Sweet sparrows Bessie and Bert grow up as differently as night and day. Bessie is fearful of the dangers inherent in being a bird. She’s scared to leave her cozy branch. But Bert relishes flying in the sky and pecking delicious seeds on the ground, until he loses half a tail. Bessie and Bert uncover each other’s fears and, through a newfound friendship, re-discover the delight in being birds. Charming, lustrous illustrations and light, lilting verse delight children and adults alike as they gain a new appreciation for the joyous birds in their own backyard.

One of the reviews for the book

This beautifully written and illustrated story is my son’s favorite new book, and a truly delightful story by Pamela Wight! The lesson about staying close to the nest while being able to spread your wings, is tied to the importance of friendship and being safe to try new things with the right person by your side. A reminder to us all to enjoy the unique elements that make us who we are, and appreciate the influence of others who enhance our lives with the gift of companionship and love. A great mother’s day gift to a mom with young children, or one whom you’d like to thank for her guidance and care.

Read the reviews and buy the book on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Paradise-Pamela-S-Wight/dp/0998460613/

Head over and check out Pamela’s celebration of her achievement: https://roughwighting.net/2018/06/01/the-finalist/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of authors and their reviews… Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Micki Peluso, Judy Penz-Sheluk, Annika Perry, Jemima Pett, Toni Pike, Teri Polen, Allie Potts, Debra Purdy-Kong, Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Amy M. Reade


Welcome to spring….. and there might be a hint of colour in the garden, as daffodils push their way to the surface, but there is plenty of colour on the shelves of the bookstore that I thought I would share with you over the next week or so.

If you are looking for you next book to read then look no further than these talented authors and over 600 books currently on the shelves.

Instead of the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates on Friday and Monday.. I will be featuring a number of authors each day with their updated reviews.

I will give you their listing which also includes a link to buy the books but also discover others that they have written but are not listed. You will also find a link to their website or blog to find out more information, and as you can imagine… they write great posts too.

Here is the next ten featured authors from the Cafe and Bookstore with their recent reviews.

Micki Peluso, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Micki-Peluso/e/B002BLZ7JK
Blog: http://mallie1025.blogspot.ie/

An extract from one of the recent reviews for The Whippoorwill Sang

on March 2, 2018

“Memories” I looked forward to reading this book, because my sister and my brother-in-law had lost four friends in one night to the acts of a drunken driver. This accident left six orphans behind, and my sister and my brother-in-law would forever remember their anniversary, the 20th of September, as the day two sets of good parents lost their lives to a drunken driver.

This is a book which needs to be read by anyone who ever had the audacity to get in behind a wheel and drive under the influence of alcohol. There is just no excuse and hopefully more and more countries will enforce legislation to impose maximum sentence on those who think it’s okay to destroy others’ lives in such a callous manner.

I loved that the author had the courage to write her story. She has a wonderful engaging style of writing, clear crisp dialogues and writes with brutal honesty when describing her feelings throughout the book.

If you have not had a chance to read this memoir, I encourage you to do so. Especially the second half of this account will stay with you for a long time!

Judy Penz Sheluk, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04
Blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

Please visit Amazon or Judy’s blog to view all her books

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An extract from a recent review for A Hole in One..

Emily Garland has landed on her feet after her previous bouts with murder and mayhem, and in the process, she has gained a new friend and partnership in Lount’s Landing’s delightful antique shop. Arabella Carpenter, eager to move on from her life’s left turns, opened up The Glass Dolphin antique shop, and with her new friend and partner taking on the advertising and promotions, success might be more than just a pipe dream. The ladies are sponsoring the Hole in One prize at the charity golf tournament, but instead they get involved in another murder mystery. The victim is Arabella’s ex-husband’s estranged father, having been out of the picture for twenty-five years, and when motive, means, and opportunity seem established, he becomes a serious “person of interest.” From there I couldn’t put the book down…

Judy Penz Sheluk has penned an excellent follow up to her first Glass Dolphin Mystery, and although you can start here, I highly recommend you not forget book one, “The Hanged Man’s Noose.” As a beginning or as a prequel, it is excellent, too.

Annika Perry, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/
Blog    https://annikaperry.com

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I think this book is a good read. Annika Perry is a perceptive observer of the human condition, and has a gift of harnessing the humdrum minutiae of everyday existence and bringing it to life in short, concise, well told stories. She also includes the occasional entertaining poem and limerick to further demonstrate her talents and add to the variety. As a bonus, Ms Perry includes notes at the end of the anthology, explaining her motivation for writing the stories, many of which, directly or indirectly, are borne out of her own experiences.

Jemima Pett, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE
Blog http://jemimapett.com

Please visit Amazon to view all of Jemima’s books.

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A recent review for The Princelings of the North on Goodreads

Jan 31, 2018 Victoria Zigler rated it Five Stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since I heard it was going to be coming out, and was not disappointed! This book is an excellent addition to this series. The plot is entertaining and exciting, while the characters are interesting and believable (yes, I know they’re guinea pigs, but there’s no reason a guinea pig can’t be a believable character).

Toni Pike, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y
Website www.tonipike.com

One of the recent reviews Holy Spear of Magus

Deborah Wall McGraw4.0 out of 5 stars Holy Spear of Magus delivers February 20, 2018

The Holy Spear of Magus is the latest in the story of Fletcher and his battle with a hateful subgroup within the Catholic Church. By now, we know many details of the protagonist and the various villains so the story is more interesting when you start with volume 1 and work through them. This one takes them to several interesting spots around the world in the search for the holy spear. That is one of my favorite parts of mystery books: the details of foreign places. An very satisfying escape.

Teri Polen, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V
Website: https://teripolen.com/

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An extract from a recent review for Sarah

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.

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.

One of the reviews for Watch and Wand

The Watch and the Wand is the second book in the Gene Assist Series, a dystopian tale dabbling in genetic engineering. The science is intriguing and complex and it’s possible to see nano technology invading our lives in the not too distant future.

This book starts after the breakdown of society and 15 years after the conclusion of book one: Fair and Foul. Stephen’s dull life comes to an end when he meets Bean, a girl on the run from the dangerous Watch. With Bean, he sets off into the unknown world where nothing is quite what it seems.

This story has quite a few twists and turns. Potts toys with the reader, setting up mysteries and slowly revealing the answers, and often leaving the characters’ motives and agendas hidden. In particular, Bean was hard to read, and for a long time, I wasn’t sure I trusted her. Stephen and Bean are the strongest characters, three dimensional and consistent throughout. Dialog is realistic, the pace zips along, and the action scenes are exciting.
I didn’t read the first book, Fair and Foul, and wished I had. I would recommend starting there as Potts doesn’t bog down the reader with much backstory in book 2 (primarily because Stephen is in the dark about what’s going on outside his experience and he’s the pov character). I would have liked to know more about how the challenges in the world developed. Great sci-fi story for YA readers and up.

Please visit Amazon to view all of Debra’s books
A review for Deadman Floating

In Deadman Floating, Debra Purdy Kong introduces us to her likeable protagonist, Evan Dunstan, who is butting heads with his superiors in his current role as campus security officer, while en route to his dream job in municipal policing. Interfering somewhat with Evan’s professionalism is his pursuit of a potential girlfriend, which is what causes him to fail to report his discovery of the body of a miserable and frequently inebriated campus maintenance worker. Obviously an unfortunate accident—or, maybe not!? In this fun, quick read, the first in the Evan Dunstan Mystery series, Purdy Kong tightly weaves a twisty plot that will hold the reader’s attention to the very end.

An extract from the most recent review for The Fall of Lilith

I have seen this book described as “epic” and I agree, not only for its length (it is two books in one) but also for its topic. It does talk about all things in Heaven and Earth, near enough, from the creation of the angels and the battle of good and evil to the fall of the angels and their revenge plans once on Earth (that don’t bode well for humanity).

The author’s writing style in this book is reminiscent of the Bible, although the story is told from quite a different point of view, and it deviates from the narrative most Christians are familiar with (I am intrigued to know how the story will resonate with readers not familiar with the Christian tradition, although the world building is detailed enough for anybody to be able to follow the events). I am not a big Fantasy reader, mostly because I am not that fond of lengthy descriptions (I admire authors who do it well), although this story has the added interest of providing a major variation on a story many of us are familiar with. As typical of the genre, there is plenty of telling (in fact, all the characters are storytellers, and we get to hear the angels’ voices often, narrating their own adventures, or even fictional ones, like a fascinating story Lilith narrates in book 1), and beautiful descriptions of Floraison, the part of Heaven inhabited by the angels, of the angels, and also of the creation of Earth, and of Earth itself in book 2.

Amy M. Reade, Buyhttp://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com

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One of the recent reviews for Murder in Thistlecross

With its engaging heroine, sinister castle, and shadowy intrigues, Murder in Thistlecross is a true gothic suspense novel, but not of the Victorian era as one might expect. Reade places the gothic elements seamlessly into contemporary Wales, essentially creating a new genre: the modern gothic mystery. One gets so happily immersed in the spooky mystery that the occasional appearance of a cellphone is a surprise as well as a reminder that what once was old has been made new again. I enjoyed the believability of a gothic mystery that seemed as if it could really happen today. I Also felt I had enjoyed a vacation in the beautiful Welsh countryside.
Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the authors and their books on social media. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Adele Marie Park, Don Massenzio, Brigid P. Gallagher, Cynthia Reyes and Teri Polen


Welcome to the first of the author updates for the week and I am sure that you will find some new books to add to your TBRs.

The first author with a new review is Adele Marie Park for her book Wisp published in 2016

About Wisp

Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought.

When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisp`s life, as he knew it will completely change.

What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.

A recent review for Wisp.

Really enjoyed this book , not usually a fan of fantasy type books but really got into this story and can’t wait for the next one , very talented author
 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4

Read more reviews and follow Adele on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16214999.Adele_Marie_Park

Connect to Adele via her website: http://www.adelemariepark.com/

The next author with a new book released on February 2nd is Don Massenzio with Blood Match: A Brad Rafferty Novel.

About the book

Intelligence analyst Jake Balrich boards his Monday morning flight, as he has so many times, for routine field work. When the plane lands, a passenger fails to wake up. Jake soon realizes that the death was not accidental and is part of a murderous plot that will have Jake running for his life as he struggles with an unknown enemy that seems to guess his every move.

Blood Match is a thriller that examines the desire for gaining power with little regard for the human lives that are affected.

Follow Jake Balrich, as he enlists the help of Commander Brad Rafferty, to take down an enemy more powerful and dangerous than the United States has ever faced.

One of the early reviews for the book

An excellent thriller with a great storyline and plenty of action. Contains several twists and turns with many very interesting characters. Jake is a great main character whom is very likeable. A book that was very enjoyable and hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends.

Read the other reviews and buy the new book: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Match-Brad-Rafferty-Novel-ebook/dp/B0792KCNKG

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Match-Brad-Rafferty-Novel-ebook/dp/B0792KCNKG

A selection of other books by Don Massenzio

Discover all of Don’s books, read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI

Find more reviews and follow Don Massenzio on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8157756.Don_Massenzio

Connect to Don via his blog: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

The next author with news is Brigid P. Gallagher with a recent review for her book Watching the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This delightful memoir has a number of threads running through it, all of which the author skilfully weaves together into an appealing whole.

Music is one of the threads, right from Brigid’s youth when she danced to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops in the living room, to attending concerts of performers like Thin Lizzy, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox and Tina Turner, to later trips to see Tom Jones and Clannad. One day in her youth she even spent her lunchtime work break stalking Cliff Richard as he did some shopping!

Unfortunately, another major thread is ill health. From childhood dental abscesses, laryngitis and joint pains, to insomnia, depression and pleurisy later in life, afflictions crop up regularly. Eventually Brigid is diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Not surprisingly therefore, Brigid develops a keen interest in healing, and over the years shows a breath-taking enthusiasm and determination to study, practice and even commercialize her skills, as she explains herself: “colour healing, crystal and electro-crystal healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, nutritional medicine, counselling skills, spiritual healing, radionics, space clearing and the ancient art of Feng shui. I reckon I had attained the equivalent of a master’s degree in natural medicines!”

She establishes the Scottish School of Holistic Healing, followed closely by Healthworks, a healing centre and shop in the middle of the Scottish town of Stirling.

The final thread is travel, which for the most time she undertakes solo. In many of these places, such as Malta, Morocco, Bali, India and Lourdes, Brigid seeks out and learns from local healing practices, which she then implements back home.

Watching the Daisies is well-written, informative, entertaining in parts, harrowing in others. At the end of each chapter Brigid gives a quick summary of insights learned, and at the end of the book she gives her top ten tips for self-healing. In other words, the book is extremely practical.

Finally, we find Brigid beginning to cut back on some of her many activities to take life a little slower (hence the title). However, as she was told once by a numerologist that “the best years of your life will come later, probably in your sixties,” I suspect that Brigid won’t be letting the daisies grow too long!

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

and more reviews at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

The next author receiving great reviews is Cynthia Reyes with Myrtle the Purple Turtle. The book was beautifully illustrated by Jo Robinson.

About Myrtle the Purple Turtle

Myrtle is a lovely Turtle. Not an ordinary Turtle. She is Purple and different from other turtles. After being bullied by another turtle, Myrtle tries to become someone else. In the end, Myrtle and her friends help children learn to not be afraid of being different. Myrtle the Purple Turtle is a thoroughly engaging story that stresses the importance of self-acceptance and friendship.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

I loved reading this book to my young daughters. It emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance in a very relatable way to young kids and it gave me the opportunity to explain the issue of bullying, friendship and staying true to oneself.

My kids enjoyed the colourful drawings and my daughter’s favourite colour is purple which made it extra special. I highly recommend every parent read this book to their children. 

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075ZGB235

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myrtle-Purple-Turtle-Cynthia-Reyes/dp/0620773421

Also by Cynthia Reyes

book-photo-agh-cover2

Read the reviews for both books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6

Read more reviews and follow Cynthia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes

61etre3zbbl-_ux250_Connect to Cynthia Reyes via her blog: https://cynthiasreyes.com/

The final author today is Teri Polen with her YA horror novel Sarah. The book has just received a terrific new review.

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.

One of the recent reviews.

Sarah is categorized as YA horror and the book fits the genre perfectly. Sarah is a teenage ghost seeking revenge for her murder. She returns to the scene of the crime, now the home of Cain Shannon, a 17-year-old horror fan. At first, she appears shy and vulnerable, and Cain agrees to help her, but she’s not as helpless as he believes. With each bloody act of revenge, she grows in power, and her tactics increase in brutality. Before long, Cain is in the battle of his life against a ghost intent on death.

This book has some really creepy, icky, suspenseful, and scary things going on, but the scare-factor and gore feel appropriate for YA readers (as well as adults). The story grabbed my attention from the first page, and the tension and suspense escalate at a steady pace without much of a break right up to the climatic end. Even the last few paragraphs of the epilog are worthy of a few terrifying chills.

Though the horror aspects of the book were engaging, what impressed me the most was Polen’s outstanding characters. All of them felt well-rounded to me with fully developed personalities, but I was totally taken with the main character Cain and his friend Finn. They felt authentic to me in their thoughts, emotions, dialog, banter, friendship, and relationships with others. I’m in awe of the author’s ability to capture the essence of teenage boys with such expertise. I found the pair of them refreshing and likable, and therefore enjoyed the non-horror moments of the book as much as the horror, if not more so.

Another thing that impressed me was the believability of the characters’ choices. I often find that characters in horror (movies) make stupid choices because the plot would keel over and die if they acted sensibly. Polen was meticulous in building a backstory that supported Cain’s decisions, particularly his choice not to involve his mother and to stay in the house despite the presence of a murderous ghost. This careful attention to character and plot kept me enmeshed in the story from chapter one right through to the end.

An excellent book for both YA and adult readers of horror and suspense

The book is in Print, Ebook and also Audible.

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 please help spread the news of these authors and their news. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Linda G. Hill, Teri Polen, Lyn Horner, Heather Kindt and Teagan Riordain Geneviene


Welcome to another Christmas Book Fair featuring authors from the bookstore and the books that would make wonderful gifts for all ages.  With 160 authors to feature it is time to pack the shelves.

The first author is Linda G. Hill and her book The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1.

About the book

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

One of the most recent reviews for the book

Modern Day Gothic on November 16, 2017

The Magician’s Curse is a modern day gothic romance. We meet Herman, who is traveling to start a new job, and Stephen, a successful magician. There is an immediate attraction between the pair, and so begins a tale of romance, intrigue, heartache, and possible danger. This is the first book I have read by Linda G. Hill, and I enjoy her style. The pace is steady, the writing flows smoothly, and the characters become people you care about. I was left wanting more, and I’m activly wishing for book two. Highly recommended.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magicians-Curse-Paranormal-Romance-Dagmaru-ebook/dp/B0721ZH2KN

Also by Linda G. Hill

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0

Read other reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Connect to Linda via her website: https://lindaghill.com

The next author I would like to feature is Teri Polen and her book Sarah which was published in December 2016.

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.

One of the recent reviews from Goodreads

F.R. Jameson Nov 15, 2017 F.R. rated it really liked it

In the day or so since I finished reading SARAH, I’ve been trying to figure out what it does right so as to utterly grip me. After all, this is a YA novel about the ghost of a teenage girl, and the other teenagers who encounter her. Written baldly like that, most people are going to feel that it’s something they’ve seen before/read before. (Teenage girl ghosts seem to be two a penny, why aren’t there more 1890’s escape-artist ghosts?) But Polen takes something that’s in danger of tipping into hackneyed cliché, and creates a book which builds up slowly until its genuinely edge of the seat stuff.

So how does she do this? Part of it is that in the character of Sarah, our titular ghost, Polen has created a spirit – who in the first part at least – is genuinely amorphous. You’re never quite sure where you are with her and so even without overly sinister goings on, the reader is already put that little bit on edge. And that leads into the second element which really makes this book stand out, Polen is a superb writer of suspense. She understands how and when to raise the tension, to maintain it and twist the nerves that little bit more. Even the ending, which in other hands might be a rote trip to predictability, Polen still finds discordant keys to play even as us readers turn to the last page.

Just one note, the narrative does end but there’s a coming next time hint, which is normally something with the capacity to really irritate me. This one though is so clever and deliciously evil that it’s more than whet my appetite for more.

The book is in Print, Ebook and also Audible.

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/

The next author with a book for all romantics this Christmas is Beguiling Delilah: Romancing the Guardians Book Six by Lyn Horner which was published in July.

About the book

He’s a Navajo sworn to bring her to America;
She’s a sexy genius in a race with him across France

Delilah Moreau, the glamorous French Guardian, possesses a miraculous mathematical talent that provides her a privileged life, but it can’t give her what she truly wants: lasting love. Leon Tseda, a Navajo whose homeland serves as a hidden gathering place for the Guardians, vows to bring Delilah to safety, thwarting thugs sent to capture her and the valuable scroll she guards. Opening in Paris, the story whisks the pair in a life-and-death chase across France to Nice and Monte Carlo on the breathtaking Côte d’Azur.

Both Delilah and Leon have lost loved ones, and they’re no longer youngsters, but they are not too old for a second chance at love. Their journey is fraught with danger, excitement and steamy, mature romance. Will it lead to love – if they live long enough?

The series so far: There are seven Guardians, each possessing a psychic gift and a precious scroll containing a secret prophecy handed down from ancient Irish seers. Not to be revealed until mankind is ready to listen, the prophesies are in danger of being seized by vicious “Hellhounds” who want to use them for their own evil ends.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I loved this book for several reasons. The biggest reason was the characters. It was refreshing to read about characters closer to my own age rather than sweet young things in their twenties. Delilah is a mathematical genius and a business woman. Pairing her up with a rugged American Indian couldn’t have been easy. But Lyn pulled it off with flying colors. They weren’t shy about expressing their extreme differences but maturity gave them the advantage of the wisdom of how to overcome those differences and still enjoy a romantic relationship that would last a long time. But have to say, having a Leon was easy to fall for. He’s proud and protective at the same time and he knew a good woman when he saw her.

Another reason I really enjoyed the book is the French location. I’ve visited the settings in this book and it was fun to revisit them through this book as the Hell Hounds (bad guys) chase them through the French countryside to gain access to the secret scrolls Delilah protects. With each of her books in this series, Lyn takes us to a new world location and it keeps this series fresh. I recommend that fellow readers read this entire series for better understanding but I’m certain none will be disappointed. Each book gets us closer to the secrets and the big battle that is sure to happen when the Hell Hounds, descend to steal the secrets along with the power of the knowledge they contain. Can’t wait!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Beguiling-Delilah-Romancing-Guardians-Book-ebook/dp/B073XPVHSP

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beguiling-Delilah-Romancing-Guardians-Book-ebook/dp/B073XPVHSP

A selection of other books by Lyn Horner

Read the many reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y

Read more reviews and follow Lyn on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4639926.Lyn_Horner

Connect to Lyn via her website: http://lynhorner.com

And now time to catch up with Word Weaver Contest winner Heather Kindt whose debut novel Ruby Slips and Poker Chips was published a couple of weeks ago.. It is now in both eBook and print versions. It has also attracted some excellent early reviews.

About Ruby Slips and Poker Chips

Second-grade teacher Dottie Gale lives in the tiny town of Quandary, Kansas, which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of nowhere. No mountains. No ocean. No life. Her ex-boyfriend and current school board member, Corbin Lane, cheated on her, making school functions more than a little awkward. But worst of all, a tornado named Maxine Westward rips through Dottie’s school as the new principal and has made her life at work a living hell.
When Dottie is chosen to go to a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she knows her life is going to change.

Driving from Quandary to Vegas, three strangers enter her life. Through a string of situations involving poppies, flying monkeys, and a life-size sculpture of an iconic rock star the four soon become inseparable. So, when Westward arrives on her broom in Vegas, Dottie is ready for battle. Her boss black mails her with stories of incarceration, thievery, and a steamy relationship with her travel companion, but Dottie knows that those who hurl insults shouldn’t hold secrets of their own.

One of the early reviews for the book.

Cynthia Tatum 5.0 out of 5 stars It’s a fun read! December 2, 2017

Dottie Gale is a snappy second grade teacher in a small town in Kansas who is about to get swept up into a whirlwind cross-country road trip on the way to a teacher conference. She makes some new quirky friends on her trip and finds herself in the most bizarre of situations by no fault of her own. Add to the mix a new principal with higher aspirations than staying at a small school in Kansas and an old cheating high school boyfriend and the adventure begins!

I found this to be a fun read with many chuckles throughout as Dottie was a wise-cracking main character that kept the pace moving quickly. I enjoyed the parallels between Dottie and Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz and found the author to give just the right balance between references to the old classic and this story. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a not-so serious, yet very enjoyable, read curled up in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket and a mug of tea on a cozy evening.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Slips-Poker-Chips-Dorothy-ebook/dp/B077Q8HWV3

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ruby-Slips-Poker-Chips-Dorothy-ebook/dp/B077Q8HWV3

Smashwords for other Ebook versions: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/hmkindt

Connect to Heather via her website at http://heatherkindt.com/

Another great read for Christmas is by Teagan Riordain Geneviene with her latest release Murder at the Bijou.

About Murder at the Bijou

Long ago I developed a writing exercise. I would ask friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog, but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive every aspect of a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

One of the reviews for the book

This is a very enjoyable murder story set in the 1920s. Pip, Granny Phanny and a whole bunch of alliterated characters populate the story of surprisingly strong suspense with equally surprising turns of events.

This is hugely enjoyable and definitely recommended to anyone with a sense of fun and humour.

I loved this book when it was published in parts on the blog and loved it even more re-reading it as a whole in one sitting. Yes, one sitting.

I only now realised just how much work had gone into the individual parts. I often forgot from one week to the next what certain references mean or what they allude to. The novel is hugely enjoyable and a fun read thanks to many quirky expressions, usage of words off the beaten track, fabulous character names and many more delicious ingredients.
The writing is very original and the story line is fun and always manages to surprise you.
That’s in part because of the randomness of the supplies ingredients, but also due to the author’s creative powers.

I’m so glad this was released as novel so I can enjoy the continuity and apprefciate just how well composed this ‘fragmented’ story actually is.

Murder at the Bijou is available in paperback and eBook: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Connect to Teagan via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great to get your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 21st August 2017 -Robbie Cheadle, Yvonne Payne, Teri Polen/D.Wallace Peach and Norah Colvin


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the first of the week’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed over the weekend. There were many and it is always difficult to pick just a handful but I hope you too will enjoy these when you head over.

Robbie Cheadle and her family are touring England at the moment and are taking in some of the historical monuments, including the home of Charles Darwin.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Who hasn’t seen this graphic depiction of the theory of evolution?

According to Wikipedia, the essence of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory is that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged the established religious dogma of creationism.

Who wouldn’t want to learn more about this fascinating man and see his famous home? Of course we wanted to and that is exactly what we did. We went to visit Down House in Kent; the home of this very controversial and amazing scientist.

Darwin’s house is incredible. A truly beautiful English manor house with an outstanding and interesting garden and hot house.

Head over and discover more about the home of Charles Darwin and his life and family: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/down-house-the-home-of-charles-darwin/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Yvonne Payne​ meets up with a blogging pal and author Krystina Kalapothakos in Crete whilst on holiday and talks about Krystina’s cookbook.

One of my first blogging pals was Krystina Kalapothakos, who has a great foodie blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.

Krystina is currently on holiday in Crete from her home in California. Here, to my delight, is a photo of Krystina in my Kritsa kitchen gifting me a copy of her Greek recipe book, Back to my Roots.

We had a fabulous day together along with her friend and my husband…more of that in my next post. Today it’s all about the cookbook.

Check out some of the recipes and the cookbook which is available in Kindle: https://kritsayvonne.com/2017/08/20/bloggers-meet-in-crete/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviewed Diana Wallace Peach in her regular Friday spot and talked about the first in her Rose Shield Series – Catling’s Bane.

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

Head over and find out more about Catling’s Bane and enjoy Diana’s interview with Teri: https://teripolen.com/2017/08/11/indie-author-friday-d-wallace-peach-indieauthor-scifi-fantasy/

And last but not least Norah Colvin interviews children’s author Aleesah Darlison about her wonderfully illustrated book Stripes in the Forest.

This month, it is my pleasure to introduce you to award-winning Australian author Aleesah Darlison. Aleesah writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, teamwork and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction) for her picture book, Our Class Tiger. She has won numerous other awards for her writing.

Aleesah has written over thirty-five books for children and in 2016, she set up Greenleaf Press, a business designed to provide critical support services to authors and illustrators. The company also acts as a booking agency for school and preschool visits.

Today, Aleesah and I are talking about her picture book Stripes in the Forest. With National Threatened Species Day just a couple of weeks away on 7 September, it is a timely interview. Stripes in the Forest is the story of an iconic species lost.

Head over and find out more about Stripes in the Forest and enjoy the interview with Aleesah: http://www.readilearn.com.au/meet-australian-picture-book-author-aleesah-darlinson/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday, 17th August 2017. Cook and Enjoy Recipes/ Jennie Fitzkee, Lisa Burton/ Vashti-Quiroz-Vega, Colleen Chesebro/ Richard Ankers and Teri Polen


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

If you are a regular visitor you will have seen some of Jennie Fitzkee’s posts either reblogged or here in the blogger. Jennie teaches pre-school and has done for thirty years. Generations of children have grown up loving books and words thanks to her passion. This time Jennie is a guest herself and talks about her early years as a teacher and how very quickly she discovered how her children absorbed the stories from books and simple storytelling.

Thank you, Esmé, for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog. First, let me introduce myself. I am Jennie, a long time preschool teacher, 30+ years is definitely a long time, and… well, that’s what I want to talk about.

My first day of teaching was filled with fear (of course). My co-teacher had a plan, I was to read books to the children every day. I had not been read to as a child, except for The Five Chinese Brothers from my grandmother. This was the one and only book, and to this day I remember it vividly. That first day my co-teacher handed me Swimmy by Leo Lionni. It was magical for me, and for the children. It was a taste of something I knew I had to have. And, I couldn’t get enough.

Read the rest of this wonderul look at a lifetime of inspiring children to love books: https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/%ef%bb%bfaugust-guest-7-children-teaching-reading-storytelling-and-more/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The rare ones amongst you who have as yet not met the acquaintance of Ms. Lisa Burton, radio presenter extraordinaire.. have an opportunity today. She is interviewing the angel Lilith of the book The Fall of Lilith penned by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.. Things get a little heated as it does when talking about celibacy and obedience..oh and Craig Boyack snuck in there too…

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. Today my very special guest is an honest to God angel, or former angel, I don’t know how that all works, but we’re going to find out. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome to the show, Lilith.”

“Greetings.”

“Lilith, my bio says you have a problem. There are rules in place that an angel must follow in order to stay in heaven. You disagree with those rules. Can you explain to our listeners what those rules are?”

“I reside in the lowest level of Heaven called Floraison. There are many laws for my kind but the two greatest pledges an angel makes are obedience and celibacy, which make for a boring existence.”

Head over and be prepared to be shocked and thrilled at the same time..fallen angels are so tempting:https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/the-fall-of-lilith-on-lisaburtonradio/

 

You now get to enjoy a magical story from Richard Ankers who is a guest of Colleen Chesebro today.  Colleen is spotlight fairies and magic in her guest posts and today certainly fits perfectly into that theme.  A story not to be missed.

The Charcoal Nomads by Richard Mark Ankers

Our parents called them the Charcoal Nomads, as had theirs, and theirs before that. A bustling caravan of mysterious folk, they’d slide into our small town at midnight, always midnight, stay awhile, then slide away.

Like all things containing an element of the unknown, shade and shadow, their presence held a certain allure. Forewarnings heralded forth like divine covenants from our parent’s mouths, but they did nothing to assuage our curiosity only fuel it. I would lie in bed and picture the steepled caravans with their minarets and towers, more gigantic tents than mobile homes. I’d imagine the horses – jet-black stallions clad in each nomad’s colours marching beneath the storms that signalled their arrival. And, of course, I imagined the young ones, those mysterious, concealed children. Did they dream as I? Did they wish for more as they travelled a world I’d only imagined? The Charcoal Nomads, those who had revealed themselves to just one man, became my obsession.

A Judge Roberts, lawman and sole landowner of Shadowmoor was the sole citizen brave enough to have challenged the night tribe. He’d clashed with the nomads over road tolls, although others wished him not. One tar-pit midnight, he’d headed out beyond the woods on his favourite jet-black mare intent on confrontation; neither came back. In such ways are legends made.

Read the rest of this magical story that will entrance you: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/17/fairies-myths-magic-author-spotlight-guest-posts-the-charcoal-nomads-by-richard-ankers/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We move onto #Horror and #Thriller now with Teri Polen.. Teri is featuring her Bad Moon Rising month of horror and thriller books and authors from October 1st -31st and needs to hear from you now.. Spaces are filling up fast. So if you want to showcase your book head over and get in touch with Teri directly.

For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising, 31 days of horror/thriller writers! If you’re an indie author of horror/thriller books, and would like to be featured, send me your info. This is an opportunity not only for free publicity and book sales (hopefully), but also to crawl out from under your colossal TBR piles and buy more books!

Head over and get your name down if you are a horror or thriller author: https://teripolen.com/2017/08/16/calling-indie-horrorthriller-authors-indieauthors-horror-thriller-2/

Some not to be missed posts and I hope you enjoy your visit to their bloggers. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday August 4th 2017 – Ian Hutson, Ritu Bhathal, Teri Polen and Lucinda E. Clarke


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I have been a little pushed for time this week for one reason or another, including two trips to the dentist in the next town along. I am not sure that I could go into a profession where I was automatically feared, but I have to say that this new dentist was terrific. Completely rebuilt a tooth that had fractured and knowing the state of my teeth that is akin to building a pyramid.

I hope you have an amazing weekend..

Anyhow here is a brief selection of stories that I have read over the last couple of days…

I lived in Wales for three years and although working in a hotel and only having one day off a week, I still managed to hit all the highlights of that amazing part of Britain.

Ian Hutson takes us on a train journey on the Llangollen Steam Railway. This part of Wales is not known for its temperate climate .. more temperamental but it always looks stunning whatever the weather.

One of the rewards at the end of the Llangollen Canal, if rewards there need be, is the Llangollen Steam Railway. Trains that run on boiled water! Well, if truth be told they run on tracks, but it’s the over-excited H2uh-oh that moves them along. Tap water usually, not Perrier. Perrier gives the engine the burps.

Ten miles of delicious eccentricity runs from Llangollen town to Corwen, and it runs past several sheep, a bit of the River Dee and a spot of countryside. To web from the quotesite:

Llangollen Railway is the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales. We are located beside the historic Dee Bridge (built in 1345) in the centre of Llangollen town. The journey is a relaxing 10 miles travelling through the stunning Dee Valley to the lovely town of Corwen the cross roads of North Wales. …

Website: http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/

Read the rest of the post and enjoy some of the photographs of the route: https://dieselelectricelephant.com/2017/08/01/setting-fire-to-wales-it-is-one-embankment-at-a-time-steam-railway-llangollen/

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyNow time for Ritu Bhathal with a wonderful story about a saree… many of us noticed a stunning picture of Ritu heading out for an event in this beautiful blue saree and asked about the colour.. Here is the story.

Yes, that is me, all glammed up for an engagement party we attended.

Aside from all the lovely compliments I received, someone mentioned the colour of the saree, and how lovely it was.

I replied that the story of my saree could be a post of it’s own so here goes!

Way back, before the days of me planning to get married, my family went to Kenya to to attend a wedding. It was the wedding of my cousin, my mum’s niece. My dear maternal grandma was still around at that time, and she decided to open one of her trunks (a special occasion indeed! Nanima’s Sandookh(trunk) contained some beautiful treasures!) to gift her granddaughters.

I am not going to share this fabulous photo.. you need to head over to see it and read the rest of the story : https://butismileanyway.com/2017/08/04/a-saree-story/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviews Lucinda E. Clarke with an overview of her books as part of her Indie Author Friday series.

Today’s author, Lucinda E. Clarke, has lived a colorful life so far – and after reading this interview, I’m inclined to believe more adventures lie in her future. She shares with us a variety of award-winning books a special talent I can identify with – ‘I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet.’ My family can confirm this.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Power! Now, this is going to sound awful, but I promise you I’m quite a nice person and would never do anyone any harm or hurt them in any way – but the same cannot be said about my writing. I just adore creating characters and then doing exactly what I want with them. I can put them in wheelchairs, give them a fatal disease, transport them unwillingly across the world and then, if they begin to annoy me I can kill them off after they watched the love of their life being tortured to death. As a writer I can do all those things I would never dare – or possibly want to do – quite safely, and know I’ve not broken the law.

Read the rest of the interview and discover the wonderful books of Lucinda E. Clarke: https://teripolen.com/2017/08/04/indie-author-friday-lucinda-e-clarke-indieauthor-thriller-autobiography-lucindaeclarke/

I hope you will head over and read the entire posts of these talented writers.  thanks Sally

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.