Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Toni Pike and Lorinda J. Taylor


Welcome to the first of the review specific posts this week.

I am putting together a separate post on how to encourage more readers to leave book reviews later today, but I do want to reiterate my intention in the coming months to focus on reviews of books as part of book promotions. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool that we have and we need to make it easier for our readers to leave their opinions good or bad about our work.  More about that in the specific post later.

In the meantime I am delighted to share new reviews for these featured authors the first being Toni Pike and The Rock of Magus: Code Red in the Vatican (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 2) with a review by Terri Webster Schrandt

About the book

A CRISIS IS BREWING IN THE VATICAN – AND ONLY ONE MAN CAN PREVENT DISASTER…

Jotham Fletcher is back in a race against time to stop a sinister cardinal, a libertine sect and a homicidal priest.

Jotham Fletcher returns in another non-stop adventure that takes him deep inside the Vatican. Cardinal Alpheus has ambitions far more sinister and explosive than anyone could imagine and the death of Pope Linus is only the beginning.

Jotham is now a billionaire, dedicated to finding the Simonian Sect that wants to destroy the Christian Church and he employs Madena, a former army officer, to help him. They rescue a televangelist in Seattle but find the photograph of a cardinal who is soon elected as the new Pope, with Alpheus as his chief advisor.

The deadly Brotherhood re-emerges with homicidal Father Dominic at the helm and the body count begins to rise.

Jotham becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an archbishop in Spain and the unwitting hero after a devastating event in Rome. He has a secret that he dare not reveal and is on the run from the police once again. But nothing prepares him for the final confrontation at the Pope’s summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

The five star review from Terri Webster Schrandt: https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/04/13/book-review-of-toni-pikes-the-rock-of-magus/

If you enjoy religious conspiracy thrillers, you will love Pike’s exciting, fast-paced adventure that takes readers to Rome and into the Vatican.

Similar to Dan Brown’s main character, Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code, Pike’s central character, Jotham Fletcher, also possesses unequaled expertise in a particular subject, in this case, the shadowy, religious figure Simon Magus.

I find it fascinating that Pike built her series around this little-known historical figure, a magician and cult leader at the time of the Apostles. Magus is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 8:9-24 as he tries to “buy” the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but was rebuked by the Apostles as a sorcerer and wicked charlatan.

The heart of Pike’s adventure lies in this fictional, 21st-century Simonian Sect, whose cult followers are nothing short of fanatical, according to her series.

Pike sets the scene for suspense, thrills and twists that lead readers to believe that Fletcher may not solve this mystery, as insurmountable odds stack against him and his female partner. I found the book to be a nail-biter and a page-turner!

The characters are believable, with Fletcher expressing doubt at one point, but using his shaky confidence to navigate the labyrinthine Vatican grounds as he and Madena attempt to solve the mystery.

Pike’s research is extensive and written from the perspective of having visited Rome. I personally love it when authors write from their intimate knowledge of a subject and from the locations they have been.

I highly recommend this adventure series and am looking forward to book #3, The Magus Epiphany.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Magus-Jotham-Fletcher-Mystery-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

Also by Toni Pike

Read about Toni Pike, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Connect to Toni via her blog: https://tonipike.com/

The next review is for the science fiction The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part One: Eagle Ascendant: A Biographical Fiction by Lorinda J. Taylor with a review from Colleen Chesebro.

About the book

Robbin Haysus Nikalishin was born on 31 October of the year 2729 and ultimately became the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials. This fictionalized biography, composed 50 years after Nikalishin’s death, recounts the first 31 years of the life of a man who is hailed as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. During this portion of his life he enjoyed many triumphs, joys, and loves, but he was not immune to failure and tragedy. In 2761 a major space disaster completely changes the course of his life. Whether it will be for better or worse is left for the reader to decide.

All heroes are human beings and all human beings are flawed, and the man the Earth came to know as “Capt. Robbie” was a very human man.

The review by Colleen Chesebro: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/04/14/colleens-book-reviews-the-man-who-found-birds-among-the-stars-part-one-eagle-ascendant-a-biographical-fiction-by-author-termitewriter/

The date is October 31, 2729, and Robbie Nikalishin comes roaring into a not so perfect world. As a young boy, his father instills a love of space and flying into his young psyche. Robbie’s most prized possession is a tiny metal airplane, a gift from his father, that accompanies him through his life journey. That aircraft stands for his aspiration to become the captain of his own starship. Gifted with the ability to solve elaborate string theory mathematics, Robbie pursues his dream with a determination that propels him to the head of his college classes.

With expert detail and descriptions, the author immerses the reader into Nikalishin’s futuristic world. This first book covers his childhood and his teen years, eventually bringing you to the peak of his flying career.

What I loved most about Robbie’s character was how utterly human he was. From Robbie’s youth onward, I followed his experiences and saw first hand who Robbie the man became. It was a rare opportunity to witness the events that shaped a character’s personality.

Robbie’s personality is multifaceted, and at times, he comes across as self-sabotaging and selfish. Yet, I couldn’t help but like the guy. For all of his brilliance, he possessed an innocence that tugged at my heart. Sometimes he made his life choices so difficult that I couldn’t help remembering myself at a younger age and how I didn’t make all the best decisions either. However, all of that drama only adds to the allure of Captain Robbie Nikalishin.

I won’t kid you… this book ended with a cliffhanger of phenomenal proportions! Robbie’s story left me hungering for more and turning pages at an abnormally fast pace. I stayed up into the wee hours reading to find out happened next. My only hope is that the author, Lorinda Taylor, writes as quickly as I read. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the next book in the series. I loved this novel and have added it to my “Me Time,” category for science fiction.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Found-Birds-among-Stars-Part-ebook/dp/B01N0YBDYF

A small selection of books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Find out more about Lorinda J. Taylor, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

Thank you for dropping by today and please let me know about your new review that you would like to share or a review you have written for an author that you would like to give a boost to… sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Annabelle Franklin, Terri Webster Schrandt and William Savage


Welcome to the first of the week’s author updates for writers in the Cafe and Bookstore. If you have a new release, offer on your books or a great review you would like to share please let me know in the comments.

First author in the spotlight today is Annabelle Franklin who has received a wonderful review on Goodreads for her children’s book Gateway to Magic.

About the book

Steven Topcliff loves gaming but doesn’t believe in fairies or magic – until tricky cousin Tracy drags him away from his game console and gets him to press a red button on a mysterious stone they find in the local park. The stone turns out to be a one-way gateway to Fairyland, where nature rules supreme and technology is banned by law.
Lost without his video games, Steven struggles to survive in this scary new world. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly. The Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. And the truth about Tracy is terrible indeed. Homesick and horrified, Steven is desperate to escape.
Ignorant of the rules, it’s not long before he breaks them and ends up in the custody of the ruthless Fairy Queen. He learns she’s the living power behind the Land and its creatures, and she has no intention of setting him free. He also suspects she’s not telling him her true reason for keeping him prisoner.
Whatever her game is, Steven isn’t about to play it her way.
His only chance of escape is to magic his own gateway home, so he attempts to build up some psychic muscle. The Queen uses all her guile to distract and torment him, and he lives in dread of being eaten alive by gruesome snake-like monsters that live in her garden; but the biggest block to his concentration is his own lack of faith. He still doesn’t believe it’s possible for a human being to do magic.
Can he believe in himself enough to forge the new gateway? And can he rely on the few friends he’s made to help him outwit the Queen?

Reviewed and awarded five stars by the Happy Meerkat https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/47916020-thehappymeerkat

Steven Topcliff loves nothing more than sitting at home and playing videogames. But when his cousin Tracy visits she entices him to take a trip to the woods and when there she dares him to press a big red button. But what will happen if he presses it, and will he dare to do it?

I can’t believe how much I loved this book! ‘Gateway to Magic’ is an amazing fantasy adventure that reminds me a lot of tales like Alice in Wonderland. Steven’s cousin Tracy is an annoying girl and dares him to press a button which will take him to Fairyland. He doesn’t want to do it but he doesn’t want to appear scared either. The story is told in the third person and is so well imagined, I’m really amazed at how enjoyable this book really was.

It’s not really a spoiler to say that Steven does press the button and ends up in Fairyland. The adventure starts right away when Steven meets a strange character and there’s never a dull moment after that. The tale moves across different locations in Fairyland, the action is quick but you never get confused over where you are despite the fact that there are so many strange and unusual things about Fairyland. Along the way Steven has several adventures, all the while trying to get back home. These adventures are all so well imagined and so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down, constantly trying to see what happened next!

The characters in the story are well thought out, I particularly love Nigel and all the scenes with him. Not only are his circumstances funny but because of what he is, there are constant funny moment throughout the book. Steven’s character is an interesting one that many kids will recognise even though he’s not always that likeable. However I liked the way he developed through the story and it’s something some kids might recognise in themselves too.

I won’t go into any details about the rest of the story but it is really amazing with so much happening and a brilliantly good ending that is very satisfying. I liked the interesting twist of the question at the end. This story really has an amazing and almost ‘Alice in Wonderland’ wacky feel to it. Franklin has done an amazing job of creating a tale and fantasy world that is so, detailed, so different, and yet believable. I actually read and finished this book in one day I was that engrossed.

I’d really recommend this book to any keen readers of fantasy. Though aimed at children some adults with an imaginative mind might enjoy reading this too, I certainly did! It’s a brilliant book from start to finish and made all the more interesting by the videogame element. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s work!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Gateway-Magic-Annabelle-Franklin-ebook/dp/B00B3T3QGW

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Find out more about Annabelle, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

Connect to Annabelle through her blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com

The next update is for Terri Webster Schrandt and her book Better Blogging with Photography, reviewed by author Tina Frisco.

About the Book

There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?

Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post.

What will you get out of this guide?

In each chapter I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post.

Seven informative chapters walk you through–

  • the importance of using images;
  • the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images;
  • easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps;
  • building unending inspiration and content around your own images;
  • attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools;
  • how social media sites link your images, and why you need them;
  • a list of image resources available.

After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!

The review and recommended by Tina Friscohttps://tinafrisco.com/2017/04/06/book-review-better-blogging-with-photography-by-terri-webster-schrandt/

A Gem of a Little Guidebook

If you’re considering using photos on your blog to generate readership/sales, or simply to make your website more attractive and appealing, reading this book will ignite your enthusiasm and give you the tools needed to begin.

Terri Webster Schrandt has condensed her knowledge of photography and blogging into a terrific little resource guide. Better Blogging with Photography outlines how to upload print copies of photos, take and curate photos using a mobile phone or digital camera, and acquire photos from contacts or garner them from the Internet. Included are websites that offer free images, and the author wisely cautions to always check the rights and restrictions for each image. She also describes how to edit your photos and suggests downloadable software that’s either free or at minimal cost. An added perk is the chapter on links and resources.

Schrandt has managed to encapsulate the basics of her subject matter into a 50-page comprehensive guidebook. Whether you’re new to blogging or well-seasoned, Better Blogging with Photography will set you on the right track to enhancing the appearance of your website and increasing your readership. I highly recommend this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Blogging-Photography-Maximize-Images-ebook/dp/B01I2NNLRU

Connect to Terri via her blog: http://secondwindleisure.com/

And the final author update today is for William Savage who has just released This Parody of Death: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery (The Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries Book 3

About the book

Ashmole Foxe, bookseller and man about town, moves through Georgian Norwich with the ease of a native and the cunning of a born hunter. So when a bellringer is found with his throat cut, who better to find the killer? Yet Foxe soon scents more than murder. Complications come thick and fast. A family torn apart. A group committed to a secret heresy. A son who betrayed his father. And a woman determined to protect her life’s greatest passion — even if that costs one life or more. Fighting through a tangle of lies and deceit going back decades will push Foxe to the limit. By the end, no one will escape unscathed.

The early reviews

I’ve already finished reading William Savage’s latest novel, “This Parody of Death”, and enjoyed it just as much as Ashmole Foxe’s two previous mysteries.

These stories are set in Georgian Norwich, which adds an extra layer of enjoyment for readers who know the city and can imagine (or even recreate!) Foxe’s journeys through its streets, but you don’t have to know the area to appreciate them.

Savage continues to interweave Foxe’s romantic vagaries with his detecting and Mrs Crombie’s character continues to develop.

His Adam Bascom stories, set in Napoleonic North Norfolk, are excellent too.

Fantastic Read! By Lyndsay Hill on 2 April 2017

A great read – as always William brings his characters to life and you feel you know them personally…..his story lines encourage and intrigue and always keep you guessing. I highly recommend this book, especially if you like your crime detective novels!

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Parody-Death-Georgian-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B06XDNY81B

Also by William Savage

Find out more about William Savage, read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Savage/e/B00RZBGQ0K

Connect to William Savage website: https://penandpension.com/

If you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore then please let me know if you have a new release, an offer on your books or a great new review. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

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