Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Meet the Authors 2022 – Personal Recommendations – #Thriller Jane Buckley, #Thriller Jack Talbot, #Supernatural Yvette Calleiro


In this first feature for the Smorgasbord Bookshelf I am sharing authors whose books I have read and can personally recommend along with one of my reviews for their books.

The first author today is Jane Buckley who writes thrillers set in the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, sharing the challenges and dangers facing families and those on all sides of the conflict.

Meet Jane Buckley

Jane Buckley has been an avid reader all her life and if the opportunity had existed when she was younger would have loved to become a journalist. She began writing her first novel in 2017 but put the manuscript away in a drawer for a couple of years.
Jane used the lockdown period to finish the book – now ‘Stones Corner: Turmoil’ – and describes the writing experience as her ‘salvation’ during the pandemic.

Jane lives just outside Derry, Northern Ireland. She is married to John and has two daughters Cassie who lives in Oxford and Maggie who lives in Auckland NZ with grandchildren Charlie and Alba.

Books by Jane Buckley

My review for Stones Corner: Turmoil December 2021

The author gives a warning in the blurb about what a reader can expect in her debut novel set in Derry, Northern Ireland during one of the darkest years in the province’s history. The book delivers the reasons for that warning with chilling effect, bringing home the reality that this was a part of the United Kingdom, experiencing civil war within the last 50 years. The ripples of this violent outcome to the separation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and its issues of belief and inequality, spread devastatingly outwards from the province; at times devastatingly.

When extremism on both sides of the divide are intent on winning, those innocents caught up in the turmoil are at the greatest risk, and when an outside force such as the British army are brought in, it adds fuel to the fire. The author creates that atmosphere of everyday fear and loss with great skill.

At the heart of this turmoil are young men and women who are vulnerable to manipulation by the fanatics, and imprisoned by age old segregation between religions and class.

Inhumane treatment of individuals, bombings resulting in mass casualties of innocents, illicit love affairs, revenge, espionage and poverty all combine to break the spirit of those who can see no end to the deprivation and conflict.

The author has created characters that will haunt you and some who inspire. Despite the environment, good people try to find comfort in their lives, falling in love across the divide and working to bring peace and stability.  As the story moves forward they all come together centred on an event which will impact all of them and the future of the city.

This intiguing thriller delivers a great deal in terms of the writing, characters, storyline and expectations and I highly recommend the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon.

Connect to Jane Buckley: Jane Buckley Writes – Author Page: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Jane:Goodreads – Facebook:Jane Buckley Writes – Twitter:@janebuckley_sc

The next author, Jack Talbot,is from Southern Ireland and has also written a gripping thriller centred around a game at the heart of most Irish communities, hurling.

Meet Jack Talbot

Jack Talbot was born and raised in Kilkenny, Ireland. He lived for a short while in Australia, America and Europe before returning home to his native country. A carpenter by trade he also worked in drapery, bars and as a fitness instructor before turning to writing. Being an avid reader all his life his main interest is fiction, especially crime thrillers. This passion allied to his life experience and his youthful fling with the game of hurling provided plenty of inspiration for his first novel, ‘The Hurler.’

My review for the book January 2022

I enjoyed this thriller very much. Hurling is at the heart of Irish sport at both amateur and professional level, and there are not many families whose children have not played the game during school and beyond. Like any sport there are opportunities for manipulation and corruption, and when combined with a thirst for revenge, the door is opened to violent retribution.
As a young police sergeant discovers, solving the mystery of a missing local man and connecting the links in a nation wide serial murder case, is going to be difficult and dangerous when hampered by obstructive senior detectives and those with links to criminal enterprises.
When you don’t know who to believe, trust or respect and the investigation is blocked at every turn, all you have is your own commitment and drive to succeed at whatever the cost. Including the impact on a new and exciting relationship that offers an unexpected chance of a promising future.
The author has created characters that are richly drawn and in some cases downright despicable. As the various threads of institutional corruption within the police, sports officials and the escalating violence of the serial killer knit together, cleverly inserted red herrings have the reader eagerly turning the pages to find the answers.
The momentum was maintained throughout the book and the reader is kept guessing right to the last chapter. There are surprises in store and revelations that will shock and satisfy.
I recommend this to lovers of fast paced thrillers and look forward to reading more books by this author.

Connect to Jack Talbot: Amazon UKAnd:Amazon US – Website: Jack TalbotFacebook: Jack Talbot – Facebook Author Page:The Hurler – Follow Jack: Goodreads – LinkedIn: Jack Talbot

The final author today is Yvette Calleiro… whose short story Breathless is a great introduction to the author’s full length novels.

Meet Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Books by Yvette Calleiro

My review for Breathless January 2022

As a lover of fairy tales from childhood, I appreciate that there is often a sinister element to the stories, even if they do eventually end with everyone living ‘happily ever after’.

This story by Yvette Calleiro takes that disquieting element to a new level by focusing on the cursing abilities bestowed on certain beings living amongst us. The trouble with special powers is that they are not so easily controlled, especially when emotions are high and expectations are not met.

It would take a saintly kind of person not to occasionally wish to visit misfortune upon certain people we come across, however, as is often the case revenge takes its toll on both parties.

The author has created an interesting storyline with great characters who come together for one brief moment, impacting the rest of their lives and those around them.

An intriguing short story and an excellent introduction to the author’s full length books which Iook forward to reading soon.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Read more reviews: GoodreadsAuthor Blog: Yvette M. Calleiro Blogspot – Twitter:@YvetteMCalleiro – Facebook: Yvette M. Calleiro

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some book … Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – December 2021 Round Up – #Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Romance Jan Sikes, #Romance Staci Troilo, #Shortstories Mae Clair, #Thriller Jane Buckley


Welcome to the last of the book reviews for 2021 with some wonderful books that I can highly recommend.

The first book I read in December was the thought provoking contemporary novel Matilda Wilson is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.

My review for the book 9th December 2021

This book is a behind the scenes drama played out behind the doors of a mental institution transitioning from a place to stash those who suffered from alleged mental disorders or lapses in moral judgment. Many living within these institutions may not have originally suffered from a mental impairment, but after fifty years within this closed and rigid environment, they have developed the inability to distinquish between reality and fantasy.

Told from three different perspectives we are introduced to Matilda (Matty), Janice and Henry who all have threads from the past keeping them from living life to the full.

Matilda’s story is heartbreaking and from an early age she was blighted by poverty, loss and abuse by those who should have kept her safe. She was a free spirit trapped by circumstances and the actions of others, and even behind the walls of this institution, there are those eager to take advantage of her vulnerability.

Her escape is the make believe world of princes and country houses in an era she felt most comfortable in. There is humour and logic behind her thinking and it was easy to fall in love with her mischievous approach to modern intrusions into her fantasy. However, after all the deprivations she has suffered, will she be able to move onto the more relaxed approach of community living?

Henry has been stuck in a time warp since his older sister he knew asTilly left when he was very young. He cannot move on as he is convinced that one day she will return to the house they shared fifty years ago. Now reaching retirement that dream is fading despite events in his neighbourhood that conspire to shake him out of his comfort zone. Can he let go of the past and move on to find love and a new life?

Finally Janice a young social worker, idealistic and convinced that she can prepare Matty for life in the new open community housing despite a number of setbacks during the process. Janice has her own past to explore as she becomes more disconnected from her adopted parents and sister and begins to question her role in mental health.

There are times, as events unfold and Matilda shares her childhood and teenage years, you as the onlooker are moved to outrage, despair but also admiration for the spirit that reached breaking point, only for it to escape instead into a fantasy world that provided comfort.

This is a thought provoking novel that is the first in the Matilda Windsor story, written by an author with first hand experience of the world of mental health institutions and the changing approach to treatment as a clinical psychologist. I look forward to discovering how the story unfolds in the next book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

Also by Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin, Buy:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Anne : Goodreads – blog: Annecdotal – Twitter: @Annecdotist

Just in time for the holidays, a lovely read from award winning author Jan Sikes a novelette Mountain Laurel Christmas

My review for the book December 17th 2021

This story by Jan Sikes may be a short read but it is packed with heartwarming moments and reminders about family and how important they are at Christmas and every day of the year.

For the last two years we have been restricted in meeting family and other loved ones in person, missing the shared memories, laughter and physical hugs. Mountain Laurel Christmas delivers all of those in beautiful gift wrapped packages.

Throw in a flawed, lost superstar whose material possessions and fame leave an emptiness that seems impossible to fill, a road trip that leads to redemption, and you have a wonderful addition to your own Christmas.

I have no hesitation in recommending.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US And: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

Delighted to review the festive romance by Staci Troilo – No Such Luck (Keystone Couples)

My review for the book December 22nd 2021

There is nothing like a feel good romance and a reminder of family and friendship at this time of year and No Such Luck by Staci Troilo delivers all of those elements. A short heart-warming read to add some glitter to the holiday.

As time passes. it is often the case memories can cast a rosier glow on relationships, events and expectations than in reality. We also evolve emotionally and mentally based on our experiences of life, and going back to our teenage years and our hometown, can put the spotlight on those memories with intriguing results.

This is the case for Piper Seidel, a feisty journalist who speaks her mind which can land her in trouble. Returning home for the holidays between jobs, she is faced with realisation she may have been pinning her hopes and dreams on a talisman that is not as lucky as she thought.

The characters are distinctively drawn and the story gathers momentum towards a very satisfactory outcome. Recommended

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A small selection of books written by Staci Troilo

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –Follow Staci: GoodreadsBlog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo

Very pleased to share my review for the short story collection by Mae Clair – Things Old and Forgotten

My review for the stories December 23rd 2021

Wow this is a story collection across the genres that will amaze and delight the reader.

We travel roads from the past and into the future meeting interesting characters along the way, some drawn from the worlds of fantasy and others from the edge of darkness. There are also light-hearted moments with encounters with intoxicating small yellow birds and escapees from the confines of ancient bottles.

Mae Clair writes with clarity and with a focus on the reader’s engagement, creating memorable characters and bringing favourite legendary elements into a new environment.

The stories are all excellent and tough to highlight any for special merit but my heart was warmed by Father’s Day, I was totally drawn in by Robin of Sherwood and Miss Lily Makes a Wish had me laughing.

I can highly recommend this well written and entertaining collection of stories that crosses the genres with ease and expertise.

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

My final review for the year was for the thriller Stones Corner: Turmoil by Jane Buckley

My review for the book 28th December 2021

The author gives a warning in the blurb about what a reader can expect in her debut novel set in Derry, Northern Ireland during one of the darkest years in the province’s history. The book delivers the reasons for that warning with chilling effect, bringing home the reality that this was a part of the United Kingdom, experiencing civil war within the last 50 years. The ripples of this violent outcome to the separation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and its issues of belief and inequality, spread devastatingly outwards from the province; at times devastatingly.

When extremism on both sides of the divide are intent on winning, those innocents caught up in the turmoil are at the greatest risk, and when an outside force such as the British army are brought in, it adds fuel to the fire. The author creates that atmosphere of everyday fear and loss with great skill.

At the heart of this turmoil are young men and women who are vulnerable to manipulation by the fanatics, and imprisoned by age old segregation between religions and class.

Inhumane treatment of individuals, bombings resulting in mass casualties of innocents, illicit love affairs, revenge, espionage and poverty all combine to break the spirit of those who can see no end to the deprivation and conflict.

The author has created characters that will haunt you and some who inspire. Despite the environment, good people try to find comfort in their lives, falling in love across the divide and working to bring peace and stability.  As the story moves forward they all come together centred on an event which will impact all of them and the future of the city.

This intiguing thriller delivers a great deal in terms of the writing, characters, storyline and expectations and I highly recommend the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon.

Also by Jane Buckley

Connect to Jane Buckley: Jane Buckley Writes – Author Page: Amazon UK – And: Amazon USFollow Jane:Goodreads – Facebook:Jane Buckley Writes – Twitter:@janebuckley_sc

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. .thanks Sally.