Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Scifi Richard Dee, #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Thriller Stevie Turner


Welcome to the first of the author updates of the week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author with a recent review is Richard Dee for the SF murder mystery Ribbonworld.

About the book

‘Review a hotel for me,’ she said. ‘It’ll be easy,’ she said. I haven’t even got started and there’s a body in the bathroom.

Journalist Miles Goram has a problem. Far from home on a strange planet, all he wants to do is review the hotel and go home. Someone else has other ideas. Just out of prison, his life is hard enough. Is this to do with his past?

Welcome to Reevis, a planet without days or nights where life is only possible under a vast pressure dome. It is on this airless wasteland that Miles finds himself caught up in a mystery involving a huge interplanetary corporation, a powerful man and his ambitious PA, and a beautiful young heiress who has been missing for years.

Crossing the galaxy in search of answers, Miles begins to uncover a web of deceit that stretches further than anyone could have imagined.

Will he discover the truth and finally come to terms with his past? And, if he does, will it be enough to save his future…?

Richard Dee’s fast-paced, beautifully depicted SF murder mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Thoroughly entertaining space adventure with a sympathetic protagonist and a large corporation up to no good. So far, so enjoyable and very familiar – this is a dynamic that regularly plays out in space opera. What makes this one stand out from the crowd is that ribbonworld Reevis… The fabulous descriptions of the human habitation perched in the narrow strip between freezing cold and volcanically hot were riveting and added an exciting dimension that Dee uses to the full extent in the action sequences. Highly recommended for fans of space opera that enjoy excellent worldbuilding.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Richard: Goodreads

Connect to Richard via his website: Richard Dee’s Scifi

The next review is for the latest book by Ritu Bhathal… a novel Marriage Unarranged

About the book

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

An extract from one of the recent reviews for Marriage Unarranged on Goodreads

Once you meet Aashi and her plight you won’t want to let go of the book. She is naive, bless her, when we first meet her and arranged husband Ravi, he is a bit shifty and we know before she does what he’s been doing! Douche bag alert! What then follows is such a lovely tale of not only letting go but of rediscovering yourself.

I love that this is heavily loaded with the traditionalism of Sikhs, down to the terms of endearments and phrases. We learn about arranged marriages and what happens with broken engagements and the dispersions of gossip and social cast that come with it.

Aashi trying to deal with her heartbreak still wants to go to India with her best friend Kiran and her brothers Bali and Sunny. This unit is such a fab unit to have the pleasure of being a part of for 2 weeks while we get to discover the “true” India with them. Plus the addition of Arjun who is out to discover it too all makes you feel like you are on the journey with them. We are not on the outside looking in, we are on the adventure with them, on rickshaws travelling through the streets, to the sounds of the markets with everyone vying for your business and attention. To the breathtaking celebration of Vaisakha with the temple lit up by the lights at 4 am and then the dawn as the sun broke. Everywhere you look on the tour is bright and bursting with colours and this is definitely a book that will leave you with a smile on your face.

I learned so much with Marriage Unarranged, growing up one of my best friends was a Sikh and the other was a Muslim, and they tried to teach me so much of their traditions and how everything was set out for them. I found it, still do, so fascinating as it is not the life I have lived. Having to have parents permission today date someone and to have chaperones is something I can not comprehend.

I love this journey of growth and strength for Aashi. She is someone I felt protective of, but not too sympathetic because she would hate that! She starts a timid naive girl, but when confronted at the end by the douche Ravi, and his sister Narinder. The strength Aashi has in front of them shows how much she has grown into a confident young woman!

It’s hard to talk too much about the plot but Ritu has created such a pool of wonderful characters that I want to be back with them and I told her I needed a sequel. Good news there is one on its way! For a debut, the writing is strong and eloquent and you feel like you are there experiencing India with all the characters. The smell and sounds of the markets, the lumpy beds, the stunning and bright array of colours and the fear for your life on a rickshaw! It was just such a wonderful story to lose myself in. It made me smile and it is, to me, a love story with a difference. Especially with that ending!!! I can’t wait to find out more and soon!

I loved, loved and breathed Aashi story and I can’t wait to get back with the gang. Now I need to save my money to go on a trip to India and experience what they have done! It just sounds amazing!

Buy the book: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

andAmazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ritu: Goodreads

Connect to Ritu:But I smile anyway

And for the last featured book today, a recent review for Stevie Turner and her thriller Examining Kitchen Cupboards

About the book

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

For readers’ information: Although the characters and college are fictional, the actual exam question that sparked Jill’s nightmare is a genuine one from 1999.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 04, 2020 Jacqui rated it it was amazing Five Stars

In Stevie Turner’s latest novel, Examining Kitchen Cupboards (2019), Jill Hayes takes on a new job In a college exam administration office. She had hoped it would lead to a career but quickly discovered it was much too technical for her skillset. As she struggles to learn the complicated tasks that would allow her to succeed, she stumbles upon illicit activities that she feels honor-bound to report. No one will listen–not the newspapers, the college, or even the agency responsible for the exams–until finally someone does. Things don’t work out as Jill had hoped.

This is a well-told story of a whistle blower’s efforts to fix a serious problem. It is told from various perspectives which adds to the depth of understanding about how complicated it can be to report actions when lots of people don’t want to admit there’s even a problem. It was at times difficult to read but the importance is significant–which is why it earned the 5/5.

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

Connect to Stevie via her blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm..thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Recent #Reviews – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Stories Mary Smith, #Thriller Stevie Turner


Since the middle of November I have featured all the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with a recent review and since we have a few days left, I will now share more up to date reviews that have been posted.

USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar provides an abundance of romance in her Christmas themed Mistletoe Inn 

About Mistletoe Inn

Fall in love this holiday season!

A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love in this heartwarming holiday romance.

Molly McCarty is in need of a new beginning after a disastrous divorce. When the opportunity to invest in a bed and breakfast appears online in Christmas, Michigan she’s intrigued.
A snow storm derails her travels and leaves her at the mercy of a grim stranger- who turns out to be her new partner!
Noah Kincaid loses his parents in a tragic fire that leaves him scarred inside and out. He’s raised by a great-aunt and is devastated when cancer takes her life. But vowing never to care about anyone again is hampered by his troublesome new partner and her son.
Will a Christmas miracle bring three lonely hearts the gift of love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle  5.0 out of 5 stars  A delightful holiday romance December 18, 2019

Mistletoe Inn is a quick and enjoyable romance with a Christmas theme. I think the cover is very attractive and it certainly fitted this delightful story.

Recently divorced, Molly, is looking for a new start and snaps up an opportunity to help run Mistletoe Inn in the small town of Christmas. On the way to her new job, Molly and her five year old son, are caught in a blizzard and she ends up having an accident while trying to avoid hitting a deer on the road. Molly’s new partner at the inn, Noah, comes to her rescue and pulls Molly and Leo from the crash, fortunately, neither of them are seriously injured. Leo is a cute boy and quickly settles into life in his new home. It is not quite so easy for Molly, who is attracted to the moody and difficult Noah.

Noah has his own unfortunate history that he has never come to terms with and is certainly not looking for a relationship with a woman, but he is fascinated by the beautiful Molly who proves herself to be a competent and helpful business partner.

Can they overcome their pasts and embrace their good luck in meeting? You will have to read the book to find out.

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie : Goodreads

Connect to Jacquie via her website: Jacquie Biggar

If you are looking for a delightful short story collection Donkey Boy & Other Stories by Mary Smith is a wonderful read.

About the Collection

Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse

A recent review for Donkey Boy and other Stories on Goodreads

The author takes readers on a journey to different time periods and different parts of the world. Yet these tales are tied together with threads of sorrow, loss, determination, and hope.

My favorites are Trouble with Socks, My Name is Anya, and The Thing in Your Eye. Other stand-outs are Accidents Happen and Donkey Boy. All the stories are wonderful—each one has its own appeal. I enjoyed the entire book.

Beautifully written, unique stories. A brilliant collection.

Also by Mary Smith

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Mary: Goodreads

Connect to Mary: Mary Smith’s Place

A recent review for Stevie Turner and her latest thriller Examining Kitchen Cupboards

About the book

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

For readers’ information: Although the characters and college are fictional, the actual exam question that sparked Jill’s nightmare is a genuine one from 1999.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Starting a new job is always fraught with tension, you worry whether you will be liked, and more importantly, are you able to convince them of your competence?

Jill Hayes is met with total disdain from her new superior, so when she questions something that doesn’t seem right, she is met with hostility on many levels.

If you discover something is wrong, could you be a whistle-blower, or would you hope that someone else would do it instead?

This story has it all, corruption and greed, and an interesting cast of fascinating and true to life characters. Although Examining Kitchen Cupboards is a work of fiction at its finest, you could be forgiven for thinking it seems far too real to be comfortable, and I’m sure some of it must be based on fact, which of course, makes it all the more chilling…

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

Connect to Stevie via her blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arm…thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance P.C. Zick, #Fantasy Jim Webster, #Thriller Stevie Turner, #Poetry Balroop Singh


Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first author with a wonderful selection of romantic novels that would make excellent gifts is P.C.Zick. With new fabulous covers and the final book in the series with recent reviews. Love on Holiday – (Book 7 – Rivals in Love)

About the book

The couple who started the whole Crandall clan face a crossroads as their fortieth wedding anniversary approaches. As their six children plan a surprise party, the couple struggle to stay together through the holidays.

Nolan and Sofia Crandall have remained in love and together for forty years despite their differences. He’s Irish. She’s Italian. He comes from a working-class family. She was raised as an heiress to a meat packing dynasty. He’s a Republican senator. She’s a staunch Democrat. In the past, they had worked through the differences. But a rift develops between them even as all their dreams as parents are realized with a houseful of grandkids on the way.

Their six children, facing their own issues, look to their parents as an example of how a marriage should work, until things begin to fall apart right before the surprise party on Christmas Day. The six siblings work to save their parent’s marriage for the sake of their own. During the Christmas holidays, they all come together to help their parents find their way back to one another or face a divorce of gargantuan proportions.

Love on Holiday brings back all the characters from the six previous books. Readers will learn how the “happily ever after” couples are faring in this seventh book in the Rivals in Love series.

Love on Holiday is the seventh and final novel in the Rivals in Love sweet contemporary romance series. Rivals in Love showcases the Crandall family siblings who are all in successful careers. But they forgot one thing while becoming rising stars. They forgot all about love. Their father, a U.S. Senator, aspires for high office, but their mother, the heir to a fortune, only wants her children married and with children.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Now that all the kids are matched and it’s truly an empty nest, the matriarch and patriarch of the Crandall family have their story told. Mom and Dad have always lived joint but somehow separate lives, with her staying home and raising the kids and him going to work. Typical in many cases, but the last 18 years he has spent a lot of time in D.C. He decided to do that on his own. As All wives know, that is where trouble starts. Why do men think they can make life changing decisions without asking for the input from their pardner? Can talking really help? If you haven’t read the series it is okay to start here, but I would recommend reading the entire series in order. Worth reading. Clean. BTW, happy ever after is really just happy right now. Any of the couple’s in Crandall family may face hardships tomorrow, but who wants a book or a movie to end in the middle of trouble. So it’s HEA or death in the end. What happened here? You need to read.

A small selection of other books by P.C. Zick

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow P.C. Zick on :Goodreads

Connect to P.C. Zick via her Website

If you enjoy beautifully crafted worlds then Jim Webster has a bookshelf filled with gifts for you this Christmas.

About the book

In his own well chosen words, Tallis Steelyard reveals to us the life of Maljie, a lady of his acquaintance. In no particular order we hear about her bathing with clog dancers, her time as a usurer, pirate, and the difficulties encountered when one tries to sell on a kidnapped orchestra. We enter a world of fish, pet pigs, steam launches, theological disputation, and the use of water under pressure to dispose of foul smelling birds. Oh yes, and we learn how the donkey ended up on the roof.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Maljie is indeed a Lady Par Excellence. From mountain climber to pirate, currency inventor to financial genius, balloonist to Temple Warden, and more – much, much, more…
The female reader will want her as a best friend, the male reader would be wise to exercise extreme caution if he knows another lady like her.

A small selection of other books by Jim Webster

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jim on: Goodreads

Connect to Jim via his Blog:  Jim Webster WordPress

Stevie Turner adds a new thriller to her existing eclectic range of books and fresh off the press on December 7th with an early review.  Examining Kitchen Cupboards.

About the book

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

For readers’ information: Although the characters and college are fictional, the actual exam question that sparked Jill’s nightmare is a genuine one from 1999.

An early review for the book on Goodreads

Nov 16, 2019 D.G. Kaye rated it it was amazing

Stevie Turner never disappoints. From her fictional family sagas to her nonfiction, and mystery/thrillers, she knows how to keep a reader engaged. In this telling book, Turner takes us into a story, which begins with Jill Hayes – a college examinations admin whose curiosity leads to her discovery that something is awry with the exams given to high school students for their college entrance exams – the questions are much too junior for the high school age level students, making it a cinch for them to get accepted to college. As Jill delves deeper into the basis for such juvenile questions, her life becomes threatened and we’re taken into a whole other world of corporate greed at the expense of student’s education and government funding.

Jill’s personal investigations lead right to the higher ups involved in the ring, and through the unveiling of her findings, we are led into the private lives of these criminals and colorful characters, spreading beyond the discoveries into international crime, lies, affairs and ultimately, murder.

Based on a factual occurrence of the exam findings, this book had me engrossed on the topic itself, but Turner takes the situation to a whole new level with the plot and intrigue created in this story. A fun, short and engrossing read for a cozy thriller reading escape.

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

Connect to Stevie via her blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress

If you are looking for lovely poetry and wise words then you will find those in the collections and books of Balroop Singh. And as an example here is her most recent released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads

Nov 01, 2019 Lisa Thomson rated it Five Stars
One for the home library!

Balroop Singh’s latest book of poetry, Moments We Love, is absolutely wonderful. Her best book to date, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poems. Balroop has her own unique style of writing and yet, each poem was very different from the one before, providing a lovely variety of emotion. As the title claims, it is about love but it is not simply about romantic love. Some of her poems are open to interpretation but many are definitively about nature, for example. Ms. Singh also shows an unexpected dark side to her poetry, surprising the reader in a challenging way.

I will return to this collection for comfort and for contemplation of the moments I love.

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on: Goodreads

Connect to Balroop via her blog: Balroop Singh on WordPress

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm…Sally