Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Western Jan Sikes, #Contemporary Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Richard W. Wise, New Release Anita Dawes


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with new releases and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for her latest release, the short story Brazos Wind…

About the book

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 16, 2020 Jacquie rated it Four Stars
Two damaged souls come together to mend their wounded spirits.

Jack McClean has seen the worst of humanity during the war and just wants to find a quiet place to finish out his life. When he comes across an unconscious woman next to a burned out home, Jack is given the opportunity to change his path.

Savannah Logan lost her faith in God with the deaths of her husband and two children. She’s living-barely- day-to-day when a fire destroys the one thing she has left- her home. Now she just wants to curl up and wait to die, but an aimless drifter arrives on her doorstep and gives her the will to live.

This short story has all the feel-goods of a much longer novel. I quickly became invested in Jack and Savannah and their journey. Hopefully, there will be more about these two in an upcoming book!

Second chances can be right around the corner- don’t give up

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

A selection of books by Jan Sikes

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

The first author today is Ritu Bhathal for her romance 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…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Zoe May 5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the characters and getting to revisit India 😀  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2020

I loved this book! I’m a big fan of all things India and so this book was IDEAL for me. The main character, Aashi’s arranged marriage falls through when it turns out that the man she is engaged to, Ravi, has been cheating. To clear her head, Aashi heads off to India with her friend Kiran and her brothers Sunny and Bali. I LOVED being in India with these characters. I’ve been to Delhi and really enjoyed revisiting parts like Chandi Chowk and Connaught Place. The descriptions were so evocative and took me right back! If you have been to India, this book will allow you to wander back down memory lane, and if you haven’t been, you’ll get such a genuine and realistic insight into Indian life and culture by reading this novel.

I also really liked all the characters in the book. They all felt very realistic and were likeable and vulnerable in their own different ways. Although Aashi’s story takes centre stage, I liked that Kiran, Bali and Sunny also developed during the course of the book and experienced growth during the trip to India.

A wonderful book which has made me crave another trip to India, not to mention some parathas 😀

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

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal, Buy: Amazon UK – andAmazon US- Blog: Ritu Bhathal WordPress Follow Ritu: Goodreads – Twitter: @RituBhathal

The next author today with a recent review for Redlined: A Novel of Boston is Richard W. Wise

About the book

The year is 1974. Boston’s Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood under siege, a community skating along the razor’s edge of decline. The banks have REDLINED Jamaica Plain, causing the housing market to crash, wiping out local homeowner’s lifetime investments and opening the neighborhood to blockbusters and slumlords. Now, someone has begun systematically torching those abandoned buildings and the charred body of Sandy Morgan, a dedicated young neighborhood organizer, has been found among the ashes. Why? Who stands to gain?

Community organizer and Marine combat veteran, Jedidiah Flynt and Alex Jordan, his beautiful Harvard educated researcher together with a group of local property owners are determined to stop the redlining and and bring the arsonists responsible for Sandy Morgan’s death to justice. Their search will lead them through a labyrinth of corrupt politicians, Asian gangsters and bent churchmen.
Two interwoven plots work their way through the narrative, one is absolutely true, the other never happened, but might have.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I liked the book because Rick Wise as a community organizer in this neighborhood of Boston accurately told the story of the impact of bank redlining and disinvestment and how effective community organizing can make a difference in a better story of opportunity being achieved.

All the stories about the issues and organizing are true and actually happened back then in this neighborhood.

He adds elements that make it a novel about a death by arson of an organizer though there was much arson and people did die. And he adds a scheme about corruption around state legislative approval of a casino and unsavory support for it from a Catholic priest though unfortunately such scandals action by politicians and betrayals by priests do actually occur. All of this material makes the novel a page turner to read.

I knew of Rick and his organization’s effective work in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in this period as I was a community organizer working on similar issues in another neighborhood of Boston called Dorchester and still do this organizing work today..

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

Also by Richard W. Wise

Richard W. Wise, Buy: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK – follow Richard: Goodreads –  Website: The French BlueFacebook: Richard Wise Books

The final author today is Anita Dawes with her latest release, a collection of poems Shadows

About the Collection

A collection of Anita Dawes best poems – about love and longing – hopes and dreams – there will be something for everyone…

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by Anita Dawes

One of the recent reviews for The Scarlet Ribbon

Sep 03, 2020 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Scarlet Ribbons, also known as The Scarlet Ribbon, by Anita Dawes is a contemporary fiction novel that focuses on the afterlife and how one woman deals with the tragedy of a single moment in time, a moment she couldn’t prevent from occurring. I became familiar with the book after following the author’s blog and learning more about her collaboration with Jaye Marie on a variety of a projects.

In this tale, Maggie Haynes is hit by a car. Her husband witnesses the accident and is forced to watch his beloved wife put on life support when she falls into a coma. When Maggie goes under, her life seems to separate into reality and another world. In one path, she recovers and finds herself heading down a certain troubling existence… and in another, she’s somewhere beyond the Earth… not quite heaven or hell… not even clear of the specifics, but this new world can be quite scary. She’s able to ‘cross over’ to see some things happening back home, and it’s not always a good thing.

Can you imagine being able to watch your loved ones grieve? What if they decided to move on? Are you aware of how long you are in the coma? When Maggie discovers various connections with new people she meets in her confusing new life, she can’t help but think about how much is real and how much might be a dream. Is she trapped somewhere? Will she wake up paralyzed from the accident? Is she secretly already dead? What does her family think has happened? So many amazing questions to ponder while reading this book…

I enjoyed the writing style. At times, the author whisks you away into a dreamy state; even I was uncertain which world Maggie resided in during these moments. It’s a tough and scary topic, but Dawes pushes you to consider all the options and angles. What if you were meant to disappear for a while so that you could save someone else? A child who desperately needs your help deserves unselfish reactions, right? Maggie and her husband chose not to have kids but was this a reality check? When she visits previous periods in her family’s life, learning what it was like for them to grow up, it destabilizes her core… Maggie can’t be sure which life she wants to hold on to – new or old. And can she change her mind?

In the end, she dives deep into understanding her new world, with the help of some friends and possible a foe or two, and she comes out stronger. But it is the shocking surprise finale that left me wondering… how much of this could really happen in our future? Dawes pushes me to think about past lives, reincarnation, soul therapy, and so much more. I enjoyed the writing style and development on the worlds most of all. If you’ve got an open mind and a love of ethereal and other worldly existences, this is a good one to read. I’m left wondering what additional themes the author explores in her other books now! Must check one out in the near future.

Anita Dawes, buy Amazon UK – And: Amazon US –  follow Anita: Goodreads – Blog: Jaye and Anita’ Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore- Author Updates – #NewReleases – #Reviews – #Russia Marina Osipova #Western Jan Sikes, #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Afghanistan Mary Smith


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with new releases and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Marina Osipova a novel of love and fate – Too Many Wolves in the Local Woods

About the book

Two unlikely women with a shared history, two different turns of fate.

The end of the 1930s. The specter of twisted paranoia of Stalin’s unrelenting dictatorship continues to tighten over the Soviet Union. NKVD, the country’s secret police, coerces University graduate Ursula Kriegshammer, a Soviet Volga German with special skills, into serving this regime.

Natasha Ivanova, a worker at a metal plant in Vitebsk, a city at the western border of the

When in 1941 the German Army invades Byelorussia, both women seem to be helping the cause to fight the ruthless occupiers. But when their paths cross, tragedy strikes and one must carry the burden of guilt. Will she ever find peace with herself and the way out of the trap fate prepared for her?

Years later, the daughter of one of them launches on a quest to uncover the heroic nature of her mother’s role in WWII, only to discover a heart-shattering revelation of her own parentage.

One of the early reviews for the book

Too Many Wolves in the Local Woods, by Marina Osipova, is an historical fiction novel set in World War II Stalinist Russia at the outset of the Nazi invasion of the Motherland, and throughout the war years. The novel starts out slow, detailing the lives of two women, leading entirely different lives in different cities. One of them is trained as a spy and killer, destined to lead a double life in service of Russia; while the other woman takes a different path, but one which, by coincidence more than plan, also winds her up in the same spider’s net.

Their paths eventually cross in the most unlikely, and in fact, shocking manner, and when they do, this story suddenly ramps up into a thrilling intrigue. While the threads of romance provide the humanistic link that pulls the reader along, there is another weave of brutality in this book that reminds us how terrible and shocking war really is – one that provides an inside view of Stalinist Russia, and the fascist Nazi invaders, and just how barbarous and callous both regimes were. One sees this war torn theater through the eyes of these two women, both loyal to Russia, and yet both torn by their circumstances, to the point where their patriotism is the death of their principles and self respect.

The author has done a brilliant job of painting a picture of just how cold and pallid and Spartan was the existence of the Russian people, not only because of what the Nazi’s did to them during the invasion, but also because of the very nature of Stalin’s oppressive grip over their lives and their minds, one which created a world of deprivation in the name of a demented ideology – one that demanded, by fear and terror, their unabated loyalty. One sees, through the eyes of these women, that both Hitler and Stalin were equally mad, and equally destructive.

We need more books like this, books that remind future generations to preserve unalloyed freedom and to ensure that tyrannical people and their divisive attempts to trade that freedom for something else, never sees the light of day again. This story will keep you transfixed, to the end, because you only really find out what happens in the final pages. A great read

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

Other books by Marina Osipova

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK –  follow Marina : Goodreads –  website:Marina OsipovaTwitter: @marosikok

The first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for her latest release, the short story Brazos Wind…

About the book

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Yvi MC VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Great Western short story!  Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2020

I’m not a fan of Westerns, but I’ve enjoyed other short stories by this author, so I decided to take a chance. I’m glad I did. This story is set in Texas in the 1880s. Jack McClean is at a point in his life where he just wants to settle down. He’s seen enough killing and just wants to “retire” and enjoy what’s left of his life. Along the journey, he comes across Savannah, the damsel in distress. Her house has burned down and she is injured. Jack, being the gentleman that he is, stops to help her. The Brazos Wind pushed their paths together for a great ending.

This was a great read. The author did a wonderful job of letting me immediately fall into the characters’ lives and connect with each of them. As much as I wanted more in the ending, I also realize things weren’t that way during those times. She stayed true to the era, but left enough of a hint to let my imagination run wild with the wind. 😉

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

A selection of books by Jan Sikes

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

The next book is Timeless Echoes a collection of poetry by Balroop Singh

About the collection

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Apple_Tree 5.0 out of 5 stars Poems for your collection.  Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2020

“Timeless Echoes” by Balroop Singh is a compilation of poems that center on the inner being. For example, each poem puts you in setting, tells you what you see, or begs to ask a question. Singh’s poems surround a symbolic self-awareness and give messages of affection, hope, and what we as individuals may perceive our road in this world is.

It’s been a while since I read so many pieces of poetry that I have forgotten how soothing and re-vamping the art is. Reading it at night was especially enjoyable for me. I also read several of them out loud to my husband to see what message he got from it. One that captivated me was “A Shrieking Echo,” it came like fleeting emotion of a random woman expressing her pain of having lost a child. If you like to collect poetry or want to find stillness in an over-stimulating world, this is the fit for you.

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

Also by Balroop Singh

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Balroop Singh, Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop on: Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter@BalroopShado

The final author today is Mary Smith with a recent review for her novel No More Mulberries

About the book

No More Mulberries is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

British-born Miriam’s marriage to her Afghan doctor husband is heading towards crisis. Despite his opposition, she goes to work as a translator at a medical teaching camp in a remote area of rural Afghanistan hoping time apart will help are see where their problems lie. She comes to realise how unresolved issues from when her first husband was killed by a mujahideen group are damaging her relationship with her husband and her son – but is it already too late to save her marriage?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jul 27, 2020 Jacquie rated it 5* it was amazing

When Miriam literally runs into the man of her dreams, Jarad, she doesn’t realize what a profound impact he will have on her future.

Convincing his family doesn’t come easily, but in the end their love triumphs and the young couple marry. Miriam takes to the cultural differences of her new country and thrives- until the sudden death of her husband.

Lost, desolate, but determined to raise their son in his father’s homeland, Miriam agrees to wed Iqbal and travel with him to his village to act as midwife in his clinic. Iqbal is kind and generous, but rigid in his belief of a woman’s place in his home.

Over time, resentment builds and when Miriam is offered a chance to get away to a teaching school for a couple of months she decides to accept.

What follows is a journey into the past for both Miriam and Iqbal, who carries burdens of his own.

This story is written with an obvious affection for the Afghan people and their culture. I enjoyed learning about a way of life so far removed from mine. Though Afghanistan has its problems, it’s a beautiful country with kind and caring people.

I give No More Mulberries 5 stars- this is a must-read!

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

Also by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to take away with you.. thanks Sally.