Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Western #Romance – Silverhills by Sandra Cox


I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

This is my review from August 2020 for the second western romance that I have read and enjoyed by Sandra Cox – Silverhills

About the book

In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O’Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment’s notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn’t expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

My review for the book 13th August 2020

This book is not just a western romance with plenty of action, but also a family saga stretching out over 50 years.

The story has all the elements of a good western with plenty of action, cowboys, Indians, stampedes, comancheros, magnificent horses, good looking men, beautiful feisty women and some snakes in the grass… Don’t expect too many simpering females as the young woman at the centre of this story can definitely hold her own, in the saddle, with cattle and when faced with danger.

The author draws you into a country that is perilous to the unwary and home to both natural and human predators, but she also showcases the magnificence of the wild open spaces. Her characters are multi-faceted and not all perfect, which makes the relationships that more realistic.

I loved the story, partly because I was brought up watching western movies, but also because it is a reminder of a simpler time, despite the dangers and violence. Without technology men and women survived through their own hard work and courage in a very tough environment, and that makes their stories compelling.

If you want to escape from the modern world for a few hours, then I can highly recommend Silverhills and I am looking to reading more of Sandra Cox’s stories in the future.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK – And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter: @Sandra_Cox

About Sandra Cox

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or an iced latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian, a Muay Thai enthusiast and has a weakness for peanut M and Ms.

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to check out Sandra’s books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Memoir Mary Clark, #Western Sandra Cox, #Memoir Liesbet Collaert


Since the last series of meet the authors in June last year another 25 authors have joined the Cafe and Bookstore. This is an opportunity to get to know them and their books a little better. I will also include their blog social media links and it would be great if you could follow them there too.

Meet Mary Clark

Mary Clark was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1949, to parents who lived on the Rutgers University campus. Her family moved to Florida, where she spent her formative years, and was infused with a deep awe and respect for the natural world. She was also aware of the lives of migrant workers, segregation, and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Her book, Covenant, a coming-of-age, historical fiction novella, is set in Florida (Kindle only). Children of Light (Ten Penny Players’ BardPress) is a modern mythical chain of poems also set in Florida.

She graduated from Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She had a strong sense of being a misfit, which propelled her to find her own place and occupation.

Mary moved to New York City in 1975 and worked at the Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s Church in the then outcast wilds of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. For many years she worked for community organizations. In 1993 she started a monthly community newspaper, combining her two loves: the neighborhood and writing. Her memoir, Community: Power Politics and Democracy in Hell’s Kitchen, tells that story. A creative memoir, Tally: An Intuitive Life (All Things That Matter Press), is the story of a Bohemian artist she knew in NYC’s Greenwich Village.

Books by Mary Clark

One of the reviews for Tally; An Intuitive Life

When a young poet stumbles into the life of a Greenwich Village recluse, she meets a bearded old man living in a garret. Surrounded by manuscripts in which he has attempted to comprehend the meaning of life, PJ has entered a time of failing eyesight, physical frailty, and economic uncertainty. Quiet and observant, the young poet Erin, or “Eyes” as PJ soon calls her, begins to help him put his life in order.

“No one is ever conscious of what he is doing or why he is doing it,” PJ said, “even a person who is aware of everything he is doing and after pondering it, can perceive the reason or motivation for it.”

The above is just one of many sentences I underlined last February while I was doing a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center for the Arts. Anyone who makes her or his life in the arts risks winding up like PJ, which is to say not wealthy, except in matters of the spirit.

“PJ’s long bony fingers swept over drifting stacks of books, papers, paintings, typewriter ribbons, photographs and found objets, all jumbled together, everything melting into some other form…’Dali would have had an idea of the melodramatic squalor in which I live,’” PJ told her.

PJ’s intellect and humor makes him an utterly fascinating subject. Some of his musings are brilliant; others, wildly off-the-wall. Genuinely curious, Erin plays along, but occasionally she says, Hey, wait a minute. Her doubts often mirrored questions that came up for me.
As Erin pitches in and begins to go through boxes of PJs manuscripts, she learns about his intuitive approach to life, thus the subtitle. Several chapters develop his idea of the “perceptive intellect.” In others, PJ talks about one of his personas, The Professor of Love.

The book exposes the layers and contradictions.

I’ve reread this book twice since I purchased it, underlining or drawing new smiley faces. If you have ever had an elderly packrat-of-a-relative whose care fell to you, then you will surely love this book and understand the pull-and-tug that confronted Erin on almost every visit to PJ’s garret. It’s not a book you can race through, but one that will make you think a lot about how anyone assembles the flotsam of life into a coherent story.

Lest you think PJ was some kind of eccentric and amusing kook, a chapter near the end will prove you wrong. The book also made me wonder how any of us could explain the principles and assumptions by which we’ve lived our lives. I’m not sure I could do what PJ managed to do, and what Mary Clark has so lovingly presented in this biography/memoir.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Mary: Goodreads – Website: Literary Eyes – Facebook: Mary Clark Books Twitter: @mceyes

Meet Sandra Cox

About Sandra Cox

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or an iced latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian, a Muay Thai enthusiast and has a weakness for peanut M and Ms.

A small selection of Sandra’s books

A recent review for Glen Slade: Bounty Hunter

Joseph A Congel VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and terrific on so many levels!  Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2021

Author, Sandra Cox knows her craft. I have read several of her novels and all of them have been well-written and edited, and because of her attention to detail, all have been extremely engaging reading experiences. She is a highly talented writer who is in top form in this, her newest offering, Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.

Gwen Slade is smart. And she’s tough. She can fight, and she knows her way around the barrel of a shotgun. She also has the responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. So to put food on the table, and hopefully one day provide a better life for her family, she puts her skills to work as a bounty hunter. Not an easy task, to say the least, especially for a female living in the west in the late 1800’s. But her ability to take down the bad guy and collect the bounty has gained her the respect few have in her profession.

Gwen has always worked alone, and she prefers it that way. And then in walks Jordie Kidd. A charismatic outlaw with a twinkle in his eye who helps save her family from harm. And although his charms are not completely lost on Gwen, she has no time for that kind of thing. But she doesn’t turn him in, instead letting him go as a gesture for saving her family. And besides, she is gearing up to take down a ruthless gang with a huge bounty on their heads. A bounty large enough to let her and her family finally cash in on the life they’ve always dreamed of.

As Gwen sets out on what she hopes will be her final bounty hunt, she finds herself forced into a questionable partnership. A partnership that she doesn’t want to be in, but turns out to be one she can’t live without.

All I kept thinking throughout this story was what a great movie it would be. It’s a captivating storyline with richly developed characters whose interaction with one another helps draw you into their world. If you are a fan of Western-Romance stories that feature a strong female lead, then you are going to love this book. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, give this one a try. I guarantee you will be a fan by the time you get to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Truly a 5 STAR read.  

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK –And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

Meet Liesbet Collaert

Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life. Her work has been published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She also created walking tours for Marigot and Philipsburg in St. Martin.

The author has been interviewed about her alternative lifestyle by Multihull Sailor, Modern Day Nomads, Ocean Navigator, The Wayward Home, The Professional Hobo, and Grey Globetrotters among others. She contributed to extensive cruising surveys for All At Sea and Caribbean Compass and became an assistant-editor for Caribbean Compass in January 2019.

Liesbet loves animals, nature, and the promise of adventure. A nomad since 2003, she calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog

Books by Liesbet Collaert

One of the recent reviews for Plunge

The author, Liesbet, and her husband Mark, have chosen a life of travel and discovery over a settled and secure life. This is Liesbet’s account of the consequences of their choices, the inner and outer adventures they had, as well as the inner and outer challenges they faced.

Anyone who has made similar sacrifices to live the life they’ve chosen will relate to this narrative, half travelog and half diary, as this couple’s dream of cruising becomes their daily lives, with everything daily life entails; wonderful encounters with nature in pristine settings, human encounters both helpful and difficult, mechanical failures, business and financial struggles, and, the thread running through it all, the love Liesbet and Mark have for each other in spite of their very real differences, and the relationship challenges they face living together 24/7.

As one reviewer has done, it’s always easy to find fault with someone who bears their soul as much as Ms. Collaert has in this book. Self-doubt is never flattering and takes courage to admit publicly, though we all carry our fair share. For me, the author’s sharing of her most intimate feelings and the dynamics of their relationship is equally, if not more compelling than their experiences cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

This is not just an adventure book, this is a book about what it really takes to live an adventurous life.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK  –   Blogs: Roaming About Cruising the World the way it is – Facebook pages: Personal Liesbet CollaertRoamingsaboutItsIrie – Twitter: @LiesbetCollaert – Follow Liesbet: Goodreads

 

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of the more recent authors to join the Cafe… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author today is Linda Bradley with the romantic first book in her popular series – Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series book 1).

About the book

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Nov 28, 2020 Colleen Chesebro rated it Four Stars really liked it Shelves: women-s-fiction, romance, literature-fiction, literature

Maggie Abernathy has her Michigan summer all planned out. After a bout with breast cancer, all she wants to do is to recuperate and rejuvenate. Her life as a second-grade teacher was especially difficult this year. To add to Maggie’s problems, she is also learning to navigate life alone after her recent divorce.

When seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John, Maggie’s dull life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The story was predictable, but somehow, comforting. The romance that buds between John and Maggie is even sweeter because of Chloe.

Chloe’s character clearly steals the show. The child possesses a pearl of certain wisdom that women much older than her often wish for. The only child in what had to be a difficult home, Chloe steals Maggie’s heart.

Written in the first-person, I immediately connected with Maggie’s character. There is a lot going on, and Maggie discovers she must learn to overcome some of her own issues before she can truly find herself. So true to life!

The only downside was that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, and you have to purchase the next book to continue her story. I understand it’s a series, but the author hints at a happy ending for Maggie and John. As is true in most romantic fiction there are always some difficulties in a relationship. It would have been nicer for this book to end on a high note. Still, I would recommend this book because of the interesting characters. I’m debating on whether to go further in the series

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

Also by Linda Bradley

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Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –  And : Amazon UK – Follow Linda :Goodreads website: Linda Bradley Author – Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

The next author with a recent review is Mae Clair for the ghostly  A Thousand Yesteryears (Point Pleasant Book 1)

About the book

“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real . . .

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer . .

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brenda Marie Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars What could be better than the Mothman, romance and murder?  Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020

I love this book by Mae Clair! It’s a new and intriguing take on the Mothman, made all the more interesting by a compelling romance (with a second one starting to brew for other important characters), family and personal secrets, and mysterious murders. There are other supernatural elements that I feel would be spoilers to divulge. And the suspense continues to build wither life or death threats to characters we love.

It’s my first time to read a book by Mae Clair and I plan to read many more. Deft writing, fascinating plot, well-developed and realistic characters–some to love and others to hate. What could be better?

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

The next prolific author has recently joined the Cafe with her books and here is a recent review for Silverhills by Sandra Cox, a book that I also reviewed earlier in the year and can recommend.

About the book

In the 1870s Brandon Wade is driving a herd of longhorns over the Chisholm Trail when a youth appears out of nowhere riding a magnificent black stallion and packing a deadly looking six-gun. In need of trail hands, Brandon hires the young man. Not until weeks later, during the middle of a terrible stampede, does Brandon learn that his young sharpshooter is a beautiful woman. A woman full of fire and passion who he burns to possess. A woman steeped in mystery who refuses to disclose her past. Alexandria O’Malley is on the run and must be able to disappear at a moment’s notice. When she hires on to the cattle drive, she doesn’t expect the powerful attraction between herself and her trail boss or the response of her treacherous body.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Oct 24, 2020 Pansy rated it Four Stars

Wiping tears – These are bittersweet tears. Yes, there is some sadness. The book is finished. But also sweetness. This was a beautiful story about finding yor destiny, if you will. The story of Alexandria and Brandon . . . Well, it had all the feels. A spectacular meet-cute. Heart stopping action. Forgive me, but I believe the inspiration for the hero and heroine were John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Talk about tempestuous emotions. Even the physical description brought those icons to mind. I think you really need to read this for yourself to get it. A wonderful story with great pacing that grabs and doesn’t let go.

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

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews andbuy the books : Amazon UK –And:Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

The next author is M.J. Mallon with a recent review for her poetry and prose collection, Mr. Sagittarius

About the collection

Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.

Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.

A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images

One of the recent reviews for the collection

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, Fun, Good Intro to Author  Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2020

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poems, short stories, and charming moments from a group of memorable characters. Written by M.J. Mallon, it’s not the first I’ve read from her collection, but it was time to pick up another this weekend. If you’re searching for a lovely intro to an author’s writing style and the type of stories and tales she writes, this is a great way to discover more. Mallon’s contributed to several anthologies in the past, including one she coordinated and edited herself, but this time it’s all hers!

Two brothers, twins. A sister. Relationships wrought with love, pain, concern, frustration, anger, sadness, and hope. Interspersed with lyrical poems are short, three-to-four page scenes between the family members, others who see them, and lots of beauty focused on nature and the elements. Picture a gorgeous tree in different seasons, a park bench, memories of the family members who once sat on it, and thoughts about the passing of loved ones. That’s what you’ll find here, and it’ll make you treasure your own relationships.

I most enjoyed the autumn and Halloween moments in this collection, as it’s so timely. Mallon has a wonderful way with words, and while I’m not a big reader of poetry, it’s comforting to dive into it on occasion so you can see the beautiful images around you, that you might often look too far past.

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

Also by M.J. Mallon  NB.. This is Lockdown is now available in print.

Read the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US –AndAmazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The final author today is Miriam Hurdlewith a recent review for her award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.

The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.

The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Oct 07, 2020 Teagan Geneviene rated it Five stars

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” strikes the right chord. I need the peaceful feelings of a gentle breeze that these poems put in my mind as I read. It’s as though I smell flowers and see colors, and occasionally imagine a warm hug. I see that the author says she often thinks up her poems while gardening, and this is easy to believe. Treat yourself to something calm.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK  – Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle –Blog: The Showers of Blessings –  Twitter: @mhurdle112

 

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you are leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.