Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Reviews – #Humour Lizzie Chantree, #Design Valentina Cirasola, #Writing Harmony Kent

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first book today with a recent review is If You Love Me I’m Yours by award winning inventor and author Lizzie Chantree.

About the book

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Dec 28, 2020 Rox Burkey rated it Four Stars

Author Lizzie Chantree uses her creative talents to show how four friends navigate life as they all grow up. Maud’s mother throws up roadblocks trying to dissuade her daughter from her artistic career.

Her best friend Dot grows up with Maud throughout the story. Their support for each other, even when questionable, is realistic. Nate’s brother, a famous artist supports the girl’s efforts to pursue their passion.

The story lines and characters are interesting from start to finish. It is a growing up story rather than coming of age. As each character evolves, you will find yourself in the midst of each person finding their path toward love and acceptance.

“Feeling warm breath on her shoulder, she turned and looked up into Nate’s smiling eyes. She jumped and took a step back, as he was invading her personal space. Maud knew his flat was above the gallery, so she shouldn’t have been surprised to see him. Why the hell hadn’t she thought that he might be here? As she recoiled, she tripped on her own feet again. She’d been standing with her legs crossed, a terrible habit, she realised. Nate reached out as if he’d been expecting her to fall at his feet, and placed warm hands around her waist. She was gratified to see that his hands fitted perfectly – her love handles of fat had disappeared. He frowned before pretending to chastise her. ‘You’ve lost weight. Why?’”

Art with all its passion and hidden meaning is a good backdrop to explore these well-developed characters’ successes and failures. Lizzie enriches with individual personalities with descriptions of living spaces and artistic endeavors.

The complex plot weaves you through a fun story with an unexpected, yet delightful ending. I recommend this book for those who like good romance with a splash of fun.

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

Also by Lizzie Chantree

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Lizzie: Goodreads – website:Lizzie Chantree – Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree

The next author today is Italian designer Valentina Cirasola – Design Nature For A Colorful Home with a recent review

About the book

If you pick up a camera and take a picture of anything that strikes your eyes, it doesn’t have to be a real object, or something with a meaning, just study that picture you took and you will see the reason why you immortalized that “something”. One day, I took a photo of a succulent plant in my garden, not because it was particularly beautiful, but because I was attracted by the yellow decorative butterfly light inside the pot and by the yellow ceramic piece outside the pot. This told me I was craving “Yellow Vibrations”. Going to the grocery shop, taking pictures of the flower bouquets in the store, and forgetting to buy food is not a common thing people do, but I did. Later, all those pictures of flowers gave me the idea for this book. My goal was to entice the readers to look at flower bouquets, or any flower composition in nature with new eyes and lead them to create their own alluring color scheme for any room in the house or office that carries a new excitement.

The book is full of beautiful photographs taken by me in various places in nature and in the stores. Nature is our best friend and companion, she always gives us the pleasure of beauty, harmony, and peace. This book focuses on how to take advantage of nature’s colors and turn them into doable solutions. The home has a spirit that will love you if you create an inspiring, healthy, vibrant home for the body, mind, and spirit. Everyone will feel comfortable in a home conceived with harmony and love will grow.Shall we start with the colors of flowers?

A recent review for the book.

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Way to Think About Design  Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2020

Design Nature For A Colorful Home is the latest non-fiction book written by Valentina Cirasola. I previously read several of the author’s other books and found them all to be a wonderful escape into the world of colors, home decor, interior design, international beauty, and immense imagination.

Cirasola is a gifted artisan, and she makes design seem easy. In this brilliant book, she shares various images of nature, then replicates the color palette you could apply to your home to bring the outside in. From bedrooms to kitchens and bathrooms to living rooms, every place in your home has a few dedicated pages that will jumpstart your brand of creativity. I have to admit, she inspired me to really think about the colors I choose and how they relate to my life in the future.

Some of the combinations she’s shared were familiar to me, but mostly it was a fresh look at how dark and light related to one another. I often attempt to duplicate what I see in a picture but rarely understand why. Now, through the author’s words and creativity, I am tempted to try different colors and connections to moments and situations in my life. I’d never realized how much of what surrounds us is part of our day on a grander scale. And Cirasola keenly points out how the choices we make are sometimes influenced by nature and the world of outdoors. Why not make that your initial source of ideas?

Every possible color is addressed in this book. Some sections delve into varying hues and shades, but this is really about applying a scene from nature and matching it to your personality, your house’s structural style, and the way you interact with your belongings and home, et al. Cirasola is a mastermind at pulling so many things together, designers should offer this book to clients as a place to begin when thinking about their future homes.

I’ll definitely be turning to it when I next need to renovate or change the color of a room in my current or future home. I highly recommend you do too. And to top it off, she’s such a warm and generous person, and the connections with food and clothing make everything synchronize together even more beautifully.

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

Also by Valentina Cirasola

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon USAnd: Amazon UKWebsite: Valentina DesignsGoodreads: Valentina Cirasola Goodreads – Twitter: @ValentinaDesign

The final author with a recent review is Harmony Kent for her non-fiction guide Polish Your Prose.

About the book

Polish Your Prose is a powerful new guide that gives essential editing tips for authors.

Lots of books have been written on the art of writing, and here—at last—is a guide that will teach you the essential techniques of editing your own book. This will help you turn a promising manuscript into a published novel. And, it does this without the jargon. You don’t need to know all the grammatical terms in order to make use of this book. You don’t need to know the definition of a split infinitive, a comma splice, or a ‘to be’ verb, as this manual explains these in detail in easy to understand terms, and a lively and engaging style.
Chapters on Passive Writing, Tense, Point of View, Dialogue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an editor would go through to polish and perfect your manuscript.

Good writing is nothing without good editing. Learn the secrets of good editing and writing with this essential author reference, which offers so much more for so much less.

Harmony Kent is an award winning author, and accomplished editor and proofreader. Her passion is helping Indie Authors to successfully achieve their goals and dreams.

New Apple Book Awards Top Medalist Winner 2015

One of the recent reviews for the book

joanna cates 5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable read as a new author  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2021

I found this book to be so informative. As a new author, I will refer back to it again and again before I send my finished manuscripts off to my editor. It’s easy to follow and is a ‘must read’ for anybody self-publishing. Thank you Harmony 😁

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

A small selection of books by Harmony Kent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US –  Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent


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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega, #Writing Harmony Kent

There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

In addition to his best-selling series, Pearseus, he writes short science fiction/speculative fiction stories, many of which have appeared in various collections and anthologies. These include Infinite Waters, which was voted one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

A small selection of books by Nicholas Rossis

One of the reviews for The Runaway Smile on Goodreads

Jan 05, 2020 Istahil rated it Five Stars

The Runaway Smile is a delightful story about a young boy who wakes up one morning to find that his smile has disappeared. And so begins an eventful journey to find it and bring it back to its rightful place…his face!

If only I had this book when I was a child – I could easily imagine it being a class (and bedtime) favourite!

I love how Nicholas uses nonsensical situations to make a point about the importance of a smile (think book-reading superhero dog, a shirt-eating closet monster and salesman who sells subatomic particle accelerators!). As if the story itself wasn’t enough to make you feel all tingly and warm inside, Nicholas has teamed up with Dimitri Fousekis to bring you the most gorgeous and distinctive illustrations that bring it to life.

The Runaway Smile is so heartwarming, wholesome and will make you chuckle. I loved it and definitely think it should be a permanent fixture on the shelves of all budding bookworms.

This is the second book written by Nicholas that I had the pleasure of reading and he has yet to put a foot wrong

Nicholas Rossis, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Blog:Nicholas RossisGoodreads: Nicholas Rossis Goodreads – Twitter: @Nicholas_Rossis

Meet Vashti Quiroz Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Books by Vashti Quiroz Vega


One of the recent reviews for Fall of Lilith

Amazon Reader 4.0 out of 5 stars An immersive fantasy with a new take on an old story  Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020

I really enjoyed this immersive fantasy read. It’s based on the fall of the angels from the Old Testament, but it brings an all-new spin to the story with the role of Lilith. I was engaged by all the details of this version of Heaven, and the progression of Lilith from a relatively harmless girl to a tragic anti-hero is interesting to watch. I do wish she had a little bit more goodness in her because that would’ve made her more sympathetic as a main character. Yet I also understand the restraints of telling a story like this, in which there is clear good and evil. After the fall of the angels, the story takes us to earth, where the angels are banished. Once again, I was pleased at the combination of both familiar and unexpected elements. Overall, well written and imaginative!

Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Buy:Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Meet Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

A selection of books by Harmony Kent

A recent review for Creative Solutions

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable writing tool  Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2020

I read and enjoyed one of Harmony Kent’s fictional works and I was sufficiently impressed by her writing to pick up this non-fiction book about writing techniques and inspirational tools when it launched last year. I was not disappointed and learned a lot a developing good writing habits and ways of discovering inspiration for this book.

I have always edited as I write, this is largely due to the fact that I am a perfectionist and leaving something half done is difficult for me. This book encourages writers to not edit as they write but rather to ride the wave of your creativity and go back and edit later. I have tried this over the past week and have added double the words to my WIP. I didn’t not edit completely, but I did a lot less and felt I got a lot more words on paper this way. It is difficult to pick up on an incomplete idea so this advice makes perfect sense so that you get a piece of writing written down while it is fresh in your mind.

This books sets out lots of ideas for writing prompts which I find a great way of sharpening my writing skills. The author’s prompts have given me a lot of food for thought and I certainly won’t be running out of ideas in the foreseeable future. There are also great tips on using Tarot cards, horoscopes, chess boards and other items to generate ideas or to move your story along if you become bogged down or stale with your writing.

I thought this was a valuable writing tool and I will certainly be referring back to it going forward.

Harmony Kent, BuyAmazon UK – And : Amazon US –  Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.