Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Memoir Pete Springer, #Writing Jane Sturgeon, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr


Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first review today is for the memoir of retired teacher Pete Springer. They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

Retired elementary school teacher, Pete Springer, uses his experience and knowledge to create a wonderful book that is as much memoir as it is a handy tool to have as a teacher about to embark upon the best job in the world (I’m a teacher, maybe I’m biased), and just as useful for a parent to read, so they can understand a little more about the role the teacher plays in their children’s lives.

Peppered with anecdotes from his teaching career, as well as the story detailing how he ended up becoming a teacher, the book gives a personal account of the life of a teacher, as well as many handy hints for setting up and running a successful classroom of your own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Connect to Pete via his website/blog: Pete Springer WordPress

My next author is Jane Sturgeon with a recent review for her non-fiction  Writing on Water: Self Awareness.

About the book

Each one of us holds stories about ourselves and these drive our lives. Thoughts are attached to emotions and actions spring from how we feel. Old stories can be re-written, new stories can be crafted and discoveries are made along the way. It is the tapestry of life and yes, you can weave with whatever threads you choose. Loving support, fresh perspectives and new life tools can make all the difference.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2020

A short book maybe, but certainly a thought provoking book. Certainly a book if I had read a week or so ago, I certainly would have had second thoughts about questions I asked. If I had of read it year and years ago, there would have been certainly more thoughts given to the question of where and what do I do now. A very interesting read and a little bit of an insight into someone else’s life and thought processes. A book that needs reading again.

Head over and buy the book: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jane: Goodreads

Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Sturgeon WordPress

The final author today with a recent review is Fiona TarrDelilah and the Dark God: The Eternal Realm Book 2

About the Book

Delilah is young, poor and inexperienced. Discovering Samson’s secret might not be as easy as she thinks!

When Delilah is compelled to discover the source of Samson’s divine strength, she becomes torn between her desire for wealth and growing feelings she cannot yet understand. She has no idea that the Eternal Realm is at war, but she quickly realises there is more at play than religion and politics.

The Goddess Asherah knows Delilah is the key to future peace in the heavens, yet she is forbidden from meddling with humanity….. But when the Dark God Dagon grows obsessed with Delilah, she must choose a side.

Will Asherah risk revealing herself to protect the ancient prophecy and secure peace for her brethren?

Delilah and the Dark God is the second book in The Eternal Realm series; a religious fantasy series that mixes mythology and intrigue in epic fantasy style. If you like strong characters, intricate plots and action, then you will love Fiona Tarr’s contemporary take on this old biblical classic.

Buy Delilah and the Dark God to today discover what really goes on within the eternal realm!

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 10, 2020 Sherrie Hansen rated it it was amazing

Delilah and the Dark God gives unique insights into an old Bible story. The fictional retelling includes elements of fantasy and mythology paired with the Biblical account of Nazarite Samson with his unparalleled strength and the woman who brought him down. It’s a heartbreaking story but an inspirational one as well and I loved getting to know Delilah in a more intimate way. To me, the story is one more example of how God takes our mistakes and weaknesses and failings and turns them around for good in spite of everything, to fulfill his prophecies. It was wonderful to be reminded that the people God used to bring the Prince of Peace, Jesus, into the world, were not perfect or unblemished but very real people. Thanks for another great story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB

Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads

Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #ComingofAge Bette A. Stevens, #Writing Jane Sturgeon, #PostApocalyptic Terry Tyler


The first author and poet today is Bette A. Stevens and a recent review for Dog Bone Soup

About the book

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jan 19, 2020 Janet Gogerty rated  Five Stars
If you are not from the USA or have never been there you will surely know this country through the eyes of your television set. Starting with Hollywood and moving on to the television era this was the first country to project an image to the English speaking world and beyond. By the fifties and sixties other countries were catching up with television, but most of us will have grown up with American programmes, funny or glossy. As adults we know life is not always as portrayed on television. The story of Shawn and his family is totally captivating. Poverty is relative; if everybody is in the same boat there is no shame. Shawn’s family are struggling to eat, no running water, but they have a television set, most children at their local school are living the good life portrayed on television.
The late fifties and early sixties were prosperous, the space age had started, but not everyone was sharing the good times. For everyone there will be the shock of Kenedy’s assasination. Shawn as the eldest has to use all his ingenuity to keep the family going. This is also a universal story that happens in every time and place; the woman who soon finds out she’s married a loser, alcohol leads to domestic violence. The story wisely starts and ends with Shawn leaving to join the army; a poignant ending because he has achieved his aim, but at what price with Vietnam surely his destination?

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads

Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog:  4 Writers and Readers

My next author is Jane Sturgeon with a recent review for her non-fiction  Writing on Water: Self Awareness.

About the book

Each one of us holds stories about ourselves and these drive our lives. Thoughts are attached to emotions and actions spring from how we feel. Old stories can be re-written, new stories can be crafted and discoveries are made along the way. It is the tapestry of life and yes, you can weave with whatever threads you choose. Loving support, fresh perspectives and new life tools can make all the difference.

A recent review for the book

Brigid P. Gallagher 5.0 out of 5 stars Words that Radiate a Beautiful Inner Wisdom  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2020

Jane Sturgeon hopes her readers will “dip in and out as you need” and that her first book “gifts you a peaceful place to rest, reflect and find more self acceptance.”

She shares experiences from her life – unique moments of tenderness, the joy of Nature, of her two marriages, lessons on perfectionism, instinct, getting hijacked, staying small…
She has a beautiful gift for words. I particularly liked her creative writing exercise on sea glass:

“Because I am like sea glass; never perfect, never finished, and I have lived in so many places across the world that I have no roots. I carry my home in my heart. “

Although short in length, Jane’s book is not short on wisdom. It is indeed perfect for dipping in and out as you need.

Head over and buy the book: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Jane: Goodreads

Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Sturgeon WordPress

The final author with recent reviews is Terry Tyler for her post apocalyptic thriller Blackthorn.

About the book

The UK, year 2139.

One hundred and fifteen years ago, a mysterious virus wiped out ninety-five per cent of humanity.

Blackthorn, the largest settlement in England, rose from the ashes of the devastated old world. It is a troubled city, where the workers live in crude shacks, and make do with the worst of everything.

It is a city of violent divisions, crime, and an over-populated jail block, until a charismatic traveller has a miraculous vision, and promises to bring hope back to the people’s lives.

Blackthorn falls under Ryder Swift’s spell, and the most devoted of all is the governor’s loyal servant, Lieutenant August Hemsley.

Twenty-one-year-old Evie has lived her whole life in the shacks. She and disillusioned guard Byron Lewis are two of a minority who have doubts about Ryder’s message. Can they stand against the beliefs of an entire city?

A recent review for Blackthorn

Feb 17, 2020 Scatterbooker rated it Five Stars

Blackthorn by Terry Tyler is a fascinating addition to the brilliant post-apocalyptic Project Renova universe. It examines what happens when religion is re-introduced to civilisation by a handsome and charismatic traveller generations after life as we know it has been wiped by the ‘bat fever’ virus.

Blackthorn is a very character driven novel and is told from the first person perspectives of three main characters who come from all walks of life in the new world. Evie is one of the working class “Shackers”, Byron is a guard, and Lieutenant Hemsley is very close to Governor Wolf North.

I loved how each character had their own distinct voice and the multiple POV really allows the reader the get to know all of the characters better, as it allows you to see them through the eyes of the characters too.

Although Blackthorn is part of the Project Renova universe, with many of the characters descending from people we have met in earlier novels, it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. I did enjoy finding out how the characters in Blackthorn were connected to characters from earlier novels, and it was deeply satisfying to be able see how some things played out so many years later.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler: Goodreads

Connect to Terry via her Blog: Terry Tyler Blogspot

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews #Thriller Mary Adler, #Writing Jane Sturgeon, #Shortstories Sally Cronin


Welcome to the first of the author updates in 2020 with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author with a recent review is for Mary Adler and her wartime mystery Shadowed by Death An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2.

About Shadowed by Death

San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.

Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.

When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.

Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.

A recent review for the book

This story has everything: mystery, suspense, espionage, humanity, feeling, and more.

Sophia is on a dangerous crusade to raise money to aid Jewish children spread across many countries after WWII and to support the cause of “Free Poland.” After an attempt on her life, a homicide detective, Oliver, is given the task of protecting her. Recuperating from his war injury, Oliver brings his dog, Harley, to help.

Sophia uncovers information the Russians want kept secret. As the danger rises, so does the mystery. Sophia and Oliver race to uncover the truth.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Also by Mary Adler

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Mary: Goodreads

Connect to Mary via her website: Mary Adler Writes

My next author is a new addition to the Cafe and Bookstore at the end of 2019, Jane Sturgeon with a recent review for her non-fiction  Writing on Water: Self Awareness.

About the book

Each one of us holds stories about ourselves and these drive our lives. Thoughts are attached to emotions and actions spring from how we feel. Old stories can be re-written, new stories can be crafted and discoveries are made along the way. It is the tapestry of life and yes, you can weave with whatever threads you choose. Loving support, fresh perspectives and new life tools can make all the difference.

A recent review for the book

Life is a journey. When you amass knowledge and experience, it’s a generous and caring gift to offer that information to others. Jane Sturgeon has done so with her book, Writing on Water: Self-awareness. I became acquainted with this author through her blog, where she shares advice, thoughts, and feedback with others. Based on what she’s accomplished and undertaken in her life thus far, the words and wisdom will benefit many readers.

The book is on the shorter side, perhaps an intro for more to come from this author. Her advice in this edition focuses on tenderness, knowing when enough is enough, sea glass impressions, instincts, things we love, getting all twisted up, being hijacked (emotionally), and staying small. Within each of these sections, Jane shares a life experience, not always a positive one, that led to her awakening or spiritual conflict. Considering what to do when in a difficult relationship? Frustrated by people who try to take over your life? Uncertain how to relax and just let time tell you what you need to do? All these questions and many more come to the surface.

The book is not religious; if anything, I’d say it’s spiritual, forming a connection with the natural world and the silence around us. In a moment of need, Jane was thoroughly nervous and angry about a situation she had to handle. All the negativity almost ensured her situation would conclude far worse than she hoped, but something intervened, and in the end, Jane was given a gift. What a wonderful way to see your life turn around, even in smaller increments, when you need it to. I was most impressed by Jane’s life experience between 18 and 21 in South Africa. She had tons of courage and conviction, something I don’t think I could’ve found in my youth.

So… if you’d like to read about a wonderfully kind and open-minded woman’s opinions, learn from a life coach, and determine what might need some change in your life, this would be a good intro book, as it’s filled with tangible evidence of how altering her mindset helped Jane move forward. I’m glad to have the opportunity to read the book and share a review with you. The last line is the best… and I won’t share it all… but I will say “held us back from flowing with authenticity” is an eye-opening section.

Head over and buy the book: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

Connect to Jane via her blog: Jane Sturgeon WordPress

And I am celebrating too as I start the year with some recent reviews including one for my first short story collection Flights of Fancy published ten years ago.

About Flights of Fancy

Ghosts, romance, friendship of all kinds and revenge form the basis of this collection of short stories. Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living. Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances. As for revenge, well… Never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past.

A recent review for the collection

An inviting book of short stories sure to reach various emotions from heartwarming to mystery and always with a twist at the end from this author.

Cronin’s knack for being able to write across several genres is a gift, and that’s what we’re getting in this ‘smorgasbord’ of stories, which no matter the genre, will always bring out a tenderness or justice in the end of her stories.

Flights of Fancy offers 11 short stories. From the story of Trust, a beautifully painted setting with sorrow and one bright spot from a canine visitor, to The Sewing Circle, an engaging short about a senior sewing club with a lot of spunk getting caught up in the crime happening around them, bringing a host of emotions together in one quaint, but suspenseful and satisfactory tale of justice. Cronin also takes us into The Other Side of Heaven, in a moving story in usual Cronin style, with a twist and a tear. How about a motivating psychic parrot who helps to solve one woman’s marital dilemma? No matter the storyline, Cronin knows how to engage an audience with her vivid stories on various subject matters, then wraps them all up with her sentimental touch and always a satisfying ending. Whether on mysteries, humor or heartwarming stories, Cronin has her own special way of bringing in the human condition to all her stories.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other Ebooks

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Goodreads

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to add to your reading list… thanks Sally.