Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Paranormal John W. Howell, #Poetry Anita Dawes, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John Howell

A recent review for Eternal Road

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars Time traveling adventure  Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2021

Samantha has been dead since childhood, and when James is killed in a car accident, Sam becomes his guide, tasked with leading him to his eternal home. Don’t count on deep religious overtones or run of the mill theories about the afterlife in this book. The story quickly becomes a fantasy time-traveling “road trip” where Sam and James participate in key historical events such as the shootout at OK Corral, the battle at the Alamo, and the invasion of Normandy, to name a few. They also travel two thousand years into the future.

For most of the book, the plot rambles from event to event while the ultimate goal of reaching James’ eternal home takes a “back seat.” The tangents are interesting and details seem well researched, though loosely connected to the overall goal. The debonair Devil has his hand in the mix, and the sexual relationship between Sam and James offers intermissions between the tenser time-traveling activities.

Both Sam and James are well-rounded characters. Their relationship feels genuine, and the dialog flows naturally. Because Sam and James are already spirits, they aren’t in any mortal danger and they experience little fear. Other emotions, like grief and sadness, play a small part until the end when some of the more satisfying and heartfelt aspects of the story take place. This isn’t a deep philosophical read, but if you’re looking for a jaunt through time with two companionable friends, this will do it. Recommended.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

Meet Anita Dawes

Anita Dawes loves all things esoteric, magical and the otherworldly and would prefer to live in a fairy tale. In between these moments, she likes to visit old churches and ancient buildings.

She has written six fiction novels in various genres, Bad Moon, Simple, Secrets, The Scarlet Ribbon; Let it Go and Not My Life. Presently working on a sequel to her popular supernatural romance, The Scarlet Ribbon.

Anita has recently rediscovered her childhood love of poetry and often writes and posts them online. Her poetry collection Shadows was released in September 2020

Once owned by an egocentric black and white cat called Merlin, named after her favourite hero, Anita dislikes computers and prefers to writes longhand, sharing a website with Jaye Marie, who transcribes and edits her work…

A selection of books by Anita Dawes

One of the recent reviews for Shadows

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Short and focused  Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2021

‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.

‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.
Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them.

Read the reviews and buy the books – Amazon UK And:Amazon US follow Anita:Goodreads – Blog: Jaye and Anita’ Blog – Twitter: @jaydawes2

Meet Paulette Mahurin

Paulette Mahurin is an international best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her second novel, His Name Was Ben, originally written as an award winning short story while she was in college and later expanded into a novel, rose to bestseller lists its second week out. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth book, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the bestseller lists for literary fiction and historical fiction on Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Australia. Her fifth book, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird, was released in 2017 to rave reviews. Her sixth book, A Different Kind of Angel, was released in the summer of 2018 also to rave reviews.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Books by Paulette Mahurin

One of the recent reviews for Where Irises Never Grow

Kathryn Gauci 5.0 out of 5 stars Where Irises Never Grow.  Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021

A story that takes us to the darkest places of Nazi-occupied France and the torture chambers of the Hotel Terminus where Klaus Barbie reigns supreme. I felt empathy for the Resistants struggling to walk a fine line between living a normal life and being caught in a web of horror. The story centers on Charlotte and Victor Legrand, and a temperamental young Jewish girl whose actions put their lives at risk. As the story unfolds, their lives are threatened. A harrowing story in places, but one told with empathy. It will grab you until the very last page. Highly recommended.  

Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #WWII #VichyFrance- Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin


This week a novel that lays bare the horrors of war in an occupied country and the strength of a people to resist. Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin

About the book

With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note.

Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting.

Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.

My review for the book 13th March 2021

What begins as a search for a first edition of Aesop’s Fables and the discovery of a scrap of paper with two names, turns into a story that is both haunting and unforgettable.

This novel is one that brings to life a time, still within living memory, that demonstrated how thin the veneer of civilisation really is. All it takes is a cadre of evil men, led by a man without humanity, to perpetrate one of the worst atrocities in modern history.This carefully and well researched story, based on actual reports by survivors and historians of the time, spotlights the best and the worst traits of mankind.

Set in Vichy France where pro-Nazi leaders began to systematically remove their own citizens from the population at the behest of the occupiers, a resistance movement grows as defiant men and women took a stand against the tyranny. Putting their own lives at risk and those of their close family and friends to save those among them who follow a religion that is being demonised. .

The author captures and brings the horrifying events of those few years in the early 1940s into stark reality. Isolated and hunted by packs of men and dogs, Jewish families and captured resistance fighters faced the horror of the basement in a previously luxury hotel at the hands of a monster. Those who did not fall into the hands of the Gestapo lived in fear of being discovered, wondering what the next bang on the door would bring.

The characters are vividly portrayed and the reader becomes engaged and emotionally invested in their plight and fight for survival. The author keeps up the pace of this desperate race against time, and despite the dreadful consequences of a careless whisper or action, there are still moments of humanity and the power of love in sustaining the human spirit.

I give the book five stars unreservedly, but I do understand that it might not be a book that everyone feels they can read. This is about the past, and today enemies have become allies. And even in that time of desperation, there were elements within the occupying army who were sympathetic and compelled to pass along information to the resistance that saved lives. There are few left alive who perpetrated this particular atrocity, but even today there are still millions who live in fear and seek to escape persecution in other parts of the world.

The truth is hard to face, and there are certainly more than a handful of people who voice their disbelief that the holocaust took place. This book based on actual accounts of the time, leaves the reader in no doubt about its truth. And part of that truth is that very few of our own countries can take the moral high ground with regard to religious persecution over the centuries and even today. This book reinforces the need for responsible nations to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves.

At its heart, this novel is also about remembrance, and a tribute to the millions who lost their lives along with the thousands of men and women who saved as many as they could, at the expense of their own survival. They should always be remembered. Recommended.

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

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

Paulette Mahurin is an international best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her second novel, His Name Was Ben, originally written as an award winning short story while she was in college and later expanded into a novel, rose to bestseller lists its second week out. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth book, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the bestseller lists for literary fiction and historical fiction on Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Australia. Her fifth book, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird, was released in 2017 to rave reviews. Her sixth book, A Different Kind of Angel, was released in the summer of 2018 also to rave reviews.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my review of Pauline’s book and will explore this and her other books in more detail.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Dystopian Teri Polen, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


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

The first author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

About the book

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jan 05, 2021 D.L. Finn rated it Five Stars

As much as I loved Dracul’s struggle in the second book “The Son of the Serpent” it was Gadreel’s journey that mesmerized me in this story. A fallen angel, she now wants redemption and sets out to battle the evil threatening to take over the civilization. The relationship between Dracul and Gadreel is almost endearing as they join forces. The story is told from both sides of the battle, and I was always happy to get back to Gadreel and her new friends. Not that I didn’t appreciate the evil point of view, but there was a cruelty that rang true of how people treated each other during the dark ages that were captured very visually. Ms. Quiroz-Vega takes history and weaves biblical stories into it with a fresh take. This was a painful fight between good and evil. “The Rise of Gadreel” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love a well-told tale that will keep you reading late into the night, this is for you. I recommend starting at the beginning, so you understand how the characters developed. I highly recommend this book and series.

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

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

The next author today is Teri Polen with a recent review for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging story!  Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

Subject A36 by Teri Polen is a brilliant take on futuristic experiments that could allure many ambitious scientists who live in their self-created bubble of plucking everything from nature to manipulate it for the mighty and the rich. It is harrowing to imagine that “The Colony” kidnaps children to strip them of their coveted genes to create “perfect humans” for those who could pay the price!

This book engages you from page one and keeps you on the edge of your chair to read – what next? I couldn’t put it down and each time it revealed something new, I muttered wow! Written in a simple but eloquent style, Polen doesn’t waste a word in unnecessary descriptions; she focuses on the story and the outcome of action.
“Harvesting” – a shuddering term in connection with human beings but it lies at the center of this book, which gets darker as it proceeds.

Despite its theme, this book draws its strength from the emotional aspect of the story, which keeps you assured with the conviction that goodness can never be rooted out; there would always be kind people like Brynn, Noah and Paige. Love would remain the ultimate conquering force. It’s the love of Asher and Brynn, the friendship and benevolence of Asher, Noah and his team, the goodness of Garrett Solomon that shines in the abyss of darkness. I detest “The Colony” and there lies the success of Polen in crafting the perfect villains that live in it. I am eagerly looking forward to its sequel.

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

Also by Teri Polen

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Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Follow Teri: Goodreads – website: Teri PolenTwitter: @Tpolen6

The final book today with a recent review is Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin

About the book

With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note.

Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting.

Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lisa alleva 5.0 out of 5 stars Paulette Mahurins Best Work To Date  Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2021

I’ve read a handful of books from Paulette, and have loved every one of them, but with Where Irises Never Grow she’s topped herself. I enjoy taking a journey with writers, and not just within their stories but with them as a writer, from the first book to the last one, each writer gets better in their craft, and Where Irises Never Grow is proof positive of this assumption. If I could give another star to this latest book I would. This isn’t to say the authors previous books were not good, because that would be a falsity, I’m referring to an incredible writers growth into something more. Paulette has a way of weaving tragedy into depths of character development, using history through a modern lens to reflect the tyranny and hope that exists within human hearts. An excellent piece of literature, you need to follow this author.

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

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

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Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And :Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

 

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Releases #Paranormal Marcia Meara #Reviews -#Shortstories Jude Lennon, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases, reviews and offers for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share the latest book from Marcia Meara released on August 29th The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

About the book

The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.

Azrael’s emissary program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills needed to do their jobs.

With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.

Sometimes even angels hate to be right.

Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red-and-white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?

To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!

One of the early reviews for the book

Priscilla Bettis4.0 out of 5 stars A Feel-Good Novella to Wrap Up the Series  Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2020

This is a “heavenly” romance novella that wraps up the Emissary trilogy. The emissary Jake wishes to find true love and thinks he’s found it in the human Juliet.

First of all, the way Azrael pops in and out is often funny, and I chuckled at his effect on Jake. As for Dodger’s love interest, do not count Juliet out. She’s a strong supporting character, and her role in the ending was perfect. I could see Dodger changing and growing over the course of the story which is why, I think, the ending was so satisfactory.

I like the way Meara includes song titles at the beginning of each chapter. The songs relate to what’s happening in the story.

Overall, it’s a sweet, feel-good story.
One person found this helpful

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

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon US And : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

The next author today is Jude Lennon who is also a children’s author whose books are in that cafe and bookstore too. This recent review is for her short story collection for adults. A Slice of Lemon.

About the collection

In this collection of short stories, you’ll meet a range of characters embarking on adventures of self-discovery, healing, resolution, intrigue and mystery. The settings are as diverse as the themes, tempting you into rugged landscapes, ancient castles, beautiful beaches and an icy wilderness. If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, escape and reflect in equal measure, you’ve found it. Over the years, many people have asked when I was going to publish something for adults so the answer is – now! So, if you are about to sit down and enjoy a well-earned gin or other beverage of choice – A Slice of Lennon is the perfect accompaniment.

This collection of short stories was inspired by the writing group I’m part of. We meet every month to share our work and to give and receive feedback. There is always tea and cake consumption and sometimes even the odd glass of wine. We’ve used many things to kickstart our writing including photographs, quotes, poems, album covers and random objects. Many, but not all of the stories in this collection have started life following a writing prompt from this group. Although most of the books I’ve written to date are picture books for children being part of this group has allowed my writing pen to wander into the territory of the grown-up audience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process. Like the writing prompts themselves, this collection is varied in content and theme and I hope I’ve captured a wide range of human emotions.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Gemma O 5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant and Beautiful Collection of Short Stories  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2020

A brilliant and beautiful collection of short stories for adults. Jude Lennon has put together a real treat for those who like a quick pick me up book to read. My favourite was Civilised Outrage as that short story is set in Amsterdam by the Anne Frank museum. Amaterdam is one of my most favourite places I have visited.

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

A selection of Jude’s children’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Other Reviews: Goodreads – Website and shop: Little Lamb Publishing – Facebook: Jude Lennon Author – Twitter: @JudeLennonBooks

The next author with a recent review is Marian Longenecker Beaman for Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

First of all I enjoyed the story because of living in the same neighborhood and relating to places, events and times that the book was written. But most of all, things that I thought only happened in my house and feelings I have carried through my life, I came to realize that not only was some of this a product of the times and the faith but as we grow older and reflect, can all be forgiven. I enjoyed the humor and colorful descriptions that Marian used. Her Aunt Ruth to me was Miss Longenecker all through my elementary school day as both a teacher and a principal. But as an Aunt to Marian she played a very important role in her life and that was a side we didn’t see at school although she was the most friendly and smiling principal I ever knew. Loved the book. Will reread this many times as it has certainly taught me to face forgiveness

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

Marian Longenecker Beaman, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

The final review today is for Paulette Mahurin for her World War II novel, The Old Gilt Clock

About the book

During one of the darkest times in human history when millions of innocent Jews and others deemed “undesirables” were being sent to concentration camps to be brutality worked to death or slaughtered, a group of Dutch resistance workers rose up against the atrocities. Their resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands created a vast counterintelligence, domestic sabotage, and communications network to help hide Jewish people from German authorities. The Old Gilt Clock is the story of how one Dutch resistance member, Willem Arondéus, risked his life to defy the Nazis’ plans to identify and deport hundreds of thousands of Dutch Jews. Arondéus’ courage is largely forgotten by history, but not by the Jewish and Dutch people. Written by the award-winning international Amazon bestselling author of The Seven Year Dress, comes a story of Arondéus’ courageous struggle to stand up to the unimaginable evil designs of Hitler. Inclusive is Arondéus’ battle to come out to his homophobic father, who hated his son’s homosexuality. It is also a story about friendships formed in the Dutch resistance movement, their joys and sorrows, their wins and losses, their loves and betrayals, and ultimately their resilience to oppose tyranny and oppression when millions stood silent condoning heinous behavior. Thousands are alive today because of these brave, compassionate men and women.

One of the recent reviews for The Old Gild Clock

Kayla Krantz5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful  Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020

Willem Arondeus is a gentle soul. An artist with homosexual tendencies. When Hitler and his Nazi’s descend over Willem’s country, he’s placed into the same category as the Jews. Willem has a choice to make—rise up against the prejudice or let it destroy everything dear to him.

Willem was a very fascinating character. Built up with a sense of his normality that made him easy to relate to. The fact that he was an unusual hero also made the story interesting because it added to that sense of helplessness that people like him must’ve felt when the Nazis came to power.

To me, it was an interesting foil to the political influences that are rising in today’s society in America. A lot of people feel helpless to change the terrible things around them, but this story is good testament to exactly what one person can do when they set their mind to something. Invoking change isn’t just about what one person can do for society. It also takes into account what they can encourage others to do as well.

This is a solid story with good historical impact. Stories like this show that even the impossible isn’t truly impossible when someone puts their mind to achieving something they believe in. Above all, good will always triumph over evil.

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

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

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Paulette Mahurin, buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPress –  Twitter: @MahurinPaulette

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Memoir Joy Lennick, #WWII Paulette Mahurin, #Mystery J.A. Newman


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 Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and the most recent. Supposedly ‘Retired,’ I now live in Spain with my husband and have three great sons.

Books by Joy Lennick

A recent review for “My Gentle War”

Jan 05, 2020 Roberta Cheadle rated it Five Stars

My Gentle War is a delightful memoir about the life on a little girl, aged seven years old when war was declared in 1939, and her family as they navigated the changing landscape of everyday life in war time Britain. Joyce’s family lived a middle class life in Dagenham, London when the war started and her father and his brother, Bernard, signed up with the Royal Air Force to go and fight. Joyce’s parents decide that it will be safer for her mother, two younger brothers and herself to go and live with her family in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. The book describes in great detail the difference between her father’s beautifully cultivated garden filled with gorgeous flowers in Dagenham and the wild and lonely beauty of life in the Welsh mountains. Her father’s sadness at having to ruin his garden by building a bomb shelter in the middle of it is the first insight the reader has of the changes that are going to come.

The second insight comes when the author describes the chaos of Paddington Station when her father leaves to go and fight in France and the rest of the family depart for Wales. It is not that easy for an evacuee to fit into life in a rural village, but Joyce and her brothers are young enough to do so without to many problems and, other than one incident when Joyce has a broken glass bottle thrown at her, they all settle into their new life and school. The hard life in Wales is detailed through the memories of the little girl who sees the poverty and learns about the hardship inflicted by the depression prior to the war, on this mining town. The risks of mining are also described through the chronic lung disease suffered by her uncle and the death of a young cousin in the coal mine. The joys of life for children are also expressed with the town arranging concerts staring the children, a picnic and other forms of entertainment. During the early part of the, the bombs do not reach Wales and the food shortages have not as yet bitten.

Throughout the war, Joyce’s family go between places of refuge, initially Wales, and their London home which they return to when her father is home on leave and intermittently while her mother is doing war work in London.

For the last part of the war, Joyce and her brothers become real evacuees are are sent to live with strangers away from London and the buzz bombs. This particular part of this memoir made me realise how fortunate my own mother was during her days growing up in the war. Her family never had to leave their home town of Bungay and were able to stay on their farm throughout the war.

I really enjoyed this memoir which reads like a conversation and tells of life for Joyce and her mother and siblings in Britain and also tells of some of her father’s experiences of the war in France, including the lead up to the evacuation of Dunkirk, through extracts of his diary and letters home. For people who are interested in World War II and particularly every day life for people during this terrible time, this is a wonderful and eye opening book.

Joy Lennick, Buy : Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Joy : Goodreads – Blog: Joy Lennick at WordPressTwitter: @LennickJoy

Meet Paulette Mahurin

Paulette Mahurin is an international best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her second novel, His Name Was Ben, originally written as an award winning short story while she was in college and later expanded into a novel, rose to bestseller lists its second week out. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth book, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the bestseller lists for literary fiction and historical fiction on Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Australia. Her fifth book, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird, was released in 2017 to rave reviews. Her sixth book, A Different Kind of Angel, was released in the summer of 2018 also to rave reviews.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

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One of the recent reviews for The Old Gilt Clock

Barely Audible 5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating historical figure  Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2020

Willem Arondeus was a fascinating historical figure, and one that you don’t hear of very often. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that the Dutch are left out of a lot of WWII stories in general, or maybe something more insidious like the fact that even eighty years later people still seem to have a problem with that fact that he was gay, but his is an important story all the same. Willem Arondeus was a man who took the pain of his life, someone who was persecuted for his sexuality, and used it to do whatever he could to stop the nazis from identifying Dutch Jews. He was someone extraordinary would did not have that goal in mind. He was just someone who wanted to do what was right. It’s stories like his that make me wonder what people like him would have been like if they’d been given a chance to live somewhere that he didn’t need to risk his life and be hated for who he was. To paraphrase, “Pity not the land that has no hero, pity the land that has need of a hero.”

Paulette Mahurin, buyAmazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPress –  Twitter: @MahurinPaulette

Meet J.A. Newman

J.A. Newman was born in Kent. As a young child she relied heavily on her imagination to amuse herself. At primary school she was repeatedly told off for daydreaming and at senior school she filled her rough note books with comic strip stories. On leaving school she enjoyed a career in hairdressing and owned her own business whilst living in Hertfordshire. In 2008 she retired to Cornwall with her husband where she found inspiration for much of her writing.

J.A.Newman has kept a diary for most of her life, the inspiration for her memoir titled ‘No One Comes Close’. This is an emotional roller-coaster set in 1966 and 1987, published in 2017.

Her second publication, published in 2018, ‘Where There’s a Will’, is a lighthearted tale of rags to riches.

And last but by no means least ,’Bay of Secrets’ is a haunting novel of intrigue, love and loss set in her favourite part of Cornwall.

She is currently researching for a historical novel set in the English Civil War.

Books by J.A. Newman

One of the reviews for Bay of Secrets

Dr. R. J. Westwell 4.0 out of 5 stars review of ‘Bay of Secrets’ by J.A. Newman  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2020

This charming novel is a must for someone who wants to revel in the warmth of close family ties in Cornwall. The mystery of the death of Jayne’s father hovers over the family’s personal involvement with ‘Seawinds’, a property in Cornwall that is in an idyllic position overlooking the sea. As the plot progresses readers are bathed in the beauty of the surroundings as they follow the lives and loves of the family that is inextricably involved. Credible Cornish characters come into play as readers become absorbed in the story.

The mystery is finally resolved and we are given an understanding that time is no barrier where the love for the family and Cornwall are concerned.

J.A. Newman, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Blog: Julie Ann Newman WordPressTwitter: @julie3wwn

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting more of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and discovering their books. Thanks Sally.