Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Release #Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to the wonderful Sally Cronin for featuring This Is Lockdown (the latest review from James Cudney,) amongst so many wonderful authors, new reviews for C.S. Boyack, Don Massenzio plus a new release also from Stevie Turner!!

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Release #Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Flash Fiction Challenge : Snacks #flash #fiction #snacks #humour

The challenge this week from Charli Mills is to write about a snack. This piece of flash fiction is based on a true story. I made an apple pie… and this is more, or less what happened…

A Culinary Faux Pas

Vanessa cut the homemade apple pie into dainty, perfect slices.

Rich smiled as he popped one in his mouth. “Did you make the pastry yourself?”

“Yes.”

“It’s crumbly. And different. A magic ingredient?”

“Cinnamon and lemon rind.”

“Oh, from unwaxed lemons?”

Vanessa swallowed. “I, Oh dear!”

Rich picked up the melted candle on the table. “So, we’re eating cordon bleu Apple Pie Snacks flavoured with cinnamon and hot wax?”

“It seems so… Aren’t they delicious! ”

© M J Mallon

Oops, a bit of a culinary faux pas…

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Book Review: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales by Jack Eason

Book Review

A very long time ago, there once was a land called Goblindom hidden behind a magic barrier to protect its inhabitants from mankind. Man’s ancestors the humins lived there quietly alongside wyverns, griffins, trolls, witches and wizards as well as woods, mountain and plains goblins, ravens, eagles and many more creatures.
This anthology is a collection of thirty tales, which I have translated from goblin into English thanks to Globular Van der Graff, a friendly southern woods goblin who told them to me not long ago. They are not my tales, they are his, hence the title – Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults”.
For a long time, like most human children I disbelieved the stories read to me by my parents of goblins, witches and wizards, wyverns and griffins, believing them to be nothing more than tales designed to entertain, until that first fateful early morning visit several months ago, when Glob physically sought me out and deliberately entered my life.
I hope and pray that like me, you will all open your hearts and minds to the fact that goblins, especially of the noble and friendly southern woods kind, do still actually exist today. Through necessity for their own protection they have to hide from the modern world you and I live in. If you are fortunate as I undoubtedly am, some may even be living in an oak wood near you.
Lastly, may I just say on behalf of Glob whose anthology this is, not forgetting for one moment his good friend Bejuss, and his goblin brothers, Make, Mous, Neo, Byz, and myself, how much we thank you for taking the time to read this, the first ever written record of the once magical land of Goblindom

My review:

I really enjoyed Goblin Tales so much. This collection of wonderful short stories from Glob, whose anthology it is, gives you such a warm, cosy feeling. It’s very cheery, and diverse (from amusing stories to battle scenes.) So, there’s something for everyone. You’ll enjoy discovering more about Bejuss, the one eyed lisping raven with the twisted beak (who I loved,) Make, Mous, Neo, and simple-minded Byz.

Whilst reading there were many occasions when I laughed out loud, or smiled. I highly recommend Goblin Tales. The characters are all very carefully crafted and engaging, both the humins and the goblins as well as the raven, witches, and gremlins.

The dialogue is done so well. The author crafts the characters to speak in such a way that it makes them come alive.

Here’s a short example from Bejuss the raven: “Raark – it’th got ter be tall enuff fer me ter make a netht in itth highetht brancheth Glob,” Bejuss squawked loudly, completely forgetting for a moment just how close he was to his friend’s ear, almost deafening him in the process.

And the character names are fantastic –

Globular Van der Graff – Glob

Makepeace Terranova – Make

Byzantine Du Lac – Byz

Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous)

Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo)

My recommendation: 5 stars. Highly recommended. Not to be missed!

Find out more here. In Jack Eason’s words, this work of his is one of his favourites: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/one-of-my-favourite-short-stories-2/

Author Bio:

Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

Authors links:

Blog: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Akhen1Khan2

Rating:

Have you read Goblin Tales, or any of Jack Eason’s other books?

Here are a couple of reviews I’ve written for his novellas:

The Magisters: https://mjmallon.com/2020/01/09/book-review-the-magisters-by-jack-eason-bookreview/

Autumn 1066: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 195 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Lisa Thompson, from last month’s challenge, has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

Image credit: Unsplash, and the photographer is Wolfgang Hasselmann

The tea gossips begin. A line black marks my whereabouts

Acrostic poem- Toadstool

This is me, a maligned fruiting fungal fellow.

Ordinary? No siree! Not me, I’m no grotty grass.

A red cap and scales crown my slim white ring of partial veil.

Dying, for attention, I stand tall, and pretty proud.

Savage me worst, fairy ring, honey fungi, fungus root and stink horns.

Toad plus stool I’m named; ugliest frog-like creature plus tiniest stool.

On point am I. Fiddle. It ain’t fair. I’m not a warty broad, squat common fellow.

Or an inedible, poisonous, rickety bar stool chair.

Love and admire me spores, forget them mushy mushroom bores!

© M J Mallon

Well, that was a fun one! Lol Hope you enjoyed the giggle. xxx

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Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Live Author Talk

Those bloody motorbikes can’t they stop! 1 A.M. no chance I’ll get any sleep. Tomorrow’s the live show. Never done this before. What will it be like? I’ll soon know. Introverted writers, tonight at 9 p.m. I’ll talk live. Bound to be a problem with the connection. We’ll get there… I did it! I listen, damn, I can’t see my weird mannerisms, but I can hear them. Perhaps I should have had some water instead of that glass of wine, stupid faux pas, one or two!


On Saturday evening I participated in my first Facebook live interview with horror and fantasy indie author A. F. Stewart’s Between The Pages Book Chat. I’m sharing it here so that others can see that even if you are daunted, (terrified) by the idea of speaking live, you can still give it a go. Looking back at the recording there are things I wish I’d said and some I wish I hadn’t said, or repeated as much! It’s funny how we waffle… or I do anyway. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn and improve. It’s not perfect but the main thing is I tried. I’m giving myself brownie points for that!

And wondering if I seriously need a haircut! Looking like a lock down woman…

I’ve also been participating in Carrot Ranch Community 5 at the Mic, which is a grand opportunity to share your writing to an audience, in a safe space. You can start by being an audience and then move on to reading your work.

More about that here:

At the Carrot Ranch blog you can also listen to Ellen Best, Anne Goodwin, Paula Moyer, and Bill Engleson: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/06/saddle-up-saloon-one-shy-of-a-six-pac-at-the-mic/

So, how you feel about participating in live recordings. Have you tried? Does it make you want to hide?

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Horror Anthology: Spellbound – Want to be Spellbound? #horror #anthology

I’ve been creating some graphics for the release of Spellbound.

A horror anthology with 27 stories from 16 authors (The Box Under The Bed Book 4) compiled by USA Today Bestselling author Dan Alatorre, and edited by Roberta Eaton Cheadle and Donna Davis Walker, (author name M D Walker.)

I’m a contributing author with my tale The Twisted Sisters.

The first three graphics in the slideshow below I’ve made via Canva…

And these are from Robbie:

Do you dare read Spellbound?

Let me tempt you. It is already receiving 5 star reviews… Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-horror-anthology-stories-authors-ebook/dp/B08DM83XKR/

and here is the Amazon UK link:

Do you dare….

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Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

Thank you to Chantelle for including me in her guest posts about Dreaming of Another World. Hop over to her blog via the link below to read my post and to read the previous guest posts too #corona #virus #covid19 #dreams #fears #lockdown #isolation #indie #authors

Source: Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

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Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Charli Mills encourages writers to participate as readers or audience in 5 at the Mic, (video recordings of live readings of our creative writings.) I’m there, (with my humorous tale – the bubble monster,) along with Bill Engleson, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin and Ellen Best all sharing our writing gems by reading aloud!

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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Book Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney (Perceptions of Glass #1) #Book #Review #Mystery #Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series, so this is my review for #1 Watching Glass Shatter.

My review:

I loved this. Fantastic family drama, strong female characters, so moving it made me cry! Enjoyed the characterisation of all the five brothers. All so different and engaging. Great characters, and dialogue. Interesting look at how shocking secrets exist in families and how circumstances can alter how we deal with them when they are revealed. The story line elaborates on many important concerns within the family dynamic: vulnerabilities, mistakes made and forgiven, pressure to succeed, the far reaching consequences of drug dependency, ‘coming out,’ accepting a love one’s different lifestyle choices and learning to forgive a husband’s decision, whilst coping with the most terrible heartbreak to remain strong. The beginning and end are powerful. My recommendation 5 stars read this! 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series. I’m currently reading Hiding Cracked Glass and so looking forward to being part of the tour which begins on 5th October.

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

  1. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
  2. Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
  3. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
  4. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
  5. Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
  6. Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

As a blog tour host for the second in the series I also received a copy of Watching Glass Shatter. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Have you read James Cudney’ books? Do comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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MarySmith’sPlace – Cancer Diary #01

I’m so sad to read Mary’s latest blog. She has been diagnosed with lung cancer. This blog is the start of her cancer diary. She is sharing her experiences through her blog and others in a similar position might wish to connect with her: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/marysmithsplace-cancer-diary-01/

Please support and send her your love by leaving a comment on her blog. Annoyingly FB has marked her blog posts as unable to share via the usual share buttons. This is happening to my lovely writing friends in the community for no apparent reason. It is particularly unfair at a time when Mary needs our support the most.


She is a fascinating lady and a wonderful member of our writing community who I have met in person at many of the London based blogging bashes.

If you don’t know Mary Smith, this is the link to her about page: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/about/

And her latest afghanistan adventures blog post: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/marysmithsplace-travels-with-a-sheep-afghanistanadventures-51/

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