Category Archives: Book Reviews

Smorgasbord Bookshelf – New Book on the Shelves – #Cancer – The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

Sally at the Smorgasbord Magazine invited me over to share my latest book, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival with her readers. I’m honored by her generous offer. Please head over to visit her and browse around the entertaining features on her blog.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is my pleasure to share the news of the latest release by Miriam Hurdle… a memoir The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival. On preorder for August 26th.

About the book

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

Head over to preorder the book for August…

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#bookreview: Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

I’m so thrilled that Liz Gauffreau, the poet, features me on her blog today. She did a fabulous and insightful review of my poetry collection, Songs of Heartstrings. She highlighted two of my poems and read one. Please head over to enjoy. While you’re there, check out her publications.

Elizabeth Gauffreau

Click on book cover to purchase from Amazon.

My Review

Reading Miriam Hurdle’s poetry collection, Songs ofHeartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude, I was immediately struck by the poems’ depth and breadth of reflection. The maturity of these contemplative poems brought to mind educational reformer John Dewey’s definition of reflective thinking as a meaning-making process by which individuals learn and society advances. This meaning-making process is very much in evidence throughout the collection–as is Hurdle’s strong religious faith.

The collection is organized into thematic sections, like suites of music. Taken together, they form the rich symphony of a life well-lived, including the inevitable discordant notes.

Hurdle employs of a range of forms in the collection, including free verse of varying lengths, acrostic, and prose poem, thereby demonstrating her sensitivity to the relationship between form and content. She chooses the form of poetic expression that will best communicate to readers…

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Smorgasbord Bookshelf 2022- Share an Extract from your latest book – #Children’s – Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam Hurdle

I’m excited to be at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Magazine. She features me today and shares an extract of Tina Lost in a Crowd with an insightful review from Marsha Ingrao. Please hop over to visit her blog. She invites authors to share an extract of a poem from your book.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In this series you are invited to share an extract of 500 words from your most recent book published within the last 12 months. Details at the end of the post.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase your latest book and sell some more copies.
  2. Gain more reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of your other books that are available.

Today an extract from a children’s book by Miriam Hurdle – Tina Lost in a Crowd. A book that I can highly recommend.

About the book

Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000…

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BOOK REVIEWS: #MYSTERY – JACQUIE BIGGAR, #YA – YVETTE CALLEIRO, #CHILDREN – D.L. FINN

I’ve read many interesting books last month and this month and am happy to share the reviews with you.

Virtually Gone: A Julie Crenshaw Murder/Mystery by Jacquie Biggar

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Virtually Gone by Jacquie Biggar is Book 6 of the High-Tech Crime Solvers, but this book reads well as a stand-alone book. Julie Crenshaw is a Vancouver Island Broadcasting System reporter assigned to investigate a series of sexual assault cases. The last victim, Emily, is raped and killed. Detective Matthew Roy is at the crime scene when Julie wants to interview him. He only agrees to do so because Julie is his partner’s girlfriend. The rise of crime in recent years frustrates him. These cases particularly upset him because his half-sister was raped and murdered ten years ago. It’s his determination to get this predator.

The plot develops tightly and moves along at a steady pace. Some evidence, such as Emily being pregnant, takes the investigation all over the place. Other evidence makes Matt think the current rapist on the loose is the same one who killed his half-sister. He gets a sketch of a suspect’s profile through high-tech phenotyping using DNA. He uses other high-tech that lead the chase closer to catching the killer. But it’s like a cat-and-mouse game and the suspect is outsmarting them for ten years.

I’ve read Jacquie’s romance books. It’s a delight to discover her talent in thrillers. In this book, she presents a seamless explanation of the high-tech using DNA to do profiling that tracks down the suspect. She also describes the investigation protocol well throughout the story. I enjoy murder mysteries and this book kept me hooked from the beginning. I read the book in one sitting and finished it in half a day.

Amazon Purchase Link

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HYPE by Yvette M. Calleiro

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I love the cover of HYPE. Cecilia (Cici) in the story is the girl wearing the cheering leading uniform. Gaby is the girl in gothic style. The face with duct tape crossing the mouth describes the horror and the girls’ fear of speaking out. The story is told in the first person POV. I find it intimate to listen to Cici telling her story.

Yvette Calleiro creates this story with the seamless blend of her experiences as a high school cheerleader, later a high school teacher, and the observation of the TRUST counseling at the school. Cici has everything a teenage girl hopes for, a loving mother, a comfortable home, co-caption of the cheering leading team, and a sincere relationship with Ryne who won the title of Prom King. Whereas Gaby is a self-absorbed and gothic-looking girl every student tries to avoid. Cici’s world turns upside down when her mom remarried John, bringing Gaby to be her stepsister. Cici is happy for her mom to marry a loving guy but dreads having Gaby in the same house. The unthinkable happens after John and Gaby moved in. John rapes her and threatens the safety of her mom. Cici then finds out Gaby is John’s stepdaughter who suffers from the same fate. The girls have become friends and talk at school. They are afraid that they must allow John to abuse them for one more year before they leave the house for college.

The story is well constructed. Young adults can identify many high school activities and social life in the first half of the book. The second half of the book powerfully describes the predator who appears to be a wolf in the sheepskin who preys on the teenage girls. He looks smart, friendly, and successful. He is skillful to threaten these young girls to keep their mouths shut while continually abusing them for a lengthy period. I’m glad to learn that some high schools have TRUST counselors who establish a trust relationship with the students to help them during crises. I was glad that it came to a clever ending. Highly recommended.

Amazon Purchase Link

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Dolphin’s Cave by D.L. Finn

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This delightful fantasy book is one of my favorite books by D.L. Finn. The story is set in Maui, Hawaii. Coral is a fifteen-year-old girl whose parents disappeared in a plane crash going from Oahu to Maui in Hawaii. She has lived with her Aunt Ruby for eight years. She has a recurring dream about riding a dolphin going into the depth of the ocean. The dream is always the same, but short at leading her to the crash site to find out about her parents. She wants her aunt to take her on a vacation in Maui to solve this mystery.

Coral’s dream comes true when Aunt Ruby plans a work-related trip to Maui. Mr. and Mrs. Penny and their children Ben and Beth are going on the same trip. The first half of the story has a slow build-up with many fun activities such as sunbathing on the beach, watching the sunset, shopping, eating, and sightseeing. They remind me of my frequent visit to Maui.

The vacation turns into an adventure when a strange woman seems to spy on them and take photos of them. A strange man follows them, then pretends to fall in love with Aunt Ruby. A strange thing happens when Ruby is almost hit by a car when she crosses the road. Eventually, Ruby is in a car accident with a broken foot and sprained shoulder and ends up in a hospital.

Coral knows her aunt wants her to have fun. So, she, Ben, and Beth go swimming while Ruby is in the hospital. It is during this swimming that she meets the dolphin and the turtles that appear in her dream. The dolphin takes her to a golden city with the water people, where she discovers her hidden heritage. She also finds out about the spies trying to murder her aunt to control her. This fantasy story has a satisfying magical conclusion. I recommend this book to older children and young teenagers.

Amazon Purchase Link

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Blog Tour – Chocolate Fudge saves the Sugar Dog by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

My friends, I’m very excited to host the Chocolate Fudge saves the Sugar Dog Book Tour for Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Please join me to welcome them and let them share this wonderful news with you!

Hi Robbie and Michael, please tell us about your latest book.

Thank you, Miriam, and friends.

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Imagine, living in a world…

… made of a giant gobstopper.

A world…

… where you can eat everything.

The trees, the houses, the flowers, and even the beehives.

The river is condensed milk, and the pond is cream soda.

Welcome to Chocolate Land!

Meet Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet…

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Sir Chocolate is round and fat,

He wears a waistcoat and brown top hat.

Lady Sweet wears a stripy skirt and top,

She looks just like a lollipop.

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From Book 1: Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries Story and Cookbook

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet run a shop where they sell their delicious homemade chocolates and soda pop. When they are not busy developing yummy chocolate recipes, they go about Chocolate land putting wrong things right.

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet have a son, Chocolate Fudge, the star of Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog.

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Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet,

Have a son, Chocolate Fudge,

A mild-mannered and kindly lad,

He’d never bear a grudge.

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From Book 8: Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog

Blurb:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s son, Chocolate Fudge, sees one of Lord Humbug’s dogs struggling to stay afloat in the hot chocolate pond.

Can Chocolate Fudge save the sugar dog from drowning?

Includes lovely new recipes.

That’s wonderful information, Robbie and Michael.

My Review

I’ve read many Sir Chocolate books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog is another darling addition to the series. The story is told as limericks. Limericks are cute and fun to read. The characters and the scenes are Robbie’s fondant art. I must say that I’m very fond of this fondant art because each character has a unique personality. They’re expressive and lovable.

In this story, Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet have a son, Chocolate Fudge. He has a smile for everyone. The teachers love to have him in their classes. Fudge enjoys taking his dog to walk around the chocolate ponds every day.

One day, when Lord Humbug is out walking, his three dogs jump into the pond to chase the ducks. They scared the ducks, and the ducks flap their wings to escape. Two of the dogs are strong and good swimmers. The third little dog seems in trouble and on the verge of sinking. Chocolate Fudge must decide what to do to save the little dog.

There are delicious recipes throughout the book. This is a delightful book for children. They love to read the limericks and do the cooking with the adults.

Purchase Links

Paperback: https://tslbooks.uk/product/chocolate-fudge-saves-the-sugar-dog/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Fudge-Saves-Sugar-Dog/dp/1914245547

Ebook: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/michael-cheadle-and-robbie-cheadle/chocolate-fudge-saves-the-sugar-dog/ebook/product-j7k4e6.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Author Roberta/Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with ten children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes two monthly posts for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms and Treasuring Poetry and one monthly post, under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle, called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Follow Robbie Cheadle at:

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

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