Sally Cronin – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Sally Cronin is a long overdue guest on the Reading Recommendations Revisited portion of this blog. Since she first appeared here, in Mar. 2015, Sally has been a tireless promoter of me, my writing, and this blog and the other authors I promote. She has hosted me twice on her blog (April 2015 and Nov. 2015) and is a constant reblogger of many of my own posts, from this blog and my others. As well, I’ve noted that Sally has become friends with many of the authors I count as friends and she’s very generous in promoting many, many authors through her own blogs. Sally was back on RR in Dec. 2015 to update us on a new collection of short stories. Even though I’ve known Sally for less than a year, she’s proven herself to be one of my most valuable connections online through her constant support, promotion of, and interest in, all the authors, artists, musicians who are creating today. And Sally also continues to write and publish her own books, both fiction and non-fiction. So here’s Sally now, promotion tables turned, to tell you more about herself!

Sally Cronin’s complete list of books and information on her writing
My Book and Reviews

RRR: Since your first promotion on RR, what have you been doing?
SC: It has been an interesting few months since Tales of the Garden came out at the end of 2015. The book had started life as a series of short stories on my blog and then when I realised readers were enjoying the fairy tales, I decided to release it in eBook and in print. I really appreciated the whole process; it was a great way to get feedback on each story enabling me to tweak them before publishing. It also gave me instant gratification each week rather than waiting months for a book to come out.

I enjoyed it so much I am doing it again with my series What’s in a Name which takes each letter in the alphabet and alternate weeks I write a story about a female character and then a male character with a name beginning with that letter. What’s in a Name – Short Stories.

Again it has proved very valuable and I am a few stories away from the first of two anthologies. The other benefit of writing the collection is that I will have 52 characters already partly established for other stories or novels.

I have spent the last two years building up my blog and social media networks. My intention was not to add thousands of followers but to build a community of like-minded people which include writers, artists, musicians and bloggers. I have met some fascinating and talented people from around the world. This platform offers me the opportunity to promote the work of others to a substantial audience and I will continue to develop this in the coming year.

I have some new book and blog promotions for 2016 and this includes New Book Fanfare for Children’s books, New Book in Series, Free or Discounted Books and the Five Star Treatment for books that receive great reviews. The new Sunday interview post is Open House and here are the links for them: Sunday Open House and Free Promotion Opportunities

RRR: What else have you been doing, outside of the writing?
SC: We have our house here in Madrid on the market and we have decided to become a little more creative to combat the slow Spanish market. Apart from price incentives we have persuaded the two agents we have here to adopt a different approach to their traditional methods. This involves arranging to Open Houses in the spring, something they do not tend to do here. At least we will feel that we are being proactive rather than sitting waiting for the phone to ring.

It actually takes up quite a bit of time keeping the house and gardens ready for viewing all the time as well as working on writing projects. It is bitter sweet as I shall miss our friends here in Spain, the sunshine and the view. However, we would also like to be nearer to both our families in the UK and Ireland.

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RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?
SC: I find it really satisfying being in a position to help other writers promote their work on Smorgasbord. Over the last year it has become evident that those guests who are interactive after the post get the most attention. They answer all the comments, share the post across their own network, send the post link to their email contact list and pop in to the post for several days to ensure that they continue to be part of the process.

What some people do not realise is that if someone reads the post and likes or shares it they may be discouraged from commenting if they see that other feedback has not been responded to in some way.

It is a guest’s showcase and it is important to make the most of the networking opportunity in every way possible. People do buy people first and are more inclined to buy books from those who add a personal touch.

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year.
SC: In the past year I have read a number of Indie books including the three by Judith Barrow. Set in the Second World War and moving forward into the 50s and 60s the series tells the stories of families living in a mill town. The characters came to life and the story flowed beautifully from book to book. Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows. Available from Amazon

I also read Jo Robinson‘s Echoes Of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight which is a compelling story of a woman trapped in a destructive relationship. I have had some experience of being married to a narcissist many years ago and it is great that the condition is now being explored in more depth in both non-fiction and fiction books. Available from Amazon

For Haiku lovers there is PhoKu by Annette Rochelle Aben. This book is a combination of wonderful photographic images and wonderful words. Annette is also a hugely supportive blogger and great indie supporter. Available from Amazon

And if I can add a fourth?

I am also working my way through all of Bernard Cornwell’s novels, alternating between Sharpe and The Last Kingdom series. Brilliant author of fabulous novels; I am pretty sure I must have been a Viking in a past life!

Thank you again so much Susan. I really appreciate the support.

Thank you, Sally!

Stevie Turner

stevie_turner_1431505535_26Author’s full name

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Donor – Women’s Fiction focusing on sibling rivalry

Quick description: When you know you have met the love of your life, the last thing you expect is for your sister to lure him away. Clare Ronson is faced with this scenario when her sister Isabel marries singer and guitarist Ross Tyler. To compound Clare’s jealousy and bitterness, Ross hits the big time and becomes a wealthy tax exile, relocating to France with his family. Clare cannot bring herself to speak to Isabel or Ross for the next 30 years. However, when tragedy occurs in 2002 causing Ross to arrive back in England at Clare’s doorstep, Clare must try to put the past behind her for her sister’s sake.

The Donor JPG

Brief biography:
I am a British writer, living in the East of England with my husband of 35 years. We have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. I like to write (and read) Women’s Fiction focusing on family relationships, although I have also written 2 suspense thrillers and other humorous books as well. I have won a New Apple Book Award for my suspense novel A House Without Windows, and my women’s fiction book, The Daughter-in-law Syndrome, has come in at number 49 on’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2015.

Links to buy Stevie’s book:
Amazon Worldwide

Stevie’s promo links:
WordPress blog

What are you working on now?
A collection of short stories.

Stevie’s reading recommendation:
I always enjoy reading Mark Edwards’ psychological thrillers.

Maria Savva Recommends Maria Haskins


Odin’s Eye
by Maria Haskins

Genre: Science Fiction/Literary Fiction

Imaginative, skillfully crafted short stories that will transport you through time to different worlds.

12027794_10153291811246464_9212678525409805684_nWhy I recommend this book: The stories are so well written. I’d recommend it even if you don’t usually read science fiction. It’s not a genre I would normally go out of my way to seek out, but I really enjoyed this book. These twelve stories will make you think about what could happen if science became so advanced that we were able to travel easily through time and space. The stories show a deep understanding of the human condition.


Links for people to buy the book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

MariaGuest reviewer’s latest title or project: My new collection of short stories, Lost and Found, is almost ready for publication. I am having the cover designed by Aeternum Designs because I was so impressed by their design for A Time to Tell and also Book 4 in the Mind’s Eye Series, Tales From The Cacao Tree, available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Maria Savva has been previously promoted on Reading Recommendations.

Glen R. Stansfield

Me Bahrain PortraitHSGlen R. Stansfield

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Fishing for Stones – Crime/Action

Quick description: Steve and Andy are the best of friends. Steve’s loyalty to Andy means he will do anything to help him, even if it means breaking the law.

When Andy’s wife leaves him she leaves a mountain of debt. Andy is about to lose the house and is to be made bankrupt. Steve decides he must do whatever it takes to help him.

He learns of a diamond deal that’s about to take place in the highlands of Scotland, and hastily concocts an audacious plan to steal them.


Brief biography:
Glen R. Stansfield is a qualified aircraft engineer, a profession he has pursued for over forty years. A lifelong interest in crime, in particular forensic psychology, led him to write his debut novel, Fishing for Stones. When not writing, he can usually be found on two wheels, often using his motorcycle to raise money for charity. His work has taken him to Bahrain, where he lives with his wife, Jess.

Links to buy Glen’s book: Paperback and Kindle
Amazon UK Paperback and Kindle
My online store

Glen’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
My second novel, Harry, is set in Kuwait and London. A plague of brutal beatings of the homeless has hit the Tower Hamlets district of London. One attack soon turns into a murder inquiry. Before long, other bodies begin to appear in the borough, but this time it isn’t the homeless who are suffering. Someone is killing the criminals. A serial killer is on the loose. This book is firmly in the Crime Genre.

Glen’s reading recommendation:
I particularly like Lin Anderson, a Glasgow-based author who created the series about forensic scientist
Rhona MacLeod.

M T McGuire – an update on a new novel

M T McGuire was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in July 2014. She’s back now to update us on a new release!


Escape From B-Movie Hell – First contact in films was never like this!

If you asked Andi Turbot whether she had anything in common with Flash Gordon she’d say no, emphatically. Saving the world is for dynamic, go-ahead, leaders of men and while it would be nice to see a woman getting involved for a change, she believes she could be the least well-equipped being in her galaxy for the job.

Then her best friend, Eric, reveals that he is an extraterrestrial. He’s not just any ET either. He’s Gamalian: seven-foot, lobster-shaped and covered in Marmite-scented goo. Just when Andi’s getting used to that he tells her about the Apocalypse and really ruins her day.

The human race will perish unless Eric’s Gamalian superiors step in. Abducted and trapped on an alien ship, Andi must convince the Gamalians her world is worth saving. Or escape from their clutches and save it herself.

The book is available on all major retail outlets you can find them from my website.

Katrina Mountfort

new photoKatrina Mountfort

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Forbidden Alliance is YA speculative fiction. It’s the second book in the Blueprint Trilogy, and since your readers may not have heard of the trilogy, I’ll introduce the first novel, Future Perfect.

Quick description: The Blueprint Trilogy tells of a dystopian future in which UK citizens live comfortable lives in Citidomes where looks are everything, the standard of beauty is tall, thin and androgynous, but personal relationships are forbidden. When a young man and woman become attracted to each other and question their society, they discover a new life outside the Citidomes but struggle to escape their past.

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Brief biography:
Katrina dreamed of being a novelist from childhood but didn’t start writing until she was forty, when the death of a close friend made her realise that she couldn’t put off her dreams forever. Katrina lives in Saffron Walden, England, where she works from home as a freelance medical writer. She spends her free time walking her two black Labradors, listening to music and travelling as often as possible.

Links to buy Katrina’s book:
Barnes & Noble
The paperback is also available directly from the publisher, Elsewhen Press.

Katrina’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
I’ve always been fascinated by the importance of nurture versus nature and am currently working on the story of a native American girl with miracle healing powers, raised by strangers who knew nothing of her abilities.

Katrina’s reading recommendation:
The best book I’ve read this year is House of York by Terry Tyler, a contemporary family drama with parallels to events in the era of the Wars of the Roses. I’ve read several of this author’s other novels and would recommend them all.

Sally Cronin – an update on a new collection of short stories

Welcome back, Sally Cronin! Sally was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2015, and has featured me and my books numerous times on her own blog. As well, Sally has been a great support of this blog in reblogging many of the other authors’ promotions. Thank you, Sally!

Sally says: I am very grateful to Susan Toy for her continuing support of my books through the excellent Reading Recommendations. Being featured here in 2015 has certainly been a very positive experience.

Tales From the Garden small- Cover

Tales From The Garden
– Behind the scenes
by Sally Cronin

Writing short stories has always been a way for me to escape for a couple of hours from more mundane but necessary tasks such as homework and then more fact orientated documents such as annual budgets or training manuals. I began to write a weekly short story for my blog as a way to keep me motivated whilst working on other longer term projects. It also provides instant feedback and hopefully keeps interest in my writing fresh.

About Tales from the Garden:

This collection of fairy stories was my surprise book of the year and I am so delighted with the response to its release.

Tales from the Garden is a collection of fairy stories and 80 illustrations, for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The tales reveal the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees and you will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
There are wicked witches, mischievous dwarves who also spend too much in the sneezeweed patch. Dragons, handsome fairy princes and wayward ladies of the court. The garden is a magic sanctuary and those in danger find their way through the gates to protection.

The guardians who have kept this sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

The book is available at a substantial discount via my own website
Also at Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon CA

DSC_0869 a About Sally Cronin:

Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.

She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.

All these can be found on Amazon or Smashwords.

For the last two years Sally has written a daily blog covering the subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music: Smorgasbord Invitation – Variety is the Spice of Life. You can link to it from here.

Connect to Sally on social media.
Facebook Author Page

My thanks again to Susan for inviting me to update you with news of my latest book.

You are most welcome here any time, Sally! Thanks for visiting again.

Eric J. Gates

EJG2014Eric J. Gates

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Outsourced is fiction, a thriller.

Quick description: Outsourced features a New York-based writer of thriller novels who receives a mysterious package from a fan. That fan turns out to be a professional killer. That’s just the start of the writer’s problems; problems that escalate way beyond anything he could have imagined on the pages of his novels, as death and destruction follow rapidly.

Just when matter cannot get any worse for the novelist, he learns a high-tech Intelligence agency has been tasked with obtaining the contents of the package too, and they will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. They have their own global agenda. The agent assigned to the task is out of her depth working on US soil and her methods are unsuited to a civilian environment. As pressure mounts for her to achieve results, she becomes more and more radical in her approach.

And, if that’s not enough . . . the sender wants it back, and his methods are even more direct and violent! He believes the contents of the package were used to try to kill him and his aim is to recover them and exact his revenge on the writer.

Outsourced eBook

Brief biography:
Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyber warfare to spies are just a few of the moments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.

He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.

He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

Links to buy Eric’s book:
Global Amazon

Eric’s promo links:
Amazon Author page

What are you working on now?
After all the emails I received following the publication of Outsourced I am currently working on a sequel, entitled Primed, which brings back Nic Stiles, Phil Beasley and Major Bridget Mason as they face another strange puzzle and take on the Russian mafia. Primed should be out on Amazon for Christmas, 2015.

Eric’s reading recommendation:
There are two ladies whose thrillers stand out in my mind: Medical thriller writer Judith Lucci for putting me on the streets of Nawlins in her engrossing tales, and Romantic suspense writer Fiona Quinn for her outstanding Lynx. series.

Ciara Donnelly and Hubert O’Hearn

Hubert O’Hearn has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations a couple of times, but most recently on my main blog when he launched Four Freedom Publishing. Here’s information on the first publication from this new venture that Hubert has co-written with Ciara Donnelly.


Do Angels Breathe?/Repeat: Two One Act Plays with Music
by Hubert O’Hearn and Ciara Donnelly
Published by Four Freedoms Publishing
Genre: Plays

Trapped. What does it mean and can we ever escape? Those are the questions posed within these two one-act plays by Hubert O’Hearn with music by Ciara Donnelly.

Do Angels Breathe? – a religious leader and a rebel Captain caught in a collapsed interrogation cell. Yet who has captured whom and does it matter when both are captured?

Repeat – A young woman suffers a brain aneurysm and her fiance fights two battles: to bring her back to consciousness and against an uncaring system. Who is trapped, him or her?

These plays explore the psychological depths of the struggle for Human Rights. they inform, entertain, and bear deep, thoughtful discussion. They were specifically created by O’Hearn and Donnelly to further the cause of Human Rights and are being made available with no royalty charge to any group willing to support charitable causes devoted to peace, equality or the advancement of minorities.

About the Authors

ciara-1Ciara Donnelly:
Yellowbridge is the guise of indie/folk singer/songwriter and pianist Ciara Donnelly based in Dublin, Ireland.
With an IMRO songwriting nomination under her belt for previous single ‘Circus’ in 2013, a finalist for Hot Press’ Big Break in the same year, a quarter finalist in The Voice of Ireland in 2014, a UK tour with trans-Atlantic Group Malibu Shark Attack and MC Lars following the show and writing credits for Bee Mick See, various House Dj’s and composing music for New Theatre- it’s been a busy 2 years.
Since coming off the MC Lars UK Tour in 2014, Yellowbridge has spent the past couple of months writing for a new release. Yellowbridge began to showcase the fruits of her labour via live videos such a Yellowbridge’s Fundit Campaign which featured an exclusive track from the next full length release entitled ‘The Hunter’, a track entitled ‘Winter City’, a Christmas Cover and a live version of soon to be released single ‘Undone’
‘The beautiful Irish lilt in Ciara Donnelly, aka Yellowbridge’s, vocals hits you hard. Not only is she a great singer but her vocals are honest, and true” NEON Filler: Glastonbury Emerging Talent

Hubert profileHubert O’Hearn:
Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Hubert O’Hearn went on to study and receive degrees in English and Drama at Queen’s University, Education at the same institution, Political Studies at Lakehead University and finally Masters in Education at the University of Windsor.

He first went to work as a speechwriter for the Ontario Government, later becoming a Special Assistant within the Cabinet offices of the Secretariats for Multiculturalism and Disabilities. Later he wrote the Canadian Literature curriculum for the Scarborough Board of Education. From there he worked at Lakehead University for several years assisting within the Registrar’s Office as an advocate for Special Needs students.

It was after a serious illness that O’Hearn returned to his first love of theatre. As an actor, director or playwright he has enjoyed nearly 100 opening nights. As the founding Artistic Director of Actors Repertory Theatre (ART) and the Lakehead University Actors Theatre he trained and developed dozens of new artists who have gone on to success on stage, film and television. He emigrated to his spiritual home of Ireland in 2012.

Where to purchase this book:
Print only available at this time
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Maria Savva and Ben Ditmars – update on a new anthology

Maria Savva was originally featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013, and Ben Ditmars was featured on the site in Feb. 2014. Both authors have contributed to this new anthology recently published.


Tales From The Cacao Tree (Book 4 in The Mind’s Eye Series)
with contributions by Maria Saava and Ben Ditmars
Genre: Mixed – poetry, short stories, photography; an anthology

From a review by Maria Haskins on Amazon:
Tales From The Cacao Tree is the latest installment in the Mind’s Eye Series, a series of anthologies containing poetry and short stories inspired by, and accompanied by, photographs. This fourth book in the series, as you may gather from the title and the delectable cover, is all about chocolate.

Just like the other Mind’s Eye books, Tales From The Cacao Tree is an eclectic and enjoyable blend of different genres and writing styles, and as a reader you get to experience chocolate in every imaginable (and unimaginable!) way. There really is a bit of everything here: beautiful and evocative (and sometimes playful) poetry by Ben Ditmars, Helle Gade, and Richard Weatherly, and short stories by Darcia Helle, Maria Savva, Julie Elizabeth Powell, and J. Michael Radcliffe.

Many of the stories inspired by the accompanying chocolaty pictures involve nefarious and violent crimes: so, obviously, chocolate has a dark side…

The fantastic photos in the anthology were taken by Helle Gade, Kim Stapf, and Martin David Porter. And reader beware, you will probably end up craving chocolate while you’re reading!

Purchase this book from: