• Book Review: The Unfettered Child by Michael C. Sahd - an updated review of this fantasy novel featuring family

    Book Review: The Unfettered Child by Michael C. Sahd (An Updated Review)

    Title: The Unfettered Child Author: Michael C. Sahd Publisher: Self-published Publication date: August 28, 2019 Genre: Fantasy Summary: Samara is a very special little girl, but she doesn’t know it. When elves capture many of the women from her tribe, a terrible power awakens, and a disembodied voice takes her as his apprentice to teach her how to harness her unexpected powers. With her tribe destroyed, she sets off to reunite with her mother, who was captured, and her father, who set off earlier on to find his wife, but the voice in her head isn’t completely honest. I previously reviewed this book at the time of publication at the request of the author. Unfortunately, I…

  • Why I Share My Fiction - why I post my writings to my blog for everyone to read

    Why I Share My Fiction

    Once upon a time, The Lily Cafe was a writing blog in 2013-2015. I shared my fiction and some poetry. Most of it’s still there if you’re curious; they’re too much a part of what this blog is for me to want to delete it. When I came back to blogging in 2018, I hoped to find the same writing community I had left. I was a little disappointed. Back then, I had found several writers doing as I was doing and posting their fiction. I “met” Jennifer M. Zeiger at that time, as well as some other writers who no longer blog here, or, at least, not under the…

  • Journal For My Kids #4

    Dear Kids, It’s been a while. The last journal was about Brother graduating from Kindergarten. Now we’re a little over a week until he starts First Grade. Virtually. The Last Safer at Home Order Journal was over a month ago, around the time Brother turned 6. I figured it was time to update you two on what’s been going on lately. First of all, remember at the end of May when SpaceX and NASA launched two astronauts into space? They spent about 2 months at the ISS before they came back about a week ago. I wouldn’t have even known it was happening unless I was checking for anything interesting…

  • Novel Excerpt: Umbral Ten by Douglas Murphy - a dark fantasy

    Novel Excerpt: Umbral Ten by Douglas Murphy (revisited)

    This past Thursday I posted my review of this fantasy novel. It was a delightful book and, if you haven’t had a chance to take a peek of it, I thought I’d revisit the excerpt the author generously allowed me to post back in May. First published May 19, 2019 The Lily Cafe is thrilled to present author Douglas Murphy and his first novel Umbral Ten, the first book in his Khaldaia Chronicles series! Title: Umbral Ten Author: Douglas Murphy Publisher: Self-published Publication date: April 21, 2020 Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy A blood moon rises, demons roam, and the Inquisition approaches.Theodosia Archmail wakes up on the towers of Starkwind Monastery to find that her…

  • Bookish Bakes: Chocolate Friendship Cake, inspired by The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

    Bookish Bakes: Chocolate Friendship Cake

    This one was inspired by Susan Mallery’s The Friendship List. I was part of the book blog tour this past Tuesday. It was a lovely book about two lifelong friends getting out of their sad comfort zones and rediscovering life and love. With two lifelong best friends of my own, I couldn’t not be inspired by this book. I have so many food memories with my friends, from pancakes every morning after a sleepover to drinking melted chocolates to brownies to mall pretzels. Even though we did plenty of things that didn’t involve food, it’s still an important piece of us as a trio. Chocolate is one thing we were never…

  • Book Review: Umbral Ten by Douglas Murphy - a fantasy novel, first in the Khaldaia Chronicles

    Book Review: Umbral Ten by Douglas Murphy

    Title: Umbral Ten Author: Douglas Murphy Publisher: Self-published Publication date: April 21, 2020 Genre: Fantasy Summary: When mage Theodosia wakes in Starkwind Monastery with no memory of what happened after a routine ceremony to renew a sacred tree began, she finds herself in the company of five others in a world that no longer makes sense and that now has a blood red moon in the sky. Hoping to find passage back to the mainland, they head to the small town they had all initially passed through, only to find a radically different world, and a town that now needs their help when a mage from Theodosia’s past arrives with monsters in tow. Last month…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 37 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 37

    Chapter Twelve continued Elaina’s hands automatically flew to her hair, which hung down around her shoulders in soft tangles, clearly not recently brushed. Her stomach turned over, the nibble of the cookie suddenly not sitting well. She really should have paid closer attention to the time. She couldn’t bring herself to look directly at Rose’s face, afraid of what she would see. “Well, uh, Robert thought a quiet afternoon in, um, the library would be good for me. You know, especially since he was busy this afternoon. He thought it might, er, help calm my nerves.” “And has it?” Elaina giggled a little. “Well, I did lose myself in a…

  • Book Blog Tour: Review - The Friendship List by Susan Mallery, a women's fiction novel featuring two lifelong friends

    Book Blog Tour – Review: The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

    The Lily Cafe is thrilled to participate in the book blog tour for The Friendship List by Susan Mallery, available today!. Title: The Friendship List Author: Susan Mallery Publisher: Harlequin – Romance Publication date: August 4, 2020 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance Summary: Ellen and Unity have been best friends all their lives. Now, as grown women, Ellen is close to sending her 17 year old son off to college and Unity is still grappling with the death of her husband 3 years before. When Ellen overhears her son talking about not going away to college because he’s worried about her, she takes it as a sign she needs to get her life in order and show him…

  • Have Patience

    As a psychology student, I learned about motivation, about external and internal motivation. I also learned about attribution, whether someone attributes success and failure to something outside or within themselves. People will say their destiny is in their hands and hard work will reward them with what they have striven for. People will also say they have no say in their lives and it’s up to fate or God. It seems you’re either on the side of taking the proverbial bull by the horns, or not. I was always the striver in my family, the one who wanted to get somewhere, who wanted to be someone. I was always headed…

  • The Weekly Question #7 (revisited)

    This was a fun thing I used to do: ask a question, answer it, and see what your answer would be. But it became difficult for me to keep up with, so I had to stop. As I was scrolling through looking for fun posts to revisit, I came across this one, which somehow seems fitting because I’d be up for moving to another planet right about now. First published June 6, 2019 If you had to (not got to) live on another planet (whether or not it’s actually habitable), which planet would it be? With the pandemic going on, I would so live on another planet. Any planet. I…