Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – Tony Bennett – The 1990s and Tony is back.


It is eight years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. It is six years since we have featured some of the music legends and delighted to showcase them again in 2022.

In the last series of 2022 we will be exploring the life and music of Tony Bennett one of the most accomplished showman of the last 100 years.

We left Tony Bennett at the end of the 1980s having re-established himself in the charts and on television. With his son as his manager and reunited with his musical director Ralph Sharon, Tony was heading into the 1990s back on track.

And certainly his first album Astoria: Portrait of the Artist in 1990 was a great way to start the new decade. Released by Columbia Records the album included some classic tracks as well as some less well known. Astoria was Tony Bennett’s birthplace and several of the songs had references to ‘home and old friends’ in the lyrics such as A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet, The Folks Who Live On The Hill, I’ve Come Home Again.

I think one of the tracks that sums up the previous two decades for Tony is I Was Lost, I Was Drifting!

To get us in the mood today here is Tony with one of the songs that he has performed in the years since this album… The Girl I Love composed and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. tonybennettVEVO

Following this album, Tony turned his attention to paying homage to some of the great artists of the industry and in 1992 he released Perfectly Frank as a tribute to Frank Sinatra. It reached Number #1 in the US jazz chart and also reached gold status and featured 24 tracks including Time After Time, Nancy, Night and Day, The Lady is a Tramp and another Gershwin number, A Foggy Day.

The following album in 1993 also did very well. A tribute to Fred Astaire, Steppin’ Out it was also Number #1 in the jazz chart and reached gold status and both these two albums won Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. This was clear evidence that the new direction that Tony was taking with his career was paying off. One of the tracks on Steppin’ Out is They Can’t Take That Away From Me by George and Ira Gershwin. Uploaded by Tony Bennett

Here is a quote from Tony Bennett which illustrates the tenacity and commitment to his career despite the setbacks.

“Number one, don’t quit. Number two, listen to number one!”

Tony was also appearing on MTV and television alongside the younger generation of music stars and here is what The New York Times had to say about Tony Bennett in the 1990s

“Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it. He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises.”

To capitalise on his MTV exposure, Tony released his next live album in 1994 – MTV Unplugged which did extremely well in the charts reaching #48 in the US charts, #1 in the jazz chart and #11 in the Australian charts. The album also went Platinum and won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for the third year in a row with the top Grammy for Album of the Year. Not only had Tony captured the hearts of the home audience but had re-established himself as an International star.

Tony also began collaborating with the younger generation of artists and in 1994 released the single Moonglow with K.D. Lang. tonybennettVEVO

Back in the studio the next album in 1995 was Here’s To The Ladies which featured the hits of singers such as Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. As with Tony’s previous albums of this decade, it did well in the charts. This was followed in 1997 with Tony Bennett On Holiday and in 1998 Tony Bennett – The Playground.

The last album of the 90s was Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool to celebrate the centenary of Duke Ellington’s birth. It reached #1 in the jazz charts and brought the decade to a wonderful finish.

As well as consistently releasing #1 albums, Tony Bennett did not neglect his legions of fans and he toured continuously with on average a staggering 100 shows a year. He also continued with regular television shows and appearances including a PBS special Tony Bennett’s Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco. He also created the concept of a series for A&E Network Live By Request series and he won an Emmy Award for his own first episode.

It was time for an autobiography and in 1998 Tony published The Good Life

Tony’s comeback ensured that he was now financially secure and despite now being 74 years old he had no intention of retiring. He said in reference to artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jack Benny and Fred Astaire:

“right up to the day they died, they were performing. If you are creative, you get busier as you get older.”

To end the story of the 90s here is It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) by Duke Ellington. Uploaded by Jack Miller

Buy the music of Tony Bennett: Amazon

Additional sources: Wikipedia

Next week Tony Bennett still going strong in his 90s.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

 

As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Rejects and Driving Tips


Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies followed by a joke or two from Sally. Thanks to those who share the funnies on the internet.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.My thanks to Debby for excellent foraging

 

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s new series Spiritual Awareness. Spiritual Awareness – Are you familiar with Astral Projection?

Now for some fun from Sally….from the archives

What not to do when driving!

A police officer was inspecting a car crash where two people had been injured and taken off in an ambulance to hospital. As he looked at the wreckage a little monkey came out of the brush and hopped around the crashed car.

The officer looked down at the monkey and said, “I wish you could talk.” The monkey looked up at the officer and nodded his head.

“You can understand what I’m saying?”asked the officer.
Again, the monkey nodded.

“Well, did you see what happened?”
The monkey nodded. He pretended to have a can in his hand and turned it up to his mouth.

“They were drinking?” asked the officer.
The monkey nodded. The monkey then pinched his fingers together and held them to his mouth, sucking deeply.

“They were smoking marijuana too?” asked the officer.
The monkey nodded. He made a kissing sign with his lips

“So they were playing around as well!?” asked the astounded officer. Again, the monkey nodded.

Now wait, you’re saying your owners were drinking, smoking and playing around before they wrecked the car?”

The monkey nodded. “What were you doing during all this?” asked the officer.

The monkey held up his hands on an imaginary steering wheel.

Sally’s books: Amazon US –  Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – Podcast – Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58

 

Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Romance Jan Sikes, #History #Family Joy Neal Kidney


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you.

The first book today is a collection of poetry in honour of those we have loved and lost. Christmas is for family, not just those around us but those who shared this important time of year across the years…I was touched by all the poems by Elizabeth Gauffreau Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance

About the collection

Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.” ~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

Head over to read the reviews and buy the collection:
Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK

One of the reviews for the collection

Elizabeth Gauffeau’s Grief Songs is a short book that leaves a long, lingering presence. The book is a collection of personal photographs paired with mostly tanka poems. (A tanka is a 5-line poem typically written as syllabic lines of 5-7-5-7-7). This means that each poem is a sharp distillation of a moment, an event, or even the history of a relationship between parents, between her and her parents, or between her and her brother.

Because the poems are brief, the book can be read very quickly. However, a reader who lingers over words and photos will be rewarded. The poems and the feelings behind them grow with repeated readings. I must say that sometimes I was left wondering what happened. This is not a criticism of the poems, but rather, my own curiosity about people. “Youth Group Picnic,” for example, gives us a glimpse of the day—two children waiting in the car, giggling and honking the horn. Liz fills in the rest of the story here on her blog.

“For a Crooked Smile,” however, needs no additional context.

“He was my little brother.”

That poem brought me to tears (as did several others):

Grief Song III

I held her hand
as she lay dying
death rattle
in my throat.

This is a book of poetry that is highly accessible, but with poems that resonate. It is a memoir in bite-size pieces. Each poem is a snapshot, a memory experienced in the way we are all hit by a sudden remembrance of a time, a place, or a person.

In “Sixty Years of Katherine,” Liz writes:

“minutes tucked into envelopes
decades left in dresser drawers”

These lines feel both personal and universal. Those of us who have helped a parent move or who have cleared a home after they’ve passed, understand the complex emotions behind these beautiful, succinct phrases. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the collection:
Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK

Also by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Discover more about Elizabeth Gauffreau and buy her books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Twitter: @LGauffreau

The next novelette is perfect for the holidays, a lovely read from award winning author Jan SikesMountain Laurel Christmas

About the Book

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

One of the reviews for the book

Oh my goodness what a heart warming Christmas story Mountain Laurel Christmas is. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book that truly gave me the feeling I had in my heart while reading it. I can’t even find the words to describe it.

This is a true rags to riches story of a young man now named Cole Knight that goes from the poverty of a coal mining family from the Cumberland Mountains to a wealthy music star of Nashville. Cole should be one of the happiest men on earth but he has become a man who drinks too much and has lost himself.

It takes a trip back to where he came from to turn his life around after finding a paper in his mother’s dresser with the location of where his younger, mentally challenged little brother, Timmy, was taken ten years prior when their mother passed away. This was the day his family was torn apart, and when Cole struck out on foot, on his way to Nashville to live his dream. Cole left the Cumberland Moutains behind and what was left of his family. Timmy is now eighteen and has a talent that Cole could have never dreamed of and has a personality that Cole never expected. To Cole’s surprise Timmy has not forgotten Cole or their sister and Timmy is no longer the quiet boy that Cole remembers.

This is a story true to life story, a book that everyone should read. A story about how money alone cannot buy happiness. A story about how family is more important than anything money can buy. It’s a beautifully written book that is worth another read every year prior to the holiday season to remind me what is most important in life and to put me in the holiday spirit.

This book makes me wonder if every alcoholic could stop drinking if they figured out what they were trying to drowned away and attempt to remedy it or at least find a way to get past it. 

I wish I could give this book more than five stars. Jan Sikes is a masterful writer that everyone should give a try. Sikes has gone from not just telling her stories in songs but to now putting them down in books for readers to enjoy. This book would be a great start for any reader to discover Jan’s talent. Just wow. 

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

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Find out more about Jan Sikes and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

The final book today is a poignant trip down memory lane by Joy Neal Kidney – Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots (Leora’s Stories) – Joy shares stories of her family and they are a wonderful reminder of another era.

About the book

During Leora Goff’s early decades, she gathered the tenacity, optimism and hope she would need throughout her long life. When she married Clabe Wilson, they became forged into parents who would shepherd their own family through two more great eras of world and local history–the Great Depression and WWII.

One of the reviews for the book

In Leora’s Early Years, Joy Neal Kidney brings to life the challenges her pioneering ancestors faced and shows how the love of family brought them closer together and helped them survive.

Helping and working hard were just what everyone in the family did. I was amazed that at the young age of seven, Leora took the buggy and team of horses by herself to pick up her Grandpap from the train station. She even milked the cows. Her brothers Wayne and Merl plowed the fields at six and seven. Imagine that!

The children did chores and pitched in without complaining. Growing up through good times and hard times, Leora and her siblings developed strong values and built character.

I especially loved the stories about the one-room school and the interesting details of Leora’s family and their way of life from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Like Joy’s first two books, Leora’s Early Years was a pleasure to read. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USand: Amazon UK

Also by Joy Neal Kidney

Discover more about Joy Neal Kidney and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UKMore reviews: GoodreadsWebsite: Joy Neal Kidney – Facebook: Joy Neal Kidney Author – Twitter: @JoyNealKidneyInstagram: Joy Neal Kidney

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – #Poem – How the Grinch Stole Our Christmas by Sue Wickstead


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1200 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience…

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

This series is along the same lines and is a celebration of Christmas and New Year.

I do appreciate that this is not a religious festival for everyone but it is a time of year when families and friends come together and our thoughts turn to our hopes and wishes for the coming year. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate in this festive series.

Today teacher and children’s author Sue Wickstead shares a delightful poem.

The Grinch

When the Grinch came to our school

The Grinch came to our school
One cold wet day
He said no-one should have any fun
He stole our Christmas away!

He said that children must work,
Every single one
They’ve come to school to learn to write
And not to have any fun.

He looked into the cupboards
And inspected every book
He tutted to himself
And gave a dirty look.

The children felt very sad
But did as they were told
They carried on regardless
They were brave, they were bold.

Their PE was full of dancing
They even learnt to sing
The joy was there for all to see
You couldn’t fault a thing.

The Grinch came back to watch
To see what they had done
He took one look and said
“You must invite everyone.”

So, Christmas came regardless
Not with ribbons, bells or bows
It came from children’s hearts
As every parent knows.

©Sue Wickstead 2022

My thanks to Sue for sharing this delightful poem with us…

A small selection of books by Sue Wickstead

One of the reviews for The Christmas Play

Every parent will be familiar with the Christmas Nativity, performed in schools across the country, but what about the parts you don’t get to see? This wonderful children’s book has shifted the focus from the (hopefully) polished performance we get to see to the dress rehearsal, the part that sends cold shivers down the spines of teachers everywhere!

Offering a different take on traditional Nativity story books, Sue Wickstead has cleverly woven in the key details of the story amongst the anticipated hitches that invariably happen at the rehearsal. Every page brings a new mishap and plenty of giggles to be had for kids and parents alike.

I’ve always admired the dedication of the teachers when it comes to the organisation of the Christmas play and with over twenty years of teaching experience under her belt author Sue will have done her fair share. I genuinely have no idea where they find the energy or patience required to direct and keep all the children in check – they should all be made saints! This story gives what I imagine is just a small insight into the things that can go wrong, however the show must go on and with a little gentle guidance from the teachers it all ends well.

My son and I both loved this book and I felt the illustrations really added to our enjoyment of the story. Bright and colourful they depict the humour perfectly. giving us plenty to talk about as we read together. The book is 36 pages long, however there isn’t much writing on each page which makes it ideal for those early readers with a little experience, especially with its large, clear font.

This book would be ideal to share with children who have a Christmas play in the pipeline or would just make a wonderful festive read to share over the holiday season. If you’re stuck on stocking filler ideas this fabulous tale would make the perfect gift – you can NEVER go wrong gifting a book! 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead

About Sue Wickstead

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.

Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!

For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.

As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.

‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.

Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

I would love to share one of your posts from this festive season and it can be a poem, short story, non-fiction in the form of a recipe, personal story, family memory, New Year’s resolutions etc. It does not have to be current but from any year in your blogging journey.

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author, your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is email me the link to the fiction or non-fiction post you have chosen either with aChristmas or New Year theme to (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – Book Review – #Western #Romance – Geller’s Find by Sandra Cox


Delighted to share my recommendation for the latest release by Sandra Cox… a western romance Geller’s Find

About the book

It’s summer break and Dr. Luke Geller, history prof and part-time archeologist is in Nevada looking for potsherds. What he discovers is an antique rifle and a portal in time.
Touching an ancient piece of Chiastolite crystal, the earth rumbles, the skies darken and the ground opens. He’s hurled straight to the core of the earth then shot back up and spewed out.

When he stumbles to his feet, he finds himself where he began. Same, yet different. There are no winding roads. No parking lots. No cars. No town with bright lights in the distance. Only Lily Winter Tremaine, an angry young woman pointing a gun at him, demanding he hand over her rifle.

All thoughts of primitive pottery disappear as Luke finds himself fighting alongside three young women trying to hold onto their ranch against a dangerous scoundrel who intends to have the ranch by whatever means possible. Then there’s the little fact that Luke’s mightily attracted to the young woman he’s working for. A woman old enough to be his great-great granny. And Miss Lily Winter Tremaine does not figure into any of tenured professor Luke Geller’s lesson plans.

My review for the book November 30th 2022

As a fan of Sandra Cox’s western romances you know that you are going to be offered all the elements in a story that make for a riveting read.

The special element to her stories is that there is usually a supernatural twist that adds additional tension, mystery and intrigue. In Geller’s Find we have two worlds, 140 years apart, which collide with a bang, offering an opportunity for Luke Geller to experience the subject he teaches in person.

Throw in sassy women, a beautiful but wilful boss, a macho saloon owner with an acquiring nature, gunfights, a horse with a mind of his own and a mystery hidden beneath the earth of the ranch, and you have a great story.

The characters in Sandra Cox’s books are always memorable, and whilst not necessarily perfect human beings, they are authentic. I loved Geller’s mother, who appears in the later part of the book, who proved that feisty women still existed in the present day.

If you have already read books by this author you probably don’t need me to convince you to read Geller’s Find… but if you are new to her stories I can highly recommend you check them out.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Sandra Cox

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK –And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

About Sandra Cox

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and several cats in sunny North Carolina.

Her novels consist of All Things Western and More. She is an Eppie finalist, award winner and category best-seller.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Scifi -#PsychologicalThriller Richard Dee, #Occult Mae Clair, #Paranormal #Romance D.L. Finn


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you.

The first book today is Life and Other Dreams: A Dual-time Psychological Thriller by Richard Dee. I have read a number of Richard’s book and can highly recommend.

About the book

It’s only a dream…, isn’t it?

Rick’s life is boring. He escapes it in his dreams. There, he becomes Dan, and that’s much more exciting.

Dan’s an explorer, six hundred years in the future and half a galaxy away. Dan’s life on Ecias beats Rick’s days, on Earth, writing advertising copy for cat food.

It shouldn’t happen, but people and events from Rick’s dream world start to appear in his waking life.

His wife wonders what’s going on. What can he tell her, what would she believe?

Neither of them could be prepared for what follows. Both worlds collide and fall apart.

This leaves the question, can a man exist in two places and times at once?

Find out now.

“Absolutely amazing, from a fresh original voice in fiction”

“a masterpiece of fiction”

“Fast-paced, edge of your seat stuff!”

One of the reviews for the book

This was the first novel by Richard Dee that I’ve read and I must say, I am impressed. What a simply delightful tale. The story has many elements that I enjoy in a novel (mystery, adventure, romance) which I also found so enjoyable because the characters are depicted so well; their lives become fascinating and vested with interest for the reader.

The change in point of view from an everyday bloke on Earth who works a 9 to 5 job, to leaping 600 years into the future and light-years away to another planet where our humdrum Earthman vicariously experiences the life of a futuristic settler/explorer thru the medium of his dreams is perfect.

The experiences of these two men begin to parallel in a fashion that is too similar to be mere coincidence. Are they the same man? Or are they men from different times who are somehow connected by a psychological, temporal thread that impacts the life of the other? For when disaster strikes for Dan on Ecias–an Earthlike world–it also bodes ill for Rick, back in Earth’s past.

With Rick’s wife wondering about his loyalty after he tells her about his dreams of being married to a beautiful woman on an Eden-esque world in an exotic future, and with invaders threatening Dan’s home on far, futuristic Ecias, will either man live happily ever after? It’s an intriguing story that I found quite captivating and well written. Bravo, Mr. Dee. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK And: Amazon US

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Discover more about Richard Dee and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1 Facebook:Richard Dee Author

The next book is occult horror novel Cusp of Night (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 1) by Mae Clair the first in her successful series.

Cusp of Night (A Hode's Hill Novel Book 1) by [Mae Clair]

About the book

In this supernatural thriller series opener, a librarian moves to a small town following a near-death experience, and a chain of chilling events occur.

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

One of the reviews for the book

After surviving a car accident that nearly killed her, Maya Sinclair moves to Hodes Hill, Pennsylvania. She decides to rent an old brownstone close to where Charlotte Hode was murdered over a century ago.

Maya is still haunted by the time she spent in the Aether, hovering between life and death in a reality where souls with unfinished business lingered. Now, she finds her perceptions altered, opening the doors to her own clairvoyance.

It doesn’t take long for the house to connect with its new occupant. When the clock reaches, 2:22 am known as the cusp of night, terrifying noises explode from the walls of the house. Eventually, Maya recognizes a figure from the Aether… what could it mean?

In a city where the people refuse to let go of the past, the night of the annually celebrated Fiend Festival finally arrives. The townsfolk dress up in costumes to resemble the terrifying creature that murdered Charlotte Hode all those years before. However, this year is different. Something is out there, and it‘s killed again!

It turns out that Hode’s Hill sponsored the spiritualist movement of the Nineteenth century in the form of the Blue Lady, a blue-skinned spiritualist who perpetrated a scam against unsuspecting townsfolk. Now, she uses Maya’s sensitivity to the Aether to carry out her task.

Clair skillfully incorporates the tragic story of Lucy Strick, the Blue Lady, with that of Maya Sinclair bringing the past into the future in a story that was so riveting I couldn’t it put this book down.

The author also displays a rare command over language that’s unique. Her vivid descriptions and settings put me in the story, as if I’d experienced the events myself. I’ll never look at my watch at 2:22 am again!

Maya Sinclair is the type of heroine I like the most. She’s flawed, but in a way that makes her seem multidimensional and very human. This town is full of characters, which makes the story even more realistic. The Hode family contains some despicable figures, but Collin Hode teams up with Maya to help solve the mystery of the blue lady.

If I could give this book a rating over five stars, I would. I rarely say that, but this series is exceptional. I’m already reading the second book (End of Day) in the series and have purchased the third book, (Eventide) as well.

If you love mystery and suspense with a healthy helping of the paranormal, you won’t want to miss this series. 

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

Find out more about Mae Clair and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

The final book today that would make a wonderful gift, and I can highly recommend is the latest release by D.L. Finn.. a paranormal romantic fantasy – A Voice in the Silence.

About the book

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

One of the reviews for the book

Jun 15, 2022 D. Peach on Goodreads

Drea, a recent widow, lives alone in her home far from town. There’s a serial killer roaming the area and a winter storm on the way. But what initially finds its way into her home isn’t a murderer, but a trio of animals who’ve escaped from a lab—a dog, a cat, and a rat. And before she knows it, they’re doing things that no animals should be able to do. They talk.

Suspension of disbelief was a necessity for this book. In some ways, the fantastical abilities of the animals gave the story a whimsical, childlike innocence. But that quality is countered by the presence of a serial killer outside in the storm, and the suspense intensifies when Drea finds his footprints in the snow. With the help of her animal family, a ghost, and a caring police officer, she just might get through the storm alive.

Three major plot lines thread through the story, and each comes to its own satisfying climax rather than all resolving at the end. The main protagonists are well-rounded characters, and that includes the animals. My favorites were Drea, Adam, and Charlie the dog. The villains range from mentally ill to completely deranged.

The story unfolds primarily from Drea’s perspective though the overall POV is omniscient. The pace is good, and descriptions gave a clear picture of the action and setting. There’s a romantic undercurrent and some violence, including an off-stage suicide. Overall, I’d say this book is suitable for YA and adult audiences, and I recommend it to readers who enjoy paranormal stories and want to try something whimsical, suspenseful, and entirely different. 

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

A small selection of other books by D.L. Finn

Discover more about D.L. Finn and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor

 

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

Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Husband and Wives, Words of Wisdom


Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies followed by a joke or two from Sally. Thanks to those who share the funnies on the internet.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.My thanks to Debby for excellent foraging

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s new series Spiritual Awareness. Spiritual Awareness – Are you familiar with Astral Projection?

Now for some fun from Sally….from the archives

Words of wisdom

A man had been contemplating the world’s population,
It’s amazing, he told his friend. Every time I breathe in and out someone dies.
Have you tried mouthwash said his friend

*****

‘Every man should have a girl for love, companionship and sympathy,’ said a wise and mature bachelor. ‘Preferably at three different addresses,’ he added

Quick thinking

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: ‘Take only ONE. God is watching.’

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.A child had written a note: ‘Take all you want. God is watching the apples.’

Sally’s books: Amazon US –  Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – Podcast – Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58

 

Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Prehistoric #Adventure Jacqui Murray, #Psychological #Thriller Terry Tyler, #PostWar #Russia Marina Osipova


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you.

The first book today is the third book in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy by Jacqui Murray. I can highly recommend Natural Selection (Dawn of Humanity Book 3)

About the book

In this final book of the trilogy, Lucy and her tribe leave their good home to rescue captured tribemembers who are in grave danger. Since leaving her mate, Lucy created a tribe that includes an eclectic mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium kit, and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a mix of man’s developing intellect and untiring will to live. Each brings unique skills to the task of saving Raza and his Group from sure death. Based on true events from 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

One of the reviews for the book

The final book of the Dawn of Humanity series ends on a positive note though I suspect that Lucy’s story of survival in the prehistoric world will continue to be riddled with danger and challenges. As the title suggests, not all the branches of primitive mankind will survive and those who do will depend on their ability to develop new skills and think strategically.

The plot is straightforward with two main threads. The first is Lucy and her group’s continuing search for a sustainable homebase. The second is their plan to rescue past members of her tribe from Man-who-preys before they become so weak from hunger that they’re killed. Lucy is the main character, but not the only point of view, and other characters are frequently brought to the forefront. These include her two-legged group members as well as those with four.

Murray’s research continues to add depth and realism to the read, and I found it as fascinating as I did in the first book. Our ancestors had it tough, and their lives were intricately entwined with the world around them. I appreciated that Murray didn’t spare our modern sensibilities. Grooming bugs from each other’s skin, eating rotten meat, and “fear poop” aren’t very glamorous, but they added to the authenticity of the story. Her word choices—to describe the harsh environment, its rhythms and wild creatures, and the nature and skill of each member of her diverse group—bring life on Earth 1.8 million years ago into vivid relief.

For readers who enjoy a meticulously researched primitive world and the remarkable challenges faced by our evolutionary ancestors, I highly recommend this series. It’s fascinating. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Jacqui Murray

Discover more about Jacqui Murray and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter: @WordDreams

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Terry Tyler and my review of this psychological thriller… Where There’s Doubt.

About the book

‘I can be anything you want me to be. Even if you don’t know you want it. Especially if you don’t know you want it.’

Café owner Kate is mentally drained after a tough two years; all she wants from her online chess partner is entertainment on lonely evenings, and maybe a little virtual flirtation.

She is unaware that Nico Lewis is a highly intelligent con artist who, with an intricately spun web of lies about their emotional connection, will soon convince her that he is The One.

Neither does Kate know that his schemes involve women who seek love on dating sites, as well as his small publishing business. A host of excited authors believe Nico is about to make their dreams come true.

Terry Tyler’s twenty-fourth publication is a sinister psychological drama that highlights the dark side of internet dating—and the danger of ignoring the doubts of your subconscious.

One of the reviews for Where There’s Doubt

Four rich and lonely women fall for the not unsubstantial charms of the thoroughly obnoxious and narcissistic Nico Lewis. Nico is only after one thing… money. He manages to divide his time between all four ladies, promising love and eternal devotion. If he’s not sorting out wedding plans or taking Polly, Kate, Heather and Minerva (separately of course) around the mansion where he proposes they shall live (of course he needs ‘help’ to fund a deposit), then he’s duping wannabe authors into believing he runs Curlew Publishing, a vanity press whereby authors pay money up front and then seemingly wait forever for their book to be published.

This book is very well written and told from multiple perspectives. When women like Kate, Polly, Heather and Minerva are lonely and isolated and then somebody like Nico comes along, wooing them with charm and the promise of eternal devotion, then they believe any lie they are told because they are looking for love and are gullible.

The four women all deal with the fallout of Nico’s activities in different ways, making this book very readable and quite a page-turner. I read until the very last page as I was interested in how things would turn out. I found Nico to be the most reprehensible person with no redeeming features at all, but then again that’s because of Ms Tyler’s writing skills. 

Read the reviews and buy the bookAmazon UKAnd: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Terry Tyler

 

Find out more about Terry Tyler and buy the books:Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Terry Tyler: GoodreadsBlog: Terry Tyler Blogspot – Twitter:@TerryTyler4

The last book today is by Marina Osipova – Push Me Off a Cliff a novel set in post war Russia when wounds and loss are still dominant in the minds of the survivors.

About the book

March of 1948. Three years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended in victory, disposing into the streets of the destroyed and hungry cities and villages brave decorated soldiers: thousands of them having been burned, maimed, or disfigured beyond recognition.

On a crowded commuter train, Maria hears an invalid singing, which painfully connects her to her time at the front and to the love that failed to happen to her. Why, then, since that day, does the voice from the past echo so insistently in her present life? The torture of uncertainty—was it really Armen?—intensifies after the next encounter and leaves her with an unsettling compulsion to do . . . what? Help him? Or, rather, rescue herself from her lonely and unassuming existence her heart subtly rejects? She must decide whether she is willing to let go of the life she knows for feelings she had never thought she could experience.

But, first, she has to find him.

As the genocide of 1915 within the Ottoman Empire destroyed the lives of Armen’s parents and about one-and-a-half-million ethnic Armenians, his future is shattered by this other war and betrayal. Legless and totally alone, and without any family after his mother is gone, it seems the most merciful thing for him would be to end his miserable existence by leaping off a cliff. Otherwise, he must find the courage to continue living in the condition the war left him and find his place in the bitter every-day reality full of difficulties prone to men like him.

Maria and Armen. Each carries private wounds. In the face of despair, will fate offer them a chance to heal their souls and hearts?

One of the reviews for the book

Now that I finished reading it, I’m absolutely certain this book will stay with me for a very long time. The author doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities the Soviet people had to deal with during the post-war years, and the brutal honesty with which she describes the neglect and humiliation that yesterday’s heroes of war – now homeless and disabled people – had to face from their own government and fellow countrymen left me speechless many times throughout the book.

Both Maria and Armen are incredibly real and likable characters, but it was the character of Armen that has left me completely in awe. In the first part of the book we see him as a sensitive, compassionate and somewhat impetuous young man. The tragedy that befalls Armen later is supposed to crush his personality, it nearly destroys him, and that’s where it becomes evident just how much inner strength and will to live there is in him.

The parallel Marina Osipova draws between the two episodes with the man on the cliff shows that Armen wouldn’t become such a strong person without his mother and her love for him. His family’s legacy and his people’s culture live in his heart, preventing him from losing the last shreds of hope and guiding him towards the light even in the darkest of times.

I loved the gradual, careful and authentic development of feelings between Maria and Armen. Despite their youth, they are old souls because of what they’ve seen and lived through, and the fact that their bond is based on the same experiences, mutual respect, compassion and eventual friendship makes it all the more precious and hard-won. Together, they learn to heal and leave the pain and loneliness behind, and, as a reader, I couldn’t root for them enough.

I was also very surprised and happy to find the descriptions of Novopestchanaya street in the Moscow district Sokol where I myself live in one of the chapters.

Overall, if you are a World War 2 and Soviet Union historical fiction lover, Push Me Off The Cliff by Marina Osipova will be your best choice. Highly recommend. 

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

Other books by Marina Osipova

Discover more about Marina Osipova and buy the books: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – follow Marina : Goodreads – website:Marina OsipovaTwitter: @marosikok

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1950s – Doris Day, Elvis Presley, The Four Aces and Paul Anka


Welcome to our show and whilst there have been some great songs since 2005, we felt that hits from the 40s and 50s deserved a showcase from now to the end of the year… we hope you will enjoy our music memories and some of the news events of the decade.

Here is my next selection of top 1950s chart hits which I hope you will enjoy.

Doris Day – Que Sera, Sera

“Que sera, sera “ composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, is from the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” starring James Stewart and Doris Day. Released on Columbia Records, the song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the UK Singles Chart. “Que sera, sera”, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became known as Doris Day’s signature song. In 2004 it finished at #48 in AFI’s 100 Years . . . 100 Songs survey of the top songs in American cinema.

February 25th 1957 Buddy Holly & Crickets record “That’ll Be the Day” 

Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock 

“Jailhouse Rock”, released by RCA in 1957, was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stroller for the film bearing the same name. It peaked at #1 in the US for seven weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, #1 on their Country and R&B charts, #1 in the UK for three weeks, and the top 10 in several other countries. In November, 2016 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

July 6th 1957 John Lennon (16) & Paul McCartney (15) meet for 1st time as Lennon’s rock group Quarrymen perform at St. Peter’s, Woolton’s Parish Church in Liverpool

Now time for my next picks from the 1950s all tunes that I remember from my childhood from cartoons, films and my parents records.

The Four Aces – Love is a Many-Spendored Thing

“Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” is a popular song with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The song was publicized first in the movie, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The best-selling version of the song was recorded by The Four Aces backed by the Jack Pleis Orchestra and issued by Decca Records. It reached number two in the UK Singles Chart, and number one on both Billboard and Cash Box in 1955

January 10th 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” reaches #1 on the UK pop charts 

Paul Anka – Diana

“Diana” is a song written and first performed by Paul Anka, who recorded it in May 1957 at Don Costa’s studio in New York City. The song reached number 1 (for two weeks) on the Billboard “R&B Best Sellers In Stores” chart and has reportedly sold over nine million copies. “Diana” also hit number one on the R&B Best Sellers chart.number 1 on the UK’s New Musical Express chart, staying there for nine weeks and sold 1.25 million copies in the UK.

June 24th 1958 Nina Simone releases her debut jazz album “Little Girl Blue” 

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 1940s and 1950s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.