Let’s Talk About #BookReviews Day 4

Writing a review for a book you have read is a red letter day for the author. It is like Christmas and wonderful to open your Amazon account and see the stars for your work. It does not have to be 5 stars.. it can be three with positives and constructive comments. Head over to Rosie Amber for this post and links to others on the same topic that will guide you through the process.

Rosie Amber


We are well over half way through “Write a book review on Amazon ” month and this week I’ve been supporting the campaign with some book reviewing themed posts.

Readers reviewers

At some point in book reviewing everyone will come across a book they really didn’t like, could you still write a review and how could you write it?

Negative and Bad Reviews

I can guarantee this is going to cause a scene.

So what do you do if you really didn’t like a book? People who slam a book and its author publically are often called Book Trolls. Like wise authors who have fans who bully anyone who dares to post a low star rated review, are also connected to the troll label. I suspect this is one of the top reasons why people fear to post a review and it damages the industry as a whole.

Firstly put yourself in the…

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Medicine Woman’s Larder – Salmon – A plate of Omega 3

Medicine Womans larder

Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh, but be prepared as Salmon prices have been higher in the last couple of years due to longer winters and shorter fishing seasons in the north.

There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.

Salmon has been on my ‘must eat’ list for a long time and in this day and age, when obesity and heart disease are becoming the top causes of premature death, then including it in your diet regularly is very important.

There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.


I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon. Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio. Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.

One trial in New Zealand measured adults with a high cholesterol level over a 4-week period. They consumed 3g of salmon oil per day and after the 4 weeks they showed an increase of HDL and a decrease in LDL levels. Lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure levels certainly contributes to a healthy heart.

Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.

There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.

The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.

The other possible weight loss property of salmon is Chondroiton sulphate. Chondroiton is often used in conjunction with Glucosamine as a joint repair preparation but in this case the Chondroiton which is found in the nose of the salmon appears to have fat blocking capabilities. It appears to work in two ways by reducing the amount of fat absorbed into the intestines and then preventing any fat that has been absorbed from being stored in the cells. This will require a great deal more research but could be an interesting property in the fight against obesity.

As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.

Our immune system is working ceaselessly against the constant onslaught of bacteria and viruses and on the whole if we have a healthy diet containing plenty of antioxidant rich foods our defence system keeps us safe. However, from time to time something slips through and then we need to know that all the complex mechanisms of the immune system are functioning perfectly.

Salmon is high in selenium,which is avery important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.

Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.

Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones, calcium is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women.

The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient, they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen and the major organs of the body such as the heart become deprived of this life essential element.

Salmon is very versatile and provided it is from a healthy source and not from poorly maintained fish farms it can be eaten two to three times a week served hot or cold with plenty of fresh vegetables and salads. It is particularly delicious served chilled with a spinach salad and new potatoes.

You can also eat canned ocean caught salmon and this is particular good if you eat the soften bones that tend to come with it – if you find this unappealing simply mash the salmon and bone together with a fork and use on salads.

You will find out more about all the above nutrients in more depth in the directory.


Thank you for stopping by and look forward to your feedback.. Sally


Pet of the Week – Lucy the Boxer – Friend and companion of author John W. Howell.

This series is going great guns and so pleased that we have had the chance to meet some great pets and to give their owners a few minutes in the limelight too. This week it is the beautiful Lucy wh…

Source: Pet of the Week – Lucy the Boxer – Friend and companion of author John W. Howell.

Pet of the Week – Lucy the Boxer – Friend and companion of author John W. Howell.

Pet of the week

This series is going great guns and so pleased that we have had the chance to meet some great pets and to give their owners a few minutes in the limelight too. This week it is the beautiful Lucy who enjoys walks along the beaches of the Texas coast with her friend and companion author John W. Howell.. First let us meet Lucy and then a reminder of John’s work.  And if you have a pet that you would like to feature.. here is the link https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/new-series-dog-of-the-week-or-cat-parrot-or-spouse-by-special-request/

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Lucy is a rescue Boxer who was found wandering and hurt on the streets of San Antonio. She obviously was let go without a concern for her welfare. She was hit by a car and then picked up by the animal control folks. Since she is a boxer the Austin Boxer Rescue group was called and they immediately took her in and nursed her to health. We adopted her four years ago.

Lucy lives with an author and has become used to long stretches where all she hears is the clicking of a keyboard. Once the clicking stops she knows it is either time for a walk, food or a brush. As the dog of a writer, there is plenty of time for naps and general laying around. She enjoys all kinds of music and seems to love being in the room with the clicking keyboard.

Now a little about John.


John W. Howell from Texas who shares with us his weekly view of the Gulf of Mexico as the weather and seasons create wonderful skies and a changing horizon. After a long career, John turned to writing full-time with several short stories published and his two novels My GRL and his recent release His Revenge

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after his extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has had a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest. His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon. The second, His Revenge published by Keewaydin Lane Books is now available in Paperback and Kindle formats.

In his personal life, John is married to Molly and lives by the Gulf of Mexico in South Texas. They have three children and four grandchildren plus additional four legged family members comprising an assortment of rescue animals. Molly works as a volunteer for Austin Boxer Rescue while John is busy spending his time writing and taking wonderful photographs of their coastline.

About John’s books



John J. Cannon a successful San Francisco lawyer takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

His Revenge

51KHGA8dimL._UY250_America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.

Buy John’s books; Amazon Author’s pagehttps://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Connect with John on his blog and social media.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell
LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/
Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/
Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/johnwhowell/
Shelfari –http://www.shelfari.com/johnwhowell
Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Martin Sisters Publishing –Http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great to have your feedback and also if you could share.  Sally

Going west – the painted church

Sue Vincent is sharing some wonderful interiors of churches with sometimes small but significant wall and ceiling details that have special spiritual and even pagan significance. As a child the church we frequented had a turquoise and gold vaulted ceiling and for a child it was a wondrous thing that seemed perfectly fitting for the home of a god that they talked about. I went there in later years with my mother and looked up and they had repainted magnolia…

The Silent Eye

Wales 178

It is difficult for our modern eyes to imagine the colour that would once have been present within our oldest churches. The carved and decorated facades, often covered with statuary, would have been brightly painted. Walls that we are used to seeing in mellow stone and whitewash, touched by the ochre ghosts of medieval paintings, would once have gleamed in the flickering candlelight as the frescos borrowed life from the flames and processed through the shadowed aisles.

Wales 177

It is in the great cathedrals that we can still get a glimpse of the light and colour that provided such a contrast to the homespun world when dyes were expensive luxuries reserved only for the wealthy. At St Davids, a high, painted lantern still crowns the arches of the Crossing, drawing the eye ever upwards to the heavens.

Wales 215

Delicate traceries of contrasting stone mark the vaulted ceilings of the chapels, punctuated by…

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African Me & Satellite TV, on Lisa Burton Radio

FABULOUS… the most amazing cook in the world is featured on Lisa Burton’s Radio show today. I first met Princess Sithole when I read Jo Robinson’s African Me & Satellite TV back in 2014. Great book and Princess was one of my favourite characters.. do head over and read and share… buy the book too as you will love it. And there is a whisper that Princess Sithole is bringing out a cookbook.. fantastic.

Entertaining Stories

Today on Lisa Burton Radio, we’re on the phone with Princess Sithole, all the way from Zimbabwe. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome Princess.”

“Thank you Madam Lisa! Mangwanani – although that is good morning in Shona. Is it morning with you?”

“Yes, but I think you’re a day ahead of me. My bio says you’re a cook. That has to be a fun job, creating new things and feeding your family. Tell us a little about that.”

“Yes. I cook. It is not always a fun job. In Zimbabwe some years back, and even now again, there is very little food to be bought. One time it got so bad that all I had to cook with was carrots from the garden and Marmite. Still, I am very, very good at cooking, so nobody complained. I suppose you could call it a job – what I do…

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Meet Erin the eaglet over on Tofino Photography.. his parents are weaning him away from the nest.. grand looking fellow..

Welcome to Tofino Photography


I was lucky tonight! I finally  got to see Ernie & Ethel’s new eaglet! Eagles have a interesting technique to help fully fledge eaglets. They normally feed the eaglet in the nest when it’s very young.Then when it gets larger,they make it come to them.First right beside the nest,then further down the limb & then to another tree. Finally when it’s almost fully fledged they leave the tree totally & go down to the ground further away.Thats what they are doing in this shot.

This eaglet will be called “Erin”.

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – August 24, 2016

Hugh Roberts has popped in to see us all while his new book was in the hands of his editor.. He has shared some lovely photographs in response to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.. head over and say Hi to Hugh as he is off again to finish he book.. looking forward to showcasing that Hugh.. x

Hugh's Views & News

As I haven’t participated in any photo challenges lately, here are some photos for Cee’s ‘Which Way Photo Challenge.’

Street in CrickhowellPath to Crickhowell CastlePathway in Castle Meadows, AbergavennyDartmouth Railway Station

Cee says – This challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, etc. we move from one place to another on.  You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible.  Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.

So, how do you think I did?

I’ve just got my book back from Esther Newton, my Editor, so I’m going to be very quiet again over the next few weeks. I’ll try and drop by some of your blogs during tea and Jaffa Cakes breaks.

See you all again soon.


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