Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Spiritual Awareness – Are you familiar with Astral Projection? by D.G. Kaye


Explore the spiritual side of our natures as D.G. Kaye shares her experiences and research into this element of our lives.

You can find Part Four of the Angel series: Decoding Sequenced Angel Messages in Numbers

Are you familiar with Astral Projection?

Welcome back to my Spiritual Awareness series here at Sally’s Smorgasbord. Today I’m speaking about the act of Astral Projection. So, what is Astral Projection?

The astral plane is the realm of dreams and spirits. When we astral plane, we are taken to a level beyond the physical where we live here on earth. Astral Projection is the vehicle method we use to visit an intermediate world of light between heaven and earth. Those who have astral traveled say when in the astral, they can feel they are in the present, along with all their senses. People often experience this during illness or if they’re involved in a near death experience, if not practiced intentionally.

Astral planing is a spiritual journey of the out of body experience, known as OBE. It is like floating out of our bodies and watching our body below, not unlike what many tell us they experience in near death situations, or while in an operating room as their soul spirit watches from above. The nature of astral traveling is we can explore another plane that does exist. It is said that approximately 10% of the population has had an OBE (out of body experience). So how would we know if we’ve astral planed?

Astral planing is basically, lucid dreaming. It is the separation of our spirit body from the physical body allowing us to experience the astral realm. And remember, our body is still connected by a silver cord, enabling us to return anytime. In actuality, it is the brain’s body schema (its perception) of our physical form being altered. Nothing is “leaving” our body, we can literally only feel our conscious self, leaving our body when we start to fall asleep, that is why we sometimes feel like we’re falling while dreaming as we are startled and our body shakes us awake. the first step to starting an astral projection.

The goal is to transcend our physical being, mentally. Our soul doesn’t disconnect completely from our body, it’s just something people say as a way to describe astral projection.

It’s important to do our research before attempting astral projection, making sure we have a clear and pure intention because astral projection is the law of attraction for the soul, meaning that whatever we reflect will come back to us during our soul journey.
While we sleep, our subconscious is in control. The difference between unconscious astral travel when asleep and dreaming, and practiced astral projection, is by using conscious astral projection, we’re able to control where our soul travels, also referred to as conscious sleeping.

How to Astral Travel

Lie down or sit in a chair in a quiet place and focus solely on your deep breathing. Do this until your mind draws blank and the only sound you hear is the sound of your deep breathing, and you’re just about to fall asleep, but still awake. Continue on with deep breaths for approximately 20 minutes when you will begin to feel a tingling or numbness within your body, and you eventually lose consciousness of your physical body. Don’t panic, stay focused, and do not move or allow in any thinking, just stay focused on the breath, this is part of the process. Once we’ve achieved this vibrational stage, we can begin to use our willpower in one of several ways.

Vibrational Stage

Our vibrations have now been shifted to an alternate frequency, which enable us to project. We must next visualize ourselves moving – without moving, as we need to begin lifting ourselves out of our physical bodies.

We must now focus our imaginations and intentions with eyes closed and using visualization. There are various methods we can use for visualization, and as time progresses with practice, we eventually discover what works best for our focus. But one suggested method is that we close our eyes and imagine there is a rope hanging above us. Then we must reach up (with our astral bodies) and grab on to the rope, without moving any body parts.

This event takes a lot of practice, and admittedly, I still have not mastered it myself, as I have a very active imagination and have a difficult time doing deep concentration, but I’m working on it. It’s natural for us to be pulled right back into our bodies the first few times until we get a natural handle on astral traveling. Once we master this, we will be free to journey to wherever we wish. When we’re ready to return to our bodies, all we have to do is ‘think’ it.

What will you experience in Astral Traveling?

  • We may feel as though our body is paralyzed, similar to when we sleep.
  • Some say they feel their heart rate escalate as astral traveling exerts a lot of energy.
  • Some will feel a tingling through their bodies, where others claim to feel an electricity-like vibration through them. This happens when energy points reach a synchronized resonation.
  • Others claim they begin to hear a loud buzzing noise, or a hum. Some say it’s a light buzzing sound, while others claim they feel as though they were near proximity to a jet plane.
  • Some explain they feel numbness, while others claim they feel a vibrational tingle throughout their bodies, feeling anywhere from a gentle brushing against them to a dire itchiness.
  • Some claim they feel an overwhelming blanketed feeling all around them, while others say they feel an immense pressure around their heads that doesn’t last long. Experts claim this is due to increased activity in the crown center from separation of body and spirit.
  • Another common sensation is a heated sensation through the center of the body, raising upward to the chest area. This is explained because of the amount of energy exerted to astral plane.
  • Some claim they feel either a sinking or floating sensation as they begin to separate mind and body, while others describe the feeling as one of being on a roller coaster. These occurrences are attributed to the separation of the astral body as the physical body leaves behind all the physical feelings associated with our physical form.

If we are feeling any or all these sensations, we are on the right path to astral projection.

Are there dangers in Astral Traveling?

It’s important to learn the caveats of Astral traveling. This journey is not a dangerous one, but it is advised that we prepare properly before beginning a journey. A common fear is that someone may die while trying this. This is not true.

Others question about whether or not we can become possessed by some demon entity. Keep in mind, we can only let in evil spirits if we invite them in, or if we are vibrating at a low frequency. We must be firm with any entities we may encounter while traveling. We have only to remember to say no to them and at the same time envisioning our protection of white light around us as a shield. It’s also a good idea to begin the procedure by asking the higher powers to protect us on our journey.

Remember, we can’t get be separated from ourselves or get trapped while in another realm or when returning back to our physical bodies because of our free will. It can sometimes feel as though we’re trapped, but we never are. We need only to focus our energies on returning to our bodies. And our ‘silver cord’ will always bring us back.
Remember, our physical world is a lot more scarier than the astral realms!

So, what is the Silver Cord?

In short, it’s an ethereal thread that connects our souls to our physical bodies – a link, so to speak, connecting our physical selves to our higher selves, which prevents us from getting lost in an astral realm. Some claim they can see the cord while astral traveling, and some don’t. Those who do have described it as a strand of silver tinsel, while others say it’s like a string connected to a ball of energy. It’s almost like an imaginary harness.

However, most people say they never see the string while traveling and say it’s like a tethering energy. Regardless of whether we can see the cord or not, just know it is always there. The cord is said to only be broken once we physically die.

It is said that if we were to have an NDE (near death experience), for example, if one is having a heart attack, the soul reaches up for the silver cord and hangs on until such time the patient is revived and comes back into themselves as they are revived. If they die, the cord is severed. This is why many people claim they have looked down on themselves onto their physical bodies and have seen all that has gone on before they were revived, they were still connected by the cord.

The silver cord has been referred to by many religions, cults, and history books. Here is a direct quote from the bible:

“Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Below, I’d like to share some helpful links for you to learn more about Astral Projection.

Perform Astral Projection

Become a Living God – Soul Travel – Best Way to Succeed

E.C.Kankar Soul Travel Tips

Spiritual Travel OBE Methods

I hope I’ve enlightened you all about the Astral Projection journey. If any of you have tried this, please share your experience in comments.

Below is a good video that helps prepare the mind for Astral Projection

Here is a wonderful video to help guide you through an astral journey

©D.G.Kaye 2022

My thanks to Debby for another fascinating post on the spiritual side of our natures. I know she would love to hear from you.

About D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies)

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for P. S. I Forgive You

Martha Perez5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Healing Read!!! Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 10, 2022

Many of us came from a flawed family. Unfortunately, we can’t choose our parents, and when a child is abused, they will carry the pain throughout their lives. It’s an emotional roller coaster; the author speaks from her heart and soul. This story is heartfelt. You will have tears flow down your cheeks. It’s not easy to forgive, but I am glad she has written this book.

A mother’s love should be unconditional, but when they have gambling and other problems, they exercise control over their children by being selfish and not loving. It’s a recipe for disaster. Why her mother wasn’t happy reflects on her daughter’s hurt she carries throughout her life and the neglect and abuse of the family.

I understand why writing her journey was so important. It’s like letting go of a butterfly jarred to be free to fly away from the Suffocation from her past.

I don’t think we can ever understand why some parents do what they do. We must heal from the bad and be grateful for the good. I could relate with D.G. Kaye. My parents were alcoholics and gave us away. It’s important to forgive, but you never forget. I highly recommend this fantastic book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

 

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Debby’s post.. thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up November 21st – 27th 2022 – Author Interviews, Reviews, Chart Hits 1950s, Culinary A-Z, Tony Bennett, Podcast, Christmas Book Fair, Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Hope you are all well and a busy week I am sure for those of you celebrating family Thanksgiving gatherings. I find it hard to believe it is December round the corner and another year coming to a close.

I have been out and about with Debby Gies this week on Tuesday for a Q&A which gave the new book a lovely boost… and she generously reviewed the collection too for her Sunday Book Review.

I have also been scheduling the Christmas and New Year archive posts and some wonderful contributions already. There are still some spaces left before the 15th of December and also after Christmas for any New Year Posts you would like to share.

Details are in this post: Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the next in the series on hits from the 1940s and the next post in the series about the wonderful performer Tony Bennett and his music in the 1970s and 80s.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ is here on Monday morning with the next post in her Spiritual Awareness series .. Over on her own blog apart from the two posts I have already linked to you can enjoy another Q&A with author Jacqui Murray. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was be here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘L’…on her own blog you will find Monday Musings with a cautionary tale from Clive about scammers, and a kind promotion for Variety is the Spice of Life, A wonderful recipe for Red Thai curry with mushrooms as a delicious plant based meal, A look at edible flowers and a trip to the local market for some exotics that in Thailand are everyday foods. Head over to check the posts out CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…20th- 26th November 2022

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

 On with the show….

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1950s – Bill Haley, The Platters, Frankie Lane and Pattie Page

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Tony Bennett – The 1970s and 1980s The Rollercoaster Years

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘L’ is for Lamb, Lavender, Lemon/ Lime Meringue Pie, Liquorice and Liver…

Podcast – #Poetry #Flash Fiction – December and Sea Mist

Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – November 27th 2022 – Pete Springer, Marcia Meara, D.G. Kaye, Anne R. Allen with Sue Coletta, D. Wallace Peach, Judith Barrow with M. J. Mallon, John Howell with Harmony Kent

#Mystery #Thriller Genuine Deceit by Joy York

Previous Reviews 2021- #Western #Romance – Tumblestar by Sandra Cox.

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Christmas #Romance – Love, Me by Jacquie Biggar

Previous Reviews 2021 – #Children – Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space by Toni Pike

#Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Familysaga Judith Barrow

– #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton, #CrimeThriller Joan Hall

#Fantasy Dan Antion, #Biography John Cornelius Rogers and Sue Bavey, #SocialMedia #Cyberbullying Alex Craigie

#Shortstory Silent Night by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Christmas and New Year Special – Short Story, The Bike by D.L. Finn

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin November 22nd 2022- Thanksgiving food and Students

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin November 24th 2022 – Turkey Dilemmas and Betting slips

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast – #Poetry #Flash Fiction – December and Sea Mist by Sally Cronin


Over last few weeks I have shared some syllabic poetry and 99 word flash fiction from my collection Life’s Rich Tapestry…woven in words – Published in 2019

This week – a poem to celebrate the start of the morning frosts and the loyalty of a small dog.

 

December

frost,
icing
on the cake
of December.
shimmering with light,
iridescent crystals
beckoning the unwary
to step on this magic carpet,
slipping and sliding with cries of fear,
turning to peals of delighted laughter

Sea Mist

After tea and some shared biscuits, the little dog’s mistress sent him down to the quayside to wait for the return of his master. This cold winter’s day had been overcast and strangely still, with sea mist rolling in during the late afternoon. The boats were overdue, and wives anxiously peered out of their windows towards the shrouded harbour. The terrier’s ears pricked at a slight sound, nose lifting into the damp air. Whimpering he shot to his feet with quivering tail and one front paw lifted. A voice echoed in the fog “It’s okay Patch boy, I’m home”.

©Sally Cronin 2019

One of the reviews for Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words

Nov 30, 2020 Marina  rated it five stars

Engaging. Moving. Amazing.

As always, Sally Cronin’s writing (be it verse, micro fiction, or short stories) awoke in me a fountain of emotions. Some manifested themselves in goosebumps (Life’s Greatest Gift, Musical Interlude, Reunion, An Ugly Mutt, A Moment of Alignment-just to name a few), others brought a smile to my face, (My Mouse, Splashing Good Time, The Witch’s Handbook, etc.). The Enhancement Project was frightening in its futurological likelihood.

You’ll find the tales grim or sad, yet most promise hope at the end. While reading all these beautifully written stories, I shook my head in disbelief: how is it possible to tell a life story in such a short piece of literature? Take my word, you won’t be unaffected by these poignant snippets of life, and after turning the last page, you will crave more from this remarkable writer. Can’t help but recommend Sally Cronin’s books to readers who seek tales that deeply move soul and heart 

Thank you for listening and if you would like to know more about my books and their reviews you can find them on my books page Sally’s Books and Reviews 2022

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – November 27th 2022 – Pete Springer, Marcia Meara, D.G. Kaye, Anne R. Allen with Sue Coletta, D. Wallace Peach, Judith Barrow with M. J. Mallon, John Howell with Harmony Kent


Just a small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last week and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full. Thanks Sally.

Pete Springer shares some of the lessons that might not be in the curriculum but which are vitally important for a child to learn. Kindness, empathy, friendship are attributes that will stand them in good stead as they progress through school and college, at work and in relationships.

Head over to read this thought provoking post from Pete: Pete Springer – The most important lessons in school

Marcia Meara celebrated Thanksgiving with some brilliant funnies….here are one or two to whet your appetite and head over to enjoy the rest.

Head over to enjoy the rest of the funnies: Marcia Meara Thorsday Smile – Thanksgiving

Debby Gies shares her November writer’s links with some very helpful information and advice for authors and bloggers from Hugh Roberts, Anne R. Allen, Beem Weeks, Sue Coletta, Joan Hall and Natalie Ducey.

Head over to check out the links: Writer’s Tips November Edition – WordPress Hacks, Writing Timelines, Creating Audio Books, Editing Tips, and Social Media

One of the links recommended by Debby is one by Sue Coletta as a guest of Anne R. Allen. Sue is using TikTok to market her books and she shares her process of getting to know the platform and finding the best way to promote her books.

Head over to discover how TikTok might work for you: TikTok works for all genres

Diana Peach with a fabulous story that covers the festive season from Thanksgiving to Christmas …hilarious and converted me lol… Talking Turkey.

Head over to enjoy this wonderful story: Diana Peach – Myths of the Mirror – Talking Turkey

Marjorie Mallon joins Judith Barrow as part of the Places in our Memories series, sharing her love of Botanical Gardens and some of the photographs that has inspired her poetry and stories.

Head over to enjoy Marje’s memories and photographs: Judith Barrow, Places in our Memories with Marjorie Mallon

John Howell is host to Harmony Kent as she shares her new collection of poetry and one her poems which is stunning.

 Head over to discover more about Harmony’s latest collection of poetry: Guest post Harmony Kent with John Howell.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will enjoy these posts as much as I did… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally Goes Out and About with D.G. Kaye


This week I was delighted to head out to visit D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies for one of her Q & A sessions. I hope that if you have time you will head over to read the post in full.. thanks Sally.

Q & A with D.G. Kaye is featuring Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with her Hot #NewRelease – Variety is the Spice of Life – #shortstories and #poetry

November is promotion month here at my blog; and I’m kicking off this week with my dear friend, author/blogger, podcaster, and short story writer extraordinaire, Sally Cronin. Sally is a staunch supporter and promoter of so many writer’s books and blogs. I am also fortunate to be one of Sally’s ongoing guest writers with various columns I write for her on her blog – currently, my spiritual awareness series. My friend Sally tirelessly promotes others and barely a peep from her on the socials about her own new book – Variety is the Spice of Life – A blend of poetry and prose. So I’m happy to share Sally’s book here today along with a little Q & A.

I know most of you here are familiar with Sally and her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, but she hasn’t been featured here for a while, so today I’m thrilled to have her over and share some more interesting tidbits about Sally and her writing. Enjoy! x

Sally Cronin image

About Sally:

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Sally’s blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Please head over to Debby’s to read more about the inspiration to my new collection and my thoughts on publishing and the shenanigans of being a writer: Q& A with D.G. Kaye, Writing and Variety is the Spice of Life

Christmas Book Fair – Book Review – #Mystery #Thriller Genuine Deceit by Joy York


Another recommended book for you this week, a perfect gift for mystery and thriller readers. Genuine Deceit by Joy York.

About the book

Abandonment. Suicide. Murder. When a young woman finds herself unknowingly accountable for the past sins of her family, she must unravel their secrets and lies to stay alive.

When her grandmother is brutally murdered in her own home, Reagan Asher leaves her corporate job and rushes to her sleepy hometown in Ohio. She has barely entered the house before a second break-in attempt is made, prompting police to believe it’s not just a random burglary. Reagan’s lifelong friend Mattie asks Aiden Rannell, her brother-in-law and an ex-Navy Seal, to lend support and protection to Reagan as she navigates the investigation.

​Aiden suggests a ring that Reagan’s grandmother owned may be more valuable than anyone believes. Considering her frugal life growing up, Reagan dismisses the idea, showing Aiden an old pink box filled with similar colorful, ornate costume jewelry she and her friends played with as children. When they find a decades-sealed container with shocking contents supporting Aiden’s concerns, Reagan begs him to help her find the origin and if it is related to her Nana’s death.

​With the answers seemingly rooted in Reagan’s family’s past, they delve into her tragic childhood as the danger escalates. With each new revelation of betrayal and deception, Reagan begins to doubt everything she ever knew about her life.

My review for Genuine Deceit 26th November 2022

A terrific suspense novel with some unexpected twists to keep the reader turning the pages.

A mystery spanning decades begins to unravel as Reagan Asher encounters unsettling discoveries following the murder of her grandmother. To complicate matters she finds herself torn between her new protector and a boyfriend who may or may not be serious about their relationship. It is an emotional rollercoaster which is not helpful when her life and the lives of those she cares about are in danger.

The author does a great job of keeping the pace moving along and slipping in the reveals in a timely way to keep the reader glued to the story. Some of these are red herrings which result in the police and FBI are being creative with their investigations as they attempt to make the pieces of the puzzle fit.

All the characters are carefully crafted with strengths, but also the small imperfections that make them believable. Those on the dark side of the story are certainly well portrayed, and their attempts to retrieve what they consider to be theirs are chilling.

As Aiden’s and Reagan’s relationship develops, they are led into a complex and dangerous labyrinth built by a man and a woman with a secret they will go to great lengths to protect, and a criminal conspiracy from the past. There is plenty of action, romance, surprises and a great lead up to the climax of the story that both challenges Reagan’s belief in who she really is, and brings together a family separated by deceit.

I highly recommend this book to mystery and thriller lovers who love to be kept in suspense right to the end of the story.

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

Also by Joy York

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Follow Joy: GoodreadsWebsite: Joy York –  Facebook: Joy York Author – Twitter: @JoyYorkAuthor

About Joy York

Joy York grew up in Alabama but has spent much of her adult life in the Midwest, currently living with her husband in Indiana with their two golden doodles, Jake and Bailey. Inspired by a family legacy of oral storytelling, she began creating stories and adventures for her son when he was growing up. With encouragement from family and friends, she began to write them down. Her first book, The Bloody Shoe Affair: A daring and thrilling adventure with the jailer’s daughter, a YA mystery, was published in 2015. Genuine Deceit, an adult suspense novel, is her second book.

 

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – Short Story, The Bike by D.L. Finn


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 a wonderful short story from D.L. Finn that highlights the kindness of strangers even when we have perhaps taken a wrong turn, and how a meeting can change the future.

THE BIKE by D.L. Finn

Twelve-year-old Billy had started the day full of hope. He took the number three bus to downtown Laceyville. Barely a dot on a map, but it was where you went if you needed something. Mom was doing her last shift at the small diner down the road. Little Joey stayed with old Mrs. Trumbolt, who always had a never-ending sugar cookie and milk supply. On special occasions, she’d add some chocolate chips to the cookies.

Billy sat in the middle of the bus that only had two other passengers. Everyone minded their own business, so he enjoyed the holiday decorations out the scratched-up window. Almost every house had a tree in the front window covered in silver tinsel and colored lights. The bus jolted to a stop right in front of Harvey’s Department Store. Billy tightly clutched his old dingy sock full of change and dollar bills and followed the sour older man, who smelt of horse manure and sour milk, to the side door of the bus. The round-faced man eyed him like Billy was going to knock him down or push the man out of his way.

The glowing store covered in red and green holiday decorations was full of last-minute shoppers. His mom had brought him and his little brother here to take in the holiday cheer and visit Santa a few weeks ago. He knew Santa was just hired help in a red suit, but Joey still believed in all that magic. Billy wisely asked for new clothes and would be lucky to get that, but Joey requested a new red bike.

His mom’s eyes had filled with tears that she quickly wiped away after looking at the bike’s price tag. He knew twenty-five dollars was more than she could afford. She didn’t make that much working at the old diner, where tips were meager. At least they’d get some chocolate candies in their stocking and a warm thrift store coat.

Billy held in his sock the earnings from mowing lawns, cleaning garages, and yards over the last few months. His mom always encouraged him to take the money and open a savings account but he had been halfway to getting the stingray bike all his friends had. Not that it mattered now because Billy was the man of the house after his father died 11 months ago. He would use this money to get his little brother what he asked from Santa for Christmas and have enough left over to get Mom something nice just like his dad used to do. He could always earn enough to get what he wanted by next summer and then open that account.

Billy dodged a large woman whose arms were filled with toy trucks and dolls. Lucky kids. He headed to where the bikes were, but the red one was gone, and in its place was a blue model that was ten dollars more dollars than he had.

“Look out, kid.” The lady pushed by him. “I’ll take that bike too,” she told the smiling saleswoman, who was dressed as Mrs. Claus.

“You are very lucky! That’s our last bike.”

Billy stood in line and inquired about the display bike.

Mrs. Claus patted his head. “That has a dent on it, son. We need to fix it in Santa’s workshop before it can be sold.”

Billy shook his head. “A dent is okay. I have twenty-five dollars for it.”

The woman reached around him and grabbed a scarf from a lady holding a screaming baby. “Sorry, that’s against store policy. It would make the store look bad to sell damaged inventory. Buy something else, I have customers to wait on.”

Billy sighed loudly. Joey would be so disappointed. Still, he was determined to add a few gifts under the decorated fig tree. A turquoise scarf and gloves set that had a peacock feather design was perfect for his mom, along with pink slippers, and a cheesy romance novel. He found a firetruck, football, and new Christmas PJs and slippers for his brother. The family always used to wear matching PJs on Christmas Eve way back when life was normal, and cancer didn’t take away all its joy.

Holding his purchases, he added a package of sweet tarts. That left him with just enough change to ride the bus home. When he stepped on the number three bus, he found the change gone and a hole in his pocket.

“No money, no ride.” The man with red hair had not been gifted with the Christmas spirit.

Billy bowed his head and retreated in embarrassment from the bus where no goodwill existed.

He retraced his path to the locked store door. A young man with braces and a red Santa Hat took the dented bike out of the window display while ignoring Billy’s frantic pounding on the glass entry.

With a loud sigh, Billy stomped away. “Guess I’m walking home.”

He took the shortcut that passed the back of the store. The person who had disregarded him brought the bike out the back door. The employee tugged on the knob of the door that said do not enter.

“Great, it’s locked!” The employee dropped the bike on the ground and stomped back into the store.

The dim lights illuminated the red bike like it was on display. Billy pushed his bags full of gifts on his shoulders and did something he’d never done before. He stole the bike.

He was almost out of the dark lot when he heard. “Stop, thief!”

Billy’s stomach felt heavy, but he thought of his brother’s face on Christmas morning. His long legs kept pedaling on the small bike. Although he was a criminal now, he tried a deal he thought God might accept. “Please forgive me. If you let me keep it for Joey, I’ll promise to pay the store back more than they were charging.”

Turning onto the main road, he weaved in and out of traffic. The icy wind pounded his face, and the thin coat offered no protection from the approaching winter storm. He almost had himself convinced what he had done was okay until guilt crashed down on him.

“Sorry, Joey. This isn’t right.”

Billy spun the bike around in the intersection, right as a bus barreled around the corner with its horn blaring. Directly before everything went black, he saw a beautiful angel with long ebony hair and green wings standing over him.

That was the last thing he remembered until he smelt garlic and bread. He carefully opened his eyes, expecting to see that angel again, but instead, there was a kind-faced man at his side.

Billy blurted out his story while the man gently shook his head and rubbed his chin but withheld comment.

Billy finished with. “I’ve got to get the bike back to them, Sir. It doesn’t belong to me.”

The man smiled. “That bike is a bit dinged up now, but it’s yours.”

Billy wondered if he was dreaming. “It’s what?”

“My friend, Officer Doyle told me you took it. I figured you had your reasons, so I offered to pay for it. The store manager gladly accepted. Although, you aren’t allowed in the store anymore unless an adult accompanies you.” His smile was as gentle as his eyes.

Billy’s eyes widened. “Why would you do that, mister?”

The man, who had to be as old as his mom, patted his arm softly. “Everyone deserves a second chance, and a young man like yourself should be with his family on Christmas Eve, not in jail. And please call me Mr. Jones.”

“My name is Billy, Mr. Jones. But I spent all my money on these presents that are probably ruined.” Billy pointed to the two bags on the table next to the red bench he was lying on.

Mr. Jones had crinkles around his eyes just like his dad had when he grinned. “Your gifts are fine, not even a scratch on the firetruck.

Billy held back tears. “How can I pay you back?”

“Well, Billy. I could use help around here on Saturdays and maybe sometimes after school. You could work off your bike. If everything goes well, I’ll hire you permanently.”

“Really! Gee, that would be great!” Billy sat up and winced as his head throbbed more. He was sore, but everything else worked on him.

Mr. Jones pointed to his head. “That bump on your head is going to hurt you for a while, but the doctor said you’d be just fine.”

Billy looked around. “A doctor was here?”

“Yes, picking up a pizza to take home. Very lucky he was here, so you don’t have to go to the hospital.”

“Very lucky. Thank you.”

“You are very welcome. Now get up slowly and gather your things. I’ll take you and that bike home.”

Billy stood up on a sticky red tile floor. “You don’t have to do more, Mr. Jones. I can ride my bike home, and you can be with your family.”

A sad look crossed over the man’s face. “I lost my wife last year in a car accident. We were never blessed with kids, so it would be a favor to me if you allowed me this holiday cheer of being able to return you to your family.”

“Sorry, Mr. Jones. My dad died too.” Billy inspected the man. He wasn’t horrible looking and a widower, too, maybe…

They pulled in front of his house, where his mom was talking to a police officer.

Billy stepped out of the truck with a loud gulp. “You should meet my mom, Mr. Jones. I know she’d like to thank you for all your help.”

“I…”

“Billy!” His mom engulfed Billy in a tight hug. “Are you okay? What were you thinking? You are grounded for two weeks….” She stopped when Mr. Jones walked up next to them. “Officer Doyle told me what you did for him, Mr.….”

“Jones, but call me Mike. It was my pleasure to help.” His new friend’s brown eyes twinkled, and Mom’s cheeks took on an odd shade of pink.

“My name is Maria. Nice to meet you, Mike.” She held out her hand, which Mr. Jones engulfed in his large hands. The handshake seemed to go on for a while.

“Nice to meet you, Maria. You raised him well. He was going to make things right after doing something so stupid. With your permission, he’s agreed to help at my restaurant to pay off his debt. Although the road wasn’t as kind, the bus missed him. He was a very lucky young man.”

“We were very lucky tonight, thank you. And of course, you have my permission. I just made a fresh pot of coffee. Would you like a cup?” Mom smoothed her wavy dark brown shoulder-length hair and smiled.

Mr. Jones finally let go of his mom’s hand as Officer Doyle walked by and waved. “Don’t do that again, young man. You won’t get so lucky next time with Mr. Jones being around to help you. Merry Christmas.”

“I won’t, Sir. Merry Christmas.” Billy confirmed.

Officer Doyle shook his head and winked at Mr. Jones before getting into his car.

“Good advice, Billy. I don’t want to impose on your family celebration, Maria. Maybe another…”

Billy interrupted him before he could decline, much to his mom’s obvious horror. “Mr. Jones will be alone tonight. Can’t we invite him to our Christmas Eve dinner?”

His mom’s face relaxed. “It would be an honor if you joined us. Our way of paying back your kindness.”

Joey raced out of Mrs. Trumbold’s house and threw himself into Billy’s aching arms. Mr. Jones retrieved the blanket-wrapped bike and followed Mom into the garage.

That dent and scratches went unnoticed Christmas morning, and the day turned out to be a good Christmas even though Dad was missed. Mr. Jones stayed for dinner and many more dinners after that.

Money worries were a thing of the past when Mom took over the paperwork in Mr. Jones’s busy restaurant. It took them a few years, but Mr. Jones became a part of the family.

Mom cut back from working full-time to part-time after she announced she was expecting a baby who was due on Christmas Day. The baby arrived on the night when miracles happened, Christmas Eve. Billy knew no one would believe him, but there was the same beautiful angel standing next to his baby sister’s crib that he’d seen the night the bus narrowly missed him. The angel smiled and waved at him, then disappeared.

©D.L. Finn 2022

My thanks to Denise for letting me share this delightful short story…

A selection of books by D.L. Finn

A review for Things on a Tree

I finished this book today and my review follows the author’s book blurb found on Amazon.

“What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Thirteen-year-old Aimee is sick and missing her dad, who died in a car accident last year. While the rest of her family are outside playing in the snow, she is alone by their Christmas tree. Aimee sighs as the tears begin to fall. She wishes she still believed in Santa Claus. Then she could ask him to change the last year. Yeah, right, she thought. She turns away from the tree, and falls asleep. Later that night, Aimee awakens to a strange noise.

Clink! Clink! Clink!

Her fever must be higher than she thought, because she can’t believe what she is seeing running down her purple blanket! But everything happening to her is very real, including the fact someone wants her dead. Aimee is thrust into a world of magic, wonder and greed. Her journey takes her from her snowy rooftop, to the streets of New York and the North Pole with the promise to return her father to her family. Who could she trust when things aren’t always what they seem?”

I wasn’t sure of the age range for children when I first started my reading. As I read I realized that this book is one that I consider great for children aged 10 – 13 or grades 5 – 8. Never have I read a Christmas story like this one. I am amazed at how cleverly Finn wove this story. The magic of Christmas comes back to those kids who have outgrown their belief in Santa. This is a well-written, well-worded fantasy story about Christmas with magic woven into the fabric and well laid out. The illustrations are cute. Definite five stars from me! 

Read the reviews 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

About D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her

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 Posts from my Archives – Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Christmas #Romance – Love, Me by Jacquie Biggar


Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my reviews for books I posted between January and June 2022.

I read two Christmas themed stories over the holiday period last year and here is the first from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar…  Love Me

About the book

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, Kyle Roberts is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace needs a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

My review for the book January 22nd 2022

Having read other books by the author I fully expected that this story would be heartwarming and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. The characters are always relateable and being a romance they also tend to have attractive personalities which makes them likeable too.

The interactions between those falling for each other are subtle, and much is left to your imagination, which is something I prefer when reading about love. In this particular case you are left with the wonderful feeling that love is alive and well despite the global troubles impacting us all at this time.

At the heart of this story is also the issue of childhood leukemia which the author adds details of at the end of the book. A difficult subject to cover, particularly in a feel good romance novel, but Jacquie Biggar handles it very sensitively.

A book to curl up in front of a roaring fire, with a large mug of hot chocolate and a couple of hours free for some lovely escapism. Recommended for lovers of romance and those who enjoy a heartwarming reminder that there are good things in the world.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand: Amazon UK

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

In her own words:

“My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz, I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat.

My guilty pleasure are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. I can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake’s shenanigans.

I love to hang at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?).

I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink and talking to my friends.”

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

 

Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – Tony Bennett – The 1970s and 1980s The Rollercoaster Years


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.

Many Moods of Tony

We pick up Tony Bennett’s story as we head into the 1970s and to be honest this was a very mixed decade for Tony as an artist and in his personal life. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1971 and he married again later that year and welcomed two daughters Joanna and Antonia. The family moved to Los Angeles and musically Tony decided on a new direction with his music as well.

For any artist who had been in the business for nearly 30 years and had established themselves within the Jazz and Pop music lanes, it was going to be a tough decade. Rock was now firmly established in the charts and a new generation of fans were buying records. Tony Bennett was now in his late 40s and whilst he still had a loyal fan base, it was going to be a challenging time professionally.

Columbia Records had launched Tony’s career but he began to feel that his own artistic input was too restricted. The label would have loved to have him back in the fold but he turned them down in favour of a two record deal with MGM records. The two albums, The Good Things in Life and Listen Easy did not make a great impact in the charts and by 1972 Tony decided it was time to strike out on his own and he started his own record company, Improv.

He released four albums over the next five years under his own label and one with Fantasy Records. Life is Beautiful, Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers and Hart Songs, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (With Fantasy) Tony Bennett Sings More Rodgers and Hart and Together Again with Bill Evans.

Life is Beautiful was named after the song by Fred Astaire and the rest of the album reflected Tony Bennett’s two decades of exploring the American Songbook. Tracks included Reflections by Duke Ellington and Lost in the Stars by Kurt Weill. Whilst there were some supportive reviews from the critics the album did not enter the charts. However Reflections was singled out as being exceptional. Uploaded byTony Bennett

The two albums with jazz pianist Bill Evans were also well received and their first, with Fantasy, reached 31 in the Jazz charts. Tony was working with some of the best musicians in the business on the Improv releases including Charlie Byrd and Marian McPartland but without a distribution arrangement in place with a major label the albums were not getting the airtime or marketing they needed; although artistically sound, the label went out of business in 1977.

The Warwick label released a compilation album in 1977 The Very Best of Tony Bennett: 20 Greatest Hits and Columbia also released Tony Bennett with the McPartlands and Friends Make Magnificent Music. They were to be the last albums until the mid-80s.

Tony did however release some singles in the early 70s that did better in the charts and included Something, Living Together, Growing Together, Life is Beautiful, As Time Goes By and the theme song from Love Story, Where Do I Begin.

Where Do I Begin was composed by Francis Lai and after the music had become popular on the release of the film, the lyrics were added, written by Carl Sigman. Uploaded trooper7h

The last part of the 1970s were difficult years and unfortunately his second marriage also broke down. Without a recording contract and manager, Tony was performing intermittently in Las Vegas and the IRS was also attempting to seize some of his assets.

Eventually in 1979 following a near fatal overdose Tony finally reached out to his two sons and his son Danny signed on has his manager.

The next ten years were to be much more positive and with his new manager’s guidance and innovative marketing strategy, Tony Bennett staged a comeback.

With his expenses under control and the IRS satisfied with a repayment plan, Danny took Tony away from the Las Vegas environment and booked him into smaller venues around the country to entertain a younger audience. Pianist Ralph Sharon came back onto the team as Musical Director and would stay with Tony until 2002.

Unlike many performers who were attempting to appeal to a new generation, Tony Bennett made few changes to his classic style or appearance and stayed firmly in his musical lane. Danny however booked Tony onto the popular chat and entertainment shows on television including Late Night With Letterman, The Simpsons, Muppets Tonight and on MTV. This brought his exceptional performance skills and the music of the last five decades to a brand new audience who loved it.

The strategy began to work and in 1986 Tony re-joined Columbia Records, this time with creative control and released The Art of Excellence which was the first to reach the charts since 1972.

Tony Bennett was on his way back and he performed his way into the 90s.

To end this rollercoaster ride that was the 70s and 80s here is the appropriate song How Do You Keep The Music Playing by A.Bergman, M.Bergman and Michel Legrand from the album The Art of Excellence. Uploaded by Jason Borba

Buy the music of Tony Bennett: Amazon

Additional sources: Wikipedia

Next week The 1990s – Tony Bennett is back….

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.