Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Book Review – #Supernatural Adventure The Last Drive by John W. Howell

Delighted to share my review for the latest release by John W. Howell the sequel to the excellent Eternal Road... another supernatural adventure…The Last Drive

About the book

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

My review for the book February 6th 2023

Having read Eternal Road I was eagerly anticipating the sequel The Last Drive and loved it.

You do need to buckle up for this road trip, not just of a lifetime, but several lifetimes, as Sam and James reunite for a mission to save the missing soul of military pilot Ryan, lost in time, along with his idol flying legend Eddie Rickenbacker.  Time is of the essence, as the malicious involvement of the devil is believed to be behind their status, and that can never be a good thing.

The characters of Sam and James were well established in the first book and it was easy to pick up their close relationship. The author does a great job in bringing the two missing souls and the evil, crude and manipulative devil together, for an adventure that spans hundreds of years from Ancient Rome to present day.

The places and times where they find themselves, were not known for peace and harmony, and often portrayed mankind at its worst, but also in some cases at their best. They are times in history that most of us are familiar with, but we are taken backstage to the events, to focus on the people involved, often as they too, like the heroes, face their final journey.

The theme of good versus evil runs through the story with imagined intereactions between those fighting on either side. The reader is invited in to spectate, and also consider, how closely these two divisions are aligned, and are often present together during the most pivotal moments in our history. It makes for fascinating reading.

It is a fast faced thriller with excellent characters, including the Prince of Darkness, who is dispicable as he should be. There are some scenes where you might be tempted to look away from, as they underline the evil men do, however the author handles these situations very well. Also his wry humour threads its way through the story, lifting the darker side of the narrative and adding a wonderful element to the reading enjoyment.

I can recommend this book to fans of John W. Howell. and those who enjoy an excellent thriller with compelling characters.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US And: Amazon UK

Other books by John Howell

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

About John Howell.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.


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


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #Recipe Aunt Jeanette’s Luscious Lemon Tart by Dorothy Grover-Read – New Vintage Kitchen

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2023 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.

This is the first post by newspaper and radio reporter, music promoter and hotelier Dorothy Grover-Read New Vintage Kitchen – I will admit that I am drawn to certain recipes because of memories of eating the dishes in the past, but sometimes my sweet tooth gets carried away.  Today’s recipe is my all time favourite dessert and who can resist lemon tart….

Aunt Jeanette’s Luscious Lemon Tart by Dorothy Grover-Read  

This tart is all about the lemon, so don’t be shy!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love lemons! To me, my idea of lemonade is freshy squeezed lemon juice and water, that’s it! I was delighted when I realized that all three of my grandchildren loved to suck on raw lemons since they were babies.
Lemon genes

My mom was also a lemon lover. One of her favorite tarts to make was my Aunt Jeanette’s lemon tart, only Mom always topped it with meringue, probably because my aunt never did and they were a bit competitive in the kitchen.

Let’s simplify here

In my aunt’s original recipe, a classic French tarte au citron, she mixed the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs together over heat until thickened, then added the butter (tediously I’ll add here), one pat at a time, mixing until melted. Since I make my lemon curd by tossing all this in the pan at once, and this is essentially a lemon curd with just a bit more body, I simplified the steps and time considerably with no difference in texture.

Always make it the way you like!

Aunt Jeanette’s recipe used more sugar; I’ve reduced the sugar because I like it that way, more tart than sweet, but as with everything else I tell folks, if you like it sweeter, add more sugar! You can add up to a third cup more sugar. It’s always about what we like, and when we are creating our own dishes, we can tailor it to our own taste. She also sometimes beat some whipped cream and folded it into the lemon to make a kind of lemon chiffon pie, very delicious.

You can use another citrus here, but lemon is the best! If you want a bit less lemon zing, use a bit less of the zest.

I used an all-butter crust here, but any favorite crust will do! This recipe is for the holidays, and I didn’t even try to make it less decadent, it just wouldn’t be worth it. It’s rich, and you only need a very small slice! Very small, trust me.

Now, pucker up!

Aunt Jeanette’s Luscious Lemon Tart 

  • 1 ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Grated zest of three large lemons
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter (12 tbsp.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 10” prebaked tart crust, cooled

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and place rack in the middle of oven. Have your 10” tart pan ready for action.

Zest the lemons and then squeeze them using whatever type of reamer or press you like. While I find the hinged lemon presses everyone uses these days handy, I find the old -fashioned reamers do a little better job of extracting all the juice, but use whatever you like.

Cube the butter, and separate the four egg yolks, reserving the whites for another use. Maybe an egg white omelet the next morning to make up for the rich night before.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all the ingredients at once and place over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, keep stirring until the mixture is thickened; a whisk is handy here to keep everything smooth. When ready, you will want it to be the consistency of a thick pudding, and while it won’t be boiling, there will be big plops of curd bubbles breaking through like it wants to start really boiling.

Put the curd through a wire mesh strainer, pressing as much through as possible, and don’t forget to scrape what is left on the bottom of the sieve. This step removes the zest and any unpleasant pieces of egg white that may have congealed.

Pour into your baked shell, and smooth it flat. Bake for about 10 minutes, just to finish setting the tart.

Cool completely, overnight is best, with a thin film of plastic wrap set directly on top to prevent a skim from forming. When ready to serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You can also top this with whipped cream, or use this as a base for a luscious lemon meringue pie like my mother.

And by itself, the filling makes a lovely curd for muffins and scones, so it’s an all-purpose lemon delight!

© Copyright 2022– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with active link and direction to this original post.

My thanks to Dorothy for inviting me to delve into her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

About Dorothy Grover-Read

After spending years as a newspaper and radio reporter and magazine writer, I needed a change. So, my husband and I operated a small bed and breakfast inn in Southern Vermont for more years than I want to count, and as you can imagine, I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen, much of it looking for ways to save some of that time while still offering something memorable to my guests.

This also freed me to help produce local music concerts and festivals in our areas, including the popular Roots on the River Music Festival which finished it run in 2019. We have been blessed to have many wonderful singers and singer/songwriters stay at our humble inn, and a few who have performed here as well. Precious moments.

We were among the first Green Hotels in the state, and member of the Vermont Fresh Network. We are now open only for special events, cooking classes, and a little catering to keep things interesting. I write a food column for our local newspaper, focusing on local foods and products and our fabulous southern Vermont farms, seasonal and delicious.

Connect to Dorothy Blog: New Vintage KitchenTwitter: @VermontBnB – Facebook: Dorothy G Read 

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • 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 Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up- 30th January – 5th February 2023 – Birthdays, Big Band, Food A-Z, Podcast, PR for Authors, Reviews, Bloggers and Funnies

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

I hope your week has gone well. January went very quickly and cannot believe we are in February already.

The three of us with my mother in 2000 on their first visit to our home in Madrid.

It is a busy month in our family, as we three sisters all have our birthdays. My brother slipped into March and was a bit of a surprise as my mother was 40. She was always a good sailor but on our trip home from two years Sri Lanka, which was extended because of the Suez Canal crisis, she felt unwell. She went to the doctor on arriving home to the village where we had our home and he diagosed dispepsia!  A month later she rang him and said dispepsia just kicked me.

I was four at the time and since my mother wanted a home birth I was packed off to Northampton with my aunt who travelled down to pick me up and take me back on a coach. I was a little brat and despite her best efforts and that of my cousin Roger then a teenager of 15, she had to return with me after only two days, as I was determined not to be left out of this massive event. My brother was born that night but I slept through it all, exhausted by my machinations!  I was allowed in to meet him first thing the next morning and I don’t think that was the first time my mother said to me ‘You little monkey!’ lol.

My brother and I  making a getaway…

Anyway here I am almost 70 and still getting up to mischief…

I was delighted to be the guest at Lisette Brodey’s Writer’s Chateau this week chatting about books, publishing, my amazing contributors and living in Ireland.. If you have not visited the interview then it would be great if you popped over. Lisette Brodey’s Writer’s Chateau Interview Sally Cronin

Part five of this series has gone out this week but I have made a pdf of the complete series and if anyone would like a copy email me on

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week for the Big Band Era with Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields and an example of The Black Bottom dance. Also the final post on the life and music of Sir George Shearing with a new series on the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ On Monday I shared one of her early guest posts here on an entertaining travel adventure and Debby has left some funnies for us during the week. Despite being on holiday she is still visiting posts and commenting, not just here but around the writing community. Follow the link to Debby’s blog to browse her archives D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘P’In Carol’s Monday Musings she explores Trans Fats, Battery Storage, Killer Fungi and a Natural Antibiotic…The Chilli Pepper and on Thursday Groundhog Day, Chinese Steamed Cakes, Knish, Cootie Catcher plus the 1st public Conviences…Catch up on all Carol’s posts: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…29th January-4th February 2023-

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930 – Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, The Blackbottom

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The 1980s and Beyond

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled – Part Five – Who else might your Public Image impress?

#Poetry #Flash Fiction – Lullaby and The Charm Bracelet by Sally Cronin

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – P’ for Pancakes, Paella, Pomelo, Pate, Pease Pudding and A Poke Bowl.

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Keeping the pathways clear of debris and staying mentally stimulated

A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye

Growing Bookworms – The importance of colour when illustrating children’s books #childrensfiction #readingcommunity by Robbie Cheadle

#AuthorPromotions #GuestPosts – Christine Robinson – Hosted by The Story Reading Ape

New on the Shelves – #BoxSet – Foxy Mysteries Complete Collection 1 – 5: A Romanic Suspense Crime Adventure Series by Fiona Tarr

Book Review – #Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

Book Review Round Up January 2023 – #Montana Linda Bradley, #Romance Jill Weatherholt, #Family Judith Barrow, #Romance Staci Troilo, #poetry #loss Harmony Kent

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Shortstory – #Supernatural – Breathless by Yvette Calleiro

Smorgasbord Blogger Spotlight February 1st 2023 – #Reviews Judith Barrow, Jacquie Biggar, Toni Pike, #Burnsnight Noelle Granger, #Monsters C.S. Boyack, #Mexico D.G. Kaye, #Genres Traci Kenworth,#Interview Lisette Brodey

January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Speeding Ticket and Three Wishes

February 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Tattoos and Seven Cats

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Lullaby and The Charm Bracelet by Sally Cronin

Some more poetry and flash fiction from one of my collections.

Today, the first songs a baby may hear is its mother or father singing them to sleep, with some enhancements depeding on the babies needs at the time…. and taking the first step into a new world or environment is made easier if you are sent on your way with love.

Lullaby and The Charm Bracelet by Sally Cronin


to sing
a lullaby
you must first consider
preferences of the baby

a jolly song
aimed to make them chortle
to wave their hands around with glee

slow and gentle
soothing a fractious mood
or the soreness of teething gums

deep toned
to reassure
those fearing the shadows
now allayed by a father’s voice

a foreign tongue
but words that mothers sing
to babies all around the world


The Charm Bracelet.

Keira stood in line with the other teenagers. Dressed in plain cotton overalls, the queue stretched back for miles. Above them, lining the cliff edges, were their families, held back by a tall fence. She looked down at the silver charm bracelet her mother had placed around her wrist as she had said her tearful goodbyes.

‘This will remind you of the old world my daughter, and our love.’

Keira finally reached the head of the line and was called forward by the guardians.
Placing her hand over the bracelet, she stepped through the portal, into the new world.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection. 

A beautiful collection of short stories and poetry that cover life, love, loss and the natural world around us. The title encapsulates the content wonderfully it is a beautifully written book with my favourites being the short stories particularly the elderly couple and their beloved pet and the healer both of which tugged at my heartstrings… 

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 My books and reviews 2023


Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Book Review – #Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

I recently featured Deena Goldstein and her memoir Ok, Little Bird and today I am sharing my review for this heartwarming celebration of her relationship with her father.

About the book

In the world of Little Bird, three siblings experience the same father differently. Navigating stringent rules, cantankerous family dinners, unfiltered commentaries, and lots of love, OK, Little Bird takes the reader on a bouncy ride from laughter to tears.

Everything is funny till a seemingly invincible father succumbs to a terminal illness amidst the Covid19 pandemic. Little Bird sets out to make things ok for her father one last time. Through a lifetime of wry banter, voicemails, letters and bad gifts, fly with Little Bird as she learns that even in the worst of times, the gem of laughter is the best coping tool of all.

My review for the book February 4th 2023

This is a loving tribute to a father who throughout his life created strict rules to live by, not just for himself but his growing family. The youngest of three children, Deena was the apple of his eye and got away with a great deal more than her older brother and sister, much to their disgust on occasion, although it is clear they too were dearly loved. Even as a young baby, Deena was fearless and could change his mood in seconds with a direct and amusing way that charmed him into laughter.

Horses and all things western were her father’s go to environment and this included dressing the part and spending any free time at the stables with a succession of much loved companions. He invited Deena into this world much to her joy, and this was a pattern that was repeated over the rest of his life in his business and at home.

After a series of life-challenging diseases, the close family relationship becomes fragmented as ‘Marc’ moves into a group home and Covid restrictions result in lack of physical contact. However, the author finds some ingenious ways to keep her father upbeat even if it is through a pane of glass.

We are given an invitation to enjoy this relationship between a daughter and her father through the years and whilst it is clear ‘Marc’ has a somewhat rigid approach to life and family, beneath the gruff exterior is a warm, funny and loving individual.

The author has a wonderful easy writing style and shares the anecdotes from her father’s life with charm and honesty which showcases her father’s rather quirky approach to life beautifully.

There are some laugh out loud moments and some that bring back memories of the grief felt at the passing of a parent that require a tissue alert. It is heartwarming and a perfect tribute to a long and rich life. Recommended especially to those who miss that bond they shared with their own father.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAmazon UK

About Deena Goldstein

Award-winning multimedia artist and former stand-up comedian Deena Goldstein pens her debut memoir “OK, Little Bird”. Deena’s artwork has been featured in solo and collective exhibitions, receiving numerous honors for her original acrylics. Now “Little Bird” shares the unique, irreverent and touching relationship with her quirky, loveable cowboy father. Deena’s flair for humor and all things offbeat makes this book a memorable debut.

Connect to Deena Goldstein: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –  Follow Deena Goldstein: Goodreads – Website: Deena’s Art – Facebook: Deena Goldstein – LinkedIn: Deena GoldsteinInstagram: @artdee710


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Deena’s book.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled – Part Five – Who else might your Public Image impress? by Sally Cronin

The definition of Public Relations in business is “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and the public”

In the past my focus has been on book marketing, which did include how to reach potential readers with blogs, social media and as part of the writing community. Whilst this recycled series will revisit those platforms along the way it is an opportunity to focus on some key areas of our public profiles that might influence the public to buy our books.

The focus this time is on you.. the author.

Over the last four weeks I have shared the various elements which come together to create a professional public image as an author, intent on selling books as a business. For those of you who might have missed the posts or would like them all in one document I have created a pdf for the series. Please email me on for a free copy.

Here are the links for the previous posts:

Author Profile Photograph: Part One

Author Biographies: Part Two

Getting Ready for the Red Carpet: Part Three

The Pros and Cons of Social Media; Part Four

For this final post I am going to explore another area, apart from readers, your online presence might impress, which might lead to an increased interest in your books and a different path for your future writing.

I started my publishing journey in 1998 with an agent for my first book, a memoir and health guide, Size Matters. He was amazing and went through my manuscript and picked up on a number of issues which I corrected. He then forwarded the finished MS to seven UK publishers.

The reaction was positive about the actual book, however their concern about me as an author was the reason for the rejection.

  1. I was unknown.
  2. I was already 46 years old and this might be my only book.
  3. I had no public presence in the media. This would make it challenging to get me appearances.
  4. It was non-fiction when the trend was for thrillers and romance.
  5. The conclusion I was not marketable and therefore unlikely to recoup their outlay.

This is when I made the decision to self-publish, first with Trafford Publishing in Canada, who in fact published Size Matters and then Just An Odd Job Girl, before we took the titles back in 2004 when we started Moyhill Publishing.

I took to heart the constructive criticism from the publishers and set out to get a better public profile.

  • At the time of the launch of my own edition of Size Matters, I sent out press releases to local and national media and was interviewed for two local papers, a national and a UK national woman’s magazine.
  • I held a book launch in Ireland which received some good publicity.
  • I dropped copies of books off at radio stations in Spain and the UK which lead to six years as a radio presenter, two years as chat show host, newsreader and station director of an online television channel, and director of my own video production company.
  • Prior to the advent of Amazon and the Ebook, I attended book fairs and fetes selling the print copies of the first four print books to establish a readership. Prior to Covid I still sold most of my books in print through fairs and events.
  • Once WordPress, Facebook, Twitter were established, I set about building an online network  to promote my books, and in the last seven years the books of other authors.
  • At this point, the books I am writing are unlikely to be block busters, but I am quite keen on perhaps getting one of two of the books into either a television or film project. This may well be independent and funded by me, but I will certainly be looking to go the agent route first.

In Part Four I asked the question, is the time and effort of building a network on your blog and social media worth it? The answer is dependent on whether you wish to take your writing ambitions further. If like me you are an indie author and are hoping for a publishing deal with a mainstream house, then it is an absolute YES. In fact it is essential.

Here are some of the reasons why.

What is likely to be one of the first things an agent or publisher is going to do when your submission crosses their desk? – And it may not be reading your manuscript!

File:Google 2015 logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

When they put your name in the search box… what will be the first references to you and your online presence they will see?

This is the search I put in recently just to illustrate how every blog post, tweet, guest interview you have done, Goodreads account, reviews about your book you have shared on social media, your Amazon account and profile etc are stored somewhere and when you Google your name add ‘author’ so that you don’t get too many other same name connections. The more presence you have the better when you are approaching an agent or publisher with your book… make that presence count.

File:Wordpress logo 8.png - Wikimedia Commons

I have been branding Smorgasbord Blog Magazine for the last 11 years and you will notice all my blog posts have Smorgasbord in the title… and if the post is by me it has my name on it too. Every post you write for your blog needs to have that identifier on it and this now includes my Soundcloud account.

And if you have already published a book or books the agent or publisher will be checking out your Amazon Author Page and looking for some clues as to how your book might perform if they publish it.

File:Amazon Kindle logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

  • How many reviews have you received on your home site?
  • What are the readers saying about your books?
  • What genres are your books and are they in line with the market trends?
  • Do you already have a professional profile they can work with?
  • Do you have an updated and professional profile?
  • How many reviews do you have from the international community?
  • Do you review books to support other authors? (This is usually reciprocated and it also may lead to help in marketing your books)
  • Do you interact by sharing your blog feed?

They will also check your social media…

Facebook_symbol_Word - VIVAKUR

  • Is there anything in your personal interactions online which might work against you when being marketed?
  • How many followers do you have who might be potential buyers of your book?
  • Do you actively market your own books on FB and also in groups?

Twitter - Logos Download

  • Are you active on this platform and how many followers do you have?
  • Do you already actively market your current books?
  • Have you tweeted anything which might be detrimental to a marketing campaign?
  • Do you use the tools to market your books such as a pinned tweet?

Having checked you out… how much more likely are they to read your manuscript and follow up on it?

To be honest having been in businesses over the years, requiring a marketable public image, I would be disappointed if any competitive and established publisher, did not do their due diligence on any author they are considering signing.

The number of print and ebooks hitting the market each week is approximately 20,000 just on Amazon. Marketing budgets are not what they used to be and there is great deal to be gained from having an already established client. If they sign you as an author, they need to know they are hitting the deck running with the groundwork in place.

Other options than a book deal

If you already have books, particularly a series that would make a great film or television series, or children’s books which would lend themselves to animation, there are opportunities to consider. Knowing the right agents to approach is important as you could spend precious time finding them.

Also like me, I am sure you are inundated with publishers who say they are interested in your books and offering their services. For most their offering usually comes with a price tag.

May I suggest you make an investment in an invaluable publishing bible if you have not done so before… I have six copies on my shelves, all a few years apart. The new updated 2023 edition is likely to be available in July 2023 in Kindle and is worth every penny of the cover price.

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2022 (Writers' and Artists') by [Bloomsbury Publishing]

About the yearbook.

The 2022 edition (I will be picking up my 2023 edition soon) of the bestselling guide to all you need to know about how to get published, is packed full of advice, inspiration and practical information. The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook has been guiding writers and illustrators on the best way to present their work, how to navigate the world of publishing and ways to improve their chances of success, for over 110 years.

It is equally relevant for writers of novels and non-fiction, poems and scripts and for those writing for children, YA and adults and covers works in print, digital and audio formats. If you want to find a literary or illustration agent or publisher, would like to self-publish or crowdfund your creative idea then this Yearbook will help you. As well as sections on publishers and agents, newspapers and magazines, illustration and photography, theatre and screen, there is a wealth of detail on the legal and financial aspects of being a writer or illustrator.

Articles in the 2022 Edition:

Peter James Becoming a bestselling author: my writing story
Femi Kayode Shelf space: a debut writer’s journey to claim his place
Sam Missingham Building your author brand
Jonathan Myerson Audio dramatist or novelist?
Ed Needham Setting up and editing a new magazine
Ingrid Persaud The winning touch: the impact of winning an award
Cathy Rentzenbrink Reading as a writer
Sallyanne Sweeney What a debut novelist should expect from an agent
David Wightman Getting books to market: how books are sold
Jonathan and Louise Ford Managing your finances: a guide for writers

Head over to buy this comprehensive guide to publishing and agents: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

I hope that this has given you some food for thought…and see you at the Oscars!!!

©Sally Cronin 2023


About Sally Cronin

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 Sally Cronin Soundcloud

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.

Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask… Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New on the Shelves – #BoxSet – Foxy Mysteries Complete Collection 1 – 5: A Romanic Suspense Crime Adventure Series by Fiona Tarr

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Fiona Tarr… a box set on Pre-order for February 7th 2023 – Foxy Mysteries Complete Collection 1-5

About the collection of novels

A high-class escort turns amateur detective to find her friend’s killer.

Liz Jeffreys went from runaway to Madam the hard way. She thought she had everything she ever wanted. Wealth. Power. Influence. But she can’t un-see her friend’s lifeless body. Now she’s compelled to infiltrate the investigation and find the killer. There’s only one problem, and his name is Detective Jack Cunningham.

She knows Jack doesn’t want her sticking her nose into his investigation, but she’s determined her unique skillset can help solve the case. Her looks and contacts might open doors, but what she’ll find could kill her.

Liz uncovers corruption and political turmoil far more dangerous than she could have imagined. She’s operating out on a limb, walking a tight rope that could fall out from under her, leaving her next on the hit list.

For lovers of crime fiction, mystery and romantic suspense.

One of the reviews for the first book in the series Death Beneath the Covers

With a powerful female lead Ms Tarr flexes her sleuth muscle in her new exciting novel.

With great characters and a riveting plot line, Ms Tarr’s unique knowledge of the landscape brings to life the torrid underbelly of Adelaide.

Being a fan of her previous work, it’s fantastic to see her talents can pivot in a different genre. 

Head over to pre-order the box set for February 7th: Books2ReadOr: Amazon AU – And: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

A selection of books by Fiona Tarr

Read the reviews and Buy: Amazon Au Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write – Twitter: @FionaTarr

About Fiona Tarr

Fiona’s stories are Captivating, Bold, Passionate Suspense reads no matter the genre, from her Historical Fantasy to the most recent Mystery suspense series, these themes prevail.

It turns out writing is in the blood. Fiona’s Great Uncle was Australian Literary author George Johnston (My Brother Jack) and although her style is different, her Uncle’s social commentary tone is evident.

Fiona lives in Noosa Australia with her husband, and not far from her two adult sons. A self confessed people watcher, Fiona loves to interpret body language and social cues, which you’ll find evident in her character development.

Recently compared to Melinda Leigh and Janet Evanovich, Fiona’s mystery/romantic suspense novels have been well received. Currently writing two series, Foxy Mysteries and The Priestess Chronicles, Fiona expects to release more books more often over the coming years.

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you would share the news of Fiona’s new book thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The 1980s and Beyond

It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

The finale of the series exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing -The 1980s

In May 1975, George Shearing received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City and the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans in 1978. Other honorary doctorates in music followed in 1994 from Hamilton College in upstate New York and DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 2002.

Here is an early version of Conception by the George Shearing Quintet.

His origins in the UK were not forgotten and in 1993 he was presented with the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement. This was followed in 1996 by one of the top honours that can be bestowed on a British citizen when he was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In the November of that year he was invested by her majesty at Buckingham Palace with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to music and Anglo-US relations.

Here is Mel Torme and George Shearing with A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. Written in 1939 with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin. Recorded in 1989.

In 1999, his 80th birthday was celebrated in England where he played to a sold-out house at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Also appearing with him were the BBC Big Band, the strings of the London Symphony, Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. BBC Radio 2 presented a 2 1/2-hour “Salute to Shearing” in honor of his birthday.

His US fans and musical collaborators were not to be outdone and the next year there was another sold-out birthday celebration at Carnegie Hall featuring the George Shearing Quintet with Nancy Wilson, Dave Brubeck, Dr. Billy Taylor, the John Pizzarelli Trio, and Tito Puente.

A reminder of the George Shearing Latin magic with Woodwinds and Brazilian Rhythm
Album:“George Shearing / Shearing Bossa NovaOne Note Samba

At age 85, George released his memoirs, Lullaby of Birdland, which was accompanied by a double-album “musical autobiography”, Lullabies of Birdland. This was immediately followed by two albums Hopeless Romantics with Michael Feinstein and the collectors set Mel Tormé & George Shearing The Concord Years.

George Shearing - Lullaby of Birdland

Another reminder of a great collaboration Nancy Wilson and the George Shearing Orchestra When Sunny Gets Blue…words & music by Jack Segal & Marvin Fisher, 1946.

Unfortunately, George suffered a fall and had to retire from regular performing. Although an American Citizen he and his wife returned to Britain most summers to their home in the Cotswolds and was able to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes, watching cricket.

In 2006 he received news that both delighted and surprised him. In a letter from the Prime Minister’s office he was notified that his name had been submitted to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty confer George with a Knighthood.

When the letter was read to him, George simply said, “I don’t know why I’m getting this honor…..I’ve just been doing what I love to do.” And, when asked by the press how he felt about receiving the highest honor the Queen can give, he replied, “My mind keeps flashing back on my beginnings as pianist playing in a pub for the equivalent of $5.00 a week. What a journey it has been from that pub to Buckingham Palace. Receiving such an honor as a Knighthood might also show young people what can be achieved in life if one learns his craft and follows his dreams.”

Considering his own background as a blind child, the youngest of nine children whose father once delivered coal to Buckingham Palace; it was the culmination of a wonderful, successful and hard working life in music.

In June 13, 2007 George was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. He became Sir George Shearing “for his contribution to music”,

Here is another one of his spectacular collaborations with Peggy Lee singing Do I Love You written by Cole Porter.

Three presidents have invited Mr. Shearing to play at the White House. Ford, Carter and Reagan. He performed at the Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He is a member of the Friars Club and the Lotos Club in New York and the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

And, the honours keep coming! Back in New York, on October 21, 2007, the Town Hall Foundation presented Sir George with its Annual Friend of the Arts Award “in recognition and appreciation of his abiding interest in the development, enrichment and support of the arts”. With this award also came a medal plaque, bearing Sir George’s name, being placed on the back of one the seats in the legendary Town Hall.

Sir George and his wife Ellie continued to travel between the UK and New York and it was here on February 14, 2011 at age 91, that he died of congestive heart failure with his family by his side.

Perhaps this is an appropriate track to end on.. Fly Me To The Moon the George Shearing Quintet with the legendary Nat King Cole. The song was written in 1954 by Bart Howard.

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio

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 Lines – February 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Tattoos and Seven Cats

Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies who has been doing some excellent foraging for us. Debby is on her annual winter break in Mexico but has left a few funnies to share with you.

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 expert foraging…

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

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Learning to trust your intuition

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….


A young couple came home with their first baby.

The wife suggested that her husband change their son’s nappy.

‘Not now,’ he replied.

Later in the day the wife asked him again. ‘Can you change the baby’s nappy.’

‘You don’t understand,’ her husband said patiently, ‘I meant the next baby.’

Johnny’s Seven Cats

Teacher: “If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?”

Johnny: “Seven.”

Teacher: “No, listen carefully… If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”

Johnny: “Seven.”

Teacher: “Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?”

Johnny: “Six.”

Teacher: “Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”

Johnny: “Seven!”

Teacher: “Johnny, where in the heck do you get seven from?!”

Johnny: “Because I’ve already got a freaking cat!”

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