Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – 23rd – 29th January 2023 – Technology, Big Bands, Sir George Shearing, Podcast, PR for authors, Book Reviews, New Releases, The Brain, Funnies


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

I hope you have all had a good week. Nothing earth shattering to report from here but when I read the world headlines, I am very happy to be living in a quiet rural area away from it all. I know I used to be so much more adventurous, but even my upcoming trip to see my sisters requires planning and preparations for just a few days away. The days of flinging some clothes into a bag, grabbing a passport and whizzing through an airport to catch a flight to the other side of the world are long over.

Even technology is going to become interesting during 2023 as mobile phones that are programmed for 3G become obsolete in the UK and Ireland, making way for the new 4G voice technology. This means new phones for the majority of us, and whilst there are only a couple of places in the UK at the moment that have scrapped 3G, they and Ireland intend to move to 4G by the end of the year. Considering I used to drive hundreds of miles on my own without a mobile phone I am almost ashamed I am not brave enough to drive the 7k to Tesco without one!

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 Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston. Also the next post on the life and music of Sir George Shearing with the last episode on this coming Friday.The following week a new series on the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ has arrived safely in Mexico after a gruelling journey with snow blizzards, delays due to iced wings. During her time away I will be sharing some posts from the archives on Smorgasbord and her own blog. Tomorrow morning… one of her early guest posts here on an entertaining travel adventure. There will also be some funnies along the way. Debby did a Bon Voyage post on her blog with some interesting geographical, political and safety information on Puerta Vallarta and if you are planning a winter break you will find very helpful. Follow the link to Debby’s blog D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘P’. Congratulations to Carol on becoming a great grandmother to Bonnie born on January 25th, a beautiful picture in her round up. On Monday Carol looked at the alternative options to antibiotics in the form of Echinacea, a better way to grow rice for the environment, a report on Trans Fats, a fitness update and a toadzilla found that would make anyone jump. Carol explores the cuisine of Fiji… very exotic locally sourced delicacies. Catch up on all Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s weekly round up 22nd to 28th January

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 1930s – Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin

Book Review – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent

#Reviews D.L. Finn, #Reading Robbie Cheadle, #Writinglinks D.G. Kaye, #Diary Yvette Calliero, #Interview Judith Barrow, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Powercut Cheryl Oreglia

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

#Poetry #FreeVerse – Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine by Frank Prem

#Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley

#mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

#Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

#PotLuck – Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Men Only Weekend Trip by John W. Howell.

January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

January 2023 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Marriage and #Fottles

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin


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

Each day we gain a few precious minutes of daylight and nature welcomes it too… and biting into a poisoned apple carries consequences….

#Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin 

 

Light Lingers

Light
lingers
in our world
longer each day
to initiate
the sequence of rebirth
of all things under the earth
where dormant bulbs unfurl their shoots
pushing upwards into the crisp air
rotating buds to seek elusive sun.

Poisoned Apple

It is common in this modern world, to be offered promises that seem as wholesome as a bowl of shiny apples. However the red skinned fruit may hide toxic untruths and evil intent. Once it is swallowed, the poisoned apple will stick in your throat, causing you to spout the heinous words hidden within; spreading the evil like a virus. The only antidote to its venom; is to establish the truth, and wash the words down with random acts of kindness. We must all think carefully before embarking on a dangerously addictive diet of fake news and ill intentions.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection. 

Jacquie Biggar Bookbub

Sally Cronin brings her signature heartwarming style to a new collection of poetry and short stories exploring human emotion and nature in all its vagaries.

Many of the poems feature animals, their grace and beauty brought to life with a few well-chosen words, but my favorite is the dedication to her mother:

Face in the mirror

face in the mirror
a smile of recognition
but twinge of remorse
at the passing of the years
each line a story
or reminder of laughter
how closely they match
another’s facial mapping
I’ve morphed into my mother.

Cronin, Sally. Variety is the Spice of Life: A blend of poetry and prose (p. 20). Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The short stories come with messages of love and support and familial bonds. The Green Hill is sweet with an ending that tugs on the heartstrings, while The Neighborhood Watch with a marmalade cat who exacts revenge on his injured friends left me with a satisfied grin 

This is a highly recommended collection of stories and poems to enrich your reading experience. 

 

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 – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent


Delighted to share my review of Harmony Kent’s latest release… Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series)

About the collection

If we’re lucky, we meet twilight at the front door and old age creeps in on the night breeze.

Even if we make it to our twilight years, the more we age, the more loss we must endure as part of the cycle of life. Many of these poems lament death, but they also relate to broken relationships, severed friendships, and the loss of youth. This book of grief poetry is as much about saying goodbye and working through loss as it is about death and love split asunder.

This heartfelt collection provides company and compassion through the devastating journey of loss and shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Within these pages we share shock, numbness and denial, catapult into anger, bargaining, depression, loneliness, and guilt, and—eventually—make the seismic shift into testing the possibility of a new normal and finding acceptance.

My review for the collection January 28th 2023

The subject of death has been portrayed in fiction and poetry for centuries, and used to instil fear in billions across the religions from pagan times. It is a natural fear of the unknown, and that is something difficult to comprehend and overcome. However, what is very real is the grief that we will all face in this world, when we love and lose those close to us.

Harmony Kent in her previous two collections in this series has demonstrated a wonderful understanding of the human condition. Her own life experiences were at times devastatingly challenging, but reading her poetry you realise how strong her belief in the human spirit remains, and how great her empathy is for others.

This third collection deals with death, and the aftermath for those left behind. She takes us through stages of grief from the shock and disbelief, denial, guilt, anger and the need to bargain with the higher powers, depression, loneliness and reflection, acceptance and moving on with life. Even though the loss has changed you in many ways including your perspective of the future, you need to live in order to honour those who have left us.

Clearly the poems are heartbreaking at times, but they also resonate with any of us who have lost loved ones. Rather than being depressing, it is comforting to know that whilst grief is unique to us as individuals, it also has common triggers, a pattern and a process, and whilst the hole in our lives and hearts may never fully mend, there is hope and we can build a future for ourselves.

I can recommend this collection without reservation. There are many poems that struck a chord for me, and I am sure will do for others, but I am closing this review on one of the final poems that offers hope.

Revival

Throw those curtains
Let in the daylight
Banish the dead of night
It’s time to revive

You’ve made it to the other side
Regained your lost sight
Discovered a hidden might
It’s time to revive

Though you tried
To follow your love into the night
Your final promise kept you in the light
It’s time to revive

No more places to hide
It wouldn’t be right
To resist and prolong the fight
It’s time to revive

You’ve made it to the other side
Regained your lost sight
Discovered a hidden might
It’s time to revive

Throw those curtains wide
Let in the daylight
Banish the dead of night
It’s time to revive

©Harmony Kent 2023

Read the reviews and buy the collection Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Harmony Kent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

About Harmony Kent

Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

  • The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
  • The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
  • Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
  • Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
  • Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
  • Interludes 1 & Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)
  • Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)
  • Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)
  • Backstage (Erotic Romance)
  • FALLOUT (Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree
  • The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. Harmony lives in Cornwall, England.

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

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author 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.

In the last three weeks I have looked at the public face of an author… the profile photograph, biography and hitting the red carpet in the writing community and other places online. This week I explore the benefits and downsides to promoting yourself on social media platforms. Apart from blogging which I consider to be an essential platform for all authors, there are the usual haunts most of us frequent.

I appreciate that some of you reading this have had unfortunate experiences with social media and I am afraid that is something that all of us are likely to face at some point or another. There are people in this world who feel that they can attack from cover behind their screens and abuse others. It says a lot for their sad little lives and they only option is to block them. Hopefully the majority of those you follow are decent people who are like-minded and willing to interact well. As for those wishing to scam you.. they get craftier all the time and assume that suspicious emails or requests via social media require close scrutiny and wariness.

Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author

As a number of well-known celebrities and best-selling authors have found to their cost during this last year, comments made online years ago can come back to haunt you. Sometimes before they were famous, and were young and a bit foolish.

However, on the plus side… not only is it a way to be connected to the rest of the world and meet new people, it is for an author… FREE advertising.

The Pros of being on Social Media as an author

As an author, blogger and book promoter, I have experimented with several social media platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn.

For me the most effective as far as exposure, traffic and promotion are Twitter and Facebook with LinkedIn coming in quite a bit behind in third place.

As an author I want to sell books, as a blogger I would like my posts to reach as far and wide as possible, as a book promoter I want to create a platform that offers the authors as much visibility as possible and as a reader I want to discover great recommended books to add to my TBR.

Facebook_symbol_Word - VIVAKUR

I did have my own page on Facebook until two years ago but found that it was not as effective as having my personal page combined with using specific groups to post to for marketing purposes. This enables me to not only share my own book news, but the promotions for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, and the bloggers that I follow.

I am administrator along with Debby Gies of The Literary Diva’s Library – And if you are just getting started, are a reader of books or a writer, then do take a look and see if it would suit you.

Facebook Groups enable you to chat with, and share with like-minded people, and since writers are readers too, it is also a useful marketplace to share your work or blog posts. (You will get short shrift if you continually talk about yourself and your work). It is tough to manage several groups, but if you check out the ones associated with your particular genre then you will make a good start. Most authors within those genres are readers too and if they pass along to their friends etc you are reaching a healthy market for your work.

I tend not to post a great deal of personal goings on but do so on my personal page which is set to friends only. They know I can be crazy…!!  Apart from when I share from Goodreads where I cannot designate a group to share a book review in, all my work related posts go into the three groups I am a member of.

Twitter - Logos Download

Twitter is useful for making new connections and interacting with those you share interests with, by sharing their tweets. It is reciprocal usually and this adds the accumulative factor to any tweet you make. I understand that many with accounts on Twitter have closed their accounts following the recent takeover by the latest CEO, but at the end of the day there has been little change to the dynamics of the writing community on Twitter and whilst I am not necessarily a fan of all his endeavours, for my aim, which is to promote my book and those of the authors I support, Twitter is still an important platform for marketing purposes.

For example – if you tweet about a review for your book #Fantasy #Scifi and just 10 of your followers retweet to theirs with those tags, you are reaching thousands more possible readers of your book or followers of your blog.

To make sure you are targeting the right audience for your blog or book remember to use tags when posting – #Romance #Writing Community, #Fantasy #Poetry #Health #Humour etc.

I went in recently to check this accumulative factor for a book review rewind I posted on. It was retweeted 25 times and including my own followers it was shared to 156,000 potential readers. Whilst they may not buy the book right now… it they see an author’s name often enough, it will encourage them to explore their books at some point.

I have mentioned the Pinned Tweet a number of times and this is useful to extend your brief bio on your profile section to promote all your books or one specifically or a blog post.

It is the first thing that a new visitor to your account will see so a good marketing opportunity. They will usually retweet and share your book or post with their own followers.

Remember to change the pinned tweet on a regular basis as unless someone retweets with addition text it can only be done once.

You can still promote the same book as your pinned tweet if you add the link to its most recent review etc to keep it fresh. You can connect to me on twitter:@sgc58

LinkedIn Lawsuit: You Can Run, But You Can't Hide ...

LinkedIn used to be very much for the business community, and I joined in 2008 when I was on radio and I included my nutritional therapy qualifications and books I had released at that time. I did connect with many I had worked with previously in the telephony industry which helped me get started, but at the time there were very few authors using the platform. That has changed somewhat now and there is a thriving community. All my blog posts are linked automatically which means slightly less work.

My posts are scheduled to go out at different times of day for the time zones.. so just after midnight for American readers and then throughout the day at set intervals. It means that they are sent straight to Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time without me worrying about it.

The LinkedIn interface has changed a great deal in the last year with a move to a similar look to Facebook and they even have emojis now….it used to be a no no to put a hug or a kiss on a post, but they seem to have decided it might be okay.

It is more formal however than other social media sites and as I have repeated on many occasions, as an author you are in business and there are certain expectations that go along with that.

In the post on writing a biography I emphasized certain points to give it a professional and business orientated theme.. and that is what is needed for Linkedin. You will find that most bio photographs are more formal too than you might expect to find on most social media sites.

If you would like to get started then please connect to me LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

In this day and age we have to accept that as an author, we need to be both proactive and reactive to highlight our work. The market for our books or blog posts is to be found within the billions who spend their lives online in one way or another. Readers are not just going to walk through our door unfortunately. If we are building a brand for ourselves as an author with books to sell, I do recommend that you are on at least one of the major sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

The Cons of being on Social Media as an author or blogger

Clock, Wall Clock, Clock Face, Pointer

For me the biggest drawback to being on social media, even though it has helped me build my blog platform and allowed me to promote both myself and other authors is Time.

I love what I do and after 22 years as an author, 10 years of blogging and 8 promoting authors I know that being on social media is essential to making things happen.

Although my posts are linked to Twitter and LinkedIn automatically, I choose not to respond to the comments or tweets using an automatic app. I like to tag those who have shared posts or retweeted, visit their page and share their pinned tweet and explore their books etc. On average I get 300 tweets a day and whilst many are not expecting a response, by doing so it does encourage more interaction in the future.

Finding the balance between building your marketing brand, writing books and blogging is a challenge.

Royalty Free Awkward Conversation Clip Art, Vector Images ...

Times change, and as recent events have illustrated, there are things you could get away with 10 years or even 5 years ago that you cannot do so now. I don’t agree with bullying in any form or discrimination when it comes to culture or religion, but sometimes even harmless banter can upset someone, somewhere.

Social media is a global phenomenon, and as such, what we say and do, can get lost in translation. Politics and religion in particular are guaranteed to get people hot under the collar and that’s when the fight started!

I will admit to being straight talking, opinionated and also known to use colourful language in private on a number of subjects, but as an author, I tend to be more circumspect in places where I am also marketing my books. The only time that I will publicly share my opinion, is if I see someone else being bullied in any way, but thankfully that has become rarer in recent years. On the odd occasion when I have read a post or comment by an author that is offensive it certainly influences my view of both the writer and their work.

Whilst you can set your settings on your own account to friends only etc, you do need to think carefully before posting a comment on a public forum or on someone else’s blog post. You may not be able to delete or even edit your comment, and once there it stays there!

Privacy stock illustration. Illustration of quiet ...

There are settings on all social media platforms that you can activate to restrict what information is shared and who it is shared with.. One of the greatest myths of our time!.

The truth is that very little is private and women in particular are blessed with stunning invitations to connect from gentlemen who feel that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are dating sites. I received a long and delightful email just the other day from a gentleman who said that he knew LinkedIn was not a dating site, but my profile photo captured his attention and he would love to know me better if my relationship status permitted. He included two photos of himself.. and very fetching he was too..

I double checked, and we were not connected on LinkedIn at all, and I am suspect I was not the only object of his admiration but I was so tempted to send back a photo under the heading, untouched original photograph.

But I just deleted his email….I didn’t want to give him nightmares.

Certainly whilst one wants to share photographs of you on a beach in an exotic location sipping cocktails, it is better to post them when you get home, even if you do have mega speed broadband in your hotel room. Combined with the information you may have shared and the photographs of your home and gardens, the fact that it is vacant while you are away will be good news for someone.

We are paranoid about children and teens using the internet but in actual fact the statistics for con artists defrauding online users show that the elderly are a high risk age group

Key facts: Age UK  

  • Almost 5 million older people (65+) believe they have been targeted by scammers.
  • While only 12% of those targeted responded to a scam, this means around half a million older people could have fallen victim.
  • Single older people are more likely to respond than married people, and half of all people aged 75+ live alone.
  • There were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in the year to March 2017.5 Over half of these (57%) were cyber-related.

Is being on social media worth it for an author? I have to say that yes, being on at least one social media site is worth it. If you were in any other business you would leap at the opportunity for free publicity for your product, with a potential market of millions.

As someone who promotes authors and books it is helpful for me too as a collaborative approach to sharing on social media does increase the visibility of the post.

  • Time is a factor, however if that is the case, pick one platform and work that one to its fullest extent.
  • Spend allocated time a day to build a presence – for me that is first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Respond to those who tag or mention you.
  • interact with other authors and bloggers,
  • share other people’s posts
  • promote your own work (in moderation)
  • Take the opportunity to exchange ideas, or pinch some it your think they will work for you.
  • If groups are on the platform join two or three where your work fits – Romance Writers, Review groups etc. Bear in mind this will add extra time.
  • Use tags when posting to identify an author or blogger you are sharing in the comment etc.
  • Take it step by step, my network is nearly ten years in the building and please consider my network yours. If you are on Twitter – go to my profile page – click my followers and scroll down. Any authors you are not following.. click the button and in most cases they will follow you back.
  • If I tag you in a comment on Twitter of Facebook when your post has been shared from my blog, pop in and say thank you to them and if you are not following them click the button. If they are generous to me they will be to you.  And you will have found another potential reader of your books.
  • Have fun… I still am..

I hope that this post has given you some ideas of how you can promote your blog or books on social media and how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with being online..

©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 Book on the Shelves – #mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams


Delighted to welcome Jamie Adams to the bookshelf with his suspense novella
The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost

About the book

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait.

One of the reviews for the book

Michelle Ryles  VINE VOICE 4.0 out of 5 stars A little book with a big message

It was a nice change to read a novella with The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost being only 90 pages long and taking around 1 hour to read. Don’t mistake it for a shallow light read though as Jamie Adams has packed a lot of story into these few pages, so it’s very much a case of quality over quantity.

It took me a little while to get used to the lack of contractions in the book, for example using ‘I am’ instead of ‘I’m’. I found it a bit odd, especially in speech, but I soon got used to it and attributed it to a little quirk of the book. The book is written in 3 parts; I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the parts from the title of the book. They are all linked and come together very nicely at the end, leaving me with a little lump in my throat.

I felt there were some very strong messages in this book regarding mental health and bullying but I did have to give myself a virtual smack for jumping to conclusions. I’ve always said that there are two sides to every story but for some reason I saw one side of the story in The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost and pinned my colours to that mast. Thank you Jamie Adams for reminding me that not everything is as it may first appear.

A little book with a big message, The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost is a very thought-provoking book that I really enjoyed.

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

Also by Jamie Adams

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Jamie: Goodreads – Blog Jamie Adams Stories – Twitter: @JamieAdStories – Instagram: Jamieadstories

About Jamie Adams

Jamie Adams was born in Peterborough, England and studied Geography at University. Having taught in schools and at university, he was always keen to develop his writing skills.
Currently he is writing short stories linked to romance and has his first novella, which is a drama story linked to families and friendships. He loves to include twists in his stories and aims to engage readers with lots of detail but also a fast pace.

His next project will be a trilogy…

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles


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

Part Four 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 1960s

We are now into the 60s and George Shearing moves into the decade where pop and rock were beginning to take over the charts.

George Shearing did well in the transition period in music when many less popular musicians and singers faded away. He was versatile and with several styles to offer his audiences, he spent the 60s building on his reputation and popularity.

He never forgot his classical roots and he began to introduce this element back into his own concerts as well as performing as a soloist with larger orchestras. His quintet would often feature as well later in the performance giving George the best of both worlds.

Here is George Shearing, playing with Robert Farnon and his Orchestra  How Beautiful Is Night.

There were 26 albums released in the 1960s most with Capitol records but also individual albums for other labels including George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers for Jazzland. Also Jazz Moments with Blue Note in 1962, Smooth and Swinging for MGM also in 1962 and a live album for Request in 1966 that was not released until 2006 called Live Jazz from Club 15.

Here is No Hard Feelings from George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers.

Apart from the classical and Jazz elements to his music and performances there was also another major facet to George Shearing’s music and that was the introduction of Afro-Cuban jazz in the 50s. Some of the Latin musicians of the 60s had been inspired by George’s pioneering work in this style and some of the artists that he worked with included Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria and Armando Paraza.

Here is an early recording of this style The George Shearing Quintet with Drume Negrita

In 1969 after a very lucrative partnership with Capitol Records which had included hit albums such as On The Sunny Side of the Stripand White Satin and collaborations with Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, George moved on and started his own label, Sheba, and released six albums between 1970 and 1973. He also began to phase out the Quintet working in trios or duos with his solo work with orchestras.

This move to his own label did lower his public profile to a degree without the marketing machine of a major label, but things began to change again when he signed with MPS Records which was a German jazz record label founded in 1968. MPS stands for “Musik Produktion Schwarzwald” (Music Production Black Forest). George recorded eleven albums with the label including The Reunion with Stephane Grappelli. Here is George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on Bass and Irish jazz guitarist Louis Stewart with 500 Miles High from the MPS Trio Sessions

The 70s also were notable for an award received in May 1975, When George received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

George Shearing headed into the 80s signed to a new label Concord Jazz that was to prove to be a very popular and successful partnership with over 20 albums in the next 10 years.

Next week the 80s and two great artists join forces when Mel Torme and George Shearing hit the stage

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio
Wikipedia

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 Extra – January 2023 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Marriage and #Fottles


Author Daniel Kemp has been entertaing us over the last three years with his funnies on his Facebook page and head over to follow Danny Kemp  .. Always a place to find funnies and jokes to cheer you up… plus some satirical political commentary on politicians at home and abroad.

Married Life

Growing old the way on your own terms.

Getting to grow old!

And a couple of gems from Danny’s archives

Simple Maths

Sunderland, England.

The owner of a working men’s club along the coast was confused about paying a discounted invoice so he decided to ask his secretary for some arithmetical assistance.

He called her into his office and said, “Betty, you graduated at the University of Sunderland and I need some help. If I was to give you £20,000 minus 14%, how much would you take off?”

The secretary thought a moment and then replied, “Everything but my earrings.”

Inventions.

I went to the Patent Office to register some of my camping inventions. I went to the main desk to sign in and the lady at the desk had a form that had to be filled out. She wrote down my personal info and then asked me what I had invented.

I said, “A folding bottle.”

She said, “Okay, what do you call it?”

“A Fottle.”

“What else do you have?”

“I have also invented a folding carton.”

Again she said, “what do you call it?”

“A Farton.”

She sniggered and said, “Those are silly names for products, and one of them sounds kind of crude.”

I was so upset by her comment that I grabbed the form and left the office without even telling her about my folding bucket

My thanks to Danny for allowing me to raid his Facebook: Danny Kemp

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope it has make a good start to your weekend…thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – #Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley


Delighted to share the news of the latest release from Linda BradleyReunion (Montana Bred Series 2) On Pre-Order for February 1st

About the book

How much will Chloe McIntyre and her mother, Brook, sacrifice to rebuild their relationship?

Chloe McIntyre expectant momma, invites her Hollywood fashion designer mother to the Montana family ranch, knowing it’s time to make amends after a three-year rift. As Chloe and her mother strive to start over, they quickly discover that letting go of past hurts is easier said than done. Brook’s workaholic lifestyle leaves little room for mother-daughter time, and Chloe’s impulsive nature to fix what she sees as her mother’s shortcomings create added tension.

Just as Brook finally expresses the maternal emotion Chloe craves and acceptance breeds a newfound trust, Brook’s hidden agenda is revealed. Chloe’s instinct to protect the wranglers she oversees, her home and her heart leaves her mother with an ultimatum: to stay and to stick with their compromise—or cut ties for good.

Chloe and her mother must come to terms with what they can’t change in order to accept an outcome defined by tough love.

Head over to pre-order the book for February 1st: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK  

Also by Linda Bradley

My review for the first book in the series Unbranded 7th January 2023

It was great to meet up again with Maggie Mcintyre and her family whose story was shared in the Maggie’s Way and other Montana Bound Series books.

Chloe has inherited the grit and love of Montana and cattle ranching from her grandparents and has been lovingly nurtured by her father and step-mother Maggie. The baggage that Chloe is carrying around based on her father’s failed marriage and her absent mother’s lack of presence in her life, has made her form strong opinions about relationships. Not just romantic but with the cowboys she works with. She is ambitious and keen to carve out a future for herself her on the family ranch, and sometimes that is at odds with her father’s wishes but also her safety and that of her unborn child.

She is loved, and the author has created a wonderful support system around this feisty and stubborn young woman as she navigates the intricate interactions with the other main characters in the story. As the plot develops, Chloe learns much about herself and where the future might lie.

The author paints a detailed and engaging world on a busy cattle ranch and takes us along for the ride. All the characters are interesting and play their part in the evolving story, keeping the reader engaged and turning the pages. The romance is subtle and heartwarming and I can recommend to readers who enjoy a gentle but compelling story.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Follow Linda :Goodreads website: Linda Bradley Author – Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

About Linda Bradley

Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.

 

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

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems by Sally Cronin


I have featured this series over the last ten years on a regular basis for new readers who might have joined the blog. Our bodies are are greatest asset. It has a long road ahead of if from birth, through the teen years, work life, parenthood, middle age and then into our 70s and beyond.

At every stage of our life healthy nutrition is essential to help the body develop and remain as disease free as possible. I appreciate that many of you may have read this series before three years ago, but I hope it will be a reminder of how amazing our bodies are, and simply eating the right foods, exercising moderately and not doing anything too reckless…will go a long way to enjoying later life to the full.

In this first series of posts I am going to be exploring the brain and its functions. 

Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other related conditions are rarely out of the headlines and it is probably everyone’s worst fear. There is a genetic link to some forms of dementia,but it is not as common as lifestyle related deterioration of the brain.  Even though we are living longer, dementia is not an automatic progression and understanding how this amazing organ works and what it requires to be health, is vital.

Part Three: Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Part four – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems

Before I share the foods that can contribute to brain health, I also wanted to offer some areas that you might make a note of if you are a carer of an elderly family member.

  1. As we age and get into our 80s in particular, there is usually a decrease in our exercise levels. It seems that this also coincides with a decrease in appetite that results in a reduction in the level of nutrients we are taking in.
  2. Most people over 80 are likely to have also lost a large number of teeth and although most will have dentures this will impact the ability to chew foods. This results in a reliance on soft foods and often excludes proteins such as beef, lamb, etc that contain higher amounts of vital B-vitamins and iron.
  3. Our taste buds too will become dulled and so food can be tasteless unless lots of salt or sugar are added. And it is easier to eat a dunked biscuit or a piece of cake than to eat a wholegrain sandwich made with salad and chicken. The entire digestive system will also be less effective and this means that any food consumed may not be processed in the gut as it should be, which naturally leads to malnutrition.
  4. I recommend making high nutritionally dense foods that are easy to eat but still provide essential vitamins and minerals.. Soups made with the stock made from chicken or beef bones.. 5 or 6 different vegetables such as carrots, spinach, celery, sweet potato, onions, mushrooms and broccoli and then blitzed and then diluted with some whole fat milk to make a rich and creamy soup. Served with an egg sandwich in soft wholegrain bread, butter. You get the idea.
  5. Apart from making sure that food is as nutritionally dense as possible, I also recommend a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement. This can be a problem because with a less efficient digestive system, large tablets will go right through without stopping to release their contents. Also they need to contain some specific nutrients such as Vitamin D.. B-Vitamins, particularly B12 as well as calcium and iron etc. There are some liquid options which are excellent and also some chewable soft jells which are more digestible.
  6. If your elderly relative begins to show signs of forgetfulness and confusion, do get them checked for a urinary tract infection. It is very common in the elderly and has the same symptoms. This has led to a great many misdiagnosis of dementia and should always be asked for. To counteract this.. place a hand sanitizer in the bathroom for use before going to the toilet as well as afterwards. Also a glass of cranberry juice with breakfast may help keep the urinary tract clear of bacteria.
  7. This leads me on to dehydration. This is extremely common amongst the elderly who are inactive, are in a warm environment and who rely on a cup of tea three times a day for their liquid intake. They usually also refuse additional liquid, particularly close to bedtime because of the effort of getting up in the night. Many of the symptoms of dementia are the same as dehydration. This can be a tough one but I suggest that as well as a juice with breakfast and a cup of tea, that you dilute a 500 ml bottle of water with some freshly pressed apple juice with a sports cap so it is easy to drink and put it by their chair. You can refill after lunch and make sure that they drink that before their final cup of tea after supper. That should prevent dehydration and also having to get up too much in the night.
  8. Do check the side effects listed for any medication that they are taking as some can result in confusion.
  9. Whenever you can encourage them to get up and move around the house or the garden, twice a day at the minimum. And if you can get them out in the fresh air, even in a wheelchair it will benefit them in many ways, including stimulation.

Some articles on the connection between food and dementia

One of the leading causes of most disease is inflammation in the body, and that includes the brain. Some spices help reduce inflammation and are well worth including in meals on a daily basis.. a small teaspoonful in main meals or as a tea which is how I prefer to ingest it.

Much Lower Rate of Alzheimer’s Disease in India

The rate of AD in India is about 4.4-fold less than that of the United States. While there are probably many factors that account for the difference, the fact that curcumin is consumed daily in curry spice from a very early age can’t be overlooked. Even though the daily amount of actual curcumin from turmeric is smaller in that case, the cumulative effect is considerable.

So in recent years, researchers have been looking at the effects of curcumin extracts – which have much higher levels of the compound than dietary turmeric – for treating AD.2,3
Curcumin Stops Brain-Harming Inflammation

The connection between inflammation and Alzheimer’s can’t be overstated. Neurons are especially susceptible to inflammation or other injury, and the release of inflammatory compounds in the body can be neurotoxic. This includes tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β), free radicals, including nitric oxide (NO) and others. Curcumin has a great potential for a therapeutic role because it works through multiple inflammatory pathways: Curcumin for Health

Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. It alerts your body to a wound or injury, like when your ankle will start to throb and swell after a sprain, so your immune system can fix it. It’s not just external injuries that cause inflammation, however. Things like a lack of sleep, excessive stress, genetics, and—what might be worst of all—the wrong diet can all contribute to inflammation.

By “wrong diet,” we’re talking about the typical American diet which is full of inflammation-inducing foods. Think: fried foods, refined flours and sugars, hormone- and antibiotic-laden animal products, synthetic sweeteners, and artificial food additives. So if you’re constantly noshing on these items, your body will begin to transition into a state of chronic inflammation. Top anti-inflammatory foods: Eat This anti-inflammatory

Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems

The first key element to eating for brain health is to omit industrially processed foods that contain harmful toxins and additives that have zero nutritional benefit and effectively ’empty’ calories. They might supply sugar and trans fats and look appetizing on a plate, but the brain will not recognize them as anything it can process. Processed foods Vs. Industrially manufactured foods

If you eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, some moderate whole grains, nuts and seeds, good quality meats and cold water fish that have not been farmed, you are doing a great job.

For the brain to function efficiently it needs other systems in the body to be healthy.

The immune system is the barrier between the external world and all its contaminates and the brain. So your first line of defence is to keep that fed with the nutrients needed to produce all the various types of blood cells needed to repel opportunistic pathogens.

The digestive system needs to be in tip top condition so that food that is eaten is processed effectively so that the nutrients can be passed into the bloodstream and up to the brain.

The respiratory system needs to be maintained and giving up smoking and taking in clean fresh oxygen is essential… without that oxygen, carried by the blood, your brain with slowly die.

There are some key nutritional elements for brain health that will be supplied by the following list including B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.

You can find out how to incorporate foods high in specific nutrients in this series: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-to-avoid-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor/

Shopping List for the brain and your other major organs providing the basic nutritional requirement for the body.

Vegetables – carrots, red peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, corn on the cob- any dark cabbage or Brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, watercress, dark lettuce leaves, cucumbers, celery, avocados and potatoes. (any other fresh seasonal produce you enjoy) At least five or six portions a day – use a cupped handful as an estimated portion size.

Lower Fructose Fruit Bananas, kiwi, strawberries and any dark berries that are reasonably priced – try frozen. Enjoy all fruit in season at least three portions a day.

Hot lemon and water first thing in the morning will not only give you a Vitamin C hit, start your digestive process off but will also help with sugar cravings.

Wholegrains – brown rice- wholegrain bread – whole wheat pasta – weetabix – shredded wheat – porridge oats.Please do not buy sugar or chocolate covered cereals – more sugar than goodness. Carbohydrates are an important food group. However, as we get older and less active you really only need a large spoonful of rice or potatoes on a daily basis. if you suffer from a Candida overgrowth be aware that it may not be the yeast in bread that causes a problem but the sugar or its substitute.

Fish – Salmon fresh (sea caught not farmed) and better quality tinned Salmon. Cod – haddock (again frozen can be a good option) any white fish on offer – shellfish once a week such as mussels. Tinned sardines, Tuna and herrings – great for lighter meals. (any fish that is available fresh not from farmed sources)

Meat and poultry chicken or turkey – lamb, beef and pork. Do buy high quality, organic if it is reasonably priced but you will find that most supermarkets stock local meats and poultry and will state if they are from free range sources. The best source of nutrients is grass fed animals and this includes eggs and dairy.. Our requirement for Vitamin K2 is not met by grain fed animals.

Home cooked lean ham for sandwiches is very tasty but cheap sliced ham can contain too much additives. By an unsmoked ham joint from the butcher or supermarket as it will work out cheaper than buying sliced ham already prepared.  To remove excess salt bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour, drain and add fresh water to the pan and bring to the boil for the rest of the cooking time.

Venison is a high quality protein if  you enjoy it. Liver provides a wonderful array of nutrients served with onions and vegetables is delicious.

Tofu for vegetarians has become more accessible and can be used by non vegetarians once a week to provide the other benefits of soya it offers. Bacon once a week is fine but do bear in mind that most processed meats contain a lot of salt.

Nuts and seeds – to put on your cereal in the mornings or as snacks – check prices out in your health food shop as well as supermarket. Almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts.

Dairy and Eggs– Milk, butter and cheese (better to have the real stuff than whipped margarine) – also if you can obtain dairy products such as butter and cheese from cows who have been out to pasture all summer, you are more likely to obtain good amounts of Vitamin K2 which is a very important nutrient for blood clotting and bones. The vitamin is not as present in herds that are fed grains rather than grass… Free Range Eggs – have at least three or four a week.

Oils – Extra virgin Olive Oil (least processed) – great drizzled on vegetables with some seasoning and also eaten the Spanish way with balsamic vinegar on salads and also drizzled over toasted fresh bread. If you do not like the taste of Olive Oil then use Sunflower oil – do not use the light version of any oil as it has been processed heavily – use the good stuff. You can also use coconut oil for cooking and also for use on salads.

Herbs and Spices – Turmeric (curcumin) with black pepper for better absorption. Sage, Ginko Biloba (Chinese have used in the treatment of brain disorders for thousands of years), Ginger anti-inflammatory.

Honey and extras –You really do need to avoid sugars refined and in cakes, sweets and biscuits but honey is a sweetener that the body has been utilising since the first time we found a bee hive and a teaspoon in your porridge is okay. Try and find a local honey to you. Dark chocolate – over 70% a one or two squares per day particularly with a lovely cup of Americano coffee is a delicious way to get your antioxidants.

Sauces – If you buy your sauces in jars and packets they will have a great many more ingredients than you bargained for. One of the worst is sugar or its substitutes. The greatest cooking skill you can develop is to be able to make a wide variety of sauces from scratch. If you do this you will be not only using fresh produce with its nutritional punch but also taking hundreds of pounds of sugar out of your diet over a lifetime.

Fluids Green Tea and Black Tea with antioxidants and drink two to three cups a day. and other herbal teas, tap and mineral water. If you enjoy coffee then one or two cups a day of good quality ground or the more expensive brands of freeze dried instant coffee. Try hot water with sliced lemon first thing in the morning and get some Vitamin C.

Good quality alcohol in moderation and it is better to have one glass a day than binge at the weekend. Your liver can handle that far better. We haven’t drunk very much alcohol in the last three years but these days there are some excellent non-alcoholic alternatives and the taste has improved dramatically in the last year or so including 00 alcohol gin by Gordons, Guinness, Lager and a very good Australian Shiraz.

Depending on the climate and altitude at which you live, you will need to experiment to find out how much fluid you need. If you have very low humidity you will need considerably more. Average is around the 2 litres per day of combined fluids.

I hope that this has given you some ideas of new foods that perhaps you can introduce to support your operating systems and major organs. This includes those that protect the brain and those that process and transtport the nutrients it needs.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2023

Next week –  How to keep your brain free of debris and stimulated whatever age you are.

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 21 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

Thanks reading and I hope you will join me again next week…Sally.