Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Update – #Reviews – #MurderMystery Sharon Marchisello, #Romance Lizzie Chantree, #Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first book today with a recent review, is a murder mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

About the book

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

A recent review for the book

Then travel along with Sharon Marchisello on an action-packed, justice-seeking mission of a young woman determined to catch up with the con artist who took advantage of her good intentions of helping to save animals. And saving from extinction is a major theme of this well-researched book in which the setting proves as engaging as the fictional story. I’ll probably never make it to the Galapagos, so I especially appreciate an author who can engage me with the sights, sounds, and scents of this sacrosanct place that’s as threatened as the animals that live there. The story has a bit of everything—romance, suspense, revenge, intrigue, and even a bit of humor. The ending is tight and satisfying. I’m glad to have read this book.  

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – follow Sharon:Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

The next author with a review is Lizzie Chantree for..Shh… It’s Our Secret

About the book

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amazon Customer5.0 out of 5 stars From deep within a heart warming story.  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 July 2021

From deep within a heart warming story. I have read all of Chantree’s books; I love them so much. It is strange, especially as a cosy romance genre would not ordinarily appeal to me. However, Chantree’s writing has so much more depth than a contrived frothy fable.
In this latest book, Violet is a downtrodden young woman, managing a bar / café for her misogynist and lazy boyfriend; used and abused would be a fair description. Why does she do it? Well, she never really got over the loss of her parents so suddenly. She stays near to help her struggling sister and her two children after her husband left her for ‘horse face’ a younger woman. She stays and works so hard in the café, because the regulars had become her surrogate family and they care about her and she loves them for it.

Violet used to sing with her parents. She has an angelic voice and composes her own songs; elegiac and moving, often sorrowful lyrics and tunes. So many urged Violet to sing on the stage in the café, but she not only had rock bottom self-esteem, she suffered horrendous stage fright. However, she has a burning desire to help other talented songsters, especially those with the lack of confidence she has; never a thought for herself.

A mysterious man appears and buys the café and Liam, Violet’s shite of a boyfriend, scarpers with another woman; it comes as a relief to Violet, but what will she do? The new owner likes her concept of a specialist music venue and offers Violet the job as manager and even takes on board her ideas of how to refashion the venue.

No more spoilers, but this novel examines closely the emotions and struggle of feelings, not just with Violet, but with her sister and the family of regulars who viewed the café as their own refuge; great characters and so well drawn you cannot fail to be engaged. I especially like that there is no hero or heroine, just a telling tale of self-discovery and, love.
Chantree writes so well that you often do not realise that you are on a roller-coaster and sometimes mysteriously I found myself shedding a tear, or laughing out loud. Chantree writes of ordinary people in an extraordinary way and I love it and wholeheartedly recommend Ssh and her other books. 5 stars.  

Also by Lizzie Chantree

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And:Amazon US – Follow Lizzie: Goodreads – website:Lizzie Chantree – Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree

The final book today with a recent review is A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle .. Now in Kindle on Lulu

robbie a ghost and his goldAbout the book

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904. Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

A recent review for the book

Balroop Singh 4.0 out of 5 stars Not a simple ghost story – profoundly thought-provoking  Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2021

A Ghost and His Gold is loaded with historical details of the second Boer War in South Africa and I must confess I had no knowledge about this war. This book lays bare the atrocities and the brutalities that are considered to be a part of such conflicts; it also chronicles the long-term effects that they cause on human psyche. It is the powerful presence of the supernatural that keeps you captivated despite the heavy details of the war.

Cheadle has meticulously put together the poignant plight of the families of the soldiers who dared to defy the British and fight for their rights. It is interesting to note that both perspectives of the war are represented through Pieter and Robert. The story jumps from one time-line to another various times and is told through several POVs; also switches tenses whenever convenient – it hampers the spontaneous flow of the book. I like the footnotes that clarify local words and expressions.

What impressed me most is how well the emotions have been handled and how adroitly the characters have been developed that they sound realistic, trapped in the circumstances beyond their control. I hate Marta and my heart goes out to Estelle, I didn’t like Tom right from the beginning and developed a soft corner for Pieter – such connections can only be felt with powerful characters.

There are certain absurd expectations: like Michelle asking Estelle “you need to promise me that you’ll not harm him regardless of whether you can forgive him or not.” Who could trust a ghost? However, this is not just a simple ghost story, it highlights serious themes connected with antagonism, avarice, insensitivity and humanity. Well-done!  

A small selection of other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy the booksAmazon US And: Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

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

 

Smorgasbord Pet/Human Health – #Cats #Foodsafety – Toxoplasma Gondii by Sally Cronin


Today a disease that can be transmitted from our pet cats to its human family unintentionally.

image Sally Cronin

Cats – Foodsafety – Toxoplasma Gondii

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet and also before eating but it is one of those rules that every generation learns but is seldom explained in detail.

As a living organism we are host to parasites. Whilst we might like to think that it is only animals and particularly our pets that have worms and harmful bacteria, we provide just as welcoming an environment in our own bodies.

The real danger occurs in the very young and the elderly who tend to have either immature or repressed immune systems. The parasites or pathogens are able to take hold and overcome the bodies weakened defence systems.

Toxoplasma Gondii

There is one particular parasite that can not only cause problems for children and adults but also to an unborn foetus as well. This is Toxoplasma Gondii and the condition is called Toxoplasmosis.

Anyone who has been pregnant will have been asked by their doctor is they have a cat, as this is the main source of this parasite. Cats are predators and they catch and eat infected rodents and birds. The parasite is then carried in the cat’s faeces and out into a litter box or soil. Kittens and young cats are the most likely to be infested with the parasite and they can eliminate it for as long as three weeks after infection.

It is estimated that over 80% of household cats carry the organism, with no signs or symptoms of the parasite infestation The parasite is then passed to the human through contact with the cat and then touching a hand to the mouth or by emptying the litter box without protective gloves. Also gardening without gloves if you have a cat can expose you to the risk of infection as you work in soil they have contaminated. If food is then prepared the parasite will be passed onto the rest of the family.

Feral cats who might visit our gardens and domestic cats both roam freely, particularly in the countryside. Feed for animals is also grown in contaminated soil and then fed to pigs, sheep and deer, which become infected with Toxoplasmosis.

We then handle and eat raw or under cooked meats becoming infected ourselves. We can also come into contact with the parasite on unwashed vegetables that have been grown in contaminated soil and then eaten raw in salads.

The great majority of us carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few of us have the symptoms because the immune system, when healthy, keeps the parasite from causing illness.

Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis

Some people who have Toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the ‘flu’ with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches. These symptoms can last for about a month. If you are concerned then do go and see your doctor and he may suggest a blood test to check for the parasite.

If a mother is infected before or during her pregnancy she may not show any symptoms and neither will most babies at birth. A small percentage may be born blind or with some brain damage but these usually develop over a period of time and if there is a cat in the family extra care should be taken around newborns particularly. Cats make great nannies and are loving but babies tend to grab fur anywhere they can and whilst indoor cats tend to be reasonably clear of the parasite, if it is allowed to road free then it could be infected.

How to protect yourself from Toxoplasmosis.

In the first instance it is about maintaining a healthy immune system. This comes from eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, protein with some carbohydrates most of which should be unprocessed. Processed foods including refined sugars should really only make up about 20% of your diet. The Immune System – Smorgasbord Health Column

There are a few basic hygiene guidelines that can minimise your chances of becoming infected with any parasites.

1. Always wash your hands with hot water and anti-bacterial soap after any exposure to soil, sand, litter trays, raw meat or unwashed vegetables.
2. Cook your meat completely so that there is no pink and the juices are clear.
3. Freeze any meat that you buy for at least three days before cooking as this will help kill any parasites.
4. Wear gloves when gardening or emptying litter boxes and always wash your hands afterwards.
5. Wash all surfaces such as cutting boards, knives and utensils used in the preparation of raw meats and unwashed vegetables in very hot, soapy water.
6. Make sure that you thoroughly wash and if possible peel all fruits and vegetables before consuming. This especially applies to salads and it is something worth considering when you are eating in a restaurant. Most will be complying with health regulations but if you are in any doubt about the cleanliness of an establishment then perhaps better to eat a cooked item on the menu. Also beware of a salad buffet where many hands may be touching the serving spoons before you.

If you are owned by a cat!

It is not necessary to give up your pet if you get pregnant but if possible get someone else to change the litter box every day, as the parasite does not become infectious until 24 hours after elimination. Make sure to wear gloves when handling the litter and wash the box in boiling water frequently.

Your cat’s chances of becoming infected are reduced if you feed it cooked home prepared food or high quality tinned food. I am afraid I am not an advocate for dried food for cats or dogs.

Do not be tempted to pick up stray kittens or cats if you are pregnant and wait until after the birth to get a new cat. Keep all your pets as parasite free as possible by using one of the number of natural products available. Check with your vet if you are at all concerned about the health of your cat.

©2021 Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three 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 20 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 and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: :Sally’s books and reviews

Thank you for dropping in today and your feedback and questions are very welcome.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday August 4th 2021 – #Youth #Age Stevie Turner, #Dumfries Robbie Cheadle, #Tartine Dorothy’s Vintage Kitchen


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.

The first post is from Stevie Turner with an Open Blog Post on the subject of our youth and getting older, the things we miss and those we look forward to on retirement. Plenty of food for thought… and I am sure Stevie would love to read your thoughts.

Welcome to this week’s blog hop, which I didn’t think I’d take part in as I thought I’d be on holiday at the van with my granddaughter. However, this has been postponed for a fortnight, and so… here’s the topic:

What’s something you look forward to as you age? And what do you miss from your youth?

Many people look forward to retirement as they grow older. However, trust me to buck the trend. I’m not yet ready to give up work altogether, although I have cut down on the hours I spend typing clinic letters. I still like to feel useful and needed in the workplace, and believe me, if you work for the NHS it doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 66, you are needed!

Head over to discover the things Stevie misses and what she is looking forward to: Stevie Turner Open Book Blog Hop 2nd August

The next post is from Robbie Cheadle who met up with author Mary Smith on a trip the family made to Dumfries in recent years.. Robbie also reviews Mary’s book co-authored with photographer Keith Kirk

A tour of Dumfries and my review of Secret Dumfries by Mary Smith and Keith Kirk

In my Thursday Doors post last week, I said that my family had travelled to Dumfries to meet blogger and author, Mary Smith. Mary took us on a short tour of this fascinating town.
Dumfries Museum

A few interesting artifacts from the Dumfries Museum:

The story of the Siller Gun

James VI of Scotland and I of England presented the Seven Trades with a trophy – the Siller Gun – to be awarded in its annual shooting competition. At a time when tradesmen had to be prepared to defend the town, the King’s intention was to encourage their shooting skill.

Head over to enjoy all the wonderful photographs that Robbie took on their trip to the museums and her review for Secret Dumfries: A tour of Dumfries and my review of Secret Dumfries by Mary Smith and Keith Kirk

Time for another delicious recipe from Dorothy’s Vintage Kitchen.. I love the way Dorothy combines flavours and ingredients that add a special twist to dishes to entice us to prepare them.

Peach and Cheddar Tartine on Sourdough Rye Bread 

Pick a fruit, pick a cheese (yes, vegan cheese, too) any combination will be good, and you will have a perfect topping for a tartine.

My friend Carolyn and I treat each other throughout the year. I get eggs from her lovely flock of hens, and delivery day usually means the handing off of a good mystery, a pot of jam or honey, homemade limoncello, or maybe some zucchini from the garden. On a recent morning, the eggs came with a beautiful loaf of sourdough rye bread made from starter that I gave her a few years ago. A perfect bread for toast.

Head over to read the recipe and learn how to create this fabulous sounding dish for supper or a light lunch: Dorothy’s Vintage Kitchen Peach and Cheddar Tartine on Sourdough Rye Bread

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full..thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #Truecrime Sue Coletta, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first book today with a recent review is Myth and Magic by Mae Clair

About the book

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

A recent review for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Mystery  Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2021

A wonderful romance/cozy mystery mash-up by one of my go-to authors. Veronica is the manager of the Stone Willow Lodge, owned by the wealthy Breckwood family. Ghost-sightings and other more gruesome events are disturbing the guests and making hay for the local newspaper whose goal seems to be driving the inn out of business. To find out what’s going on, the Breckwoods hire a private investigator who happens to be the black sheep of the family.

Caith unwillingly returns to his childhood town, pressured by his young son who wants to see his cousins and grandfather. Caith brings along a ton of psychological baggage based on old trauma that he’s unable to deal with. He and Veronica have their own issues to clear, but the attraction is as strong as ever (when she isn’t furious with him).

The romance part of the story is stormy and satisfying. The mystery part is much more… well, mysterious. The tension amps up as gruesome events at the lodge escalate and Caith runs into family resistance. The author slowly reveals Caith’s past, and I couldn’t help but worry that the tragedy of his history would repeat itself. There are red herrings and lots of potential suspects.

The plot is well done, with appropriate foreshadowing, and I didn’t know who the culprits were until the reveal. I have to say though that Caith and his three brothers stole the show. The relationships were complicated, but there were moments of pure joy too. A highly recommended standalone read for fans of deftly entwined romances and cozy mysteries.

A selection of books by Mae Clair

Mae Clair, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Mae on: Goodreads
Website: Mae Clair – Twitter: @MaeClair1

The second author with a recent review is for bestselling crime author Sue Coletta and Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs

About the book

For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.

Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 11, 2021 Colin Garrow rated it five stars

Exploring murder in nineteenth century New England, crime writer Sue Coletta tells the stories of five female serial killers – Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason and Sarah Jane Robinson. Delving into their individual backgrounds, she looks at the events that drove these women to a point where they chose to commit murder. Between the five, they killed more than one hundred people, many of which were members of their own families.

Though I’m familiar with many of the famous serial killers of the 1800s in my own country (UK), I’m less aware of America’s Victorian murderers, so hadn’t heard of any of these women or the details of their crimes. Carrying out meticulous research, the author recounts how each one went about their nefarious deeds and the ensuing consequences. What I found most interesting was that the preferred method of all five was to use poison – that old stalwart of Victorian killers – arsenic. It’s also interesting that many of the women murdered their own children and husbands – in some cases several husbands!

Using witness testimonies and court records, Sue Coletta tells a captivating tale of lies, deceit and an appalling number of murders. She also reveals how some of the attending physicians involved managed to make colossal mistakes in their diagnoses (in terms of cause of death). If these serial killers hadn’t knocked off so many people, perhaps they might never have been caught.

A fascinating account of Victorian murders in New England. 

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

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter: @SueColetta1

The final author today is Claire Fullerton with a review for her novel Little Tea.

About the book.

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 06, 2021 Marta Ratliff rated it five stars it was amazing

Very well written

I loved the way Little Tea took 3 friends from teen years to their 50’s. No one knows the sruggles of life like your lifetime buddies! It seems not much was different in the 80s with interracial relationships than when I was growing up in the 60’s. Claire Fullerton has a way with words and there were times she brought me to tears! Now I better wait to start another book to savor this one for a few days. 

Also by Claire Fullerton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Blog: Claire Fullerton WordPress – Twitter: @Cfullerton3 

 

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday August 3rd 2021 – #Vella D.Wallace Peach, #Update Mary Smith, #Roses Rebecca Budd


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.

Publishing in all its formats has evolved in the last twenty years faster than anyone could have imagined. A new way of presenting your writing is being beta tested on Amazon US and Diana Wallace Peach is testing it out and sharing her early findings. Something to keep an eye on as if successful it is likely to be rolled out to all of the main Amazon platforms.

The Necromancer’s Daughter, and initial thoughts about Vella

I decided to give Vella a try.

In a nutshell, Amazon’s latest program (beta in the US for now) allows authors to publish new stories in serial episodes that readers can access though tokens. (The first three episodes of every serial are free — no fiddling with the tokens required). Readers can “thumbs up” episodes they enjoy and thereby push them up in visibility.

For authors who have published their episodic writing on programs like Wattpad, this is a great way to leverage their fanbase and earn revenue. Over a thousand fantasy stories showed up on Vella on the first day, and one had over a thousand “thumbs up.” It wasn’t mine. Lol.

Head over to find out more about The Necromancer’s Daughter and Diana’s thoughts on Vella:The Necromancer’s Daughter, and initial thoughts about Vella

I know many of you are keeping in touch with Mary Smith as she has worked her way through a minefield for over a year. She has been very good about keeping us updated and also sharing not just the low periods but the highlights of the year. Today news that has Mary waiting again for results, an unexpected and unwanted development that resulted in a bizarre experience and some lovely photographs of her flowers and the gardener.

MarySmith’sPlace ~ biopsies, blood clots & garden pics in CancerDiary#37 

Saturday, 31 July: I’ve not yet quite got into the swing of regular blogging after my break and was shocked to find over a week had gone since I last posted.

On Wednesday, 20 July I had the ultrasound on the lump on my neck, which turned out to be three small lymph nodes, suspicious enough in appearance for the doctor to decide to do a biopsy. He said in the lab they will be looking to see if the cells are cancerous or not. If there are cancerous cells he thinks the oncologist will want to look at treatment options.

Head over to discover the bizarre hospital visit and enjoy the beauty of Mary’s garden: MarySmith’sPlace ~ biopsies, blood clots & garden pics in CancerDiary#37

The final post today is from Rebecca Budd and about Robert Frost the poet and shares his iconic poem about roses. Rebecca not only shares the poem but recites it beautifully adding the emotional context of the words.

Asking for Roses

Robert Frost once wrote, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” These words are a profound testament to his courage for living.

Robert Frost went on when, at age eleven, he lost his father to tuberculosis. He went on when his mother succumbed to cancer at the young age of twenty-six. He went on when his younger sister died in a mental hospital. He went on when his wife, Elinor, suffered from cancer then died due to heart failure. He went on when he outlived four of the six children he fathered with Elinor.

Head over to find out more about the life of Robert Frost and listen to Rebecca reading his poem Asking for Roses: Lady Budd – Asking for Roses

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full .. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – August 3rd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Television and Alligators


Debby Gies has been foraging on the internet for funnies to share and I have a joke or two up my sleeve.

  

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s latest relationship column here on Smorgasbord July 2021 – The Universe Brings Us Kindred Spirits

Now something from Sally

Being a maid.

There is a story about Dorothy Parker, the American author, whose maid handed in her notice after finding a live alligator in the bath one morning. Her note stated ‘I cannot work in a house where there is an alligator in the bath. I would have mentioned this when I took the job, but I didn’t think the issue would come up!’

Never miss an opportunity?

An elderly lady was introduced to a doctor at a dinner party and immediately struck up a conversation. ‘I wonder if I could ask you a question? I have been getting these pains in my side and up my right leg as well what do you think might be the problem?’

‘I’m sorry but I’m not that kind of doctor.. I am a Doctor of Economics.

‘Oh I see,’ said the lady, ‘Well, in that case should I sell my British telecom shares.’

 

Thanks for dropping in and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face… Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Family – My Baby Wrote Me A Letter: An Inspirational Women’s Fiction Short Story by Jacquie Biggar


This was my review from March this year for My Baby Wrote Me A Letter: An Inspirational Women’s Fiction Short Story by Jacquie Biggar

About the book

Eight months pregnant and her Navy husband away on a mission, Grace Freeman craves the security of her childhood home in Canada.
When a letter written by her long-lost mother is found in an old writing desk it creates a tear in the fabric of her family.
Can Grace find a way to bring peace to those she loves, or will a message from the past destroy their future?

My review for My Baby Wrote Me a Letter March 11th 2021

This might be a short story but it is packed with emotion. The actions of one woman has weighed heavily on the shoulders and in the hearts of her husband and children who carry the burden of guilt and bewilderment.

As Grace and her father and brothers come together as she prepares for the birth of her first child, they are forced to face a mystery that has haunted them all for years. At first reluctant to read a letter discovered by accident, they learn the shocking truth about their mother’s abandonment. They now have an opportunity to heal the wounds from the past before welcoming new life into the family and looking to the future.

The characters are delightful and as always Jacquie Biggar has crafted a well written story and intriguing mystery that touches the heart.

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

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

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

About Jacquie Biggar

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

 

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

Smorgasbord Health Column – Down in the Dumps? Perhaps some Pseudoscience might be the key! – Biorhythms by Sally Cronin


There are quite a few therapies and theories that are magnets for those who believe they are pseudoscience. And sure enough there is quite a bit of quackery out there in one form or another.

I have quite an open mind when it comes to alternative therapies and part of the equation is the power of the mind which manifests itself in the ‘placebo effect’.

This is an improvement in a patient’s condition when their expectations are of a positive outcome from the treatment despite there being no real health benefit. For example dummy pills given in a trial to treat a serious disease, that miraculously results in an improvement or even a cure for some patients.

One of the interesting ways that the benefit of some of these alternative therapies can be tested is when they are used for the treatment of animals. For example the ancient healing therapy of acupuncture is commonly used on animals including dogs and horses with improvements to their conditions. They are not susceptible to the ‘placebo effect’!

One of the theories about the body and its health which comes in for a great deal of stick from the pseudoscience brigade is Biorhythms… and after over 25 years of my experience with this pseudoscience I would like to share my opinion.

The Biorhythm Theory

Back in the 1990s I came across an article about biorhythms. It was at a time when I was exploring my own health, studying nutrition and the human body and fascinated by how amazing our bodies are.

Sally 24 stone 1994 age 41

In 1996 I had been losing weight for over a year and by that time I had already lost eight stone with another three more to go. I was eating healthily with plenty of fruit, vegetables, moderate carbohydrates and mainly fish. I had the occasional glass of wine if we were out, but apart from that I was teetotal.

I was walking 3 miles a day five days a week, doing aerobics and swimming. I felt so much better than when I weighed 24 stone as you can imagine. But every few weeks I would hit the wall physically, mentally and emotionally.

At that time I put it down to several reasons including sugar withdrawal, but also at my age there was likely to be a reduction in hormone levels which could be having an effect on my sense of well-being.  I did some research, which was somewhat limited in those days, and came across an article on an alleged unproven theory concerning biorhythms.

What are biorhythms.

There is a theory developed by a number of 20th century scientists Alfred Teltscher, Hermann Swoboda and  Wilhelm Fliess, a German ear, nose and throat practitioner at the turn of the 20th century and a friend and collaborator of Sigmund Freud.

  • Fleiss believed in the concept that our daily lives are affected by rhythmic cycles with periods of 23, 28 and 33 days.
  • Each connected to one of the three key health indicators.
  • Physical cycle 23 days, Emotional 28 days and Mental 33 days.
  • According to Wilhelm Fleiss, a person’s life is influenced by these cycles from birth and oscillate in a regular pattern throughout a person’s life.
  • When modelled mathematically this pattern can be identified and a person’s state within those three states can be predicted.
  • Each of the cycles flows between highs and lows and will reach a high or low independent of the others at certain points in the cycles over a period of time.
  • However at certain points of this regular oscillation there are periods in our lives when all three states of body and mind are all at their lowest point or at their highest, together.

This can result is either a burst of physical and mental energy when a person feels like they are firing on all cylinders when the three lines converge at the top of the chart.

Or the reverse when all the cycles meet at the bottom of the curve and they feel drained of energy and in the dumps to use a common description of being totally out of sorts.

As you will see on this biorhythm calculator, the three cycles move between the maximum at +100% down through 0 (neutral) and then on to – 100%

Red: Emotional – Green: Physical – Blue: Intellectual

For several years, particularly when I was going through the menopause until age 54, I would check the biorhythm calculator on a frequent basis. Over time I began to notice that when I was feeling physically drained, lacking in energy, had brain fog and felt flat emotionally, it coincided with all three cycles being in the -100% sector of the chart at the same time.

Present Day

Although I have not checked my biorhythms on a regular basis since my mid 50s, a few weeks ago I felt particularly flat physically, mentally and emotionally, and I decided to check out the state of my three key indicators.

I checked the biorhythm calculator.. and sure enough all three of the cycles, physical, mental and emotional were at the bottom of the curve and would be in the lower part of the sector for two or three more days before passing through the 0 median point.

Sure enough three days later I woke up feeling much better and all three rhythms were on their way back up the chart.

Here are some examples of what a chart will look like as the cycles flow up and down the chart –

I felt great and the cycles were all in the top half of the chart with intellectual the top of its curve.

I was getting a great deal accomplished plus getting some gardening and household projects crossed off the list and finished the editing for my poetry collection.

I am writing this on July 28th 2021 I don’t feel as great today…intellectually I am at -75% and emotionally -44%

Although I have managed quite a bit today as far as writing posts, some poetry and preparing podcast posts. I am firing on some cylinders but not all of them.

Now taking the chart forward across the months and you will see on November 15th, which happens to be our 41st wedding anniversary… all three cycles are well and truly in the minus percentages. This does not mean anything dire will happen, but I will probably take the day off from the blog, get out and let someone else prepare dinner and enjoy a celebration.

My conclusion after 25 years of testing this theory out in practice.

I believe the 20th century scientists were on to something when they concluded that there is a cycle to everything in nature and therefore it must be applied to humans.

We cannot sustain being in high performance mode 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the body’s energies fluctuate depending on a number of factors, including diet, exercise, sleep patterns and fitness.  However, when these external pressures are compounded, such as with the stress of Covid, enforced isolation, changes to work and home routine, we should expect to have periods of time when we feel  physically, mentally and emotionally under the weather.

Add in the normal rhythms identified in the theory and it adds a great deal of stress on the body and our mental well-being.

This has led to an alarming increase in the prescription of anti-depressants not always appropriately. Women going through the menopause are being put on anti-depressants even though they have not been proven to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of this natural phase in a woman’s life.

Also worrying is the number of under 17 year olds, many who have not gone through puberty who are being prescribed anti-depressants. CCHrint.org

I might be cynical, but to me, there is little incentive for the pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession, to recognise that there might be some merit to this 120 year old theory about natural cycles throughout our lives, which may result in periods of time when we do feel under the weather and mentally and emotionally flat…

Like the common cold, which is unlikely to be cured, since the annual revenue from over the counter symptom suppressors feeds a multi-billion dollar industry, there is little likelihood that there will be a decrease in the millions of prescriptions for anti-depressants each year.  The global anti-depressants market is expected to stabilize and reach $19 billion at a CAGR of 7.4% through 2023 – Global News Wire

I do believe that we should be looking at our lifestyles in more detail and strategies to reduce the external stress factors, improve our diets and work more closely with our body’s natural biorhythms.

N.B.. If you are currently being prescribed anti-depressants by a doctor then do not stop taking without consultation.

If you would like to test this theory out for yourself and see where your biorhythms are today and going forward over the next few weeks, check this free biorhythm calculator.

And remember if all of your cycles are in the lower sector of the graph together and even more so close to the – 100%, there is some comfort to be found in that in a few days you are likely to feel better.

Check you Biorhythm status today – Free Calculator

As always a nutritionally packed diet, plenty of fluids and moderate exercise is one of the more natural ways to keep you body and mind fit and healthy, even when the biorhythm cycles are on the decline. You can find a shopping list here for all the foods that provide that nutrition. Smorgasbord Health Column – Nutrients the body needs – Weekly Grocery Shopping List

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three 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 20 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.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here::Sally’s books and reviews

 

Thanks for visiting and I am always delighted to receive your feedback.. stay safe Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1975 Part One – Labelle, 10CC, Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor


Each week William and I select two top hits from the charts in the US and UK starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time. We are now in the 1970s.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my first selection of top 1975 hits which I hope you will enjoy. William.

News Event: January 31st Barry Manilow’s single “Mandy” goes gold

Labelle – Lady Marmelade

“Lady Marmelade,” penned by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, is famous for its sexually suggestive French chorus “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?” which means in English “Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?” This was Labelle’s first #1 hit and it topped the charts world wide. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003 and is ranked #479 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

News Event:  February 18th 2nd American Music Awards: Olivia Newton-John & John Denver win

10 cc – I’m Not in Love

“I’m Not in Love,” composed by band members Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, was originally conceived as a bossa nova song for guitars. It reached the #1 spot on the UK Singles chart and remained for two weeks. This song was the band’s breakthrough hit worldwide, reaching #1 in Ireland and Canada and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, as well as reaching the top 10 in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries.

News Event: March 22nd 20th Eurovision Song Contest: Teach-In for Netherlands wins singing “Ding-a-dong” in Stockholm

Now time for my first top chart picks from 1975 and I hope you will enjoy my selection

The Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’

“Jive Talkin’ ” is a song by the Bee Gees, released as a single in May 1975 by RSO Records. This was the lead single from the album Main Course (as well as a song on the 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack) and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100; it also reached the top-five on the UK Singles Chart in the middle of 1975. Largely recognised as the group’s “comeback” song, it was their first US top-10 hit since “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (1971).

News Event:  May 11th Natalie Cole releases her debut album “Inseparable” (wins 2 Grammys)

Gloria Gaynor – Never Can Say Goodbye

“Never Can Say Goodbye” is the debut album by Gloria Gaynor, released on MGM Records in January 1975. It is most notable for including several early Disco recordings. The album charted in the US Billboard at number 25 in the US Pop chart, and at number 21 in the US R&B chart. In the UK the album peaked at number 32, “Never Can Say Goodbye” was released in the UK as a single and reached number 2 in early 1975.

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 70s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week 1975 Part One. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.