Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves – #Pre-Order – O’Roarke’s Destiny (Cornish Rogues Book 1) by Shehanne Moore

Time for a little historical romance from author Shehanne Moore with her latest release on Pre-Order at a special price for 13th SeptemberO’Roarke’s Destiny (Cornish Rogues Book 1).

About the book

Once he’d have died to possess her, now he just might…

Beautiful, headstrong young widow Destiny Rhodes was every Cornish man’s dream. Until Divers O’Roarke cursed her with ruin and walked out of Cornwall without a backwards glance. Now he’s not only back, he’s just won the only thing that hasn’t fallen down about her head—her ancestral home. The home, pride demands she throw herself in with, safe in the knowledge of one thing. Everything she touches withers to dust.

He’d cursed her with ruin.

Now she’d have him live with the spoils of her misfortune.

Though well versed in his dealings with smugglers and dead men, handsome rogue Divers O’Roarke is far from sure of his standing with Destiny Rhodes. He had no desire to win her, doesn’t want her in his house, but while he’s bent on the future, is there one when a passionate and deadly game of bluff ensues with the woman he once cursed? A game where no-one and nothing are what they seem. Him most of all.

And when everything she touches turns to dust, what will be his fate as passion erupts? Will laying past ghosts come at the highest price of all?

Pre-order at a special price until September 13th:

And on Amazon US:

Also by Shehanne Moore

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads:

About Shehanne Moore

Shehanne Moore is a Scottish born author who writes gritty, witty, more risky than risqué, historical romance, set wherever takes her fancy–stories that detail the best and worst of human behaviour, as opposed to pouts and flounces.

For years she did various jobs while pursuing her dream of becoming a published writer, so she was thrilled to be offered a contract by Etopia Press for The Unraveling of Lady Fury, six days after subbing it.

Shehanne still lives in Scotland with her husband Mr Shey. She has two daughters. When not writing intriguing, and of course, sizzling, historical romance, where goals and desires of sassy, unconventional heroines and ruthless men, mean worlds do collide, she fantasizes about cleaning the house, plays the odd musical instrument and loves what in any other country, would not be defined, as hill-walking.

Connect to Shehanne.


Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could head over to check out  Shehanne’s new book further.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Being part of the Goodreads Author Programme – Sally Cronin

In last week’s post I covered the importance of having an Amazon Author Page as a direct selling link to your books.

This week I would like to focus on one of the most important book marketing link to your books which is both FREE and has the added benefit of permitting readers from any country in the world to review your book without having to spend £50 on Amazon products for the privilege. Especially if you are one of the millions of readers around the world who have received your book as a gift. Even more frustrating if the book was purchased for you by someone else, and you still cannot review it on Amazon.

Unfortunately with Amazon being the largest online bookseller in the world most of us do buy our Ebooks from them, as well as print books which unless are part of their KDP print on demand carry a hefty postage and package charge.

In the last 18 months the reviewing policy has changed in a number of ways to combat fraudulent reviewing.These are paid for reviews, offered by some of the book marketing sites that also charge an arm and a leg for services you can get for free on sites such as Goodreads. On Monday I decided to go deep diving into one such company to discover the 200,000 followers they promised to market my books to.. you can read how many they fell short in regard to that number HERE

Also friends were suddenly not allowed to review for each other. Rumour has it that Facebook, before it became holier than thou about privacy, sold our details to Amazon so that they could remove reviews from our friends on that site. This meant that hundreds of thousands of legitimate reviews were removed immediately without recourse. Getting an answer from a real, live person is frustrating and you might as well use the message in a bottle method!

You can now only put a review on the Amazon that sells to your country of origin. In the UK this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the US Amazon reviews are also shown. However the reverse is not the case and if someone goes to buy your book on Amazon US they won’t see the UK reviews. Which if you are a UK author will usually be more than those on the US site.

The interesting thing is you can review any book you like, even those you have not bought from Amazon if you buy goods from any department on the site for $50 or £50 expenditure during the year!  Unfortunately we have one account for all purchases made through Amazon, but it is in my husband’s name as it is a combined seller account for my books. He formats and uploads them so it makes sense. He buys all my books that I read from Amazon but they have banned me from reviewing since it is not my credit card. It looks like I am going to have to spend £50 to review books that I have already bought.

This ruling also applies to the thousands of books weekly that are sent out as ARC copies before publication to be reviewed, gifts and also another source of reading…library books.

However, if you can encourage your readers to review on Goodreads as well as their Amazon country of origin, their review will be visible globally whatever the source of the book.

You can pay quite handsomely for some book marketing sites but Goodreads is FREE and hopefully will remain so.  They do have paid for advertising programmes and I have covered that later in the post.

You can join forums and The Librarians Group and enjoy other opportunities to promote your books. There is a direct link to Amazon and also other sites if you list them when setting up your settings, and whilst not a direct selling site it is my preferred marketing site, along with my Cafe and Bookstore of course..

Creating an author page on Goodreads is a little more complex than on Amazon but they do however have over 12 million books and adding your books to the shelves offers you an excellent marketing platform.

The first step is to click on

You will need to click on the top right hand side of the page to log on/Sign up

If new to Goodreads you will fill in the details of email and password to create an account. If you want to create an author page I suggest not signing in with Facebook etc. It can get confusing later. Once you have confirmed your details by returning the link that is sent to you by Goodreads you will be good to go.

Or if you are already a member of Goodreads for book searches and leaving reviews sign on to the site.

Here is the steps to create your Goodread author page.

Search for your author name in the search bar and it will bring up a basic list of any books that are accredited to you.

Go to the bottom of the page and you will be asked if “this is you, let us know”

Click on this and a request will be sent to add you to the author programme. It can take a few days but once you are approved you can then log in and create your marketing page.  Goodreads have some tips you can use for guidance and well worth reading.

If you cannot find your book either by author name or title then you may need to go to the add new book page and fill in more details. It is very unlikely however, especially if you are on Amazon, since Goodreads is owned by Amazon!!

Creating your Goodreads profile.

There are a number of options in the menu including the very important settings where you will fill in all the relevant data about your as an author and also the genres you write, and also the book genres you enjoy. You put your blog and social media links in and also your profile.

Here are a couple of snapshots of my profile showing you the information that you can include..

  1. I use the same profile photo and bio as I do on Amazon as consistency for the reader is important. Which is why having different author names for your books can become confusing. Some people separate their adult books from their children’s books, but in my experience, readers have children and grandchildren and is they are already a fan, why change your name. You are an author and have time creating a brand for yourself so starting again from scratch does not make good marketing sense. Unless of course you are writing children’s books and erotica and that might warrant a pen-name.
  2. You can add various social media links and also usefully the link to your blog. This means that your posts will automatically appear beneath your profile and before your books are listed.
  3. Beneath your list of books with the number of reviews and links to the book page, you will find some extra pieces that are useful if you are doing book fairs etc. Also a list and link to your most recent reviews.

I stressed that this was a little more complex than Amazon but it is well worth the effort. I focus on each of my platforms in turn and I have recently updated the authors that I am following and I would love to connect with you there.

You can also connect with friends on Goodreads from your Facebook or Twitter pages and I suggest that once you have established your author account that you put a post out on all of them with the link and inviting people to connect to you on Goodreads too.

One of the other features which is very useful for marketing your books is the Author Dashboard which shows your statistics, such as reviews and the number of books you have reviewed and your own books, but also has an option to answer questions from readers or potential readers. You can opt to answer or skip, and have a daily or weekly reminder of any questions waiting for you.

Goodreads offers tailor made advertising for your books accessed through the author dashboard.

This is the only area where Goodreads charge and I have not personally done a campaign and it would be helpful, if you have done so if you could let us know in the comments.

Reviewing books that you have read.

This is the one place where you can review a book even if you have not bought it personally, and even if you have not bought from Amazon. It does not matter where you live in the world, and it is a way to build up a following for your reviews, which might also encourage sales of your own books. Beneath your profile photo you will see how many ratings, reviews and average rating you have given as well as review ranking.

Click on the number of reviews in the middle, and a list with a summary of your review for other books will come up. This will encourage readers to follow you, not only for your reviews of others but possibly to buy your books.

This is about creating a brand for yourself and I will be covering that later in the series.

So that is Goodreads in a nutshell and do suggest very strongly that you set up an author account if you have not already done so, create a profile with photo that engages the readers (use your Amazon one as it provides consistency), add your books, follow other authors and friends from social media and add your own reviews of their books to their Goodreads accounts. When requesting reviews don’t just for it on Amazon but on Goodreads too. This means all your reviews from around the world will be visible to your potential readers.

I hope you have found useful and please fire away with any questions that you might have. If you already have a Goodreads account then it is a good idea to check and update, and also explore the options that you might not have taken advantage of before.  And on that note perhaps you might like to pop in and follow me… thanks Sally.

My goodreads author page is



Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Parenting Guilt (2017) by Lee

This is the second post from the archives of Lee who writes for her blog Woeful to Froful, where she shares about hair and skincare, beauty, positive thinking and music. She also has a second blog Woeful Writes.  I selected this post as I am sure that any parent reading it, will relate to the issue.

Parenting Guilt (2017) by Lee

It’s an affliction. There is no decent parent out there that doesn’t feel guilt with every decision they make or don’t make.

It’s not surprising. You’re tasked with bringing up a whole person as a decent, moral, non-s****y human being. In most instances, it was a choice you made but it’s still difficult, it’s fraught with missteps, mistakes and guilt. What if you’re doing the wrong thing? Have you just said something to them that is unwittingly traumatising and damaging them? To all the parents out there, for what my two cents is worth, as long as you’re trying, really trying to do the best by your child, then that’s all you can do.

In my job, sometimes we get a backlog with all the work that is in front of us, the documents keep coming in, piling on top of the huge pile of things you haven’t been able to deal with, constant calls from people asking why you haven’t dealt with their problem which always seems to be at the bottom of that huge pile. Some people get stressed, some people crumble but at the end of the day, you can literally only do as much as you can do. You only have one pair of hands, one set of eyes, one brain, you can only do as much as you, one single person, can do. It’s the same with the kids, you can only try your best and try not to beat yourself up over failings or assumed failings.

Yet I’m guilty of feeling guilty. I want my children to succeed but there is always this feeling that I’m not doing as much as I can. That I am failing them. That if I discipline to strongly here, there will be repercussions there. When I go to work and leave them crying, that they’ll feel abandoned. That working full-time means that they don’t know me as well as they could. That I haven’t read enough with them and they’ll fail at school. That I’m not feeding them the right things and they’ll end up with an eating disorder. That if I let them watch this or play with this, then they’ll become a blight on society. That it feels like more time is spent getting them to do the daily necessities, get washed, eat breakfast, get dressed, homework, rather than having fun family time. Guilt. It gets you every time.

Now the logical side of my brain knows that I don’t need to be spending the big bucks to have happy kids, I just need to spend time with them, show them how much I love them. They seem to be happy, (mainly) well-adjusted, polite, loveable and sociable children. But no matter what, the guilt remains. I try everyday to let it go because I feel that I’m making a genuine effort to do right by them and set a good example. I just hope it all sinks in and they become the valuable members of society that it looks like they are on track to become.

Still feel guilty though. Let’s keep growing less guilty together! xx Lee xx

Comments welcome. How do you deal with parental guilt?

©Lee Woeful to Frofull 2017

About Lee

My name is Lee and welcome to my little written corner of the world. You’ll find posts on here about haircare, skincare, beauty, positive thinking and my favourite songs. Stick around, read a bit, leave a comment, hey, why not join me on your favourite social media to keep up to date with blog goings on!

Connect to Lee

Blog 2:

My thanks to Lee for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and enjoy browsing them yourselves.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Thriller – The Perfect Assassin by Ward Larsen by Sally Cronin

I have been reading a series over the last few months and am now reading the fourth David Slaton novel. I am reviewing the first in the series, The Perfect Assassin by USA Today Bestselling author Ward Larsen, as I cannot recommend the books enough…

About The Perfect Assassin

One perfect shot will change the course of history. Christine Palmer, a young American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, makes an incredible discovery – a man narrowly clinging to his life in the frigid waters. But there is much more to this desperate survivor than meets the eye. David Slaton is a Kidon – a highly-trained, highly-precise, and highly-dangerous assassin. The Kidon is both the hunter and the hunted, and he and Christine are in grave danger. Will they win in this race against time?With the precision of a sharpshooter, author Ward Larsen weaves an intricate tale of espionage and intrigue.

My review for The Perfect Assassin

Normally my husband reads and listens to science fiction books, so when he suggested that I read a book that was the first in a series he had really enjoyed, I was a little surprised. Until I read The Perfect Assassin the first of the David Slaton series.

I think if I tell you that I am now on the fourth book in the series of novels about this Israeli Kidon or Assassin you will gather that I am a fan.

David Slaton literally drifts into the life of a young and gutsy American doctor as she sails her father’s yacht back to the US. She doesn’t know what to make of this enigmatic new passenger and she is wary of his intentions. As the plot becomes more complex she finds herself drawn into the secret and dangerous world he inhabits, as at the same time she fights a growing attraction.

If you like action and intrigue you will find plenty, but what is the key to this book and the rest of the series that I have read so far, is the quality of writing. There is no excess baggage in the form of unnecessary dialogue or trivia. You are on a mission with David Slaton and it is executed with precision and accuracy. I am not a fan of wanton killing for the sake of shock value, and thankfully whilst appearing coldly effective when needed to despatch enemies of the state, his own and other nations, David Slaton also has a heart and despite the odds is willing to fight for someone who has touched it.

Better than James Bond, it was with pleasure that I read that The Perfect Assassin is going to be made into a film. Brilliant and I am sure it will be a series of films based on superb writing and a breathless action packed storyline. I have a few more in the series to read but have already lined them up along with Ward Larsen’s other novels and series.

It is in print, kindle and if you belong to audible it is free with their trial.. Definitely one not to be missed.

Read some of the many reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A small selection of other books by Ward Larsen

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Ward Larsen on Goodreads:

About Ward Larsen

Ward Larsen is a USA Today bestselling author, and five-time winner of the Florida Book Award. His first thriller, The Perfect Assassin, is currently being adapted into a major motion picture by Amber Entertainment and SND/M6 Films. He has also been nominated for the Macavity Award. A former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Larsen flew twenty-two missions in Operation Desert Storm. He has served as a federal law enforcement officer, airline captain, and is a trained aircraft accident investigator.

Follow Ward Larsen


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that if you love thrillers you will explore the books of Ward Larsen in the future. thanks Sally

Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – Chapter Five – Hair Pieces and The Shoe Department by Sally Cronin

This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was Just an Odd Job Girl.

Previously: Imogen and Andrew had begun to go through her extensive work history and had reached a point where romance would influence her next career move.  She picks up the story…

Chapter Five – Hair Pieces and The Shoe Department by Sally Cronin

I lived in a naval town and it was inevitable that socially I would meet and go out with young naval officers. I was at a party one Saturday, when I was introduced to this very tall, good-looking guy. I was now nineteen and felt I looked stunning, in a new outfit that I had just bought. This included a false half-wig on a black velvet band. It was ash blonde, and if you pulled the band far enough forward it hid the true colour of your hair. It hung seductively down my back and swung with a very satisfying swish when I walked or danced. Combined with a short black velvet dress and knee-high black boots, I was ready to rock and roll.

He was a wonderful dancer. He threw me around the floor to the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart and held me close when slow music was playing. He was gorgeous and I could see all my girlfriends looking on in envy as I strutted my stuff. This was living! My fertile imagination went into overtime. I had just got to the bit where I stunned my parents by taking this Adonis home to meet them when my favourite Rolling Stones song blared out from the speakers. Brown Sugar. If ever there was a song to dance to this was it. I was flying, and it took several minutes for it to register that not only my partner but also several people around us had stopped dancing. Assuming that they were so stunned by my gyrations and flexible interpretations of the music that they had stopped to watch, I carried on playing up to my audience.

There were a number of poles supporting the roof of the dance floor. One was quite close by, and I avoided hitting it as I twirled on the spangled floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something hanging halfway up the pole, but I was busy and didn’t take much notice of it. By now about two dozen people were watching the performance and I was too intent on keeping them entertained. I whirled faster, got closer to the pole, and only then realised that the object hanging limply from a hook was my ash-blonde hairpiece.

I stood there, with my own hair pinned on top of my head covered by a stocking that held it firmly in place. I looked over at my Adonis to find a look of horrified fascination on his face. I grabbed the hair and dashed for the stairs, and the ladies.

I was wearing a little shoulder bag and had no coat, so a speedy retreat was possible. I ripped the stocking and pins from my own hair and legged it out the door and into a taxi home. I have never been so mortified in my life. Today I would have laughed it off and carried on, but at nineteen it was the end of my world and the stunning future I had envisioned for myself with Mr. Fantastic. I hadn’t even got his name, but thankfully he hadn’t got mine either.

Two days later, still squirming from my ordeal, I attended my interview for acceptance into the Queen Alexandra Nursing Service. It was held over in Gosport, at the naval hospital, and along with twenty other hopefuls, I undertook a day of testing and medical examinations.

Eye tests, weight, blood pressure, heart and lungs all checked out. This was conducted by a very severe looking nursing sister and then we were passed on to a doctor for a full medical.

At nineteen, I was not sure what this entailed, and was rather concerned to be asked to remove all my clothing and don a backless hospital gown.

Holding this gown in place with one hand behind my back, I was led, nervously, into the examining room. A head was bent over some notes and I was escorted behind a screen and told to hop up on the examining couch. The nurse loosened the ties behind the neck of the gown and stood at the head of the couch. The curtains parted and the doctor entered. Now I know what a rabbit feels like, paralysed in the glare of the headlights. There before me in a white coat with stethoscope at the ready was my Adonis.

I seem to have blocked out much of the next twenty minutes. The experience was so traumatic that I can only barely remember being escorted out of the door and being told to get dressed. I have no doubt that the examination had been carried out very professionally and in accordance with medical guidelines, but to this day, when I am faced with the same situation, I need a stiff drink to get me into the surgery.

Despite my trauma, I was accepted for training. Unfortunately, the next intake was not for eighteen months, so in the meantime I had to find a job to earn my living.

Huntley’s Department Store, in the next town was looking for staff for Christmas and I decided that I would do some temporary work until it was time to enrol for training. Looking back, I think that perhaps I was actually looking for an excuse not to go ahead with the nursing, certainly with the Navy. The whole experience had been so humiliating that I kept re-playing it in my mind, over and over again. It did not improve with time.

Then fate took a hand, and three months later I met Peter and plans changed. I fell in love and he persuaded me not to tie myself down to three years training, as we would not be able to see each other very often.

Despite my feelings of utter humiliation at the time, I have often regretted not going ahead with my nursing. It was not the first, nor the last time that I allowed Peter to take control of my life and perhaps if I had stuck to my guns then, I would not now be in this situation.

* * *

I think that Andrew could sense that I was about to get maudlin and he got up and went to the door of the office.

‘Elizabeth, can you organise another pot of tea for us please, and give me a shout when you are going for lunch?’

He came back and sat down opposite me.

‘Look, Imogen, I think that this exercise is very valuable and that we should talk about your time at Huntley’s and then call it a day.’

He smiled at me reassuringly.

‘I have a fair idea, after spending the last couple of hours with you, what kind of person you are. I have a few options that I would like to explore, but I need a couple of days to sort them out. How about we finish up in half an hour or so and get together on Friday morning.’

Of course, I said yes. In the space of two hours, this man had made me look at myself in a new way. For far too long, I had allowed Peter and the children, to take over my life, and I had forgotten who I was. Talking about the past brought back memories which had been buried under the day-to-day demands of family and house. I was excited, for first time in years, about what prospects lay ahead.

The tea arrived and we sipped it in companionable silence for a few moments, while I collected my thoughts. I had served in three departments in the nine months that I had been at Huntley’s.

When I completed my initial two-day training course – learning about cash handling, and the store rules, I was sent straight to the Shoe department. Later I moved on to Ladies Clothing and then to Cosmetics, and I can tell you that if anyone assumes that serving in a department store is boring, they need to think again.

As I thought back, incidents long buried came to the surface.

When I arrived in large shoe department on the top floor I met the manageress and three other staff. The staff had been Huntley employees for at least a hundred years by the look of them. Thankfully, I had the experience of working with FB, who was fifty years older than me, but that still did not prepare me for my initiation.

One particular lady was a spinster. From my nineteen-year-old perspective, she looked ancient. On reflection, she was probably only about fifty, but had not worn well. I remember her hair especially, as the poor woman suffered from hair loss – and, like many men with the same problem, combed some long strands across the top of her head. She was very unfortunate in being very tall, almost my height, and rather bird like. I don’t mean sparrow; more ostrich-like with a slightly bulgy-eyed, startled, look. When I was introduced to her, she sniffed and said begrudgingly.

‘Pleased to meet you, I’m sure.’ Not in the most sincere tones.

My worst fears were realised when the manageress teamed me up with ostrich for my further training in shoe salesmanship. Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of technical knowledge required to sell shoes effectively. Apart from the adult sizes with their different width fittings, we also sold a brand of children’s shoes that came with its own X-ray machine. I kid you not; we must have irradiated half the child population of the town. The machine stood waist high and you placed your feet in a slot set into the metal casing. You then looked into an eyepiece and you could see the bones in your feet. This enabled you to check that the child was not squeezed into their new shoes and that there was plenty of room for growth. I assume that these machines were checked for safety, but it is funny how you don’t see them around anymore.

Apart from the technical aspects of the job, Ostrich was also instructed to introduce me to the commission system. She did this with far more glee than she approached other aspects of my training, which should have made me suspicious.

Apparently, when you sold a pair of shoes, you cut out the front of the box they came in, put your initials on the front and gave it in at the end of the week to the wages department.

My sales training from the seafront came in very handy and I was delighted to sell six pairs of shoes my first week. Ostrich kindly offered to hand my box ends on the Saturday, along with her own. This would have meant two shillings a pair, which would have given me twelve shillings extra on top of my eight-pound basic wage. The commission did not appear but ostrich assured me that this was because it was paid a week in arrears.

The second week, I sold twelve pairs of shoes and so earned a commission of twenty-four shillings. Again Ostrich handed over our box ends and when I checked my pay slip, I saw that I had the twelve shillings from the last week. The next week the Ostrich was off sick and surprise, surprise when I checked my pay slip, I saw that in fact I was paid commission for that week, not in arrears at all.

I worked out that the Ostrich had changed the initials on the first week’s sales and on six of the second. If she had not been sick, I would never have noticed the deception until my last pay packet when it would have been too late to do anything about it.

The Ostrich had been there in the shoe department for sixteen years. Who was going to believe a junior assistant who had only been there two weeks? When she returned to work, I said nothing, but from then on, I handed my own box ends into the manageress on Saturdays.

I wondered how many other juniors had been caught by that little scam and decided that on my last day, whenever that might be, I would put things right. Fortunately, before I had to take action, the Ostrich left for some ‘undisclosed’ reason!

Apart from the Ostrich, I enjoyed my job. I liked meeting different people every day, and selling them shoes that made them feel good.

Most customers were pleasant and polite. The odd one who was grumpy was a challenge, firstly to cheer up and then to send away with the most expensive pair of shoes I could get away with.

There was one customer, in particular, however, who was in a league of her own. Very elegant, beautifully dressed, hair immaculate and already wearing very expensive shoes. She indicated two or three pairs of shoes that she wished to try on and sat down and removed one of her own shoes. She lifted one slim stockinged leg onto the sloped footstool and then lifted her foot into the first shoe I had brought out. I carefully shoehorned her foot into the shoe. I glanced up and noticed that her skirt had ridden up over her knees and that she was rather exposed. And I do mean exposed; she was wearing no knickers. I was totally shocked.

How could anyone go out without any knickers, had she forgotten? She lifted the other foot, placed it in the matching shoe, and stood up. I prayed that she would choose them and not want to try anymore on, but no, she tried on five more pairs before choosing three of them. I kept a smile plastered in place but knew that I was bright red with embarrassment. How she didn’t notice I have no idea. Perhaps she did, and enjoyed it immensely, and I wonder now if, in her seventies, she still goes knickerless to embarrass shoe shop assistants.

At the end of three months, I was asked if I would like to stay on for an extra six months, and work in the ladies fashion department. I was still in two minds about going into nursing as planned, so I decided that this was as good as any place to work in the meantime.

©Sally Georgina Cronin Just an Odd Job Girl

One of the reviews for the book

Dec 04, 2015 Jo Robinson rated it Five Stars

Just an Odd Job Girl is the uplifting story of Imogen. Cast aside aged almost fifty by her husband who chooses a younger wife to replace her she faces beginning life all over again. A new and most cool phrase totally to me in this book – the fast tracker – a great name for those gorgeous young women who forego the whole long term working to succeed in life together as a couple in favour of swiping an already successful older man from the woman who has put in all the years to gain the success. Imogen’s self-confidence is low as it can be, but she heads off to a personnel agency that specializes in placing the more mature job seeker to see if they can help her find work in spite of her not obviously stellar curriculum vitae. Twenty four years of “only” housewife and mother. There she is interviewed by Andrew Jenkins, who rather than dismisses her on the basis of her tiny CV, encourages her to tell him what she liked or didn’t like about the few jobs she did have many years back before she stopped working in exchange for being a stay at home wife and mother. And then the fun begins!

I laughed so hard I almost cried a few times reading Imogen’s memories of former jobs and employers. She’s crazy in the most wonderfully inspiring way. Chasing thieves and fabulousness in a funeral parlour and dentists office to name only two of the places she showed her wonderful character and savvy in on her Odd Job Girl trip. The apprehending of the shoplifter just has to be read! In the telling of her own life, Imogen realizes her value though. While this book is a really fun romp, it’s also very poignant and touching. So many women around the globe really do get kicked to the kerb after years of thinking that they married their true love, and would be together forever. Generally they feel old and ugly, all used up and not much use for anyone or anything, let alone a meaningful career and life.

This is a book with a happy ending, and an inspirational happy ending at that. It shows that all is never lost until the very last breath that you take. It shows that everyone has fabulousness within us, and all it takes is to recognize it, grab it, and have a ball with the amazingly wonderful person that you are. It’s not all about age, it’s all about feisty and real. Five out of five stars and a very hearty one hundred percent recommendation. A nice one for the guys out there too – especially if you have ever been a target for a fast tracker. There’s a whole lot more to life than a little bit of nubile.

If you would like to browse my other books.. you can find their reviews


Amazon UK:

More reviews can be found on Goodreads:

Thanks for dropping in and as always your feedback is very welcome. Sally.

I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the next chapter in Imogen’s colourful work history.


New Series – Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – New Blogger Promotion and Setting up your blog for accessibility, readability and sharing.


If you have been blogging for a year or less, this is a series where you can showcase four of your posts to a wider audience.. promote you blog and writing skills.  Also some tips on how to make your blog reader friendly.

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives that will run alongside the current series for a couple of weeks.

Before I go into the details of the new series, I thought you might like an update on the series that has been running through the summer and will continue to do so for another four weeks.

80 bloggers participated, with 320 posts covering a wide range of subjects.

I have had an amazing summer reading through 80 archives and I feel that not only have I learnt a great deal, but I have also discovered more about fellow bloggers that I interact with on a regular basis, made new friends and have been motivated by all the amazing work that is being created in our community.

The New Series.

I am sure that like me you remember those first weeks and months of blogging when you wondered if anyone was out there, and interested in what you had to say.   I sometimes still think that after seven years! I was very lucky to be adopted by several seasoned bloggers who gave me support, shared my posts and offered advice.

This series is to promote blogs that have been active for under 12 months so from September 2018. The aim is to boost readership of the blogs, promote the books or other creative work and to welcome the blogger into our community by offering support and encouragement.

Head over and find out more…it will cost you nothing but a little time.


via New Series – Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – New Blogger Promotion and Setting up your blog for accessibility, readability and sharing.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Artistry in #Fashion – Valentina Cirasola – Designer

This is the second post from author and designer, Valentina Cirasola who has three blogs all under the same roof to enjoy.Friday Fashion Blog   Home Designs Master Blog and The Good Life Blog. I have chosen this post as it shares the creativity of the young designers of tomorrow, some as young as 14 years old.

Artistry in #Fashion (2016)- Valentina Cirasola

Welcome to my Friday Fashion episode.

How do you motivate aspiring fashion designers to create originality? Give them a bag of mixed fabrics, tell them nothing of what’s in the bag and wait to see what they create. That is what I saw last weekend at the local Cañada Community College in the Fashion Department. Students created some interesting clothing with that mystery bag showing their knowledge in history of costume projected in new shapes of modern lines.

(Photos taken at Cañada Community College by Valentina Cirasola)

The highlight of the presentation was Angela Lan a 14-year-old girl who is already an author of her published book titled #OOTD Sew and Style (OOTD stands for Outfit Of The Day). She modeled for all the photos in her book and included six outfit patterns ready to copy. She wrote this book for the teenager population who wants to learn how to sew.

Sewing art is resurging again, just like most crafts and handicrafts. In a world of corporations, mass production and uniform look, it is a breath of fresh air to see youngsters taking interest in manual work.

I am hoping, they will find value in making unique clothes to spread originality and push them to become their own style and not the anonymous shades they are now in the sea of people who look just the same in all four corners of the world.

Next speaker was the owner of Britex the biggest fabric store in San Francisco founded in 1952 by her father who emigrated from Poland with the family. Sharman Spector presented her store as one of the few remaining family-owned businesses in the city, where every piece of fabric ordered goes through her personal scrutiny, tasted, evaluated and examined before going on the shelves. Her favorite country to shop for fabric is Italy, she said, I had no doubt about that. I am one big fan of Britex, there I can find fabrics from all over the world for fashion and interiors.

At 7 Hands Design I found a choker to take home with me.

My pleasure at the end of the presentation was to visit local artists in their kiosks. Oh my, so much to buy……. everyone showed interesting pieces of their wearable art, really out of this world. I do admire artists who can work on metals and come up with something as soft as rose and it is still a metal.

The fashion field is so beautiful, rewarding, creative and so strongly competitive. Welcome new fresh minds, welcome to the world of expressing art through body and clothes. Ciao,

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola All Rights Reserved

About the book

This book is a travel narrative of one trip To Puglia I organized with American friends and curious travelers willing to explore, learn, experience, taste and dream in a land they had never visited before and in a language totally foreign to them. A wheel of new emotions opened up before their eyes, they tried food didn’t even know existed, learned to cook in ancient kitchens; they learned to appreciate the nightlife, learned to live without phones, watches and technologies; copied Italian fashion, learned about traditions, rituals, country and folk celebrations; they all tried to learn local dialects and some succeeded well. Their perspective to life was forever changed.

One of the reviews for the book

Teagan  5.0 out of 5 stars Sparklingly Atmospheric January 6, 2019

I received this book as a gift. It’s a delightful collection of travel notes. The author’s sparkling personality is evident. The travelogue feels like warmly told tales. It truly is a treat. The author lets you experience the warmth, beauty, and “romance” of less famous parts of Italy, as via her descriptions and photographs, she takes you with her on the adventure she lived. Through this book you can visit an Italy you probably never knew existed. Ciao!

Read the reviews and buy the book in Kindle and Paperback:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Valentina Cirasola

Paperbacks are available on Barnes and Noble

 Amazon US:

and Amazon UK:

About Valentina Cirasola

I am Valentina, Italian born, my hometown is Bari the capital of Puglia region. I was born into a family of artists, designers and food connoisseurs. When I moved away from my family and started to cook for myself out of necessity, it was as if by miracle, all those years watching, eating and tasting translated into doing. I recalled the perfection how every dish was supposed to look and taste. Watching my family and eating good food every day, gave me the expertise of a professional chef. I had the first funny episode in my cooking life and the only one of this kind: once, I cooked spaghetti without adding water in the pot and of course it was as if I had started firecrackers in my kitchen.

Today, living in America, among many things, I spread lightheartedness and joy, while passing my notions of good life and good health through eating real food. Through public speaking and appearances, I educate and inspire people to eat real food and think of cooking not as a chore but a fun moment of the day. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your favorite music or TV program and start cooking with joy, then set your table in a harmonious way, sit down and enjoy the product of your cooking whether there is a family or not eating with you. You are important and your soul will rejoice if you pay attention to it.

I am a passionate cook, avid reader, speak four languages and I trot the world. I also take interest in cuisines of the world and I am especially interested in food in the history. These are all the pleasurable parts of my life that have prompted me to start writing books.

However, my main profession is in interior designing with a special focus upon Kitchens. What a better designer than the ones who cook! My passions are showing up in every aspect of my life. I have been in business as a certified interior designer since 1990, working in my company Valentina Interiors & Designs and have served a variegated group of fun people in Europe and in the United States. To remodel homes and to turn unattractive spaces into castles is the specialty of my business, but to design kitchens and wine grottos is my love, as you can imagine. Those are the rooms of a home that make people feel good.

One of the most fundamental areas in people’s lives is the HOME. Home is where people return to relax; a place that props anyone up in time of crisis. It is the center of everything and a lot of the answers to questions of life are there. In simple words, I love to harmonize people’s lives by finding their excellence, creating their energy with colors and adding beauty, while designing their palates as well. I care that everyone deserves to live in beauty and harmony.

Previous the interior design business, I was a fashion designer and owned my Atelier Valentina from where I created original one of a kind fashion. Now, so many years later, I have incorporated fashion in my interior design business and create powerful personal images for high rollers professionals and people who care to look good for themselves first in every moment of the day.

I have loved my professions for so long and never have given signs of wanting to quit. My books are the reflections of my passions. Welcome to my world. Benvenuti nel mio mondo.

Connect to Valentina Cirasola


My thanks to Valentina for permitting me to share some posts from her archives and I hope that you will head over and explore her other posts. Thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Fashionsense – More of Who Will I Be Today (2018) by Anne Copeland

This is the second post from the archives of Anne Copeland, writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist.

I chose this post as I recently noted that I was getting into a rut as far as my clothes were concerned.. and black and comfortable seemed to be the order of the day. I have bright clothes in the wardrobe, but where they seemed appropriate in the sunshine of Spain, they look garish now. Perhaps I need to get passed myself. Hence this post of Anne’s that I have selected.

lady in funky clothes like Anne

Fashionsense – More of Who Will I Be Today (2018) by Anne Copeland

I am not a fashion maven. I do not care for new clothes. New clothes are tabula raza; they have no life story, and for me, that is the most important thing I look for in life. Everything has a story, and if it doesn’t I will make one, but how can you make a story from something that is brand new and has not lived anywhere except on a clothes rack.

I have always loved thrift stores, garage sales, and swap meets of all kinds. There is such a sense of adventure, and what I like especially is that when you go to these types of places, all racial, all political, religious or spiritual or cultural differences seem to disappear. Everyone seems to blend into a wonderful mixture that looks like the clothes in this photo; there is a little of everything. And people sit down at the tables to eat their preferred foods – sometimes things from their own cultures, and sometimes people are just plain adventuresome with what they eat. But the key thing is that they all sit together at the tables, talking often in their native languages, and people doing their best to communicate with others who don’t speak the languages, everyone laughing at the antics of children, or pointing excitedly to a booth that might have extra good items.

And there we all are. One could not paint a more beautiful and sacred photo I believe. there is such a great feeling at the end of our time at these magical events. People are quick to show you their “treasures,” be they the find of heirloom tomatoes, or perhaps a new variety of plant, or a huge watermelon that is going to bring a treat to a big family and friends.

I often use my background in archaeology/anthropology to do a study of a thrift store if I go into a new area, and I can tell so much about the people who live in the area by their “living” artifacts with the stories I mentioned. I can tell if they are primarily seniors who live in the area, business people, or if they are a poor area or an ultra-wealthy one, and I can tell about the children too by the clothes, as well as the cultures represented. And the books and other living artifacts are great clues too. This is such a fun way to spend time discovering history’s mysteries!

I will never be “old” as long as I can find things to have fun with such as these things. I will always be a hippy sort of person in the way I love to think of other people and our society as a whole. The way I choose to dress is sort of a statement about all of that, and I am glad to be who I am because, as the photo says, I have never been this age before, and in one second, I will never be this age again.

©Anne Copeland 2018

Perhaps you might share what you consider to be your fashion signature statement in the comments.. I think I need to move mine from Italian Grandmother to hip and eccentric great aunt..

About the book

This book contains a collection of beautiful art, plus the personal stories of the 23 multi-talented contributors. The common thread through their lives is that each woman has overcome physical and other challenges to become a successful artist in the textile medium.

Many of these women have websites and sell their work through the Internet sites, while others sell in galleries, exhibits, or through their teaching. Some create to speak to political and other social issues, while others use their quilts to educate the public about their physical challenges. If you have dreamed of expressing your own creativity, this book will provide the inspiration you need

One of the reviews for the book

Leonore H. Dvorkin 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving, and inspiring September 13, 2017

This is a beautiful, moving, and very inspiring book. Prior to reading it, I had little knowledge of this branch of art. Thus it was quite interesting to read about the methods the artists use, as well as to see some lovely examples of their art. Most meaningful to me, though, were the artists’ extremely moving and inspiring stories of all the (mainly) physical difficulties they have faced and still have to cope with. It certainly puts more minor physical difficulties and frustrations into perspective! I hope the book will reach the wide audience that it deserves. It would surely make a fine gift for anyone in your life with an interest in arts and crafts of any kind.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Read more about Anne and her books on Smashwords:

About Anne Copeland

Anne Copeland was born in Fort Jay, New York, in 1941. She has lived with her significant other in Yucaipa, California since 2014. She holds two degrees, one in archeology and one in criminal justice. She is a professional writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist.

I am an artist, and I don’t just like to create mixed media and fiber arts and interactive art; I love to read and write about it, and this is what I have pretty much done. Life should never be a bunch of apologies for what we wish we could have, would have, should have done. I am feeling very happy that I have done so many things in my lifetime and my writing has been the base for most all of it.

I am the Editor of a book filled with the writings of the lives of 23 physically challenged fiber artists: Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating, and another called Pumpkin, Pumpkin: Folklore, History, Planting Care, and Good Eating

Connect to Anne


My thanks to Anne for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to her blog to explore more recent posts. thanks Sally.