Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests – Ann Patras, Jemima Pett, John Howell, Jo Elizabeth Pinto and Darlene Foster

Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Party, with the focus on the fur members of the family who also love this time of year, over this weekend and next I will be sharing the photographs of some much loved pets, and of course a little promo for their human companions.

Obviously with all these honoured guests expected, I have been busy in the kitchen preparing some treats that hopefully my guests both two-legged and four-legged will enjoy..

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Our first guest Ann Patras has turned up with her wonderful family of dogs..all looking very festive.

I couldn’t possibly give up the opportunity to show off my three (not so little) beauties (2 southern Mastins and a Lab). Here they are before going for a sunny Christmas walkies last year. From the left – JD (Jacki Daniels), Cava, and Marti (martini).

Ann Patras has written three memoirs of her life in Africa..What started out as a two-year contract in Zambia, resulted in her living in Africa for 31 years.The onset of those 31 years came with some surprises. She didn’t know anything about the place they were moving to (1980 was light years before the internet), if she had known she might not have agreed to go. Within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find they didn’t have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species, ants were the size of small cats and there was a fly whose larvae ate you from the inside out if you didn’t iron all your laundry. Yes, even socks!

Maintaining the sunshine theme she now lives in Spain, with the same weird-sounding husband and writes books about all their crazy experiences.

Read the reviews and buy Ann’s books: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

 I appreciate that some of today’s guests may prefer the vegetarian option and I have something special just for them to select from.

Jemima Pett has brought some very festive friends to the party and very fetching they look too.

Ludo, Roscoe, baby Locksley, Biggles and Neville would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas from their new home in Hampshire, UK.


Jemima Pett in her own words..I have had a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in my spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… I loved words, loved to learn and to apply my learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so I went back to inventing my own, as I had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Jemima now lives in Hampshire with her family of Guinea pigs, who also inhabit her fictional world.

Find out more about Jemima’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima PettGoodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett – 

John Howell has brought his two rescue pets Lucy and Twiggy with him to add some Texas party spirit (I hope he has brought the tequila)

This is a photo of Lucy and Twiggy last year. Twiggy is sporting her new holiday sweater and Lucy is dreading the fact that she knows she is next.

John Howell turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. His story Cold Night Out won an honorable mention in Writers Digest Popular Fiction contest this year. He also won first place in the Kurt Vonnegut Kilgore Trout novel contest, celebrating Kurt Vonnegut as an author. His short story Never Give Inn was selected to be published in the Miracle E-zine fifth issue published in April of 2014. Since then John has published three books in the John Cannon thriller series, a novel Circumstances of Childhood, a collaboration with Gwen Plano, The Contract a paranormal thriller, and his latest release Eternal Road an adventure in the afterlife.

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

Books by John Howell

Read the reviews for John’s books: Amazon USand : Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

In honour of our guests from Texas.. a little music to get you up on your feet, and I hear that John is a whizz on the dance floor and I am sure would be happy to give us all some pointers on doing the Texas Two Step. An orderly queue please ladies…

Jo Elizabeth Pinto has brought two of her beautiful guide dogs with her for the party…

My golden retriever, called Tova, is near the end of her life and has served me for eleven faithful years. She’s been wonderful. The other, a black Labrador named Ballad, is young and exuberant and ready to learn. She is at the beginning of her service and will guide me successfully for ten beautiful years.

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs. Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books.

Books by J.E. Pinto

Find out more about Jo Elizabeth’s books and read the reviews:Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow J.E. Pinto : Goodreads –  Facebook: Author J. E. Pinto

Darlene Foster has joined us from Spain and brought the delightful Dot with her.

Dot loves Christmas in Spain but is not too keen on having to wear the antlers. She’s been a pretty good dog all year and hopes to get a yummy treat from Santa.

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster


Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/BlogDarlene Foster WordPress – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

To add a little Spanish flavour to the proceedings, here is a plate of one Tapas.. the wonderful sharing plate that is a favourite at dinner parties and at a restaurant. Something for everyone..

Image by bule from Pixabay

And to finish off today’s party and in keeping with the Latin theme… Salsa Dogs


Thanks to my guests today for traveling such great distances to be with us.. Please check out their humans’ books so that their houses will be filled with sausages, cheese and other treats this Christmas...Thanks Sally.





97 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests – Ann Patras, Jemima Pett, John Howell, Jo Elizabeth Pinto and Darlene Foster

  1. I laughed about Ann Patras’s sock-ironing. My father spent his early working years in Africa, and insisted on having his socks ironed even in the 1980s and 90s – in England!

    Thanks for having us here today – we’re really enjoying the veggies… and sorry the photo is a bit blurry; I sent it before I had my cataract done, so now you know what a ‘good’ view was like in the last few months. Then again, Jo Elizabeth gets by without, and like my proof-reader Tori, I bet she’d be a whizz at correcting my typos 🙂

    Merry seasonal celebration of your choice, everybody!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 6th – 12th December 2020 – New Book, International Carols, Foods XYZ and a Christmas Party with pets. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  3. What fun, sally! I am lucky to ‘know’ some of these pets already. Dot does not look particularly happy with her antlers but oh, she looks so much like my Angel (who is an angel now). I suspect Dot is a very smart dog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: What are you doing for Christmas? – George's Guinea Pig World

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