Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 31st March 2021 – #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Cars Trev, #Decluttering Jane Sturgeon, #Bookoffer Ted Myers

Here is a small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and also a book offer valid for tomorrow April 1st on all NON-US Amazon sites.

The first post is the regular Monday Funnies over at Chris, The Story Reading Ape and will brighten any day of the week..

Head over to enjoy all the funnies courtesy of the Story Reading Ape:
Story Reading Ape Funnies

The next post is from Trev on Silly Old Sod and is both entertaining and a lesson about not tinkering around in places you should not be…

About Me

Poof!! What Was That?

I’ve never been interested in cars, yet I’ve made a decent living out of the things.

Working Life

My working life consisted mainly of working in a huge car plant in the West Midlands, manufacturing those gas-guzzling four by four monsters. It was a great company to work for, but the work was hard with varying shift patterns every week. You have to be slightly barmy to work in a place like that, but the people I worked with were mostly barmy, so it helped.

Kev Will Fix It

One daft guy I worked with, Kevin, always had plans to set up his own business with a small garage, repairing and servicing four by four cars. He was one of those guys who was always pottering about at weekends, poking away under a car bonnet and ranting and raving about valves or piston timings etc. It was all a foreign language to me. Often on a Saturday morning, he would have a Range Rover parked up on his driveway at home making simple repairs in exchange for twenty-five pounds or so. Very rarely did he have any free time on a Saturday.

Head over to read how things can go wrong despite good intentions:
Poof.. what was that?  

The next post is from Jane Sturgeon who sadly recently lost her father. Going through the personal belongings of someone you love is bittersweet, bringing back memories as well as reminding you of their loss. In this post Jane reveals a connection she and her mother have made with someone who shared her father’s passion for steam engines and the healing effects of the encounter.

You can’t have action without reaction…

My Grandad and Dad used to say these words.

The last few months have been a deep dive into sorting, sifting and clearing Dad’s workshops and hidey holes and upon returning home I looked at my place with fresh eyes and felt compelled to have a clear out.

If asked, I would have said that I travel light in life, yet the evidence I found told a different story. A collection of glass beads and accessories from a small business where I used to do children’s birthday parties. We all made things together and then the little ones had something creative to take home with them. That was nearly twenty years ago. A huge basket of canvasses, acrylic paints, inks and brushes. I haven’t painted for over ten years, as I used to do it with my daughter when she lived at home. Storage boxes filled with upholstery tools, materials, wadding, webbing and studs were stacked under the stairs. I have not done anything along this line for over six years. I uncovered a stash of yarns with a collection of knitting patterns and needles. All tucked away and taking up space on a ‘What if…’ energy.

Everything came under scrutiny.

Head over to enjoy the post in full and perhaps reflect on things you have that are lying unloved and unused in your cupboards:Jane Sturgeon – You can’t have action without reaction

Just for one day, tomorrow April 1st the 1960s thriller – Paris Escapade by Ted Myers is 99p or the equivalent on your own Amazon website.

About the Book

In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Eddie Strull goes off to Europe with a supervised camp group of New York Jewish kids. But Eddie, ever the rebel, has other plans. Eddie wants to live as an adult. A writer. Right now. When they arrive in Paris, the last stop before heading home, Eddie sneaks out of the youth hostel and disappears into the bohemian labyrinth of the Left Bank. There he encounters a colorful array of artists, writers, actors, and one extraordinary prostitute, who draws him into a risky adventure. Ultimately, he becomes a wanted man. Instant adulthood turns out to be much more than Eddie bargained for.

My review for the book February 6th 2021

A fast paced, adventure filled thriller set against the backdrop of 1960s Europe, and in particular the avant-garde culture of Paris at that time.

First impressions of seventeen-year-old Eddie Strull, offered in his own words, are of a rather entitled, over confident and dismissive teenager whose goal is to escape from under his boring parent’s oversight. To this end he plans his escape under the noses of the guardians of the tour of Europe he is signed up for.

In the first part of the book we are treated to a whistle stop tour of the highlights of the European major capitals, with the author paying great attention to detail on the tourist trail of that time. Paris is depicted in all its glory, and it is easy to feel drawn into the ambience of the free- thinking and inclusive culture offered to emigres and foreign creative talent. This is the place that Eddie feels is his destiny, with the intention of becoming a world renowned author worthy of his literary idols.

He is certainly going to need some bravado to survive his adventure once he cuts loose from the tour group, including navigating the egos and self-interests of the resident literary crowd and other artists who are reluctant to cede any of their attention to others. There are those with honest intentions, but Eddie finds them few and far between, and in the main he falls in with those who are living life on the edge, or deep in criminal activities. Passions run hot, a murderer is stalking the streets and Eddie makes some decisions that put his life in danger.

The author has created a complex character in Eddie and we get to know him in more depth through the first person narrative, including the side he might not show to those he connects with, which is a vulnerability and need for his own identity. The events of the next two years certainly test his resolve as he finds love, experiences loss and faces difficult choices to achieve his dream.

The story has flow and the references to events, music and prominent artists and writers of that time provides plenty of nostalgia for readers who remember the 1960s fondly. It would be interesting to see where the story of Eddie Strull goes next.

Read the reviews and buy the book at normal price: Amazon US – And at 99p etc April 1st: Amazon UK

Also by Ted Myers

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Ted Myers: Goodreads – Blog: Ted Myers WordPress – Twitter: @TedMyersAuthor – Facebook: Ted Myers


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full and to also take advantage of the book offer by Ted Myers..  Thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Prehistoric – Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

Delighted to share my five star review from August 2020 for Against All Odds (Book 3 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

About the book

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of the People’s long search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel.

My review for the book 13th August 2020 – Five Stars

Another epic chapter in mankind’s history.

I have been looking forward to book 3 in this trilogy since I read the last page of The Quest for Home in September 2019. I was fascinated to discover how Xhosa, Wind, Pan-do, Seeker, Zvi, wolves and all the other characters I had become so invested in had fared as they sought a new permanent home.

We are dropped immediately into the action as the group comprising various peoples from East and South Africa, China, Indonesia and Spain find themselves in the perilous territory on the other side of the Pyrenees. Not only do they face new dangers from those who live in the lands they are crossing, but from their past enemies, intent on vengeance. Old friends thought long lost and new peoples cross their paths to join the migration, adding protection and their own specific skills that provide food, treasured salt, and safe shelters in the inhospitable region.

The pace is relentless, as is the onslaught of other human species and nature. You will find yourself breathless as you turn the pages. My respect for our ancestors has only increased further as I have followed this part of their journey. Billions of us today have genetic links to many of the peoples we meet in this story. Without their driving need to find a safe place to live, their ability to adapt and to assimilate with others, their courage and instinctive skills, we as modern mankind would have been diminished. We have a great deal to thank them for.

As with all the author’s books the research is immaculate and where fiction meets the research it is seamless. You forget that most of the language used between the characters is mostly non-verbal and you engage with each of their very distinct personalities, including the wolves that protect them.

I highly recommend that you read the first two books Survival of the Fittest and The Quest for Home first so that you get the most from this incredible trilogy, and I was delighted to see that there is a sequel planned for 2023. I can also recommend the Dawn of Humanity series by Jacqui Murray with book two released in 2021.

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

Also by by Jacqui Murray

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter: @WordDreams

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.


Thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed my review for Jacqui’s book and will check out her other titles.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #Fantasy – A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1) by P.L. Stuart

Delighted to welcome P.L. Stuart to the Cafe and Bookstore with his debut novel A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Book 1)

About the book

Once Second Prince of the mightiest kingdom in the known world, Othrun now leads the last survivors of his exiled people into an uncertain future far across the Shimmering Sea from their ancestral home, now lost beneath the waves. With his Single God binding his knights to chivalric oaths, intent on wiping out idolatry and pagan worship, they will have to carve out a new kingdom on this mysterious continent―a continent that has for centuries been ravaged by warlords competing for supremacy and mages channeling the mystic powers of the elements―and unite the continent under godly rule.

With a troubled past, a cursed sword, and a mysterious spirit guiding him, Othrun means to be that ruler, and conquer all. But with kingdoms fated on the edge of spears, alliances and pagan magic, betrayal, doubt, and dangers await him at every turn. Othrun will be forced to confront the truths of all he believes in on his journey to become a king, and a legend.

When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robert Lauer 5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantasy Epic or an Epic Fantasy; either are a fitting description  Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021

I’m still not one for reviews; that’s never going to change. But I know how important they are to authors so for that reason I’m giving this a shot, so take it for what it’s worth.

A Drowned Kingdom is the debut novel from P.L. Stuart, but I would have never suspected he wasn’t a seasoned author due to the writing alone. Stuart does an amazing job painting a rich world with complex characters in this very compelling fantasy epic! Or is it epic fantasy? Either works well to describe this work. But I can easily see this making future lists of top epic fantasy novels! (Seriously though, or is it fantasy epic?)

There is a real literary classic feel to his words; if H.G. Wells had leaned more towards pure fantasy and not so much the realms of science fiction, this is close to what I would imagine that could have been. That may be a weird comparison, but that is what kept coming to mind as I read, and possibly just because Wells is one of my favorite ‘classic’ writers.

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

About P.L. Stuart

​P.L. Stuart lives in Chatham, Ontario, with his wife, Debbie. A Drowned Kingdom is the first novel in The Drowned Kingdom Saga.

Read the reviews and buy the book P.L. Stuart: Amazon US   And:Amazon UK – Follow P.L. Stuart: GoodreadsWebsite: P.L. Stuart –  Facebook: P.L. Stuart Writes – Twitter: @plstuartwrites


Thanks for visiting today and it would be great if you could share P.L. Stuart’s book … thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Memoir Mary Clark, #Western Sandra Cox, #Memoir Liesbet Collaert

Since the last series of meet the authors in June last year another 25 authors have joined the Cafe and Bookstore. This is an opportunity to get to know them and their books a little better. I will also include their blog social media links and it would be great if you could follow them there too.

Meet Mary Clark

Mary Clark was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1949, to parents who lived on the Rutgers University campus. Her family moved to Florida, where she spent her formative years, and was infused with a deep awe and respect for the natural world. She was also aware of the lives of migrant workers, segregation, and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Her book, Covenant, a coming-of-age, historical fiction novella, is set in Florida (Kindle only). Children of Light (Ten Penny Players’ BardPress) is a modern mythical chain of poems also set in Florida.

She graduated from Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She had a strong sense of being a misfit, which propelled her to find her own place and occupation.

Mary moved to New York City in 1975 and worked at the Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s Church in the then outcast wilds of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. For many years she worked for community organizations. In 1993 she started a monthly community newspaper, combining her two loves: the neighborhood and writing. Her memoir, Community: Power Politics and Democracy in Hell’s Kitchen, tells that story. A creative memoir, Tally: An Intuitive Life (All Things That Matter Press), is the story of a Bohemian artist she knew in NYC’s Greenwich Village.

Books by Mary Clark

One of the reviews for Tally; An Intuitive Life

When a young poet stumbles into the life of a Greenwich Village recluse, she meets a bearded old man living in a garret. Surrounded by manuscripts in which he has attempted to comprehend the meaning of life, PJ has entered a time of failing eyesight, physical frailty, and economic uncertainty. Quiet and observant, the young poet Erin, or “Eyes” as PJ soon calls her, begins to help him put his life in order.

“No one is ever conscious of what he is doing or why he is doing it,” PJ said, “even a person who is aware of everything he is doing and after pondering it, can perceive the reason or motivation for it.”

The above is just one of many sentences I underlined last February while I was doing a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center for the Arts. Anyone who makes her or his life in the arts risks winding up like PJ, which is to say not wealthy, except in matters of the spirit.

“PJ’s long bony fingers swept over drifting stacks of books, papers, paintings, typewriter ribbons, photographs and found objets, all jumbled together, everything melting into some other form…’Dali would have had an idea of the melodramatic squalor in which I live,’” PJ told her.

PJ’s intellect and humor makes him an utterly fascinating subject. Some of his musings are brilliant; others, wildly off-the-wall. Genuinely curious, Erin plays along, but occasionally she says, Hey, wait a minute. Her doubts often mirrored questions that came up for me.
As Erin pitches in and begins to go through boxes of PJs manuscripts, she learns about his intuitive approach to life, thus the subtitle. Several chapters develop his idea of the “perceptive intellect.” In others, PJ talks about one of his personas, The Professor of Love.

The book exposes the layers and contradictions.

I’ve reread this book twice since I purchased it, underlining or drawing new smiley faces. If you have ever had an elderly packrat-of-a-relative whose care fell to you, then you will surely love this book and understand the pull-and-tug that confronted Erin on almost every visit to PJ’s garret. It’s not a book you can race through, but one that will make you think a lot about how anyone assembles the flotsam of life into a coherent story.

Lest you think PJ was some kind of eccentric and amusing kook, a chapter near the end will prove you wrong. The book also made me wonder how any of us could explain the principles and assumptions by which we’ve lived our lives. I’m not sure I could do what PJ managed to do, and what Mary Clark has so lovingly presented in this biography/memoir.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Mary: Goodreads – Website: Literary Eyes – Facebook: Mary Clark Books Twitter: @mceyes

Meet Sandra Cox

About Sandra Cox

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or an iced latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian, a Muay Thai enthusiast and has a weakness for peanut M and Ms.

A small selection of Sandra’s books

A recent review for Glen Slade: Bounty Hunter

Joseph A Congel VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and terrific on so many levels!  Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2021

Author, Sandra Cox knows her craft. I have read several of her novels and all of them have been well-written and edited, and because of her attention to detail, all have been extremely engaging reading experiences. She is a highly talented writer who is in top form in this, her newest offering, Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.

Gwen Slade is smart. And she’s tough. She can fight, and she knows her way around the barrel of a shotgun. She also has the responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. So to put food on the table, and hopefully one day provide a better life for her family, she puts her skills to work as a bounty hunter. Not an easy task, to say the least, especially for a female living in the west in the late 1800’s. But her ability to take down the bad guy and collect the bounty has gained her the respect few have in her profession.

Gwen has always worked alone, and she prefers it that way. And then in walks Jordie Kidd. A charismatic outlaw with a twinkle in his eye who helps save her family from harm. And although his charms are not completely lost on Gwen, she has no time for that kind of thing. But she doesn’t turn him in, instead letting him go as a gesture for saving her family. And besides, she is gearing up to take down a ruthless gang with a huge bounty on their heads. A bounty large enough to let her and her family finally cash in on the life they’ve always dreamed of.

As Gwen sets out on what she hopes will be her final bounty hunt, she finds herself forced into a questionable partnership. A partnership that she doesn’t want to be in, but turns out to be one she can’t live without.

All I kept thinking throughout this story was what a great movie it would be. It’s a captivating storyline with richly developed characters whose interaction with one another helps draw you into their world. If you are a fan of Western-Romance stories that feature a strong female lead, then you are going to love this book. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, give this one a try. I guarantee you will be a fan by the time you get to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Truly a 5 STAR read.  

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon UK –And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

Meet Liesbet Collaert

Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life. Her work has been published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She also created walking tours for Marigot and Philipsburg in St. Martin.

The author has been interviewed about her alternative lifestyle by Multihull Sailor, Modern Day Nomads, Ocean Navigator, The Wayward Home, The Professional Hobo, and Grey Globetrotters among others. She contributed to extensive cruising surveys for All At Sea and Caribbean Compass and became an assistant-editor for Caribbean Compass in January 2019.

Liesbet loves animals, nature, and the promise of adventure. A nomad since 2003, she calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog

Books by Liesbet Collaert

One of the recent reviews for Plunge

The author, Liesbet, and her husband Mark, have chosen a life of travel and discovery over a settled and secure life. This is Liesbet’s account of the consequences of their choices, the inner and outer adventures they had, as well as the inner and outer challenges they faced.

Anyone who has made similar sacrifices to live the life they’ve chosen will relate to this narrative, half travelog and half diary, as this couple’s dream of cruising becomes their daily lives, with everything daily life entails; wonderful encounters with nature in pristine settings, human encounters both helpful and difficult, mechanical failures, business and financial struggles, and, the thread running through it all, the love Liesbet and Mark have for each other in spite of their very real differences, and the relationship challenges they face living together 24/7.

As one reviewer has done, it’s always easy to find fault with someone who bears their soul as much as Ms. Collaert has in this book. Self-doubt is never flattering and takes courage to admit publicly, though we all carry our fair share. For me, the author’s sharing of her most intimate feelings and the dynamics of their relationship is equally, if not more compelling than their experiences cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

This is not just an adventure book, this is a book about what it really takes to live an adventurous life.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK  –   Blogs: Roaming About Cruising the World the way it is – Facebook pages: Personal Liesbet CollaertRoamingsaboutItsIrie – Twitter: @LiesbetCollaert – Follow Liesbet: Goodreads


Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of the more recent authors to join the Cafe… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 30th March 2021 – #Poetryreading Frank Prem, #Research Joan Hall, #Review Judith Barrow

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

The first post is from Frank Prem who shares much of his poetry on Youtube. In this post Frank provides a masterclass in how to read short poems effectively.

Frank Prem – Poet and Author

How to read short poetry – an introduction (of sorts)

Have you ever tried to listen to someone struggling over how to read short poetry? It can be an aggravating experience. In any case, I’ll try to explain why I find it so, in a moment, but first I should acknowledge that short poetry – such as haiku and similar short forms – haibun, tanka and so on, are wonderful, disciplined writing forms, designed to pack a big conceptual and meaningful impact in just a handful of words. I like that concept very much.

I don’t enjoy the strictures and discipline that the forms demand.

For the most part, I also don’t enjoy listening to them being read aloud to an audience.
How to read to an audience – a brief refresher

Many, if not most authors have little idea of how to read to an audience or how to present their work to best advantage in a reading. This is the case whether for live or recorded readings.

It is something of an absent art which I don’t want to address in detail here, but will mention a couple of the more obvious “do’s and don’t’s“. My personal context is poetry reading, but the general principles apply regardless.

Head over to enjoy the rest of Frank’s tutorial:How to read short poetry by Frank Prem

The next post is from Joan Hall writing on Story Empire about research for novels… getting your facts right is so important and an error can stick out like a sore thumb and ruin an otherwise good book.

Research – Love It or Hate It

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today.

I have a confession to make. When I first began writing fiction, I hated to do research. I didn’t want to bother with such mundane tasks. Once I even wrote a blog post titled “Research, A Necessary Evil.”

I’m not sure why I had such an aversion. I’ve always loved history and trivia. In general, I’m a curious person and there’s no telling what might pique my interest.

But with writing, I was like “Thanks, but no thanks.” Maybe I wanted to adhere to the adage, “Write what you know.” Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to discover I knew very little.

The setting of my first novel was in a fictional Texas town during the horrible drought of 2011. I lived through that time. I experienced the better part of two months where the daytime temperatures reached triple digits. I saw streams dry up that had never done so in my lifetime and the water levels drop to all-time lows.

I lived in fear of wildfires spreading into my neighborhood and knew of friends who had to evacuate their homes. I’d lived through it, so I knew all there was to know, right? 

Head over to read the rest of the post and leave your comments for Joan there: Research Love it or Hate it – Story Empire with Joan Hall

And the final post today is a book review from Judith Barrow for Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin a fellow #Honno author.

Book Description :

Summer 1966: When her father comes home with lipstick on his collar, ten-year-old Claire’s life is turned upside down. Her furious mother leaves the family and heads to London, and Claire and her brothers are packed off to Ireland, to their reclusive grandmother at her tiny cottage on the beautifully bleak coast of Connemara. A misfit among her new classmates, Claire finds it hard to make friends until she happens across a boy her own age from the school next door. He lives at the local orphanage, a notoriously harsh place. Amidst half-truths, lies and haunting family secrets, Claire forms a forbidden friendship with Emmet – a bond that will change both their lives forever. 

Head over to read Judith Barrow’s review for this intriguing book:Review Emmet and me by Sara Gethin – by Judith Barrow


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

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ -Top Ten Things Not to Do During A Lunar Rover Mission in 1971 by John W. Howell

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audiencemine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from July 2020  by author John. W. Howell and is one of his infamous, Top Ten Things not to do – this time on another planet!

Top Ten Things Not to Do During A Lunar Rover Mission in 1971

Top Ten Things Not to Do

The U.S. Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle from Apollo 15 on the Moon in 1971

This week marks the 49th anniversary of Appollo 15 Astronauts using a vehicle to drive on the moon. Of course, we all want to go with them, and through the magic of our imagination, we can. We do have to follow a few rules, and so this list has been developed to keep you from causing a tear in the time continuum. Hop aboard the imagination time thingy, and off we go.

Top Ten Things Not to Do During a Lunar Rover Mission in 1971.

10 – If you go, do not ask Dave Scott, the mission commander, if you can take Jim Irwin’s place on the ride. If you do, at best, Dave may not hear you through the sunspot static. At worse, Dave will let you drive. (That was smart, Michael. You have no idea how to work this thing, and you are now headed for that vast crater. Of course, this buggy can be replaced for $10,000,000. You can pay for it out of your book royalties. Hahaha)

9 –  If you go, do not ignore Tiny the WWF champ when he gives you a direction from mission control. If you do, at best, Tiny will provide you with one more chance. At worst, you think you are safe from Tiny up here on the moon. (Feel that heat, Mark. That is the pre-ignition warm-up of the rocket in your pants. You see, Tiny can put you in orbit. It looks like the countdown has begun.)

8 – If you go, do not complain about the 8 MPH speed of the lunar rover. If you do, at best, you won’t get another ride. At worst, the commander will take you out to the furthest point and leave you there. (You now need to know what “walk back limit” means, Mica. It is the furthest point you can go and yet walk back to the lunar lander before your oxygen runs out. I hope you can hold your breath cause you were dropped off outside the walk back limit.)

7 – If you go, do not mess with the equipment. If you do, at best you won’t mess up anything. At worst, you will tinker with the Sun shadow device. (That was the one thing not to touch, Moses. It is the navigational device that keeps the lunar rover in contact with the lander using the sun. The purpose is so the rover doesn’t get lost. Good thing there is still a gyro device, or you might get a tour of the dark side of the moon.)

6  – If you go, do not plug your phone into the battery system to play tunes. If you do, at best, someone will tell you to knock it off. At worst, playing your music will wear down the batteries. (The only power cells carried on the mission are 36 volt, silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries. They are suitable for a 57-mile range. Sure hope you are not out that far, Marcus.)

5 –  If you go, do not ask if we are there yet. If you do, at best, Dave Scott will ignore you. At worst, he will finally give up and tell you to walk back to the lander. (Since the maximum distance traveled on the lunar rover during the Apollo mission was 17.25 miles, Miguel it is no wonder Dave wants you out of the vehicle.)

4 –  If you go, do not ask how far to the next rest area. If you do, at best, Dave Scott will be talking to Mission Control. At worst, he will give you additional instructions on the capabilities of your suit. (You need to relax, Mitchell. There are no rest areas on the moon. Gives new meaning to the term, “hold it.”)

3 –  If you go, do not tell Dave Scott someone stole the steering wheel. If you do, at best, Dave will think you are joking. At worst, he’ll realize you know nothing about the lunar rover. (The rover is controlled by a T-stick controller, Milo. Push forward and you go ahead. Right or left to go right or left. Pull back, and the brakes are engaged. Press that little button while pulling back, and the rover goes into reverse. Dave is now asking you to get out of the control seat. You blame him?)

2  – If you go, do not let Dave Scott know you have AAA in case of a breakdown. If you do, at best, he’ll think you are nuts. At worst, he will call Mission Contro and ask permission to lock you in the lander. (The whole idea of AAA on the moon is laughable, Miles. The fact that you said that out loud gives Dave grave concerns about the mission safety.)

1 –  If you go, do not offer to play your road trip CD. If you do, at best, you will get a polite decline. At worst, you’ll now have to explain what a CD is. (The CD was first sold in 1982, Marshall. The crew has never heard of it. It is not going to help to turn up the volume on Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” You have these guys concerned.)

©John Howell 2020

Books by John Howell

One of the recent reviews for Eternal Road

tpolen 5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Take on the Afterlife  Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2021

Never have I come across such a blend of genres in a book – supernatural, paranormal, theological, mystery, sci-fi, historical. I would have told you it couldn’t be done. But this author pulls it off with style.

The overall premise is a bit sad with MCs James and Sam both being deceased and leaving this world behind. Sam’s life came to a tragic end at the age of seven, but she’s come back years later to escort childhood friend James to his final resting place. That’s where their adventure begins. Time-traveling in a snazzy 1956 Oldsmobile, they visit some historical sites and meet a few well-known characters along the way. But they don’t just venture into the past, their travels take them several centuries into the future as well. Lucifer himself even shows up in the Sin City of Las Vegas – where else would he be?

I enjoyed the “rules” of the plane between Earth and the afterlife, and they caused some humorous and awkward moments between Sam and James. Both characters are delightful, and I was particularly happy to see something resolved in Sam’s life. This story evokes many emotions and, as a mom, I nearly needed a tissue a couple times. The ending is beautiful and wraps things up nicely – but I can also see the potential for another book in the series, which I would immediately grab. A unique and fascinating take on the afterlife.

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

About John Howell.

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

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

Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #Preorder #Scottish #Historical – Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

I am delighted to welcome another new author to the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. Ailish Sinclair is a Scottish author who writes Historical Romances…I am featuring her soon to be released novel Fireflies and Chocolate on pre-order for April 1st so you have a couple of days to buy at the special price.

About the book

Elizabeth craves adventure… excitement… love…

For now though, she has to settle for a trip from her family’s castle, to the port in Aberdeen, where her father has promised she’ll be permitted to buy a horse… all of her own.

Little does she suspect this simple journey will change her life, forever. And as she dreams of riding her new mount through the forests and glens of the Manteith estate, she can have no idea that she might never see them again.

For what lies ahead is danger, unimagined… and the fearful realities of kidnap and slavery.

But even when everything seems lost, most especially the chance of ever getting home again, Elizabeth finds friendship, comfort… and that much prized love, just where she least expected it.

Set in the mid eighteenth century, Fireflies and Chocolate is a story of strength, courage and tolerance, in a time filled with far too many prejudices.

Head over to buy at the pre-order price: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

Also by Ailish Sinclair

One of the recent posts for The Mermaid and The Bear on Goodreads

Feb 01, 2021 Shelly Mateer rated it Five Stars

This book has everything you could possibly want in historical fiction – castles, witches, mermaids, bears – it’s just magical all around! I was initially drawn to the book because of the title – who wouldn’t want to read about a mermaid and a bear?

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this and what a world have I been missing! This book intertwines history with fantasy and magic and does it fantastically. Come to think of it, there’s actually a bit of everything in the story – romance, adventure, mystery, fun, fantasy and darkness, all rolled into one beautiful tale. Bravo Ms. Sinclair! I can’t wait for your next book!

Read the other reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK – And: Amazon US –  Other reviews :Goodreads – Website:Ailish Sinclair – Twitter@AilishSinclair – Facebook: Ailish Sinclair Author – LinkedIn: Ailish Sinclair

About Ailish Sinclair

Ailish Sinclair trained as a dancer and taught dance for many years, before working in schools to help children with special needs. A short stint as a housekeeper in a castle fired her already keen interest in untold stories of the past and she sat down to research and write.

She now lives beside a loch with her husband and two children where she still dances and writes and eats rather a lot of chocolate.


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Ailish’s new book … thank you Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1966 Part One

Each week William and I will select two top hits from the charts 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.

Every four weeks at the weekend there will be a spin-off show where we will feature four guests sharing their memories of the music of a particular decade we are working on. An opportunity to share your work and your can find the details: The Breakfast Show 2021

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my first selection of  top 1966 hits which I hope you will enjoy.  William.

News Event: January 14th David Bowie releases his 1st single “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”

The Mamas and Papas  –  California Dreaming  

“California Dreaming” ranks at #89 on the Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It hit #1 in the US, and #23 in the UK in 1966 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

News EventMarch 3rd Canadian-American rock band “Buffalo Springfield” forms (Stephen Stills, Neil Young)

The Supremes – You can’t hurry love

“You can’t hurry love” topped the US Pop singles chart, the UK top 5, and the Australian top 10 singles chart. It is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent collection of 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

News Event: March 15th 8th Grammy Awards: Taste of Honey, Tom Jones, Frank Sintra & Barbra Streisand

Now time for my first top chart picks from 1966 and as a teenager I was watching Top of the Pops and listening to pirate radio to hear all the hits.

Frank Sinatra – Strangers in the Night

“Strangers in the Night” is a song composed by Bert Kaempfert with English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, although it was initially given to Melina Mercouri, who thought that a man’s vocals would better suit the melody and therefore declined to sing it.

Reaching #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Easy Listening chart, it was the title song for Sinatra’s 1966 album Strangers in the Night, which became his most commercially successful album. The song also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.

Sinatra’s recording won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

News Event: June 10th Janis Joplin’s 1st live concert (Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco)

The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon

“Sunny Afternoon” is a song by the Kinks, written by chief songwriter Ray Davies. The track later featured on the Face to Face album as well as being the title track for their 1967 compilation album. Released as a single on 3 June 1966, it went to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart on 7 July 19

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 60s: Sixties City – Wikipedia

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 – Facebook – William Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular VenueCave 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 – blogSmorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you very much for joining us today and we would love you to join us in the spin off shows where we share your memories of the 1960s and your favourite music.. please read how you can take part: The Breakfast Show 2021


Next week 1966 Part Two. we hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 29th March 2021 – #Kindness D.G. Kaye, #ClassicEditor Marcia Meara, #Booktitles Jessica Norrie

Here is a small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days. I hope you will head over to enjoy in full…thanks Sally.

We are the World Blogfest

At times it seems challenging to witness the good in the world, particularly at the moment. However, there is nothing stopping us from giving random acts of kindness and in this month’s WATWB post Debby shares 52 ideas of how we can make a difference.

WATWB – We are the World #Blogfest – 52 Good Deeds to Help Heal the World in 2021 – Goodnet

It’s that time of the month again where a group of us writers post something about good things going on in the world to deflect from the negative for the #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest. Today I chose to share a great article I came across about #Kindness, the only task is to do one good thing a week that could make a difference in somebody’s life 

Head over to read the post in full and sample the 52 Good Deeds with a link to the rest:52 Good Deeds to help heal the world – D.G. Kaye

This next post is proving to be a godsend to those of us who were faced with an overnight update from WordPress on Thursday that had us tearing our hair out and shouting to the so called Happiness Engineers with several expletives (well that was me anyway).

Marcia Meara found herself in a similar situation as did thousands apparently and she passed along a fix to restore the previous version of Classic Editor (not the original but at least functional)

So if you are one of those who found yourself in hell on Thursday, head over and find out how most of you might be able to get yourself out of it. It did the trick for me.

#EditorWars – #BlockEditor vs #ClassicEditor 

Did you wake up yesterday morning to find your blog world turned upside down by a sneak attack during the night? I did. And let me tell you, I spent one awful day trying to figure out what to do about it. Gone was the page where I could choose between the Classic WordPress Editor I’ve used for way more than a decade and the Block Editor, which I loathe. Yep. In its place was the “new and improved” (read “hot mess, totally ruined for my purposes”) Block Editor. Yes, I know they said we’d have the option of using the Classic Editor “at least” until 2022. Alas. It had disappeared.

Now, granted, I probably should have spent some time learning how to use the Block Editor, just in case such as this transpired. At least I would have known a bit about which things I could no longer do. (Of which, there are several.) But I kept putting it off, because I knew in my heart I’d be disappointed in what they were planning to do.  

Head over to read the rest of Marcia’s post and I hope it helps you as it helped me:Editor Wars Block Editor vs. Classic Editor

(I also have another back up fix which is to use an external editor which has most of the Classic Editor features and you can schedule there direct into your blog. It took me about an hour to get the hang of it and I created several posts using the software before Marcia gave me the solution to getting back to the Classic here on the blog. If it is compatible with your operating system you might find useful to explore Open Live Writer)

The final post today is from Jessica Norrie and she explores titles of books that can be adapted to suit our needs…

Titles seek book

The Italian dramatist Pirandello wrote a play called Six Characters in Search of an Author, which is the best title ever. I’d make the bestseller charts if all a book needed was a title. I love titles. They come to me throughout the humdrum day and I think: Yes! Great! I forget many, but some stick. My problem is I haven’t written the stuff that comes next.

Trying to get through to the hairdresser reminds me I could channel Steig Larsson with The Girl with the Lockdown Hair. And another good phrase has rung through our house since March 2020. A glass or two of wine with olives and vegetable crisps saved the lockdown day with a semblance of structure. We knew we were drinking too much, so partner stopped referring to it specifically and substituted an invitation to The Things That Go With Wine (or on special occasions, The Things That Go With Fizz). These adapt easily. How about The Things That Go With Love or The Things That Go With Death? One Day I May Be Sorry for giving those away, but there’s no copyright on titles, so Be My Guest. Idioms make great titles.

Mrs Hellebore and Her Son Primrose sprung to mind on the first day of Spring. This will (or won’t) be humour – think The Diary of a Nobody and Lupin Pooter. Maybe Persephone will publish it when I’m a forgotten authoress. When? Who am I kidding?

Head over to enjoy the rest of the titles that sprung to Jessica’s mind and share your own in the comments and then perhaps write the books to go with them:
Titles Seek Book with Jessica Norrie


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