Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 30th June 2021 – #CoverReveal Sarah Brentyn with Marcia Meara, #Review Jacqui Murray, #Inspiration Rebecca Budd

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

The first post is from Marcia Meara and her guest today author Sarah Brentyn who has two new covers to share for her flash fiction collections.

I have a special surprise for you folks today! My friend, Sarah Brentyn, has not one but two beautifully redesigned and elegant covers to share with you! But I’ll let her tell you the full story of how they came to be. And here she is:


I Don’t Know How Art Works

To me, art is magic. And I mean that literally. Obviously, figuratively, too, since all creative endeavors are magical. But it’s…I don’t know…weird. I just don’t get it.

Having these covers made was a long process. I asked many, numerous, countless, repetitive, stupid questions along the way. It wasn’t pretty. Like “How do you get the picture from your notebook to the computer screen?” And “What do you mean?” And, “How is that going to turn from a…line thingy…into a shaded flower?” And “What do you mean?” And “How are you going to make that lighter without making the other part darker?” And “What do you mean?” Fortunately, the artist I worked with is a saint with a great deal of patience. (Or, just as likely, sent kind inquiries and tolerant responses while screaming obscenities I couldn’t hear. Yeah. That’s super possible.)

Head over discover the beautiful new covers that Sarah has gifted her two collections: Guest Sarah Brentyn with Marcia Meara

The next post is from Jacqui Murray and shares her review for Keeper Tyree another wonderful western from Sandra Cox who is also on my list of favourite authors..

 Sandra Cox–Western Author Extraordinaire

Sandra Cox is fast becoming my go-to Western author. I’ve loved all of her Westerns (click for my reviews of Gwen Slade and TumbleStar ) but this one–Keeper Tyree (2021)–may well be my favorite.

Head over to read Jacqui’s review for this latest book from Sandra Cox: Jacqui Murray’s review for Keeper Tyree by Sandra Cox

The final post today is from Rebecca Budd and share the inspiring story of a journey that encompassed thousands of miles in a wheelchair in 1985 to raise awareness of spinal injury.. The man in question sparked research that has benefited others who have faced this devastating and life-changing injury.

Man in Motion

I honestly believe that my best work is in front, not behind me. I am driven by a deep passion and need to make a difference and leave this world a little better than when I arrived. That’s what keeps me going.Rick Hansen

Whenever I pass by the grounds of the Vancouver Hospital, I stop by the commemorative sculpture of Rick Hansen’s “Man in Motion” sculpture and think back to 1985, when it all started.

In 1985, Don and I were living in Kitsilano area of Vancouver close to the Fogg N’ Suds pub that we frequented on a regular basis. Rick Hansen was an unknown to us – that is until a huge map of the world greeted us at the Fogg N’ Suds entrance in early 1985. That is when we first heard about Rick Hansen and his Man in Motion Tour.

Head over to read the rest of this wonderful post and also the comments that contain other interesting snippets about Rick Hansen and his inspiring crusade: Lady Budd – Man in Motion Rick Hansen

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

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Thriller #Sci-fi- The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee

I am sharing my reviews from the first few months of 2021. The focus tends to be on new releases but good books deserve to be in the spotlight too on a regular basis.

This is my review from January 2021 for the science fiction thriller The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee and enjoyed the action packed adventure very much.

About the book

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

Can the hitman and the thief get the job done, more importantly, can they keep each other alive?

My review for the book Saturday 30th January 2021

This is an action packed thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end as it races across a number of planets at some point in the future.

I have read a number of science fiction books over the years and there is a tendency to over complicate the story with extraterrestrial beings and technological wizardry which can distract from the story. However, the author has created a world that is familiar enough that you understand the environmental differences and methods of interplanetary travel whilst enjoying the basis of the story which is a good old fashioned thriller.

Having just watched the last four James Bond films back to back, it occurred to me that the central character of Dan Jones, an assassin who rarely allows his emotions to cloud his judgement, would fit very well into the role. Despite his preference to work alone he finds himself partnered with a thief who might assist in the near impossible task he has been set, and their relationship develops very satisfactorily throughout the story.

Of course things don’t go smoothly and it gets to a point where it is difficult to know who to trust and you are kept guessing right up to the last page.

I thoroughly recommend this for sci-fi and thriller readers who enjoy a fast paced read with plenty of surprises.

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

A small selection of other books by Richard Dee

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Website: Richard Dee’s ScifiGoodreads: Richard Dee at Goodreads – Twitter: @RichardDockett1

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon. I was never a writer, at least not for ages. I made up stories in my head, based on dreams and events in my life, but I never did much with them. Life, a wife, three daughters and now three grandchildren have kept me busy.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything I could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of The Rocks of Aserol, a Steampunk adventure, and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space, the first of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective.

Sequels to most of them have either followed or are in production. I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.


Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Richard’s book and will head over to check his others out.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Romance Lizzie Chantree

Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Jacquie Biggar

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

A small selection of books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for The Seal’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but start with Book One  Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2021

Another awesome action/romance mash-up from Jacquie Biggar, and this one ranks toward the top of my favorites. After a disastrous mission and rescue, the seal team is taking a breather at the peaceful cattle ranch of Chief Seal Frank Stein. Maggie is among them, still suffering from the trauma of her time undercover with the Mexican cartel. While the attraction between Frank and Maggie heats up, all is not well at the ranch as cattle disappear and calves are slaughtered. Drug smugglers and a couple of escaped convicts are causing trouble, and the team can’t help but get involved.

What I loved about the book was the depth of the characters, the whole team. This isn’t a light romance with the usual tropes. No drama queens or kings in this read. These people have serious lives and histories. They’ve risked their lives for each other, and friendships and loyalties run deep. The relationships are grounded in multi-layered emotions, in the maturity that comes from age and from facing hardships together. Personalities are well developed, and there’s a strong sense of history. Maybe part of that is because…

This is Book 7 in the series, which probably wasn’t the best place to start. There are 6 books that provide a lot of backstory and relationship building before this one. The book did read well as a stand-alone, but that said, it makes sense to start at the beginning of the series, to get to know the characters and learn their stories chronologically. It took me a bit to catch on, but then I was hooked.

To be honest, I skimmed the few sex scenes, but I did fall for the romance and action and characters. The pace moves along quickly, and I enjoyed the skilled and well-edited writing. I may have to skip back to book one and start at the beginning. Highly recommended to readers who love a mash-up of romance and action. 

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

Meet C.S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

My recent review for Mrs Molony June 21st 2021

I have been looking forward to the third book in The Hat series and I was not disappointed. Non-stop action from first to last page and although a short read, it is packed with great writing.
Lizzie, The Hat and the band play some interesting new venues for their gigs, and whilst money is key, finding a missing woman is Lizzie’s priority. They meet some pretty unsavoury characters along the way, and have to keep their eyes peeled for those who have more than a good music and a dance in mind.
Thankfully the versatile Hat uses his enhanced powers to assist the investigation, that is when you can get him away from his online shopping. Thankfully the crime fighting duo are not deterred by the challenges thrown at them, and the author creates some wonderful escapades along the way for them to get their teeth into…
Whilst this is about vampires and things that go bang in the night, it is not macabre and there is a wonderful wry humour running through the narrative.
Escapist fantasy at its best.. Try on The Hat and give it a whirl…recommended. 


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

Meet Lizzie Chantree

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a trending networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex

A selection of books by Lizzie Chantree

One of the recent reviews for Shh it’s our secret

Zoé 5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this was a real place!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2021

Oh, Lizzie!! You have done it again! I had such a lump in my throat by the end of the book it was unreal. I knew to expect something like that when I read this book as it is the way but I had to grab a glass of water this time!! This is such a lovely story of love, loss ad growth. Violet, crippling shy and completely downtrodden thanks to her idiot ex-boyfriend Liam. He took everything from her, he broke her. Then Kai, a meeting by chance, changes everything she knows and holds on to dearly.

I love stories where things can happen to people. A bit like Sliding Doors, the what-ifs, and this is a HUGE what if. If Kai had not been in the café that day when Violet was singing who knows where she would be now.

The supporting cast are a delight! I loved Esme and Doris, Cole, Danny and Trina, plus Violet’s best friends. All played a part in her journey. All testing her and supporting her in different ways. The proper little family. There a whole host of characters who will stay with you and can I have them as my friends? 

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


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



Smorgasbord Pet Health – The patter of tiny paws! by Sally Cronin

I am an advocate for adoption for both dogs and cats. There are so many needing homes.

However, accidents happen and when it does then there are some simple things that you can do to ensure the health of your pet as well as give them a stress free pregnancy and delivery.

The patter of tiny paws!

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

As with human pregnancies sometimes our pets and their resulting offspring are also accidental.

Cats are pretty organised and their gestation period (pregnancy) lasts between 63 and 65 days whilst dogs can be a little more varied, dependent on breed, and can have a pregnancy lasting between 56 and 72 days.

Unless you catch your pet “in the act” during a receptive period (heat) then you may have to ask the vet to verify the pregnancy at about a month. If you need to know how many there are going to be in the litter you can also splash out for a scan at about 45 days and this might be important if you are concerned for the health of the dog or cat.

Before  a planned pregnancy

All pets should be eating healthily anyway but this is particularly important during their pregnancy.

For dogs and cats it is important that their vaccinations are up to date and that they have been wormed regularly.

During pregnancy

  • In the second half of pregnancy you need to gradually increase the level of your dog’s food day by day until at the end she is eating about twice her normal amount.
  • Divide the meals into five or six smaller meals per day, as this will be more comfortable for her. She will need a balanced diet that is appropriate for pregnancy and you can ask your vet for recommendations on what natural foods should be included.
  • As you know I am not a fan of dried food, particularly in this important phase in your dog or cat’s life. However, you cannot suddenly change your pet from dried food that it has eaten since weaning and substitute home-cooked or wet food.
  • Do so gradually over a period of around six weeks. If your dog is used to eating healthy home prepared meals then continue that way, with additional lean poultry and fish as well as vegetables.
  • Make sure that she stays hydrated as her needs for fluids will increase as the pregnancy progresses.

Image @S.G. Cronin

Cats are usually very self-sufficient and will probably supplement the food you give them with fresh caught! But they too need regular small meals later in pregnancy, along with plenty of fresh water.

A dog should have moderate exercise throughout pregnancy and this will help her keep supple and flexible for the birth. It is a good idea to keep your cat indoors during the last two weeks of pregnancy as she may discover what she feels is a suitable place to give birth in your neighbour’s tool shed.

You need to make preparations around three weeks before the litter is due and a whelping box is the safest for both the mother and puppies. The puppies or kittens need to be clustered as closely as possible together, for both warmth and safety, but the mother should be able to lie outstretched to enable her to nurse them comfortably.

If you are building the whelping box yourself it should have sides between 4 and 8 inches high, depending on the breed of your dog. Encourage her to sleep in it up to the birth so that she is used to it. Use shredded newspapers as bedding, or smooth sheets that can be washed easily. Place the box in a quiet place away from the family and noise so that your dog associates it with a safe place to deliver and keep her babies.

Image by Franz W. from Pixabay

Cats like a slightly higher whelping box with sides about 6 to 10 inches high and they too like a secluded corner where they can nurse in safety. Cats may turn their noses up at your efforts and find their own haven – usually in inconvenient places such as the airing cupboard or under your bed – but you will have to leave her alone at least for the first ten days to avoid stressing her unnecessarily. They usually like their boxes to be covered with a towel or something similar so that it is dark as well as quiet.

Signs of impending labour

The mammary glands in both dogs and cats will engorge in the last two or three weeks and milk will become available in the last two to three days and is a good sign that they are about to begin labour. If you are brave enough (my dog likes to try and rip the arm off the vet at the sight of a thermometer) take your dog’s temperature once the milk appears and you will see that it drops to 99F within 10 to 24 hours of labour starting.

If you are not planning on having the vet assist at the birth, which to be honest is unlikely for most domestic pets, then be prepared to help out if necessary. Usually you will come down in the morning and find a proud mother with her litter tucked up and already nursing.

Both dogs and cats will begin to exhibit nesting or nursing behaviour and I have seen dogs and cats start to mother anything from an old slipper to a hairbrush. The maternal instinct is very strong and it is not a good idea to fuss around them unless they come to you specifically for comfort.

This stage lasts from 6 to 24 hours and they will eventually seek seclusion, either in the whelping box they have become used to or their chosen spot. They will start to have contractions and their cervix will dilate as during a human birth but it will not be visible to you.

During labour

  • Contractions will become stronger and will be accompanied by abdominal contractions pushing out the puppies or kittens.
  • If you are present during the birth you will notice a small, green sac visible at the vulva before the puppy or kitten arrives.
  • The placenta will follow each individual birth and the mother will lick and bite the sac to release the baby before cleaning it and biting the umbilical cord.
  • With an inexperienced mother, you may need to help nature along by gently rubbing the kitten or puppy with a towel to stimulate its breathing.
  • This may also happen if the mother begins the contractions for the next member of the litter immediately following the birth of the last one.

There a number of things that you need to look out for during the last stages of pregnancy, and during labour, that might signal that your pet is having difficulties.

If the mother has been having strong contractions for longer than ten minutes and it looks as though the kitten or puppy is lodged in the birth canal, gently grasp it around the shoulders with a thin towel and gently rock back and forth. Without grabbing the legs pull towards you carefully until it is freed.

After the birth, if the mother does not sever the umbilical cord then tie a piece of strong cotton around the cord about an inch from the body and then cut on the side of the knot away from the baby. Dip the end in a little iodine to prevent infection.

Usually there is a ten to thirty minute rest between individual births – but this might vary, particularly with cats.

When to call the vet

  • You should have taken your pet to the vet for a check-up during the pregnancy so they will be expecting to be called out it there are problems.
  • If the pregnancy lasts more than the usual 65 days or 71 days in the case of a dog then take them to the vet to be checked.
  • If after the stronger contractions begin and the mother is having abdominal contractions but no births then you need to call the vet.
  • If there is a lapse of more than two hours between puppies, or four hours between kittens, and you are sure that labour is still in progress then you will need help.
  • If after gently moving the kitten or puppy in the birth canal you still cannot deliver it then you again will need assistance.
  • If the mother has been in labour for over three hours and develops a greenish/black discharge but no babies there is a problem.
  • Sometimes a placenta is not delivered for each individual birth and leaving it inside the mother is dangerous and needs to be dealt with.


Having new kittens or puppies in the house is as miraculous as human birth and if you have helped your pet through the process it makes it even more meaningful.

I hope that has not put you off midwifery duties for your dog or cat.. I have been present on a couple of occasions and it is amazing. Thanks for dropping in and as always look forward to your feedback.  Sally

©2021 Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

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

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


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday June 29th 2021 – #Luck Suzanne Craig-Whytock, Book Reviews Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape

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

The first post is from author Suzanne Craig-Whytock on My Dang Blog… and discusses the effectiveness of lucky charms, especially underwear that may have lost its mojo…

The Streak Is Over

You may or may not remember that I’ve written in the past about my lucky underwear. They’re a paisley pattern in a very soft fabric—there’s nothing otherwise notable about them, but for some reason, when I wear them, good things tend to happen. I’ve begun saving them for special occasions or times when I feel like I want to ‘encourage’ good fortune, and if you think this is weird then obviously you haven’t been following me for long because it’s par for the course around here. At any rate, last Wednesday we were supposed to get our air conditioner fixed. It had broken the week before, during the first heatwave of the year, obviously, and when the guy came, he was like “OK, the spinny thing isn’t spinning and the cool-y thing isn’t cooling so you need a new one of these box-y things.” Of course, he used more technical terminology, but I couldn’t hear him very well over the noise of all the fans I had going to try and keep cool. Being very hot makes me sad and grumpy, so I grunted at him and agreed that he needed to replace the outside cold box.

On Wednesday morning, after a week of excruciating heat, I put on my lucky underwear specifically to entreat the air conditioning gods to ensure that the repair people arrived on time with the right unit. 

Feasting Upon The Bones: A Collection of Twisted Tales

Head over to discover how this reliance on lucky underwear worked out:
The Streak is Over

The next post is from author Vashti Quiroz-Vega with three reviews for some terrific looking books… from Annika Perry (Children’s Reading Room), Yvette M. Calleiro and Ken Stark

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

Today I’d like to share reviews of an eclectic group of books I’ve read lately. I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a child, and I have my favorite “go to” genres, but through the years, I’ve diversified my reading. I figure life as a whole has romance, horror, suspense, thrilling events . . . and reading different genres gives me insight into all aspects of life. With this knowledge, I can ground my fiction in reality and also add an extra layer to my stories.

Head over to enjoy the reviews and find your next book to read: Book Reviews Vasti Quiroz-Vega

And last but not least… some funnies from Chris, The Story Reading Ape… always a boost to the day…


Head over to enjoy the rest of the funnies...:The Story Reading Ape – Monday Funnies


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

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 29th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Reading and Trivia

Welcome to laughter lines with some gems from Debby Gies who has been keeping an eye open for funnies online and some jokes from Sally.



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

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally

If you ever wondered where certain expressions came from or enjoy pieces of useless information.. this post is for you….

In the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have ‘the rule of thumb.’

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented.It was ruled ‘Gentlemen
Only…Ladies Forbidden’.. … And thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma

Coca-Cola was originally green..

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: £ 10,120.00

The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer.

Deck of Cards

Each King in a deck of playing cards represents a great King from history:

Spades – King David
Hearts – Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds – Julius Caesar




If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.

If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received
in battle.

If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Q & A.

Q….. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter ‘A’?
A… One thousand

Q…. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?
A… All were invented by women.

Q… What is the only food that doesn’t spoil?
A… Honey

From the Past

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.
Hence the phrase…’Goodnight , sleep tight’

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s Father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could
drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, Ale is ordered by pints and quarts….
So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them
‘Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down. It’s where we get the phrase: ‘Mind your P’s and Q’s.’

Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.

”Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

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

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Military #Romance The SEAL’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7 by Jacquie Biggar

Today I am reviewing The SEAL’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7 by USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar.

About the book

DEA agent Maggie Holt has been through hell and back.

After eighteen months undercover in a Mexican cartel, Maggie is broken. The kickass agent she once was, is gone, leaving her riddled with guilt and nightmares. Forced to take paid leave, Maggie accepts the offer of a vacation on the ranch of the man who’d rescued her from an almost certain death.

Frank Stein knows the signs of PTSD, he’d suffered the symptoms himself as Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Five. Honorably retired from duty, Frank has found peace at the family ranch and hopes it will do the same for Magdalena. Ever since he’d first met her when she was interrogating his buddy, Jared, Frank has been fascinated by the raven-haired beauty and wants the chance to see where their relationship could go.

Adam O’Connor is Maggie’s partner. He knows her. He loved her once and could again, if she’d let him in. But he’s also angry she took the chances she did by going undercover against orders. And now, things are different. She’s different.

When a right-wing militia group infiltrates the area, will DEA Agent Maggie Holt, her partner, Adam O’Connor, and ex-SEAL Chief Frank Stein be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies? And who will Maggie choose, the handsome cowboy, or her charismatic DEA partner?

My review for the book June 26th 2021

This book hits the floor running but the author does give the background to the story and characters from this long running series.

The combination of action thriller and steamy romance is perfect for summer reading, and winter come to that, when a little extra heat is welcome. The story reflects the ongoing battle with drugs and cartels with a parallel story of rustling that directly involves the ranching community and in particular Frank Stein.

The job is tough enough for the DEA agents and relationships with colleagues makes it even more challenging when emotions get in the way. Those who now have families face additional concern for the safety of their loved ones and when an emergency situation effects one, it effects them all. For others such as Maggie Holt who is suffering from PTSD, learning to love and trust again seems impossible.

In the capable hands of Jacquie Biggar the story flows and leads to an unexpected and dramatic final chapter.

The next book in the series is due out soon and I am looking forward to reading the next adventure for these engaging characters.

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

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

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

About Jacquie Biggar

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

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


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Fairystories D.L. Finn, #Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Doglovers Andrew Joyce

Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her

A selection of books by D.L. Finn for adults and children

One of the early reviews for Tree Fairies

D. W. Peach5.0 out of 5 stars Three tales about fairies saving the redwood forests  Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2021

In the redwood forest, the tree fairies and their human friends are tasked with protecting the woodlands and it’s creatures. They have the help of the Wise Trees who’ve watched over the land for thousands of years. In many ways, this middle-grade book is about real environmental threats, all crafted into age-appropriate and magical stories.

The three tales are connected, sharing the same characters, and each one addresses a different danger to the natural world. “Tree Fairies” introduces the forest fairies and kicks off their relationship with young Daniel and his human family who will save the land from clear cutting. “Roselle” addresses the illegal dumping of toxic waste. And in “Goldie,” the fairies drive off a pair of poachers.

There’s plenty of magic in the books and activities that middle-grade kids will relate to such as fairy school, writing papers, listening to parents, and standing up to bullying by the “city fairies” who’ve lost touch with nature. A fun read for kids who enjoy magical tales while learning about the importance of protecting the old forests.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor

Meet Elizabeth Gauffreau

An image posted by the author.

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

A recent review for the book
Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in the Hardest of Ways Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021

Telling Sonny is a compelling read about a naive girl, Faby, and her misfortune in being starstruck by Slim White, a vaudeville performer. Set in the 1920s, Elizabeth Gauffreau masterfully writes this poignant tale. Growing up in a small town, Faby and her sister, Josephine, look forward to the annual appearance of the vaudeville troupe who perform from town to town. Slim, one of the slick hoofers in the group, takes a special interest in Faby. She is fascinated more about the lifestyle than the man, but she meets him for several walks and shows him around the town.

On the last night before the troupe moves on, Slim takes advantage of Faby’s innocence and naivety and forces himself upon her before she understands what is going on. Months pass before Faby understands she is pregnant with Slim’s baby. She manages to keep the secret from her mother and father, but her grandmother, Maman Aurore, realizes the truth.

Slim, otherwise known as Louis Kittell, comes back to Faby after learning she is pregnant and takes her with him on the road. Faby finds the stories and lifestyle exciting initially, even though she knows little of the world’s ways. I had great empathy for her as it was a trying experience for such a naive girl. However, there were times I felt frustrated with her, especially the night Slim doesn’t come home all night, and Faby doesn’t even ask for an explanation when he leaves her alone at the theatre.

Gauffreau does an excellent job of portraying Slim as an egotistical and self-centered performer. He tries to attend to Faby’s needs at times, but he’s primarily thinking about himself.

The most heartwrenching part of this great read for me was when Slim puts a very pregnant Faby on a train to travel two days back home by herself. The reader is left wondering what the reception for Faby will be when she shows up at home unexpectedly, nearly ready to have her baby. I won’t spoil that part of the story, which has a sad but realistic ending.  

Read the reviews and buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Website: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @LGauffreau

Meet Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Books by Andrew Joyce

Resolution-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

My review for My Name is Danny

This book is a reminder of all the fun that the fans of Danny enjoyed each month, when he penned his own article about his adventures and encounters with humans and four-legged friends alike.

Not all was harmless fun as poisonous toads were ingested, and larger dogs underestimated this pint sized, fiesty defender. But for the majority of the last fourteen years, this lovely little dog has had an amazing life. Living on a boat with his human and training him to provide certain expected luxuries on demand such as turkey ham and hot dogs. Being petted and indulged at social gatherings at the marina hot spot and charming every lady he was introduced to. We discover his favourite things, such as car rides, and his insightful views on Christmas and human frailties.

For those who know Danny this is a reminder of his acerbic wit and  entertaining forthrightness, and for new readers an opportunity to view the world at ground level (well he is a small dog). It is fun and light-hearted and a feel good read that is an antidote to life’s trials and tribulations.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Andrew : Goodreads – blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPressTwitter: @Huckfinn76


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1972 Part Two – Staple Singers, Al Green, Don McLean, America

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.


Welcome to this week’s show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my second selection of  top 1972 hits which I hope you will enjoy.  William.

News Event:  July 15th “Honky Chateau” becomes Elton John’s first No. 1 album in the US, includes hit “Rocket Man”

The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There

“I’ll Take You There” was the Staple Singers’ biggest international hit, topping the charts in the US, UK, Canada, and South Africa. The song ranked #276 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. In 1994, the British band “General Public” released a cover of “I’ll Take You There” featured in the film “Threesome.”

News Event: September 2nd Rod Stewart’s 1st #1 hit (You Wear it Well)

Al Green- Let’s Stay Together

“Let’s stay together” was a huge hit for Al Green, topping the charts around the world and going gold and platinum in many countries. It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, has been covered by numerous performers and most notably Tina Turner. It was chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The song went on to claim the #1 position on the Billboard Year-End chart as the top R&B song for 1972.

News Event:  September 28th David Bowie sells out his 1st show in NY Carnegie Hall

Now time for my second chart picks from 1972 and they certainly bring back memories of my teenage years.

Don McLean – Vincent

“Vincent” is a song by Don McLean written as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. It is often erroneously titled after its opening refrain, “Starry Starry Night”, a reference to Van Gogh’s 1889 painting The Starry Night. McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of Van Gogh. It was released on McLean’s 1971 American Pie album, and the following year the song became the No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks, and No. 12 in the United States,where it also hit No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 94 song for 1972. folkman 123

News Event:  October 17th Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-a-ling,” is #1

America – Horse with No Name

“A Horse with No Name” is a song by the folk rock band America, written by Dewey Bunnell. It was the band’s first and most successful single, released in late 1971 in Europe and early 1972 in the United States, and topped the charts in Canada, Finland, and the United States. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. badgarin

Additional sources: On This Day – Music –  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 – FacebookWilliam 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

Next week 1973 Part one. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday June 28th 2021 – #Invitation Beetley Pete, #Doglove D.G. Kaye, #FamilyHistory Antoinette Truglio Martin

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

The first post is from Pete Johnson – Beetley Pete who has an open invitation to be a guest on his blog. If you have been reading my PR for Authors series, this is the kind of invitation all authors should be taking advantage of to meet new people and new readers.

Blog Features, Guest Posts, and Promotions

As regular readers know, I have been ‘easing off’ posting too many things on my blog recently. Although my daily serial is still published, I try to cut back on other posts.

This could be good news for the rest of you, as I now have more time for guest posts, book promotions, and blog features.

If you are a blogger in this community and have a book to promote, let me know.

If you are a new blogger who follows me and want to submit a guest post to potentially increase your audience, then let me know.

If you would like your blog to be featured here so that more readers get to know about you, let me know. 

Head over to find out how to get in touch with Pete: Feature with Beetley Pete

Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye shares a lovely story for her #WATWB contribution this month.. A stray dog fell for a purple and pink stuffed unicorn in a store and tried to steal 5 times… the authorities were called, but what they did next with warm your heart..

We are the World Blogfest

It’s that time of the month again, the last Friday of the month where a group of writers share an article about something good going on around the world to deflect from negativity for the We are the World Blogfest, #WATWB.

Sisu with his stuffed purple unicorn

Well, it seems this little stray dog had an attraction to a stuffed unicorn that he was determined not to leave behind – no matter if legal or not!

Stray dog kept stealing a stuffed unicorn from a store, so animal control bought it for him 

Head over to read the rest of this lovely story: Stray Dog steals stuffed unicorn from a store

The final post today is from Antoinette Truglio Martin who shares here experiences of discovering stories through the oral history shared in her family. It is amazing what you discover…

Telling The Stories

Since the dawn of humans, all cultures have gathered together and swapped stories, supplying windows into who we are, where we’ve been, how we got there, and why. Over time, these yarns morph and take on the point of view of the teller and the perspective of the listener. The best stories are retold and replayed for generations. The tales become legends and the characters achieve a slice of immortality.

The hard facts gleaned from documents provide the settings and circumstances to a story. However, the plethora of data can only imply the colors and emotions. Dairies and photos may fill gaps, but not everyone kept these records accessible. We all have that pile of pictures we cannot identify. There are several journaling packages to subscribe to that prompt life stories. Listing the first jobs, the favorite movies and first cars jog the memory. If the recipient cares to write, intriguing details emerge on the page. Frequently, however, answers are short sentences providing the barest insight and engagement. Better stories are collected through a conversation.

I am fortunate to have a large loud family. Our favorite sport is to sit around the table, share food and tell stories about present adventures and past escapades. 

Head over to read the rest of the post and make a note to engage any older members of your family to discover hidden gems from the past: Antoinette Truglio Martin – Telling the Stories


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