Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 30th September 2021 – #Reviews D.L Finn, #Statistics Jim Borden, #Facebook Pete Springer, #Spotlight D.G. Kaye with Stevie Turner, #Pavlova Eat Dessert First Greece

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

The first post is from Denise Finn with some books from September that changed her…including authors Karen Ingalls, John W. Howell, Suzanne Burke and W.J. Scott

for blog summer edition pic

Happy Summer! It’s the season when air conditioners are running, swim holes are appealing, the BBQ is fired-up and the stars beg to be observed. There is the thrill of baseball games or the Fair when it comes to town offering food, rides, and farm animals. Then, there’s the quieter times to stretch out on the freshly cut grass watching a cloud or two float by, or roasting marshmallows around a campfire. The most important thing about summer is to remember that carefree child again.

Books have the same effect on me that seasons do. They can be renewing like spring or like summertime taking a journey to that special place remembered from childhood. That trip can be either in wonder or to that scary place that keeps eyes focused on the darkness instead of sleeping. All I know is I am never the same again after reading a great book.

Here is my second list of the year for the summer of books that have changed me by reading them! 

Head over to read discover Denise’s recommended books and reviews: Books That Changed Me–Summer Edition

The next post is from Jim Borden who explores the some of the statistics online that can lead you down rabbit holes that lead to some interesting discoveries.

This is probably about the fifth post I’ve written that refers to the word serendipity.

It’s no surprise given how much I surf the web, and end up clicking on random links that pop up.

Today’s serendipitous moment started while watching ESPN’s Gameday show, which was set at Penn State (where they are having one of their famous whiteout games, as shown above).

One of the student signs said something along the lines of:

“Lions Eat Tigers”

which refers to the fact that the Penn State Nittany Lions were playing the Auburn Tigers.

One of my first thoughts after seeing the sign was who would win such a fight.

Head over to read Jim’s post and find out apart from humans who is the dumbest creature: Serendipity, Stupidity and the Web

The next post also features social media with a focus on Facebook as Pete Springer shares some of the more comedic aspects of this sometimes frustrating social networking site.

Photo Credit to Brett Jordan on Pexels

Like most things in life that become popular, I’m not in sync. It seems like I’m either late or not invited. My wife and I are Baby Boomers. We got lost somewhere along the way with Generations X, Y, and Z, but I also take pride in not always going with the latest fad or trend. It doesn’t mean I necessarily think less of people who always follow the crowd, but that’s never going to be me, and I’m okay with that.  

Head over to discover Pete’s views on social media and some of the funnier aspects of Facebook: The Humour of Facebook

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies was in the spotlight at Stevie Turner’s and talks about her memoir Twenty Years After “I Do” .

Hi all, today the spotlight is on D.G Kaye, a non-fiction author I feel I know very well even though I’ve never met her.

We’ve gone through a few similiar life experiences, and we have the same opinions on many subjects. Reading Debby’s bio below, I’ve often wished I could have been a reporter too, and it’s quite uncanny how much alike we are in so many ways!

I enjoyed reading Debby’s book ‘Twenty Years: After “I Do”, which contains many tips for a successful marriage based on the author’s own twenty year marriage to the love of her life, Gordon, who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

If you would like your book featured on Friday Spotlight, please email me at and put ‘Friday Spotlight’ in the subject box. Thank you. 

Head over to enjoy Stevie and Debby’s chat: Friday Spotlight D.G. Kaye and Stevie Turner

The final post today is a sweet treat from the team at Eat Dessert First Greece… and looks amazing. As always there is the background to the dessert and in this case the story of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)

We learned that the dessert we will study was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) who was famous when she toured in the 1920s. We read that her dance was so light that they said she did not dance, but flied high with her wings. Anna Pavlova was a superstar of the time. Various dishes were named after her. In France there were frog legs à la Pavlova and in America Pavlova ice cream.

Head over to find out more about the history of the dessert and get the recipe and enjoy the rest of the post: Eat Dessert First Greece Pavlova


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you would head over to the posts to read them in full.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra Rewind…September 30th 2021 – Host Sally Cronin – What do you mean I can’t park here?

Welcome to the laughter lines with a few funnies to ease you through the rest of the week.

And some driving jokes to finish things off…..

Lost in translation

An American couple are driving across Canada and they get lost while exploring the prairies. They see a farmer on the side of the road, so the husband pulls over.

“I’ll go ask him where the next town is,” he says as he gets out.

He walks up to the farmer and asks,

“Hey there, can you tell me what the next town is called so my wife and I can find it on our map?”

“Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.” the farmer says.

The man walks back to the car and gets in.

“Well honey, where do we go?” his wife asks.

“I don’t know,” the man says, “he doesn’t speak English.”

If it’s good enough for Samson

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test …… and asked his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal with his son, “You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car” The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, “Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.”

The boy said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.”

The father responded, “Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?”


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

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – #Reviews – #Poetry B.C. Byron, #NewMexico Darlene Foster

The first review is for B.C. Byron for his first illustrated children’s book – A Cat Named Lump: 48 Poetic Tummy Turners – age 6-12

About the collection

Can you touch your own eye? I think you should try?
Can you lick your own nose? Hey that’s pretty gross.
Can you suck your own toe? Bend in half, there you go.
These poems are strange and a little deranged.Can you read the whole bunch without losing your lunch?
Maybe you can, but one thing is true:you’ll laugh out your insides before it is through!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Katie Allen 5.0 out of 5 stars Disgustingly wonderful!  Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2021

This book was great! It made me relive all the grossest parts of my childhood. I laughed a lot and made faces I haven’t made since living at home with my 3 older brothers. I loved it and so did my kids!  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads –  Website: B.C. Byron – Twitter: @BCByronAuthor

The next author is Darlene Foster with a review for Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind (Amanda Travels #6)

About the book

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico to collect material for writing projects. She is travelling with Cleo, a classmate who believes in ghosts and insists she keeps seeing them. Amanda doesn’t believe in ghosts and is determined to prove there is no such thing. When weird, unexplainable things start to happen to Amanda, she questions her denial of the supernatural.

Join Amanda as she visits a typical hacienda, an ancient pueblo, a painting that changes dramatically and a spooky hotel with the ghost of a murdered cowboy haunting the rooms. Can Amanda escape from the eerie wind that follows her everywhere she goes?

One of the recent reviews for the book

It was a school trip that twelve-year-old Amanda Ross would always remember. She and a few of her classmates were selected to go on an educational trip to New Mexico. Because each student was artistic in some way, they were expected to record highlights of their adventure. One girl, Cleo, was exceptionally nervous and started saying she was seeing ghosts. Not believing in such apparitions, Amanda, nevertheless, was being a supportive friend to Cleo. When strange things started happening, Amanda began to wonder what to believe. Interesting and spooky travel story middle grade readers (and up) are likely to enjoy.

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPressGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman


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


Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Family # Murder #Mystery – Going Home by Sharon Marchisello

I have been reading Going Home.. a family, murder mystery by Sharon Marchisello this week and here is my five star review.

About the book

Michelle DePalma expected to jet into Two Wells, Texas, check on her elderly mother, and hurry back to her orderly life in Atlanta, where she has a happy marriage and satisfying career. Instead, she finds her mother, Lola Hanson, hovered over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver, Brittany Landers.

Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola’s memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer’s. Now Lola can’t tell anyone what happened to Brittany.

The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school. A secret thought to be long buried–that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption–surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.

Going Home was inspired by the author’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the perspective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women’s fiction

My review for the book 30th September 2021

This is a well written and thought provoking story that combines a care crisis that many of us face with elderly parents who have developed dementia, and the unravelling of the mystery surrounding a murder in a family home.

It is clear the author has experience of the challenge of communicating with someone who has short term memory loss, and brings in a cleverly crafted murder plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.

There are flashbacks to the past and events which have a bearing on the present, and the reader is witness to the fallout that revelations result in as the search begins for a viable suspect amongst the outsiders who have access to the family home. It would seem that the authorities have only one suspect in mind, and without the ability to communicate coherently, an elderly woman must rely on her extended family to prove her innocence.

The author does a great job in keeping all the various strands of the plot running smoothly in parallel and brings the story to a satisfactory climax.

I recommend to those who enjoy well written murder mysteries and family sagas.

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

Also by Sharon Marchisello

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

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.


Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Sharon’s book and will head over to buy a copy… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Women’s Health Month – The Heart – Connecting the Dots by D.G. Kaye

Welcome to the women’s health month and in the original series, D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies accepted my invitation to write a guest post. She shared her story about a health issue that could have gone unnoticed at great risk to her life. Thankfully she as you know she is now fully recovered from this life threatening heart condition.

Connecting the Dots by D.G. Kaye.

It was the tiniest of dots; not much bigger than the size of a pinhead. Most people wouldn’t even have paid it any mind. But I am not most people.

As a girl who has experienced her fair share of health concerns, I made a pact with myself to practice a healthier lifestyle and to become more in-tuned with my body. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a hypochondriac, but because I have been challenged with cervical cancer, glaucoma, and a near fatal diagnosis of Crohn’s disease at the age of forty, my instincts instruct me to pay close attention to any suspicious “red flags” that capture my attention.

I am blessed to have a most wonderful Naturopath who has guided my health for the last decade and he has given me quality living with my Crohn’s. I was also blessed with an angel; my Dermatologist.

I became fascinated by a tiny red dot on my right forearm. Months had gone by and I was puzzled as to why it was still there, so I kept mental note of it every time I glanced it. I just found it strange that this tiny red, transparent speck had taken up residence on my arm and wouldn’t go away. It never hurt, nor itched; it was just there.

I followed my intuition and decided to take action. Ironically, this wasn’t the first call to action. I had previously shown it to my husband’s Dermatologist two months prior, and he offered to burn it off. He was a very old gentleman, and I had mentioned to my husband that I thought this doctor was ready for retirement, as he didn’t see very well. He never used a microscope and seemed always too eager to burn things off. I didn’t feel at peace with the issue so I wanted to seek a second opinion.

I made an appointment with a new Dermatologist who came highly recommended in August 2005. I had to wait until January of the following year to see him. When January rolled around, I went to the appointment and I was told that the doctor I was to see was off sick and that I would be passed over to one of his associates; Dr. Allen (name changed.)

When I met Dr. Allen, I sensed her compassion immediately. She made me feel comfortable with her warm smile and her soft-spoken manner. She informed me that she was going to cut out the dot and send it to pathology; her standard procedure. Dr. Allen stated that she didn’t believe it was anything serious, but as a precaution she wanted to have it analyzed. I was satisfied that I had somebody competent now looking after me. Dr. Allen informed me the results would take about two weeks. Two weeks later, I went back to see her for the results.

The doctor informed me that my results came back negative but that she’d also like to send me for an echo-doppler cardiogram for precaution. She explained that sometimes the reason this type of spot appears is that it may be related to a heart issue. She added that it was a long shot but she would feel better just ruling it out. I looked at her in disbelief as she handed me the referral form but I never questioned her thoroughness. Dr. Allen told me she would call me with the results. I left and went on with my day, not really giving the matter another thought.

The following week I went for the test. The lab technician was friendly and he explained what he’d be doing, to put me at ease. The scan lasted about an hour and through that time, him, and I chatted as though we were old chums. I watched the screen and I was fascinated to see my heart beat with my every breath.

When the test was nearing an hour, the technician suddenly became very quiet. I looked up at the screen and noticed as I breathed; it appeared as though this tonsil-like-looking ball was flicking up and down. Now, I’m no doctor, but I was curious as to what the tonsil-looking thing was that seemed to be suspended from my heart. I suspiciously asked the technician what I was looking at. And then my whole world rocked.

It turned out that I had a rare Myxoma tumour hanging off my valve.

Dr. Allen expressed her sympathy about her suspicion; even though it was a long shot. I thanked her for potentially saving my life. She was so compassionate and she offered to get me in to see one of the biggest heart surgeons at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto.

Within that week, I had gone to meet my soon to be heart surgeon. He was a strappingly handsome man in his early forties. He was also quite curious as to who had sent me for the echo test without a symptom. He explained to me that this tumour was hanging off my valve and if left undetected, it would have eventually dropped off into my lung and embolized, causing sudden death within six months. He also told me that these tumours are asymptomatic, and aren’t generally detected until autopsy; silent killers.

The situation was all so much for me to bear but the one constant that kept me optimistic, was knowing that those tumours were never usually detected and God must have wanted me to live. There were too many coincidences in the finding that wouldn’t allow me to believe anything less than I would survive.

It all happened so quickly. Within the next two weeks, I was scheduled for open-heart surgery.

I got an eye opening view of an operating room as the nurse wheeled me in on a gurney; still fully conscious. I stared at the heart-lung machine that would be sustaining my life, while the good surgeon would hold my heart in his hands.

When I next opened my eyes, the room was very dark and quiet. I thought I felt an angel over my shoulder. I tried to speak with an almost inaudible voice as my lips felt glued together. The nurse sitting behind my shoulder said, “Welcome back Deborah.” I was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the night, but I was alive and I had survived.

©: D.G. Kaye 2017

My thanks to Debby for sharing this frightening experience that could have been devastating without Debby’s knowledge of her own body and speediness in getting checked out.

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.


“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Twenty Years After “I Do”

D.G. Kaye’s memoir, Twenty Years After I Do, piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been married for thirty-one years to a man who is not only my loving husband but who is my very best friend. I wanted to read what the author had to say on the subject, and she certainly inserted many pearls of wisdom of which I agreed with. Before I met my husband, I had dated a man twenty years older than me, so reading her perspective on the age difference grabbed my attention, as well. This was the second book that I have read from Debby, so I was already familiar with her beautiful, conversational writing.

Debby offers snippets of insight from her own experiences on how to keep a marriage happy and unbreakable. She adds how humor can lighten any heavy situation and intimately writes of how sex ultimately changes from dating to married life. Most importantly though, she conveys that love has no timeline. Couples should enjoy each moment together and unconditional love will carry them through the difficult times. I was moved by this lovely collection of stories from Debby’s marriage to Gordon, and how she met true love when she least expected. An enjoyable read and one I highly recommend.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby Gies – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye


Thanks for joining Debby today and as always your feedback is very welcome . thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally Goes Out and About – Tea, Toast and Trivia with Rebecca Budd – A New Beginning by Sally Cronin

Delighted to be the guest of Rebecca Budd, Lifestyle Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner  on her wonderful podcast Tea, Toast and Trivia again.. This time talking about short stories and I read one of the stories from the Flights of Fancy collection… A New Beginning.

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Bookstores, libraries, and coffee shops are great places for book readings. There is something extraordinary about hearing the voice of an author reading their stories. Their voice and intonation are nuanced by the many hours of effort putting pen to paper. They created the characters, structured the plot, and lived every twist and turn that creates bumps in the storyline.

Living in the reality of Covid-19 for the past months, book readings at public libraries and bookstores have been curtailed. We are learning to embrace technology in new ways. Welcome the podcast series, “Authors Reading their Books”, which will recreate the reading spaces in a virtual venue. I invite you to put the kettle on and join the conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia. I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am thrilled to introduce Sally Cronin who has graciously agreed to be our guest author reading her short story “A New Beginning” from her book “Flights of Fancy.” Sally is a storyteller. As a child, she used poetry, song lyrics and short stories to bring narratives to life. She is an indie author and proud to be one. Her greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy her take on health, characters, and twisted endings… and of course come back for more. Sally’s support and encouragement of the indie community is legendary.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting event on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Please head over to join in the chat and to listen to A New Beginning: Season 3 Episode 39: Sally Cronin on Short Stories and Reading “A New Beginning”



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1964 – West Side Story – Maria – Tonight

I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.

South Africa 1964 – West Side Story 

Having tea on our stoep in Newlands 1964

When we lived in South Africa we did not have television or a record player but my parents had a wireless in their bedroom and they would listen to music sometimes in the evening and certainly would get the BBC World Service for news from home.

The only source of music was therefore the musical films that my father would bring home courtesy of his role as Film Officer at HMS Afrikander. Last week I wrote about my first crush for Lt. Joe Cable and the love of the songs from “South Pacific” and this week I look at 1964 and the turn of another of my favourite musicals.

West Side Story


“West Side Story” was released in 1961 but by the time the cans of film had cycled around to Cape Town it was 1964 and our life in this amazing country was in full swing. I was attending the local Afrikaans school and was doing well with my language studies. At weekends my father would pile us into the car and we would head to the beach or up to the Ceres Mountains where we would stay in rondavels and swim in the icy cold water of the camp swimming pool.

The curry and film night had become a monthly fixture with couples who lived in our neighbourhood, mostly other naval colleagues of my father.

As usual I watched the musical through the crack in the living room door, trying not to cough as the cigarette smoke from all the dinner guests filtered as designed around the opening. In those days it was more unusual if someone did not smoke and it is no wonder that I took the habit up myself by age 14.

Anyway back to West Side Story. The original Broadway musical had been inspired by Romeo and Juliet in 1957. The adapted film was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and starred Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and the wonderful George Chakiris as Bernardo head of the Sharks.

I was entranced by the cast, music and the dancing and it confirmed my ambition to become an actress especially in musicals! (You never know I might still manage that….)

There were so many memorable songs from the film that it is hard to choose just one and as with South Pacific I took it upon myself eventually to learn the ones that I loved most. These included Maria, I Feel Pretty, America, Somewhere and the wonderful, Tonight.

Here is a recent version of “Maria” from the versatile Julian Ovenden  courtesy adam28xx 

And “Tonight” from the soundtrack

Buy the film: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK


Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane.. next time we return to England where my father is stationed near Preston in Lancashire for two years… very different from sunny South Africa.



Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #History #JewishFiction – Why Didn’t They Leave? by Eva Hnizdo

Delighted to welcome Eva Hnizdo to the Cafe with her new novel, released on 28th September. The historical Jewish fiction Why Didn’t They Leave?

About the book

You can’t ask for asylum in another country just because your mother drives you nuts, so when 19-year-old Zuzana flees from communist Czechoslovakia to England in 1972, she says she just wants freedom. Her relationship with her mother, Magda – a Holocaust survivor who lost most of her family in the concentration camps – is toxic and Zuzana finds happiness in London with a loving husband and beautiful son. But when her mother dies, Zuzana is crushed by guilt and feels an overwhelming urge to discover more about her family’s tragic history. So, she embarks on a life-changing journey, discovers some incredible stories and tries to answer the question which haunts her: Why didn’t they leave?

One of the advance reviews for the book

With meticulous detail, heartwrenching scenes like “ . . . marching us from Auschwitz to Loslau,” sear onto the page.

From police informers to the “Velvet Revolution,” Hnizdo offers answers through her characters’ actions as to why some chose to remain in their homeland and others fled. A story filled with history and heartache . . . survival and hope.”Julie Maloney, author and founder/director of Women Reading Aloud

Head over to buy the book:Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – And: Amazon Canada – Also online bookstores, Waterstones, Bookguild, WHSmith, Foyles and Barnes & Noble.

About Eva Hnizdo

I am a Jewish Czech, born in Prague in 1953.

Whenever my family thought about emigration and decided against it, they made a mistake. Many of my relatives died in the concentration camps. My parents, after surviving the Holocaust, spent their lives under an oppressive communist regime.

I studied medicine at Charles University in Prague and became a doctor. I was a refugee and obtained political asylum in the UK in 1986.

I’m a retired general practitioner. I worked in the same surgery in Watford for 23 years, patients knew me as “ Doctor Heller” because nobody could pronounce my surname.

During almost 40 years of working as a doctor, I had the privilege to see into my patients’ lives, their problems, and their solutions to those problems. I feel it is not a coincidence that many writers are medical doctors. They have many stories to tell. I am now retired and spend my time writing.

Connect to Eva: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US – Follow Eva: GoodreadsWebsite: Eva Hnizdo Writer – Facebook: Eva Hnizdo – Twitter: @EvaHnizdo


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Eva’s novel.. Thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Scifi #Crime Natalie Cammaratta, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

The first book today with a recent review is Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau, a wonderful novel about Vaudeville in the 1920s and the story of life and love on the road. One I can highly recommend.

About Telling Sonny

At nineteen, pretty, vivacious Faby Gagne is still waiting for her life to begin. The time is 1924, the place Enosburg Falls, Vermont. With school over, her time is now occupied with mundane chores and avoiding the crossfire of resentment between her mother and her grandmother.

As the time approaches for the annual vaudeville show to arrive in the village, Faby watches the posters go up with increasing excitement. She is the best kind of audience for the Small Time: she does not discriminate.

When the show comes to the Opera House at last, Faby catches the eye of charming hoofer Slim White, who sets a course for her life that she never could have imagined.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2021

If you’ve ever pinned a photo from Tiger Beat to your wall as a young girl, you can relate to Faby Gagne. Though the time is the 1920s, Faby’s star-struck infatuation with small time vaudevillean hoofer, Slim White, is perfectly relateable – except that Faby is a high-school graduate, not a pre-teen. Her naivete is exposed when Slim turns his attentions on her, solely to suit his own purposes.

In Telling Sonny, Gauffreau creates complex and believable characters and evokes a distinct sense of time and place. I adore small-town America and enjoyed following the path of the entertainment circuit of the day. Faby’s experience as an unexpectedly pregnant, married woman – ill-prepared for either role – makes the reader wince in sympathy. We want to prevent her from making these mistakes with her life, but are powerless to do so. And we understand that this sort of situation has been all too common in our nation’s history.

This book is an absorbing read and includes interesting twists up to the end. We find that Faby has found success as a mother, but we are left wondering if she could have found a way to invite more love into her life. Even her equally naïve sister seems to have managed to achieve that much. Though the story is melancholy in many ways, it leaves one feeling hopeful in the end.  

Also by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Website/blog: Liz Gauffreau – Family History: Liz Gauffreau – Facebook: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @lgauffreau

The next book with a review is the debut novel by  Natalie Cammaratta – Falling and Uprising.

About the book

My star is rising, and I shine. Always.

Serenity Ward is the golden girl of Kaycie. She never questioned her city’s status as the last dry land on earth. The Establishment takes care of its citizens…or so she thought. But now she’s seen the map!

Why would they lie about other islands just beyond the horizon? In a city built on falsehood, figuring out who to trust is its own challenge, but Serenity pulls together a feisty group who all want the same thing—an end to the government which has hidden a world from them.

Bram’s anger drives his own desire for revolution. Being from another island, he was selected to be a brainwashed marshal in service to Kaycie, but he knows what’s going on all too well. Hidden in plain sight, he is ready to draw blood to free the islands. Only dealing with Serenity is the one thing he wasn’t prepared for.

Can two people who were never supposed to meet stop fighting each other long enough to remember who the enemy is?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ricky and Taryn 5.0 out of 5 stars Top 10 list  Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2021

I have been a fan of dystopian novels my whole life, from Hunger Games and Divergent to Brave New World. Falling & Uprising hits that sweet spot for me. There’s just enough unknown, enough romance and friendship it has landed itself among my top 10 favorite books/series. A lot of events went in directions that were unexpected and the end was just enough of a cliffhanger to leave you wanting more. Really hating that I have to wait for the next book in the series  

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon USAmazon UKFollow Natalie: Goodreads – BookBub: Natalie Cammaratta – Facebook: Natalie Cammaratta – Instagram: Natalie Cammaratta Writes – Twitter: @bynataliecamm

The first author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry. This is another book that I can highly recommend.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection on Goodreads

Sep 11, 2021 D.G. Kaye rated it five stars it was amazing
If you’re a lover of poetry and are interested in learning how to write syllabic poetry, or even just as a reader to discover all that’s involved in writing in the various styles of syllabic poetry, this is the book for you. Yes, there are plenty of books written on the subject for sure, but this author has a gift of born ‘teaching’. Her tutorials on how to, as well as great direction in explanations and wonderful use of examples allow us to clearly see what the author is explaining.Syllabic poetry encompasses various styles and syllabic counts with succinct descriptions, from both the English and Japanese style of writing Haiku. The author explains the differences in syllabic counts to various versions of Haiku, as well as teaching us the difference between poetic prose which requires no syllabic count, such as Gogyolka or Tanka Prose. We’ll also learn about many of the various forms of Haiku and Tanka with Haibun, which styles are written from a personal point of view, and writing about nature.

Chesebro takes us through all the various forms of writing syllabic poetry and shares with us the importance of writing poetry, “When we create poetry, we become better writers.” She goes on to explain that we learn from poetry, the brevity of words, urging us to use stronger word choices with minimal words that evoke vivid images. A wonderful guide book to introduce us to the meaning of syllabic poetry and the differences between Japanese and American Haiku. This author runs a weekly poetry challenge that I urge anyone interested in learning to write poetry from the basics and forward to visit her blog.

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro


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