Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Rewind– November 30th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Houses and No Good Deed

Firstly, with the results of previous sleuthing on the Internet are some funnies from Debby Gies followed by some jokes from Sally.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.



Thanks to Debby for finding these treasures… please give her a round of applause..

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

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

Now for a joke or two from Sally

No good deed

As a man is walking down the street he sees an old man sitting on the pavement just outside a pub, a fishing hat decorated with hooks and colorful floats on his hat and a fishing rod in his hand. However there is no river or lake anywhere near and his fishing line ends in a puddle of muddy water on the other side of the street.

“Oh that poor soul”, the man thinks to himself and says: “Hello good man. Why don’t you let me invite you to a drink in that pub over there?” The old man agrees and they sit down for a beer.

Since the situation is pretty awkward the guy who invited the old man doesn’t really know how to break the silence, so he just orders another few rounds of drinks. Finally he has gathered the courage to ask the old man: “And? Are they biting?”

The old man puts on a smile and says he can’t complain. Surprised by this answer his companion asks: “Really? So how many have you caught today?”

The old man takes a large sip from his beer and replies: “Including you? That would be eight I believe.”


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

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – #Dogs – The Frustrated Hunter by Annabelle Franklin

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 and on occasion I might dip into months either side to share gems. Submissions are now closed but there will be another series in January 2022.

This is the first post from children’s author Annabelle Franklin and shares her love of dogs…and her guest is Keith..

The Frustrated Hunter

Hi, Keith here! Annabelle has been telling me about Millie and Pearl, the two dogs who used to live here before. She said they used to leave their bodies and astral-travel to Storyland to hunt down ideas for her stories. Of course, all dogs can astral-travel – that’s what we’re doing when you think we’re asleep, and our paws are twitching – but Millie and Pearl must have been very clever to find their way to Storyland and bring back ideas. All I want to do when I astral-travel is chase astral rabbits.

Let’s face it, all I want to do is chase rabbits, full stop. I was born and bred to do it, and for the first four years of my life that’s what I was trained and encouraged to do. I love my foster home and I enjoy my walks, but it’s a bit of a pain having to wear this silly face mask when we go out – it’s not like I can catch or spread that scary human virus.

Annabelle says all Greyhound Rescue Wales foster dogs have to wear a muzzle because GRW would be responsible if we bit anyone. I’m used to it now, and it’s not uncomfortable, but having this basket over my face makes it impossible to catch anything, and it’s most frustrating to see the rabbits sitting outside their burrows laughing at me.

I suck at wildlife photography, but this really is a rabbit

The only consolation is that my friends Snip and Frieda never catch any rabbits either, and they don’t even have the excuse of a muzzle.

So I won’t be hunting down story ideas on the astral plane unless the muzzle comes off when I’m hunting on this plane. My astral time is muzzle-free and I intend to use it all for catching rabbits!

Where dat wabbit?

©Annabelle Franklin 2021

My thanks to Annabelle for allowing me to share from her archives and more dog fun next week.

About Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin has published two children’s books, Gateway to Magic and The Slapstyx. She is a member of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, and her short story Mercy Dog has been published in award-winning anthology Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918 (Accent Press). She also has a story Haunted by the Future in the Circle’s 2016 horror anthology Dark Gathering. She is currently working on a supernatural comedy series for children.

Books by Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Annabelle: Goodreads – Blog: Annabelle Franklin – Twitter: @Anabel1Franklin


Thanks for dropping in and I know Annabelle would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Children’s – My Baby Bear Brother and Kong and The Hungry Crocodile by Joyce Murphy

Joyce Murphy has two lovely new children’s books out for Christmas – I will give you the Amazon links for UK and US.. but also  lternative links to buy the print book for Irish Readers who are unable to buy print copies from Amazon..

The first book is for ages 2-7 and is My Baby Bear Brother...

About the book

Baby Bear makes an appearance into the family much to Mama and Papa Bears delight but one little bear is not so happy and that is Big Sister Bear Dottie. This is the story of an unhappy big sister whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a new baby. Read about Dottie’s journey from jealousy to love, as an unexpected event gives her an opportunity to become a caring big sister for a very frightened little baby bear.

Told in bouncy rhythm and rhyme, this light-hearted, sweet picture book story can help children and toddlers to adjust to a scary time with lots of changes and explore their feelings during what can be a challenging time in family life.

My Baby Bear Brother will engage children of different ages in different ways, making it an ideal book for the entire family. Ideal for toddlers and older children ages 2-7 who find themselves with a new rival for their parent’s attention.

Buy the print book for Irish ReadersAmazon Germany – And: Buy The Book IrelandAmazon UK – Amazon US

The next book is the second in the series about Kong the Gorilla… and is for 5 to 10 year olds. Kong and the Hungry Crocodile

About the book

More fun adventures with Kong, the Magic Gorilla.

Frankie, a very hungry crocodile with bad eyesight and glasses that don’t fit her eyes, is looking for a nice dinner. And she is so excited to hear Olan, Joyce and Fiona swimming in the big river that the hungry crocodile sneaks up and chases Joyce who gets cramp and can’t run away.

Will blowing the magic whistle that Kong gave them bring the Magic Gorilla to save her? And will Frankie every stop biting Kong’s bottom?

With Frankie fighting very hard to save her dinner, some baby crocodiles wondering why their mother has disappeared, Kong searching for his magic stick, the one that makes things appear and disappear, the children are in for another magical, fun, jungle adventure.

Kong and the Hungry Crocodile can be read as a stand-alone jungle adventure story or as a follow on from the book,

‘Kong and the Magic Jungle.’ This book is perfect read aloud or as an early chapter book for children aged 5-10 years and can also be a good choice for reluctant readers.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd:Amazon US –  Buy the Book Ireland

Also by Joyce Murphy

A review for Kong and the Magic Jungle

I bought this book for my nephew 9 years and my niece 7 years. They both loved it and their mother said they have reread it more than once. I read the story myself, being pulled in by the fun image on the front cover and found it funny, exciting and endearing. It is a fast moving adventure story of three children living in the jungle but the main protagonists are Joyce and Olan aged 7 and 8 and their friend the Magic Gorilla. The children explore the jungle and make friends with the talking animals living there; they get into fun scrapes, learn some lessons and get gifts along the way. It really is a breath of fresh air and a great story for boys and girls alike.  

Read the reviews and buy both children and poetry books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – follow Joyce: Goodreads – Blog: Joycie Reilly Poetry – Twitter: @JoycieReilly

About Joyce Murphy

I have been a scribbler all my life. We didn’t have money for writing paper in my house so I scribbled stories and poems on anything I could get my hands on. Wherever scribbling material was to be found, I wrote on it. This included between the lines of my Enid Blyton books, the white top and bottom margins of my parent’s ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Coat’ program, bits of copybook paper and even blank pages torn from other books.

The poems found in my book, ‘Inner Rumblings,’ were written on small pieces of paper, torn out copybook pages and even on blank pages at the end of my biology book – lack of paper was never going to stop my urge to write.

My goal is to inspire joy and play in children and help them discover themselves and their world through story. To this end I also use my poetry and poems to run adult creative voice workshops. I am a proud self-published author with a unique vision of the world and our place in it. A love of animals and the environment is close to my heart and also runs through my stories for small children. I am also a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

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



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1983 Part Two – Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler, The Eurythmics

Each week William and I select two top hits from the charts in the US and UK 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. We are now in the 1980s.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my second selection of top 1983 hits which I hope you will enjoy.

News EventJuly 21st Thunder storm cuts short Diana Ross’ free concert in NY’s Central Park

Spandau Ballet  –  True 

“True” was a worldwide hit, peaking at #1 in the UK Singles Chart and staying there for four weeks, becoming the sixth-biggest-selling single of the year, and reaching the top ten in many countries around the world. “True” was Spandau Ballet’s biggest hit and their only top ten hit in the US, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Adult Contemporary chart for one week. It received a BMI award as one of the most played songs in US history, with four million airplays.

News Event: August 21st Jerry Herman’s musical “La Cage aux Folles”, based Jean Poiret’s French play of the same name , opens at Palace Theater, NYC; runs for 1761 performances, wins 6 Tony Awards

Michael Jackson  –  Billie Jean 

“Billie Jean” was the second single from the album “Thriller” (the best selling album of all time), written by Michael Jackson, which he produced with Quincy Jones. He earned eight Grammys for the album “Thriller” including Record Of The Year (for “Beat It”), Album Of The Year and Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical), all of which Jackson shared with Quincy Jones, while grabbing trophies in the Pop, R&B, and Rock fields. In a list compiled by Rolling Stone and MTV in 2000, the song was ranked as the sixth greatest pop song since 1963. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed it at #58 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and it was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

News Event: September 22nd The Everly Brothers reunite after 10 years apart in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London

Now time for my second picks from 1983 and I hope you will enjoy my selection.

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. It was written and produced by Jim Steinman, and released on Tyler’s fifth studio album, Faster Than the Speed of Night (1983). The song was released as a single by Columbia Records in 1983.
The song became Tyler’s biggest career hit, topping the UK Singles Chart, and becoming the fifth-best-selling single in 1983 in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the single spent four weeks at the top of the charts. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Worldwide, the single has sales in excess of 6 million copies. Bonnie Tyler

News Event: November 17th Film “Yentl” produced, directed and starring Barbra Streisand and Mandy Patinkin premieres, based on play and story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a song by the British new wave music duo Eurythmics. The song is the title track of their album of the same name and was released as the fourth and final single from the album in early 1983. The song became their breakthrough hit, establishing the duo worldwide. Its music video helped to propel the song to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single released by Eurythmics in the US.  Eurythmics

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 70s: Playback FMWikipedia

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 Venue – Cave 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 – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Next week 1984 Part One. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – #PickleBall —A Growing Sport by Pete Springer

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 and on occasion I might dip into months either side to share gems. Submissions are now closed but there will be another series in January 2022.

This is the first post by Pete Springer and is about the origins of a sport that is growing in popularity, and one I had never heard of…

Pickleball—A Growing Sport

A recent pickleball match on Jack Haase’s homemade court.

One of the main reasons I retired was to make more of an effort to take better care of myself. That’s the point I discovered the wonderful sport of pickleball. I can’t recommend this activity enough for those looking for a great sport that combines power, touch, and a great workout without too much running. It is a social sport because the games are short, and typically one plays with different partners against multiple opponents. One of my former teaching colleagues, Jack Haase, introduced me to the sport.

For those unfamiliar with the game, pickleball does not involve pickles. It is a relatively new sport, having been around since 1965. It combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. How the game began is an entertaining story in itself. The game originated on Bainbridge Island, just off the coast of Seattle, WA. As sometimes happens with inventions, it started almost by accident when three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, came up with an idea to keep their children busy and out of their hair. Being curious about things like this, I found this fascinating interview with Barney McCallum, who retells how they came up with the idea.

There once was a commonly held myth that pickleball got its name from the family dog named Pickles, who was notorious for running away with the ball. It made for a great story to have a sport named after a dog, but the reality was that pickleball came before the dog. One of the Pritchard children, Frank, remembers that the name came from his mother. Frank’s mother was a competitive rower, and the term used for the slowest boat in those races was “the pickle boat.” Another one of the Pritchard daughters, Peggy, said they owned two dogs named Lulu and Pickles. She maintained that the dog, Pickles, was named after the sport instead of the other way around.

Pickleball is played in a badminton-sized court (44ft. by 20 ft.) with singles or doubles. The latter seems to be the more popular version. It’s a pretty easy game to pick up. I learned how to play on my first day trying the sport. The best way to learn is to watch a small sample of the game and then dive right in. This short introduction on YouTube teaches the basics of the game.

Most beginners struggle with learning they can’t be in “the kitchen,” the no volley zone close to the net. The only way a player can enter the kitchen is when an opponent dinks the ball into this area.

The only equipment required to play pickleball is a paddle, a ball, and a court. Paddles can be as cheap as $15, but expect to pay anywhere from $60-$200 for a quality graphite version. The ball is made of plastic and has holes, similar to a whiffle ball. People play pickleball indoors or outdoors. Players will notice some variation in the balls as the outdoor ball is slightly heavier since wind can affect the ball’s flight. My brother, Tom, lives in Minnesota and enjoys playing golf and tennis in the summer, but he plays pickleball indoors in the winter when the weather turns cold and snowy.

In deciding to write this article, I knew the one person I wanted to highlight was my friend, Jack Haase, an all-around great guy. I got to know Jack through our years teaching elementary school together. He was a fabulous teacher, and I enjoyed working with him for many years. Equally impressive is his selfless nature and willingness to give back to the community.

It’s hard to know where to begin with all of the things he has going on, but I’ll start by highlighting his willingness to donate blood. Jack first donated blood back in the mid-70s while attending Humboldt State. He recently got a sticker for 34 gallons donated. That reflects an astounding number of 272 pints in separate donations. Jack primarily donates his plasma these days and encourages others to do the same. He estimates it takes only about two hours once a month.

Jack has been a leader for over 35 years in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Most of this time was spent as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 54 in Eureka, CA. Former Eureka Mayor Frank Jager is the longtime Scoutmaster, a man Jack holds in the highest regard. For the last few years, Jack has served as Committee Chairman.

As if that wasn’t enough, Jack has been a local football official since 1980. He just completed his 41st year as a high school referee. Until the last few years, he also officiated youth football games. Jack usually officiated a high school game on Friday night or Saturday afternoon with several youth games on Sundays during the football season. Some of his favorite memories as an official were working games with his son, Patrick. Jack has a lot of pride knowing Patrick followed in his footsteps and had the opportunity to become the head referee (the official wearing the white hat).

Head referee, Jack Haase (center) and the rest of the officials prior to a game. That’s Jack’s son, Patrick, second from the right.

Two generations of officials–Patrick Haase (left) and Jack Haase (right).

At 67-years-young, Jack remains active by playing a lot of pickleball, which he began playing 5-6 years ago. In a typical week, he plays several times. Jack prefers the outdoor game over the indoor version but enjoys playing either. His favorite parts of the game are the exercise, competitiveness, strategy, and all of the friendships he has formed.

Pickleball is not just growing in the United States. It is booming internationally as well. Jack and his wife, Wendy, enjoy traveling, and he is always on the lookout for another game. He uses a phone app to locate games when they’re on their road trips. There are also Facebook pickleball forums where players worldwide can discuss and debate just about any aspect of the game.

One of the cool things that Jack and some of the other local pickleball players have been able to do is tour other countries and get a cultural learning tour interspersed with pickleball in several cities. Jack has already taken part in trips to Costa Rica and the Netherlands with other local players. They had a trip planned to Ireland last year that got canceled due to Covid.

Pickleball is great for any age. These are partners Luis Martinez (left) and Jack Haase (right)

Pickleball is a very social sport as you play with many different people. This is Jack Haase (left) and Mike Garcia (right).

There are quite a few people playing pickleball locally. With fewer people playing tennis, pickleball courts are sometimes replacing tennis courts or placed inside these courts. It can be confusing for tennis or pickleball players since the courts are different sizes with many other lines painted on the court.

Pickleball lines painted on a tennis court. Photo credit to Pixabay.

As a skilled craftsman, Jack frequently involves himself in home repair projects. Not only is he good with tools, but he also has confidence in his construction abilities. One admirable quality he possesses is a mindset of not being afraid to try something new.

When Covid happened, Jack took this fearlessness to a new level by making a pickleball court at his house. One of the first choices was to decide whether he wanted to play on concrete or asphalt. Concrete might hold up a little longer, but asphalt would be easier on the legs, so he went with the latter.

After he hired someone to lay asphalt down in part of his yard (just large enough to put in a pickleball court), Jack and his oldest son, Patrick, painted the lines using large squeegees for most of the application. They learned how simply by watching a lot of YouTube videos. One doesn’t use ordinary paint for a project like this. They used specialty paint made to hold up longer to outdoor use on asphalt. Jack added sand to the paint to provide better footing. It took two coats of primer and two coats of the finish color to complete the job. Jack wanted to offset areas on the court with different colors. Typically, courts are situated with a north/south orientation to avoid playing with the sun in one’s eyes. The dimensions of Jack’s property did not allow for that, so they had to place the asphalt in an east/west direction. It’s not a huge problem, but it is harder to play at certain times of the day.

For several months, Jack and his friends played with a portable net, but he decided to install something more permanent. In the last few weeks, Jack put up a new net attached to poles in the ground. As of now, it is the only court in Humboldt County with a permanent net.

It is no surprise that Jack’s court draws a lot of attention as people walk or drive by. He enjoys talking to people who stop and want to know more about pickleball and his court. When I approached Jack about writing this article, he was receptive to the idea—not because he has a big ego, but because he wants to promote and teach others about the game. He is a true ambassador to the sport.

The first coat of Jack Haase’s home project. See below for the finished product.

This is the finished court completed by father and son (Jack and Patrick Haase.) 

©Pete Springer 2021

My thanks to Pete for allowing me to share posts from his archives and I hope you will head over to check out his other posts.

About Pete Springer

My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over three years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.

When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.

I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!

While I was teaching, I decided that one day I would write books for children. That ship is now in the harbor. I took some writing workshops, found a writing critique group, joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I recently finished writing my first middle-grade novel. I’ve always connected with kids, and this is my new way of teaching.

My debut MG novel, Second Chance Summer, just got professionally edited, and I will be querying in the coming weeks.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof



Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Mystery – The Waiting House: A Novel in Stories by Lisette Brodey

Delighted to share the news of the new release by Lisette Brodey…the mysterious The Waiting House: A Novel in Stories.

About the Book

From the author of Hotel Obscure

Once an opulent hotel for lovers of the Hollywood lifestyle, today the imposing building survives, somewhere, as an apartment house for those who wait. Not all know what they’re waiting for, but the residents live in flawed concert with those of undetermined existence, among relics of the past, as they wait for answers, for lost loved ones, and for purpose.

While the stories feature different characters, many of whom are recurring, each tale couples with its own unique reality … and is narrated by Conrad, the “grand master.” There is an overall story arc: part literary fiction, part Twilight Zone … both with a healthy dose of dark humor.

If you step inside, you’ll meet Ava Elisabeth, now in her 80s. After 40 years in Paris, she has returned. But why? Darah, the owner, is tormented by the sudden reappearance of her estranged mother, Millicent.

Kenny finds a way to overcome the despair of his missing wife. Fiona lives in the shadow of her once-famous, movie-star mother. Former Santa, Alejandro, punishes himself with solitude and sadness. A disturbed woman, Carolyn, waits for her TV prince to come. And Lee is tortured by random people who slide down walls near his fourth-floor apartment. Under the same roof, each soul has a different story … but all live in The Waiting House.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Lisette Brodey

One of the recent reviews for Love Look Away

Sue L. Janson 5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. . Brodey has done it again.  Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2021

I always enjoy Lisette Brodey’s books, especially the ones with a comedic flare. I loved her book, MOLLY HACKER IS TOO PICKY, so was delighted to see that LOVE LOOK AWAY, is set in the same town of Swansea, NY and that Molly was back even as a minor character in this book. Sage, owner of Sage Earth Gifts, a metaphysical shop, is through with men since being recently jilted by her finance’, Caleb, when he ran off with her best friend. But, Ms. Brodey artfully reminds us that one should never say NEVER. Not only does she bring Caleb back, but also introduces two other men into Sage’s “no more men for me” life. Godiva, the hired on the spot, partner in Sage Earth’s Gifts is a godsend for the shop and a perfect fit and voice of reason into Sage’s upheaveled life. The animal lover in me, appreciates that Sage’s constant companion is of the canine variety. I am not compelled to give away more of the story in this review, as I want readers to experience it first hand.

This delightful story has just the right touch of snarky people, intertwined with twists, turns and a surprise ending, that I was not expecting. It is also filled with many humorous and poignant moments. Ms. Brodey is a wonderful storyteller and I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a refreshing relief from the crazy world in which we seem to be living.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Lisette: Goodreads – Website/blog: Lisette Brodey – Twitter: @LisetteBrodey – Facebook: Lisette.Brodey

About Lisette Brodey

Lisette was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles.

She’s a multi-genre author of nine novels and one short story collection: Crooked Moon (General/Literary Fiction); Squalor, New Mexico (Coming-of-Age/Literary Fiction); Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (Women’s Fiction/romantic comedy), The Desert Series: Mystical High; Desert Star; and Drawn Apart (YA paranormal/magical realism), Barrie Hill Reunion (Literary Fiction); Hotel Obscure: A Collection of Short Stories (Literary Fiction), Love, Look Away (Women’s Fiction/romantic comedy), and The Sum of our Sorrows (Contemporary Fiction.)

In addition to her nine novels and one short story collection, two more of Lisette’s short stories are published in an anthology: Triptychs (Book 3, The Mind’s Eye Series.)


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books.

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Memoirs – D.G.Kaye, Pamela S. Wight, Cynthia Reyes, Karen Ingalls, Marian Longenecker Beaman

Today I am sharing some of the memoirs on the shelves of the bookstore often poignant, heartwarming and always inspiring. Great gifts for lovers of real stories.

The first memoir is by D.G. Kaye and is a self-help book which will strike a chord with all women of a certain age! Meno-What?: Memorable Moments of Menopause.

About the book

“I often found myself drifting from a state of normal in a sudden twist of bitchiness.”

From PMS to menopause to what the hell?

D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.

Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A memoir/guide filled with good humor and good sense Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021

I tried to read this book in bed before nodding off, but my husband made me go downstairs… apparently my laughter was keeping him up. As someone who’s gone through “The Change,” I found this book highly relatable and, at times, laugh out loud funny. Kaye recommends laughter as a way of dealing with this shocking stage of life, and her account of her own battle with menopause and post-menopausal changes demonstrates that conviction.

Kaye gives an overview of the biological changes, reminds us that she isn’t a doctor, and clarifies that every woman will experience this misery in different ways. Besides offering plenty of opportunities for laughter, she provides suggestions for ways to manage our changing bodies. I especially related to her discussion of post-menopausal changes that begin with a stage called “What the Hell?”

Her anecdotes are relatable… the covers on/covers off routine… opening the car window to let the snow blow in… “alligator” skin… sagging, spots, you name it, she covers the gamut and all with sardonic wit, disbelief, good sense, and a determination to fight back. This book is a memoir but one that doubles as a guide for women during their menopausal journeys. Highly recommended.

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – : Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

Our lives collect moments that stand out in our memories…as in the case of  Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Oct 15, 2021 Darlene Foster rated it five stars

I was taught if you look hard enough, you will find something in common with everyone you meet. I haven´t met Pamela Wight in person but I feel like I know her well and it didn’t take much looking to find I have a lot in common with her. I love these vignettes of life that she describes so well. She had me laughing and crying, often at the same time. Who hasn´t been caught dancing around the house to a favourite song, embarrassed their children or longed for a heart to heart with a young adult son. The author´s love for her mom, spouse, children, grandchildren and dogs pours off the pages. These ordinary stories prove that when we put together the pieces of our life, we can see it is an extraordinary life after all. A feel good read.

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

Also by Pamela S. Wight


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Pamela : Goodreads – website:Rough Wighting – Twitter: @pamelawight

Next Cynthia Reyes with a recent review for her memoir which is her journey from early life in Jamaica to North America… A Good Home.

About the Book

A Good Home is an addictive read, a profoundly emotional book about the author’s early life in rural Jamaica, her move to urban North America, and her trips back home, all told through vivid descriptions of the unique homes she has lived in — from a tiny pink house in Jamaica and a mountainside cabin near Vancouver to the historic Victorian farmhouse she lives in today, surrounded by neighbors who share spicy Malaysian noodles and seafood, Greek pastries and roast lamb, and Italian tomato sauce and wine (really strong wine).

Full of lovingly drawn characters and vividly described places, A Good Home takes the reader through deeply moving stories of marriage, children, the death of parents, and an accident that takes its high-flying author down a humbling notch. Its pages sparkle with stories and reflections on home as:

A foundation on which to build connections with children, relatives, and friends
A place to celebrate the joys of elegant design, overflowing gardens (except for the wisteria vine, which cannot be coaxed into blooming), and the sharing of good food
A wise teacher, showing us who we really were — and who we really are

When this brave, clear-eyed, and honest book returns, full circle, to the way it began, readers will want to read it all over again.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is the second of the author’s three non-fiction books purchased and read over the summer – what a gift!

There are three themes:

1. How your physical and emotional environment becomes you and vice versa

2. How one’s faith is messy at times – we are not promised an easy road, just company along the journey

3. How life’s trials do not come in neat little packages, but persistence and love will help you unwrap them

All three themes resonated with me. I loved learning about the author’s early days, family tales, homes, and gardening, some different from mine, many the same. I also love how she is candid about struggles with faith and openly expresses her questions, not suppressing them as most do. In turn, she is provided with candid responses that support her journey. I also read with tremendous interest the author’s experience with post-trauma recovery which is oftentimes messy and requires sheer persistence during the “going-through” phase until the light breaks through the clouds. I found myself cheering her on as she navigated and negotiated her recovery process!

Such rawness is rare and a sublime talent to do so with poignancy. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

Also by Cynthia Reyes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – Amazon CA – And : Amazon UK – Follow Cynthia : Goodreads – Website:Cynthia ReyesTwitter: @CynthiaSReyes

The next memoir with a recent review is written by ovarian cancer survivor, author and retired nurse.. an inspiration Karen Ingalls – Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Survivor.

About Outshine

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage II Ovarian Cancer, she realized how little she knew about what was once called ”the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, Ingalls redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that ”the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation.”

Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir is a story of survival, and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robin McGraw 5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and well guided Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2021

I have had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ingalls at a few of the support groups recently. I am a one year survivor of endometrial cancer. Karen has been so very helpful to myself and many other survivors as this I am sure of. She is there for any question or encouragement you may need. She is truly an inspiration to be positive and on the right path with my journey going forward. I read her book Outshine recently and find her even more amazing as she has shared her inner thoughts and own journey with us. The book is very well written and very interesting to read as she takes you through a life with Cancer and the challenges it faces for many of us. Thank you Karen for being so thoughtful, caring, inspiring and truly a wonderful human being!!! I look forward to reading more of your books in the future. Much Love to you and your family.

Other books by Karen Ingalls

All proceeds from the book sales go to gynecologic cancer research.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

The next memoir is by  Marian Longenecker Beaman the story of her life growing up within the Mennonite community… Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

Different moments in Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl stood out to me such as running through old tombstones from the Revolutionary War (the fact that they were just there on the path Marian played on really captured my imagination), the unfortunate relationship with her dad who was so unreachable and the frustrating showdown over her completely appropriate clothing choices with the “leaders” of the school. I also enjoyed the “everyday” photos from her life like the kitchen utensils and recipes. They, quite literally, brought me into her home. But I think Marian Beaman’s love story with her husband Cliff and how it led her to exactly where and who she was were supposed to be is what stays with me the most. And his drawing of Marian is beautiful.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman


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

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – #Poetry – #Tanka – Dancing in the Moonlight by Gwen Plano

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

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. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 and on occasion I might dip into months either side to share gems. Submissions are now closed but there will be another series in January 2022.

This is the second post from author Gwen Plano and I wanted to share some of her lovely poetry that she writes in response to the challenges she participates in.

Author Colleen Chesebro offers a new poetry challenge this week. Interested poets are to choose a flower and explain why it is special to them — using a syllabic form.

When I was 19, I transferred to a university in San Francisco. To my surprise, daffodils were everywhere present. Venders sold them on the street corners, and the yellow blossoms blanketed vast areas in the parks. I fell in love with them, and to this day, they are my favorite flower. I’ve tried to capture their magic in my tanka poem:

Dancing In The Moonlight.  


©Gwen Plano 2021

My thanks to Gwen for allowing me to share the posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.. hugsx

About Gwen M. Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she out and about in the beautiful Ozark mountains which she now calls home.

Books by Gwen M. Plano

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USfollow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – November 28th 2021 – #Reviews Colleen Chesebro, #Guestpost Marcia Meara, #Christmas Eat Dessert First, #WATWB D.G. Kaye, #MeatFree Carol Taylor

A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last week and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full… thank Sally.

The first post is from Colleen Chesebro who shares her reviews for the entire series The Vindlanders Saga by Frankie Robertson

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve not been disappointed! This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to four fantasy novels I absolutely loved!

Head over to discover more about the series and read Colleen’s reviews for the four books: The Vinlanders Saga by Frankie Robertson

The next post is from Marcia Meara with another in the Ten Things You May Not Know About Me series.. this week author W. D. Kilpack shares some interesting and diverse snippets.. and also his books..

Today, I’d like you to help me welcome another new visitor to The Write Stuff, author W. D. Kilpack. I think you’ll enjoy his Ten Things list as much as I did, so let’s get to it. Take it away, Bill!

Ten Things You May Not Know About – W. D. Kilpack

  1. When I was a kid, I was convinced I was growing horns. My mom would feel my head and say, “Yep, and they’re getting bigger!”
  2. I served as editor of the newspaper at Westminster College of Salt Lake City and editor-in-chief of the newspaper at West Jordan High School.

Head over to discover the other 8 interesting facts about W.D. Kilpack: Marcia Meara and W.D. Kilpack

The next post is actually from around this time last year but I came across it and Part B when looking through one of my favourite dessert sites – Eat Dessert First Greece..I think you will enjoy reading the post and trying out the sweet treats. Christmas food around the world. – Part B can be found: Here

Doing our research to prepare our Christmas articles, we found a very interesting website dedicated to Christmas. Among the many elements we singled out the descriptions of the foods and sweets that are traditionally consumed at the Christmas table. So in our new Christmas article we will get a taste of Christmas food and sweets from different countries of the world, we will get to know Royal Bee, a new Greek company from Chalkida that operates in the honey industry, and we will make with their honey our delicious Greek melomakarona to prepare for the upcoming holidays.

Head over to read part one: Eat Dessert First Greece – Christmas Table around the world part A

In this month’s #WATWB We are the World #Blogfest.. Debby Gies shares the story of an innovative young British teenager who saw a need within the deaf community and took steps to make it happen.. Inspiring.

We are the World Blogfest

#WATWB – We are the World #Blogfest #RandomActsofKindness, New App for Hearing Impaired – Sign Language

Welcome to the last post for the year for the WATWB – We are the World Blogfest. Each last Friday of the month, a group of writers contribute an article about something good going on in the world to deflect from so much of the negative going on in the world. For this month, I’m sharing my finding of a new App for the hearing impaired.

British High School senior, Mariella Satow, found herself stranded in New York during the pandemic and in between her online school classes she decided she wanted to teach herself how to do sign language. Later, Mariella couldn’t find one streaming platform that added sign language 

Head over to find out more about how Mariella made a difference: Random Acts of Kindness – New App for Hearing Impaired.

If you are looking for a meat free alternative to have over Christmas or to make a change from all the rich foods on offer, here is a recipe from Carol Taylor that looks delicious.

CarolCooks2…Today’s recipe from my kitchen…Cheese and chard pie with preserved Lemons…

This lovely Pie would make a lovely meat-free pie for Christmas dinner served warm with some lovely fresh vegetables…

Cheese and Chard, pie with Preserved Lemons. 

Head over to find the ingredients and method to create this delicious vegetable dish:Carol Taylor’s Cheese and Chard, pie with Preserved Lemons.


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1979 Part One – The Lady Magazine, Into the Unknown, Queen and Rocky by Sally Cronin

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

The Lady Magazine, Into the Unknown, Queen and Rocky

In the spring of 1979 a number of events took place that made me realise that I needed to put a little more distance between me and my past. I gave my notice in at the school at half-term in February and began buying The Lady Magazine again weekly. After all I had found one great job in its classifieds and hopefully I would find another.

I was sad to leave the school, the teachers and the pupils as it had been a wonderful 15 months where I had regained my self-confidence. I had travelled to foreign countries and other parts of Britain but never really gone far on my own. Perhaps time to rectify that.

I applied for a number of positions in the hotel industry and one in particular caught my eye. Gothic mansion, three star hotel in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. I had to send my details, experience and a photograph with details of when I could start before the season began at Easter.

A week later I received a phone call from the then manager who asked a few questions and I later found out; checking my speaking voice out. A few days later I received an acceptance letter with travel instructions to reach the hotel the day after the school broke up for the Easter Holidays.

In those days of course there was no Internet and heading off to the depth of Wales was equivalent of running off to Panama. Or so my parents thought when I told them!

With two suitcases and a sense of trepidation I boarded the train from East Sussex and connected in London for a train to Wales.

11 hours later I arrived late at night at Barmouth Railway station, cold and hungry and very nervous. I was the only passenger to alight and I stood in the freezing cold with my two suitcases and waited as I had been instructed to do. Out of the dark night came a booming voice.

‘Are you the girl for Bontddu Hall Hotel?’ Since I was the only one shivering in the dank dark night, I would have thought it was pretty obvious.

I followed a swaddled figure with a torch into the car park where a dark sedan loomed into view through the mist. OMG… What had I let myself in for? My two cases where dumped in the back seat and for the next fifteen minutes we travelled in silence. I did however determine that the driver was female and that she was not very talkative.

We turned into an impressive stone gateway and up to the Gothic frontage of a large building. Without a word my driver got out and removed my cases from the back of the car and dumped them by the large wooden arched door. I got out and watched as the car was turned around and watched the back lights disappear into the mist.

I had no choice but to ring the bell on the wall… As I stood quaking from fear and cold I heard the heavy tread of footsteps dragging themselves it seemed down a very long corridor.

With a creak the door swung inwards and there stood………..

And you will have to pop by next week to find out who was standing in the entrance hall!!

In the meantime the music of 1979 continued to be a little mixed as to style and the top hits of the year included Art Garfunkel with Bright Eyes from the film Watership Down, Cliff Richard with We Don’t Talk Anymore, one song that I played continuously by Dr. Hook, When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman.

The Boomtown Rats mirrored most people’s opinion with I Don’t Like Mondays and Ian Dury and the Blockheads with one of the best pickup lines of the decade. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick!

Since I could dance all night and Queen are up there with Status Quo for me for those years….. Here is Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen Official  

As to films that year it was a little difficult to get to the movies but did eventually did get to see most of them at some time in the future. They included the stomach ripper Alien.. Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer, Escape From Alcatraz, Being There with the wonderful Peter Sellers, Star Trek, The Champ and Rocky II. Here is the theme song from the movie and one that you are bound to recognise.

 Thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane and next week 1979 Part Two… Sally.