Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – June 30th 2022 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Law Suits and Pit Stops

Author Daniel Kemp entertains us again with his funnies from: Danny Kemp .. Always a place to find funnies and jokes to cheer you up… plus some satirical political commentary on politicians at home and abroad.

Careful what you wish for!

Sadie, a 54-year-old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.

While on the operating table she had a near-death experience. Seeing God she asked, “Is my time up?”

God replied, “no, you have another 43 years, 2 months, and 8 days to live.”

Upon recovery, Sadie decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants, and a tummy tuck.

She even had someone come in and change her hair colour and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

Having finished all her treatment she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, Sadi was killed by an ambulance.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn’t you pull me out of the path of the ambulance?”

God replied:

”I didn’t recognise you.”

Customer Service

I experienced the WORST customer service today. I don’t want to mention the name of the shop because I’m not sure how I’m going to proceed.

Last night I bought something from this shop. I paid cash for it. I took it home and found out it didn’t work. So today, less than 24 hours later I took it back to the shop and asked if I could get a refund.

The girl in the shop told me “NO” even though I still had the receipt. I asked if I could get a replacement instead then. Again this person told me “NO.”

I asked to talk to a manager now as I’m really not happy and I explained that I had just bought the item, had got it home and it didn’t work. The manager just smiled and told me to my face that I was “OUT OF LUCK.”

No refund.

No FREE replacement. Grrrrrrrrr. .

I’ll tell you what…I am NEVER buying another Lotto Ticket from there again …

Last words

In Ireland, the 99-year-old Mother Superior lay quietly.
She was dying.

The Nuns had gathered around her bed, laying garlands around her and trying to make her last journey comfortable.

They wanted to give her warm milk to drink but she declined.

One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen, then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior’s bed, they lifted her head gently and held the glass to her lips. The very frail Nun drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had finished the whole glass down to the last drop.

As her eyes brightened, the nuns thought it would be a good opportunity to have one last talk with their spiritual leader.

“Mother,” the nuns asked earnestly, “Please give us some of your wisdom before you leave us”. She raised herself up very slowly in the bed on one elbow looked at them, and said:


My thanks to Danny for allowing me to raid his Facebook: Danny Kemp

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

A review for The Story That Had No Beginning

Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2021

This book is an interesting and complex story about twins, Tom and Alice Collins, who enter the foster care system at a young age and are raised separately. The book starts with Alicia Collinson, aka Alice Collins, and her sophisticated boyfriend hosting two friends for a dinner party. Unknow to the dinner participants, the ghost of her brother Tom, known as Bobby Brown among his peer group, is also in attendance. It is obvious from the start that Alicia is a woman of good financial circumstances who mingles with the elite of London’s society. It also becomes evident quite early on, that Tom’s life has followed a very divergent path and he was a member of the mafia-styled criminal class.

The book follows the paths of the twins and how they come to end up in their different circumstances and lifestyles. Alicia is a well-know and talented photographer who owns her own home in London and has plenty of money. Tom has money, albeit ill gotten, but he dies the death of a criminal.

Tom is a conflicting character as he is a man involved in high class prostitution and other shady and illegal dealings. Despite being a seasoned criminal, his narration of the story reveals a different side to his character. One that questions the life he lived and celebrates the good fortune and success achieved by his sister.

Alice or Alicia has the great good luck to become the protegee of a wealthy single woman with no children who effectively adopts her and sets her on the road to success in her chosen field of photography. Unknown to the naïve Alicia, her benefactor isn’t everything she appears to be and some of the people she socialises with are infamous for their continuous promiscuous behaviour with the same, or the opposite, sex. In a contrast to her brother, Tom, who is in the centre of the debaucherous lifestyles led by the wealthy upper classes of London, Alicia hovers around the edges, not realising what is right in front of her.

The author has an in-depth knowledge of the illicit behaviour of the British upper class and paints a detailed picture of how greed, selfishness and a complete disregard for the values and ethics of society lead to the downfall of people.

This book will make you question what success is all about and whether it leads to contentment as the stories of the many characters unfold. This is thought provoking tale as despite the huge difference in the siblings financial and social positions, both of them end up with money but neither of them have good reliable partners or simple and happy lives. 

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

Thanks for visiting and I know Danny would love your feedback.…Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Life #Loss by Staci Troilo

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Today author Staci Troilo shares her thoughts on the prompt…..

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now by Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Sally, thank you for asking me to participate in this segment and welcoming me here today.

I’d have submitted something sooner, but I couldn’t settle on what to say. Some of the advice I’d give my younger self is intensely personal and wouldn’t benefit anyone other than me. Then there were other words of wisdom I considered, but they’re so common… I’m pretty sure everyone knows those lessons. (I just wish I’d learned them sooner.)

This is my fourth attempt. I decided if I couldn’t nail it this time, I wasn’t sending anything. (And yes, I recognize the ridiculousness of an editor not being able to revise her own work into something usable.) For better or worse, I was satisfied enough with this one to send it. I hope it’s neither too specific nor too generic.

Here we go.

When we’re born, we’re basically little ids. (In that, I agree with Freud.) There’s no use in me offering advice to my infant self, as I wouldn’t understand it or follow it. Babies simply want what they want, and no amount of reason will make them understand they can’t necessarily have it (or have it that instant). At least at that age, what we want is easy to obtain. We’re hungry, we cry, we get fed. We’re cold, we cry, we get swaddled.

As we get older, we start to develop a conscience. It’s still incredibly difficult to reason, but we’re learning right from wrong and therefore, we’re learning priorities. Mine at that age were simple. I desperately wanted things like a picnic at the park, a trip to the library, a specific toy, or a visit with family. When I didn’t get my way, there was disappointment, ranging from a mild pout to a full-blown tantrum. But I learned pretty quickly that what my parents said was what would be. That meant my priorities, though basic, needed to take a backseat to those of my mom and dad.

As I got older, my desires took on more weight. I’m pretty sure I uttered variations of “If I don’t get X, I’ll just die!” several times a day, where X was anything from a good grade to a specific article of clothing to the affections of my latest crush. Hormones make teenagers completely illogical (and often overdramatic), and everything seemed like a life-or-death situation. Some of what was going on was, in fact, important. A few instances ended up being seminal moments. But now I know most things very much weren’t, though I thought they were at the time.

When I graduated college, I embraced adulthood in all its glory. That meant my concerns had become “grown up” concerns, complete with deep-seated fears of failure in its many forms. I worried about finding the right job, and once I did, I agonized over my performance. The first three jobs I left required two people to replace me because I’d done so much work in those positions. But as I climbed the corporate ladder, I still fretted and feared every little thing in my professional life. And I did the same in my personal life. I bent over backward to please the people most important to me. In so doing, I lost myself and became what other people needed.

I wish I could tell my younger self not to sweat the small stuff. But everything that’s important to us in any given moment seems like the biggest deal of our lives. It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. In school, getting an A instead of a B seemed like the most crucial thing in the world. (It certainly mattered to my parents.) Ask me how many people these days even ask about my degrees or what university I went to…

That would be no one.

I’m not saying good grades didn’t matter, but they certainly weren’t worth the hours of tears I shed over trigonometry and calculus. And as for being a people-pleaser? There’s nothing wrong with trying to make people happy, especially loved ones, but not at the expense of your own happiness. Certainly not at the expense of your identity.

So where am I going with all this?

We always have wants and desires. We’re born with them, live with them, and will have them until we die. And I’m a firm believer that we should pursue them passionately. But also with reason and prudence.

Hindsight and perspective have taught me not every decision is a dire one, not every tense situation is life-altering, and not being true to myself is costly. Tragic, even.

My advice to my younger self would be to not take life (be it people or situations) so seriously all the time. That old adage about the things that don’t kill you making you stronger? It’s a popular saying because it’s true.

For most of my life, I thought losing something or someone I treasured would be the death of me. And as I suffered one loss after another, I failed to learn that wasn’t true. But a few years ago, I suffered a monumental loss and truly believed the pain would kill me. Even wished for it at one point. But surviving makes you strong. No loss is insurmountable. And if you allow yourself to move past the agony and the shame and the guilt, you’ll be better for it.

At least, I think I am.

I wish I could have told myself all this sooner, but I don’t think I would have listened if I did. I tried to impart this wisdom to my son and daughter, and they didn’t grasp the concept. Maybe I’ll have more luck teaching my grandkid(s), though I suspect it’s a lesson that’s wasted on the young. Could be it’s something we all have to learn on our own.

What I do know is I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

©Staci Troilo 2022

My thanks to Staci for sharing her early years. Also such a poignant reminder that loss is inevitable in our lifetime and yet we can survive stronger and more resilient. I know that she would love to hear from you.

About Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about her on her website. Staci Troilo

Books by Staci Troilo

One of the reviews for Between the Vines

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A fun and breezy romantic story  Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2022

Elena is a wedding planner who doesn’t believe in love thanks to the jerks who have been sniffing around her door since high school. Aaron is her cousin Rick’s longtime friend, a cop who’s recently been dumped by his fiancée, Heather.

Heather is now engaged to Jarod, a one-time friend of Rick, until he tried to take advantage of Elena. Sound like a romantic merry-go-round? Oh, just wait until the complications/fun begins!

From the start, the underlying attraction between Elena and Aaron is clear, but several obstacles stand in their way—foremost, Heather, who decides she was hasty in leaving Aaron once she sees him take down a robbery suspect. This woman is the pinnacle of self-centered and shallow. Troilo writes her in such a way that the moment she appears in a scene, you cringe. Heather is a character you love to hate.

But all Troilo’s characters are well developed. Elena is a walking bundle of doubt buried under a core of outer strength. Aaron seesaws between exasperation and attentiveness. Poor guy has his work cut out for him, but bring out the pom-poms because you’ll be cheering for him and Elena from their very first spark of chemistry.

This is a fun novella with snappy dialogue, perfectly paced scenes, and breezy writing. It leaves you with a warm feeling and a happily-ever-after smile. All three Keystone Couples stories are superb, but I think this clever gem might just be my favorite. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –Follow Staci: GoodreadsBlog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo –


Thanks for joining us today and it would be great if you could share Staci’s guest post… Sally.


Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Size Matters: The Sequel by Sally Cronin -#Obesity #Weightloss Introduction.

This is the updated and fifth edition of Size Matters and I had intended to release in 2021 for the 25th anniversary of my initial weight loss. However, with everything else going on in the world it did not seem appropriate to celebrate when people’s minds were fixed on survival in lockdown. Although this serialisation ontains much of the original material in relation to my own personal story, the programme has evolved over the last 25 years.

Although I studied nutritional therapy back in the mid-1990s, I have continued my studies and developed new programmes for healthy eating that are tailor made for the individual rather than a one size fits all. I still believe that the key elements of this basic weight loss programme I will share with you in this updated version works. Even when I work with clients who have arthritis or diabetes, I still approach their programmes from the three dimensions that I outline in this book.

Our physical approach, our mental attitude and our emotions are all factors in how we overcome disease and obesity, and should all be addressed when looking for the right programme that will work for each individual.

I used to weigh 330 lbs and was given a death sentence 27 years ago. I had very high blood pressure, cholesterol levels through the roof and my blood was awash with sugar. I took this swift kick up the backside to heart and did something about it, losing 154 lbs in 18 months and regaining my health in the process.

I am now 69 years old, have a moderately active but busy lifestyle as an author and blogger,and thankfully, do not need medication other than the specific supplements when required. I think about those days 27 years ago, when even climbing the stairs to bed were a challenge and left me breathless. My story, and the programme that I have adapted over the years, is still relevant today, as we face a massive increase in obesity and in the associated health problems – Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and Dementia.

When I was classified as morbidly obese it was very uncommon in the UK, although having lived in Texas in the mid-1980s, it was evident that the obesity epidemic had already begun.

When we arrived in Houston we were met with a wonderful abundance of food, huge portions when out for a meal, and a bewildering array of industrially produced foods in the aisles of the supermarket. In the UK at that time we had fish and chip shops, Chinese and curry takeaway, but we were mesmerised by the amount of fast food available 24 hours a day. It was also clear that manufacturers were already catering more than food for the growing population, with outsize fashion for both men and women making billions of dollars a year.

When I look at group photographs taken at work with other people back in 1995, it is clear that I stand out from the crowd, and not in a good way. I usually avoided photographs like the plague especially when standing next to what I considered to be normal sized people. That sense of being alone as the one obese person in the room has changed dramatically in the last 27 years.

Here are some statistics that are very sobering about obesity today in the UK and I know from doing some research that a similar set of statistics is causing grave concern in most Western countries that are literally the lands of plenty. UK Obesity statistics

• 1 in 4 adults are classed as obese and a further 62% are overweight.
• This makes Britain has the 2nd highest rate of obesity in the world and the largest in Europe.
• 48 billion is spent managing the social causes and healthcare of obesity.
• There are 7 million cases of diabetes, 6.5 million cases of heart disease and stroke and 500,000 cancer cases linked to obesity.
• Hypertension (high blood pressure) was twice as common in obese adults compared to those with a normal weight.
• A BMI of over 30 can reduce life expectancy by 3 years.
• Approximately 68% of men and 58% of women are classed as overweight, however, there are more hospital admissions linked to women.
• Obesity is generally more prevalent in the north of England.
• Morbid obesity rates have almost triple since 1993. This is a BMI of over 40.

This is an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. Unless action is taken in the next few years, these statistics will increase to the point where not only will more and more individuals become crippled and diseased, but so will the health services who will be attempting to repair the bodies at great cost.

I wrote this book over 22 years ago to share my story and some of the strategies that I developed to take back control of my life, body and importantly my addiction to food, particularly a combination of fat and sugars. That combination lies at the heart of the obesity epidemic and if you look at the profile of industrially manufactured foods, they are the leading ingredients.

Another thing you will discover is that I am very anti crash and fad dieting. I starved my body into submission for over thirty years and my body responded by storing everything I ate. I will explain this process in more detail later in the book, but for the moment I just want to reassure you that this programme is about eating and not starving. You need to provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to function and be healthy. This means eating the right food, and plenty of it.

My journey began in despair, with a long road stretching ahead of me. Luckily I had a wonderful team to support me and I would have achieved very little in those first few months without my husband’s love and support. My family, friends loved me whatever weight I have been but I know that they were tremendously relieved when I gave up my self-destructive behaviour and changed my life so drastically.

I still communicate with people around the world who have severe obesity problems as well as those people who want to improve the standard of their health or support their body as it deals with certain medical problems. I believe passionately in the power of food to help you lose weight and regain health and I am on a constant mission to learn more about all the wonderful varieties that are available to us.

This book is not just about promoting a healthier lifestyle. It is a personal story that I hope will inspire other people who are desperate to find a solution to their weight or health problem.

This was my journey and I hope that after reading the first few chapters you will relate how I felt, to your own story, and be motivated to take control of your weight and health. Whether you need to lose 14 lbs. (6 kg), 50 lbs. (23 kg) or 150 lbs. (68 kg), it is still necessary to understand how you managed to become overweight in the first place.

As I have become less active and become more desk bound the weight has a tendency to creep up, so I can assure you that I am not a paragon of virtue. And in fact over the last twenty years, when encountering stressful experiences, I have all too gladly dived back into the sugar and fats that bring such comfort. Thankfully, it does not take long for me to remember how I felt when trying to navigate doorways and stairs, and I give myself a good talking to and get back on track.

The physical, mental and emotional elements of obesity.

There are physical, mental and emotional elements that influence our lifestyle and diet, and remembering those difficult and sometimes distressing times in our lives can be painful. I hope that like me that you also have many happy memories to help bring things back into perspective. When you finally succeed in achieving a state of balanced state of health it gives you an amazing sense of achievement and for me that feeling persists today.

My journey to health was not all smooth sailing and I have climbed a very steep learning curve. For instance, I came to appreciate the power of that little word NO. Instinctively we want to fit in, to have people like and accept us, and so we say YES, but trying to please everyone is stressful and unrewarding.

The satisfaction of eating a bar of chocolate is nothing compared to the satisfaction I feel now when I say NO to eating one. I can now say NO to many things that have caused me harm, though I have had to learn to say it graciously without offending well-meaning family and friends.

My reason for sharing some of the most challenging experiences of my life, is not to gain sympathy but to demonstrate that it does not have to define you and that you can move through it to a much better sense of worth. If you don’t and you find self destructive ways to comfort yourself, the experience or the people who caused your pain have won.

A brief overview of the programme in part two of Size Matters.

I believed in working with people on a one-to-one basis, rather than in a group, helping them to achieve their desired weight loss. In a way that is also achieved today as you read this book or read my health posts on my blog. The program that many have followed over the years when I was in practice, forms the second part of this book. Everything is there for you to design your own healthy eating program around your personal likes, dislikes and lifestyle.

If you are overweight, you need to take back control of your life and your eating habits, and this program is a tool to do just that. No gimmicks, pills or special diet foods, just good healthy eating, several times a day, with some walks thrown in. Nothing hard about that. We all possess the ingredients to ensure the success of this program – determination, willpower and patience. All that remains is to discover how to activate those particular skills and start using them.

My life has been transformed, and there is no way in the world that I will go back to the old life however many times I have been tempted over the last 25 years. Particularly when I remember that my life expectancy at the time was counted in just a few years. If this book makes a similar difference for just one person, then it will have been worth it.

If I can communicate a single message to you it is that obesity, and the misery attached to it, need not be for life.

Next time Chapter One…Life or Death… I am told by a doctor that at 42 it is likely that my obesity related health issues would make it unlikely I would reach 45.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 21 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Bookshelf – New Book on the Shelves – #Humour – Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life by Brendan James

Delighted to welcome Brendan James to the Bookshelf with his recently published debut novel. Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life

About the book

‘Could there be a world of interest and adventure beyond the Midlands? A world of confidence, sex and excitement? A better life – a better me?’ These are the questions Gerard Philey grapples with over New Year, 1995. Sitting in his rented Black Country room, reflecting on his thankless teaching job and miserable love life, he courageously decides to abandon his humdrum existence and embark on a quest for Euro-fulfilment, fun and fitness on the Continent.

After a shaky start in Brussels, events manoeuvre him to Amsterdam where chance encounters shift his world well and truly into fifth gear. He samples the trials and tribulations of new relationships, alongside managing a sex shop in the city’s Red Light Area – on top of the challenges of fat-free living and international travel!

Through his bittersweet diary, we see how Gerard steers a laugh-out-loud course through farcical episodes and fanciful characters…and how entanglements from past and present draw him unwittingly into a criminal underworld where events ultimately take their toll.

One of the early reviews for the book

Helen Grundy 5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous little book! Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 March 2022

What a totally gorgeous read! Very ‘Adrian Mole’, heartwarmingly funny and quite poignant. The book moves at a brilliant pace and it’s funny how you can get a feel for who to love, hate, trust and mistrust in characters who are presented in such short bursts with the diary style. I found myself ‘just reading one more day’ as the drama of Gerald’s new life unfolds in Amsterdam and it was a book I was sad to finish. I can’t find any more by this author but I’m really hoping there’s one in the pipeline as I want to know what happens next. A lovely read for a holiday to make you chuckle. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK And: Amazon US

About Brendan James

Brendan James is the author of the new comedy novel, “Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life”. Though this is his first novel, he has a large number of non-fiction publications (under the name Brendan Bartram) as a former university lecturer and researcher. A passionate linguist and Europhile, he spent a number of years working in the Netherlands, France and Germany. He lives in the West Midlands with his husband. Many thanks for visiting his page and for your reviews!

Connect to Brendan: Amazon UK And: Amazon US –  Follow Brendan: GoodreadsLinkedIn: Brendan JamesTwitter: @Brendan23015569


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news about Brendan’s new novel… Sally


Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – First in Series – #Psychological Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Paranormal Romance Staci Troilo

Over the course of the next three months I will be sharing the authors who feature in the Smorgasbord Bookshelf with the books that I have reviewed and can personally recommend.

In this first part of the summer fair, I am sharing books that are the first in a series in both adult and children’s books along with one of their five star reviews. I hope that this will encourage you to enjoy the series in full. I will feature every author on the shelves by the end of the summer. I hope you will enjoy.

The first book today is A Year in the Life of Leah Brand: A Psychological Thriller by Lucinda E. Clarke and can certainly recommend its gripping story line.

About the book

Leah’s nightmare began the day the dog died.

A few years earlier a fatal car crash took the lives of Leah’s beloved husband and their two babies, leaving her disabled. Life looked bleak. She was approaching forty, unemployed, broke and desperate.

Then she met Mason. He was charming, charismatic, persuasive, and a successful businessman, well respected in the community. His teenage daughter did nothing to welcome Leah into the family, but life is never perfect.

Then, two years into her second marriage, Leah Brand’s world is turned upside down; inanimate objects in the house move, her clothes are left out for the rubbish collection, pieces of furniture change places, there are unexplained noises and hauntings.

As the disturbances increase, everyone accuses Leah of losing her mind. Soon she begins to doubt herself and she starts to spiral down into a world of insanity. Is she going mad, or is someone out to destroy her? And if so, why?

A gripping, psychological thriller for fans of Mary Higgins Clarke and Louise Jensen.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book

T. R. Robinson5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing read. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 February 2020

This is an intriguing read that certainly lives up to its designation as a psychological thriller.

All characters are well developed enabling the reader to visualise and comprehend each. While detesting some they will take to others but will often find reason to question the accuracy of their sentiments. Most will be able to empathise with the protagonist who faces many bewildering ‘challenges’ and may often wonder how she manages to keep going.

The story is set within the usual day-to-day routines of most households however, what in many circumstances could come across as mundane and consequently boring for the reader, are anything but. This attests to the author’s unique ability to bring life to all her stories whether adventure, memoir, or thriller. Lucinda is indeed an excellent author.

The reader will find themselves constantly developing theories and then re-developing them as the tale progresses. This makes the book a lively read that retains interest and curiosity. In some ways the reader wishes to be proven right but would also find it disappointing to be so proven. The book does not disappoint in its ability to keep the guessing going up to, and past, the end.

Indeed, though there is some resolution it is not entirely complete and definitely leaves the reader with anticipation for a sequel. That is not to say there is no satisfaction in the ending although it would probably be more accurate to call it an intermission. 

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

A selection of books by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Blog: WordPress Lucinda E. Clarke — Follow Lucinda: GoodreadsTwitter: @LucindaEClarke

About Lucinda E. Clarke

Lucinda E Clarke was born in Dublin but has lived in 8 other countries to date. She wanted to write but was railroaded into teaching. She fell into other careers; radio announcer, riding school owner, sewing giant teddy bears. She began scriptwriting professionally in 1986 winning over 20 awards. She also wrote mayoral speeches, company reports, drama documentaries, educational programmes, adverts, news inserts, court presentations, videos for National Geographic, cookery programmes and street theatre to name but a few!

She lectured in scriptwriting, had her own column in various publications, and wrote articles for national magazines. She was commissioned for two educational books by Heinemann and Macmillan, and book reports for UNESCO and UNICEF.

She set up and ran her own video production company in South Africa.

The next author is Staci Troilo with the paranormal romance Bleeding Heart (The Medici Protectorate Book 1)

About the book

Passion is desirable. Until it turns deadly.

After her father’s brutal murder, Franki Notaro discovers she and her three sisters are the only surviving, secret legacy of the Medici. The same people who brutally murdered her father now target her and her family for assassination. Unprepared to battle an unknown enemy, she finds her safety depends on the Medici Protectorate, the warriors who guarded her bloodline for centuries but who failed to protect her father.

Gianni DeSanto, Franki’s protector, blows his first meeting with her then scrambles to garner the trust of all the Notaro women. Without that, he fails, too, and that is unacceptable—not only to him but also to the Protectorate. His troubles only grow larger, though, for as he assumes his new role, he also undergoes inexplicable, explosive physical changes… transformations he can’t control. One of which is his uncontainable desire for Franki.

Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and Franki struggles to trust Gianni. When her life is on the line, Gianni will have to conquer both her fears and his own personal demons to rescue her in time.

One of the reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars Characters who stole my heart!  Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2015

Bleeding Heart is an intricately plotted story that weaves together the lives of two groups. The Notaro sisters who run an architectural design firm have just lost their father, John. The patriarch of their family, he was brutally murdered by unknown factions.

The sisters come to learn they are descendants of the Medici, a bloodline that dates back to the time of Michelangelo. Another group, the Brotherhood of Medici Protectorate has safeguarded the Notaro line for centuries. When the sisters learn of their legacy and the Brotherhood, there are immediate clashes— especially between Franki (Francesca) Notaro and Gianni, of the Brotherhood.

The mythology in this book is extremely well-developed. The author really took her time in building a believable and fascinating history for each group. As an example, Gianni and his adopted brothers each carry a stone dagger which is a focal point and an extension of the powers they wield. Gianni’s talent is related to blood and passion. He is able to both heal and inflict wounds, his fiery temperament nowhere more evident than in his passionate relationship with Franki. Their romance is at times steamy and tender, even combustible, but always full of heart.

As someone who grew up in an Italian family, I loved the old-world essence of this book. There are references to the Catholic Mass, Italian cooking, and family traditions. Franki and her sisters fight and argue but are always there for one another. The same with Gianni and his brothers. The guys’ disagreements tend to be explosive, but their loyalty for one another is unquestionable. The mystery kept me flipping pages, but the characters stole my heart. If you love elements  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –Follow Staci: GoodreadsBlog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo –

About Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about her on her website. Staci Troilo


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



Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Therapy Dogs and Age Memoire

Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies followed by some funnies from Sally. Thanks to those who share the funnies on the internet.

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.

My thanks to Debby for excellent foraging

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

Check out Debby’s latest Travel Column: St. Barts

Now for some fun from Sally….

Age memoire…
How old are you Grandma?’ asked little Rebecca.

‘Oh, I don’t know dear,’ said Grandma with a smile. ‘I’ve had so many birthdays, I’ve lost count!’

‘Well, why don’t you look in your knickers,’ said Rebecca. ‘Mine say three to four years old.’


A young man laboured under the delusion that he was a Yorkshire terrier. His friends persuaded him to seek professional help and he went to a psychiatrist for a course of treatment. Some weeks later, he met one of his friends in the street. ‘And how are things now?’ asked his friend. ‘Did the psychiatrist cure you?’

‘Oh yes,’ said the young man. ‘I’m quite okay now. Fit as a fiddle – here, feel my nose.’

An instant cure.

The man approached the very beautiful woman in the pharmacy and asked, “Excuse me, I’ve lost my wife and can’t find her anywhere. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?”
“Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman my wife appears out of nowhere.”


Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column 2022 – The Obesity epidemic – Part One – Finding a point to intervene in the life cycle by Sally Cronin

The Obesity Epidemic – Finding the point in the life cycle to intervene.

Recently news reports in the UK have shared the concern that number of men, women and children who are obese will overtake those of a healthier weight. Daily Mail – Obese people set to outnumber those of a healthy weight by 2030

When I weighed 330lbs and was classified as morbidly obese in 1995, it was unusual for me to be in the same room as someone else of the same weight. In fact looking back at photographs, I stood out like a sore thumb.  Now when you look at a class photograph or a crowd of people across the age groups there has clearly been a shift.

I am not into fat shaming. I lived not only with the weight but the health issues that accompanied this burden on the body. Beginning Thursday this week I am sharing my first book Size Matters, Especially when you weigh 330lbs. It is the journal of my discoveries as I studied medicine and nutrition, designed my health eating plan and lost 150lbs in 18 months. However, in addition to that series I am going to also rerun this series from 2019 looking at where we as individuals and the government might find the point in the life cycle to intervene to prevent what will be an obesity epidemic.

As we continue to hear about the obesity problems of children, teens and adults, it is clear to me that it is a vicious circle without a definitive time in a human’s life to intercede and correct the course we seem to be on.

Obesity is one of those health issues that is complex with physical, mental and emotional elements.

In my career over the last twenty-four years, I have worked with teenagers and young adults whose obesity can be laid firmly at the door of industrialised food, sugars and the fast food industry.

However, it is not just about what they are eating today, but in many cases what their mother ate even before they were born, during her pregnancy and in the recommended (by health professionals included) new born formulas and baby foods.

At twenty-five years old, I found myself responsible for the nutritional health of 120 boys and girls (8-13) in a private school. This was almost 45 years ago and the industrialised food industry was already well established.

I had been cooking for my own business for the previous two years often preparing lunches for 100 hungry lunchtime customers. On my arrival at the school, I found that because there had not been a cook in residence for a term, the majority of meals were frozen entrees that contained 10 portions. The container was placed on each table of students and it was served up by a prefect. There were some potatoes and a vegetable served with it but it was not the best option nutritionally. The headmaster and his wife recognised this, hence my arrival.

Within the month I had done deals with local farmers for fresh eggs and fruit, and was buying meats, chicken and fresh vegetables, with only the staples such as rice, flour, pasta etc being delivered in a packet.

I also introduced the children to some more adult foods such as beef bourguignon and Coq au Vin.. which did lead to calls for ‘more of the sauce please’!

They all had a cooked breakfast each day as well as a bowl of porridge or weetabix. I got cooking 140 (with staff) fried eggs in six pans in 15 minutes, down to a fine art, at the same time as grilling 140 pieces of wholegrain toast, Lunches were meat, chicken and fish on Fridays (with some sauces or gravy), with plenty of vegetables, and either rice, pasta or potatoes. There would be a hot pudding such as apple pie and custard.

There was a high tea with sandwiches or beans on toast, or sardines etc, with cake and fruit. There was cocoa before they went to bed. I would finish the day with 10 – 20 staff cooked suppers.

I had the ‘cook from scratch’ approach to food even then, and even more importantly, as far as the school bursar was concerned. I shaved £2,000 off the catering budget in the first term. Forty five years ago that was a substantial amount of money and proves that even then, packaged food was not only nutritionally inadequate (particularly for growing children) but far more expensive than the ‘cook from scratch’ approach.

So combined with my work as a nutritional therapist in the last twenty-four years, I can draw on 45 years experience of working with food with all age groups from pre-conception to 95, to witness the impact of nutrition on the body, and the diseases directly related to diet. In particular, the reason why even as a teenager my weight fluctuated and how despite my knowledge and determination to be a healthy weight, I still became morbidly obese by the age of 45.

If you read Size Matters the Sequel beginning tomorrow, you will discover the physical, mental and emotional elements to obesity I established had led to my health issues, but with regard to preventing this in others, we need to identify at what point there is a focused intervention to shut down the cycle.

Research lays the cause of at least 75% of diseases at the door marked lifestyle with the food we are eating on a daily basis and our reduced activity.

When do you intervene in the life cycle, to counteract what is fast becoming a life threatening epidemic, and increasingly a huge burden on the health services?

Image by Manuel Alejandro Leon

It is actually too late to start at birth, since the food the mother has consumed prior to becoming pregnant, and during the nine months will have a lifelong impact on her child’s weight and health.  I will cover fertility and pre-pregnancy diet later in the series

If the mother to be is already overweight, consuming in excess of recommended daily intakes of sugar and unhealthy fats from industrially manufactured foods, immediately that she becomes pregnant, it will result in an unhealthy start to the fetal development.

During pregnancy, if the mother does not drastically reduce these two components of her diet, and introduce health alternatives such as good fats, plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit, moderate carbohydrates and protein from lean meat, poultry, fish, and adequate vegetable sources, the baby will be born already addicted to sugars and undernourished.


Breastfeeding a baby is as natural as you can get, and for millions of years that was the norm. And immediately after birth is a critical phase, when the vital immune boosting Colostrum is produced by a new mother for the next 48 hours. This encourages the digestive system to begin functioning, kick starts the immune system to protect from viral and bacterial infections as well as providing essential nutrients.

Breastfeeding is now at its lowest in the UK for a number of reasons, including ‘expert’ insistence on getting a baby into a feeding and sleep routine as quickly as possible, rather than every two hours that the lower volume breast feeding requires. Also there is the social stigma of breastfeeding in public places. To be fair, it does require some discretion, but every woman should be able to breastfeed her baby when it is needed. Since that is usually every two hours, it is difficult to manage if you are outside of your home environment.

It used to be that babies would be breastfed until they were 18 months old, and in some cases older, especially if supplemental to a restricted access to food. Now it seems that six months is the average, with only 1 in 200 women breastfeeding their baby after a year old.

There are of course mother’s who cannot breastfeed physically, and this means feeding the baby with one of the many formulas on the market.

This is where the multi-billion baby food industry kicks in to take advantage of this reduction in providing a baby with its most natural food, and according to a recent report, if your baby was already addicted to sugars at birth, you can satisfy any cravings with sugar laden jars of pureed baby foods. In addition many will contain the highly unhealthy corn syrup.

That combination of added refined white sugar and corn syrup in baby formula is the number one cause of obesity in babies and children

‘Research by the World Health Organisation suggest there are an additional 124 million children and adolescents worldwide. While just under 1% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 were obese in 1975, more 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) were obese in 2016′

These additives and other chemical elements such as preservatives, continue to be introduced into the diet when babies are weaned onto pureed foods and then semi-solids.

I am afraid that however many times it says on the tin of formula or on the jar of baby food that it is all natural, it does not necessarily mean healthy natural food that our baby will thrive on. The sugar began life as natural as did the corn sugar, but they are mutated by the time they get into the food chain to toxic elements.

They do not have any place in a baby’s diet nor adults for that matter.

The trouble is that marketing ‘experts’ will tell you that you are safe feeding your baby their formula and semi-solids.. but what about the nutritional experts?

A good start was made in Europe when all sugar sweetened formulas were banned in 2009. There are now more brands that are using lactose to sweeten and the number of organic brands of formula are on the increase. However, for many new mothers, especially those on a budget, the price of these healthier forumula’s is much higher than the highstreet brands.

Here is a post on organic brands, but I do suggest that you check out the reviews of the products: Best Organic Baby Formula 2022

Homemade baby food

I know that immediately there are going to be issues of time and convenience brought up.. But having checked the cost of jars of baby food and their contents, I can say with certainty that you can produce a week’s worth of baby food, from scratch that is healthier and cheaper than any on the shelves, and in less time than it takes you to do the weekly shop! More about that later in the post.

Parents are being ‘misled’ by baby food companies marketing sugar-packed baby meals and snacks as healthy, new report warns

Analysis of thousands of baby products showed high levels of added sugar
WHO Europe said it’s a danger for babies’ teeth and could lead to obesity
More than 30 per cent of calories in half of the products came from sugars
Sugars accounted for 70 per cent of the food calories in fruit purees

The World Health Organisation has called for a ban on added sugar in baby food and warned against ‘misleading’ health claims on labels.

Analysis of thousands of baby products in Europe, such as pouches and jars, revealed high levels of sugar across the board, even in savoury products.

It could cause baby teeth to rot and increase the risk of obesity and related diseases by giving the child a ‘sweet tooth’, the WHO warned.

Even though some sugars are naturally present in fruits and vegetables, it’s a ’cause of concern’ that more is added, a report said.

The organisation is one of many which have recently urged a wipe-out of added sugars and sweeteners in foods for children under three years of age.

You can read the rest of the post HERE

There are a number of sites that provide a step by step guide to weaning a baby from the bottle at six months, but I notice that on many of them their first preference is fruit juice and then pureed fruit.

  • I would prefer to see this list vegetable led and you can make a clear vegetable soup by cooking carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, courgettes (zucchini) and parsnips together, keeping the water they are cooked and sieving out the juice from the vegetables…don’t add salt or sugar. Then as the baby moves onto semi-solids you can puree the vegetables themselves. You can freeze in portions making enough for several days.
  • Avocados are excellent as a first food at six months as they contain healthy fats and a quarter of a medium avocado is great fist sized healthy addition to the baby’s diet.
  • If you do give your baby fruit juice try apple without any added sugar and the same with pureed apple.
  • Pears are also good to introduce as they are one of the least allergenic fruit.
  • Papaya and bananas are also easy to digest and bananas are useful to take with you when traveling as well as to ease any stomach upsets.
  • Baby porridge makes a good start to the day, and you can also introduce well cooked baby rice into the savoury dishes.
  • From seven months you can start to add some pureed chicken or cod.

I found this website which lists the top ten mother and baby sites including one that has some great baby food recipes: 10 Best Parenting Websites

Here is just one of the videos on Youtube where mothers share their organic recipes and tips for first baby foods and as you will see towards the end of the video – the equivalent amount organic baby food in the supermarket works out at three times as much as the homemade, and despite being organic the shop bought will still have preservatives added. Uploaded by DoItOnaDimeFAMILY

If you are like me and of an age where pureed food might be an option in a few years!!! Then please pass this on to the younger generation who might help to turn around this tide of obesity that is sweeping our countries.

I am aware that many young mothers will still follow the path of using the cheapest formula and baby food options on the shelf through necessity, but I hope that education through the prenatal and new mother classes will help them discover the healthier and often cheaper options and how to give their babies a great start in life.

Next week – Breakfast clubs, School meals, Domestic Science and meals at home.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

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

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin


As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1998 Part One – Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston, Boyzone.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2022.

Here is my first selection of top 1998 hits which I hope you will enjoy.

Celine Dion – My heart will go on

“My heart will go on” is from the soundtrack of the James Cameron film “Titanic” composed by James Horner and Will Jennings. “My Heart Will Go On” became a global hit, topping the charts in over twenty countries. It won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Song and dominated the Grammy awards, winning Record of the year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Japanese Gold Disc Award for Song of the Year.

February 18th Andrea Bocelli makes his operatic debut as Rodolfo in “La bohème” at the Teatro Comunale in Cagliari 

Shania Twain – You’re still the one

“You’re still the one” was penned by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, for the album “Come On Over.” It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, becoming Twain’s first top-ten hit in the US. Although it never topped the chart, it is recognized as her most successful crossover single. The song peaked at #7 in her native home Canada, and internationally, it reached #1 in Australia for four weeks, #3 in Ireland, and the top 10 in the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK. It was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won two: Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was ranked #46 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ‘90s.

February 24th Elton John knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London

Now time for my first picks from 1998 and I hope you will enjoy my selection.

Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston – When You Believe

“When You Believe” is a song from the 1998 DreamWorks musical animated feature The Prince of Egypt. It was written and composed by Stephen Schwartz. A pop single version of “When You Believe”, with additional music and lyrics by writer-producer Kenneth Edmonds, was also recorded for the film by American singers Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston for the film’s end credits and its soundtrack album. The song peaked at number 15 on the Hot 100 and number three on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. Whitney Houston

March 9th Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment signs then unknown rapper Eminem

Boyzone – No Matter What

“No Matter What” is a song from the 1996 musical Whistle Down the Wind that was popularised by Irish boyband Boyzone in 1998 when they recorded it to tie in with the show’s first UK production. The song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman, while Lloyd Webber, Steinman and Nigel Wright produced the track, with additional production by Franglen & Lupino. The song was also featured on the US edition of the soundtrack to the 1999 film Notting Hill, and was released to American radio on 10 May 1999. The song became their fourth number-one on the UK Singles Chart, with its three-week stay atop the chart making it Boyzone’s longest-running number-one single. In the UK, the song has sold 1.15 million copies and another 3 million worldwide.Boyzone

June 15th 32nd Music City News Country Awards: Neal McCoy, Lorrie Morgan & Billy Ray Cyrus win

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 90s: 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 1998 Part two – We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.