Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – New Year’s Eve Party – Contributors, Community and Music

Welcome to the New Year’s Eve party and an opportunity to thank the friends who have contributed amazing posts throughout the year and those who have visited, commented and kept me motivated.

It would be impossible to mention everyone but I do hope that you know how much your support means to me as a person, blogger and author.

I cannot take all the credit for the blog as I have an amazing group of contributors who bring their expertise and talent to the weekly line-up.

William Price King – American Jazz singer, musician and composer has been writing the Music Column for the last eight years.

This year The Breakfast Show every Tuesday hosted by the two of us has been showcasing the hits of the 1940s onwards. On Fridays William shared the lives and music of the music legends of the last 100 years.

In 2023 William and I will continue to co-host the Tuesday Music show and we have selected the top Big Band Era hits to share with you. Along with the dance crazes and the incredible dancers who delighted us with their footwork. The first show is on January 3rd and every Tuesday throughout the year.

William has some stunning performances on his YouTube Channel and here is just one of my recent favourites Autumn in New York

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

In 2023 I will continue to promote the authors in various ways. I also want to utilise my podcast as an additional platform and this includes recording the blurb of new books on the shelves to share in the promotional post but also on Anchor and Soundcloud along with the book cover and links. The authors can also embed the audio blurb on their own blogs if they have WordPress or are on a blogging platform that is compatible.

My focus in 2023 is also going to be on my book reviews with some more reading time if I can wangle it. There will also be the usual Summer Book Fair, Christmas Book Fair and a new interview series.

Now time for some music to liven this party up….one of my all time favourites from Creedence Clearwater Revival and you will have to excuse me for a few minutes as I have to get up and dance.

Now time to thank another contributor who has been providing wonderful recipes and support for the blog for the last seven years and Carol Taylor’s first contribution was a post about her dog Saangchai and Soi Dogs in 2016. She then began to share her food expertise the following year.

 Carol Taylor lives in Thailand following along career in the catering industry who has written the Food and Cookery Column for the last six years. In 2021 Carol brought The Green Kitchen to Smorgasbord with a wonderful mix of food, recipes, sustainability, conservation and commonsense.. This year Carol shared her A-Z of food and culinary terms with some great recipes and that continues through to mid- 2023.

One her own blog Carol Cooks 2 Carol shares a wonderfully varied exploration of food, culinary terms and processes, conservation, sustainability and healthy eating, along with some entertaining Saturday Snippets to end the week.

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

Time for some more music and another of my favourites Christina Aquilera courtesy of her official channel..Christina Aguilera you can check out her albums Amazon  – I will be back after his brief dance break.. if I don’t pull a muscle….

Another amazing supporter to the blog for the last seven years is D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies we began emailing each other back in 2015 and Debby’s first Travel Column was posted here in 2018 followed by the Relationship Column. Debby has also been co-presenting the Laughter posts for several years and has great foraging skills when it comes to finding gems.

D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies – Non-fiction and memoir author who loves to pack her suitcase and take off to warmer climes and wrote the Travel Column for two years before sharing her wise words on relationships in 2020 and 2021. This year Debby began a new series of Spiritual Awareness which has opened our minds and hearts to the essence within us all that reaches out to others… That will continue through 2023 and Debby has some new ideas for later in the year to share with us.

Debby published a new book just before Christmas which I loved and I know will be enjoyed by many.

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

Time for some music, and as I still need to catch my breath back from dancing around the kitchen to Christina… time to slow things down. Celine Dion with The Power of Love and wishing you all that magic in 2023. Released at the end of 1993 in Canada and the US and hitting the UK Charts in 1994 –CelineDion 

Time to thank two contributors who also bring the funny side of life to the blog… and first the best selling author Daniel Kemp who allows me to steal funnies from his Facebook page to share with you.

For the last four years author Daniel Kemp has permitted me to share his funnies from his facebook page in the Open Mic Night once a month

Daniel Kemp is an 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.

Here are a few examples of the hilarious funnies to be found on over to Danny Kemp  .. Facebook page.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

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

The next song is from one of my favourite all time bands and we had a rerun of the two Mama Mia films again recently and I expect we will watch them again in a year or two. Brilliant… here is Mama Mia. ABBA’s Music: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

In the last two years it has been entertaining to have another Open Mic regular join the comedy team..Author Malcolm Allen

Malcolm’s funnies never fail to make me laugh and I know that he has also entertained the audience for his Open Mic nights here once a month.  Here is just a small selection.

About Malcolm Allen

The author was born in London UK and experienced a challenging childhood, leaving school with no academic qualifications at the age of 15. He had mixed fortunes in his early working days but managed to secure a job in the banking industry at the age of 19. During a period of 32 years he enjoyed a demanding and successful career in London, the pinnacle of which was becoming a Company Director at the age of 37. Following a life changing experience in November 1998 he emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in September 2001, relocating to his current home in Melbourne, Australia in November 2015.

Buy the book: Amazon US And:Amazon UK – And: Amazon AU

And the last song today is Katrina and the Waves and even when it is bitterly cold outside with pouring rain, it always cheers me up…If you are lucky enough to be spending the holidays in the Southern Hemisphere then I guess you will already be walking on sunshine. Buy the music Amazon


Thank you so much for spending some of your holidays with me and I hope that you will join me and my friends again in 2023… Happy New Year.. Sally ♥


Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – December Book Reviews Round Up – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Romance Stevie Turner, #Fantasy #Fairies Colleen M. Chesebro, #Food #Environment David Moscow, #SocialMedia Alex Craigie

A reminder of the books that I have enjoyed and reviewed during December.

About the memoir

This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal steppingstones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.

From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it and navigating by the seat of her pants.

My review for Fifteen First Times December 21st 2022

The author has a natural conversational style of writing that draws you in as if she is talking to you personally. Her memories prompt the reader’s own experiences at similar ages, and raises a smile or two at the similarities between girls of a certain age, however many thousands of miles they live apart.

This is particularly true in this collection of stories as Kaye shares episodes from her childhood such as playing in her mother’s stiletto shoes which would fuel a lifetime’s love of footwear, a first kiss, and taking that first puff of a parent’s discarded cigarette.

With the smiles comes the tears, as we identify the moments of loneliness and isolation as a girl becomes a woman without the support needed from a mother, a dysfunctional family life, and the loss of a much loved friend who shared the formative years between teens and late twenties.

At the end of the collection is a wonderful tribute to her late husband, who made her laugh every day and was the first and last love of her life.

D.G. Kaye writes with poignancy but also great humour, which makes these first times all the more delightful and memorable. The experiences are not just relevant to girls growing up, as many are relateable to boys and young men coping with the cultural and social expectations of the day, and finding their way in life and relationships. Take a walk down the memory lane of your own life in very good company. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and pick up a copy at your local Amazon: Fifteen First Times Universal Link

My review for Falling December 17th 2022

This is a riveting story of how dreams and expectations can be shattered in seconds and how rebuilding your life can be full of twists and turns.

The author has the great knack of exploring human nature with all its complexities in a creative way. She brings the characters to life so well you almost feel you have met them or someone like them in your own life.

You also have to consider how you would react under similar circumstances and it is fascinating to follow the paths Olivia and James follow after their life changing encounter. There are few choices for them it seems and they both carry the weight of regret, guilt, despair and a desire for revenge and atonement. Romance seems highly unlikely to be on the cards for this ill-fated couple, but you can never underestimate the human spirit and its will to survive.

There are some interesting bit players who are woven into their story who push the couple in and out of their relationship, but it is heartening to discover the strength and ingenuity of the human spirit as they towards a better understanding and respect for each other.

A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of elements, twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages to the end of the book. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

My review for Fairies Myths,& Magic II December 15th 2022

This is a delightful collection of poetry, flash fiction and short stories for any time of year but particularly during this festive season.

The collection begins with a wonderful introduction to the Winter Solstice with dates of the other seasonal festivities throughout the year. Also the background to the word ‘Yule’ and its significance in pagan beliefs along with some of the myths that linger on in our modern day celebrations. We also get to meet the winter yule faeries and their interactions with humans.  There are some intoxicating Green Fairies that will certainly encourage you to lose your inhibitions.

A poem celebrating Samhain is followed by a mystical story of a family deeply indebted to an unforgiving faery queen leading to revelations from the past and a desperate attempt to change the future.

This is followed by over seventy other amazing poems and stories that are a mixture of light and dark elements associated with mid-winter around the world. From the author’s home near Lake Michigan to ancient myths of Yule from the Shetland Islands, Ireland, The Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, Ancient Greece, Germany, Japan and within the Native American Culture. All these legends have a very similar theme running through them.

“Yule personifies the great darkness before the dawn, and before the growing light shines brightly again.”

Towards the end of the collection we are offered further explanations of the twelve days of Yule and the sacred plants, symbols, rituals and crystals associated with the season.

This is not just an entertaining read, it is packed with details about this festive season we all love. Deep rooted within so many of our cultures, it is a magical celebration that crosses different belief systems and differences to remind us of our connection to nature and the seasons. I can highly recommend.

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

My review for the book December 10th 2022

This is a thought provoking and inspiring exploration of the food we eat, the complexities of the production processes to bring it to our tables, and its sustainability. It also looks at a number of the factors at play including cultural, environmental and political, as well as the demands of a rapidly growing population.

The author during his travels and his foraging missions around the world, shares the fascinating history of the people, the land and food sources available and current day challenges. He also introduces us to extraordinary people making a difference in terms conservation, food production and the provision of water to their local and wider communities, but also raises serious questions about the future.

For crops to grow water is essential, but on the island of Malta, will their efforts to manage the limited water supply be put at risk by the over building and massive increase in population, complacency, swimming pools and a possible rise in sea water?

As the number of those hunting for their food declines in the United States will the funding for essential conservation projects dry up? And is ethical and responsible hunting for food, more humane than mass farming, where animal welfare is not necessarily part of the process?

The book is also highly entertaining, as the reader becomes the spectator, watching the author sourcing the ingredients to create specific meals suggested by his award winning guest chefs. Not an easy task for the film crew following him by any means. For example being waist deep in a river to farm oysters, searching for allusive octopus in Malta, hunting wild boar in Texas and fishing for cigar fish in the South China Sea.

In Kenya there is the search for the sausage tree fruit accompanied with laughing hyenas at dawn and innovative local regenerative agriculture. Garnished with a lifetime inspirational interview with Richard Leakey.

Certainly heading in search of the best pizza in the world resulted in an interesting encounter with a mozzarella maker, having first milked an unwilling water buffalo by hand, then a search for ancient wheat, tomatoes and anchovies.

Many of the ingredients featured, are ones we usually take for granted, and do not necessarily prepare to make the most of their taste or nutritional value. The chapters are an eye-opener and inspiration to regard our food in a far more mindful manner.

There are some wonderful recipes created by the exceptional chefs that prompted this search for ingredients at the back of the book, offering an opportunity to put this mindfulness to good use.

Moscow believes this exploration of how different cultures grow, harvest and prepare their produce is an important part of becoming closer to the food we eat. In contrast to the distance and lack of appreciation for the food production process imposed by shrink wrapped steaks from the supermarket. It also instils an appreciation for the millions of workers who make a living putting food on our plates, often putting their lives in danger in the process every day.

The message I took from this remarkable book is that there is hope for the future of our planet, but there needs to be more action taken to preserve and to find innovative ways to grow the food we need now, and in the future. We have to start taking an individual and collective responsibility to ensure the long term viability of the food providing our nutritional needs.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to have a clearer understanding of the complexities, sustainability and also the wonders of the food on our plates, and also enjoy an adventure story set in some of the more remote and less visited parts of the world.

Read the reviews and buy the book in print and Ebook: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads

My review for the book December 3rd 2022

A suspense novella that hits close to home for anyone who shares their life online, particularly if they have celebrity status.

For Emmie Hobson the nightmare has just become a reality. Her reputation as an  author and presenter has taken years to establish, and she is much loved by both parents and the children who read her books and watch her television programme.

The unscrupulous editor of a celebrity focused magazine, works on the principle of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story. Manipulation of events, photographs and hearsay are the weapons of choice, and a total disregard for the devastating consequences of the vitreol, are the spoils of this vicious campaign.

Unfortunately fame is not admired by everyone. There are those whose lives are not as fortunate, who see the glitter, but not the hard work required to reach this level of success, and take great pleasure in bringing that person down.

The story explores the devastation this kind of onslought can bring to an individual, their families and those close to them. It highlights how difficult it is to counter the allegations, especially when those responsible keep throwing more fuel on the fire.

As always the author has a wonderful grasp of human nature and paints a graphic picture of how quickly this kind of online bullying can escalate. The characters are wonderful, and whilst feeling empathy for those being victimised, those who are behind the campaign will certainly infuriate and anger the reader.

It is a cautionary tale for all of us who share our lives online. Is this a sobering read? Absolutely. However, the author has one or two solutions up her sleeves and there are very satisfying moments that will have you cheering for the good guys. And they are out there, attempting to make themselves heard above the noise of the mob.

I can highly recommend to anyone who enjoys an emotion stirring story that carries you along to a well choreographed climax.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK And: Amazon US


Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Have a lovely Christmas.. Sally.



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from My Archives 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – #Story – #Dogs – The Sanctuary by Sally Cronin

While I am on a semi-break and making my way with much enjoyment through my towering TBR, I will be sharing a selection of short stories from my various collections that you might enjoy as you finish off the remaining treats from Christmas.

Today a story of a dog and acts of kindness that will change his life for ever. At this time of year the sancturies are bracing themselves to accept even more unwanted or ill-treated pets. They deserve our thanks and also donations. Especially smaller local sancturies that don’t have the support of the larger charities.

The Sanctuary

The policeman brought the dog in to the sanctuary first thing in the morning and Sarah processed the paperwork whilst their volunteer vet John examined the listless dog lying on the table. She was horrified to read how this emaciated dog had been found in a filthy shed chained up and barely alive.

She could tell from the grim set of the policeman’s lips that he was affected by the terrible condition of the animal and shared her anger.

‘What is going to happen to the owner of the dog, this is appalling cruelty and surely he should be prosecuted and sent to jail?’

‘I agree with you as I have dogs myself, but unfortunately at the moment the most that usually happens is a fine and a ban on owning animals for five or ten years, very few are imprisoned. They are monitored by the animal welfare groups but they move house or even the town, and then we lose touch with them.’

The policeman left and Sarah joined John who had attached a drip to the dog having shaved some of the matted fur on his foreleg. She stroked the dogs ears and they twitched beneath her fingers. As she ran her hand gently down his long nose, his tongue licked her fingers and tears ran down her cheeks.

Over the next few days the team worked to re-hydrate and hand feed the dog soft foods that would be easy to digest. When he was showing a slight improvement, the staff removed his matted coat to reveal his wasted body, washing him gently to remove the dirt that had accumulated over the years. John thought he was around three years old and that he was barely half the weight he should be. Throughout this handling the dog would occasionally lick a hand that stroked his face, and the staff were amazed at his gentle nature, despite the abuse he had suffered.

They had taken photographs at every stage of treatment from his original condition on arrival, and as more signs of abuse were discovered in X-rays. There were forwarded to the police and the animal welfare group dealing with the case, hopeful that some form of custodial sentence would result.

Several weeks passed, and the dog now named Danny, continued to improve as he received loving attention from all the staff. They tried not to have favourites, as so many of the dogs and cars in their care had endured abuse; all needing their time and care to recover. As with all their rescue pets they hoped to find a loving home for this new addition to the kennels, but something about Danny’s temperament made them even more attached.

Eventually it was time to find a foster home where he could begin to adapt to a normal life as part of a family. Because the court case was still pending, it was decided that Sarah, who had recently lost her elderly dog Simon, would take him home until a more permanent solution could be found.

As predicted Danny’s former owner, a twenty-five year old plumber, was fined and banned from owning any animals for ten years. Sarah had attended court and waited outside as he left and joined his cheering mates as they crowded around him. They walked off down the road towards the nearest pub and disappeared inside to celebrate.

Danny continued to thrive and having put on weight and grown back his shining black and white coat, it was easy to see that he was a collie cross, probably with a retriever. Sarah brought him to work with her everyday where he spent time in the office giving any staff on hand his loving attention. It was decided that Sarah would formerly adopt him, and having signed the paperwork, a party was held with a tail wagging dog the guest of honour.

A year later, Sarah and Danny were walking in the local park enjoying a beautiful spring day, when she spotted a man and a dog across the grass. Although he was wearing a baseball cap he looked vaguely familiar and Sarah became concerned at the way he was hauling on the lead attached to the dog. He then raised a stick and hit the dog on the back and it yelped loudly enough for her to hear it across the park. Beside her Danny growled, something she had never heard before and she looked down as he strained against his leash.

‘What is it Danny?’ She looked back at the man who was now walking in their direction with a subdued dog by his side with its head down. Danny gave an even more aggressive growl as the man lifted his head as he neared them, and Sarah recognised him.

She held onto Danny’s lead tightly as she wasn’t sure what he might do, but he just moved between her and the approaching man and dog protectively. As the man passed them he leered at her.

‘Nice dog, want to swap?’

Sarah and Danny followed the pair at a distance to the entrance to the park and saw a van with a local plumbing company logo on the side. The man opened the passenger side door and hauled the dog into the seat by its collar and turned to walk around to the driver’s side.

Unaware that he had been under surveillance for the last few minutes, he started the engine and drove away. Sarah stopped recording and put her phone away, watching as the van pulled into traffic. She headed back to the sanctuary with Danny now calmly walking beside her.

Following enquiries online, Sarah discovered that the plumbing company had a head office in the centre of town, and after she finished work that day she put Danny in the car and drove to their address. She posted an envelope through the door and then dropped off another at the local police station for the attention of the officer Parry who had brought Danny to the sanctuary.

The next day as she manned the reception desk at the sanctuary the door opened and the policeman smiled as he walked across reception.

‘I shouldn’t really be telling you this, but we arrested a suspect this morning for breaking the ban on owning an animal, and we also found in his van several items of stolen property from homes he has worked in over the last few weeks.’

Sarah nodded in satisfaction.

‘What about his dog that he was with yesterday?’

‘He has been removed and is being looked after at a vet’s clinic in the centre of town but I have recommended that he be brought to you to care for until the case comes to court. I hope that is okay with you?’

Later that afternoon a burly middle-aged man came through the front doors and approached the desk. He had a grim look on his face and Sarah reached for Danny who was sat by her side, reassured by his nearness.

‘I want to speak to Sarah; I understand that she works here?’

Not sure how this angry man had got her name, Sarah hesitated.

‘Officer Parry gave me her details and I want to talk to her.’

Feeling a little less threatened she stood up behind the counter.

‘I’m Sarah, how can I help you?’

I just wanted to let you have this.’ The man slipped an envelope across to her.

She reached for it and looked inside. There was a cheque for a thousand pounds made out to the sanctuary.

She looked up at the man who was staring down at Danny leaning against Sarah’s legs.

‘You sent photographs of the dog that had been abused and photographs of my son and his new dog yesterday.’ He looked up at Sarah. ‘Is this the dog in the first photographs?’

‘Yes, this is Danny.’

‘He told me the dog had been run over just over a year ago and I had no idea that he was capable of such things.’ Tears formed in the man’s eyes and he turned away.

‘I’m really sorry and I hope that the money will be put to good use to help other animals.’

He opened the door and turned to look at her once more before closing it behind him. Sarah could tell that he was deeply affected by the discovery of his son’s cruelty.

She looked down at Danny as he sat leaning against her leg and stroked his head. She may not be able to save them all, but at least this gentle dog’s search for a loving home was over.

©Sally Cronin 2021


My latest book is a poetry and short story collection – Variety is the Spice of Life.

One of the reviews for the book

Balroop Singh rated it five stars it was amazing

True to its name, this book is packed with a variety of syllabic poetry, pulling at the strings of your heart with poems like ‘Face in the Mirror,’ accompanied by a beautiful picture of the poet and her mother – a reminder of her laughter. ‘The Waltz’ captures the joy of two hearts beautifully. Cronin’s poems are short and meaningful, most of them capture vibrant colors of life. Even drought doesn’t escape her discerning eye. Robins, starlings, bees and butterflies come alive in her poems. If blossoms remind us of fleeting opportunities, bees convey a profound message of diligence and persistence. I’ve read these poems again and again – such is their appeal!

Sally’s short stories have always been my favorite, as they bring out the best of human values. I loved ‘The Healer’ and ‘Home Help’ but the winners are the marmalade cat and robin of Miss Lloyd. Cronin’s love for furry friends shines through her stories. I highly recommend this lovely collection to readers of all genres. 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK And: Amazon US


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – Podcast – Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you enjoyed the story.. Sally.


Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Rewind- December 29th 2022 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Balance and Remote Controls…

Firstly, some funnies from the archives of Debby Gies

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 expert foraging…

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

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Old Souls

Now something from Sally’s archives…..



From the Washington Post Style Invitation, in which it was postulated that English should have male and female nouns. Readers were asked to assign a gender to a noun of their choice and explain their reason.

The best submissions:

SWISS ARMY KNIFE: male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.

KIDNEYS: female, because they always go to the restroom in pairs.

TYRE: male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

HOT-AIR BALLOON: male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it… and, of course, there’s the hot-air part.

SPONGES: female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.

WEB PAGE: female, because it is always getting hit on.

SHOE: male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.

COPIER: female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed, and it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.

ZIPLOC BAGS: male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.

SUBWAY: male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

HOURGLASS: female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMER: male, because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.

REMOTE CONTROL: female…Ha! You thought I’d say male. But consider: it gives man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Thank you for joining us today and Happy New Year… look forward to making you smile for 2023… thanks Sally and Debby.



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from Your Archives – 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – Alternative 12 days of Christmas by Sue Wickstead

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1200 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience…

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 has been along the same lines and is a celebration of Christmas and New Year.

Look out for a new archive post in the Spring.

Today teacher and children’s author Sue Wickstead shares a  retelling of the Twelve Days of Christmas to mark the year she left teaching full time and started her new life path on January 6th .

My New Year starts on the 6th January. (The day I left full time teaching and started the next part of my journey.)

The song 12 Days of Christmas’, takes you to the 6th January. It is Epiphany and the coming of the Kings. The time for decorations to be down and away until next year. So here are my 12 days

(Warning… this song goes on and on! You will be glad when Christmas is put away, maybe?) 

12 Days of Christmas by Sue Wickstead

(Including buses and Lego with a little bit of craft work in between.)

On the First day of Chrismas my true love gave to me,
A Bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Third day of Chrismas my true love gave to me,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Fifth day of Chrismas my true love gave to me,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Eighth day of Chrismas my true love gave to m,
Eight macrame bells,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Nine cups of bus tea,
Eight macrame bells,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Ten Christmas badges
Nine cups of bus tea,
Eight macrame bells,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eleven Lego notebooks,
Ten Christmas badges
Nine cups of bus tea,
Eight macrame bells,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.

On the Twelth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 shiny bus toys,
Eleven Lego notebooks,
Ten Christmas badges
Nine cups of bus tea,
Eight macrame bells,
Seven crochet doilies,
Six cross stitch crackers,
Five bus story books.
Four Santa mats,
Three Lego angels,
Two shiny baubles
And a bus bag beneath the Christmas tree.


We made it!

What would your 12 gifts be?

©Sue Wickstead 2022

My thanks to Sue for sharing this delightful way to celebrate her creativity since she gave up teaching full time. A wonderful exercise for children perhaps at the end of the Christmas term.

A small selection of books by Sue Wickstead

One of the reviews for David’s Bathtime Adventure

Rob M. 5.0 out of 5 stars we loved this  Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 14 November 2022

We love David and his vivid imagination; how much fun he had whilst enjoying his bath. Diving down through the bubbles to begin an adventure with his amazing frog shower cap that I am very jealous of, the illustration style of Sue Wicksteads book is a style that reminds me of my childhood added to fun stories that remind me of my own children and their bath time adventures that like David’s mum always end up with a sopping wet floor and more towels needed than children we have. How many toys can you find after the bath has finished when as a mum you finally get in and discover a dumper truck or dinosaur (my sons personal favourites) that has somehow managed to find its way in to my own bath. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead

About Sue Wickstead

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.

Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!

For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.

As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.

‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.

Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

Thanks for dropping in today and I know Sue would love to hear from you… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from My Archives 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – #Story – Prince Charming by Sally Cronin

While I am on a semi-break and making my way with much enjoyment through my towering TBR, I will be sharing a selection of short stories from my various collections that you might enjoy as you finish off the remaining treats from Christmas.

Since it is the pantomime season, I had to include a story that featured a Prince Charming… and a very picky princess…

Antoine Gros, Painting, Oil On Canvas, Art, Artistic

Prince Charming.

Sonia looked through the lead glass window of her bedroom, and watched as her three brothers disappeared into the distant forest. The dark trees swallowed them in an instant, and closing her eyes she imagined she was beside them; riding Anica her white filly. How she loved the trails through the dark woods that suddenly opened into sun dappled glades of wild flowers and mushrooms. But her father had banned her from accompanying her carefree brothers, decreeing that it was time at seventeen to adopt a more ladylike and regal demeanour.

Tears filled her eyes at the memory of her last discussion with her father this morning; standing before him in the cold and intimidating throne room.

‘Sonia my child,’ her father scratched his balding head. ‘It is time to forget childish ways and prepare yourself for your marriage to Prince Aleksander on New Year’s Eve.’ Glaring at her from beneath his bushy eyebrows he continued, ‘I will not listen to your complaining and disobedience any longer; is that understood?’

He contemplated his only daughter, and remembered his wife’s wise words on how to deal with their wilful youngest child.

‘You must remember that the security of our kingdom depends on an advantageous union with all of our neighbours. Your brothers are promised to princesses on three corners of our realm, and when you marry the heir to Pokova to the north, we will have peace and prosperity for the future.’

He sighed and steeled his heart as watched her crestfallen beautiful face. ‘Your mother and I did not meet until our wedding day and we have had a most happy union, being also blessed with you and your brothers. We are royalty, and arranged marriages are as much part of our lives as your silk dresses and other privileges’.

Sonia bit her lip and silenced her response. She had been attempting to persuade her parents for the last two months that she couldn’t marry a man that she hadn’t met, and had not even seen a likeness of. Her shoulders slumped wearily and she curtsied to her father, asking permission to go to her rooms. The king waved her away in frustration and watched as the dispirited girl left the chamber.

Petar, Jakov and Henrik would be gone for several hours and she resigned herself to sitting in the window alcove and watching the palace staff going about their preparations for the grand feast tomorrow. The courtyard and kitchen gardens were bustling with activity. The cook and his assistants were unpacking tradesmen’s carts and gathering vegetables to accompany roast venison and turkey. In the distance she could see the giant farm horses pulling the cart holding the majestic tree harvested from the dense forest and destined for the ballroom.

Prince Aleksander was due to arrive today, but protocol demanded that she wait until she was formally introduced to him at the ball. Her brothers had met him at the annual boar hunt in the summer, and she had pestered them to tell her more about him.

Unfortunately her three brothers loved to tease her and refused to talk about the prince at all; making faces at each other in merriment. A thought struck her and she gasped at the possible reason for their silence. He must be ugly, she thought, or perhaps stupid or had a nasty temper. Her nervousness only increased and she clasped her arms around her body in despair.

As she looked out of the window a flash of movement caught her eye. From the cobbled stable yard came a tall blonde man leading a jet black stallion. He was wearing a loose white shirt and leather jerkin, but it didn’t conceal the fact that he was very muscular as well as handsome. Feeling a little flushed, Sonia wondered why she had not seen this groom before. She also wondered why she had not heard the normally observant chamber maids gossiping about the new addition to the staff.

She watched as the man and horse moved gracefully down to the paddock, and she opened the window so that she could see more clearly. The cold winter air rushed into the room but pulling her shawl closer about her shoulders, she settled down to watch the proceedings.

The man released the horse and moved to the centre of the round paddock. He flicked a fine whip onto the sawdust behind the horse, which responded by trotting around the outside of the ring… Another flick and the stallion turned and moved in the opposite direction. The elegance of both man and beast were magnificent; totally absorbing Sonia in the performance. After several minutes, the man dropped the whip to his side and turned to walk towards the gate… The horse stopped in his tracks and followed, gently nudging his shoulder to gain the groom’s attention. At the gate the man pivoted and placed his right hand at the top of horse’s forehead; leaning into him. They stood for several minutes; man and beast as one.

Sonia caught her breath and stuck her head out of the window, better to capture this intense and beautiful moment. The groom turned away from the horse and as he did so he looked up. He saw Sonia inelegantly hanging out of the window and smiled; even from this distance it was devastatingly effective. She ducked back inside and slammed the window shut. The impudence of the man, and to crown it all, this was just the sort of behaviour that her father had been so critical of.

That evening her mother knocked on her door and ushered through two maids with laden trays. She had also brought the palace seamstress who carried a linen wrapped garment over her arm. Sonia loved her beautiful mother and hoped that over their supper she might be able to win her over to her side.

She had heard her brothers arrive back an hour earlier, clattering into the courtyard and calling for Anton the head groom to come and collect their horses.. As they had noisily run up the steps to the main entrance of the palace, Sonia had been tempted to peek out of the window to see if Anton had anyone assisting him. But she had dismissed this foolishness. Tomorrow she would be betrothed, and married on New Year’s Eve. She must put all these romantic notions from her mind. However, part of her wished with all her might that she could be just a simple maid, who could dream of love and marriage with that devastatingly attractive but unobtainable man.

Her mother eventually left Sonia’s chambers having remained resolute on the upcoming marriage. But she had smiled at her daughter’s determined efforts, whilst reminding her that she had a royal duty to obey her father. Hanging on the front of the door to Sonia’s dressing room was a very beautiful pale blue dress. The ball gown was edged with matching satin and violet flowers draped across one shoulder down to the slender waist. However, even this sensational garment did little to lift her mood as she contemplated how tomorrow would change her life forever.

Early the next evening the guests for the Christmas ball began to arrive in their carriages. Whilst waiting to dress, Sonia kept watch from the window hoping to catch sight of the groom as the horses were led away. Her maid assisted her into her ball gown, and gently tucked in an odd strand of jet black hair which had drifted from the elaborate upswept style. Sonia stood in front of her full length mirror and despite appreciating that she looked every inch a princess, she felt coldness deep in her heart. She had to face the fact that she would never know the kind of love that other girls were privileged to receive. Her father had won, and very soon she would be leaving the palace and going to a strange land, far away from those who had loved and protected her until this moment.

Sonia carefully descended the red carpet of the curved staircase, eyeing the clusters of guests in an attempt to identify the man she was going to be spending the rest of her life with. Most were known to her, and as she moved between them they smiled and bowed. She saw that her father was at the end of the throne room with her mother, three brothers and a tall stranger with his back to the room.

Her father looked up and saw her, beckoning her over and touching the stranger on his shoulder. As Sonia reached the group, the elegantly dressed man turned and she looked into startling blue eyes. She gasped as she recognised the shaggy blonde hair and the broad shoulders, blushing to the roots of her hair.

‘Your Highness, may I introduce my daughter, Princess Sonia.’

Her father took her right hand and placed it into the large palm of the man in front of her.

‘Sonia meet your betrothed, Prince Aleksander of Pokova.’

Breathlessly Sonia looked down at his broad and sun-tanned hand.

A deep voice broke into her scattered thoughts. ‘I believe we have glimpsed each other before Princess.’

She looked up into his smiling face and her lips trembled as she fumbled for a response.

Sensing her discomfort, Prince Aleksander continued, ‘ I was working with Kyros yesterday when you noticed us. He is my betrothal present to you and I hope you will ride him back to Pokova with me after our wedding.’

Sonia’s beaming smile and gentle squeeze of his hand gave him his answer, and as he led her off to the dance floor for their first waltz, she heard her father behind her.
‘Somebody get me a brandy… A very large brandy’.

©Sally Cronin 2015

My latest book is a poetry and short story collection – Variety is the Spice of Life.

One of the reviews for the book

From poetry and short stories about the human condition with all its array of emotions involved in relationships, to the beauty of nature, and the joy of animals, I loved this compilation. At our current time of tragedy and so many suffering, Cronin’s words were a breath of fresh air. The author’s Spice of Life reminds me of A Kinship with All Life, one of my all time favorite books. Being an animal lover, I especially loved those parts involving animals. But equally well-written and captivatingly in-depth are the characters in the short stories that deal with everything from enduring love to precarious healing gifts to life changing accidents – topics designed to engage the readers interest. A little book in terms of pages, it holds a big punch of entertainment. Highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK And: Amazon US


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – Podcast – Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you enjoyed the story.. Sally.


Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – New Book on the Shelves – #WWII – Code Name: Iron Spear 1941 by Allan Hudson

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Allan Hudson... there is still time to top up your Kindle before the New Year….Code Name: Iron Spear 1941

About the book

Aircraftsman 2nd Class Jeremy Carter is the rawest recruit at Royal Canadian Air Force Station Scoudouc – a training center for British, New Zealand and Australian pilots during World War 2. Ordered to clean debris from the back fields, he makes a startling discovery. Reporting the incident directly to his superiors, he’s warned to keep the finding to a small and select group of airmen of which the base’s commanding officer is one. There are too many secrets at RCAF Scoudouc for this to go public.

Warrant Officer Stefan Kravchenko of the Royal Canadian Air Force is with the Service Police and his reputation is on the rise. Stationed at RCAF Saint John, he works out of the Milledgeville Airport. Thinking his day is finished, he’s called to the office of his commanding officer. He receives orders to proceed to RCAF Station Scoudouc, 150 miles away. Immediately. His not given a reason why, only that it is orders.

A German spy was sent to New Brunswick by the Abwehr before the war broke out. German intelligence receives rumours of the existence of a highly classified device leaving England, destined for the shores of Atlantic Canada. Iron Spear is activated and sent to Scoudouc. In civilian life, he was a butcher.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon CAAnd: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Allan Hudson

One of the reviews for Father

Set in rural New Brunswick during the Second World War, ‘Father’ tells the story of Tanner Hill, a happily married family man with steady work as a mechanic and a sideline as a moonshiner. A conflict after church one day leads to police attention to this secondary line of work, and Tanner, a few years older than the average recruit, decides enlisting is preferable to the alternative at home.

The book takes us into and through the latter war years, with the impact on Tanner, family members, and those he encounters. When Tanner returns, life at home has changed in significant ways, and all must cope.

This is not a text to be skimmed; every line, every detail, is there for a purpose and must be absorbed. The family history in the prologue grounds the story, and each event is significant. Characters are portrayed in all their strengths and weaknesses, without judgment. The war experiences focus on the pathos in each encounter. It is a quiet story, of the little moments. It held my attention, and remains with me. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Allan: Goodreads – Website: South Branch Scribbler – Twitter: @hudson_allan

About Allan Hudson

I live in Eastern Canada and I married the greatest gal on earth, Gloria. I have a wonderful son Adam, two great stepsons Mark (Georgette) and Chris (Mireille)Young. Three grandchildren Matthieu, Natasha and Damian.

I’m a very happy man.

I love reading. My mother was a school teacher and taught me to read and write when I was young.

I love jazz music, 70s rock and am a HUGE fan of JJ Cale.

I hope that you will enjoy my stories and thank you for your support.


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from My Archives 2022 – Christmas and New Year Special – #Story The 1812 Overture by Sally Cronin

While I am on a semi-break and making my way with much enjoyment through my towering TBR, I will be sharing a selection of short stories from my various collections that you might enjoy as you finish off the remaining treats from Christmas.

Today a story from Life’s Rich Tapestry, the original was in response to a prompt by Diana Wallace Peach Myths of the Mirror

The 1812 Overture

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

‘Monsieur Henri, Oh drat, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to sneeze so hard and blow you into the tree with your troupe.’

The little elephant pressed her trunk up against the lopsided house with its trembling occupants clinging to its roof.

Monsieur Henri, the patriarch of the world famous mouse circus act known as ‘Les acrobates de la famille mouskateer’ shuddered in the cold wind that whistled through the woods, and wondered how une éléphant even one as petite as this one, could sneeze harder than the current almost hurricane.

He was about to give this pesky and overlarge teenager a piece of his mind, when he saw tears rolling down her wrinkled face, freezing in mid-air before hitting the ground. He felt the rest of his troupe huddling even closer as they tried to get warm, almost pushing him off the roof of their living quarters, and decided that he needed to remedy the situation rapidement.

‘It is alright Tiffany; I know that it was un accident and that you did not intend to blow us into the next county. But I need to get ma famille somewhere warm before they freeze their derrieres off, and you will need to help us’

Tiffany blinked her eyes a couple of times to clear the tear related icicles from her long lashes; nodding her head enthusiastically and swinging her trunk from side to side; nearly knocking Henri off his teetering perch.

‘Tiffany, Tiffany mon cherie, you must calm yourself, and please if you are to sneeze again, point that cannon in another direction.’

The elephant looked pleadingly at the shivering mouse, stretching out her trunk tentatively towards him. Immediately all the mice pressed backwards towards the trunk of the tree, terrified they were going to be blown to kingdom come.

‘It is okay monsieur Henri, please climb onto my trunk with your family, climb up to the top of my head and then tuck yourselves behind one of my ears. I will keep them pinned back, and curled up at the bottom, so that you are safe and warm inside’. I will then pick up your house in my trunk and return us to the circus as quickly as possible.

Henri turned his head and looked at his family and fellow acrobats as they regarded him with suspicion and terror.

‘My petit choux, I have seen your family in the circus ring, and your speciality act of flapping your ears to the music of the great Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.’ Henri looked up at the little elephant and smiled wryly. ‘Are you sure you can keep those ears of yours still for that length of time?’

‘Monsieur Henri,’ the elephant looked fiercely determined. ‘I promise you that I will not sneeze or flap my ears until you and your family are safe.’

Commandingly the mouse turned to his shivering family. ‘We have no choice mes amours; we will surely die in minutes if we remain in this exposed position, courage and viva la France.’

With that Henri leapt onto the bottom of Tiffany’s trunk and began the scramble up the wrinkled snout, passed the large brown eyes, over the smooth round forehead and down into the pocket formed by one of her massive ears. Within seconds he was squashed at the bottom of a mound of white fur and scrabbling paws as his family jumped into the envelope with him; shrieking in terror and excitement.

Henri managed to fight his way to the top of the pile and peeped out over the top of Tiffany’s ear. Sure enough their house was in the grip of her strong little trunk, and she was now lumbering into the wind and snow, trying to retrace her steps in the tracks she had made earlier. He shivered and tucked himself back down again, curling up with his sons and their wives as they stared wide-eyed at him for reassurance.

It seemed like hours before he felt their mammoth transport stop moving. Despite his reluctance to leave the pocket of warmth created by his furry if fragrant family, he poked his head up over the top of the ear, and saw that they were now in the middle of a clearing in the forest where Tiffany had come to a halt. She was carefully moving her head to one side and then the other as she looked for the right path to take.

‘Oh caca,’ whispered the mouse, so as not to alarm his already hysterical family.’

He was just about to inquire if they were lost, when Tiffany jerked into a run, nearly throwing him out from behind her ear.

In the distance he could hear the sound of trumpeting, and as they smashed through the snow covered undergrowth, he could feel Tiffany’s great heart thumping thunderously against his own rib cage. With a last push they broke out of the forest undergrowth, and the little elephant stopped, breathing heavily, and putting down the mouse house. She lifted her trunk and gave a trumpet of her own, resulting in petrified shrieks and much scrabbling around from the ensemble tucked behind her ear.

Henri, who had been tossed unceremoniously on top of his eldest son’s head, dared to raise himself up to look out at the cause of such a cacophony, and saw massive grey shapes emerging from the snow storm. He watched in wonder as the beasts drew closer and surrounded Tiffany, touching her with their trunks and rumbling gently as they gathered her into their protective midst.

He had heard, and partially understood, the comforting language of these huge animals as they conversed at night when the circus was quiet, and he gathered that their little friend was advising her family of the traumatic events. Her mother who led the herd, and was the star of the circus, nodded her noble head from time to time and eyed up her daughter’s ear, still firmly plastered to the side of her head. She then picked up the discarded mouse house in her massive trunk, leading the way back through the clearing to a wide path the herd had created, followed by Tiffany and a parade of her sisters and aunts.

Within minutes there were shouts and cries as the circus folk raced towards them from the shelter of the big top and the surrounding caravans. The ring master arrived and took charge, leading the herd into the warmth of the colourful tent, placing a small net beneath Tiffany’s ear which seemed to have gone into a spasm.

‘Someone put on the ‘1812’,’ the ring master bellowed at the assembled circus family, and one of the clowns dashed off through to the back of the tent.

As the sound crashed out of the speakers, the herd of elephants began flapping their ears in time to the music, and with a sigh Tiffany finally relaxed her ear, releasing a white cascade of mice into the safety net. The acrobatic troupe were handed over to their keepers to be rubbed gently with hot towels and given a reviving brandy.

The ring master, who was particularly fond of Henri, held up the mouse in cupped hands and looked him the eye. ‘Well old friend, it seems that you have survived to perform another day, and it has given me an idea for a new act.’

And dear reader, this is how the world famous and most daring mouse act in circus history came to be.

‘Les acrobates de la famille mouskateer’ thrilled the crowds with their tumbling and acts of daring on the backs of the elephants as they paraded around the ring, flapping their ears to the ‘1812 Overture.’

Many years later an old elephant, matriarch of the herd now enjoying their life in a sanctuary, turned to her great-granddaughter who had been listening to her favourite story for the millionth time.

‘Do you miss the circus grandmamma?’ She looked up at the rheumy eyes of the storyteller.

‘I miss some things Gigi, including friends like dear monsieur Henri.’ Tiffany gently touched the little face in front of her. ‘But, we never knew what it was like to roam freely until we were brought to this sanctuary many years ago, when I was still a young elephant. You are lucky that nearly all animal circuses are now gone, and no more of our kind will be taken from our wild homes. But even that has its dangers from humans, and I am not sure what will become of us in the future.’

Gigi leaned into the side of her grandmamma and felt reassured by the gentle rumblings.
The herd began to move towards the buildings on the edge of the sanctuary, quickening their pace and nudging the little ones ahead of them. This was their favourite time of the day when their head keeper, once a young apprentice at their circus, would crank up the old record player attached to two speakers on poles.

The elephants formed a ring with much excited trumpeting and with the little ones running in and out of their legs; they began to flap their ears as the much loved music filled the air.

©Sally Cronin 2019

My latest book is a poetry and short story collection – Variety is the Spice of Life.

One of the reviews for the book

D.G. Kaye rated it Five stars

Sally Cronin knows how to capture our hearts with her variety, indeed, full of heartfelt short stories of the human condition and moving poetry accompanied by beautiful images. Along with various poems written in both free verse and specific form, Sally includes a selection of poems about ‘Snapshots from my Garden’, where she shares about the various animals and insects who occupy her garden. We will also get a treat learning about her own DNA! Escape into nature with Sally’s poems about birds, butterflies, and other furry neighborhood visitors. A few of my favorites: Above the World, Kinship – ” … there may not always be harmony, but the ties of love cannot be broken … ,” and, Bear Witness, which emphasizes our freedoms.

Pour a cup of coffee and drift into stories of love, reminiscings, and compassion. A few of my favorites: the Green Hill – in loving memory where Bert and Ivy share a snippet of remembered love. Discover – The Secret about Eleanor’s mother Edith, which took her seventy-five years to reveal. Step into Serena’s world as The Healer who heals the sick while keeping a low profile in doing so for safety reasons as she works as a nurse in a free clinic. The Home Help gives a twist on caregiving (no spoilers).There is something for everyone here, and all guaranteed to touch your heart.

Sally Cronin is known for her short stories that pack a punch, grab at our heartstrings, and often end with an unexpected twist at the end. This new collection is a comforting read guaranteed to stir the soul. 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK And: Amazon US


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – Podcast – Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you enjoyed the story.. Sally.