Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Host Malcolm Allen – February 2023 – #Dogs #Horses #Funnies A Man and His Dog and an Overachiever by Malcolm Allen

Delighted to share the latest funnies from Australia and around the world shared by author Malcolm Allen

Many thanks to Malcolm for sharing his humour with us.

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.

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



Smorgasbord Posts from my Archives – Previous Reviews from 2022 – #History #Africa #Flyingboats – White Water Landings by Jemima Pett

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my reviews for books I posted between January and June 2022.

Good books deserve to be showcased on a regular basis and I hope that it might entice you to either move the books up your groaning TBR’s or add the books to its burden!

Delighted to share my review from February 2022  for the biography of Geoffrey Pett, a pioneer flying boat establishment in Africa in the 1930s and during the second world war. Written by Jemima Pett from recordings made by her father, White Water Landings.

White Water Landings: A view of the Imperial Airways Africa service from the ground by [J M Pett, Geoffrey Pett]

About the book

The silver bird straightened up and sank lower, lower, until it met the sea with a sleek spray that rushed past the windows in its fuselage. M’beriali – the imperial mail bird, as it became known in Swahili – had arrived!

Imperial Airways’ man at Lindi, East Africa, was Geoffrey Pett, then just 22 years old. Selected as a Commercial Trainee aged eighteen, he was posted to the middle of Africa to look after the ground arrangements for the new ‘Empire’ Flying Boat Service between London and Cape Town/Durban. His Africa postings ranged between Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast, Juba, now in South Sudan, and Butiaba on Lake Albert, Uganda. His war years were as traffic superintendant at Cairo (and at RAF Wadi Saidna, Sudan), handling troop movements and other priority personnel on the civilian aircraft, as well as ensuring the ‘Horseshoe Route’ between South Africa and Australia operated at its turning point, Cairo. His career continued with the new British Overseas Airways Company, through BEA into British Airways, until ill-health retirement in 1968.

Geoffrey was often sought out for his memoirs of Imperial Airways in Africa. After his death in 2005, he left a box of memorabilia including his photograph album and a set of tapes dictated between 1995 and 2004. His daughter, J M Pett, has laboured over the contents, producing this book to place the information out in the wider world. More content and links to archive material are on the website Geoffrey’s Box WordPress

Praise for White Water Landings:
“a remarkable and significant piece of aviation and colonial history… shining through his memoirs is a capacity to ‘make do’…, and the sense of the Imperial ‘family’ as a source of identity, support and obligation away from home. … he reveals anxiety and frustration,cynicism for arbitrary authority… Told fondly, plainly and modestly, with touches of humour, Geoffrey’s story reads easily and lingers long. The text is equally delightful as family history, autobiography, and colonial history.” — Professor Gordon Pirie, Deputy Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, and Editor of the Journal of Transport History

“The romance of the Golden Age of flying meets the romance of two people torn apart by war.” 

My review for White Water Landings February 2022

As we hop on and off planes with destinations around the globe, we rarely think further than checking the timings and paying with our credit card. Most long distance flights are non-stop and it is now something we very much take for granted.

Imagine you need to make the trip from the UK to Capetown by air in 1936. It would have required several short hops by flying boat down across Europe to the top of Africa and then to several refuelling stops set up on the coast or rivers over the 3,500 miles to the tip of the continent.

This biography of the young Geoffrey Pett is fascinating, both from a historical perspective and also because of his passion and perserverance in setting up these isolated and sometimes dangerous stations along the route.

Geoffrey was clearly adaptable and resourceful, making connections both with local residents and those from other companies and the military that passed through his care. Whilst his mandate was to establish the stations for Imperial Airways, he understood the benefits of working well with others. It was complex with very basic communications to maintain contact with aircraft to ensure safety and a rigid schedule that had to be met to ensure continuity of flights across the length and breadth of Africa.

As you read the story, it is easy to imagine you are sitting across from a natural storyteller listening to his adventures. And there are plenty of those including following hippo tracks to access suitable river landing sites, hauling barges and launches hundreds of miles across country and upriver that were virtually unnavigable.  Dealing with some quirky passengers unaccustomed to rudimentary overnight facilities, dealing with snake-bites, and those who have enjoyed the hospitality a little too vigorously. 

It is also a love story, and how the ingenuity and tenacity that Geoffry applied to his job, was put to good use as he masterminds a trip to reach the girl he loves in Uganda, marry her, take a honeymoon and be back by an almost impossible return to work date.

The author has done a great job in transcribing the recordings made by her father, keeping the authenticity of his narration and adding in helpful links between stories. Jemima Pett also shares her parent’s life after the war including Geoffrey’s contintued career in aviation.

Recommended for history lovers, aviation buffs, and those who enjoy finding out about ordinary people leading an extraordinary life.

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

A selection of books by Jemima Pett


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima PettGoodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett –

About Jemima Pett

When I discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ I realised I was trendsetter – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in my spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… I loved words, loved to learn and to apply my learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so I went back to inventing my own, as I had as a child. First came the Realms, the setting for the ten-book Princelings of the East series. It’s a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism.

I wrote some shorter stories featuring characters from the Princelings series, recently published as Messenger Misadventures. This features Dylan and Dougall, and their friend Deirdre, who unfortunately did not feature with them in Book 8 of the Princelings series. Two more characters that are asking for their own book are Roscoe and Neville, who turn up in book 10.

2021 saw the publication of five short story collections. Most of these originally appeared on my blog between 2012 and 2020, but are no longer there. Several new stories appear, especially in the seasonal special Snowflakes and Shivers. I still blog short stories, usually once a week.

The third and final Viridian System book is due for publication in Feb 22. There’s a snippet at the end of that which may lead to another scifi story, but not set in the Viridian System.

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


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin – 1930s – Benny Goodman, Hal Kemp and The Grizzly Bear

Welcome to the 2023 series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1930s from Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman Sing, Sing, Sing – 1938

“Sing, Sing, Sing,” composed by Louis Prima, was recorded by Benny Goodman in Hollywood in 1937. Unlike most big band arrangements of that era, limited in length to three minutes so that they could be recorded on one side of a standard 10-inch 78-rpm record, the version which Goodman’s band recorded was an extended work and lasted 8 minutes and 43 seconds. It took up both sides of a 12-inch 78. “Sing, Sing, Sing” peaked at #1 on the US Pop charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1938 Goodman recorded a live version at Carnegie Hall with impromptu solos which took up 12 minutes and 30 seconds. WorldWar2Music

Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Hal Kemp

Hal Kemp with Bob Allen “Where or When” (1937)

“Where or When” is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms. It was first performed by Ray Heatherton and Mitzi Green. That same year, Hal Kemp recorded a popular version. The song also appeared in the film version of Babes in Arms two years later. MGM bought the screen rights to Babes in Arms in 1938, and the following year the studio released a film with that title, starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, that bore little resemblance to its stage predecessor; the characters and plot were substantially revised (by 10 studio writers), and only two numbers were retained from the score. “Where or When” was one that survived. The78Prof  

Other sources: Wikipedia

The Grizzly Bear is an early 20th-century dance style. It started in San Francisco, along with the Bunny Hug and Texas Tommy and was also done on the Staten Island ferry boats in the 1900s. It has been said that dancers John Jarrott and Louise Gruenning introduced this dance as well as the Turkey Trot at Ray Jones Café in Chicago, Illinois around 1909. The Grizzly Bear was first introduced to Broadway audiences in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1910 by Fanny Brice.

The dance was rough and clumsy. During the dance, the dancers would yell out: “It’s a Bear!” The genuine Grizzly Bear step was a correct imitation of the movements of a dancing bear, moving or dancing to the side. A very heavy step to the side with a decided bending of the upper part of the body from one side to the other, a decidedly ungraceful and undignified movement when performed as a dance.

It was reported that one of the reasons former President Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural ball was cancelled was because of his “disapproval of such modern dances as the turkey trot, the grizzly bear and the bunny hug”.

Not long before this, in 1912, New York placed the dance under a “social ban”, along with other “huggly-wiggly dances”, like the Turkey Trot and the Boston Dip. It was also condemned in numerous cities across the US during the same time period, with many considering it to be a “degenerate dance”. eggo321

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

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

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.



Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – Blog Diary – Week Twenty-Nine: 2022 #Quilts, #Gardens #Brunch by Geoff Le Pard

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2022 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.

During 2022 author Geoff Le Pard shared entertaining posts each week on the goings on in his life and the lives of his family.

Week Twenty-Nine: 2022 #Quilts, #Gardens #Brunch

Happily we seem to be past the furnace temperatures for now. What we could do with is rain. Lots of it. We’ve had one percent of the annual rainfall this July . That’s pretty piss poor, frankly and someone amongst the gods on Olympus will be kept back for some extra homework on maintaining an appropriate level of moisturising. Much more of this and we’ll need some planet-level Botox.

The Textiliste is working with a friend, making a really rather splendid quilt for a challenge. It’s made up of a series of asymmetric elements and has had to be laid out on our sitting room carpet for the two quilters to assemble the quilt. There has been a lot of head scratching and moving pieces around….

That self same sitting room rug doubles as a base for me to exercise, following a variety of 20 minute hiit classes. On Wednesday I laid out my mat and knelt down to smooth it flat… when I spotted a pin. And a second. And a third. In the end I found fourteen. I must own to being somewhat perturbed by this somewhat sneaky attempt to perforate me, though it did occur to me that I may be doubling as a sort of human sized voodoo doll that the two women were using to represent the person who set this challenge as it is clearly driving them more and than a little bonkers.

We are close to our gardener who we consider to be a friend. In that context we were delighted to hear he has decided to give up smoking. As a small celebration of that achievement, the Textiliste saw a book that she knew would appeal to him. She even modified the title in memoriam of his previous habit…

I picked the gooseberries yesterday. One point seven kilos. Despite the heat the soft fruit this year has been excellent. And the apple tree is weighed down with fruit. I’m taking the positives still…

…which included a rather delicious brunch with the Vet on Sunday… hmm

And Dog…? Still soaking it all up

©Geoff Le Pard 2022

My thanks to Geoff for inviting me to share posts from his archive and I know he would be delighted to hear from you.

About Geoff Le Pard

Like a lot of bloggers, I started this blog in the belief it was a necessary step towards publication of my novel. What I didn’t realise was how much I would enjoy blogging in its own right.

Since I started (in April 2014) I have published fourteen books, covering a mix of genres, some short fiction, poetry and a memoir – you can find out more about them from the side widgets or my author page, here – and written on a range of subjects, from walking to cooking, theatre, film and book reviews, travel to my writing process, London and my garden. This is an eclectic blog that defies categorisation. That will either charm and delight or drive you bonkers. I hope the former; if the latter, I’m sorry but you have been warned.

I have also met some fascinating people, both electronically and in the flesh as a result of this blogging lark. I’ve shared some of my writing and enjoyed others who have visited here as guests. Come and say hi and I’ll visit back.

I live in South London surrounded by all the varieties of life that London can throw at you. I will nail my colours to the mast here: I LOVE LONDON. There, said it. So part of this will be to proselytise about my city, and especially the bits where taxi drivers are fabled to hate to go after 10 pm (‘Sarf of the river, mate? Yer kidding me? I’d need inoculations and all sorts’).

I’ve been on the planet a fair few years now so my mistakes are many and varied; if I can help others avoid my pitfalls and pratfalls, well great; if not then at least you can have a laugh at what a twit I’ve been.

A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard

A review for The Diary Of A Trainee in-law

GraemeCumming 5.0 out of 5 stars A taste of things to come – I hope not  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 December 2022

I found out recently that my daughter is getting married. As chance would have it, a couple of weeks after getting the news, I read The Diary of a Trainee In-Law. I can only hope the build up to my daughter’s wedding is less eventful than the one Geoff Le Pard tells us about in his book.

The ‘diary’ tells the tale of an engagement and wedding from the point of view of the father of the bride. Inspired by Le Pard’s own experiences (though he maintains that none of the events from the book actually happened!), there are inevitably elements you’ll be able to relate to if you’ve been within spitting distance of the run-up to a wedding.

At times, I was reminded of Tom Sharpe in terms of the kind of humour. Strangely, also Ronald Searle. creator of the St Trinians and Molesworth books. The style is stereotypically British, and reflects the eccentricities of our nation. At times, it’s like having Margot and Jerry from The Good Life meeting Del and Rodney Trotter. And, if none of this rings any bells with you, I’m guessing you’re likely to be the ones getting hitched rather than training to be in-laws.

I don’t mean to suggest with any of this that you’ll be laughing riotously from beginning to end, but I suspect you’ll smile most of the way through. It’s silly, and exaggerated, but it’ll ring some bells as well. Take a punt. Whether you buy the eBook or the paperback, you’ll still have paid less than you would for a couple of coffees, and the smiles will last longer 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreads: Geoff on GoodreadsTwitter: @geofflepard

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.


Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2023 – #Epistolary #Writing by DG Kaye

While Debby is away on her winter break in Mexico I will be sharing some of her posts from her series here on Smorgasbord and guest posts on other blogs in the last few years that I am sure you will enjoy.

Epistolary Writing by D.G. Kaye

Pen, Handwriting, Writing, Letter, Paper, Note, Ink

Image by Deborah Hudson from Pixabay

What is epistolary writing?

As a nonfiction/memoir writer I’ve been exploring this form of writing for a book I’ve been drafting about grief. I am seriously considering presenting the book in this form.

Epistolary writing is a style that addresses the reader through a diary format (think Bridget Jones’ Diary) or in journal or letter format. In this era of digital life, epistolary writing can also include email and blog post entries, police reports, newspaper articles and transcripts.

This style involves the writer speaking directly to another person, expressing the bond in a particular relationship through the content being written, which gives the reader an intimate peek into the writer’s private self and thoughts regarding the person she is writing to, and an inside scoop into that relationship between the writer and the character being spoken to. Journal and diary entries are more contemplative writings, but there is also the method of writing strictly in dialogue.

Epistolary writing is in essence writing dialogue from one’s self. It is important that the writer let the reader know to whom they are writing to. Epistolary stories can involve one or more characters the writing conversation is being directed toward.

Often, in this form of writing, the focus is more on evoking emotion, more so than a dialogue driven story. Epistolary writing is also classified as a sort of confessional-like writing, also known as monophonic point of view, letters to one specific character. It is referred as ‘dialogic’ if two people are writing letters, or, ‘polyphonic’ with three or more characters writing and receiving the letters. It is ultimately, a first-person point of view that allows the reader to get inside the writer’s thoughts. It’s a correspondence between characters or to a character. This form is a different take from third person POV where the usual plots and characters are the driving force of the storyline. Instead, the reader gets to understand the character’s interactions through what is implied by the writer.

Letters, Stone Texture, Background, Wall

Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

The word – Epistolary, is derived from the noun – Epistle, which is the Greek word meaning ‘letter’. This is an actual literary genre that pertains to letters written for delivering story through personal messages from the writer to her subject(s). This format can be used as context for a relationship, friendship or even a business relationship between the writer and receiver.

Because this method of writing is a person telling, it can be written in multiple tenses. For example, the writer might go back in time with an entry and bring it up to present to invite in some tension. In most stories in other points of view writing, they are written in the classic, ‘show more, tell less’. This could be challenging to write in epistolary form because there is no narrator building a scene. But description that paints a picture to the reader can still be done. The more ‘real’ a story feels to the reader, the more they will engage in the emotion. Epistolary stories can be written in both fiction or nonfiction.

In summation, epistolary writing should be authentic, engaging to draw the reader into the emotion of the story, and it should not include any explanations or backstory.

The Diary of A Young Girl (Deluxe Hardbound Edition) by [Anne Frank]

One famous known book written in epistolary form is: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, where the young Anne wrote in her diary, Dear Kitty, through her hiding during most of WWII, and ultimately, her capture in the Holocaust.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: the most moving coming-of-age classic by [Stephen Chbosky]

Just a few more to mention of many more contemporary novels: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, where his story is told through letters in this coming-of-age story.

Permission (Canadian Literature) by [S D. Chrostowska]

Permission by S.D. Chrostowska, told in a one-way correspondence consisting of anonymous emails sent from the author to a famous (ghost writer) visual artist.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection: Books 10-13 (A Series of Unfortunate Events Boxset Book 4) by [Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist]

The Beatrice Letter (part of the Unfortunate Events series) by Lemony Snicket, written in notes and letters.

The Screwtape Letters by [C. S. Lewis]

The Screwtape Letters, a satire, originally written in 1942 by C.S. Lewis written in letters by the demon Screwtape who writes letters to his novice demon nephew Wormwood, a government worker residing in hell, directing his nephew on how to best tempt humans to be led astray.

The Color Purple: The classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by [Alice Walker]

The Color Purple, Pulitzer Prize Winner by Alice Walker, writes to her sister and Dear God diary entries by the protagonist, Celie.

The Martian: Stranded on Mars, one astronaut fights to survive by [Andy Weir]

Most recently, The Martian, written by Andy Weir. His character Mark Watney logs in journal form about being stranded on Mars. (Played by Matt Damon in the movie version.)

And it is a form I intend to use for my own book on grief, I’m planning on writing as the widow I’ve become, writing to my beloved husband who has recently passed on.

I hope you enjoyed learning about this not so common form of writing style.


My thanks to Debby for this explanation of this fascinating style of writing.

About D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies)

D.G. Kaye is a Canadian author living in Toronto, Canada. She writes nonfiction and memoirs about her life experiences, matters of the heart, and self-help about women’s issues. Her positive outlook keeps D.G. on track, allowing her to take on life’s challenges with a dose of humor in her quest to overcome adversity.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became the tools to express her pent-up emotions during her turbulent childhood. She began journaling about her life at a young age and continued writing about the imprints and lessons she learned through people and events she encountered. D.G. writes books to share her stories and inspiration. She advocates for kindness and for women’s empowerment. Her favorite saying is “For every kindness received, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When she’s not writing, D.G. loves to read (self-help books and stories of triumph), cook (concocting new recipes, never to come out the same way twice), shop (only if it’s a great sale), play poker (when she gets the chance), and, most of all, travel

Books by D.G. Kaye

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


Thank you for joining us today and Debby will be checking in from time to time and would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 20th -26th February 2023 – Trips, Birthdays, Gifts, Big Band Era, Podcast, Book Reviews, Health and Funnies.

Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed this week.

It has certainly been a busy week for us with parties and travel and a very special lunch with two exceptional authors and friends. The first photo is from my sister Diana’s 80th birthday lunch which was the third of the meals we enjoyed while we were in Portsmouth including on the Sunday at No 27, a fabulous restaurant. Here we are enjoy our lunch.

The birthday cake that my sister Sonia organised and set alight with a sparkling 80...

The next celebration was meeting up with Judith Barrow and Alex Craigie for lunch in Cardigan in Wales.. so wonderful to finally meet Judith after 9 years and Alex who she introduced me to. Love their books and it is a long awaited meet up.

Alex had contacted me a couple of weeks before to ask for a high resolution of the cover for my latest collection and I wondered why… and what an amazingly creative gift it was.

Let there be light.. so touched and will treasure always.

I would also like to thank Abbie Taylor and Toni Pike  for their wonderful reviews this week on their blogs for Variety is the Spice of Life… I am so grateful..

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week for the Big Band Era with Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and The Blackbottom dance…Also the next post on the life and music of the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ is here on Monday with a repeat post from her archives on the subject of Epistolary Writing and will be joining me in the funnies post later in the week. Despite being on her winter break in Mexico she is still visiting posts and commenting, not just here but around the writing community. Follow the link to Debby’s blog to browse her archives D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor is here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘R’. On her own blog on Monday she exploredNatural Antibiotics…Colloidal Silver, John Herschel Glenn and Whoopi Goldberg…It was pancake day on Tuesday… a delicious treat anytime of year. On Wednesday Carol explored the cuisine of Finland…The Land of Reindeers and Midnight Sun…On Thursday Carol reminded us of Dolly the cloned sheep and where that technology has led science, also an amazing fusion of rock and wagner that will amaze you. Catch up with all of Carol’s posts in her weekly round up CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…19th-25th February 2023-

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, The Black Bottom

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Musician #Producer #Humanitarian Quincy Jones Part Three – 1970s

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Green the Colour of Life and A Dream Home by Sally Cronin.


The Body our Greatest Asset – The Heart – Foods needed to support this vital organ by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves/Review – #Memoir #Life #Growth Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life by Cheryl Oreglia

Book Review – #Family #Romance – Letting Go: The Defiant Sisters- Book1 (The Defiant Sisters Duet) by Jacquie Biggar

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Psychological #Thriller – Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie

New book on the shelves – Don’t Fade On Me (The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 8) by Mary Anne Edwards

New Book on the Shelves – #Mythology #Sci-fi – Minotaur’s Lair (Servant of the Gods Book 3) by Luciana Cavallaro

#Hiking #Haiku #Rockies – Canadian Rockies Haiku by D. Wallace Peach

#SettingExamples #Excellence #Kindness Seeing Both Sides of the Coin by Pete Springer

Friday Free For All! #Dreams by Jan Sikes

#Recipe – Sea Scallops and Baby Potatoes in Purgatory by Dorothy Grover-Read – New Vintage Kitchen

Host Sally Cronin – We are all going to the dogs!

Host Sally Cronin – . Shadows and Full time job


Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. Sally ♥

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Green the Colour of Life and A Dream Home by Sally Cronin.

Some more poetry and flash fiction from one of my collections.

Today the many shades of green in nature and our lives and a dream home for a young bride.


Green the Colour of Life

blessed with rainfall
called the Emerald Isle
glistening jewel in the ocean
of life

vibrant and strong
all shades of viridis
reflected in its canopy
of leaves

plump and healthy
pressed for their precious oil
tossed into colourful salads
and sauce.

lush jade
verdant healer
bringer of good fortune
protects the mind, body, spirit
and heart.

planted with mint
will attract butterflies
repelling less welcome visits
from bugs

A Dream Home by Sally Cronin

As a girl she didn’t dream of fairy tale weddings or fancy white dresses. She was an orphan, in and out of foster homes, and all she wanted was a house of her own. They met at the local community centre; a carpenter, his hands worn and callused. He asked her what her dream was and she shared her vision. He said nothing, just smiled and nodded.

Today, in her simple blue dress, carrying a posy of wild flowers, he swept her into his arms and through the door of the home he had built to show his love.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection. 

Toni Pike 20th February

I couldn’t wait to delve into this new collection of poetry and prose, as I’m familiar with this author’s work. It was, as I expected, a delight. First, there was a collection of wonderful short poems, many related to nature and our connection with the natural world around us. They were all inspiring and exquisite, and many dealt with the most elemental subjects, such as kinship, pilgrimage, rejection, love, seasons, and the forces of nature. I particularly loved the series inspired by the author’s garden, but every poem in this collection was a gem.

The flash fiction and short stories all pulled at the heartstrings. The flash fiction was often combined with the poetry in a very enriching way. The short stories were all a heart-warming delight, and I think my favourite was “Home Help.” “The Village,” set at the outbreak of World War Two, was a close second.

This was a joy to read, and I give it a resounding five stars. 

Thank you for listening and if you would like to know more about my books and their reviews you can find them on my books page My books and reviews 2023


Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Book Review – #Family #Romance – Letting Go: The Defiant Sisters- Book1 (The Defiant Sisters Duet) by Jacquie Biggar

Delighted to share my review for – Letting Go: The Defiant Sisters- Book1 (The Defiant Sisters Duet) by Jacquie Biggar.

About the book

A coming-of-age novel about the pain of misconceptions and learning from them.
When life gives you lemons…


Mom is barely in the grave and the prodigal child is here to pick the bones clean.

I don’t want her here. My sister’s defection is a wound that won’t heal, and her return simply rubs at the scabs covering my heart.

I’ve managed just fine without her. She can go back to her fancy college and forget about us- that’s what she does best anyway.

If only I didn’t need her help. Or miss her so much.


The day my dad committed suicide I ran. I’ve been running ever since.

Going home is supposed to be the answer, instead it makes me question every thoughtless decision I’ve made.

My sister hates me. My little brother barely knows me. And Simon… is engaged.

None of it matters- or so I tell myself. I’m here to make amends and face a past haunted with regret.

As long as I can convince myself to stay.

Letting Go is a young adult romance dealing with tragedy, restitution, and love in all its aspects. The story relates to sensitive topics that may be triggering for some readers.

My review for the book February 25th 2023

I do enjoy Jacquie Biggar’s romances as she creates great characters working through the complexities of love and passion with skill.

In this story, the relationship between sisters, its closeness, expectations and miscommunications has resulted in Renee leaving home abruptly following a tragedy. It has also resulted in Izzy blaming her for much of what followed within the family including their mother’s death. Stuck in the middle is their younger brother Ben who is unable to cope with the loss and badly in need of both his sisters to be there for him.

It is not just the sisters who have a relationship to repair as Renee has to find a way to resolve issues with the love of her life who she feels betrayed her but still pulls her in with an undeniable passion. Izzy does not trust her judgement and pushes away the one person who is the most reliable in her life.

There is plenty of issues that need to be dealt with including a life or death accident that forces the family and those around them to reassess their priorities. There are some resolutions but the door has been left open for more reveals and answers to the past in the next book in the series which I am looking forward to.

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

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Connect to Jacquie, read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

About Jacquie Biggar

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

In her own words:

“My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz, I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat.

My guilty pleasure are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. I can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake’s shenanigans.

I love to hang at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?).

I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink and talking to my friends.”


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

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves/Review – #Memoir #Life #Growth Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life by Cheryl Oreglia

I am delighted to share the news about Cheryl Oreglia’s new release and to share an advance review that I wrote in celebration of this wonderful book.

About the book

Grow Damn It! is a captivating work by Cheryl Oreglia, who uses uncommon honesty and arresting humor to draw you into her cantankerous life, forty-year marriage, and revolving empty nest. She claims the space between past and future is where our potential is created or destroyed.

If you don’t like where your life is going, dig deeper, and write a new story. By weeding out the things that clutter her life, she invites you into a refreshing space with some of her most popular posts from her beloved blog Living in the Gap.

She surrounds herself with a gaggle of intriguing friends, along with a large and rambunctious family who challenge both her and the reader to live fully in an ever-changing world. Her provocative writing dares us to confront our lives not only with optimism, but courage, and uproarious laughter. Oreglia uses her experience to explore what matters most in life… the degree to which we love and are loved.

My review for the book February 25th 2023

There is a line towards the end of this beautifully written and fascinating reflection on life that mirrored many of my own thoughts.

“Authenticity is everything! You have to wake up every day and look in the mirror, and you want to be proud of the person who’s looking back at you. And you can only do that if you’re honest with yourself, compassionate, and focused.”

Cheryl Oreglia applies that authenticity as she explores her life with its love, loss and glorious moments with focus, honesty, wry humour and compassionate grace. Completely relatable for those of us who are also celebrating several decades of living and loving, but a must read for the younger generation. The chapters provide a hope filled guide to what is to come, which is an invaluable resource.

It is easy to become engaged in the life of the author and her extended family. Life during the pandemic becomes a tad chaotic as family, including toddlers move in for the duration. Finding peaceful moments to write become precious, but there is so much to be enjoyed as grown children and grandchildren infiltrate every corner of the house and the day.

The tandem bike riding adventures are hilarious and I was there in spirit even if I was unable to assist with the pedalling uphill, but how I welcomed the downhill freewheeling at the end of the effort.

Into every life there comes a time when control is no longer in our hands and we must accept the loss of those we love. The memories we have made together keep them in our hearts forever. It helps if you have a special place to go with these memories, and we are invited to the family’s lake house often during the book, to sit in the early mornings on the porch where we can enjoy the serenity to reflect and find peace.

I loved reading this collection of essays and I have many favourite moments, but perhaps the most thought provoking, is where the author explores what it is we as humans really want from life, but are perhaps afraid to ask for.

She shares her list of what she really wants. Including moments she would like to revisit, people she would love to have had more time with, fireworks, birdfeeders, movies, lack of clutter, chocolate, a literary agent and healthy wit.

I firmly believe Cheryl Oreglia has that one nailed already.

Beautifully written with a flowing and engaging tempo, I have no hesitation in highly recommending this wonderful collection of essays on life. I will be dipping into it many times to treasure the wisdom and humour.

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

About Cheryl Oreglia

Born and bred in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cheryl Oreglia hosts a lifestyle blog called Living in the Gap, which appears weekly as she corrals the time to write and reflect on the mundane. Oreglia says, “I do have a life outside of my head, and it squeezes between me and my keyboard like a frightened child. What can you do? On the surface, my life is common, I’m married with children, even grandchildren, a retired educator who lives for weekends at the lake, but just below the surface is a unique voice, one that I hope will resonate with you.” Grow Damn It, is a customized, over-the-hill, gritty, compassionate view of life. Oreglia says, “we’re not going to bloom where we are planted, we’re going to break the damn pot.”

Connect with Cheryl –  Amazon USAmazon UK – Blog: Cheryl Oreglia – Twitter: @CherylOreglia – Facebook: Chery Oreglia


Thanks very much for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news about Cheryl’s new book.. thanks Sally.