Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Book Review – #PostApocalyptic #SciFi – Once Upon a Time in the Swamp by C.S. Boyack

Delighted to share my review the latest release by C.S. Boyack... a post apocalyptic science fiction novel Once Upon a Time in the Swamp.

About the book

Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.

My review for the book 31st May 2023

This book is a riveting tale of survival, not necessarily of the fittest, but certainly the most determined. Set in a tough new world where people live in small outposts of civilisation, and nature has reclaimed most of the land and waterways.

Mari is already resilient and hardworking being born after the catastrophic events decades before. But even she is not prepared for the devastating outcome when an evil gang sweep through her isolated farm. When the little official law that exists locally refuses to help, she decides to take matters into her own hands inspite of the likelihood she will not survive her gruelling mission.

The author has created an incredible world in the aftermath of several internal and external attacks on the USA and around the world. The detail of everyday life and survival is amazing and for that reason, very realistic. There are some wonderful characters who still believe in humanity and offer help along this arduous journey Mari embarks upon, but certainly the other stars in this book are an Ox with an attitude called Dirt, and a stray hound called Worthless.

At times harsh and cruel as we can only imagine this future world might be, there is also humour and lighter moments where the reader can catch their breath before moving on to the next encounter with snakes, alligators and men with evil on their minds.

A very satisfactory ending that leaves the door open perhaps for more books set in this time, as it would be a shame to waste the brilliant world the author has created.

I can highly recommend, and I am sure like me, you will find it very difficult to put this book down.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UKUniversal Link for other Amazon sites:

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

About C.S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

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


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Personal Power – Don’t Give Your Power Away #healing by Toni Pike

Delighted that author Toni Pike will be joining us for the next few months with her series Personal Power which I am sure you will find very interesting and thought provoking.

Finding your personal power and living an authentic life with validation and self-respect.

Welcome to my personal power series where I explore topics such as authenticity, values, self-validation and self-respect. I experienced a steep learning curve of personal transformation as I made some major changes in my life, and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned that have made a huge difference to me.

This is a series about authenticity, validation, self-belief and personal power.

Have you heard the expression, “don’t give your power away,” and found it hard to find out exactly what that meant? When I finally worked it out, it was nothing short of a revelation to me.

We need to understand that we have no ability to control what anyone else thinks or to change them. But we have enormous power over ourselves.

How we give away our power

When anyone provokes you in any way at all, the first thing that happens is that you might feel a measure of emotional pain or hurt. Then you react.

That reaction might be to justify yourself in some way or try to make the other person change their opinion or behaviour. In a more serious situation, you might argue or fight with them, become upset or emotional, or try to defend yourself.

Read that paragraph again. When you do any of those things, when you react at all, you are handing your power away.

You are taking your personal inner power and strength, and handing it over to the other person. Now, they are in control of the situation. You are dancing to their tune. You have given them the weapons they need to attack you with.

The other person can then turn around and criticise you for your reaction.

You have turned away from yourself – and instead have given your energy away to try to control something outside of you.

Take control of your own power

There is only one way to keep your personal power – and very good reasons why you should try to do that.

When someone provokes you in any way at all, don’t react. Instead, turn towards yourself and your own feelings. Then do the following three things:

  1. Self-validate by listening to and trusting your own feelings and opinions.
  2. Be your own best friend by comforting and supporting yourself about whatever just happened.
  3. After doing that, decide if you agree with the other person.

Have faith in your own feelings and opinions, rather than those of someone else. If they make some criticism of you, that is their business. You don’t have to believe them or take their opinions on board. Listen to your own heart.

Don’t run to someone else at the first opportunity to ask for their sympathy, viewpoint or support. Instead of doing that, turn to yourself.

Be your own comforter and friend, and rely on your own feelings and opinions.

It’s fine if someone is giving you feedback or helpful comments, or they are asking you a fair question. And it’s fine to discuss your problems with friends, family or colleagues. But you should be your number one supporter and the number one person you rely on.

Don’t React

When you are hurt or provoked by someone, DON’T REACT – and that includes being upset. This applies to major disagreements, or just minor situations that may be occurring multiple times a day.

Reacting will always give away your power – and then the other person has got what they want and they are in control.

Remember you now know how to validate your own feelings and opinions – and that really is a superpower. By doing that, you have retained your own power, and not given it away to someone else.

Have you stopped giving away your power? I’d love to hear about it.

My next article will be about values and living by your truth. 

©Toni Pike 2023

My thanks to Toni for sharing her series with us and I know she would love to receive your feedback.

About Toni Pike

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.


She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

A selection of  books by Toni Pike for children and adults

One of the reviews for Dead Dry Heart

Uma Iyer Van Roosenbeek5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, electrifying, riveting psychological thriller!  Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸

Tyler wins the hearts of the readers when he exhibits a very amazing attitude in the face of all the abuse meted out on him by his parents. Just when the reader is compelled to step into the book to take Tyler away from the abuse, an “angel” in human form intervenes, saves the boy, sends him off to safety with specific instructions. Tyler’s memory of the events is very hazy. Tyler makes a strong enemy of the ‘angel ‘ when he points to him as the killer of his abusive parents in the court!

Tyler is adopted by an extremely loving couple who encourage him to reach stupendous heights. Thanks to them, he progresses from excellence to excellence and his momentum reaches the pinnacle of success when he gets elected as the PM of Australia, an immensely popular one! He also has acquired a very loving wife and a very precious baby. This is when the ‘angel’ who has been released from the jail comes back to seek his revenge.

Events take such an unexpected turn that the readers are on tenterhooks to know what happens next. Are Tyler’s family rescued from the clutches of the mad man, what exactly transpired twenty five years ago when Tyler’s parents died, does Tyler get redeemed are questions that are answered in this outstanding thriller. Added to the delightful mix are all the 4-legged family of both dogs and cats!

The narrative is magnificent, the characters are endearing and it was an incredible reading experience. Thank you Ms. Pike!!!

Connect to Toni and buy the books: Amazon AustraliaAmazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter:@piketoni1


Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if your could share Toni’s series.


Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Host Malcolm Allen – May 2023 – The Ironic and Punny Side of Life

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 – Something to think about – The R’s of Life – Rejection – A Fact of Life Part Two – Preparing for Adulthood by Sally Cronin

In January 2016 I began a series that I was intending to publish as a book but instead I shared on the blog in a series four years ago and I hope new readers to the blog will enjoy reading.

The R’s of Life by Sally Cronin

The title came about as I dipped into a Thesaurus to find some words for a poem I was writing. I noticed that a great many words that reflected  key elements in our lives began with the letter ‘R’.

Last time I looked at the rejection that we can face as a child or teenager and in this post how we need help children build a robust outlook on life and their place in the world.

Rejection – A Fact of Life Part Two – Preparing for Adulthood

Free Stickies Post-It photo and picture

Building a robust emotional and mental immune system.

To build a strong physical immune system we have to be exposed to the world and its grime and germs from an early age. Nature intended that we would scrape our knees and get dirt in the wound, get stung by a bee, catch a cold and be exposed to pollen and other allergens. Germs lived liberally on the surfaces in the kitchen and in the bathroom and as we grew, our developing immune system would learn how to fight off the less dangerous varieties so that we could battle the fatal ones such as measles.

Today we have a spray cleaner that can eradicate up to 99% of all known germs…many children do not even have access to an outside environment, where they can damage themselves a little to teach their body how to fight serious disease.

And in today’s world of materialism and media advertising, combined with peer pressure, it is very hard to build a strong and resilient mental and emotional immunity.

We are encouraged to tell our children how beautiful they are, how talented and how they can have anything they want in the world. It is only since the increase in the reality shows such as X-Factor, The Voice, Pop Idol and such, that we get to see, not just those that actually have talent, but those who have been told they have it and don’t.

Which is more damaging? To tell a child that they are a great singer repeatedly and then to have those expectations dashed so publicly on live television or to be honest with them about their abilities. Let’s be honest; who has not laughed at the selection of no-hopers paraded before us during the auditions as ‘entertainment’ value. For a young person that initial humiliation is compounded when the episode is aired. You would have to be very thick skinned to face your school or work mates the next day.

Of course many children do have a natural talent such as singing, dancing, art, but it rarely develops into a career without dedicated training and endless practice. An overnight success is a rare phenomenon and most successful artists have spent years honing their talent. Usually they have had supportive parents or mentors who have ensured that they have the opportunity to develop a skill or talent. It is a tough road for a child without this level of intervention.

But what about preparing children for life’s realities?

Free Broken Heart Red photo and picture

The truth that they will fall in and out of love and that is going to hurt. They will be turned down for the school football team or fail to get the part in the school play. They might not get A + on all their exams despite doing the best that they can.

The fact is that some of us are not academically minded, however clever our parents tell us we are. And we are not told that being great at working with our hands is actually brilliant, or that all of us have strengths that can be developed so that our weaknesses are not as apparent.

I know that there are many of you reading this who have great kids who are well adjusted and who understand that life is not always fair. Kids who understand that overnight success is very rare and that most genuine and successful artists, business people, doctors and other professionals have studied and worked very hard to get to that point. Including facing numerous rejections on the way.

But, as I read yet more headlines on the role models that millions of kids follow, I am not surprised that those children and young adults have such a confused expectation of life.

Free Mockup Screen photo and picture

They see young men and women, and even families who have created their wealth and fame by being media influencers and in some cases, flaunting bad behave for the cameras. That is not to say that some are not astute business minds using their ‘fame’ to sell their products.

Many kids do not see that these so called perfect bodies and faces have been ‘enhanced’ by surgery and therefore unattainable for the majority of us. They also do not comprehend the price to be paid for that fame, in the form of rejection by much of society, and a breakdown of their relationships that are under such intense media scrutiny.

It is not all down to their parents not preparing them for rejection, nor the media which forces its way into our homes 24/7. Our current education system is also compounding the problem by treating the majority of children as as a future academic. Grooming them to apply and be accepted by colleges that have been re-titled ‘Universities’ to take degrees in subjects that will never provide them with a job in the real world.

I have interviewed hundreds of applicants during my career in industry, at all entry levels, and in the last forty years there has been an epidemic of young people who might be clever enough to take a degree, but have little to offer in the workplace. Many assume that a degree qualifies them to enter an organisation in a mid-level position in a managerial role that actually requires a completely different set of vital skills.

Rejection for jobs applied for by graduates is summed up in the following article Brian Kim – Why college graduates can’t get a job

  1. Increased competition.
  2. Little or no work experience.
  3. No skills
  4. Lack of networking
  5. No preparation on the resume and cover letter.
  6. No interview skills
  7. No weapon x
  8.  No follow up
  9.  Quitting too easily
  10.  A lack of people skills

According to an article in The Daily Telegraph, a third of working graduates took jobs as cleaners, office juniors and road sweepers six months after leaving university! Thousands of new graduates out of work

That is thousands of young people that have been sold a false and potentially devastating expectation.

Free Write Board photo and picture

To me this is one of the most calculated and deplorable forms of rejection that is perpetrated over an extended period from the age of four when a child enters school and then for the next twenty years depending on secondary education and further education attendance. All children deserve the opportunity to do well and learn, but if they do not fit into the rigid limits of the state designated curriculum, then they are not offered viable opportunities to thrive and go onto be able to find work they can excel at.

For those graduates who are in sectors that actually require a degree such as the law, medicine, engineering and other sciences there is still the uncertainty of finding employment within those sectors, but if they are lucky, they will find entry level positions that pay a decent salary. After three years that is likely to increase to an average of £30,000 depending on their specialisation or increased demand for their services.

But a degree is not the only way to achieve a fulfilling and successful career.

Free Tools Toolbox photo and picture

A qualified plumber after his apprenticeship can expect a salary of £45,000 a year and that can increase dependent on specialised skills and increasing demand for their services. Career salaries UK

There are some essential well paid trades that are crying out for young people to train for.

  • Where are the apprenticeships such as the one my father completed 80 years ago that led to a highly successful career in the Royal Navy?
  • Where are the trade schools and technical colleges such as the one I attended to get my diploma and enabled me to walk into a good job and progress up the ladder to senior management?

What we have done is set thousands of young people up for rejection as they flood the market with qualifications that will never get them jobs they have been led to expect would be waiting for them.

Not only that, the average student will leave university with a student loan to be repaid, and thousands of pounds in debt.

Free Demonstration Demonstrate photo and picture

This post is about rejection and as I have already stated, there is no getting away from it any age. Those of us who have spent years having our expectations challenged, occasionally met and sometimes exceeded, can roll with the punches.

My concern for the future is that we are doing our young a great disservice. We are failing to provide them with the life skills they need to be self-sufficient and responsible, not just for their own futures but of the families they will have one day. Whilst we are focused on getting students through to higher education we are leaving a trail of rejected young people who are not being given the necessary education in the basic skills that might get them into work. They face repeated rejections when they do attempt to find work and then find themselves rejected by society when they are reliant on welfare.

Of course there is an argument that there are manual labour jobs that anyone can do. But, is that really true? You still have to get through the interview process and anyone who applies who has the basic ability to read and write, is going to get the job ahead of someone who is functionally illiterate. Because there are still forms to complete and possibly written elements to the interview and required in the position.

Free Board Electronics photo and picture

Also with the developing technology, many trade related jobs require far more skills than just literacy.


How many applicants who cannot read or write are going to be brave enough to apply when it may identify this basic lack of education?

‘ 8.5 million people in the UK, can be described as having ‘very poor literacy skills.’

They can understand short straightforward texts on familiar topics accurately and independently, and obtain information from everyday sources, but reading information from unfamiliar sources, or on unfamiliar topics, could cause problems. Literacy Trust

The future

I believe there needs to be a concentrated focus on reading and writing in the early years at primary school. A child at that age has a brain like a sponge and can absorb huge amounts of information.

We need more dedicated teachers and smaller classes and money spent on education that is now spent in areas such as wokery and in some cases overseas aid.

Charity begins at home and 8.5 million people leaving the school system without basic literacy qualifies in my book. Incidentally the figure quoted when I first posted this series was 6.9 million. An increase in 1.6 million functionally illiterate adults in a country the size of the UK has to be setting off alarms…SURELY.

Apart from being able to read and write some of the courses at school that I consider to be essential are rarely on the curriculum. One of these is domestic science for both boys and girls ,and when I left school 54 years ago, I knew how to prepare three square meals a day and a basic knowledge of nutrition. Something that both girls and boys would benefit from as they head out into the world.

Perhaps the fast food industry would veto a return to this as part of a child’s education but in my book they should be spending some of their profits on sponsoring it!

Also in my opinion…selected ‘universities’ should be reverted back to technical colleges, and they should be offering a wide range of courses for girls and boys that provide diplomas for essential jobs within the community such as home care assistants and teaching assistants.  A degree can always be studied for if a student wishes to advance to a higher grade.

We need to give those kids who have been rejected, because of a lack of academic skills, their chance to make a mark in life and become productive citizens of the future.

Finally on the subject of rejection. Not only are we on the receiving end of rejection but we also hand it out, often thoughtlessly.

Letting down someone gently is not always possible depending on the circumstances but wherever possible a rejection should be honest and couched in terms that leaves the recipient with some dignity and a way to move forward.

And if you are rejected..

  • What have you learned?
  • What are the positive things you will take from the experience?
  • What changes do you need to make to your behaviour or skills to reduce the chances of being rejected next time?

Because there will be a next time.. and a next time until you succeed.

@Sally Cronin 2023

I have enjoyed a nomadic existence living in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Malta, South Africa, USA and Spain, before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months.  This has been followed by 15 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.

Having trained as a nutritional therapist I opened my own dietary advisory centre in Ireland in 1998 until 2002. My first book release resulted in a radio interview in Spain that led to four years as a nutritional consultant for an English language station, and this was followed by four years with my own health show and Sunday morning show on local radio station in the UK and then as station director, newsreader and presenter for an online television station.

As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others within our community. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog, linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my email All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Links to connect: My books and reviewsGoodreads: Sally Cronin – You can listen to podcasts on Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin – 1940s – Lionel Hampton, Glenn Miller, The Conga

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 1940s from Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton “Flying Home” (1940)

“Flying Home” was written by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton with lyrics by Sid Robin. It was developed while Hampton was in the Benny Goodman band. A gig in 1939 required the band to fly from L.A. to Atlantic City, the first time Hampton had flown. He began whistling a tune while waiting for the plane to taxi. Goodman asked him what it was, to which he replied “I don’t know, we can call it ‘Flying Home,’ I guess.”

Hampton later confessed that he was humming the tune as a way to keep his mind off of the impending flight. It was first recorded by the Benny Goodman Sextet in 1939, featuring solos by Hampton and Charlie Christian. The tune charted twice, in two different versions by the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. The first version, which rose to #25 in 1940, featured Ziggy Elman on trumpet. The second and most renowned version, with Dexter Gordon on tenor sax, featured an outstanding saxophone solo by Illinois Jacquet and charted in 1942, rising to #23.  Michael Zirpolo

Here is my next selection from the 1940s from Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (1940)

“Pennsylvania 6-5000” (also written “Pennsylvania Six-Five Thousand”) is a 1940 swing jazz and pop standard with music by Jerry Gray and lyrics by Carl Sigman. It was recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra as a Bluebird 78 rpm single.

Many big band names played in Hotel Pennsylvania’s Cafe Rouge in New York City, including the Glenn Miller Orchestra.The hotel’s telephone number, Pennsylvania 6-5000, inspired the Glenn Miller 1940 Top 5 Billboard hit of the same name, which had a 12-week chart run. The instrumental was recorded on April 28, 1940 in New York. The 78 single was released in June, 1940 as RCA Victor Bluebird 78 B-10754-A backed with “Rug Cutter’s Swing”. The song was also an advertisement for attendance at the band’s live performances, as a call could be put through to Hotel Pennsylvania’s venue the Cafe Rouge for a reservation. Classic Mood Experience

Other sources: Wikipedia – And: Jazz Standards

The conga line is a novelty line dance that was derived from the Cuban carnival dance of the same name and became popular in the US in the 1930s and 1950s. The dancers form a long, processing line, which would usually turn into a circle. It has three shuffle steps on the beat, followed by a kick that is slightly ahead of the fourth beat. The conga, a term sometimes mistakenly believed to be derived from the African region of Congo, is both a lyrical and danceable genre, rooted in the music of carnival troupes or comparsas

The conga dance was believed to have been brought over from Africa by enslaved people in the West Indies, and became a popular street dance in Cuba. The style was appropriated by politicians during the early years of republic in an attempt to appeal to the masses before election. During the Machado dictatorship in Cuba, Havana citizens were forbidden to dance the conga, because rival groups would work themselves to high excitement and explode into street fighting. When Fulgencio “El Checho” Batista became president in the 1940s, he permitted people to dance congas during elections, but a police permit was required.

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 Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #Scifi The Final View (The View from Here Trilogy Book 3) by Leon Stevens

Happy to share the news of the latest release by Leon Stevens. The third book in his Sci-fi trilogy – The Final View (The View from Here Trilogy Book 3)

About the book

“We have to go back.”

That’s what April said as we sat at the bar. Now, I regret the choices.

April texted me. “When are we going back?”

I’ve thought about it constantly. We could have gone back right away, but we both decided to come home to take care of some things here first. Would the entrance still be there in the future? It had to be. We didn’t destroy it like the last time—although, I don’t think it was anything we did on purpose to seal the cave at the end of the trail. There was an earthquake, but did we do that? I don’t think so.

There is some connection that both of us feel about that place. Maybe it’s the shared experience, maybe it’s the residual ‘gift’ Flick gave us, or as April puts it:

“I think we have a higher purpose, Thomas.”

I don’t know what that is. Neither does she.

One of the early reviews on Goodreads for the last book in the trilogy

The last book in the series gave me all the feels; adventure, tension, excitement and bittersweetness (yes I made up that word). I have loved getting to know these characters throughout the books and will miss them. A wonderful series – you should read them all 🙂 

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

Also by Leon Stevens

One of the reviews for the first book in the triology The View From Here

Roxsanne Lesieur VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic short dystopian story!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 4 February 2022

Thomas is a man with a lot of life experience under his belt and now all he wants to do it hike the trails around where he lives and absorb the nature around him and that is exactly what he sets out to do, however on this particular day, it is the one thing that doesn’t happen.

The hike starts off as any other does, apart form the car in the car park with a note saying it is “not abandoned”, he admires the viewpoint and makes his way up to the part of the trail with a wall around it and the decision to either follow the trail and either go up or down. This changes when he spots a footprint on the top of the wall and he has a decision to make, but in the end he makes a discovery and takes a leap of faith following where he thinks the person may have gone.

What Thomas finds when he follows in another’s footsteps is nothing like he has seen before, but the friendships he creates will leave a lasting effects on him. If you were in his shoes, somewhere you have never been before and with only your skills and those of another to keep you going, would you be able to take the same leap of faith and be brave enough to create the friendships it may lead to? This is a dystopian adventure where science fiction becomes a new reality and nothing is what it seems. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –follow Leon:GoodreadsWebsite:Lines by Leon Twitter: @linesbyleon

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About Leon Stevens

Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, and artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry in 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales. His newest publications are the sci-fi trilogy, The View from Here, The Second View, and The Final View, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news about Leon’s latest book..

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Meet the Authors 2023 – #Pilgrims #History Noelle Granger, #Fantasy #Africa Chris Hall, #Memoir #Cancer Miriam Hurdle

Welcome to the 2023 series of meet the authors. This series offers me the opportunity to not just share my personal recommendation for the author, but to also check for new books I might have missed, changes to biographies and profile photos and check links.

I also I hope will introduce you to previously unknown authors to you and their books. As the curator of a towering TBR like most of you, I hope it will also encourage you to move books waiting in line up the queue.

The first author today Noelle Granger has recently released the fifth book in the Rhe Brewster mysteries and has also recreated the world of the early pilgrims in a fantastic book The Last Pilgrim that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Meet Noelle Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a rambling, 125-year-old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming. She was also one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation. Granger graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. The Rhe Brewster Mystery Series was born.

The series features Rhe Brewster, an emergency room nurse, as the protagonist. Rhe lives in the fictional coastal town of Pequod, Maine, (similar to Plymouth) and Granger uses her knowledge of such a small town, her experiences sailing along the Maine coast, and her medical background to enrich each book in the series. In the first book, Death in a Red Canvas Chair, the discovery of a wet, decaying body of a young woman, sitting in a red canvas chair at the far end of a soccer field, leads Rhe on a trail that heads to a high-end brothel and a dodgy mortuary operation.

The second novel in the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death in a Dacron Sail, was released in 2015, and finds Rhe responding to a discovery by one of the local lobstermen: a finger caught in one of his traps. The third book, Death By Pumpkin, begins with the sighting of the remains of a man’s body in a car smashed by a giant pumpkin at the Pequod Pumpkin Festival. Up next? Death in a Mud Flat.

In addition to the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Granger has had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine, and has been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, The News & Observer, The Boothbay Register, and other local press. Granger lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

Books by Noelle Granger

My review for The Last Pilgrim

This book is amazing. Not only is it wonderfully written with a great flow that carries you through the events of Mary Allerton Cushman’s long life, but because you feel you have stepped right into the lives of those first settlers to the New World four hundred years ago.

It is a novel that fictionalises the true story of Mary Allerton and her family, from the age of four aboard the Mayflower, through her long life to 1699, first in the words of her father Isaac and then Mary as she takes over the narration in her early teens.

It is a chronicle of a journey begun in Germany, as those who were persecuted for their beliefs made the decision to move to the Americas where they were promised they could practice their religions as they wished. Arriving in England they wait for passage with several failed attempts due to weather and unseaworthy vessels, before finally boarding the Mayflower. Of course even in the 1600s, money was also involved, and a deal was struck to fund the pilgrimage, with the expectation that trade goods would flow back to England in repayment of the loan. This placed an enormous burden on the fledgling communities on the east coast of America that was to last generations.

We travel with the 102 pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, where below decks families were crammed in to any available space with little food, no washing facilities or fresh air. This led to many deaths through disease and malnutrition with scurvy rampant. Babies were born and died, as did their mothers, and a much depleted group of men, with only a handful of women and their children landed in this unexplored New England.

This was not the good life, and without the help of the local native Indians it is unlikely that the remaining pilgrims would have survived. Sickness and their primitive living conditions led to more losses and it took several years for the colony to begin to thrive.

We share in their failures and successes through the next 75 years as demands from England continue to drain the economy. Relationships with both the Indian tribes and newcomers intent on land grabbing are tenuous, and their strict beliefs are tested on many occasions. There is no doubt that their presence in some areas displaced the indigenous people, and the introduction of European diseases resulted in thousands of deaths. But the author also shares the benefits of this coming together of two cultures, and the fact that a great many settlers formed long lasting friendships and trade agreements with their Indian neighbours.

The author knows the area intimately and even took part in the historical re-enactments of the period when she was a teenager. Combined with exhaustive research into the available writings of the time, Noelle Granger has recreated the life of this incredible group of migrants in great detail.

I particularly enjoyed the wonderful inclusion of the details such as the herbal remedies used for sickness and childbirth, the methods for preparing wild and cultivated crops, the making of candles and soaps and beer. The food was simple but the recipes for the dishes were enhanced by the many herbs that were grown for medicinal and seasoning purposes.

This is an intimate and detailed glimpse of the life of these early settlers and serves to remind us how privileged we are today with all our modern technology and medical advancement. Immigrants to a new country, particularly in this day and age, are looked upon by many with distrust and even hostility. But where would all of our countries be without these original settlers, who were not looking for adventure, but a safe sanctuary? Millions of Americans today can trace back their family trees to these early arrivals, and that is a testament to their forebears’ fortitude.

I can recommend the novel to anyone who enjoys well researched and written historical adventures based on true people and events.

Head over to read more about Noelle A. Granger and buy her books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter: @NAGrangerAuthor

The next author Chris Hall lives in South Africa and I enjoyed her fantasy novel Song of the Sea Goddess and can highly recommend.

Meet Chris Hall

Chris describes herself as a compulsive story-teller, cat slave and hen keeper. Originally from the UK, she now resides in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Her most recent novels, ‘Song of the Sea Goddess’ and it’s sequel, ‘Spirit of the Shell Man’ were inspired by the charm and beauty of her adopted country where, in Chris’s vivid imagination, myth and reality collide on the southern shores of Africa.

Other novels:

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone – Thrills and Spills in 1980s Liverpool’

‘Following the Green Rabbit – a fantastical adventure’

‘The Silver Locket’ (published under pen name, Holly Atkins)

‘Song of the Sea Goddess’ and ‘Following the Green Rabbit’ are also available as audiobooks.

A selection of her poetry is included in ‘Creation and the Cosmos – a poetic anthology’, published by Raw Earth Ink in 2021.

She has also published a tiny taster of her work in a short story collection, ‘A Sextet of Shorts’.

More of her short fiction has appeared in ‘Adler’s Writing’ and ‘One Minute Wit’. Her work also appears in the ‘Writing My City’ anthology, published in Cape Town in 2019.

Books by Chris Hall

My review for Song of the Sea Goddess

A wonderful magical tale that is a fusion of ancient myths and the modern world.

The author has created a world where both these elements can exist together embodied in the delightful characters who share their story with us. They each are on their own paths with differing ambitions and hopes for the future and some escaping the scars of the past.

Despite this sleepy fishing village appearing to be a haven for those who find themselves living there, it becomes the epicentre for an act of revenge from the depths of the sea in response to the greed and destruction of man. The environment is under attack as are those mythical beings who live in within its shadows.

Where has the golden treasure tainted by dark magic come from? As those who touch it will discover, its hold on humans and creatures who cross its path is compelling and addictive, resulting in actions that become increasingly dangerous as the story races to the explosive climax. 

The Sea Goddess is on a mission to restore the natural order of the land, and to retrieve the coins that do not belong in the earthly realm. She is also prepared to take drastic action to right the devastating impact of this assault on the land before it is too late, putting the lives of Sam, the mystical Sasha, the Professor, Jannie and Dawid at great risk as they seek to solve the mysteries unfolding around them.

There some lovely humour threading its way through the story as we meet the other inhabitants of the village. I loved the two aunties Rose and Grace with their homespun wisdom and approach to life. The colourful Albertina who captures the heart of all she enounters as she attempts to fulfil her ambitions in life. The myterious and gentle Abdu who has a secret that will astonish all who know him and the little monkey Toti who will play a pivatol role in the adventure as it unfolds.

A wonderful fantasy adventure that I can highly recommend and I am looking forward to reading Spirit of the Shell Man soon.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US –  and: Amazon UK – Follow Chris: Goodreads –  Facebook: Chris Hall Author – Twitter: @ChrissyH_07

Then next author is Miriam Hurdle who has written both poetry and a delightful book for children. Recently she published her memoir sharing her breast cancer treatment and recovery which is inspiring.

Meet Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband and daughter’s family in Oregan, and when not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Books by Miriam Hurdle

My review for The Winding Road

This is a brutally honest journal that takes the author from her initial and unexpected diagnosis of a rare cancer, through the gruelling treatment plan and her survival against the odds.

Despite the difficult subject matter, there are many elements in this story that shine through, such as the strength of faith, support of not just extended family but from kind friends within the local church fellowship, and the extraordinary courage it required to keep going despite the trauma.

Not all challenges were medical by nature, as there were hoops to jump through with regards to work, finance and obtaining the necessary approvals from health insurers. This can only have added a layer of stress totally unwelcome on top of the need to be positive about the prognosis.

Family and so many people came together to support, provide transport, meals and after treatment comfort in the form of emails and online messaging. This was a community at its best, and as important as the chemotherapy and surgery were in achieving the final outcome.

Family is key, and the love of her husband and her daughter with her growing family, are clearly a wonderful incentive for Miriam Hurdle to overcome not just the diagnosis and treatment, but the subsequent after effects that still have to be managed.

At the end of the book there are some wonderful photographs of the author and her family travelling around the world, celebrating life to its fullest. Perhaps with a new awareness of just how precious life is and should be celebrated every day.

At times this book lies heavy on the heart, but it is also an uplifting reminder of the human spirit. It is recommended reading for those who may be facing the challenges of cancer treatment to illustrate that there is hope, but also everyone who respects courage in the face of devastating adversity.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon USAnd:Amazon UK Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings – Twitter: @mhurdle112


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – May 15th – 21st 2023 – Twitter, Starlings, The Jive, Diana Krall, Soul Mates, Zabaglione, Personal Power,Book Reviews, Health and Humour

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

Glad to report that the final small bits to the kitchen and the new counter top in the utility room are complete and we are back to normal which is great. I went shopping yesterday morning and when leaving the store I knew immediately that something was wrong.. I sounded like I was competing in a drag race with a revved up engine… and clearly my exhaust had cracked.. Thankfully our usual garage can take it on Monday morning… just when you think you have finished spending….. still it could be worse.

The baby starlings have fledged. They have been making a bit of a racket for the last couple of weeks in the hedges surrounding the house but on Wednesday they took flight and joined their parents at the Birdseed Cafe and Spa. They have learnt very quickly that the water bath is a fun way to play while waiting for mum or dad to fetch a dried mealy worm or seed from the buffet and the noise is horrendous, but satisfying to see such a wonderfully healthy crop of youngsters. Makes the feeding everyday, especially during the winter months worth it..Here is Mum on guard whilst two babies try out the swimming pool.

Just a note to remind those of you who have twitter accounts and whose posts were automatically uploaded there too. That option is no longer available which means that you have to manually link your posts to Twitter by using the sharing link. And readers can do likewise. Apparently to compensate they are bringing in an automatic instagram link which is great for those who are members and share a lot of photos.

I have been out and about again this week with crime writer Sue Coletta, who shares one of the stories from Variety is the Spice of Life… The Neighbourhood Watch a story of revenge with a bit of a twist at the end…

Please head over to enjoy on Sue’s blog:Short Story – The Neighbourhood Watch by Sally Cronin

Author Allan Hudson very kindly interviewed me back in 2017 along with an excerpt from Just An Odd Job Girl… this week he reshared the post and it was lovely to revisit his questions and the comments.

If you have time please head over if you missed it back in 2017: Allan Hudson with Guest Author Sally Cronin

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 Artie Shaw, Coleman Hawkins and The Jive.  On Friday William finished the series featuring Diana Krall.  On Friday William begins a new series… get ready to dance… with ABBA..You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here with her series Spiritual Awareness on Monday exploring Soul Mates and Life Partners and the difference between them.. and of course Debby shared some great funnies for our laughter spot. On her own blog you will find her Sunday Book Review for The Widow by Valerie Keogh and a terrific post about Florence, Italy and the great flood of 1966 that devastated the city and its wonderful collection of artwork…and the amazing recovery operation. Head over toD.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with the final in the current series of A-Z of food and the letters ‘X,Y,Z’. Carol’s next series is the original Green Kitchen which will be posted every three weeks starting on June 7th. Carol has been in Australia but returning soon to her blog, but you can catch up with her archives at Carol Cooks 2

Toni Pike will be here on Wednesday with her series on Personal Power and this week, Don’t Give Your Power Away… something it is easy to do. Head over to check out Toni Pike’s Books

On Thursday author Daniel Kemp shared some of his off the chart funnies with us including an hysterical letter from a new army recruit in Australia…you can catch up with Danny on his website and blog The Author Danny Kemp

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 – 1940s – Artie Shaw, Coleman Hawkins, The Jive

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Diana Krall Part Four – 2010s and Beyond

Spiritual Awareness – Soul Mates and Life Partners by D. G. Kaye

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – X,Y,Z for Xawaash Spice, Yams and Zabaglione.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Podcast Rewind – Tales from the Garden – The Guardians of the Magic Garden by Sally Cronin

Free No Rubber Stamp photo and picture

Something to think about – The R’s of Life – Rejection – A Fact of Life Part One by Sally Cronin

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Circulatory System – Part Two – Common problems with blood-vessels by Sally Cronin

Book Review – In the Tree’s Shadow: A collection of stories that exist in your dreams… and nightmares by D.L. Finn

New Book on the Shelves – #WWII #Netherlands – The Girl From Huizen by Paulette Mahurin

#Crime #Alzheimer’s The Lilac Notebook by Carol Balawyder

#Motivational – Prisoners without Bars: A Caregivers Tale by Donna O’Donnell Figurski

#Nostalgia #BabyBoomers The Rat In The Python: Book 1 The Home by Alex Craigie

#Mystery #Paranormal D.L. Finn, #Malaysia #WWII Apple Gidley, #Supernatural #Adventure John W. Howell

Smorgasbord Blogger Spotlight – 26th May 2023 #Laughter Pete Springer, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Texting John W. Howell, #Chess Stevie Turner, #Eurovision Janet Gogerty, #Genres Jacqui Murray, #Florence D.G. Kaye

Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Petty Theft and paraprosdokians

Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – May 2023 – Facebook Friends and Orchestral manoeuvres


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