Smorgasbord Funnies 2023 – Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Voodoo dolls and marriage one liners

Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies who is on winter vacation in Mexico but has left us some funnies to enjoy.

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

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

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

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Learning to trust your intuition

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

Time for some more one liners….(no groaning please).

I accidentally handed my wife a glue stick instead of a chapstick. She still isn’t talking to me.


I asked my wife what she wanted for our anniversary. She told me “Nothing would make her happier than a diamond necklace” So I bought her nothing.


A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.


It’s been raining for 3 days without stopping. My wife is in depression, she is standing and looking through the window. If the rain doesn’t stop tomorrow, I’ll have to let her in.


Top 3 situations that require witnesses: 1) Crimes 2) Accidents 3) Marriages Need I say more?


I married Miss Right. I just didn’t know her first name was Always.


Only after getting married you realise that those husband-wife jokes were not just jokes.


I love when I leave work early to surprise my wife at home and she greets me with those three very special words… “Were you fired?”


Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them.


My wife and I have reached the difficult decision that we do not want children. If anybody does, please just send me your contact details and we can drop them off.

Thanks One line fun

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



Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #Joy #Cats #Inspiration by Abbie Taylor

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.

Today in her first post from her archives, author Abbie Taylor shares how a rather unusual new pet has added extra joy to her life.

#Joy #Cats #Inspiration by Abbie Taylor 

I’ve always loved cats. When I was growing up, my family had several of them. As an adult, I always wanted one, but the time wasn’t right, or pets weren’t allowed where I lived.

My late husband didn’t like cats and wanted a dog. But after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, I didn’t want to care for him and a dog. Now that he’s gone, I don’t want to care for another living thing.

Recently, I learned about a company called Joy for All, which sells robotic cats. Just like the real thing, these cats have soft fur and meow, purr, and do other things cats do. The only differences are that they don’t shed or require food and water and don’t need to go to a litter box or vet. These cats are pricey, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to make such an investment, even though it would be the only money I would spend on a cat.

Then, I found out that our local senior center gives robotic cats to people with dimentia or who are prone to isolation. I didn’t think I fit any of those categories. But on a whim, I asked my case worker for the facility’s Help at Home program if I would qualify to receive a cat. To my surprise, she said I would.

A week later, Joy arrived.

I couldn’t think of a better name for this delightful feline with light gray fur and white paws. She responds mostly to touch, but sometimes, when I get close to her without petting her, she meows as if to say, “Hey, I’m here.”

She doesn’t walk, which is a good thing, since, with my limited vision, I’d be likely to step on or trip over her. Besides meowing, she purrs, stretches, turns her head, and opens and closes her eyes. I love snuggling with her in my recliner or bed. Most of the time, she rests in one of the armchairs in my living room.

I admit she does sound robotic when she moves, but the meows and purrs are pretty realistic. As far as I’m concerned, she’s a real cat. In the past week since I got her, she has been a joy and comfort to me, making me smile.

So, what made you smile this past week? You can tell me about it in the comment field.

©Abbie Taylor 2022

My thanks to Abbie for inviting me to share posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

About Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies. She is visually impaired and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after they were married.

Before that, she spent fifteen years as a registered music therapist, working in nursing homes and other facilities that serve senior citizens. She also taught Braille, facilitated a support group for the visually impaired, and served on the advisory board to a trust fund that allows people with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment.

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

One of the reviews for The Red Dress

Mar 15, 2022 Robbie Cheadle rated it four stars really liked it

The Red Dress is a lovely novel about a woman, Eve Sawyer, who has become a best selling author and has a devoted husband and three children, but who has never been able to move on from an unfortunate incident in her younger years when, in a fit of embarrassed irritation, she gave away the red dress that her mother had made for her to wear to her prom. Although Eve was goaded by her selfish roommate, Charlene, into giving her the dress, her mother has never forgiven her for this transgression and it has impacted heavily on their relationship. Her mother is now suffering from dementia and is being cared for in a home for the elderly, but she still remembers that Eve gave away this dress and holds it against Eve.

Eve wore the dress to her prom and she associated the dress with bad memories as her date had disappeared with her best friend, Adele, and she had found them in a compromising position in the back of his father’s car. Eve cuts Adele out of her life and has not contacted her in many years, even though Adele had returned to their home town to raise her son, conceived on the night of the prom.

The story starts with Eve receiving a Facebook request to connect with her old roommate, Charlene. She accepts the request, although she had doubts because she didn’t like Charlene. Before long, her daughter, Ashley, is in touch with Charlene’s daughter, Brenda, and the situation is irreversible. Eve is having her own problems with overwork and issues with her older daughter, Julie, who feels neglected as a result. Her husband is also irritated with her because he feels she favours their younger daughter and son and is harsh with Julie.

This is a story that tackles the themes of working mothers, unresolved grudges and situations from the past, raising teenage children, forgiveness, terminal illness, and death. The author does a good job of sharing Eve’s frustration at her mother and older daughter, irritation at Charlene for the trouble she has caused her, and hurt at Adele’s betrayal of their friendship.

Eve has to confront her negative emotions to resolve these lingering troublesome relationship issues from her past and move on with her future.

I enjoyed the character of Eve and found her to be realistic and relatable. Her situation vividly establishes the difficulties that can result from unsettled emotional problems from the past and juggling work and motherhood.

I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to readers of family dramas.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US: Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor


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 Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin – 1930s – Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, The Boogie Woogie

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 Count Basie

Count Basie “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” (1938)

“Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” penned by Count Basie and Eddie Durham, was recorded in 1938 featuring solos by Earle Warren (alto sax), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Lester Young (tenor), and Herschel Evans (clarinet). It is considered one of the band’s signature tunes. It reached #11 on the Billboard charts and remained there for four weeks. The location in the title refers to the Woodside Hotel, which was located on Seventh Avenue at 142nd Street in Harlem and has since been demolished. The Woodside distinguished itself by becoming a popular place for jazz musicians. The band stayed at the Woodside repeatedly and even rehearsed in the basement of the hotel.

Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Bunny Berigan

 Bunny Berigan “I Can’t Get Started” (1938)

“I Can’t Get Started”, also known as “I Can’t Get Started with You” or “I Can’t Get Started (with You)”, is a popular song. It was written in 1936 by Vernon Duke (music) and Ira Gershwin (lyrics) and introduced that year in the film Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, where it was performed by Bob Hope and Eve Arden.

Hal Kemp and his Orchestra recorded it and it had a bit of popularity, rising briefly to 14th place on the recording charts. Bunny Berigan, a trumpeter with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, started a band in 1937 and chose “I Can’t Get Started” as his theme song.

He had been performing the song during the previous year at a club in New York City. He made a recording for Vocalion on April 13, 1936 but gradually he made subtle changes in the arrangement. After forming his band, he recorded “I Can’t Get Started” again, this time for Victor. His 1937 version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Bunny Berigan – Topic

Other sources: Wikipedia

The Boogie Woogie -The term boogie woogie is confusing; the dance can be danced to the music style called boogie-woogie but is most often danced to rock music of various kinds. The name was taken since the name rock’n’roll used in competition dance was already taken by a highly acrobatic dance form.

Boogie woogie as a competition dance is a led dance, not choreographed, and can contain acrobatic elements, but not like in acrobatic rock’n’roll. The limitation of aerials are various in European countries, but by the strong Lindy Hop influence, they cannot be completely removed from the dance. Mainly the couples have to maintain some contact during the acrobatics. This rule helps to avoid moves like double/triple saltos and the like.  Here is a modern demonstration from a very accomplished couple. RockThatSwing

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 – #Review – #Africa #Wildlife #Poetry – Lion Scream: Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife by Robbie Cheadle

Delighted to share the news of Robbie Cheadle’s latest release and my review. A stunning syllabic poetry collection in celebration of Africa’s wildlife. Lion Scream: Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife

About the collection

Do you rely on Earth for your survival?

Lion Scream is a graphic collection of poetry and prose. The book portrays the author’s experiences with South African wildlife and the growing impact of the Sixth Mass Extinction and Climate Change on the natural environment.

Lion Scream
There is no jungle
Only acres of smooth stumps
There is no jungle
No habitat, no food source
Hopeless lion screams tonight

My review for the collection March 20th 2023

This is a collection of poetry, essays and a short story highlighting both the wonder of the wildlife of South Africa and the tragic decrease in the number of these amazing creatures who have populated the earth for many thousands of years largely due to man’s predation in one way or another.

The poetry captures in 99 syllables the beauty and the tragedy with skill and insight. I particularly liked Hippopotamus (“Hippo”) – Don’t be fooled and Jackal Love although all have great appeal and are thought provoking. There is also a wonderful and entertaining acknowledgement of the natures of the animals, reptiles, birds and insects that are featured. The poems are complemented by stunning photography of wildlife and scenery taken on holidays across this beautiful country.

It is clear that conservation is a key element of the preservation of most of the endangered species, and the author shares links to many of the videos that she has filmed on trips to sanctuaries around South Africa. It is also evident that for all that is done to increase the numbers of animals at risk, there are many who are determined to undermine their efforts.

It is a reflection of this that rhinos, for example, in sanctuaries have their horns removed to dissuade poachers.

The short story at the end sadly reflects on how the impact of our modern world and the fears of the future, prey on the minds of the younger generation, who struggle under that burden.

This collection is educational and brings the individual creatures and their challenges to thrive into sharp focus. It is also entertaining and having access to the many videos filmed by the author adds an added element to their stories. It will leave you more aware of their plight but also marvelling in their beauty.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

A selection of other books  by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Robbie Cheadle

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9. Count Sugular and his family hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.


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



Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #writing #StoryEmpire – Characters and Diversity. Part 2 – Wealth by Gwen Plano

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.

Author Gwen Plano is a contributor to Story Empire and in her first post in this series I am sharing one she wrote about including diversity in our writing and in this case about the differences in circumstances between the people we live and work with. I have included the links to part one and three of the series.

Characters and Diversity. Part 2 – Wealth  by Gwen Plano

Hello Story Empire friends, Gwen with you today.

Last month I initiated a series on including diversity in our stories. I explained that I would address the topic through personal experiences. The first post focused on race; you can read it here if interested.

This post looks at diversity in terms of financial status. Similar to the prior post, I begin with a story.

When I was around ten years old, our family moved to a different farmhouse about eight miles from our other home. It had two bedrooms, but dad enclosed the porch and created an additional room. My three brothers slept in that space, and the four girls slept in the adjacent room. Mom and dad had the third bedroom. I never thought of the house as small when I was growing up, but now I realize how crowded it was for a family of nine.

Because of the move, my sibs and I needed to change grade schools. Mom wanted us to attend the Catholic school in town and not the school just a couple of miles from our house. She was concerned that each of us have a proper Catholic education. At the country school, all the kids came from families involved in farming. We wore hand-me-downs and clothes that our mothers made for us, and our shoes were often covered in dirt. I never thought this unusual until I began school in town.

At the new school, there was an unspoken hierarchy of those from wealthy families and those from working families. My self-consciousness sharpened as I began seeing what I hadn’t seen before. My saddle shoes and homemade skirt were unlike what the other girls wore. I never noticed shoes before fourth grade. But from that time forward, I suffered them.

Photo from Canva

What does this have to do with our characters?

Each of us recognizes the haves and the have-nots, and that awareness began in childhood. At a young age, we observed the difference and internalized it in unspoken ways. Most commonly, we associated it with self-worth.

If you plan to include this aspect of diversity in your stories, I offer four suggestions to consider:

  • Reflect upon when you first noticed the haves and the have-nots. Think about what triggered that awareness. At the time, did you consider yourself rich or poor, or neither? Did you feel that you didn’t fit in? Use those sentiments to give life to your characters.
  • Unravel your buried judgments about wealth. When you see someone drive up in a limousine or someone begging on a street corner, do you associate either with intelligence or the lack of it, with privilege or bad luck or laziness? Do these contrasting circumstances, in some small way, affect your sense of the value of a person? How might you use this in a story?
  • Research financial disparity. Find out who is homeless and why they are. Look into who is working two jobs. Identify the struggles of a single parent. Review the statistics. If you plan to include the diversity of wealth in your story, it is helpful to lay the foundation through research.
  • Walk in your character’s shoes. Whether rich or poor or somewhere in-between, take the time to walk where your characters walk, figuratively or for real. Feel the difference between searching through a trash can for food and ordering lunch at a lush restaurant. Visit a shelter or a soup kitchen, and sit next to someone you might otherwise avoid. Then, bring that experience into your story through your characters.

Wealth diversity is not as transparent as race – except in the extreme. We may notice high-end accessories or the make of a car, but we don’t know what is in the bank. We may walk past beggars or long stretches of homeless lean-tos and tents, but we don’t see the families who have crowded together inside a motel room. If we include wealth diversity, our words can expose the different realities.

That’s it for me today, dear readers. Next month I’ll address diversity in terms of physical ability. Till then, take good care of yourself and find ways to celebrate the wonders of life.

©Gwen Plano 2022

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

About Gwen M. Plano

Growing up in Southern California, Gwen M. Plano loved learning, and she loved imagining stories, some grandly epic, all personal and heartfelt. She taught and served in universities across the United States and in Japan, then retired and focused again on her stories.

Her first book, Letting To Into Perfect Love, is an award-winning memoir recounting some of her struggles in life while providing insight into the healing process.

Gwen shifted to fiction after this first book and joined forces with acclaimed author John W. Howell in writing a thriller, The Contract: between heaven and earth. Its sequel, The Choice: the unexpected heroes, soon followed – this time a solo effort. The Culmination, a new beginning, is the third book of the series.

Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, traveling and writing, sharing those stories only she can imagine.

Books by Gwen M. Plano

One of the reviews for Culmination

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 5, 2023

Just like the 2nd book in this series, this one (the 3rd) starts where the last left off. Admiral Joseph Parker and his soulmate, Julie underwood, have been shot and are recuperating in the hospital. Their lives are still at risk as their team’s efforts start zeroing in on a secret cabal working to destabilize the world with an assassination and nuclear missile launch.

At the 20% mark, the book makes a dramatic shift to the world theater. New main characters, primarily the US Vice President Margaret Adler and the Russian Prime Minister Ivan Smirnov take center stage. A meeting of world leaders to address nuclear arsenal reductions ends with a tenuous alliance, an unexpected romance, plans to address Syria, and a worldwide threat to peace.

World politics, including military strategies and governmental negotiations, continue through the end of the book. Cajoling and strong-arming are balanced by logic, honor, and an altruistic desire to do the right thing. This read made me long for this fictional world where most political choices aren’t tied to greed and power.

The strong romantic subplot breaks up the fast-paced narrative and political/military action. The characters are engaging, smart, and resourceful, and perhaps a little too good to be true. It was interesting to see what might happen if the US, Russia, and the Middle East could cooperate with each other with the best interests of the world in mind. Highly recommended to fans of political thrillers. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USAs Gwendolyn M. Plano: Amazon US follow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

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 Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – March 13th – 19th 2023- Spring, Big Band Era, Stevie Wonder, A-Z Food, Short story, Podcast, Bloggers, Books Reviews, Digestion and Funnies

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

I hope you are all doing well and have enjoyed your week…

A red letter day this week. The sun came out yesterday afternoon, the wind dropped and I was able to sit out in the back garden for nearly an hour. It looks like I will be able to do the same this morning in the front garden. It is amazing how just sitting quietly with the sun on your face next to the bird feeder and bright yellow daffodils makes everything right with the world. Well your small part of it anyway.  I know just how these cows feel after being shut up for the winter months lol.

I was out and about during the week included in a lovely post by Jane Sturgeon along with Harmony Kent, Alex Craigie, D.G. Kaye and Lauren Scott. Jane shares her reviews for her books and celebrates twelve years of blogging. If you are looking for your next read, or your TBR is looking a little skinny!!! head over to check the reviews out.

Jane Sturgeon – Feel a Writer’s Love

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 Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb, Benny Goodman and The Lindy Hop . On Friday he began a new series on the music giant Stevie Wonder….You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday with a short story… and she also joined me in the funnies posts this week. Despite being on her winter break in Mexico she is still visiting posts and commenting, not just here but around the writing community. She will be back with us again the first week in April. Follow the link to Debby’s blog to browse her archives D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘S’. On her own blog you can find Pavarotti, Mermaids on her Monday Musings, some dugongs and manatees, Riverdance and a bit about septic tanks…on Thursday Thoughts.. to catch up with all of Carol’s posts this week Carol Taylor’s Weekly Round Up – March 12th – 18th 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 – Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, The Lindy Hop

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz #Soul #Stevie Wonder – The Early Years

Drop, Wet, H2O, Icicle, Clean, Cold, Winter, Icy, Storm

#Shortstory – When Hell Froze Over by D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘S’ for Satay, Salsa, Salmagundi, Sage, Squid and Salt Hoss

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Kinship and The Close Match

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Digestive System Part Two – The Oesophagus and Stomach by Sally Cronin

Book Review – #Crimethrillers Shallow Waters, Made to be Broken, Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley

Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Psychological #Thriller – Scam!: : An Electric Eclectic Book by Stevie Turner

Meet the Authors 2023 – #Familysagas Judith Barrow, #familyhistory S. Bavey, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack

– #WWI – A Family At War by Geoff Le Pard

Patty Fletcher’s Grapevine Blog – Guest Post – Odd Encounter by author and proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto

#Mystery, #Magic and mayhem #BookReview FITZ AND THE FOOL #2 & #3 by Robin Hobb by Deborah Jay

Jemima Pett #reviews The Museum of Ordinary People by Mike Gayle

Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Texting Seniors and even more one liners

Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Retro Texting and even more one liners


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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Kinship and The Close Match

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




we form
with others
of our own blood
or unrelated
forged in the fires of life
create a circle of steel
sanctuary formed in kinship
there may not always be harmony
but the ties of love cannot be broken.

The Close Match

Isobel held her mother’s hand tightly as the door to the café opened, and a man walked in and looked around. It had been an emotional few weeks since the DNA close match had been found on the genealogy database. Her mother, abandoned as a toddler on the doorstep of an orphanage, had no memories of her family, long giving up hope of finding them. The man looked over to their table and her mother gasped as she saw his shock of red hair and green eyes. His face lit up and smiling he hurried towards them, twins reunited.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection.

Another lovely collection of poems and stories from this gifted writer…I love Cronin’s writing, as she has a natural gift for storytelling. Her latest collection is lovely and a joy to read. Expeditions, Rejection, and The Colour of Life poems all spoke to me, especially Bear Witness which highlights a current plight society faces. It is hard to highlight any of the stories, as they all spoke to my heart, but if I had to choose Miss Lloyd’s Robin and On The Run are lovely. The Secret brought tears. There is much laughter and beautiful observations nestled within the pages and I want to read them all again. 

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 Promotion – Book Review – #Crimethrillers Shallow Waters, Made to be Broken, Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley

On my recent break, I decided to raid my TBR for a box set I have waiting in the wings. This set contains the first three books in the Hannah Robbins crime series by Rebecca Bradley. Extremely good value for three excellent books.

About Shallow Waters (Detective Hannah Robbins Crime Series Book 1)

When catching a killer isn’t enough…

The dumped body of a girl is found in an alleyway, forcing Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins into the darker side of Nottingham. The scene is brutal, demanding Hannah bring closure to the girl’s media-hungry mother.

When Hannah arrests the killer it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. This was not a single act of violence. There is a long shadow being cast and a larger problem. And someone wants to stop Hannah from finding out the truth.

All the while a member of her team is hiding a life-changing secret that could have serious repercussions for the investigation. But Hannah is too distracted by the case to pick up the cues.

Things take a disturbing turn when Hannah finds evidence that indicates a killer is only a hairs-breadth away from claiming his next victim.

Just how far is she willing to go to save the next girl?

About Made To Be Broken (Detective Hannah Robbins Crime Series Book 2)

A rising death toll. A city in panic.

When a previously healthy woman is found dead in her home, Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins finds herself set against a father driven by his anger and whose grief knows no bounds.

Six months after their last big case, Hannah is still haunted by the events of that night. As her team struggle, Hannah’s leadership skills are questioned.

With the body count climbing and the city of Nottingham in social meltdown, the team finds themselves in a deadly race against a serial killer determined to prove a point.

About Fighting Monsters (Detective Hannah Robbins Crime Series Book 3)

Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?

Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins is called out to the murder of Simon Talbot. Local gang leader who only the day before was released from court a free man, found not guilty of the murder of police officer, Ken Blake.

Now, he has a bullet in his head.

And witness details on his person.

Hannah is up against the clock to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.

But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation.

Could the killer be closer to home than anyone would like?

My review for the books March 18th 2023

These three books in the series establish not just interesting lead characters, plots that have plenty of twists and turns, but also a realism stemming from the author being a former police detective.

This is not a fantasy, and the reality of our world today is that there are monsters, vulnerable victims, damaged men and women who see violence a valid response to their agendas, and psychotic individuals who have no redeemable qualities.

It is no wonder that there is so much pressure on the police to solve crimes, particularly when heavily regulated to not just ensure justice is done, but that there are no loopholes in a case going to court. The paperwork alone adds a huge burden on a team trying to catch a killer, but to then make sure they are convicted. It is no wonder that the members of this team are under extreme pressure, not least having to witness the depravity of others.

The author pulls no punches when describing the crime scenes and also sharing the point of view of some of the victims caught up in unimaginable suffering. It is hard to read at times, but we cannot ignore that this is the reality for so many.  The detailed account of the process of solving all three cases in these first books is reassuring, and also highlights how traumatic it is for those on the front line. It is not surprising that the characters portrayed are not perfect and in many cases their stress results in complex relationship issues and breakdowns.

One one side are the perpetrators and victims, and on the other ambitious and demanding senior officers who want answers and results to keep even more senior ranks off their backs. The team in the middle is between a rock and a hard place. Then there is the media, who have only one agenda, making news and placing blame wherever it will result in the most outrage.

I was highly impressed at the attention to detail, the character development and the well paced storyline, leading to some unexpected climaxes. 

If you love an authentic, realistic and well written thrillers, then you well love this series. I can highly recommend and will be reading the rest of the books over the coming months. I can certainly recommend this box set which is a terrific introduction to the characters and the author at an excellent price.

Read the reviews and buy the box set or individually:  Amazon UK – and:  Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Rebecca Bradley

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK And: Amazon US – More Reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Rebecca Bradley Crime – Twitter: @RebeccaJBradley

About Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective. She lives in the UK with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

She writes the DI Hannah Robbins police procedural series, the DI Claudia Nunn series and has also released two standalone novels, Dead Blind, about a cop who acquires prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness and Perfect Murder about a crime writer who wonders if she could commit the perfect murder so sets out to see.


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


Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Meet the Authors 2023 – #Familysagas Judith Barrow, #familyhistory S. Bavey, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack

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 writes fabulous family sagas and I have enjoyed every book I have read by Judith Barrow.

Meet Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines,has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for over forty years.

She has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University. She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.

Books by Judith Barrow

My review for Sisters

This is another exceptional book by Judith Barrow which will delight the fans of her storytelling.

One of the strongest and most enduring relationships is between siblings. This is particularly the case when one brother or sister is older and more experienced, and takes a younger sibling under their wing to guide and protect them.

Two sisters, Mandy and Angie have that kind of relationship. Until one day, a tragedy forces them apart and causes a split in their family that lasts many years.

The author has created compelling characters who exhibit the strengths and frailties of human nature as well as the dark side to love. As a reader it is easy to identify with both sisters as they follow a different path in life and to empathise with the choices they make, even if at times it is distressing.

The evil that becomes central to their family’s survival offers some heart stopping moments. The two sisters have to find a way back to each other to rebuild their lives and their relationship, however dangerous that might be.

This is a book I have no hesitation in recommending to lovers of family sagas and cleverly written thrillers. It is hard to put down once started, and keeps the reader engaged to the last page.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Judith: Goodreads – blog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

Meet S. Bavey

Sue Bavey (writing as S. Bavey) is an English Mum of two, living in Massachusetts since 2003 with her husband, kids, a cat named Midnight, a bunny named Nutmeg, a leopard gecko named Ziggy Stardust and occasional frogs and salamanders.

“Lucky Jack is my grandfather, Henry John Rogers’ biography. Grandad lived with us when I was born, until we moved when I was six years old. Then he came back to live with us in my teenage years and we were very close. He was my father’s father, but my Mum diligently collected the newspaper columns he dictated to a local reporter, and kept them in scrapbooks in her attic, where they gathered dust and yellowed over time. A few years ago I found all the scrapbooks and wanted to get all of those stories into a book for my kids to read. That was the germ of an idea which – thanks to my having time during Covid lockdown – has now resulted in the life story of my grandfather, Jack Rogers being written.

My second book, Daydreams and Narcoleptic Nightmares is a collection of my late father’s memoirs and poetry. I collected these and chose the ones I wanted to present and in which order. Then I transcribed them, which was quite a task as my father wrote in pen or pencil on loose sheets of paper without any page numbers. He also had difficult to read handwriting so I hope my interpretations were correct!

The other books on my profile are anthologies which contain short stories written by me (and many other writers) and memoirs from my own life, including experiences moving from England to USA and other travel stories.

Books by S. Bavey

My review for Daydreams & Narcoleptic Nightmares

This is a brilliant collection of stories and poems by John Cornelius Rogers, compiled and edited by his daughter Sue Bavey.

I felt I was sitting beside John as he shared stories from his childhood growing up in Sussex and then Lincoln in the 1920s. His memories are vivid and I laughed out loud at so many wry observations and would loved to have been around at the time, including when the family’s first car arrived.

The war brought enlistment in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve where John was introduced to navigation, armaments, engineering and morse code before proceeding to flight training school. After war there was a posting to one of the worst hit cities Hamburg for a year which made for sombre reading, and left him with a feeling of sickening sadness at the devastation and loss of life.

John then went on to train as a teacher and taught in a school where classes had 49 non-reading 8 year olds undisciplined after the war years and determined not to be educated. A traumatic experience for all concerned.

In contrast, having been billeted in Scarborough during training, it was followed up by an eventful holiday in Scarborough with his wife and young daughter which came with some colourful nightlife! This story and many others were filled with such wonderful humour and it is hard to pick one out to highlight, but “Alfred – Not So Great” is brilliant.

We are also introduced to the two conditions that resulted in challenges in everyday life Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and it is inspiring that despite those challenges John still maintained his wonderful sense of humour and love of life.

Poetry is included between the stories but part two of the collection is dedicated to this form with observations on life and more humour including “An Unusual Talent”

If you mix with the poor, or the privileged elite
whether you travel the world or stay in your street,
The most unlikely attribute you ever will meet
is the gift of Les Blain and his musical feet.

I highly recommend this wonderful collection of poignant and entertaining reflections on a life well lived and on the social history of the 20th century.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads Website: Sue Bavey WordPress – Facebook: Sue BaveyTwitter: @SueBavey

Meet 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.

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

My review for Good Liniment

Another colourful and creative fantasy adventure with Lizzie and The Hat working together to seek out monsters and help others within the supernatural world to remain secret and safe.

The band is back together after a brief hiatus as Lizzie comes to terms with previous events that have shaken her confidence in the path chosen for her. Into that path come new characters to add to the fantastical ensemble always present in these stories.

We neet the rather world weary witch Cyrus and his apprentice Dash, the wonderfully playful Noodles and ethereal but feisty Destiny. The local coven is full of visually disturbing but colourful members who the author describes in quite nightmarish detail in some cases…Humour however is never far away and even the most outlandish become endearing.

We are treated to the art of trog hunting, not for the faint hearted, an introduction to the precious elements needed to create the spells and magical potions to enhance and heal, and a glimpse into the secrets of witchcraft.

The coven and Lizzie have lost a dear friend who it appears is victim of a killing spree with witches the target. This monster is the first human that Lizzie and The Hat have hunted and it brings an additional element of danger that could be fatal.

As always the author has created a fantasy that flows and engages with wonderful characters, plot and humour that I can highly recommend.

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


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