About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930 – Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, The Blackbottom


Welcome to the new 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 I 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 Fred Astaire with the Leo Reisman’s Orchestra

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Cheek to Cheek” (1935) 

“Cheek to Cheek” was written for Fred Astaire by Irving Berlin for the musical “Top Hat,” co-starring Ginger Rogers. The song was nominated for the Best Song Oscar for 1936, which it lost to “Lullaby of Broadway.” The song spent five weeks at #1 on the charts and was named the #1 song of 1935. Astaire’s 1935 recording with the Leo Reisman Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2004, Astaire’s version finished at #15 on AFI’s 100 Years . . . 100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. Atticus Jazz

Here is my next selection from this era of popular music from Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields.

Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I’m in the Mood for Love” (1935)

“I’m in the Mood for Love” is a popular song published in 1935. The music was written by Jimmy McHugh, with the lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The song was introduced by Frances Langford in the movie Every Night at Eight released that year.

It became Langford’s signature song. Bob Hope, who frequently worked with Langford entertaining troops in World War II, later wrote that her performance of the song was often a show-stopper. Mario Gargano

Other sources: Wikipedia

The early videos that I have managed to find are not always the best quality but hopefully they convey the wonderful joy that dancing brought to the times. Sally.

The black bottom is a dance which became popular during 1920s amid the Jazz Age. It was danced solo or by couples. Originating among African Americans in the rural South, the black bottom eventually spread to mainstream American culture and became a national craze in the 1920s. The dance was most famously performed by Ann Pennington, a star of the Ziegfeld Follies, who performed it in a Broadway revue staged by Ziegfeld’s rival George White in 1926. maynardcat

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

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

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from my Archives – Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Shortstory – #Supernatural – Breathless by Yvette Calleiro


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

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

This is my review from January 2022 for the short story Breathless by Yvette Calleiro… a great introduction to the author’s full length novels which I look forward to reading soon.

About the story

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

My review for the story January 8th 2022

As a lover of fairy tales from childhood, I appreciate that there is often a sinister element to the stories, even if they do eventually end with everyone living ‘happily ever after’.

This story by Yvette Calleiro takes that disquieting element to a new level by focusing on the cursing abilities bestowed on certain beings living amongst us. The trouble with special powers is that they are not so easily controlled, especially when emotions are high and expectations are not met.

It would take a saintly kind of person not to occasionally wish to visit misfortune upon certain people we come across, however, as is often the case revenge takes its toll on both parties.

The author has created an interesting storyline with great characters who come together for one brief moment, impacting the rest of their lives and those around them.

An intriguing short story and an excellent introduction to the author’s full length books which Iook forward to reading soon.

Books by Yvette Calleiro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews: GoodreadsAuthor Blog: Yvette M. Calleiro Blogspot – Twitter: @YvetteMCalleiro – Facebook: Yvette M. Calleiro

About Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Posts from the Archives 2023 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye


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

This week an early interview with D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies as part of a Sunday interview series ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me.’ in 2015.

Little did I know as I asked Debby about one of the topics for her non-fiction books, narcissism, that a few years later she would be writing the Relationship Column for us and her Spiritual Awareness series which also looks at the relationships with others in our lives that can bring joy and misery depending on their natures. You can read Debby’s Relationship Column post here A Path to Narcissism

Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?

Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.

A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.

Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.

Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.

I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.

Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?

I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.

She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.

I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.

It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?

I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand.

I was petrified to say the word “no” to my mother, my whole life. I danced to her every whim, and there were plenty of them. Children’s psyches are delicate, and grow from what we know and are used to. If we’re obedient, and not defiant children being raised by a narcissist, the odds are we shall remain under their power for the rest of their lives unless we are lucky enough to take a stand to them. For me, it was always unsettling to be around my mother.

We have to find a way for ourselves to live comfortably and deal with that parent (in my case.) It is very unlikely that person will ever change because they don’t believe they are the one with the problem.

I complied with my mother’s demands all my life and it ate away at me like poison, I took her wraths and tantrums because I felt I had to obey. I was the child, no matter what age I was. It took me decades and barrels of courage to get over the feeling that she had entitlement to anything she demanded from me, as a daughter. With a lot of self-therapy and self-analysis, I tried to reason with her to no avail.

I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t my job, or in my power to fix her. The sickness wouldn’t allow anything positive I had to offer her, register with her. In the end, it was my own self-sanity I had to save, and painfully after so much emotional torment, at 48 years old, I walked away,

Sometimes you have to learn when you can’t fix a broken soul who doesn’t think it needs repairing.

In the UK there are around 120,000 divorces a year which is one of the highest in the European Union. In the US I understand that is around the 2.5 million mark per year. Whatever the figure that is a huge number of men and women and of course millions of children who are faced with this life changing event. What do you believe are the key issues that partners find so difficult to overcome that leads to this very final dissolution of their relationship and family?

Many times people get married for the wrong reasons, varying from anything such as, for material gain, pregnancy, or just settling for a relationship in order not to be alone, just to name a few. Other times, it could be that people marry too young.

Experience shows us that as we grow older, our wants and likes change as we grow. Sometimes people drift into new directions, leaving a partner behind when they no longer share interests. Also, infidelity is a major cause of break-ups, and I believe the promiscuity begins when one isn’t receiving the shared interest, respect, attention or kindness from their partner. They crave acceptance and to be acknowledged or included as a partner in their marriage, and when they stop receiving, they become vulnerable when they meet someone who feeds that need.

What would be your advice to anyone in a relationship who is facing potentially serious issues about some of the communication points they should be discussing with their partners to help prevent a complete breakdown?

We have to communicate our thoughts and feelings to our partners. We have to open our ears and listen back when they express their feelings to us. We should be supporting their work and passions. This must become a two-way street of reciprocation.

If we feel we are giving our all, and we aren’t being paid any mind or consideration for our own thoughts and feelings, this is a good sign we are not in a loving, supportive relationship. This would be the time to seek some outside therapy to salvage a relationship, before it becomes time to sever it.

Thank you so much Debby for providing such an important insight into one of the most corrosive relationships that we can find ourselves in and also the strategies that might help us overcome the challenges we face. 

Now time for the central theme of the Sunday Show interview..Debby shares ‘A funny thing happened to me..’

What are the Odds?

I title this situation with the phrase I’ve countlessly repeated many times throughout my life because I’ve often encountered situations in life where the odds were slim of things happening.

Sometimes it wasn’t always a good situation, but in this instance, I lucked out with favourable odds.

When I was twenty-five, I took a leave of absence from my then position as an executive assistant to the general manager of a downtown hotel chain. I had a fantasy that I wanted to fulfil of travelling through the Greek islands. Part of that trip I rented villa on the island of Mykonos for six weeks.

I travelled alone, as I was fiercely independent and had no trouble meeting people and forging friendships.

While I was waiting for three days in Athens for my booked passage over to Mykonos, I had befriended some interesting people staying at my same hotel. One of these people was a lovely Dutch boy, a few years younger than I, who was backpacking through Europe. Another couple I befriended were from Australia, also backpacking and taking on work around Europe to sustain their travels. They were at the same hotel at the same time as I was, all treating themselves to a few days in a nice hotel instead of the usual youth hostels.

When we all parted to go our separate ways, I had given them my address in Mykonos, and invited them to drop by if they were on the island in the coming weeks, and I offered them a room to rent in the villa for a nominal fee. I thought it would be nice for them, and it would also give me some extra pocket money.

Only a few days had gone by in Mykonos, and I had broken my foot getting off a high step on a bus while going into town for some provisions. Now, that situation alone is a story, which you will find in my book Conflicted Hearts, but nonetheless, my foot was broken, and I wasn’t going to another island to have it casted. I saw a doctor who wrapped it tightly in a tensor bandage, gave me crutches, and told me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. Walking on crutches on the broken cobblestone roads and struggling to get up the small mountain (and down) on the rickety path to the beach was a feat in itself.

A few days had passed and as I struggled again to get to the beach, and find my rock where I elevated my foot, I laid down my things and began thinking that I should cut my vacation short because it was too hard for me to get around. I was sad and scared about my demise. Tears sprang from eyes in my feelings of defeat. And then moments later, I heard somebody shouting my name.

I was sure it was a call for someone else, as I had yet to make friends with anyone there, except for the jeweller in town who befriended me when I fell off the bus and helped me get to a doctor, then scared the crap out of me. (Again full story in my book.)

I quickly sat up to see where the far away voice was coming from, when I realized God had sent me an angel.

My little Dutch friend had come to visit. He stayed for two weeks. He was so kind and helpful. He prepared meals for me, took me to town and carried my things, and helped me up and down the hilly paths. We shared a great friendship for many years after through letters. And, of course, I never took a dime from him.

Could lightning strike twice? After my Dutch friend left, a mere one day later, the same miracle happened at the beach when my Aussie friends showed up looking for me. They stayed with me for two weeks.

Coincidence? Divine timing? Those who know me well know that I often preach that we meet people; sometimes for reasons, sometimes for a season.

Love your story Debby… Coincidence perhaps, but also down to how well liked you were by those you met that they wanted to see you again…

About D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies)

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

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

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

Books by D.G. Kaye

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

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – 23rd – 29th January 2023 – Technology, Big Bands, Sir George Shearing, Podcast, PR for authors, Book Reviews, New Releases, The Brain, Funnies


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

I hope you have all had a good week. Nothing earth shattering to report from here but when I read the world headlines, I am very happy to be living in a quiet rural area away from it all. I know I used to be so much more adventurous, but even my upcoming trip to see my sisters requires planning and preparations for just a few days away. The days of flinging some clothes into a bag, grabbing a passport and whizzing through an airport to catch a flight to the other side of the world are long over.

Even technology is going to become interesting during 2023 as mobile phones that are programmed for 3G become obsolete in the UK and Ireland, making way for the new 4G voice technology. This means new phones for the majority of us, and whilst there are only a couple of places in the UK at the moment that have scrapped 3G, they and Ireland intend to move to 4G by the end of the year. Considering I used to drive hundreds of miles on my own without a mobile phone I am almost ashamed I am not brave enough to drive the 7k to Tesco without one!

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 Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston. Also the next post on the life and music of Sir George Shearing with the last episode on this coming Friday.The following week a new series on the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ has arrived safely in Mexico after a gruelling journey with snow blizzards, delays due to iced wings. During her time away I will be sharing some posts from the archives on Smorgasbord and her own blog. Tomorrow morning… one of her early guest posts here on an entertaining travel adventure. There will also be some funnies along the way. Debby did a Bon Voyage post on her blog with some interesting geographical, political and safety information on Puerta Vallarta and if you are planning a winter break you will find very helpful. Follow the link to Debby’s blog D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘P’. Congratulations to Carol on becoming a great grandmother to Bonnie born on January 25th, a beautiful picture in her round up. On Monday Carol looked at the alternative options to antibiotics in the form of Echinacea, a better way to grow rice for the environment, a report on Trans Fats, a fitness update and a toadzilla found that would make anyone jump. Carol explores the cuisine of Fiji… very exotic locally sourced delicacies. Catch up on all Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s weekly round up 22nd to 28th January

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 – Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin

Book Review – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent

#Reviews D.L. Finn, #Reading Robbie Cheadle, #Writinglinks D.G. Kaye, #Diary Yvette Calliero, #Interview Judith Barrow, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Powercut Cheryl Oreglia

#Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

#Poetry #FreeVerse – Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine by Frank Prem

#Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley

#mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

#Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

#PotLuck – Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Men Only Weekend Trip by John W. Howell.

January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

January 2023 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Marriage and #Fottles

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin


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

Each day we gain a few precious minutes of daylight and nature welcomes it too… and biting into a poisoned apple carries consequences….

#Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin 

 

Light Lingers

Light
lingers
in our world
longer each day
to initiate
the sequence of rebirth
of all things under the earth
where dormant bulbs unfurl their shoots
pushing upwards into the crisp air
rotating buds to seek elusive sun.

Poisoned Apple

It is common in this modern world, to be offered promises that seem as wholesome as a bowl of shiny apples. However the red skinned fruit may hide toxic untruths and evil intent. Once it is swallowed, the poisoned apple will stick in your throat, causing you to spout the heinous words hidden within; spreading the evil like a virus. The only antidote to its venom; is to establish the truth, and wash the words down with random acts of kindness. We must all think carefully before embarking on a dangerously addictive diet of fake news and ill intentions.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection. 

Jacquie Biggar Bookbub

Sally Cronin brings her signature heartwarming style to a new collection of poetry and short stories exploring human emotion and nature in all its vagaries.

Many of the poems feature animals, their grace and beauty brought to life with a few well-chosen words, but my favorite is the dedication to her mother:

Face in the mirror

face in the mirror
a smile of recognition
but twinge of remorse
at the passing of the years
each line a story
or reminder of laughter
how closely they match
another’s facial mapping
I’ve morphed into my mother.

Cronin, Sally. Variety is the Spice of Life: A blend of poetry and prose (p. 20). Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The short stories come with messages of love and support and familial bonds. The Green Hill is sweet with an ending that tugs on the heartstrings, while The Neighborhood Watch with a marmalade cat who exacts revenge on his injured friends left me with a satisfied grin 

This is a highly recommended collection of stories and poems to enrich your reading experience. 

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Book Review – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent


Delighted to share my review of Harmony Kent’s latest release… Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series)

About the collection

If we’re lucky, we meet twilight at the front door and old age creeps in on the night breeze.

Even if we make it to our twilight years, the more we age, the more loss we must endure as part of the cycle of life. Many of these poems lament death, but they also relate to broken relationships, severed friendships, and the loss of youth. This book of grief poetry is as much about saying goodbye and working through loss as it is about death and love split asunder.

This heartfelt collection provides company and compassion through the devastating journey of loss and shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Within these pages we share shock, numbness and denial, catapult into anger, bargaining, depression, loneliness, and guilt, and—eventually—make the seismic shift into testing the possibility of a new normal and finding acceptance.

My review for the collection January 28th 2023

The subject of death has been portrayed in fiction and poetry for centuries, and used to instil fear in billions across the religions from pagan times. It is a natural fear of the unknown, and that is something difficult to comprehend and overcome. However, what is very real is the grief that we will all face in this world, when we love and lose those close to us.

Harmony Kent in her previous two collections in this series has demonstrated a wonderful understanding of the human condition. Her own life experiences were at times devastatingly challenging, but reading her poetry you realise how strong her belief in the human spirit remains, and how great her empathy is for others.

This third collection deals with death, and the aftermath for those left behind. She takes us through stages of grief from the shock and disbelief, denial, guilt, anger and the need to bargain with the higher powers, depression, loneliness and reflection, acceptance and moving on with life. Even though the loss has changed you in many ways including your perspective of the future, you need to live in order to honour those who have left us.

Clearly the poems are heartbreaking at times, but they also resonate with any of us who have lost loved ones. Rather than being depressing, it is comforting to know that whilst grief is unique to us as individuals, it also has common triggers, a pattern and a process, and whilst the hole in our lives and hearts may never fully mend, there is hope and we can build a future for ourselves.

I can recommend this collection without reservation. There are many poems that struck a chord for me, and I am sure will do for others, but I am closing this review on one of the final poems that offers hope.

Revival

Throw those curtains
Let in the daylight
Banish the dead of night
It’s time to revive

You’ve made it to the other side
Regained your lost sight
Discovered a hidden might
It’s time to revive

Though you tried
To follow your love into the night
Your final promise kept you in the light
It’s time to revive

No more places to hide
It wouldn’t be right
To resist and prolong the fight
It’s time to revive

You’ve made it to the other side
Regained your lost sight
Discovered a hidden might
It’s time to revive

Throw those curtains wide
Let in the daylight
Banish the dead of night
It’s time to revive

©Harmony Kent 2023

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

A small selection of other books by Harmony Kent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

About Harmony Kent

Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

  • The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
  • The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
  • Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
  • Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
  • Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
  • Interludes 1 & Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)
  • Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)
  • Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)
  • Backstage (Erotic Romance)
  • FALLOUT (Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree
  • The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. Harmony lives in Cornwall, England.

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

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin


The definition of Public Relations in business is “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and the public”

In the past my focus has been on book marketing, which did include how to reach potential readers with blogs, social media and as part of the writing community. Whilst this recycled series will revisit those platforms along the way it is an opportunity to focus on some key areas of our public profiles that might influence the public to buy our books.

The focus this time is on you.. the author.

In the last three weeks I have looked at the public face of an author… the profile photograph, biography and hitting the red carpet in the writing community and other places online. This week I explore the benefits and downsides to promoting yourself on social media platforms. Apart from blogging which I consider to be an essential platform for all authors, there are the usual haunts most of us frequent.

I appreciate that some of you reading this have had unfortunate experiences with social media and I am afraid that is something that all of us are likely to face at some point or another. There are people in this world who feel that they can attack from cover behind their screens and abuse others. It says a lot for their sad little lives and they only option is to block them. Hopefully the majority of those you follow are decent people who are like-minded and willing to interact well. As for those wishing to scam you.. they get craftier all the time and assume that suspicious emails or requests via social media require close scrutiny and wariness.

Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author

As a number of well-known celebrities and best-selling authors have found to their cost during this last year, comments made online years ago can come back to haunt you. Sometimes before they were famous, and were young and a bit foolish.

However, on the plus side… not only is it a way to be connected to the rest of the world and meet new people, it is for an author… FREE advertising.

The Pros of being on Social Media as an author

As an author, blogger and book promoter, I have experimented with several social media platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn.

For me the most effective as far as exposure, traffic and promotion are Twitter and Facebook with LinkedIn coming in quite a bit behind in third place.

As an author I want to sell books, as a blogger I would like my posts to reach as far and wide as possible, as a book promoter I want to create a platform that offers the authors as much visibility as possible and as a reader I want to discover great recommended books to add to my TBR.

Facebook_symbol_Word - VIVAKUR

I did have my own page on Facebook until two years ago but found that it was not as effective as having my personal page combined with using specific groups to post to for marketing purposes. This enables me to not only share my own book news, but the promotions for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, and the bloggers that I follow.

I am administrator along with Debby Gies of The Literary Diva’s Library – And if you are just getting started, are a reader of books or a writer, then do take a look and see if it would suit you.

Facebook Groups enable you to chat with, and share with like-minded people, and since writers are readers too, it is also a useful marketplace to share your work or blog posts. (You will get short shrift if you continually talk about yourself and your work). It is tough to manage several groups, but if you check out the ones associated with your particular genre then you will make a good start. Most authors within those genres are readers too and if they pass along to their friends etc you are reaching a healthy market for your work.

I tend not to post a great deal of personal goings on but do so on my personal page which is set to friends only. They know I can be crazy…!!  Apart from when I share from Goodreads where I cannot designate a group to share a book review in, all my work related posts go into the three groups I am a member of.

Twitter - Logos Download

Twitter is useful for making new connections and interacting with those you share interests with, by sharing their tweets. It is reciprocal usually and this adds the accumulative factor to any tweet you make. I understand that many with accounts on Twitter have closed their accounts following the recent takeover by the latest CEO, but at the end of the day there has been little change to the dynamics of the writing community on Twitter and whilst I am not necessarily a fan of all his endeavours, for my aim, which is to promote my book and those of the authors I support, Twitter is still an important platform for marketing purposes.

For example – if you tweet about a review for your book #Fantasy #Scifi and just 10 of your followers retweet to theirs with those tags, you are reaching thousands more possible readers of your book or followers of your blog.

To make sure you are targeting the right audience for your blog or book remember to use tags when posting – #Romance #Writing Community, #Fantasy #Poetry #Health #Humour etc.

I went in recently to check this accumulative factor for a book review rewind I posted on. It was retweeted 25 times and including my own followers it was shared to 156,000 potential readers. Whilst they may not buy the book right now… it they see an author’s name often enough, it will encourage them to explore their books at some point.

I have mentioned the Pinned Tweet a number of times and this is useful to extend your brief bio on your profile section to promote all your books or one specifically or a blog post.

It is the first thing that a new visitor to your account will see so a good marketing opportunity. They will usually retweet and share your book or post with their own followers.

Remember to change the pinned tweet on a regular basis as unless someone retweets with addition text it can only be done once.

You can still promote the same book as your pinned tweet if you add the link to its most recent review etc to keep it fresh. You can connect to me on twitter:@sgc58

LinkedIn Lawsuit: You Can Run, But You Can't Hide ...

LinkedIn used to be very much for the business community, and I joined in 2008 when I was on radio and I included my nutritional therapy qualifications and books I had released at that time. I did connect with many I had worked with previously in the telephony industry which helped me get started, but at the time there were very few authors using the platform. That has changed somewhat now and there is a thriving community. All my blog posts are linked automatically which means slightly less work.

My posts are scheduled to go out at different times of day for the time zones.. so just after midnight for American readers and then throughout the day at set intervals. It means that they are sent straight to Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time without me worrying about it.

The LinkedIn interface has changed a great deal in the last year with a move to a similar look to Facebook and they even have emojis now….it used to be a no no to put a hug or a kiss on a post, but they seem to have decided it might be okay.

It is more formal however than other social media sites and as I have repeated on many occasions, as an author you are in business and there are certain expectations that go along with that.

In the post on writing a biography I emphasized certain points to give it a professional and business orientated theme.. and that is what is needed for Linkedin. You will find that most bio photographs are more formal too than you might expect to find on most social media sites.

If you would like to get started then please connect to me LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

In this day and age we have to accept that as an author, we need to be both proactive and reactive to highlight our work. The market for our books or blog posts is to be found within the billions who spend their lives online in one way or another. Readers are not just going to walk through our door unfortunately. If we are building a brand for ourselves as an author with books to sell, I do recommend that you are on at least one of the major sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

The Cons of being on Social Media as an author or blogger

Clock, Wall Clock, Clock Face, Pointer

For me the biggest drawback to being on social media, even though it has helped me build my blog platform and allowed me to promote both myself and other authors is Time.

I love what I do and after 22 years as an author, 10 years of blogging and 8 promoting authors I know that being on social media is essential to making things happen.

Although my posts are linked to Twitter and LinkedIn automatically, I choose not to respond to the comments or tweets using an automatic app. I like to tag those who have shared posts or retweeted, visit their page and share their pinned tweet and explore their books etc. On average I get 300 tweets a day and whilst many are not expecting a response, by doing so it does encourage more interaction in the future.

Finding the balance between building your marketing brand, writing books and blogging is a challenge.

Royalty Free Awkward Conversation Clip Art, Vector Images ...

Times change, and as recent events have illustrated, there are things you could get away with 10 years or even 5 years ago that you cannot do so now. I don’t agree with bullying in any form or discrimination when it comes to culture or religion, but sometimes even harmless banter can upset someone, somewhere.

Social media is a global phenomenon, and as such, what we say and do, can get lost in translation. Politics and religion in particular are guaranteed to get people hot under the collar and that’s when the fight started!

I will admit to being straight talking, opinionated and also known to use colourful language in private on a number of subjects, but as an author, I tend to be more circumspect in places where I am also marketing my books. The only time that I will publicly share my opinion, is if I see someone else being bullied in any way, but thankfully that has become rarer in recent years. On the odd occasion when I have read a post or comment by an author that is offensive it certainly influences my view of both the writer and their work.

Whilst you can set your settings on your own account to friends only etc, you do need to think carefully before posting a comment on a public forum or on someone else’s blog post. You may not be able to delete or even edit your comment, and once there it stays there!

Privacy stock illustration. Illustration of quiet ...

There are settings on all social media platforms that you can activate to restrict what information is shared and who it is shared with.. One of the greatest myths of our time!.

The truth is that very little is private and women in particular are blessed with stunning invitations to connect from gentlemen who feel that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are dating sites. I received a long and delightful email just the other day from a gentleman who said that he knew LinkedIn was not a dating site, but my profile photo captured his attention and he would love to know me better if my relationship status permitted. He included two photos of himself.. and very fetching he was too..

I double checked, and we were not connected on LinkedIn at all, and I am suspect I was not the only object of his admiration but I was so tempted to send back a photo under the heading, untouched original photograph.

But I just deleted his email….I didn’t want to give him nightmares.

Certainly whilst one wants to share photographs of you on a beach in an exotic location sipping cocktails, it is better to post them when you get home, even if you do have mega speed broadband in your hotel room. Combined with the information you may have shared and the photographs of your home and gardens, the fact that it is vacant while you are away will be good news for someone.

We are paranoid about children and teens using the internet but in actual fact the statistics for con artists defrauding online users show that the elderly are a high risk age group

Key facts: Age UK  

  • Almost 5 million older people (65+) believe they have been targeted by scammers.
  • While only 12% of those targeted responded to a scam, this means around half a million older people could have fallen victim.
  • Single older people are more likely to respond than married people, and half of all people aged 75+ live alone.
  • There were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in the year to March 2017.5 Over half of these (57%) were cyber-related.

Is being on social media worth it for an author? I have to say that yes, being on at least one social media site is worth it. If you were in any other business you would leap at the opportunity for free publicity for your product, with a potential market of millions.

As someone who promotes authors and books it is helpful for me too as a collaborative approach to sharing on social media does increase the visibility of the post.

  • Time is a factor, however if that is the case, pick one platform and work that one to its fullest extent.
  • Spend allocated time a day to build a presence – for me that is first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Respond to those who tag or mention you.
  • interact with other authors and bloggers,
  • share other people’s posts
  • promote your own work (in moderation)
  • Take the opportunity to exchange ideas, or pinch some it your think they will work for you.
  • If groups are on the platform join two or three where your work fits – Romance Writers, Review groups etc. Bear in mind this will add extra time.
  • Use tags when posting to identify an author or blogger you are sharing in the comment etc.
  • Take it step by step, my network is nearly ten years in the building and please consider my network yours. If you are on Twitter – go to my profile page – click my followers and scroll down. Any authors you are not following.. click the button and in most cases they will follow you back.
  • If I tag you in a comment on Twitter of Facebook when your post has been shared from my blog, pop in and say thank you to them and if you are not following them click the button. If they are generous to me they will be to you.  And you will have found another potential reader of your books.
  • Have fun… I still am..

I hope that this post has given you some ideas of how you can promote your blog or books on social media and how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with being online..

©Sally Cronin 2023

About Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb, first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories Sally Cronin Soundcloud

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask… Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams


Delighted to welcome Jamie Adams to the bookshelf with his suspense novella
The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost

About the book

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait.

One of the reviews for the book

Michelle Ryles  VINE VOICE 4.0 out of 5 stars A little book with a big message

It was a nice change to read a novella with The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost being only 90 pages long and taking around 1 hour to read. Don’t mistake it for a shallow light read though as Jamie Adams has packed a lot of story into these few pages, so it’s very much a case of quality over quantity.

It took me a little while to get used to the lack of contractions in the book, for example using ‘I am’ instead of ‘I’m’. I found it a bit odd, especially in speech, but I soon got used to it and attributed it to a little quirk of the book. The book is written in 3 parts; I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the parts from the title of the book. They are all linked and come together very nicely at the end, leaving me with a little lump in my throat.

I felt there were some very strong messages in this book regarding mental health and bullying but I did have to give myself a virtual smack for jumping to conclusions. I’ve always said that there are two sides to every story but for some reason I saw one side of the story in The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost and pinned my colours to that mast. Thank you Jamie Adams for reminding me that not everything is as it may first appear.

A little book with a big message, The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost is a very thought-provoking book that I really enjoyed.

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

Also by Jamie Adams

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Jamie: Goodreads – Blog Jamie Adams Stories – Twitter: @JamieAdStories – Instagram: Jamieadstories

About Jamie Adams

Jamie Adams was born in Peterborough, England and studied Geography at University. Having taught in schools and at university, he was always keen to develop his writing skills.
Currently he is writing short stories linked to romance and has his first novella, which is a drama story linked to families and friendships. He loves to include twists in his stories and aims to engage readers with lots of detail but also a fast pace.

His next project will be a trilogy…

 

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