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. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. 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. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with Debby Gies – Cruising – Reports and Tips -Part One.


Delighted to welcome D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies to the blog as a regular contributor with her new Travel Column. Debby is a non-fiction author who has received wonderful reviews for her inspirational memoirs. She also is a seasoned traveler and her book Have Bags Will Travel is packed with useful information and entertaining stories of her own adventures.

To get the column off to a flying start (or in this case sailing start), Debby has three posts on Cruising holidays which will be posted every two weeks before moving to a regular monthly slot.

Travel Column – Reports and Tips – Part 1

Thank you Sally for inviting me to guest post for your Travel Blog Magazine series. In this series I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places I’ve traveled to, tips about preparing for travel, staying safe when traveling, and how to get the best bang for your dollars.
In today’s post I’ll be talking about cruises. I love cruising. I’ve been on approximately 15 cruises and have the protocol down to a science.

I began cruising with Celebrity cruises because of the many good recommendations I received and after researching various cruise lines while initially trying to decide which cruise line to choose. I had a fabulous first experience cruise with them and never looked any further. I also met many cruisers on the cruises I’ve been on and heard lots of stories about bad experiences with low quality food, tiny cabins, expensive beverages and lack of activities offered. I also met people who traveled on various cruise lines who said their best experience was with Celebrity and I can understand why.

This article is not a plug for any particular cruise line, but rather a sharing about what I’ve gleaned about cruising. Because I travel with Celebrity this is the cruise line I make reference to. Other than the possibility of taking a River Cruise one day, any future cruises I take will remain with Celebrity. I’ve had nothing less than first class service, wonderful amenities, great food, beautiful cabins, and not to mention – their rewards program is fantastic, but I’ll get into that a little later. Therefore, for me, if it aint broken, I aint fixin’. As far as cruisers go, you either love being out on the ocean or you don’t. But for those of us who do, here’s the scoop on what to look for when choosing a cruise.

Which Cruise Line Should I Choose?

This is a matter of preference, pricing and itinerary. For many new cruisers, it can be overwhelming to decide which cruise line to book with. My advice to help you decide is to go to a cruise line site, look at their itineraries, fleet of ships, staterooms (cabins), dining options, reward programs, drink packages, activities, and check what they have offer. Doing your homework is important! You will also take note of which port your cruise leaves from – the further the sailing port is from where you live, the more it will likely cost to fly there. You can also get a good education by checking out sites that passengers leave reviews on such as Tripadvisor, Google, and directly to cruise line sites where travelers often leave honest reviews.

Are you a person who likes to spend a lot of time touring at each port or do you prefer hitting the beaches or shopping? Do too many days at sea in between ports bore you? Personally, I love sea days, they are days to relax at the pool and get my tan on. But some people get a bit antsy with too many sea days, so make sure you check out the ship’s itineraries when looking for one you’d enjoy.

Celebrity Equinox – This was the last ship I sailed with in 2017 – Posted by Mogens Hallas

Which Cabins Are Best For You?

Lodging cabins aboard ship are otherwise known as staterooms. There are various types of staterooms offered, each one with its own price points and perks, depending on your choice of category.

Traditionally, inside cabins are the cheapest, and if you’re anything like me, loving to sit on my balcony to take in the ocean view and enjoy watching the ship dock or sail, you’ll want the freedom of stepping outside your room and perhaps sipping on a cocktail after a lovely day in the sun. But some people are willing to forgo these benefits for a cheaper price and don’t mind an inside cabin.

Inside cabins don’t have windows or balconies, and as you may have seen in movies, the very bottom floors may have a tiny portal window if the cabin is just above sea level. I’m also claustrophobic so that is certainly no option for me.

Oceanview cabins have large floor to ceiling windows facing the ocean, but unless you go up one category, they don’t include balconies. From there, we get into oceanview cabins with balconies and yet another upgrade termed Concierge Class. These cabins are typically a little more generous in size with upgraded room amenities, bigger bathrooms, and come with additional services – your own stateroom attendant on call 24/7 for all your needs including room service orders.

Typically, in this class, you will also find other goodies in your stateroom upon arrival such as: a bottle of wine or champagne, personal tote beach bags, yours to keep, coupons for discounts in select restaurants onboard that aren’t part of your package, wifi usage, priority disembarking privileges, and of course, afternoon hor’s d’heurves of your choice brought to your cabin daily.

Next category up is Concierge Class cabins with spa privileges, ie: use of sauna and relaxing aromatherapy rooms for cabin passengers situated on spa floors, plus dining privileges in the ship’s elite restaurant for those who don’t prefer eating in the huge dining room where patrons congregate nightly for dinner at designated times.

Then of course, you have the Penthouse Cabins, which are almost condo-sized, complete with every imaginable perk including large balconies with sunbeds and a personal butler!

Which Part Of The Ship Is The Least Rocky?

The quick answer is ‘midship’. Midship cabins will typically run you a little more money than the same cabin type located at either the front or back ends of the ship. You will feel the least movement of the ship in a midship cabin. Personally, I don’t get seasick, despite encountering a few rough patches on a couple of cruises I took. But there are several aids people use to combat seasickness.

Some recommended aids to help with seasickness are Seabands, worn on the wrists, said to work on accupressure points to hold nausea at bay. Others swear by Bonine and Gravol. These are tablets you can purchase at any drugstore. Just make sure to take the non-drowsy Gravol or you might sleep away half your vacation!

What Do I Need To Know About Boarding The Ship?

Typically, on all cruises I’ve taken out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the cruises depart around 4PM, and protocol is, you can board up to 3 hours early and have lunch aboard and mingle before you’re assigned the okay to go to your cabin as time is needed to clean the rooms from the last sailing’s passengers. Concierge Class and all categories higher can board earlier because they have priority checkin.

The cruise lines state clearly that anyone missing final boarding time should find their way over to the next port that ship will sail to. So not fun! For this reason, many cruisers like myself, are seasoned enough to know that unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, bad weather, etc., can leave you vulnerable to getting left behind from boarding the ship for same day arrivals. For these reasons, I prefer to fly out at least a day before the ship’s sail and begin my vacation earlier. Besides, I get extra cross border shopping time in!

Boarding a ship is similar to going through airport security where you will pass through similar security checks and scanners for your personal items to ensure safety for all passengers. Similarly, when the ship docks in each port and you return from an off-ship excursion, you will go through the same security procedure to re-board.

Once you’ve checked in on the ship, you’ll be given a ship card which will serve as your room key and cruise credit card where anything you purchase aboard – drinks, upgraded restaurant meals, shopping, booked tours, paid activities, etc., will all be charged to that card. You will pay your onboard cruise bill the evening before returning to your disembarking port at the end of the cruise.

As soon as the ship sails, each passenger will be directed to their section’s muster station for a short crash-course on emergency procedures. This is mandatory on all ships although, meeting times will vary with each cruise line.

Rewards Programs

Most cruise lines offer perks for new cruisers and upgrades for patrons who are repeat cruisers. It’s important to check what your cruise line has to offer you. I know with Celebrity, the more you cruise, the more discounts and perks you receive for every consequent cruise you take with them. These perks can be anything from cabin upgrades to free drink packages, free wifi, invites to the Captain’s party, discounts on spa facilities, and even discounted tour packages (something I’ll get into on the next post).

The points I earn for each cruise bumps up my status to a new category of perks. To stay competitive, many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase when booking your cruise such as: a choice of different alcohol and non/alcohol packages and an onboard credit. And many offer these perks as part of a ‘take your choice’ bonus package just for booking with them. There may be a drink package, a special offer to have your tips included, or perhaps free or discounted wifi offered as a special bonus at the time of your booking.

Something else I recommend is if you discover you love cruising, you should book another cruise while onboard at the ship’s travel office because you will receive a discounted price and a cabin upgrade plus a choice of at least 2 or 3 packages included free in your booking onboard. I’m also going to add here that Celebrity has an ‘evergreen’ policy where once you’ve booked another future cruise you can change your destination choice to a different cruise anytime before the booked cruise date to pay the balance in full is due and keep every discount and package you were given when put to a different cruise. So, I highly recommend booking another cruise while onboard – any cruise, it doesn’t matter because you can change the destination or dates indefinitely and as many times as you deem. Note: You will also have the option to cancel a booked cruise and get back your full deposit. So, there’s really nothing to lose – it’s a win/win!

~ ~ ~

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post when I’ll be getting into your dining options, when and where to book excursions, shopping and tipping protocol, and things to beware of!

Do you have any cruise stories or info you’d like to share here?

A wonderful start to the new column and I know I am going to be enjoying finding out more about cruising as it is something on the wish list in the coming years now that we have a little more time. Debby would love your comments and also your questions.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crop

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s new travel column.. look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally

Advertisements

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Two – My New Home by Sally Cronin

Quote


Last time Sam had met his new mistress for the first time at three weeks old and had his first experience of the vet… not without blood being drawn!

Chapter Two – My New Home.

That was to be the last time I would be with my mother and sisters as the next day my new mistress arrived to take me away. I was too excited at seeing and smelling her again to notice that we were leaving my family behind. I was a little afraid when I found myself on her lap in one of those large smelly boxes again,  but this one seemed to be not quite so odorous or noisy and I found that if I tucked my nose up under my mistress’s chin I felt safer.

It was a longer trip this time and I dropped off contentedly after a little while. I woke when I felt a strange vibration under the box as if we were travelling across a very rough surface. We stopped and the man I now knew to be my new master got out of the box and came around to open the door for us.

via Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Two – My New Home by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – #Music, Nessie, #Thai Curry Pastes, New Books, #Reviews, #Health and #Humour


Welcome to the round up of the week’s posts. It only seems a couple of days since I posted the last one! However, we have had a busy week with plenty going on off screen including the renovation of the front garden. All the tree stumps are now all dug up and David survived the process. I have been supervising…. and providing sustenance of course in a timely fashion. He has also dug over all the ground, removed smaller roots and raked it over.

Hopefully the lawn man who promised to come in a couple of weeks a month ago will appreciate that 75% of the job he quoted for is now done and he only has to lay the lawn.

We are also waiting on the guy to come and fix our electronic gate.. He said Wednesday but neglected to tell us which Wednesday. It is frustrating when people say that they will turn up and then do not bother. We have stayed in three times now in the last couple of weeks in anticipation and it is disappointing and frankly unprofessional. The papers are full of how business is not as good as it should be…. I wonder why!

Anyway.. sorry for the little rant!  One thing I can never complain about, is the consistency and commitment by those who contribute to the blog each week with columns and to those of you who tune in regularly to like, comment and share. I really am very grateful.

Time to share the posts from the week that you might have missed…..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban Part Four.

More hits from this exceptional artist with some of his most recognisable hits that William has provided background to.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-josh-groban-part-four/

Paul Andruss – Writer in Residence.

No post from Paul this week but I always like to reblog from his own site as it is always interesting.. this week.. Nessie… the Loch Ness Monster has been the subject of many scientific studies.. but it is it a myth or a reality?

From the film ‘The Water Horse- Legend of the Deep’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/smorgasbord-reblog-fantastic-beasts-where-to-5-nessie-by-paul-andruss/

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – Thai curry pastes from scratch.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-thai-curry-pastes-and-recipes/

The Literary Column with Jessica Norrie – Blast Off! – Memorable first lines of books.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-literary-column-blast-off-opening-lines-by-jessica-norrie/

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with Annette Rochelle Aben

Welcome to Getting to Know You where guests pick five questions that reveal a little more about their personality and background. This week my guest is Miss Personality as far as I am concerned. You don’t have to be in the same room with Annette Rochelle Aben to know that she is funny, compassionate, empathetic and generous. That all shines through in her blog posts, social media comments and radio podcasts. And as you will find out… it also shines bright as day in her interview.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-with-annette-rochelle-aben/

Personal Stuff – Odd Jobs and Characters

I leave my job as housekeeper/cook of the boarding school and hop a train all the way to North Wales where I start a new position at a swanky hotel. Arriving late at night at this gothic mansion was not the best start to a new job I have had!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-odd-jobs-and-characters-hotel-senior-receptionist-ghostly-arrival-and-a-quick-promotion/

Letters from America – 100 degrees, Key Lime Pie and Adverts

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-texas-1985-1987-100-degrees-key-lime-pie-and-adverts/

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Serialisation

Chapter One – In the Beginning

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-one-in-the-beginning-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter Two – My New Home.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-two-my-new-home-by-sally-cronin/

A new story written as a guest post for Noelle Granger’s blog – Charlie the Junkyard Dog.

Charlie was a junkyard dog and had the scars to prove it. He was head of security of this fenced off mass of scrap metal, dotted with mounds of old tyres he called home, and he took his job very seriously. During the day, he was chained up next to the beat-up old trailer, where his human would shout loudly at other humans; sometimes throwing things at the thin metal walls. In bad weather Charlie would retreat into a rough scrap wood shelter; resting his bony body on a ragged old corn sack on the hard concrete floor as the water dripped in through the roof.

https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/charlie-the-junkyard-dog-by-sally-cronin/

Poetry – Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-the-daredevil-with-tofino-photography/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – 1974

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1974-tiger-feet-by-mud-devil-gate-drive-by-suzi-quatro/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-contract-by-john-w-howell-and-gwen-m-plano/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-cusp-of-night-hodes-hill-series-by-mae-clair/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-extra-innings-can-you-go-home-again-by-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-secret-dumfries-by-mary-smith-and-photographer-keith-kirk/

Cafe and Bookstore Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-tony-riches-jane-risdon-and-brigid-p-gallagher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-karen-ingalls-deborah-jay-and-alethea-kehas/

Meet the Reviewers

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-meet-the-reviewers-james-j-cudney-for-angie-dokos-judith-barrow-rbrt-for-jj-toner-and-m-j-mallon-for-carrot-ranch-anthology/

Smorgasbord Health Column – The Summer Fruit Salad

fruit and veg banner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/smorgasbord-health-column-make-the-most-of-summer-fruit-salad/

The Candida Albicans Shopping List

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/smorgasbord-health-column-candida-albicans-the-shopping-list/

Alternative Therapies – The Alexander Technique

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/smorgasbord-health-column-alternative-therapies-the-alexander-technique-part-three-standing-sitting-and-walking-correctly/

Humour and Afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sports-the-waterskiing-dog/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-romance-bars-golf-and-irish-pub-signs/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sport-highdiving-dog/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-pearly-gate-dilemmas-finding-the-fs-and-passwords/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sport-skateboarding-bulldog/

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Secret #Dumfries by Mary Smith and Photographer Keith Kirk


Delighted to feature another of Mary Smith’s local history books… Secret Dumfries in collaboration with photographer Keith Kirk.

About Secret Dumfries

Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, has a long history, much of it well recorded. However, as with most places there are more than a few secrets hidden away. First referred to as the Queen of the South by local poet David Dunbar in 1857, the name stuck and was later adopted by the local football team. Not many know that this makes it the only football team in the world mentioned in the Bible. Darker aspects of the town’s history include the burning of nine witches on the Whitesands in 1659 and the last public hanging of a woman in Scotland, Mary Timney, was held in Dumfries in 1862. There are tales of plague victims being exiled to Scabbit Isle, of murderers and grave robbers. Not all its secrets are so dark: there’s Patrick Miller and his introduction of turnips courtesy of King Gustav III of Sweden, and the exiled Norwegian Army making its home in Dumfries during the Second World War. And what is the significance of the finials depicting telescopes and anchors on the railings along the Whitesands?

Local author Mary Smith and photographer Keith Kirk take the reader on a fascinating journey through the town’s past, unearthing tales of intrigue and grisly goings-on as they provide a glimpse into some of the lesser-known aspects of the town’s history.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Dumfries-Mary-Smith/dp/144567498X/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Dumfries-Mary-Smith/dp/144567498X/

Other local history books by Mary Smith

One of the reviews for Dumfries: Through Time

What a wonderful book! Generously illustrated with Then/Now photographs, it takes the reader back in time to a thriving market town in Southwestern Scotland that has today become a busy city. Its once-separate villages are now its suburbs.

I was not familiar with Dumfries before reading DUMFRIES THROUGH TIME, but authors Allan Devlin and Mary Smith have gathered photographs that tell a rich story of the past, from Victorian times to the present. I found the details in the photos and the glimpses of life and people caught in time to be incredibly fascinating and moving. Each photo is a wonderful story in and of itself.

While it is sobering that some of the historical buildings and features of Dumfries have been lost, I was amazed and delighted at how much was preserved and is still in use. While this book is not meant to be a thorough or comprehensive history of the area – I’m looking forward to reading other books that are – it is a marvelous introduction to that history. In DUMFRIES THROUGH TIME, a picture really is worth a thousand words. (Note: Some terms may be unfamiliar to American readers, such as “close” for a type of narrow, covered passageway or alley, or “weir” for a low dam or flood-control structure. However, the meanings are usually made clear by the photos.) Highly recommended!

Also by Mary Smith

51yks9fxhfl-_uy250_ 51ujjsusehl-_uy250_ 51arfsi2ffl-_uy250_

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

 

About Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

She longed to allow others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.

Connect to Mary Smith

Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/
Facebook addresshttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marysmithwriter
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith
New Blog: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/
Blog:   https://marysmith57.wordpress.com/2014/07/

About Photographer Keith Kirk

Keith Kirk is primarily a Wildlife and Natural History Photographer/Writer living and working in the Stewartry area of Dumfries and Galloway. Although he does undertake many other projects and commissions.

His day job was Countryside Ranger with Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service, something he did for over 37 years. In what spare time he has he pursues his passion for the countryside which he shares with you on his blog: http://www.dumfriesandgallowaywildlife.co.uk/

If you live in the area, then why not join Keith on one of his Nocturnal Wildlife Experiences.
Be prepared to be amazed by what you can see and experience with the aid of our professional range of hand held night vision and thermal imaging wildlife observation equipment: Nocturnal Wildlife Experience

Thank you for popping in today and it would be great if your could share the news of Mary’s new book far and wide… thanks Sally

Writing in Different Genres!


Do you write in different genres… Janice Spina does with her award winning children’s books and her adult thrillers. What are your views… please head over and read the post and let Janice know.

Jemsbooks

DD Book 5 Award coverJerryAwCoverBroose CoverIMG_4930

Writing in Different Genres

How important is it for authors to be able to write across genres?

First of all, not everyone cares to write in multi-genres. There are some who choose to write in one genre and for select readers. There is nothing wrong with writing in one or multi-genres. Who am I to tell anyone what is the right thing to do?

If you look at J K Rowling, for instance, she has excelled in writing for YA, PT, MG groups (young adult, preteen, middle-grade). She has also written for 18+. I am one of her biggest fans for the first group but I did not enjoy the 18+ mysteries as much as the Harry Potter series. That does not mean that her books didn’t sell well! On the contrary, once she became established as a successful author anything she wrote (even under a pen name) sold off…

View original post 442 more words

Meet Guest Author Sally Cronin

Quote


In August of 2014 I was still in the first few months of my blogging life. One of the early supporters of my efforts, as I am sure he was for most of you, was Chris, The Story Reading Ape. This was my first guest post ever, which he kindly hosted. I hope you will head over and read and also if you have not availed yourself of this wonderful opportunity to promote your work to a massive new audience, that you will accept The Story Reading Ape’s open invitation to do so.

Here is a snippet from the interview and I hope you enjoy.

Hi my name is Sally Cronin and I am writing this from my home in Madrid where I live with my husband. Before I was a writer, I was many other things to many other people . Now into my 60’s I am enjoying converting a lifetime of travel and meeting fascinating people into words in books, short stories and by blogging.

My relationship with books by other authors.

Sally Cronin 02We moved around a great deal when I was a child with my father’s naval career and lived in some amazing countries such as Sri Lanka, Malta and South Africa. Luckily for me, my two elder sisters who were ten and eleven years older, let me trail behind them from the age of 18 months and when possible do whatever they did. Something that sometimes did not end well! However they were both avid readers and apart from wonderful bedtime stories they taught me my letters and by the time I went to school at age four I was hooked and raring to go.

Obviously my first books were the standard fare for that age group in the late 1950’s but I soon progressed to more advanced reading. I was eleven when I caught chicken pox and was confined to bed for ten days which gave me the opportunity to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I will admit to not understanding large portions of the book but armed with a dictionary ,by the time my spots had disappeared ,my love of epic books and drama was intensified.

 

 

via Meet Guest Author Sally Cronin

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Two – My New Home by Sally Cronin


51uI0kWA+ML._UY250_

Last time Sam had met his new mistress for the first time at three weeks old and had his first experience of the vet… not without blood being drawn!

Chapter Two – My New Home.

That was to be the last time I would be with my mother and sisters as the next day my new mistress arrived to take me away. I was too excited at seeing and smelling her again to notice that we were leaving my family behind. I was a little afraid when I found myself on her lap in one of those large smelly boxes again,  but this one seemed to be not quite so odorous or noisy and I found that if I tucked my nose up under my mistress’s chin I felt safer.

It was a longer trip this time and I dropped off contentedly after a little while. I woke when I felt a strange vibration under the box as if we were travelling across a very rough surface. We stopped and the man I now knew to be my new master got out of the box and came around to open the door for us.

“Well Sam, you’re home.” The ground crunched under their feet and we moved towards a much bigger house than my home had been. The front door was opened and the man went in turning with a small box in his hand. A flashing light made me blink and then my mistress carried me across the threshold into my new life.

My new house was detached and stood in the middle of two acres of garden and wild meadow. I did not know it then but the grounds surrounding us would provide me with not only a wonderful place to play and explore but also would be where I met my first and best friend.

At first I was in awe of the wide spaces that made up the inside of my new home. Shiny lino floors in the kitchen and wooden floors throughout the rest of the house made it tricky to keep one’s feet and us Collies are not known for our ability to accept slippery surfaces underfoot. Some say we are too bright for our own good and this is apparently obvious when you consider our reluctance to trust in anything new be it surroundings or food.

Up to this point I had enjoyed 24 hour milk on tap and because I was a growing boy and hungry all the time, had tolerated the hard and rather tasteless pebbles that my old master had served up three times a day for my sisters and me. Because Ireland is a little wet, an understatement I can tell you, our food was served in three small dishes under a plank laid across two oil cans. This kept the food dry and our heads as well when we ate.

My old master had given my new family a packet of the pebbles so that I could stay on the same food and not get an upset tummy.

Despite only being eight weeks old, I felt that perhaps it was time to establish my independence and although I was now hungry and missing both milk and my regular meal I declined the bowl of food that was put down in front of me and looked up at my new boss with a determined expression on my face.

This minor rebellion was to have long term affects and I can tell you in the next few days I was delighted to be offered all sorts of new and tasty treats in an effort to get me to eat. One of the main issues was that I did not like being out in the open when I ate. In my old home I was used to being under the plank which was enclosed and rather dark. Finally in desperation my mistress, who I had heard my master call Sally, put a dish of chicken breast and scented rice in a bowl in the fireplace. Of course there was no fire in the grate and the smell of the warm chicken enticed me to clamber up onto the tiles in front of the chimney breast and sample this latest offering.

It was definitely found to be more acceptable than the pebble dash and previous offerings and I was hungry enough to concede defeat.

After eating my meal I backed out of the fireplace and turned around triumphantly to establish with my new family that this indeed was acceptable food for a Collie. Instead I was met with hysterical laughter and the sight of my new master and mistress rolling around on the floor. Unfortunately I was unable to see the funny side of this behaviour but there again I could not see my face which was now covered in soot.

There were a few other events that I did not find particularly amusing including Sally’s persistence in putting me outside the back door, rain or shine immediately after I had eaten despite my being very tired and ready for a nap. It seemed to please her enormously if I had a wee wee and she got ecstatic if I did a fragrant package as she called it. There was much hugging and kissing before I was finally allowed to retire to a warm spot in the house for a much needed rest.

I spent a great deal of time exploring the downstairs of my new home as at that time my legs were still too short to get up the stairs, but from the aromas that wafted down, I felt that in time this area of my territory was going to provide a wonderful playground for me.

My own room in the house was the utility room and I must say my first night I felt rather scared and concerned. I was used to curling up with my mother and sisters at night, waking occasionally for a drink of warm milk or a wee outside in the yard. However, Sally had done a fair job of fitting out my new bedroom. There were layers of the local paper on the floor that stretched to the back door of the house. I had a fleecy blanket in the corner with some chewable toys and a rather lovely soft jumper that exuded her particularly comforting scent.

There was a lattice gate across the door into the kitchen where a dim light had been left on. I was warm enough but very lonely and for the first half hour I must admit that I did have a little cry to myself before falling into an exhausted sleep. It had been a very long and tiring day.

My mother trained me not to wee or do any other business in the straw where we lay so during my first night I was at a loss what to do when I woke up in the middle of the night.

I had no idea how long I would be there before Sally and my master David came down in the morning and I hoped that they were not the sort of people who liked a lie in.

Of course I could not tell the time but I do know that I tend to wake up at sunrise and go to sleep when it gets dark. It was mid summer so the sun came up very early and I stood by the back door somehow knowing that I needed to get through it to a yard or somewhere where I could wee. Eventually I could hold on no longer and I am afraid that I wet the newspaper on the floor. Just as I finished Sally appeared and viewed the pool in front of the back door.

“Never mind Sam, you have done very well and it is my fault for not getting up sooner.”

Quite right but very gracious anyway. With that she opened the back door and we had a very pleasant trot around the back garden and I thought I had better take the opportunity to complete my toiletry while I could.

The next morning I held on desperately and true to her word, Sally appeared just in the nick of time and I never wet in the house ever again.

Now a little bit about the garden. Our house was set in the middle of a two acre plot with a house next door and a field on the other side. The back of the plot was left to wild meadow that in the future would prove to be a delightful playground chasing butterflies and rabbits through the long grass. But because David and Sally thought I might get lost on my own out there, they had fenced off quite a large portion of the garden just outside the back door and this enabled me to be let out on my own in the warm summer sun.

Some enterprising school boys had a lucrative business making hand made kennels and misguidedly Sally thought that this would be top of my list of things to have. It was enormous in preparation for my adult my size but I never really liked it. David spent an entire afternoon climbing in and out of the dog house trying to entice me in but I felt that like my food I had to establish right from the start that I was not really a dog and would not be using this type of structure at any time in the future.

Sally used to come out with me in the afternoons and there were two sun loungers and my favourite toys and a paddling pool. Whilst she lay out in the rare Irish sunshine, I would sit in my pool and cool down. Instead of the kennel I would crawl under the sun lounger and snooze in the shade. It made for a very pleasant few weeks while we waited for my next set of jabs.

My humans had continued to experiment with various dog foods and fresh chicken and eventually we made an acceptable compromise. I even began to eat my meals away from the fireplace although I have to say that it was not until I was nearly eight years old that I tired of winding them up with my picky eating habits. Even today I have them very well trained and I have to say I am extremely well provided for.

Anyway, back to those first few weeks and some of the adventures that awaited me and the friends that I would meet coming up..

©sallycronin Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story 2009

My books

You can find all my books at these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in and as always I value your feedback. Sally.

Vampyrie Wins AUTHORSdb 2018 First Lines Contest


Congratulations to Tina Frisco for winning the Authorsdb 2018 First Lines Competition… fantastic news and if you have not read Vampyrie then I do recommend.. it will change your views on Vampires for life….

TINA FRISCO

I’m thrilled to announce that my book, Vampyrie, won the gold in the AUTHORSdb 2018 First Lines Contest!

Vampyrie by Tina Frisco

I was up against some pretty tough competition and was honored to be among so many talented writers.

LIST OF FIANLISTS

The 2019 contest is now open. ENTER HERE

Winning this award has once again shown me the importance of reworking those first lines until they jump off the page and grab the reader.

For those of you interested in my work, all of my books can be purchased on Amazon.

Tina Frisco - Author

My thanks to everyone who took the time to log in to AUTHORSdb and vote for my book. I’m very grateful to all of you.
Thanks so much for stopping by ❤️

View original post

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You with Annette Rochelle Aben


Welcome to Getting to Know You where guests pick five questions that reveal a little more about their personality and background. This week my guest is Miss Personality as far as I am concerned. You don’t have to be in the same room with Annette Rochelle Aben to know that she is funny, compassionate, empathetic and generous. That all shines through in her blog posts, social media comments and radio podcasts. And as you will find out… it also shines bright as day in her interview.

Annette is also a talented poet and her latest release Haiku Perspective 2018 has achieved the distinction of becoming a best seller.

Before we look at the questions that Annette has decided to answer, here is the official biography.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am a writer, an author, a wordsmith and perhaps find myself to be more interesting than is necessary. So I shall NOT go into grand detail as to what I have done in my 40 + career of writing and instead shall use various pages of this blog site to reveal this energy. As with most writing it may take some time, so please bear with me.

In addition to writing I am also a guide, a muse and a mentor and to that end I am available to work with YOU! So please reach out when you are in need of my services and allow me to use my talents, skills and above all compassion to help you in your personal or professional life.

For years I have enjoyed being part of the “traditional” broadcasting industry, you know, the kind where one simply turns on a radio or television and there you are! Many people I would interact with would tell me how much THEY wanted the chance to be a part of that world and yet there were only so many jobs, so many chances to work in their own home towns doing something they really wanted to do with their lives. So when I found the world of INTERNET RADIO I was thrilled because here was something people could DO to fulfill their dreams and do it in a way that allowed them to have CONTROL over the broadcasting process. Naturally I started doing my own internet radio program and fell in LOVE with the FREEDOM and EASE of it all and was eventually hired by a company to TRAIN others how to do their own shows and I did this for years with wonderful results. (I will add testimonials soon) and when that company and I parted ways, I decided to continue offering the TRAINING and SUPPORT to those who also wish to CREATE and HOST their own internet radio programs.

TMH

You can find out more about Annette’s radio programmes here: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/the-magic-happens/

It is now time to find out more about Annette’s most embarrassing moments,

Welcome Annette and can you share your most embarrassing experience?

When I was I my early twenties, I worked as a Release Clerk in the office of a Custom House Broker at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan. We were the largest Custom House Broker in three States, so we were busy, very busy. What our office/company did, was to guarantee to the Federal Government, that we’d pay the duty or any import fees on behalf of the person/company doing the importing. We’d then bill the company for that money and our fees. Truck drivers would bring their paperwork to us and we’d prepare it for processing, then the drivers would submit the paperwork to U.S. Customs, who would release the freight for delivery, should everything be in order.

My co-workers and I sat I in a rather large room, at an L shaped counter. Our desks had counters at eye-level, where the drivers lined up to have one of the seven of us handle their paperwork. In addition to this, one of my roles was to answer the phones. I was placed at the very first desk, very first phone, which meant I got all the calls first and if my phone was in use, the call rolled down the line until someone else answered. Not all the calls were for our location, often calls needed to be directed to our Detroit/Windsor Tunnel office or our main office, which was a few blocks away.

One day, this was the case and the conversation went like this.

“John V. Carr, Bridge Office, this is Annette, how may I direct your call?”

“I need to speak with Dick.”

“Which Dick, sir? We have several Dicks who work for this company.”

“Well, I don’t know, is there a Dick in charge?”

“Yes, the owner is Dick L. Sr., I guess he’d be considered the Dick in charge.”

“That name doesn’t sound familiar. Can you name a someone else?”

“Certainly, there’s Dick L. Jr. Dick H. and Dick D., could one of them be the Dick you remember”

Yes, I believe it is H., let me speak with him please.”

“Right away sir, I’ll connect you.”

I put the call through, hung up the phone and realized that there was dead silence in a room with six other release clerks, a supervisor and probably 20 truck drivers. Out of nowhere, my Supervisor shouts, out, “We have several Dicks who work for this company.” It took only a second before gales of laughter rattled the windows and my face turned as red as my hair. I was the lone female in the place and the men were simply giddy while they repeated my conversation to each other in fake girly voices. It was then that I realized exactly what had happened. I burst into tears, sobbing as though my heart would break. Several of the drivers took pity on me, ruffling my hair from above the counter. A couple of my co-workers threw paper wads at me to get me to lighten up (geesh, men) and one driver dropped a ten- dollar bill on my desk. I looked up at him with tear stained cheeks and wordless, questioning eyes. He smiled and said. “Buy yourself a drink after work. In fact, have a few, on me.”

What would you do with a million dollars?

I am so practical where money is concerned, I have to say that I would make sure my immediate family was comfortable. Everyone out of debt. All health issues addressed and remedied. All vehicles in proper working order. All homes in proper repair (if necessary) and of course, all final expenses financed. That last one comes from my years working in the funeral industry and I could be the poster child for pre-arrangements, as I feel so strongly about the topic. See, much too practical.

I would also set up a Trust Fund for my brother’s eldest son. Shawn is in prison, serving 3 consecutive 25 years terms, which means he will be there for life. As he is 31 years of age right now and my brother and I are in our 60’s, it not likely we will out live him. Our sister is only 4 years behind us, so once again, Shawn could be left completely alone when we are gone. Due to the nature of his offense, his mother and brothers have disowned him.

He requires money for things that are so basic, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. If he wants to write a letter, there needs to be money available for all the implements required as well as for the stamp. Even television needs to be paid for, much like cable or internet television in someone’s house. At this time, we keep his account filled with just enough for his needs, as the State takes anything above a certain amount to pay for expenses incurred during his trial. He can work to earn his pocket money, but he must behave to gain work rights; and that doesn’t always happen. He has the maturity of a tween.

My nephew was diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic with Homicidal and Suicidal Tendencies when he was 12 years of age. At the time, for the safety of his younger brothers, mother and step father, he was placed in an institution, where he lived for 6 years. Once he turned 18, he was released into a world, he knew nothing of and it simply was not a good fit.

See, there are no longer institutions for mentally ill adults in our State. There used to be, but they have long since closed. Because Shawn committed a very serious crime during a time when he was off his medicines, he was put in prison.

We don’t know what would happen to him if he were to be paroled. Living with us, is not an option, not without some serious help from those trained in dealing with people who have Shawn’s condition. Still, it is up to us to provide for him, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

He is our family and while we do not approve of his crime, we love him unconditionally. We write to him every week. He calls us when he can (if he acts up, they take his phone use away) and my brother visits him once a month.

A million dollars cannot bring us back the little boy who brought so much joy into our lives but perhaps it could help him live out the rest of his days somewhat happier.

Did you have a nickname as a child, and if so, what was it?

Yes, I was Pookie! In fact, my dad called me, Annette Rochelle “Pookie” Parent (no, Aben is not my family name, I picked it up from the Federal Marriage protection program).

When I was a very little girl, (mid-fifties) we had a local children’s television show called Lunch with Soupy. The host, Soupy Sales, did sketch comedy, much of which went over our heads, and at least once in every show, he’d end up with a pie in the face for his silliness.

He’d try to teach us manners, reminding us to be “Good Birdbaths” so our parents wouldn’t have to yell at us. And of course, he looked silly, what with this black top hat and crazy, checkerboard, over-sized bowtie he’ d wear. Yes sir, we always enjoyed lunch with Soupy!

There was a lion puppet character on the show, named Pookie. His personality, was that of a 50’s hipster and he Soupy would dialogue all the time. Because Soupy was a jazz enthusiast, he always made sure there was music on the show which included having Pookie “sing” a variety of novelty songs. This is the part of the show that would have me laughing hysterically.

One of the songs was about how Pookie was going to buy himself a Cadillac car by saving up Green Stamps.

*Sung to the tune of Camp Town Ladies

* I’m gonna buy me a Cadillac car, green stamps, green stamps. I’m gonna buy me a Cadillac car, fill up a green stamp book.”

Rumor has it, that as soon as that song would come on, I would try to sing along with him. I remember a photograph of my 2nd birthday cake, with Happy Birthday Pookie written on it.

And I can state, for the record, that I never quite saved up enough Green Stamps for the car. But I got to keep the name!

Sally here:  Just for you Annette  Pookie doing Motown….

What is my favorite vegetable and how do I like it prepared?

BEETS! Yes sir, I love me some beets. We’d have them when I was a kid, and they’d be pickled; sweet and sour flavored. They were okay, I enjoyed them but when we just had a can of them heated up with a bit of butter and salt, I liked them better.

Once I grew up and found them raw in the stores, I fell in love all over again. Now, I could cook them on my own and that was when I began putting them into salads. Oh yum! Didn’t matter to me what kind of salad it was, I added cooked beets. This caused many of my friends to look at me with a bit of curiosity for they were not fond of beets. Good! More for me.

Now, imagine what happened, when I found a juice bar tucked away in a coffee house. They made a drink called a Sunrise and it was filled with a variety of fruits and BEETS! So now, I was into raw beets. Believe it or not, for someone like me, who was born with coffee flowing through her veins, no one could believe I would turn down an espresso for a juiced beet drink.

These days, I have added roasting the whole beets to my weekly routine. Ah yes, whack off the greens, scrub up the root, rub some olive oil on that puppy, toss it on a baking sheet and in to a h-o-t oven long enough for them to become fork tender and I am in heaven. Of course, I peel them when they come out, add some salt and will stand there eating them at the kitchen sink. There is no shame in my beet game.

If animals could talk, which one would I want to talk to?

I think I would like to talk to bears. They have always held a fascination for me, ever since I was a child. We would go on vacation and when we’d stop at little souvenir stores, I would always buy a small, stuffed black bear. Mind you, other than at the zoo, I never saw a bear in person until I was I my twenties, but I knew I loved them.

It would be terrific to know all about their lives. Do they miss their cubs once the little ones grow up? Do they mate with the same partner season after season? What are they doing when they hibernate? I mean, we think they are sound asleep but people who know more than I do, tell us this is not true. So, I would love to hear it from a bear’s point of view. Why do they love salmon? What’s it like to have such a thick, fur coat all the time?

Of course, I would try to answer their questions too. I would think a bear might want to know why we hunt them or why we see them as enemies. Bears might be curious as to why we began to move into their neighborhoods to build not only our cities, but vacation get away spots. And I think they might want an explanation as to whose idea it was to put them into the circus. No fun for the bears at all!

Through the conversations, I would hope I could convince them that we are all NOT nuts. We are all NOT out to harm them. Most of us want to live in harmony with them and would love to be able to sit an enjoy a sunset, side by side. To go for a walk through the woods with each other and learn what the other knows of the terrain. To get to know their little ones and have fun watching them grow up, just as they might want to enjoy watching our little ones grow up.
I especially would love to be able to walk up to a bear, any bear and feel as though I were with a friend. I believe we could be friends with bears, if we could talk to each other.

Sally here:  I have found the perfect place for you to visit Annette…over 2000 bears ready to sit down with you for a one to one…. please take photos.

I think you will agree that Annette has pulled out all the stops for us today and I am sure you will have enjoyed as much as I have.

Books by Annette Rochelle Aben

One of the recent reviews for the collection

American Poet, Annette Rochelle Aben has created a dynamic collection of syllabic poetry and prose that shouts out her unique perspective on everyday life. Her poetry is filled with humor and pathos expressed through various forms of Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka formats covering a wide range of topics.

Aben’s talent lies in her deep understanding of the human psyche expressed through poetic bursts of emotion that reach out and grab the reader. One of the most powerful verses is called, Absolution:

ABSOLUTION

If I let you see
Some parts of my history
Would they set me free
Wiping clean the deeds
See flowers disguised as weeds

Drink blood the soul bleeds

Blended by the shame
Memories screaming my name

Silence, play the game
Help me to save face
Vanquishing nightmares that chase

Seeking love’s pure grace

© 2018 Annette Rochelle Aben

I enjoy poetry that allows me to reflect on my own thoughts and feelings. At the same time, I appreciate the ability to laugh at one’s own foibles, somehow finding the strength to shrug it off and move on. Aben’s poetry gives the reader the inspiration to look within and like what they see.

This book was listed as a #1 New Release in Japanese Poetry & Haiku. I received a copy of the book as a gift. 

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5  Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews and follow Annette at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

Connect to Annette via her blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YouAreTheExpert
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetterochelle.aben
Google + https://plus.google.com/117587381760910538120/posts

Thank you for dropping in today and I know Annette would love to receive your comments and questions… it would also be great if you could share. Thanks Sally

If you would like to participate in this interview series then click this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2018/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again? by Don Massenzio


Delighted to add Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again! by Don Massenzio to his other books on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Hot off the press and released yesterday… the new book from Don Massenzio Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again?

About the book

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and…

View original post 660 more words