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/

What have the Romans ever done for us? – Guest Post By Ian Hutson

What a fascinating article by Ian Hutson who is a guest of The Story Reading Ape this morning.. Ian lives on a narrow boat and traverses the 2000 miles of canal network in Great Britain.. he shares the history of this incredible construction.. going back to the Romans..do head over and read the whole post.. #recommended.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Some people write on paper, I write on water. Writer types are a discrete but diverse species, and live in a variety of dwellings. Doubtless some live in mud huts and one or two probably live in castles or palaces. I got the chance to live on a boat and I jumped at it (not literally). It’s alright though, it’s my boat, I’m not a stowaway or anything.

It’s taken me a year of hard searching, organising, downsizing and finally just plain horrible DIY to achieve my current status as a happy water-rat, and I’d like to share some of the ups, downs, ins, outs, highs, lows and hammer-smashed thumbs with you. First though, I ought to set the scene, and explain why my boat, nb Cardinal Wolsey, measures 57’ long but only 6’ 10” wide, and has a cruising speed of just 2 to 3 miles per hour –…

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Rum Cocktails, Blog Sitters and all that Jazz


I have had a lovely week with a birthday and Valentine’s Day and I am now about to pack my bags to head off for a girls week with my two sisters to celebrate all our birthdays which all fall in February. I will report on the activities they have planned on my return… at least those I can talk about!

I got very excited when I read the headlines in the Daily Mail online yesterday that promised hotter temperatures than Spain with a high of 16 degrees and sunshine.. As I was planning what to pack, I thought I better check a more reliable source than the DM!  Sure enough, apart from a couple of days with a glimpse of yellow behind the clouds there is a 45 – 55% of rain all week and a high of 10 or 11.

I have put away my swimsuit, shorts and flip flops again in the attic with the other summer clothes that I fear may never see the light of day again.

However, all is not lost as David bought me a therapy lamp with safe tanning for my birthday. I have been using as advised and retire upstairs to the spare bedroom and don goggles, my iPod and pretend for 15 minutes that I am on a tropical island on a sandy beach. It was not quite there…. but David solved that by buying a bottle of rum, and a dram of that in my coconut water and Bob’s your uncle.. (please drink responsibly with only one cocktail per tanning session and only at sundown)


I was going to put up a few regular posts during my absence just to keep things ticking over. I then thought that it seemed a shame not to use this as an opportunity to promote a few of my blogging friends and so posted a part-time blog sitter vacancy.

I know how busy everyone is with their own blog and projects so was very grateful to receive a wonderful response to the advert.  I have put together a programme of events for the week that I am away beginning Tuesday with posts from this group of talent writers.

Paul Andruss, Tina Frisco, Colin Chappell, Debby Gies, William Price King, Geoff Le Pard, Noelle Granger, Susan M. Toy, Mary Smith, Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell and Linda Bethea.

The full programme details can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/smorgasbord-blog-sitting-special-21st-28th-february-programme-of-events/

Time for some of the posts you might have missed during the week.

William Price King – Leontyne Price

classical music

As always my thanks to William Price King for his weekly music post and this week we follow the career and performances of Leontyne Price during the 1960s. Look out for William’s Creative Artist Interview on Wednesday March 1st.  It is an interactive interview and I hope that you will drop in and ask William questions about his life and career in the comments.


Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Although Paul has contributed articles for the blog over the last couple of months I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to be a regular contributor going forward.. This is his official first post as Writer in Residence.


Personal Stuff

A short story for Valentine’s Day.. about love.. of course..


Weekly Image and Haiku



Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

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glimpsesCover Art by Jon Hunsinger51abcfiqqgl-_uy250_


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves








Smorgasbord Blogger Daily showcasing 25 bloggers and their posts.







Smorgasbord Health 2017Seasonal Affective Disorder



Food to pep you up a bit.. and not just for Valentines Day.


New series – Top to Toe – The Human Body – The Brain


A -Z of Common Conditions… nothing more common than the cold!






That’s me done for the week.. It is a bit early for a rum and coconut juice but I might take a cup of coffee up with me to the tropical paradise and listen to some calypsos!

N.B. If you would like to promote your books and blog here on Smorgasbord the details are here. If you contact me and I don’t respond immediately don’t worry I will get back to you on my return after 28th of Feb.


Thanks for dropping by and see some of you tomorrow for a few of the regular promotions before I head off.


Another fascinating episode in the life and times of Andrew Joyce.. It is a read that requires a little time and some walking in another man’s shoes for a while.. being 18 riding the rails in the 1960s learning about life and how to survive the hard way. A tough transition from boyhood to manhood.. #recommended

Andrew Joyce

Time for another one of my hitching adventures. This one is different. Someone I met along the way planted a seed, but it took twenty years to sprout. When it did, it sent me on a quest to discover the meaning of life. It took me another twenty-two years of visiting libraries, of perusing the shelves of bookstores. Twenty-two years of searching out, and finding, obscure books and writings from centuries past. Although a few pieces of the puzzle still elude me, I am content with the knowledge I have gained. I owe it all to a man by the name of Oracle.


“There is a chink, a nigger, and a cracker in that car; git ‘em out. Oh yeah, there’s also a kid in there.”

I was that kid. With those few words, one of the strangest and most profound adventures of my young life was about to take…

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Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special 21st – 28th February – Programme of Events

Normally when I go away for a week I will leave a few regular posts scheduled and pop in from time to time. However, this time it struck me that an empty blog might be put to better use by sharing …

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special 21st – 28th February – Programme of Events

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special 21st – 28th February – Programme of Events

blog-sittingNormally when I go away for a week I will leave a few regular posts scheduled and pop in from time to time. However, this time it struck me that an empty blog might be put to better use by sharing book and blog promotions.

When I advertised the part-time position of blog sitter, I had no idea that I would get such an amazing response, since I know how busy everybody is with their own blogs.  A special thanks to Paul Andruss for opening up his archives and providing seven posts for the Blog Sitting at Midnight slot all week.

There will be some regulars for you on Monday including the the second of the Top to Toe look at our major organs..The Brain part two… a Bookstore New on the Shelves and a Cafe and Bookstore Update.. Then from Tuesday it is over to you!

For your delectation… here is the programme of events for the week 21st – 28th February – Blog Sitting Specials

Tuesday 21st

Paul Andruss – The Conquerors

Tina Frisco – Time is an Illusion

Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Lucy Brazier – First Lady of the Keys

Colin Chappell – Time for some Laffs – Thermodynamics of Hell and Cats vs. Pills.

Wednesday 22nd

Paul Andruss – Raft of the Meduse

William Price King – Finale of the Leontyne Price Series.

D.G.Kaye (Debby Gies) – I Spy

Afternoon Video.

Thursday 23rd

Paul Andruss – Walk on the Wild Side

Cafe and Bookstore Collaborative Anthology – Love in Times of War

Geoff Le Pard – A Wartime Romance

Tina Frisco – Time for some Laffs – Some Lessons in Management.

Friday 24th

Paul Andruss – Of Cabbages and Kings

Top to Toe – The Brain Part Three

N.A. Granger (Noelle Granger) – Maine is a Happy State.

Afternoon Video

Saturday 25th.

Paul Andruss – Cottingley Fairies

Weekly Image and Haiku – Midday Sun

Susan M. Toy – Sisters

Sunday 26th

Paul Andruss – Rosabelle: B.E.L.I.E.V.E

Mary Smith – Afghan Ceilidh

Monday 27th

Paul Andruss – Devil in Devon

Top to Toe – The Heart

Robbie Cheadle – Seven Ice-Cream Rainbow Fairies and Seven Fantasy Books.

Tuesday 28th

John Howell – My Sister

Linda Bethea – The Sinful Suitcase and the Common-Law Cows.

Afternoon video.

My thanks for the terrific posts that everyone has contributed and I hope those of you who drop in during the week will enjoy as much as I have when reading them.

I will be popping from time to time to make sure that everything has been scheduled okay.. hope to see you here. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Keys of the Origin: Book 1: The scions of balance. (Aeldynn Lore) by Melissa A. Joy

Today the featured author is Melissa A. Joy a new fantasy author who has already impressed her readers with Keys of the Origin: Book 1: The scions of balance. (Aeldynn Lore) About the book The time…

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Keys of the Origin: Book 1: The scions of balance. (Aeldynn Lore) by Melissa A. Joy

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Keys of the Origin: Book 1: The scions of balance. (Aeldynn Lore) by Melissa A. Joy


Today the featured author is Melissa A. Joy a new fantasy author who has already impressed her readers with Keys of the Origin: Book 1: The scions of balance. (Aeldynn Lore)

61jgxmsp-sl-_uy250_About the book

The time has come for the Keys of the Origin to play their part in restoring balance to Aeldynn; but how will their choices affect the outcome?

Two young men; one a righteous law-abiding servant to the people, the other a distinguished outlaw, don’t yet realise they are to play a part in a foretold bid for the future of Aeldynn.

Fate leads them down a road they would never have dreamed of following; a road that leads them into a struggle to bring the world back into a state of balance from the precipice of madness and desolation.

It is not only Zehn and Larkh who are fated to take on the malevolent forces of Aeldynn; there are others who must join with them as they are coaxed into the embrace of the ancient Nays and the fabled Drahknyr, who are also entangled in the masterful puppeteering of a renegade sorceress hell bent on reviving the greatest threat of all; Alymarn.

Two of the reviews for the book

a must read  By Amazon Customer on 26 Aug. 2016

A land that is out of balance and the journey of those who have the chance to save it, the Keys of the Origin, the first book in this saga by Melissa A. Joy.

The book was a little slow to start, I normally prefer to be gripped by the story almost straight away, but I am very glad I stuck with it. The story is complex, and that coupled with exceptionally detailed and descriptive writing has made for a wonderful start to this series. The descriptive writing enabled me to immerse myself in the story and in some places, like the fair in Almadeira; I could almost hear the music and feel the atmosphere whilst still being sat in my living room.

There are lots of twists and turns throughout and jumping between places and characters, but it in this case I felt that it worked really well because you get a well rounded view of the story as it happens. It was very difficult to figure out what was going to happen next, which made it a brilliant page-turner. If you stick with it as I did, you will find yourself unable to put the book down!

The characters are very well thought out, so much so that I found myself cheering on some, while strongly cursing others, and each have many layers to them. I found them very believable and in some cases relatable. They also link in and contrast extremely well, creating brilliant doses of tension and humour throughout the book, that add a little something extra to the story. My favourite character is Melkhar, one of the Kaesan’Drahknyr. A fierce redheaded warrior with a dark past, that everybody fears and admires.

I thought that the maps and glossary included in the book are also a wonderful touch. I could use the map to see where everything actually was during the story, which really helped with picturing the land in my mind, and in doing so, added to the story itself, and the glossary so I could easily look up what was being said when there was not a footnote to translate.

Overall, I would say this is an exceptional book that I would happily recommend to readers young and old that enjoy a good fantasy novel. Very well thought out, brilliantly written, and I eagerly await the next installment!!

An interesting and promising fantasy epic!  By Chris Isaaks on 10 Nov. 2016

A very groundbreaking and interesting read; a new fantasy series by a promising new author. As expected of a fantasy epic world, Aeldynn is highly complex and interlinked, and I was very impressed with the author’s attention to detail with developing the lore, characters and particularly the language within the continuity. At times it can be very easy to become lost in the complexity of the narrative and lore (hence the need for a re-read) but it’s indicative of the amount of thought and effort that has gone into it.

The main characters have very distinct personalities (I love Larkh in particular!) and it is clear that there is a common quality that binds them all together. I feel at times that different characters seem to represent different aspects and moral views of the author, sometimes very strongly so. In some parts this can become consuming but the strength of the plot, setting and characters maintains the link between this and the story. It is clear that the author has invested a lot of time, effort and emotion into tying all of the many details of the story together into a focused narrative.

Ultimately, the book shows a lot of promise for future instalments! It is clear that it has the potential to be an epic new fantasy series, and I look forward to seeing where the author is going to take it next.

Read all the reviews and buy the bookhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Keys-Origin-scions-balance-Aeldynn/dp/1911368079

Also by Melissa A. Joy


This was terrific. I enjoy the fantasy and piratical/nautical elements that …  By ChilliDog on 10 Jun. 2015

I bought this taster book to prepare myself for the wondrous world building that Melissa has been dedicating herself to for so many years. This was terrific. I enjoy the fantasy and piratical/nautical elements that she has infused the overarching story with, it is an eclectic mix and one I strongly believe worth persevering with, since it has a charm all of its own. Melissa deftly provides backstory at a gentle pace, all the while mixing human elements within her narrative, so that even if we are presented with unique and unfamiliar themes, it is her enthusiasm and passion for her subject matter that help bind us to the tale.

We want to be taken along for the ride and to explore this richly evocative and interesting world, the characters are enigmatic and mysterious and I could easily find myself wanting to know more about them. I cannot wait until the full debut novel comes out, as this will mark the beginning of an exciting new series for us to sink our teeth into – I’m done with the taster, please bring on the main course!

Read the reviews and buy both books:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Melissa-A.-Joy/e/B00V3XGK4I


About Melissa A. Joy

Melissa A. Joy is a new fantasy author who challenges the conventional expectations of fantasy and takes them to a whole new level. It is no secret that she believes in the existence of all things fantastical, and that anything is possible.She began building the world of Aeldynn and started writing seriously aged approximately 13, and has since developed it into something truly magical worth sharing.

From the glorious winged Drahknyr and wise and fearsome dragons to pirates of the high seas and a world rich with history and lore, her imagination could be said to be limitless.

When she isn’t locked in a reverie about what’s going on in the world of Aeldynn, she’s probably out sailing the high seas on a tall ship, or perhaps dressed up in costume at an anime convention.

Connect to Melissa

Website: http://aeldynnlore.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DefineImagineMJ/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DefineImagineMJ

If you would like to join the 140 authors on the exclusive shelves of the bookstore.. walk this way....https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

Thanks for dropping by and it would be great if you could spread the news of Melissa’s books around. thanks Sally

When I Am Not Enough… Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Tina Frisco author and friend to so many of us with a guest post on The Story Reading Ape. We are our own toughest critics.. it does not need anyone else to tell us we are not doing enough! I recommend that you head over and read the entire post… it does put how we feel about ourselves and our reactions to others in perspective.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Throughout our lives, we hear ourselves say:  ‘I’m not that good!’  ‘I’ll never make it.’  ‘I wish I could write that well.’  ‘If only I had said. . .’

Words are powerful. Energy follows thought. The words we speak to ourselves drive our subconscious minds. Diminishing thoughts tell the subconscious we are not enough.

The subconscious mind is self-serving. Its mission is to fulfill our every desire, and it sets in motion the means by which to do so. It takes our words at face value and strives to manifest what they represent. It assumes that what we think and say is what we hope and dream.

How often have we heard ourselves utter, ‘Did I say that’? Unless we’re channeling spirit, the mouth speaks what the subconscious mind thinks. If thought rests in the conscious mind, we are aware of it and can choose whether or not to give it a…

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» Grey Borders Magazine: Now Seeking Submissions

Colleen Chesebro with another heads up on submitting your writing.. great way to get exposure..

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

Writers: Check this magazine out and what types of manuscripts they are looking for! WOW! I love it! ❤ A rare find.

Grey Borders Magazine publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and artwork that challenges social norms. Founded in 2002, this Canadian magazine has been published in print and online for over a decade. They seek work that invites discussion about untold stories, stories about mental illness, race, sexuality, radicalism, and social justice. They like work that considers these issues in light of the current cultural moment. To get a sense of what they are looking for, you can browse work by authors published in Grey Borders online.

Source: » Grey Borders Magazine: Now Seeking Submissions

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Three Book Talk Things

Teagan Geneviene is gracing the pages of Kevin Cooper’s blog this week with her Three Things characters from Atonement, Tennessee.. entertaining as always… head over and enjoy…


Three Things Serial Story — Book Talk


Hi, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  Kev is ever so kind. He asked me to take part in his Book Talk at KC Books & Music.  How could I possibly resist?  

My debut novel is Atonement, Tennessee.  It’s an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.  However, over the holidays I “book-ized” one of the serial stories from my blog, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  You can learn all about it here.  Anyway, that’s the story I want to bring to Book Talk.

Characters from my stories will get into my head at the oddest moments, usually when I’m doing some chore.  It might go something like this… 

young-lucille-ball-pensive-peachYoung Lucille Ball as Pip

Hey Sheba!  What-cha doin? 

Akkk!  OMG, Pip.  You scared me half to death!  I nearly knocked my laptop off the desk.  Couldn’t you give…

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