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 Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge – Poet’s Choice – Double #Etheree – Silver Lining by Sally Cronin


This week it is Poet’s Choice for Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 180 – Poet’s Choice and I have decided to share my reflections during these 12 weeks of isolation.

Double Etheree – Silver Lining

I
believe
there is a
silver lining
to isolation.
A chance to reassess
how we effectively use
one of life’s great commodities
so often wasted and lamented
yet measured so accurately each day.
Time can be fleeting or last a lifetime
and it seems there is little to spare.
But during this brief hiatus
I have come to understand
that clocks do not decide
how I use this gift.
In the future
I will live
and love
more.

©Sally Cronin 2020

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 180 – Poet’s Choice 

You can find recent reviews for my latest release and other books: Sally’s books and reviews 2019/2020

Thank you for dropping by and I hope you enjoyed.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #Poetry – Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures by Leon Stevens


Delighted to welcome writer, composer, guitarist, songwriter and artist Leon Stevens to the Cafe with his poetry collection, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures

About the collection

Lines by Leon is a selection of poems, prose, and short stories that address the subjects of loss, struggle, and reflection. Inside these thoughtful contemplations are original observations about ego, behaviour, human relations, places, and the environment. Many of the pieces feature a lighthearted and even humorous take on a subject, and the author invites his readers to laugh, think, cry, and meditate on the wide variety of thoughts.

Scattered throughout the book are sketches of various subjects, many that relate to the poems and stories they illustrate; others speak for themselves.

One of the recent reviews for the collection on Goodreads

Mar 31, 2020 Suzanne Hare rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This collection of poems is full of whit, dry humour, creativity, a great deal of wisdom and humanity. The poems made me think, have an emotional response and soak up the common sense wisdom. I liked the positive approach and the self confidence displayed. Each line was filled with insight, whit and wisdom. I know I will reread this book as I do most of my poem collection because the simple act of reading poetry makes me grow and change as a person, so each reading is an unique experience. To me that is the true power of poetry. I really liked this set of poems.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Leon: Goodreads

About Leon Stevens

Leon Stevens is a writer, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He became a writer out of necessity. Along with song writing, poetry has allowed him to make sense and accept events and situations in his life. He published his first book of poetry: Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020 and a book of original classical guitar compositions

Connect to Leon

Website: Lines by Leon
Twitter: @linesbyleon
InstagramThe Miniscules
Amazon Author Page: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
LinkedInLeon Stevens

Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great if you could welcome Leon to the Cafe with a comment and be kind enough to share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives -#Memoir #Ireland 1930s – The Colour of Life 1936 – #Waterford -The Station by Geoff Cronin


My father-in-law, Geoff Cronin was a raconteur with a encyclopedic memory spanning his 93 years. He sadly died in 2017 but not before he had been persuaded to commit these memories of his childhood and young adulthood in Waterford in the 1920s to the 1940s.

The books are now out of print, but I know he would love to know that his stories are still being enjoyed, and so I am repeating the original series of his books that I posted in 2017. I hope those who have already read will enjoy again and that new readers will discover the wonderful colour of life in Ireland nearly 100 years ago.

The Station – 1936

In the combined parishes of Killea, Crooke and Faithlegg, when I was a boy, there was an event called “The Station”. I never could find out why it had that name for it had nothing whatever to do with the railway, the nearest one being some ten miles away. In fact it was the term used in country places to describe a Mass which was said in a parishioners house each year – and it was a signal honour to have one’s house selected by the Parish Priest for this purpose.

The venue would be announced at Sunday Mass and even that announcement was sufficient to establish one’s status in the community. The particular areas to be “covered” by each Station would be decided by tradition – and probably influenced by the electoral register. The effect was that every person in every area, or at least the head of the household, would attend a Station Mass once a year and one of the objects of the exercise was that “dues” would be paid on that occasion.

The normal “dues” would be paid at the church door on a Sunday and the names of the contributors would be read from the altar AND the amounts contributed. The Station dues seemed, to my young mind at the time, to be an extra tax on a struggling rural community and the method used was a sort of “sweeper” arrangement to pick up the stragglers and squeeze the maximum out of the parish.

On the occasion of the Station, confessions would be heard and Mass would be said. Then, at the end of the mass, the priest produced his book, stood before the altar and called out the names of the parishioners. When your name was called you walked up to the priest, handed him your offering – in front of all your neighbours – and he would mark his book accordingly.

Although I was quite young, I was living in Woodstown when I first witnessed this procedure, I felt that it was demeaning and unfair. However, such was the standing of the clergy at the time that this process was accepted.

Another aspect of the Station was that people went to endless trouble and expense to “do up” the place in advance of the priest’s visit. Farmhouses would be whitewashed; yards would be cleared of dung-heaps; cow-house doors would get a lick of paint; parlours would be freshly papered and have fires lit in them and, of course, children would be scrubbed clean and dressed in their Sunday clothes – all because of what the neighbours might think and so that they could hold their heads up going to mass on a Sunday and “nothing could be said!”

When it came to my family’s turn to host the Station Mass I was eight or nine years old and I well recall the fuss that was created and how every corner of the house had to be completely cleaned. All the family got special assignments for the day: My sister was to answer the door and to show people into the drawing room; my younger brother had to make sure that the dogs were kept in the back yard and my mother was preparing a sumptuous breakfast in what we called the “sea parlour”, which overlooked the beach.

My job was to light the fire in the drawing room, and to see that it was kept fed with coal and logs. The altar for the mass was set up in that room and I made sure that it was nice and warm.

When “the day” arrived it was cold and frosty and the ladies of the parish arrived in good time for the Mass and positioned themselves in a semicircle around the fire. The men hung around outside, smoking their Woodbines and chatting, as there would be no point going in until the priest arrived.

Meanwhile, my young brother, having secured the dogs, rambled in to see who had come.

Peeping around the door jamb he beheld several ladies with their backs to the fire, skirts raised, toasting their bottoms! Having noted the colour of the “ample” knickers, he retreated silently and reported what he had seen to rest of us kids. Amid great whispering and sniggering the rest of us went in turns and gazed at this remarkable sight.

When we told my mother that we knew what colour knickers old Mrs. so & so was wearing she threatened us with hellfire and brimstone if we breathed a word of this to anyone. We retreated hastily from the kitchen but we could hear her laughing.

***

A story is told about a priest who was doing the Station Masses in his parish. He had developed a taste for Mustard and at that time mustard had hardly been heard of in country districts. It was the custom for the hostess of the Station Mass to provide an especially good breakfast for the priest and he could look forward to fresh eggs, home cured bacon, home made black & white puddings with fresh cake bread and strong tea. The only thing which might be missing from this princely spread would be – you’ve guessed it – a spot of mustard.

Well, you see, mustard wasn’t really in general use and rather than embarrass the hostess by asking for something she didn’t have the priest took the habit of carrying a small tin of mustard, ready mixed to his liking, in his pocket. So, if it came with the breakfast well & good, and if not he could discreetly use his personal supply.

It so happened, on this particular morning, that when the priest’s breakfast was served there was no mustard to be seen on the table. Deciding to resort to subterfuge, he deliberately dropped his knife in the floor knowing that his hostess would fetch a fresh one from the kitchen, which she did. While she was out of the room the priest put a good dollop of his own cache on the side of his plate.

When the lady returned with the knife she looked at the priest’s plate in absolute horror. She grabbed the plate and began to back out of the room saying “I’m awful sorry Father, them hens are everywhere. I’ll get you a fresh breakfast!!”

So much for carrying your own supplies!

***

Describing a returned emigrant who had put on a lot of weight:
“He has a neck of meat on him like an American priest!”

©Geoff Cronin 2005

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Waterford in the 1930s courtesy of Geoff Cronin. As always your feedback is very welcome. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – June 5th 2020- Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp


Author Daniel Kemp keeps us entertained daily on Facebook with his witty jokes and funny images.. by popular request he has agreed to do another open mic night for us here today

And to round off Danny’s performance …. a few of jokes.

Knowledge

My 85-year-old grandfather was rushed to the hospital with a possible concussion.
The doctor asked him a series of questions:
“Do you know where you are?”
“I’m at Rex Hospital.”
“What city are you in?” “Raleigh.”
“Do you know who I am?”
“Dr. Hamilton.” My grandfather then turned to the nurse and said, “I hope he doesn’t ask me any more questions.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because all of those answers were on his badge.”

Where’s Phil

I was in my local when the barmaid asked me “why don’t I ever see you drinking with Phil anymore?”
I answered, “Would you drink with a man who lies to you, borrows money and doesn’t return it, never buys you a drink, cheats at pool, and tries it on with your wife?”
“No I wouldn’t,” she said.
“Neither will Phil,” I answered.

Two wives chatting in office:

Wife 1: I had a fine evening, how was yours?

Wife 2: It was a disaster. My husband came home, ate his dinner in 3 mins & fell asleep in 2 mins. How was yours?

Wife 1: Oh mine was amazing! My husband came home and took me out for a romantic dinner. After dinner, we walked for an hour. When we came home he lit the candles around the house. It was like a fairy tale!

At the same time, their husbands are talking at work…

Husband 1: How was your evening?

Husband 2: Great. I came home, dinner was on the table, I ate & fell asleep. What about you?

Husband 1: It was horrible. I came home, there’s no dinner, they cut the electricity because I forgot to pay the bill; so I took her out for dinner which was so expensive that it left me with no money for a cab or auto. We walked home which took an hour & when we got home I remembered there was no electricity so I had to light candles all over the house!!!

MORAL: PRESENTATION DOES MATTER… NO MATTER WHAT THE REALITY IS!

Dedicated to All married couples.

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

A selection of books by Danny

A recent review for A Covenant of Spies on Goodreads

Daniel Kemp’s A Covenant Of Spies deals with British Intelligence investigating Russian operative.

I enjoyed the clever, complex tale featuring a net of lies and political cover-ups that made me think twice about the daily news headlines.

An entertaining story of 21st century spies and tales of the Cold War sprinkled with clues till the end, it reminded me of “Bridge of Spies”.

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK

And : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Daniel on : Goodreads

Connect to Daniel

Website: Author Danny Kemp
Facebook: Books by Daniel
Twitter: @danielkemp6

My thanks to Danny for letting me share his funnies…have a good weekend and thanks for dropping in..Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors -#Paranormal Don Massenzio, #Crime Jane Risdon, #Fantasy Jan Sikes


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Don Massenzio

51w8ilqqnkl-_ux250_Like his character, Frank Rozzani, Don was born in Syracuse, New York to first generation Italian American parents. He’s an avid reader. Some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham, and Hugh Howey. His favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

He started writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate life. He use writing as a therapeutic outlet to combat his homesickness.

His first published book, Frankly Speaking, rose to the top of the Amazon charts. It was the first in a series of books focused on the character, Frank Rozzani, a Florida private detective. The series is a throwback to the days of pulp detective novels with a tip of the hat to Jim Rockford from the 70’s television show, The Rockford Files. He’s also released a collection of short stories called Random Tales that is available for your Kindle or in paperback.

Also, look for his non-fiction book, The Ultimate Guide For Independently Published Authors: Tips for improving quality and selling your work, now available on Amazon.com as an eBook or in paperback

He moved to Jacksonville, Florida 22 years ago where he currently lives with his wife, daughter, and three dogs.

A selection of books by Don Massenzio

One of the recent reviews for Extra Innings

Apr 02, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Four Stars on Goodreads

Extra Innings by Don Massenzio is one man’s search to find more meaning in his simple life. The Langerton Chiefs, a AAA baseball team for the New York Yankees, have always been a significant part of Joe McLean’s life. He and his brother Mike have been lifelong fans. When the city council decides to tear down Maxwell Stadium to build a more modern facility, Joe decides that he wants a piece of the old stadium as a means of remembering his beloved Chiefs.

This meat of this story is not about baseball, however. When McLean purchases an old wooden stadium seat, he finds that he can travel in time when he goes to sleep in it. He understands that he is moving in time and recognizes the critical people in his life from days gone by, but each time Joe ends in a new period, he discovers positives and negatives. The problem is that no timeline seems to be perfect and continually finds things that are imperfect about his life that he goes about trying to fix before moving to another timeline.

It was a bit tedious trying to keep track of all of the timelines, but I found this to be an enjoyable read overall.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand: Amazon UK Follow Don Massenzio: Goodreads Blog: Don Massenzio – Twitter: @dmassenzio

Meet Jane Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon has spent most of her life working in the International Music Business rubbing shoulders with the powerful and famous, especially in Hollywood.

Married to a musician and later working alongside him managing singers, musicians, songwriters, and record producers, she’s also facilitated the placement of music on successful television series and movie soundtracks.

With long-term friend, award-winning, best-selling author, Christina Jones – one-time fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band – Jane has co-authored Only One Woman (Headline Accent) which is set in the UK music scene of 1968/69.
Recently Jane completed her first collection of short crime stories for publication – Undercover: Crime Shorts – published in both eBook and Paperback 2019 (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd).

Jane writes for online and print magazines and has contributed to 16 anthologies. She also has a blog and often hosts guest authors.

She is working on the sequel to Only One Woman as yet untitled, as well as a series of crime novels – Ms Birdsong Investigates – featuring former MI5 Intelligence Officer Lavinia Birdsong which she plans to complete in 2020. Her experience of working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in her pre-music days has given her plenty of material for her crime/thrillers.

Her books are available in Waterstones and all good book stores as well as via various digital platforms.

One of the recent reviews for Undercover Crime Shorts on Goodreads

Feb 14, 2020 J.P. Willson rated it Four Stars

An eclectic collection of sinister scenarios…
See what I did there?
Seriously though, albeit short, a very good collection of stories that will leave you guessing through till the end.
Well worth a look.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And:  Amazon US–   Blog:Jane Risdon WordPress Goodreads:Jane Risdon Goodread –  Twitter: @Jane_Risdon

Meet Jan Sikes

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

A selection of books by Jan Sikes

One of the recent reviews for Jonah.

I really enjoyed this story. Jonah is a convict who was given a choice about how to serve his sentence and chose to be deserted on an island where the elements and environment were difficult to endure. The story focuses on his journey to inner redemption, and I love stories that focus on that internal struggle. I loved that Jonah’s isolation stripped away his need to appear tough and feared, the way he was in his home turf. I also loved that he innately protected Titus without even realizing he was doing so at first.

I just wished the story was longer. I know that it was meant to be a short story, but I would have loved more depth and more details. I would have loved more memory scenes that showed Jonah’s past life. I would have enjoyed more interaction with Titus as he grappled with his inner growth. And I would have enjoyed more of a lead into meeting the adults. I wanted to learn about his lessons and the trials and tribulations he would need to go through before being ready to fulfill his purpose. I honestly think this could be developed into a great novel if the author ever chooses to do so. All in all, it’s a great short story that will leave you wanting more. 🙂

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore -Share an Extract – Bubba Tails:  From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye (Tales from King Campbell Book 1) by Patty Fletcher


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore. There are still one or two authors who will be sharing extracts from their previous books over the next couple of weeks, but the new series is running in parallel with an opportunity to share an extract from your most recent book. You can find all the details here: Share an Extract

Today Patty Fletcher shares and extract from Bubba Tails:  From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye (Tales from King Campbell Book 1) as told by her Seeing-Eye dog King Campbell

About the book

NOW INCLUDES ‘WISH OF THE WEE GOLDEN ONE’ A CHRISTMAS STORY. A charming story about Christmas and Santa Paws and how the pups help deliver the Christmas gifts.

In this magical and love-filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

An Extract from the book

One stormy night a few weeks later King Campbell and his mother had just gone to bed, and just as he was about to drift off to sleep, he heard again the tinkling of dog tags off in the distance. They had an urgent sound to them.

“Something is wrong.” He thought.

So, after making certain his mother was fast asleep, checking the house, King Campbell stretched himself comfortably and once again let himself fade away. As he appeared in the nursery he noticed that there was much confusion and he could smell fear.

“What’s the matter?” He said to one of the mother dogs standing nearest him when he appeared in the room.

“Oh! King Campbell! We have an awful problem!” She howled.

“Why, whatever is wrong?” He said with some alarm.

“Oh! That little pup that snuggled with you last time, you were here! She heard that soon it would be her time to leave her mother and go with her first family and she’s hidden herself someplace and we have looked and looked, but we cannot find her!”

Now, it had been storming when he had left his human mother, and it was storming there as well.

“Well, now, she’s such a wee thing. She can’t have gotten far. We will split up and search the grounds.”

Soon, King Campbell, had all the pups gathered together, along with their mothers, and he gave each of them an assigned place to look. He remembered many things about the nursery and the land around it, and he was ever sure they would find her without much trouble at all. He made sure to keep the wee pup’s mother close to him so she would not be too afraid, and off they went into the storm.

The lightning flashed! The thunder crashed! And how the wind did blow! The rain was falling hard, yet all the dogs and pups looked and looked. Sniffing here, sniffing there. They looked inside and outside too. They sniffed under bushes, and around trees. They looked under furniture in the nursery, and even in toy boxes, closets, and drawers. A bunch of little Labrador pups even tried to look in the food bins, and when they did not find her they decided to stop for a quick snack.

King Campbell chased them out saying, “No! No! She is not in there! You leave! It! Stop that!”
Pretty soon though, they had looked everywhere they could think of and still there was no sign of her. It was getting later and later, the storm was worse than ever, yet still, they had not found her. As King Campbell stood with his head down, trying to think what to do, an idea suddenly came to him. He raised his head and barked very loudly!

“Woolf! Woolf! Woolf!” The room fell still and he said, “Listen! Listen! Everyone! I have an idea! It’s magik, and it just might work! At home when my human mother is missing special people in her life and wishes to draw them to her in some way, she sings a special song. I am going to sing it, and when you think you have the words join me! Now, come on! All gather round! Let us make a circle. All grasp paws! That’s right, come on! All together now! And remember, when you have the words sing.” He began to sing.

“Listen to the bird’s sing.
Listen to the chimes ring.
Listen to King Campbell’s bell ringing.
Listen to the rain fall.
Listen to my heart call.
Listen to King Campbell’s bell ringing.”

Soon all the mothers and pups were singing, but the wee pup’s mother was still crying and had not yet begun to sing. King Campbell turned to her. “You must sing! You must! You must sing and you must believe! Now sing!”

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars  A lovely book that all ages can read and enjoy  Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2020

Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye is a delightful story for all ages, told from the perspective of King Campbell, an older and more experienced Seeing Eye dog (trained to guide the blind). King Campbell appears at night to the puppies at the Seeing Eye School, and their mothers, and tells them stories about how he came to be selected for the school, his training process and meeting his forever mother. His stories help to allay some of the puppies own concerns and anxieties about the future when they undergo their training to be Seeing Dogs and eventually become companions to a blind person.

This is a most insightful book about how Seeing Dogs are selected, including the qualities they need to have to do this job, as well as the training process they go through before they are matched with a blind person. I say matched because that is exactly what happens, the person is paired with a suitable canine companion. I thought this was very interesting as I had never really thought about how close the relationship between a blind human and their Seeing Dog is prior to reading this book.

The second part of the story when Campbell meets his new forever owner was the most meaningful for me. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn about how the Seeing Dog and their new owner must adapt to working together. The Seeing Dog needs to learn to read their human owner’s body language and respond to subtle signals. The human must also learn to trust their dog and this is quite a difficult thing to do. I can understand that putting your faith in a dog, no matter how much you love it, must initially be difficult when you are unable to see and protect yourself. I loved reading about how this amazing trust developed between Campbell and his owner.

This is a book that everyone can read and enjoy for the story and also appreciate for its detailed insight into the relationship between Seeing Dogs and their owners, and also the world at large.

Read the reviews and  buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Patty Fletcher

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on : Amazon UK

Books also available on: Smashwords

About Patty Lyne Fletcher

I’m a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am very proud. I have a great son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. Three girls, and two boys. I hope to be able to write more about them later. I own and handle a Black Labrador from The Seeing Eye™ named Campbell Lee–a.k.a. Bubba Lee or King Campbell, to give just a couple of his nicknames. King Campbell is now retired and I hope to return to The Seeing Eye in spring of 2020 to obtain a successor guide.

I was born in Kingsport, Tenn., where I also grew up and now live and work.

About my blindness: I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Connect to Patty

Blog: Campbell’s World 
Twitter: @Bubbalee04
Facebook: Patty Fletcher

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to find out more about Patty and her books. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Romance Linda Bradley, #History #Childrens Barbara Ann Mojica


Welcome to the Friday Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is USA Today Bestselling Romance author Jacquie Biggar with a recent review for her latest book published on 14th January – The Sister Pact: Home is Where the Heart Is.

About the book

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romance and mystery, The Sister Pact has something for every reader.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Miriam Hurdle 5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely and Touching Story  Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020

The Sister Pact is a story about two sisters, Holly Tremaine and Susan, the twin brothers Steven and Levi. Holly was away from home for eight years to pursue her dream and became a violinist in New York. Her Lyme disease drove her home before Christmas holiday. Holly and her sister had grown apart for many unspoken issues. Holly was jealous of her sister marrying Steven who was once her boyfriend, and that her sister now had a husband with successful business as a Family Law Accredited Mediator, and their two lovely children. Whereas Susan was jealous of Holly being able to make her dream come true while she became a housewife and a mother but was short of pursuing her dream as a dancer with her own studio.

Steven invited his twin brother Levi to come from Vancouver to spend the holiday and get reacquainted with Holly. Holly had a one-night relationship with Levi when she was drunk after her sister’s wedding. Upon Holly’s arriving home, she was at odd with the tension between her and Susan. She also didn’t expect to see Levi coming to the family dinner. At the dinner table, the familiar scene of the parents arguing repeated.

After a hiking trip on the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Holly and Levi found themselves in each other’s arms and secretly yearned for more. By talking to her father, Holly found out he and her mother were seeking separation. To her surprise, Susan left Steven and came to the parents’ house with her two children. She broke the news of seeing Steven with a woman.

Holly and Susan tried to talk to their parents to bring them back together. At the same time, Levi tried to talk to Susan while Holly tried to talk to Steven to fix their marriage.

In The Sister Pact: Home is Where the Heart Is, Jacquie Biggar skillfully packed the story with family conflicts, jealousy, and unresolved anger. She also painted a beautiful picture of caring, love, and forgiveness, home is always a home where we belong. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

A selection of of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie : Goodreads

Connect to Jacquie via her website: Jacquie Biggar

The next author is Linda Bradley with a recent review for Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series book 1).

About the book

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

One of the recent reviews for the book

molly doerr 5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort food between the pages.  Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2020

A wonderful summer or winter read on the couch or in the sun. As a cancer survivor that part rang true and was a nice counterpoint to the relationships growing or resolving with ex husband, child, love interest, mother & boyfriend’s ex wife. Nicely paced with observations to ponder and a budding romance to enjoy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Linda on : Goodreads

Connect to Linda via her website: Linda Bradley Author

And the final author today is Barbara Ann Mojica with a recent review for her latest in the Little Miss History series… Tombstone Arizona

About the book

Did you ever wonder?

  • ·What it would be like to live and survive inthe Wild West?
  • ·About what kind of people lived and worked ina mining town
  • ·The machinery and tools they used
  • ·Step back in time to become a prospector inthe Goodenough Mine
  • ·Walk the streets with cattle rustlers andoutlaws
  • ·Watch the Earp brothers attempt to restoreorder
  • ·Take part in the gunfight at the OK Corral
  • ·Ride on a stagecoach
  • ·If you are lucky, you won’t end up in BoothillCemetery

Click on the Buy Now button… and enter nineteenth century Tombstone, Arizona

LITTLE MISS HISTORY TRAVELS TO TOMBSTONE ARIZONA by Barbara Ann Mojica is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree

One of the recent reviews for the book

Apr 26, 2020 Steve Callahan rated it Five Stars on Goodreads.

Little Miss History has a job anyone would love. In this book, she travels to Tombstone, AZ and regales the reader with the town’s founding as well as all the colorful characters that have become legends in their own right. It combines historical photos with spot-on illustrations and is well-paced throughout. Little Miss History explains how the characters long associated with Tombstone became so well known. It includes the Earp’s and the Clanton’s but also lesser-known citizens such as Sing Choy and John Swain Slaughter who were major contributors to the town’s history. This makes for a great read-along book as the writing and illustrations are sure to spark a conversation about Tombstone and the Old West

A selection of books by Barbara Ann Mojica.

Discover all the books, read the reviews and buy: Amazon US

And on : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Barbara Ann on : Goodreads

Connect to Barbara Ann via her blogBarbara Ann Mojica

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

MarySmith’sPlace – Afghan Adventrues#37 One more sleep before Lal

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If you missed the latest episode of Mary Smith’s work in Afghanistan then here is something to whet your appetite… a fascinating look at some of the history of the region which is embedded in the hearts and minds of those who have lived through it.

Autumn 1989 somewhere between Yakolang and Lal

IMG_0062 (Custom)

Juma Khan, the truck owner joined Khudadad and me for tea in the guest room. He was accompanied by his elderly wife whose eyes were filmed by cataracts. Pointing to his wife’s eyes he asked what could be done; did I have any medicine to make her see again? My heart sank. I was going to be a very disappointing guest.

I shook my head, explaining only an operation would help. The nearest hospital where such surgery could be performed was Kabul. We all knew, without further discussion, that Juma Khan’s wife would end her days in darkness. More patients from the village arrived for consultations – children with eczema, children with scabies, malnutrition, diarrhoea. The picturesque rural scene I had seen as we arrived disguised the poverty, ignorance and disease in the village.

Apart from a couple of doctors of doubtful qualifications in the bazaar of Yakolang no other medical facility was nearer than our clinic in Lal. Some years ago, an American Government funded mission group had built a hospital in Yakolang. It had been closed, even before the Soviet invasion, amidst rumours of spying and proselytising.  I had seen the modern buildings as we drove through the bazaar earlier and, faced with so many children for whom I could do little to help; I wondered why one of the many aid organisations working in Afghanistan did not re-open the much needed hospital. Our organisation was tiny, but where I wondered were Oxfam, Save the Children, the UN agencies?  Khudadad answered, ‘This place is too far from Pakistan. They don’t want the bother. It is easier for them to help in the nearer, Pashtun areas.’

Although he spoke in English, on hearing the word “Pashtun” Juma Khan’s wife let out a long wail of anguish followed by a voluble speech full of anger and grief. Khudadad explained, ‘This family are originally from near Jaghoray, but the Pushtoon took their land and forced them to move. Many, many families lost their lands at that time and moved here.  The land is not good and farming is hard. They will always hate the Pushtoon people. That is why the Hazaras must have some power when there is a new Government.’

It was quite a speech from Khudadad and the emotion in his voice was clear. ‘When did this happen?’ I asked.

‘During the time of Abdur Rahman Khan,’ he replied. ‘They will never forget.’

 

Head over to read the rest of this entertaining and also informative post… thanks Sally.

 

via MarySmith’sPlace – Afghan Adventrues#37 One more sleep before Lal

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 4th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin


Firstly, with the results of sleuthing on the Internet are some funnies from Debby Gies followed by some jokes from Sally.

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

Thanks to Debby for finding this treasures… please give her a round of applause..

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon USAndAmazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Check out Debby’s new series here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

And now a joke or two from Sally….stop me if you have heard them before….

Be careful what you wish for…

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks for their orders. The man says, “A hamburger, fries, and a coke,” and turns to the ostrich, “What’s yours?”

“I’ll have the same,” says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order.

“That will be $9.40 please,” and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, “A hamburger, fries, and a coke.”

The ostrich says, “I’ll have the same.”

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes routine until, the two enter again.

“The usual?” asks the waitress.

“No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato, and salad, says he man

“Same,” says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, “That will be $32.62.”

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress can’t hold back her curiosity any longer.

“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?”

“Well,” says the man, “several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.”

“That’s brilliant!” says the waitress… “Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!”

“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,” says the man.

The waitress asks, “But, sir, what’s with the ostrich?”

The man sighs, pauses, and answers, “My second wish was for a tall chick with long legs who agrees with everything I say.”

Thanks for dropping by and we hope you are laughing as much as this baby is over the simple things in life.. Debby and Sally.